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Redangel1508
Christchurch, New Zealand

Manuia beach

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 26 Mar 2024
My partner and I went to Rarotonga for our belated honeymoon. We stayed at Manuia for 3 nights in a garden suite and enjoyed the quiet times and swimming in the pool beside the onsite restaurant. The staff were accommodating and helpful for queries regarding our activities. I thoroughly recommend them if you are wanting adult only accommodation and to watch the sun set in the evenings.
Date of stay: March 2024
Room Tip: The hotel in March was lovely and not crowded.
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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Traveller rating
402
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Reviewed 18 March 2024 via mobile

We stayed here for 5 nights for our honeymoon. We found the bed and pillows comfortable. The rooms were clean and pretty quiet, with air con and a fan. Soft fluffy towels. They presented the room beautifully and with a complimentary bottle of bubbles due to it being our honeymoon. The outside shower was a nice novelty.
The pool by the beach was awesome.
The only downfall was the associated restaurant OTB, which provided the free breakfast. They also pencilled us in for dinner on the first night and we agreed to a booking there, but found it over priced and the worst food on the island that we had. A short walk down to Waterline Restaurant is a better option.
I would definitely recommend staying at Manuia, but eat elsewhere!
Manuia staff were friendly and helpful, especially Ricky at the front desk.
Great value for money at Manuia.

Room tip: They have a laundry service during the week that we would've used had we known. Don't be sucked in to booking dinner at the restaurant there!
Date of stay: March 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank JanaS2789
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 15 March 2024

Great location on a beautiful beachfront. Large comfortable rooms, clean and well serviced. Great location, close to scooter and car hire. Fun bars and restaurants a short walk away.
Beautifully maintained garden an beach surrounds, helpful and friendly staff.

Room tip: The onsite restaurant is not run by the resort and there are better local places for meals.
Date of stay: March 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank lucky2nd
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 1 February 2024

This place is heaven on earth…the grounds, the rooms, the service, the pool, the beach is incredible. The gardens , the flowers make this place a slice of heaven. This is my second stay here and I will be back. It’s an adult only resort with a marvellous restaurant, OTB

Date of stay: January 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank sfwyllie
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 3 December 2023

Lovely beachfront resort. We had a room with pool and sea views. Room was clean, spacious and airy. Resort was peaceful. We only had breakfast in the restaurant as there is plenty of choice nearby for dinner. We felt the hotel restaurant closed quite early, so for us other venues suited. We loved our relaxing stay here in gorgeous Rarotonga.

Date of stay: November 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank kdm1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 1 December 2023

My Uncle & I visited the Cook Islands for the very first time and we stayed at this resort for 4 nights. All guests of this resort will receive complimentary 2-way airport transfers, we were greeted by Victor on the day that we arrived in Rarotonga. This resort is a 10-minute drive from the airport, but it is not in the flight path of the aircraft. During our entire stay, we didn't hear any sound of aircraft landing or taking off. This adults-only resort has only 25 rooms, sits right on the beach and has the most beautiful garden setting that we have seen in a long time. We stayed in Garden Villa 10, which is located 1 row behind the beachfront villas. We are Malaysians, and we have never seen so many variations of the hibiscus flower! Besides hibiscus plants, there are many other species of tropical plants and flowers around the resort, the moment you step out of your villa, you will be walking through the lush tropical garden with sand paths. We also saw chickens wandering around the resort each day. When you spend time on the beach, friendly dogs will approach you, begging to be cuddled and given a belly scratch. The following is a breakdown of my review of this resort:

1) Accommodation: The room was well-appointed with all the basic amenities of a 4-star establishment. It has a digital safe, small refrigerator, hair dryer, electric kettle, coffee machine, a few cups, plates, cutlery, bath soap, liquid bath gel, shampoo and conditioner. They didn't provide bedroom slippers, in-room television and telephone. The only television in this resort is found in the Guest Lounge, next to the front office, but the available channels are mostly local channels. There is an air-conditioner and a ceiling fan, but the weather in Rarotonga was rather wet and chilly during our stay, so we didn't need to use either during the night. Each villa has a covered verandah with a day bed and 2 chairs. We tied our travel washing line in between 2 columns and hung our washing out to dry each day. The room was quiet except for the occasional erratic rooster which started crowing at weird hours of the night, but we weren't bothered by this. This was few and far between, so it is not a big deal.

