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The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

This was a nightmare, rooms are disgustingly dirty. Staff are rude and unprofessional. House keeping just did not bother cleaning the room or even turning up. Came back one night at 9pm and the room had not been cleaned. Over priced. Disgusting breakfast and lazy staff. Rubbish in the gardens. Please avoid this dump at all cost. Management is unresponsive. So many better, cleaner and cheaper places on the island. Don’t use the hotel transfer as they are double the price of a taxi.

We stayed here for 14 nights!! Our sheets were changed once, house keeping doesn't get to your room until about 4-5pm so we found quiet often when they were there we would be trying to relax for the arvo or getting ready for the night, so would just get some towels and that's it. We didn't have hand soap until I asked And a small broom in the rooms would be a nice idea as that's all house keeping does anyways just sweeps the floor to the entrance of your room so it all gets walks back in. Our tea and coffee tray had to be put outside as I couldn't handle the amount of ants living in it!! Reception staff are rude and they only have one key! So if anything happens to your room key it's tough luck til you get it back.. Wifi is available but is expensive and very limited! Doesn't work in most rooms or at busy times! Bar staff vary.. some make the best drinks and are lovely but most are rude and rush your drinks. Also the bar is very very over priced as is the food from Captain Andy's, which isn't disappointing more often than not. We ate out when we could as there was nothing we wanted twice off that menu. The buffet breakfast become very boring very fast. The cooked breakfast weren't great either and the option to order them stops the same time as the buffet so if you don't eat/order before 10am no breakfast for you.. would of been nice to have an all day breakfast option for people wanting to chill out and not rush in the mornings while on holiday. The beach is the best part of the resort but can be accused by the public so would stay somewhere else next time and just go to this beach as we pleased. The activities hut is limited to gear and is very strict on tide times as to when they lend some gear.. which becomes annoying when your confident in the water and end up missing out on things you really wanted to do while on Raro! Oh and there is no Spa on the premises so a name change wouldn't be a bad idea.. Bit disappointed all round and would recommend or stay here again

We had several problems. We upgraded to a beachside room from the garden room. Definately worth it. The beach is the best part about this resort. The petition between our room and the next room is so thin that we were kept awake for three nights with the people next door talking and laughing. My daughters were in the room on the other side. One night the girls were out and 2 members of staff were inside the girls room. My husband asked them to leave. My youngest daughter lost her glasses only to find a staff member wearing them. The breakfast was not nice at all. After a few days the cereal boxes were running out and not replenished. Will not be staying again.

Rooms never cleaned propley sheets changed I think they were. some days never cleaned at all. Staffed over worked which made them tired and grumpy. Got warned before I left not to go there should have listen. not great service for the price you pay to stay there

We stayed here 5 nights for our honeymoon and were disappointed. The resort is run down, tired and old. It needs some TLC and so do the staff. I wouldn't recommend to stay here. It is on the beach but that is the only plus. Our room was damp, musty and smelly.

So after 8 years we decided to go back to what was the fabulous rarotongan resort and what a disappointment it was. From the room service well lack of. Our room never had sheets changed, bathroom clean, floor swept etc, the only service we had was 2 clean towels a day. Staff were rude, not happy. Management at bar were rude to their junior staff in front of patrons. Food was terrible so ate out 3 nights of 5. But to top off staff at front reception were horrendous. After $2000 been spent personally in 5 days at the resort they would not refund me my 45$ I paid for a extra room key, saying I never paid cash at reception and camera system being down so I couldn't prove I paid the cash. Pretty much was told I am a liar and staff so blatantly rude. After 8 years rating this place I would never ever rate again.

We arrived at 1.45pm and weren’t greeted on arrival. After waiting to speak to someone for 5 minuets we were told the rooms weren’t ready and they weren’t sure how long they would take. The foyer was full of angry people waiting too. We decided to go and get lunch. We came back 3.30pm and were told room still not ready !!!! Sat for 30 minuets before we got our room key. Than we walked in the room !!!!!! It was old, dated, smelt really bad !!!!!! The towels and hand towels looked grey !!!! Pictures on the internet are very misleading !!!!!! We had already paid and were only staying overnight, other wise I would have left. So bad !!! Restaurant staff not friendly, everything seemed like an effort to them !!! Very disappointed.

