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Udo G

Unfriendly Welcome

2.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 30 Sept 2023
We arrived in Rarotonga to be transferred to the Crown Beach Resort (C.B.R.).There was no record for our transfer. After providing our confirmation number much discussion ensued. The transfer company (Island Hopper) tried to shift the blame away from themselves. Finally we were put in a taxi to the C.B.R.
At the reception the greeting was: We need proof of your transfer confirmation and a credit card for incidentals. No apology was made, no attempt of a solution. Instead we were told to „take it up with our travel agent“.
All this unpleasantness for the paltry sum of NZ $30 (which we had to pay for our way back to the airport 4 days later). After traveling for almost two days from America we were taken aback about the rudeness of the welcome at the C.B.R.. Unprofessional, uncaring, nothing of the supposed friendliness of the Cook Islands.
While the grounds are well maintained, the pool and beach area are nice (although I personally collected a handful of broken green glass from beer bottles. Be careful to walk barefoot!), the employees seemed subdued and not motivated. Extra coffee grounds for our room never arrived, fresh beach towels had to be requested, food was average at best. Specialty coffee for breakfast
NZ$ 5, better take your beach towels and umbrellas to the reception upon checkout, otherwise you will be charged.
Rarotonga has changed. We visited in the 1990s multiple times. Then it was heaven, now it is completely overrun with tourists. This change was reflected in our treatment at the C. B.R.. We did not enjoy our stay there.

Date of stay: September 2023
Trip type: Travelled with family
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
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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.
Crown Beach, General Manager at Crown Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review
Responded 9 May 2024
Kia Orana 237udog,
Meitaki for taking the time to review your stay at Crown Beach Resort & Spa. Although we naturally delight in receiving compliments, we also sincerely appreciate our Guests informing us of when our services and/or products fall short of expectations. We apologize for the confusion and of course the handling of your transfers, unprofessional welcome by our staff. We are always striving to improve our standards and therefore your comments will provide a valuable tool of reference during our Departmental meetings and staff training sessions. Your contribution is therefore appreciated. Once again, we thank you for your review and we hope to welcome you back to paradise again soon!
Kia Manuia
The Crown Beach Resort & Spa Team


This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
The listings of booking offers for each property take into account the compensation paid to us by our partners. Prices shown may be for varying room types. Prices displayed are the lowest available, corresponding to the least expensive room type available, as provided from our partners as of the time of the user’s search.
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13 - 18 of 876 reviews
Reviewed 16 August 2023

We had always stayed here in the past as it offered excellent quality on all levels. Sad to return after 5 years to find their Oceans Restaurant had gone downhill in quality.
They still advertise Flambe restaurant on premises - it doesn't operate. Ate elsewhere most nights. Still lovely surroundings and we always loved the pool area however staff don't come to see if you want anything like they always used to in the past.

Room tip: Nice place to stay to get away from the bustling Muri area with some nice dinner alternatives nearby but always book.
Date of stay: July 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Chris A
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.
Crown Beach, General Manager at Crown Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2024

Kia Orana 18784XTchrisa,
Meitaki for taking the time to review your stay at Crown Beach Resort & Spa. Although we naturally delight in receiving compliments, we also sincerely appreciate our Guests informing us of when our services and/or products fall short of expectations. We do apoolgize for the Oceans & Flambe. Management & staff have been working very hard to upgrade some villas and also our main pool which is now in operational including the pools and waterfall in our Courtyard pool suites. The Oceans is also on the list of upgrade. As for the Flambe, our growing labour shortage are an ongoing concern at this time. We lost a considerable amount of our young and foreign working population to New Zealand hence the reason why it's still not open. We are always striving to improve our standards and therefore your comments will provide a valuable tool of reference during our Departmental meetings and staff training sessions. Your contribution is therefore appreciated. Once again, we thank you for your review and we hope to welcome you back to paradise again soon.
Kia Manuia
The Crown Beach Resort & Spa Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2023

The beachfront villa we booked fulfilled all my dreams of a tropical island! It was about three steps down onto the sand from our deck! The villa was very spacious and well equipped with air con and celiing fans and rooms were serviced each day. The staff were unfailingly helpful and charming. Nothing was too much trouble. The restaurant has gorgeous views across the beach to the lagoon and there is plenty of 'play' equipment to use should you feel the need to be energetic. Meals were excellent and everything made for the perfect, relaxing holiday experience.

Room tip: Take reef shoes as the lagoon is rocky. A plug-in mozzie repellant is also useful!
Date of stay: July 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Winnall01
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.
Crown Beach, General Manager at Crown Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 6 September 2023

Kia Orana Winnall01,
Meitaki for taking the time to review your stay at Crown Beach Resort & Spa. We are overjoyed you had a great relaxing stay. We are pleased to hear you enjoyed your beachfront villa and most of all the helpful and charming staff. .
Once again, we thank you for your positive review and we look forward to welcoming you back to paradise!
Kia Manuia
The Crown Beach Resort & Spa Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2023