2) Meals: Each villa includes a complimentary continental breakfast at the on-site restaurant called OTB, which has a sand floor. Guests are welcome to walk in here bare-foot at anytime of the day. Breakfast is served from 8am to 10am daily. The complimentary options are really basic, it includes fresh local tropical fruits, cereals, toast, pastries, pancakes and tea and coffee. Eggs, hot food items and specialty coffees cost extra. This OTB restaurant caters to only in-house guests for breakfast but it is open to outsiders for lunch and dinner. We had dinner here 1 night and it was fabulous(I wrote a separate review for OTB)! If you wish to dine here for dinner, please make your reservation a few days in advance, because this restaurant is usually fully booked for dinner! On the day that we went on the Aitutaki Day Tour and had to miss the breakfast, the restaurant packed a breakfast picnic for us, to bring along for our day trip. How thoughtful of them! You must inform the restaurant a day before your day trip.

3) Facilities and the Beach: There is a small salt-water swimming pool for in-house guests only. As for the lagoon, I didn't see any guests go kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding in the sea in front of the resort during our entire stay, but there were a few guests who went snorkeling. Guests can borrow snorkeling equipment and swimming shoes. I went snorkeling at low tide but found the water to be too shallow. The water was literally 1-foot deep only in most part of the lagoon. This beach is not the best for swimming because the sea is full of rocks and dead corals. Swimming shoes are a MUST, for your own safety! At high tide, the sea is quite rough especially on windy days. The breakers(waves crashing on the reef wall on the outer edge of the lagoon) are menacingly high and powerful, I wouldn't go into the sea in such conditions. It is safer to swim in the resort's pool. If you want to visit a beautiful beach, I suggest taking the Aitutaki Day Tour.

Outside this resort, there is a small convenience store across the road which operates from 9am to 4pm on weekdays, and 9am to 12 noon on Saturdays. There is also a car rental company called Island Car & Bike Hire, located opposite the resort.

IMPORTANT NOTES for first-time visitors to the Cook Islands:

1) Safe Drinking Water: The tap water in the Cook Islands is NOT safe for drinking, and the cheaper budget accommodations DO NOT provide safe drinking water for their guests. The Manuia Beach Resort provides safe, UV filtered drinking water for its guests. Here, you can drink the water from the tap in your bathroom and you can also fill up your drinking bottles in the OTB restaurant, which has a water refilling station that is accessible to in-house guests 24/7. Please remember to bring your own refillable drinking bottles when visiting the Cook islands.

2) The public transport system in Rarotonga is NOT reliable or cheap. The public bus shuts down at 4.30pm on Mondays to Saturdays, and has very limited service on Sundays. The bus schedule is not very efficient, if you rely on the public bus to get around the island, you will waste heaps of time and be very frustrated. Each ride costs NZD8 per person, regardless of how near or far you are traveling. The taxi service costs NZD40 per person per trip, regardless of the distance traveled. I hired a car from the Island Car & Bike Hire company to get around and paid NZD59 per day plus insurance for a Toyota Vitz. This car was extremely fuel-efficient, I drove around the entire island 9 times during my holiday and it only cost me NZD30 to fill up the petrol tank back to full on the last day. Petrol costs NZD2.85 per liter here. It was the best decision of my holiday here and I would recommend overseas visitors to hire their own car to get around, especially if you plan on visiting the Muri Night Market, which is a must-do here.

3) EVERYTHING(Including supermarkets, pharmacies and souvenir shops) in the Cook Islands is CLOSED on Sundays! On Saturdays, supermarkets, pharmacies and souvenir shops close at 12.30pm. On weekdays, they close at 4pm. I was shocked at how laid back the people are, but I guess that is their way of life here, therefore, please do all your shopping while the local businesses are operating.

All in all, my Uncle and I enjoyed our holiday in the Cook islands and we definitely recommend the Manuia Beach Resort to anyone who is looking for a relaxing holiday on the beach, away from screaming, crying and hyperactive children. If we returned to Rarotonga, we will stay here again.

Room tip: Rent a car to get around the island, do not depend on the public buses or taxis.
Date of stay: November 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
4  Thank Wei Bing L
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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