Our stay was for 5 nights October 22, 2017 - October 27, 2017. My partner and I booked our stay with the Rarotongan in a Deluxe Beachside Suite in July through Flight Centre in NZ. My partner and I were so excited despite reading the mixed reviews prior to landing in Rarotonga. Getting to the resort was simple and easy as it literally takes 45 minutes to get around the whole island itself. Rent a car though, it takes 3 hours to get a scooter license. You'll find a car is much easier. Saves you the trouble of booking transfers, and if you want to do some bulk shopping, the car is storage efficient. Upon checking in, we were hot and exhausted and all i could think about was settling into our room and trying out our outdoor shower. Unfortunately, we got there and was told to check into the Sanctuary which was the adults only resort. Although we were confused, we did as instructed and headed next door. We were then told our room was upgraded to a beachside room at the Sanctuary. I looked through my emails and could not see any notification of the room/resort change. I asked the assitant at the front desk why we were moved when my itinerary clearly confirms a deluxe beach suite, and I had called in the week before to confirm my booking. He said that unfortunately the Reservations Manager was away for the weekend and I was told to take the room provided for that night, and come back in the morning to talk with the manager. This room did not come with an outdoor shower, or a bathroom with a spa bath. It was just a basic room and not the suite that i was excited to be in for the past 3 months. I went online and tried to book a deluxe beachside suite online (my original room) and found out they were not available for our dates. That's when i realised, that the reservations team may have overbooked however, considering i booked AND paid in full in July, I believe that because we were a couple, the resort thought to boot us into the Adults Only resort and give a family our suite. Thinking that this was it, the reservations team also deactivated our room key and had us on their departure list a day earlier than what we paid for. We gave a copy of itinerary and they confirmed it was an error on their end and corrected it. Recommendation: I've been managing Accommodation facilities for the past 3 years and have worked in accommodation for the past 6.5 years. I understand that there are times where room moves may occur however, it is important that the reservations team communicates with the customer who had secured their booking and paid in full for their stay of any changes made to their bookings via email and prior to their check in. To be fair, yes - It costs $600 more than what i paid to be at the sanctuary. So essentially, you pay more to get rid of kids. Because the rooms at the sanctuary are smaller than the suites at the Rarotongan. Customer Service Recommendations: Being a Pacific Islander, I was fine with the aesthetic of the facilities. What I believe needs improvement is the quality of the experience within the facilities. This starts with your staff. I strongly recommend that your staff receive training in 'Excellence in Customer Service' most particularly front of house staff, gift shop staff, and catering/catering assistants and reservations. I was friendly and energetic and unfortunately that energy was not reciprocated by a few staff i had interacted with. It shouldn't be the job of the customer to get staff energised or excited as i am sure is outlined in their position description. The only person who was willing to go the extra mile was Apii. He was knowledgeable, helped us book tickets for shows and experiences, quick to respond and follow-up on our maintenance and housekeeping issues, and was friendly in his interactions. The entertainment at Dinner, there is a female singer who has a wonderful voice however, I heard more of the backing track than her actual singing as she remains seated the whole time, and spends most of the time talking to the guy that sits next to her. It's unprofessional. I would recommend investing in a DJ or a band that can sing to the diners rather than a singer who hogs what now appears as a karaoke booth. We want to dance and sing and engage with the entertainment as you don't offer an island night. Islanders love music and dance, so i encourage you to think about how to ensure that your diners are getting a real island dining experience. We're not just paying for food on a plate - we're paying for an experience. Tropical breakfast buffet - Wow -Disappointed. You're paying extra for the following: 1. Cereal in a box. 2. fruit selections - coconut, pawpaw, strawberries, kiwifruit 3. Yoghurt 4. Toast 5. Tea, coffee, juice and that's it. No eggs, no bacon cause those things cost a lot extra. I had breakfast at the resort as like an entree to breakfast. Then we'd jump in the car and search the island for a cafe. Only place i had decent breakfast was Le Rendevous which opened up on time and didn't have a 50-minute serving time. Would've liked to stay at the resort but couldn't find much reason to stay a part from the reserve. After our 5 night stay, I don't believe we will be returning to Rarotongan/Sanctuary anytime soon but I hope that this review may spark some thinking on how to improve the residential experience for future customers.

Despite writing to the resort manager to voice my disappointment (with supporting photos to back up my claim) and a request for a refund for the state of my so called deluxe beach front suite and lack of daily room servicing, the resort manager has not had the decency or professional courtesy to respond to me directly. If I were the owner of this establishment I would certainly not be pleased that this is how my staff handle customer complaints. During our 8 day stay we spoke to many people who also voiced their disappointment at the low standards they experienced. Dated and tired rooms are one thing, but unkept dirty and unserviced rooms is an entirely different matter. Brochures certainly don't show you how the place really is. We went to the Cook Islands for a wedding and paid accommodation in advance, so we were not in a postion to move to another resort, otherwise we would have. My daughter was told when she spoke to the duty manager it wasnt the first time he heard these complaints, yet it would appear the complaints fell on deaf ears. My room hadn't been cleaned as is clearly evident by attached pics ..complaints were met by duty manager advising me "I only started my shift at 4pm today"...No apology or sorry that your room is not up to standard. The lack of room service occurred from day 1!!!......daily room service didn't happen. Bin emptied once during entire stay. Milk in bar fridge was replenished once in 8 days!! Room was dusty and dirty. Table in room dirty on arrival. Shower recess dirty, eventually had someone come and bleach the shower recess. Wore rubber thongs to shower. Squashed mosquito on frame of bathroom mirror on arrival was still there 8 days later!!! Sweaty cheese squares and ham on plates at buffet due to not even being put on a bed of ice. This was the month of Sept so hate to think what it would be like in the hot months. Fruit at buffett had a sickly sour smell on various days. Tablecloths in dining room dirty and not replaced. My daughter complained on my behalf daily as well as complained daily herself that their room wasnt serviced daily either. They had a baby and 4 year old so wet smelly towels was a daily occurance in their suite until calls to reception daily to service room to come clean the room!! They were given a token refund but when I sought compensation the resort manager saw fit to insult me further by advising Flight Centre that my daughter and her husband's refund was also part mine, despite him NEVER mentioning that to my daughter's face when she was eventually able to meet with him or via email when she wrote to him. Do yourself and wallet a favor and stay somewhere else.

7 day stay as a family with 2 types of rooms. Tired and could do with a good clean and re vamp. The beach is the winner.The meals reasonable but expensive for the style of seating. We sat at the same table each day for breakfast and I don't think they changed the tableclothes but the breakfast was suffient. The Kids club was a bonus and the beach lovely but aqua shoes are a must. There are only basic needs in the rooms ie 2 mugs !!! in a resort and 2 glasses and basic coffeeand tea. lots of improvements needed if prices stay as they are.

Room options

2 Bedroom Beachside Suite

King 1 | Sleeps 4

Beachfront Room

King 1 | Sleeps 3

Deluxe Suite, Beachfront

King 1 | Sleeps 3

Deluxe Suite Beachside

King 1 | Sleeps 3

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

56% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 1126 reviews