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Jan 19

Perth, WA
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Jan 19

Hey. We are 2 adults 2 young kids. We have 10 nights in mid jan 19. Looking at early accommodation options. We want a place on a nice swimming beach with a decent pool. Prefer a place that has restaurants and places for coffee near by, but planning on getting a car to keep us mobile so not a deal breaker. Not really interested in snorkeling, more swimming. Have seen a good rate for the rarotongan, 2 bed suite. But it seems a little isolated? What would you have on the shortlist

18 replies to this topic
Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
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1. Re: Jan 19

Kia Orana oztravela7, welcome to the Cook Islands forums.

Nowhere around Rarotonga is isolated, unless you stay at the head of one of the valleys. There are holiday homes a distance inland, as well as around the coastal plain.

The Rarotongan Resort isn't isolated. It has several licenced restaurants in the area, as well as a grocery store at Kavera Central and several tourism businesses. This resort only has a couple of 2 br apartments, so if you decide to stay there an early booking is recommended. Being located on a marine reserve, the lagoon is popular with swimmers, snorkellers and paddlers. The moko kids club is suitable for younger children upwards.

Vaimaanga has Palm Grove resort,and, Cooks Bay villas with pools. Nice swimming beach, very good village facilities, and once again this central southern location isn't isolated. But it is the furtherest from town, with half an hour to drive to Avarua. Palm Grove has several 2 & 3 br houses, with a very nice 3 br home located on the beach across from the main resort site where the pool and restaurant are. Vaimaanga is home to the ever popular Wigmore's super store, a takeaway next door and Coco-Latte coffee shop across from the store. Alternative village dining at Vaima restaurant.

The Edgewater Resort has a pretty beach, with a cleared swimming area. It is the largest resort on Rarotonga with several room categories from 2 br apartments to 3 br villas. Spacious grounds with 2 on-site restaurants, handy to a couple of village stores, coffee outlets and alternative dining within walking distance. Again this resort has a kids club.

There are other properties with pools, including Pacific Resort in Muri. This is a busy area with lots of lagoon activities taking place day and night. You wouldn't go short of alternative dining or activities in this location. Muri can be subject to the breezy easterlies in summer.

All the best with finding the style of place that will make for a great island holiday. Kia manuia.

Edited: 22 February 2018, 12:56
Rarotonga, Cook...
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2. Re: Jan 19

I overlooked to include Lagoon Breeze, above. Not beachfront but a lovely place to stay with children. It's set on a spacious property with villas and studios, along with a children's pool and adults pool. One of the few places that have a children's playground. Guests BBQs and breakfast cafe, plus honesty bar. Lagoon Breeze has a beachfront picnic area, and it sits on the Aroa marine reserve.

Short walk to the Rarotongan Resort and Kaena steakhouse for meals, and a shorter walk to Coco-putt bistro and mini-gold. Kavera Central is the nearest grocery shop, with takeaways and an ice-cream parlour.

Hobart, Australia
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3. Re: Jan 19

Noting isolated about the Rarotongan and IMO best beach area for swimming. I would also check out holiday homes for other options. Good idea to have a car so you can be mobile

Perth, WA
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4. Re: Jan 19

Thanks guys. Sorry, I didn’t really mean isolated, just when I look at google maps, there doesn’t appear to be many food and drink options within walking distance to the resort? As I said not a deal breaker, but sometimes nice. It’s great value though I think . $2150 for 10 nights in a 2 bedroom ‘suite’ with kitchenette and air con. Ticks a lot of boxes IMO. Is that considered good value for January?

Hobart, Australia
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5. Re: Jan 19

That seems like amazing value. Remember though it is cyclone season

Perth, WA
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6. Re: Jan 19

Yes. Have read a lot about cyclone ‘season’. I believe most of the time there is fair warning for these events and we have already purchased travel insurance for the trip.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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7. Re: Jan 19

$215.00 per night for 2 adults with children free is good value. It's the quiet time of year for tourism, so you should have the run of house so to speak. And plenty of space on the beach too.

Good plan to take out travel insurance. If you need to visit the hospital, it's located in the NW uphill from Black Rock. Cyclones don't tend to affect the SW corner of Rarotonga, as much as they cause other areas more damage. Tourism properties and residents are all given fair warning of any approaching bad weather. The resort will have an evacuation plan in place to move guests to a safer location.

Rarotonga has a good bus service, and which pulls into the atrium at the Rarotongan on the clockwise circuits. The resort has a main restaurant and bar, next to the swimming pool, plus a snack bar inside.. Kaena burger bar is across the road for very generous burgers, and they sell cold drinks. At night the Kaena opens their steakhouse. This place is no more than 5 minutes walk from the Rarotongan.

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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8. Re: Jan 19

Hi oztravela7

Although January is the cyclone season as has been said, Rarotonga is usually lucky compared with places such as Fiji. But they do happen occasionally. And that time of year can be rainy and very humid, compared with the dry heat you're mainly used to in WA.

But do check the travel insurance for weather disruption. I know that a couple of years ago some people were caught out when there were cyclones in Fiji. They found they were not covered if they cancelled or curtailed their holidays due to an impending cyclone if the airlines were still running. And some had other problems as well.

We all know about insurance companies and their small print so it pays to be very careful.

The Rarotongan has a lovely beach, btw. It was the very first place I stayed back in 1978!!!

Perth, WA
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9. Re: Jan 19

Thanks guys. We will be flying in from LA and plan on keeping an eye on the weather before we leave. Will look closely at the clauses of the travel insurance in regarding to pending inclement weather.

The humidity will definitely be something different for us, but with so many great beaches, a resort pool and air conditioned rooms I think we should be ok. I understand it’s ‘low’ season but being school holidays I imagine there is a still a fair amount if tourist travel in January??

At the stage the Rarotonga seems to present the greatest value, taking into account that breakfast is also included. The reviews appear really mixed though. I am wondering if people are expecting too much? The other places on the short list would be the Moana sands beach villas, palm grove and lagoon breeze. All are more $$ than the raro though but if they are are dramatically better we would consider them. A good sandy bottom beach that’s clear or rocks/coral etc is probably our main selling point.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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10. Re: Jan 19

Aroa is the better beach, compared to Vaimaanga. Aroa beach is only a small area though, but safe for children. It also has a very pretty lagoon-ocean outlook Lagoon Breeze shares the same beach, but at their location the lagoon is shallower so you would need to walk or wade into the deeper and clearer water alongside the Rarotongan - Sanctuary.

Palm Grove has a pool, but Moana Sands villas dont. Have you had a chance to review the Edgewater and Cooks Bay villas as a comparison?

Granted the Rarotongan is one of the oldest tourism accommodation properties. If you overlook this fact and focus upon the beach and location you will not exceed prior expectations.

We don't receive that many visitors with families in January. The busiest months for tourists are from July through to November. At this time of year when it is humid, rainy and warm and is potentially cyclone season you will have the beach to yourselves. The winds tend to swing around over summer too.

If you can make savings on accommodation, this will give you extra pocket money to spend on meals and activities. Perhaps hire a car for some of the time so that you can explore further than the local bus routes. There are some nice dining places all around the island, serving a range of international cuisine and some local dishes. The Saturday market in town, and the night markets in Muri are popular for cheap eats.

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