This was our third visit to The Crown Beach resort. I can only say that we were so disappointed compared with previous visits.
We had the same room which was fine. But the toilet is built for kids butts! The rubbish bin was broken. The freezer had ice buildup and looked dirty.
The food - to be honest it was most disappointing. My open steak sandwich was chewy, had 1 slice of tomato and cucumber, but the sauce looked like a separated white sauce with a few peppercorns thrown in. It was horrible and none of us could eat.
Breakfast was buffet…. The food inside the stainless steel platters was cold and sometimes empty. The best thing during those days was croissants! We would go out each day and have a late lunch about 3pm so when we went back we didn’t have to eat tea. One night we thought we could have a dessert… how could that go wrong? Turned out a chocolate brownie was more the size of a cake, was bland and dry. The walnuts were bitter. I had a chocolate sundae which was a couple of scoops of ice cream and a spit of chocolate sauce.
We had a staff member take our order then came back twice as she’d forgotten what we wanted. Maybe pad and pen would help!!
Reception staff were helpful and friendly.
And Ruth was the only staff member in the restaurant that we viewed as hardworking and friendly!
The beach at low tide is very rocky now which I think was a result of the king tides. The lagoon was pretty dangerous as was rough and had rips.
The entrance didn’t say Welcome when you see the pond turning green but still had goldfish in.
The roofing in the restaurant was falling into disrepair with mould and loose wood with nails visible above the carved statues.
It’s sad to see the resort we liked a couple of years ago become so unappealing. We won’t be going back here.

Date of stay: July 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank 123Balletmum
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 30 July 2023

We arrived on Thursday only to find out that the hand basin in the toilet was leaking. I called reception they said they will move us to another room. We got back from dinner at 9.30pm that night only to find heaps of red ants on the wall near the single bed. We sprayed the area and everywhere else we thought might help only to find more coming up fromthe side of the single bed. We called reception who sent security to the room.
The head of security said he will put a note and let the GM know so they could do something about it but in the meantime they had no better rooms they can move us back to the previous room.
Which they did. Only to find out after taking a shower that night the shower was also leaking. There was a huge pool of water in the bathroom and toilet floor.
We notified reception again who said the maintenance person with take a look.
We had no update about the condition of the issue. We have booked for 6 nights
We went to breakfast friday Friday morning and wanted to have a cup of tea there were no teabags. I asked the lady on duty who was so stubborn who then took 20 minutes to bring out the teabags and sort it whilst serving other "white"guests first.
20 minutes later then she brings it.
The other person that was serving drinks and food in the afternoon was playing with the dog and didn't wash her hands and continued serving. This should not be tolerated especially not all guests are accpeting of this.

Saturday morning breakfast we asked for eggs and bacon. Bacon was cooked and served whilst the eggs took 15 mins to get done . How is this acceptable when the rest of the breakfast was now so cold. Should it not be made and served at the same time? Other guests of a white colour were treated with more respect and we were not. I find that highly offensive especially if we are not brought up in that way. It was noticeable!
Very disappointing to have an experience like this especially it being our firtime visiting this island.

Date of stay: July 2023
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank Judy R
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 19 July 2023

We picked this resort as an apparent good compromise between expense and quality. Edgewater Resort was cheaper but smacked of mass tourism and crowds, which we confirmed when we saw it. Pacific Resort and a couple of others were too expensive and in our opinion not worth it given the poor quality of Raratongan beaches all around the island compared to Aitutaki.

While Crown Beach gives a good initial impression and its Ocean Restaurant offers a good cooked breakfast and quality dinner, cracks soon appeared in the standard of the resort. Some windows in our villa could not be left open for ventilation because the insect screens were missing. Requests for small services (like confirming a booking) were not done until followed up a second time. Reception gave us incorrect information about shop closing times on a Saturday which if we did not accidentally discover was wrong, would have deprived us of any shopping time for souvenirs. Reception completely mucked up our airport transfer out of the resort. After WRITING to us to tell us pickup time was 7am, they rang us on the morning at 6.20am to tell us our transport had arrived for a 6,30 departure. Experience showed that a 7am departure would have easily sufficed. Another blow was the hotel cut off our wifi access (for which we paid separately) as soon as we paid our bill the evening before we left early the next morning, so we couldn't check our flight status. Wifi should not be terminated until the guest leaves the resort. Any hotel reception can make one error, but this reception made a whole string of errors and its quality of service lets down an otherwise pleasant resort.

The villas are nicely furnished and roomy. The beach is poor relative to those on Aitutaki but better than out the front of some other resorts in that at least it had some sand instead of just a thick layer of coral debris. Swimming is really only feasible at one end of the resort's beach where they have cleared away rocks and bommies to make swimming in the shallow water possible. Snorkeling was said to be unrewarding. The only positive aspect of the resort beach is that kyaks are available for free use and it is out of the prevailing SE wind, being on the western side of the island.

There is a grocery store and an electric bike hire place directly across the road from the resort, and a sheltered anti-clockwise bus stop just outside the resort.

The resort hosts an Island Culture Night (buffet dinner + show) every Thursday. The buffet food is of a high standard and the show is well conducted with a good balance between entertainment and education. It is very popular and you need to book at least one day, desirably more, ahead. Be aware though that the seating arrangement in the restaurant is not conducive to a good view of the show from most tables, so see if you can secure a good table when you book rather than leaving it up to a random assignment.
Overall, Crown Beach could be a nice place to stay at reasonable expense if its Reception staff got their act together. When and if that happens, we could recommend it as a place to stay in Rarotonga.

Room tip: While beachfront villas are on the beachfront, they have communal seating facilities in front of them, which ruins privacy.
Date of stay: July 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank aussiewanderers
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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