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
Gerd H
Darwin, Australia

Don't change your booking

2.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 11 Apr 2024via mobile
I was booking 6 days and paid for the booking. When I added one more day, I was charged for the extra day and there changed my paid booking and charged 400$ more for a fully paid up booking and refused a refund.
The Hotel self is in need of an up date
The breakfast is poor and cheap spam style ham, small amount of fresh fruit
Dinner comes out of the same kitchen as next door due to this chips cold and a long wait
The only highlights are the staff very friendly and the snorkeling.
The Hotel is not worth the price as special when they rip you off
Date of stay: March 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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 16 Apr 2024
Kia Orana Gerd,
Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback regarding your recent stay at Sanctuary Rarotonga - on the beach.

We apologize for any confusion and frustration that occurred during the booking process. As our room rates are dynamic and subject to change daily, the rate can vary with additional nights. We understand how this can be surprising and are sincerely sorry if this was not clearly communicated at the time of your modification with the online travel agent you had booked with.

We are also disappointed to hear that our dining options did not meet your expectations. Your comments about the breakfast and dinner services have been forwarded to our kitchen team for immediate consideration and improvement. We are continually working to enhance our menu offerings and the overall dining experience.

Despite these aspects, we are pleased that the friendliness of our staff and the quality of snorkeling at our location were highlights of your stay.

Thank you once again for your review.

Warm 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
$270
  • Booking.com
  • Hotels.com
  • Expedia.com
    $270
1.3 km from Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Free parking
Pool
Get rewarded with One Key
  • Expedia.com
    $560
  • ZenHotels.com
    $529
  • Booking.com
0.0 km from Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Free parking
Pool
Get rewarded with One Key
  • Booking.com
  • Expedia.com
    $659
  • Trip.com
4.5 km from Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Free parking
Pool
$375
  • Hotels.com
  • Booking.com
  • Expedia.com
    $375
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
Absolute Beachfront Bungalow
Get rewarded with One Key
  • Booking.com
  • Priceline
  • eDreams
3.5 km from Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Free parking
Beachfront
View more hotels in Aroa Beach
Reviews (700)
Filter reviews
700 results
Traveller rating
209
202
156
76
57
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
Traveller rating
209
202
156
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...
11 - 16 of 700 reviews
Reviewed 22 March 2024

we stayed for 6 nights booking a ground floor beach view room. At the airport they check you in to the hotel so all you need to do is pick up your room key on arrival at the hotel. we stayed in the adults only hotel which seemed fairly quiet when we arrived. we were told we could go to the sister hotel next door to share facilities. In each room there is an A - Z compendium about the hotel which is about 60 pages long. In the compendium it states each room has a microwave but we didnt have one.

The room seemed as decribed although in places the ratten effect wall coverings looked dirty and simply dated. There were holes where previous cupboards had been removed. The one bedside table looked dirty and mouldy and the table lamp plug looked singed! we just didnt use it. Large king size bed which I found too hard. There was a settee which had a broken leg, a table and two chairs. There was a lot of funriture for the size of the room which made it cramped and difficult to manouevre. The bathroom had louvre doors whch opened abov ethe bed head(?). The inbuilt single wardrobe housed iron and ironing board, broom, dustpan, safe, 3 drawers and can of ant spray. These were the only drawers in the room, which needed another set really. You got dressing gowns but if you were larger than size 12 they didnt fit. wifi was 20 usd for 10 days for 1 device only, so it was expensive if you were staying only for a few days adn it was intermittent. However, you could save money by not having your room cleaned so got a 10dollar credit for each day which you could use at the bar or on wifi etc. aircon worked well if a bit noisy. Mini bar fridge (payable) was barely cold, small kettle with instant coffee and creamer. There was an ice bucket which you could take to the bar and take back to your room. The house keeping staff were wonderful, very friendly and helpful. The gardens are beautifully kept and the entire complex is very clean. overall all staff were helpful and friendly.There was a decent pool with swim up bar and it was warm too, much warmer than the lagoon.
Breakfast was complimentary for us, even though everyday we had to sign a slip for 48 dollars. Breakfast comprised cereal, toast, small croissants, cheese slices, tinned fruit pancakes, plain yoghurt, tea and coffee. we went to the sister restaurant as the tables in adult side were set on sand, and were often crawling with ants. we found other meals were pricey compared to outside restaurants and ate out every day after the first day where food was better.
Outside the villa, the sand is gritty not soft but there are fantastic views of the lagoon, with sunbeds for each villa. sadly there was a problem with ants over the sunbeds, and patio, no wonder they gave you a tin of ant spray . snorkelling in the lagoon was fantastic with multiple species of fish, stunning royal blue star fish etc. there was free to use snorkel equipment in each room although we had taken our own. you do need to use water /beach shoes or flippers for the lagoon due to the fragile coral beds.

