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Concerned about The Rarotongan Beach Resort reviews

Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
132 posts
13 reviews
13 helpful votes
Concerned about The Rarotongan Beach Resort reviews

All I have been reading is bad reviews from people. This is my mothers first international trip and I want to make it special for her. We booked on booking.com so no longer can cancel.

We aren't too picky and are just hoping the reviews are done by pedantic people.

We are taking my 4 year old and a 8 year old. Me (25yo) and mother (50yo)

Can someone give me some reassurance please? :)

Also internet - I have an iPhone and I read the wiFi is really bad there. Roaming charges for vodafone over there are disgusting so any ideas? Should I purchase a sim over there?

13 replies to this topic
Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
2,178 posts
88 reviews
103 helpful votes
1. Re: Concerned about The Rarotongan Beach Resort reviews

Firstly relax - it's not so bad. Yes, it's dated but hey... you're in Rarotonga and on holiday. I have not been in the rooms but if you are very unhappy just make sure you let them know and possibly get shifted.

What I can tell you is that the location is amazing. The view, the sea, the sand... seriously it's beautiful. More importantly you have two little children who will love it. The pool is great and the place is geared up for children. Your mother will be able to find a quiet spot if she wants but I'm sure she'll enjoy just watching the kids have fun.

I don't know what the food is like - probably not that great - but there are other options around. Will you be hiring a little car? It will certainly help if only for a few days.

Make the most of it - sure, it's not the Ritz but it will be a good family holiday. Enjoy.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
Level Contributor
7,014 posts
243 reviews
558 helpful votes
2. Re: Concerned about The Rarotongan Beach Resort reviews

Hi steveerose

It's true that the Rarotongan is dated and is overdue for an upgrade. It was the very first place I stayed in Rarotonga which was a long time ago. It was very upmarket then!

But the style of the buildings of attractive and the beach is absolutely fantastic there for both swimming and snorkelling. I'm sure your children will love it as it's geared for families and the kids' club has a good reputation.

Rarotonga is easy to get around by bus and even easier if you hire a car. Within walking distance of the hotel is a takeaway and Cocoputt with its mini-golf and cafe is not far away either. The latter will probably appeal to the whole family.

It would be a good idea to buy a sim card from Bluesky. You can get one at the airport or at one of the outlets around the island.

I'm sure you'll enjoy your first trip to Raro staying at the Rarotongan. And hopefully you'll be able to have a look round and choose somewhere for your second trip if you fall in love with the place like so many of us do. There are lots of lovely self-contained accommodation choices as well as hotels. But that's for the future!

Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
2,178 posts
88 reviews
103 helpful votes
3. Re: Concerned about The Rarotongan Beach Resort reviews

OK, I've just read through some recent reviews... not good at all sadly.

You said you could not get a refund due to booking through booking.com. Did you book a "no cancellation" policy? I would contact them - I have found them great to deal with on the phone. Certainly give it a go as I noticed another review stating that booking.com were looking into a complaint.

If you can go to Lagoon Breeze Villas instead try to do that!!

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
Level Contributor
7,014 posts
243 reviews
558 helpful votes
4. Re: Concerned about The Rarotongan Beach Resort reviews

Hi again

Just bear in mind that Lagoon Breeze Villas are not beachfront. You need to cross the road to get to the beach. No Restaurant and no kids' club. But they've also been around for as long as I can remember.

But if you were going to cancel, why would you just change to across the road?

Edited: 7 years ago
Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
132 posts
13 reviews
13 helpful votes
5. Re: Concerned about The Rarotongan Beach Resort reviews

Thanks all, can't get refund but I'm sure it will be fine! We're on holiday.

On a side note, can anyone recommend a car rental?

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
Level Contributor
7,014 posts
243 reviews
558 helpful votes
6. Re: Concerned about The Rarotongan Beach Resort reviews

Hi

There are lots available but many regular visitors, including me, always use Island Cars.

http://www.islandcarhire.co.ck/

But do some research and compare.

Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
2,178 posts
88 reviews
103 helpful votes
7. Re: Concerned about The Rarotongan Beach Resort reviews

Yes, we have used Island Car rentals too. I always email them for the best rate and collect at the airport. Good service and never had a problem.

You will be fine at the Rarotongan - maybe come back here and let us know how it was? Enjoy your holiday, you'll have a great time.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central, New Zealand, North Island, Cook Islands
Level Contributor
28,726 posts
133 reviews
82 helpful votes
8. Re: Concerned about The Rarotongan Beach Resort reviews

Kia Orana steverose9,

The Rarotongan is dated and shows it! Since you can't cancel, I suggest you stay with an open mind, and enjoy the beach area as much as possible if the weather is suitable. The resort suffers from ongoing staffing issues, and the people who work there do their best to overcome the situation.

A couple of weeks ago, when I visited the beach, there were lots of guests at the Rarotongan. People appeared to be content with their accommodation, since I didn't notice any long or unhappy faces.

Your children wont notice any short-comings, but a mother probably will. As a family you can engage in your own fun times, and take the bus to town or around the island to gain an idea of the island and its makeup.

Kia manuia.

Visalia, California
Level Contributor
61 posts
32 reviews
17 helpful votes
9. Re: Concerned about The Rarotongan Beach Resort reviews

Sadly, I'm afraid I have to add to what others have said about the state of The Rarotongan. It is in need of a major overhaul and not at all up to the standards of the majority of other accommodations on the island. :(

However, keep an open mind and you will be fine. Don't be afraid to make yourself heard if there are issues with your room.

The great thing about Raro is there is so much to do, many things are free and so many choices. I would suggest you just consider The Rarotongan your "base of operations" and spend your time enjoying the rest of the island. Remember, all the beaches are public. Pack up your beach bag, maybe a picnic, head out and explore a different area each day. It is interesting to see the differences in the beaches as you circle the island. Each one has something new to offer.

P.S. The Muri Night Market is a great value for dinner, IMHO.

New Zealand
2 posts
10. Re: Concerned about The Rarotongan Beach Resort reviews

Hi All, I've found all your responses valuable, if one was to stay at an alternative accommodation with the priority still being the children etc, what would you recommend?

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