This place is probably the cheapest place one could find on the beach. Within minutes of landing in Rarotanga, we learned that the Cook Islands are outrageously expensive. We were able to get a private room at this place for $80 which was an amazing bargain compared to everything else which was $150 and above. The owner (or her niece probably) is Apai and she's very nice and friendly.
For my second trip to Rarotonga, in April 2011, I decided that I would treat myself, so I splashed out beyond my normal budget traveller's habits. Wanting to stay at Muri Lagoon for this trip, I found Kura's on the web and it seemed one of the more reasonably priced hotel options. When a close family friend decided to join me, it made the tariff even more reasonable.
Kura's Kabanas is situated just north of Muri Beach proper. The four cabins, are sweetly appointed little detached beach bungalows. The kitchen facilities in the cabins were spotless and equipped with all the utensils you need to make home away from home. The attached 'ensuite' bathrooms had all the standard features you'd expect. Hot water was courtesy of the solar panel powered tank on the roof and on the one rainy afternoon we had, we used the booster switch.
We totally enjoyed our stay at Kura's. We didn't want to leave, and I would recommend this place to anyone wanting to stay in the Muri area.
Robin (Kura's husband) will pick you up at the airport and bring you back to the motel. What a surprise when we met Robin and received 'eis (like a Hawaiian Lei) - richly scented garlands of tropical flowers - draped round our necks! This was just such a perfect symbol for the warmth and hospitality Robin and Kura show to their guests.
The motel itself is situated on the edge of the upper Muri Lagoon, with a small shallow sandy beach in front of it - the perfect place from which to launch a kayaking exploration of the turquoise waters of this - Rarotonga's most picturesque stretch of coastline. We also enjoyed the short walk or wade (depending on the tide) from the motel down to the main beach at Muri.
They've got the atmosphere just right here ... a blend of size and scale, and island charm and efficiency. A great management team comprising locals and internationals ensures that everything is just so.
Villas have huge bathrooms, high ceilings, and plenty of privacy in little courtyards at the rear.
Breakfast is served on the sand of Muri Beach, looking out to the motus and reef. Or another open-sided restaurant behind, built over a pond oasis.
Want to paddle out on the lagoon? Grab a kayak and go. Or just laze on the deckchairs already laid out for your benefit.
Pool is fairly small, but great for kids, amid a lush tropical oasis.
Conde Nast picked this as one of the hottest resorts (in not THE hottest) in the world in 2008. So expectations were high to say the least.
But where was everybody? I damn nearly had the resort to myself, such is the beauty of the Cook Islands experience (and the tragedy of poor airline connections)
The villas stretch out along the beach from the main building built around a rock promontary and pool. Perfect for lovers, honeymooners ... well, any couple really.
Help yourself to a bike and ride into town or around the island.
The double bed facing straight out onto the sand with thousands of miles of the South Pacific Ocean in front of you was awesome. Adjacent the villa, the large hammock got an absolute workout. Beautiful pareu (sarongs) and a CD were provided which immediately put you in the island mood.
Happy hour at the pool bar was an unforgettable sight: hundreds of tea light candles flickering away, and a darn good mojito.
Island Night is highly recommended. What a seafood feast!!! Dancers and drummers easily outnumbered the audience.
Jo-Anne and Jim , the owners really created a jewel with the Etu Moana. Everything about the place is spot on....from the fantastic villas designed with great attention to detail, the beautiful lush garden to the great, excellent helpful and genial staff it was all perfect.
Early reservation is recommended since its usually fully booked months in advance.
Tiara Village is a nice place to stay on a budget with either private rooms in a chalet, or dorms. It is has a nice social scene with a common area with kitchen, television, and vcr. I stayed here for a week in November 2003, and paid $15.50 a night for a private room in a chalet
There is a nice uncrowded small pool which often has local small kids playing at, they will even ask for permission first. Easy walking distance to beach, town, and the airport
Great hostel. We stayed at the hillside (You can choose between hillside and beachfront) We already planned a stay on a beach location on aitutaki so decided to stay on the hillside.