There is a shop next to reception with prices for juices similar to town prices, but the shelves are just overrun with ants, which is a bit off putting. we got multiple bites from the reception area and from the sand area near to the bar. there is evenign entertainment although we didnt stay to watch as we ate out every night. there are cookery lessons and multiple activities at the resort. family pool area was good. when orderign food for m the bar they give you a pager and when this beeps you go to the collection point for your food. we had a pasta dish and a pizza which was ok, but we found food outside the hotel was better.

The bus stops right outsdie the reception area and runs around the island clockwise and anticlockewise until 5pm when it just runs clockwise and is hourly, with the round trip taking around 55mins. the island is beautiful but car hire is expensive. we found the bus was adequate for us as it stopped near enough whever you asked the driver to stop! we bought discounted 10 trip ticket for 35dollars, otherwise its 5 dollars single trip 8dollars return and very limited bus service at weekends.

we ate out at charlies most nights (5- 8pm) which had fantastic food and live entertainment too. the bus stop is right outside charlies. we also ate at trader jacks which is in the town center next to the harbour where the locals swim in the harbour. That too has live entertainment some nights. There are plenty of eateries throughout the island including other hotels all on the bus route too.

There is a mini supermarket near the hotel , go out of the hotel turn left and the supermarket is on the right hand side but its a good 20 minute walk there. There are a couple of supermarkets near to the harbour/ town centre but everything is so expensive on the island and there is limited choice. the weather was hot but cloudy while we were there as we had the tail end of a cyclone so frequent showers happened day and night. we probably wouldnt go back but it was a beautiful island to visit. Cook islands is not a cheap place to go to but it is stunning.

Room tip: adult only area is really quiet and relaxing. can use facilities at sister hotel next door.
Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Rossierose
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 taking the time to share such a detailed review of your recent stay with us at Sanctuary Rarotonga - on the beach.

We're delighted to hear that you appreciated the beauty of the island, our well-maintained gardens, and found our housekeeping staff wonderful and friendly. It's also great to know that you enjoyed the snorkeling in the lagoon and our resort's entertainment options.

If I may respond to some of your concerns:

1. Mini bar fridge. Our maintenance team would be have more than happy to fix this for you with s quick call to reception.
2. We offer 3 WIFI packages. $NZD 20 for 5GB, $NZD30 for 7.5GB and $NZD50 for 13GB. Our prices are in line with Vodafone Cook Islands.
3. You will also find that our food and drinks prices are on par or cheaper compared to other resorts and restaurants on the island.

Your insights on the transportation and local dining options are invaluable, and we're sure future guests will appreciate your recommendations on exploring Rarotonga.

Thank you again for choosing to stay with us.

Wishing you all the best with your future holidays.

Kind Regards,
Haimona Browne

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2024

Amazing !!! From the moment we arrived it was relax time. Super friendly from the airport transports, to check in, servicing of rooms etc etc, nothing too much trouble. Great activities at the sister site The Rarotongan which you can fully access anytime. Access to lagoon from the wee beach was brilliant. Excellent spot to watch the fabulous sunsets. Bed super comfy. Will definitely stay here again next visit to the island :).

Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank alir949
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 sharing your fantastic experience at Sanctuary Rarotonga - on the beach! We're thrilled to hear that from the moment you arrived, you felt welcomed and relaxed. It's wonderful to know that our team, from airport transport to room service, made your stay enjoyable and that nothing was too much trouble.

We're delighted that you took full advantage of the activities at our sister site, The Rarotongan, and enjoyed the easy access to the lagoon and the spectacular sunsets from our beach. It’s great to hear that the comfort of your bed contributed to your restful stay – we understand how important a good night's sleep is to our guests.

Your plans to return are the highest compliment we can receive, and we can't wait to welcome you back for another memorable visit.

Until then, we wish you all the best and look forward to making your next stay even more amazing than the last.

Warmest 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 12 February 2024 via 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
Thank Beemnz
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,

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

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

Report response as inappropriate
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

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