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Beemnz
Auckland, New Zealand

A genuine island sanctuary

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 11 Feb 2024via mobile
Sanctuary Rarotonga wasn't just a hotel, it was a portal to an underwater wonderland! Stepping onto the beach felt like entering a postcard – pristine sand, cerulean waters, and waves gently breaking on the distant reef, leaving the lagoon within a serene, crystal-clear embrace.

The snorkelling here was like swimming through a living kaleidoscope. I'm talking clouds of butterflyfish flitting like stained glass wings, and even a majestic moray eel peeked out from its coral castle. Every dive was a new adventure, with countless colourful surprises waiting to be discovered.

Speaking of adventures, the pool area was our own private oasis. Sheltered from the wind and sun's warm embrace, it offered the perfect spot to cool off between snorkelling escapades. And let's not forget the swim-up bar – our happy hour haven with delicious cocktails that quenched our thirst and matched the vibrant hues of the surrounding reef.

But Sanctuary's magic extended far beyond its stunning location. The resort's restaurant was a culinary gem. Fresh, flavourful dishes at reasonable prices – what more could a sun-kissed explorer ask for? And those island-inspired cocktails? Let's just say they were the perfect sunset companion.

The true heart of Sanctuary, though, was its incredible staff. Friendly, helpful, and always going above and beyond, they made us feel like cherished guests. Check-in and check-out were as smooth as the lagoon itself, and free parking and a nearby bus stop made exploring the island a breeze.

Kayaking and paddleboarding were included in our stay, adding an extra layer of excitement to our island adventure. We paddled across the glassy lagoon, feeling like true explorers navigating a turquoise sea. Plus, having snorkels, fins, and beach towels in the room meant we were always ready to dive into the underwater paradise whenever the urge struck.

Our room was a cozy haven, decorated with a charming island flair. The comfy bed was perfect for resting after a day of exploration, and the air conditioning was a godsend on those balmy Cook Islands nights.

Sanctuary Rarotonga wasn't just a vacation; it was an experience that left us yearning for more. Whether you're a snorkelling enthusiast, a cocktail connoisseur, or simply seeking island serenity, this place has something for everyone. It's a haven of friendly faces, crystal-clear waters, and unforgettable memories. We can't wait to return and write another chapter in our Sanctuary story!
Date of stay: February 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach, responded to this review
Responded 5 Apr 2024
Kia Orana,

Wow, we were absolutely thrilled to read your poetic and heartfelt review!

Thank you for taking the time to share your Sanctuary Rarotonga experience with such vivid and captivating detail. It's reviews like yours that truly capture the essence of what we strive to offer – a genuine island sanctuary that transcends the typical hotel stay.
Your description of snorkeling in our "underwater wonderland" brought the vibrant life beneath the waves to the surface for all of us on land.

It's wonderful to hear how much you enjoyed the marine life and the serene beauty of our crystal-clear lagoon.

We're equally delighted that our pool area, complete with its swim-up bar, became your "happy hour haven." It sounds like you fully embraced the spirit of island relaxation and adventure, from the sun-kissed days to the vibrant hues of our signature cocktails at sunset.

The culinary journey at our resort restaurant is something we take great pride in, and knowing you found the dishes fresh, flavourful, and reasonably priced is music to our ears. Our chefs and bartenders are passionate about bringing a taste of the island to your table, and it sounds like they succeeded!

At the heart of your memorable stay was our incredible staff, and we cannot thank you enough for your kind words about their friendly and helpful nature. We believe that our team is what truly sets us apart, and we'll make sure your compliments reach them. They'll be thrilled to know they made such a positive impact on your visit.

Your adventures with kayaking, paddle boarding, and the convenience of having snorkels and beach towels ready for exploration capture the essence of a stay with us – always ready for an island adventure. We're glad you found the room accommodations, including the air conditioning, to your liking, ensuring a comfortable respite after your day's excursions.

We're honoured and excited at the prospect of welcoming you back to write another chapter in your island story. Until then, we'll be here, keeping the adventure alive in anticipation of your return.

Warmest island 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 10 January 2024

We had an amazing week at The Sanctuary over new years. The resort was exactly as described, a laid back place to relax and get away from it all. We definitely stayed on our adults only side of the resort which was much more chill than the main resort. The rooms have everything you need and there's super easy snorkling right out the front. The highlight was definitely the staff who made us feel so welcome. Huge thanks to Emosi, Illy, Aku and Sake!

Room tip: Being an island be prepared for occasional food/drinks not to be available. Beachside rooms weren't far from Beachfront if you're on budget
Date of stay: December 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Ingrid J
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 6 April 2024

Kia Orana,

Thank you for choosing Sanctuary Rarotonga for your New Year's getaway and for sharing your fantastic experience with us. We're thrilled to hear that you had an amazing week and that our resort provided the laid-back and relaxing atmosphere you were seeking.

We're delighted that you enjoyed the adults-only side of the resort and found it to be the perfect chill-out spot. It's great to know that the rooms met your needs and that you were able to enjoy the easy snorkeling right from our shores.

A special shoutout to Emosi, Illy, Aku, and Sake for making your stay memorable and welcoming. They'll be thrilled to hear your kind words, as they take great pride in providing exceptional service to our guests.

Thank you once again for your lovely review. We look forward to welcoming you back to Sanctuary Rarotonga for another wonderful getaway in the future!

Warmest 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 10 January 2024

This place was fantastic to stay at, from the staff who go above and beyond for you, to the managers they are fabulous, to the rooms, the bed so comfortable, to the crabs that came to visit us, to the snorkeling & canoeing, to the meals from Head Chef William, who came over to our table and introduced himself, he is awesome, to the swim up bar & the amazing cocktails. We really can't fault anything about this place. We loved it so much last year, we have booked to come back in October 2024 for our 21st Wedding Anniversary.

