We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Contact accommodation for availability.
There are similar hotels available.
View all
439travellerx2
Auckland, New Zealand

Disappointing

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 13 Sept 2023
This was our first visit to Rarotonga and we had high hopes. We chose Sanctuary as it was child free and right on the beach for snorkelling. Absolutely beautiful spot and the view from our room was just stunning. The staff seemed tired and not at all interested in us. There was one lovely young Receptionist who checked us in but all the other reception staff were either tired or just did not want to be there :( this is especially disappointing, even on check out when we paid it was like we were a nuisance to the staff. The cleaning staff were hit and miss, we pretty much just asked for towels each day as it seemed easier for them. Smokers around the pool was less than ideal so we didnt use the pool at all, although it was really windy and not that warm but it still would have been nice to sit on the loungers and read without smoke blowing around. Probably wouldnt stay again.
Date of stay: September 2023
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
Problem with this review?
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 review.
I am pleased to hear you enjoyed the beachfront location and the amazing view from your suite.
I am however disappointed you experienced some service shortfalls as well as guests smoking around the pool area.
We have designated smoking areas around the resort but the pool area is no smoking zone. I have addressed this issue with our bar team to be mor e vigilant with smokers around the pool area.
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.
Nearby Hotels
children enjoying the pool
$278
No prepayment needed
  • Hotels.com
    $243
  • Agoda.com
    $228
  • Priceline
    $278
1.3 km from Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Free parking
Pool
$584
No prepayment needed
  • Hotels.com
    $533
  • Vio.com
    $527
  • Expedia.com
    $582
1.6 km from Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Free parking
Beachfront
$1,092
  • Expedia.com
  • Hotels.com
  • Booking.com
4.0 km from Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Free parking
Pool
$342
  • Hotels.com
    $372
  • Vio.com
    $277
  • Expedia.com
    $403
4.5 km from Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Free parking
Pool
Get rewarded with One Key
  • Booking.com
    $402
  • Vio.com
    $344
  • Hotels.com
    $374
4.9 km from Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Free parking
Pool
Contact accommodation for availability.
8.6 km from Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Free parking
Beachfront
5.9 km from Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Free parking
Pool
View more hotels in Aroa Beach
Reviews (699)
Filter reviews
699 results
Traveller rating
209
202
155
76
57
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
Traveller rating
209
202
155
76
57
Show reviews that mention
All reviews swim up bar sister resort cook islands the blue water grill bottom floor fish paddle boards island style our honeymoon tropical breakfast other resorts great snorkeling relaxing holiday yogurt muri beach cocktails rarotonga
Selected filters
Filter
Updating list...
20 - 25 of 699 reviews
Reviewed 28 August 2023 via mobile

We stayed at the Sanctuary on the Beach for 5 nights and had the best stay. We stayed in the Honeymoon Suite which was a real treat. We loved having our own hot tub, steam room and sauna. The beach was stunning and we spent most of our days just relaxing on the loungers by the water which was perfect. We had lunch and dinner at our resort most days and quite enjoyed the food and the options available. We did wander across to The Rarotongan for dinner one evening and enjoyed the views from the deck and live music but there were a lot of children so we definitely enjoyed the Sanctuary side better. The 3 male bartenders at Sanctuary had the best hospitality, we’re always so kind, and they were fun. They also played great music every night. I absolutely loved all of the staff working and they truly made it an enjoyable place to be. They even brought me my cocktails to the pool when I was swimming. So shoutout to them for incredible service and thank you!!! We also did get a couples massage at the spa which was super relaxing. For couples looking for a beautiful relaxing getaway you should definitely stay at Sanctuary on the beach! Will be recommending to everyone to stay here when they come to Raro.

Date of stay: August 2023
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Kylie S
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 the perfect couples getaway!
Thank you again for choosing to stay with us and being amazing guests.
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
Reviewed 27 August 2023 via 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
1  Thank Robyn B
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, 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

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

Report response as inappropriate
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


Report response as inappropriate
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

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