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Squirrel25
Port Macquarie, Australia

Great for Couples and excellent snorkelling

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 Oct 2023
We had 10 wonderful nights here at Sanctuary. I had my heart set on a room on the second floor in the beachfront suites and sooooo glad I got it. The view is stunning. Bathroom is small however great water flow and lots of hot water. Bed very comfy and huge. Housekeeping were great - put out the sign if you want the room made up otherwise they can provide you with anything you need like replacement towels etc and you can get a credit towards the room. We did both depending on our needs. All the staff are welcoming and bar/restaurant staff always helpful and happy. We were quite happy with breakfast options and did try to eat lunch at other places for a change of scenery so we would plan our day around where we wanted to end up for lunch. Bus stop out the front of the sister resort is very handy. Dinner most nights was in the resort as we didn't have any transport. Menu was extensive so we didn't feel too restricted in what to eat. It was much nicer to grab a table around the pool when dining at Sanctuary. We had quite a few meals at the sister resort to enjoy the sunset and music. Especially the couple on a Tuesday night - they were so good and her voice was amazing. Generally we arrived just before end of happy hour to grab a table, a cocktail and take in the sunset. Except for Sunday night it was pretty relaxed and most of the kids are either inside or have already eaten and departed so it wasn't too crazy. Really the families were all chill and relaxed and it added to the atmosphere but it was nice to know we would retreat back to the adults only side later. On a couple of occasions we caught the clockwise bus, had an early dinner at Castaways or The Shipwreck and walked home on the beach. We did catch the anti-clockwise to the Muri Market one night as well. There are a lot of activities to join if you want however we were out most days or snorkelling so didn't partake. We had looked at three places to stay and after checking the others out when we got there we were so happy to have chosen Sanctuary mainly because its Adults Only, has great snorkelling and swimming and is in a quiet part of the island with ability to walk long way up the beach either north or south. I would happily stay here again.
Date of stay: September 2023
Room Tip: Breachfront Suite on the second floor.
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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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 had a lovely stay and you enjoyed the beachfront location, the amazing views from your suite, the snorkeling the warm hospitality from our staff.
I am also happy that you enjoyed your meals and the entertainment.
Thank you again for choosing our resort and for being amazing guests and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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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    19 - 24 of 699 reviews
    Reviewed 13 September 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
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    2  Thank 439travellerx2
    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 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

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


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