Date of stay: February 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Paula M
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 6 April 2024

Kia Orana,

Thank you immensely for choosing Sanctuary Rarotonga for your second honeymoon and for taking the time to share your fantastic experience. We are thrilled to hear that your stay exceeded expectations and that every aspect of your visit, from our dedicated staff to the comfortable rooms and delightful culinary experiences, contributed to a memorable stay.

It brings us immense joy to know that you had a fantastic time snorkeling, canoeing, and enjoying the swim-up bar with our amazing cocktails. Chef William and our entire team take great pride in creating exceptional dining experiences, and we're delighted that you appreciated his personal touch during your meals.

Your kind words about our staff and managers mean the world to us, as we are committed to providing warm and attentive service to all our guests. We can't wait to welcome you back in October 2024 to celebrate your 21st Wedding Anniversary. It will be an honor to be a part of such a special milestone for you both.

Thank you once again for choosing Sanctuary Rarotonga. Until we have the pleasure of hosting you again, we wish you continued happiness and love.

Warmest 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 19 December 2023 via mobile

Friendly service and awesome snorkelling. The resort was beautiful and staff were helpful and friendly. Easy to access tours and bus into town. Meals and drinks were readily available and tasty. Rooms had everything you need and great that you get a discount bonus if you don’t need a full service every day

Room tip: December was lovely and quiet. Even though we didn’t have the best weather it certainly doesn’t stop you having a great time.
Date of stay: December 2023
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank Lindsay 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 6 April 2024

Kia Orana,

Thank you for choosing Sanctuary Rarotonga and for sharing your wonderful experience with us! We are delighted to hear that you had a great time and that our location, resort facilities, and friendly staff contributed to a memorable stay.

We're thrilled that you enjoyed the snorkeling opportunities and found our resort beautiful and convenient for accessing tours and transportation into town. Our team takes pride in providing helpful and friendly service, and they will be delighted to hear your kind words.

It's fantastic that you appreciated our meal options and found them tasty, along with the convenience of having drinks readily available. We're also glad that our room amenities met your needs and that you found value in our discount bonus for opting out of full daily service.

Thank you once again for your lovely review. We look forward to welcoming you back to Sanctuary Rarotonga for another great stay in the future!

Warm 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 3 November 2023

Positives ..... view from the beach front suites
Negatives
upon arrival at a pre notified time after a very long flight our room was not to be ready for many hours, ok we caught the local bus into the centre and did food shopping.
Upon return we were advised that our room was in fact double booked?
I complained that we had booked the room many months before , we had to check into a different room for one night being told that "just dont unpack everything" this happens to lots of people???????
Finally the next day we were in our correct room after being told that would have to stay in the "resort" to relocate our things so that the old room would be ready for new occupents.
Seriously? eventually the staff moved our things into the next room.
It was the noisiest room possible located next to the pool,bar,restaurant and under 16 area???
Eventually after complaining we were moved to a much better located room.

There is NO policing of children wandering to the under 16 zone( for which we paid a premium, (love kids bur not on this holiday)
One night a wedding had been held during the day and at 3am guests decided to have a very loud pool party surely waking up everyone!!!
The security guard must surely be deaf.
Other nights we had a very loud crude person in the next room smoking swearing playing loud music non stop with the smoke filling our room.
All in all this is a very OVERPRICED and badly run resort.
I will NEVER stay there again !!!

Room tip: Dont go there!
Date of stay: October 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank Scenic05662236579
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 6 April 2024

Kia Orana,

I am genuinely sorry to hear about the inconvenience with your room allocation upon arrival.

Despite our efforts to manage bookings as efficiently as possible, it seems we made a significant oversight in managing your reservation. We understand how frustrating this must have been, especially after a long flight, and we are reviewing our procedures to prevent such occurrences in the future.

Your feedback is invaluable to us and has been shared with our management team to implement improvements across our services and facilities.

While I understand your decision not to return, please know that we are committed to rectifying the issues you’ve raised to prevent similar experiences for future guests.

Once again, I apologize for the distress and inconvenience you experienced.

Warmest regards,

Haimona Browne
Resort Manager

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Reviewed 15 October 2023

We just spent a week in the Sanctuary Rarotonga and it definitely lived up to expectations. Our room was amazing, huge bed, beautiful bathroom and a balcony overlooking the stunning lagoon. Kayaks, SUPs and snorkel gear was all provided. When it rained there was a pool table and table tennis. The restaurant had a great range of food. Finally, but definitely not least, the staff were awesome. So friendly and helpful, laid back but very professional. They are what makes the Adults Only stay worth every cent. Special thanks to Illy and Ringi (who only started when we arrived). Both beautiful people, along with all the other staff. Cheers.

Date of stay: September 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Jason 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 6 April 2024

Kia Orana,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your wonderful experience at Sanctuary Rarotonga. We are thrilled to hear that your stay lived up to your expectations and that you found your room, with its stunning lagoon views, to be a highlight of your visit.

We're glad you enjoyed the range of complimentary amenities available, from the kayaks, SUPs, and snorkel gear for exploring the beautiful waters, to the indoor activities like pool and table tennis for those rainy moments. It’s fantastic to know our restaurant's variety impressed you as well.

Our team, including Illy and Ringi, will be overjoyed to receive your special thanks. We believe our staff are the heart of the Sanctuary experience, and your acknowledgment is a testament to their dedication and warmth. We’ll be sure to pass along your kind words.

It's our guests that make Sanctuary Rarotonga such a special place, and feedback like yours truly brightens our day. We look forward to welcoming you back for another memorable stay.

Until then, we wish you all the best and hope you carry a piece of our island paradise with you.

Warmest regards,

Haimona Browne
Resort Manager

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