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KiwiR0byn
Auckland, New Zealand

Whale watching in August

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 27 Aug 2023via mobile
What a treat, ocean view with humpback whales. Private beach for the most excellent snorkeling. I even saw a turtle!
Great staff and food at restaurant. The restaurant had no outlook so we chose to eat around the pool area. It was much nicer and quite private.
The pool is lovely however the lounger cushions need renewing as they are badly worn and stained. They are not taken in at night when it rains either, so they were wet the next day.
Take earplugs to avoid being woken by the pesky rooster!!
Date of stay: August 2023
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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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.
Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach, responded to this review
Responded 3 Oct 2023
Kia Orana,
Thank you for your kind 5-star review, which is much appreciated.
We are thrilled to hear you lovely time and the whales gave you an absolute treat!
Thank you again for choosing to stay with us.
Kind Regards,
Haimona Browne
Resort Manager
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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Reviewed 14 August 2023

What an awesome place. Definately coming back soon. Resort was beautiful and the staff were very friendly, professional and helful. I want to mention three staff members that stood out, Navi, Jerry and Lilly. There was another female staff member from Fiji. The entertainment was nice as well as the food. The front desk staff were also very helpful.

Room tip: Remember, you are on Island time. SIgn up for the progressive dinner tour.
Date of stay: July 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank angel c
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.
Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 4 October 2023

Kia Orana,
Thank you for your kind 5-star review.
We are thrilled to hear you had an awesome time!
Thank you again for choosing to stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Kind Regards,
Haimona Browne
Resort Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2023 via mobile

Stayed at the sanctuary 7 nights. One thing the hotel did for us, which was very appreciated was to check us in at 8am after an overnight flight from Sydney. Top marks for that.

However, the hotel is extremely overpriced for what it offers. The breakfast buffet, included in our rate and valued at $24 per pax, does not include eggs. And the variety was so mediocre that by the second day started ordering, and paying extra for, eggs. The highlights when it came to service were Sake and Laite. Both extremely friendly and personable. The rest of the service while friendly it suffers from the “island time” attitude to excuse itself for lack of efficiency. Again, The Rarotongan very average in this category. The hotel itself is nice. We had a beach front second floor room and it was specious enough and nice. The only bit that was not satisfactory was having to ask housekeeping to replenish the tea station all the time. After being in Aitutaki for the whole day had to call reception at 9pm to ask for a missing mug, tea and milk to be told to go to the restaurant to get the items myself and that milk was only provided once upon arrival. To that I answered that I should not be the one chasing for the items that are supposed to be in my room and that I could not understand why I had to pay for milk for a tea station they provided, for a seven night stay and for the price we were paying for the room. This episode was what prompted me to write this review.

The other two things people should consider when staying here is that at this time of the year in Aroa beach is super windy and because it is not hot it actually becomes almost impossible to enjoy the beach because is too cold! However the snorkelling is AMAZING. The other thing is the internet. It’s outrageously expensive. You pay $20 for 10 days for 5GB (cannot use it on the general public side of the resort) and it’s only for one device. For some reason the data usage here in the Cooks seems to disappear quite quickly (same with Vodafone) which makes it really expensive. Overall was a slightly above average experience, would not consider coming back for the price paid.

Room tip: Rent a car. A lot. Jesper than taxis and have all your meals outside (including breakfast!)
Date of stay: July 2023
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank Juanfeos
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.
Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 4 October 2023

Kia Orana,
Thank you for your review.
I am pleased to hear our team managed to get you into your room 7 hours earlier than the standard check in time.
I am also happy that you experienced the amazing snorkeling directly in front of of the resort.
Our tropical breakfast does not include eggs. This is the normal breakfast in the Cook Islands. We do however, have an a la carte menu where you can purchase hot items. We also offer room only rates in case guests wish to choose when they want to eat in house. As Rarotonga is a small tropical island in the middle of the vast South Pacific Ocean with a small population and only one telecommunications company, Wi-Fi is considerably more expensive than in a large metropolitan country with a competitive telecommunications market. However, we do price match the local monopoly telecommunications company and have the best Wi-Fi service that is currently available in the Cook Islands. I would have been more than happy to speak with you during your stay and resolve a lot of your concerns, which then allow you enjoy your holiday.
Kind Regards,
Haimona Browne
Resort Manager


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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2023

We LOVED staying at the Sanctuary Rarotonga. We had a beachside room, however it felt like a beachfront room. Stepping straight out to the private beach where you can snorkel, kayak or just relax. The views are just amazing.
The swim up bar was excellent and we enjoyed the cocktails and the bar staff were excellent. The staff helped us find our room and then let us in the room when our keys didn’t work and ran back to fix our keys so we didn’t have too. We loved getting the newsletter and reading about the fun facts, although would be great if they had a fortnight worth of fun facts as they are the same each week.
The day spa was excellent, food was delicious and it’s nice to use all the Rarotonga resort stuff too.
We used the bus all holidays which was also easy and excellent, fantastic that it stops at the resort.

Date of stay: July 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank 593raeleenw
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.
Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 4 October 2023

Kia Orana,
Thank you for your kind 5-star review.
We are thrilled to hear you and lovely and relaxing time.
Thank you again for choosing to stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Kind Regards,
Haimona Browne
Resort Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2023

After a rocky start due to a lack of communication by reservation and reception staff was resolved by the Manager Marianne our stay at the Sanctuary was a most enjoyable one. The pool does tend to get dirty but is cleaned on a daily basis. Closer attention needs to be paid to people smoking in and around the pool area. The use of the lagoon equipment is very good and made good use of the kayaks in the beautiful lagoon. Meals very good value and tasty. I did discover on my room account for some reason was charged for breakfast on my last day which I actually had paid cash for. Decided that it is too late to do anything about it now but something to watch out for. Housekeeping needs improvement. Rooms were either not serviced or the bare minimum done. There appeared to be a shortage of beach towels and practically had to justify my request for a clean towel. Wifi is not free $20 for the week and not accessible from all areas of the resort. Special mention to Aisake, Gwendoline who were always happy and cheerful. Overall a great base for my island stay but with some improvement could be even better

Date of stay: July 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Tracey2205
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.
Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2023

Kia Orana Tracey,
Thank you for your review.
I am pleased to hear you had an enjoyable stay and I'm also thrilled to hear you made the most of the snorkeling and water sports equipment during your stay.
Thank you for your constructive feedback as well. I will be addressing your concerns with the managers responsible for these areas.
Thank you again for choosing to stay with us.
Kind Regards,
Haimona Browne
Resort Manager

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Reviewed 8 July 2023

We stayed for 3 nights at the end of June. We'd booked one beachfront and 3 beachside rooms. The beachside rooms all got upgraded to upstairs beachfront rooms which gave amazing views across the lagoon. Our room was downstairs and we stepped directly out onto the beach which was beautiful. Each morning we ate the continental buffet breakfast which had a wide selection. On our first night we went to the Island night which was loads of fun. Really glad we did it. Umu food is delicious. We also ate dinner at Captain Andys Bar and Grill and were very happy with the food. We loved all the included activities- snorkeling (which is great in this part of the lagoon), kayaks, paddle boards. Would definitely stay again. The only things i found fault with was there was no free wifi in public areas and the alcohol content of the cocktails was very strong!

Date of stay: May 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Karen 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.
Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2023

Kia Orana,
Thank you for your kind review.
I am thrilled to hear your family and a lovely stay and you enjoyed the activities we have on offer for our guests.
Than you again for choosing to stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Kind Regards,
Haimona Browne
Resort Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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