Good, clean accomodation. Great people. Nice kitchen and swimmingpool.
For most, this would be considered a motel. One level, no spa, no restaurant - just relaxing. We stayed in a one bedroom "lodge room" with kitchen and patio. There is a bbq area if you want to use it.
If you're expecting 5 star butler service then this isn't for you. If you want very nice landlords and just want to chill, then you have it here. The place has a pool as well. The landlord helped us in renting scooters which are an essential if you want to really do some fun sight-seeing. The landlords also help have plenty of the coral reef shoes you'll need (in many sizes).
Pool, help arrange scooter rental, free use of coral reef shoes and snorkeling equipment, friendly staff and service!
These are a really good value . The are well maintained and have a nice wide deck looking over the lagoon . The only thing you have a bout a 15 minute walk to the actual beach . Keep in mind it is a very pleasant walk however...
There are a dozen or so little cottages in all...looked like the were working on one when we were there. Fans only!
What this hotel lacked in charm in made up for in its location . These condo units are right on the beach . It has a nice restaurant too. We really like grill night!! The seaview units have a full kitchen and great view. Children over 12 are welcome ...and rooms are suitable for three
Very friendly staff.
There is a lounge available with a micro wave refridgerator . Very convenient if you want to hand out after check out ...if you have a late flight. They even have a shower available!!
This is a fabulous resort , with 156 rooms. It's really beautiful with lots of thatched roofs...and the wonderful sands of Aroa Beach on the south western tip of Rarotonga.
It's a little pricey though...for the Cook Islands!!
We went there for island night and it was the best!! Food is terrific.
We stayed 8 days and were pleased with our cottage. It was was very clean and well layed out with a refrigerator and a couple of burners for simple meals.
It was a pretty good value if you book and pay in advance.
None of the cottages are ocean front but the property boarders the beach.
It's not a very energetic type of hotel and it wouldn't win an award for beautiful landscaping...but if you are looking for a clean , convenient hotel on Muri beach ..this is a good bet.
There is air conditioning and a whirl pool tub. And a pool . No restuarant but there are several close by.
There are a multitude of nice, small resorts from basic to luxury on Rarotonga but there are also numerous holiday homes to rent by the week. These also range from basic to luxurious but some good deals can be had especially if you're travelling with a family or other people. A two bedroom house located on the beach with a full kitchen can be had for $1000NZ + per week. Houses that are not on the beach, which is never more than a 5 to 10 minute walk away, can be had for half the price. My place was a new two bedroom bungalow up the road from a beautiful swimming beach and cost $575NZ a week. Full cooking facilities, TV, DVD player, etc, Nice. I've stayed in about 6 or 7 different places and have only been disappointed with my choice once.
The most wonderful thing about any accomodation on Rarotonga is that NOTHING is far from anything - the island is 32 miles around!
My wife and I stayed last year at Club Raro. The Raro tours shuttle from the airport took us to the hotel charging us about 20NZD for both my wife and I. The lobby is open and breezy. There is a small restaurant that has a cooked breakfast in the morning. The pool is located in the middle of the resort and the bungalow surround the pool, and some stretch along the water. The water there is rocky, although I did see people snorkeling. The sound of the water crashing against the ref was mesmerizing. We stayed in a waterfront bungalow. The room was clean, and simple. The bed was a queen, and the TV was a 19-inch with only 4 channels (Local Cook TV (not on much), CNN, Cartoon Network, French Movie Channel). The bathroom is large and clean.
The resort is located about 2 miles from town. The cab ride into town is about 10NZD. There is a good restaurant within walking distance. You can walk to town, however, there are no sidewalks so if it has rained the side of the road will be muddy. The restaurant is Tamarind (http://www.tamarind.co.ck). The food is really good, and the wine list has a great selection of NZ wines.
Overall, I enjoyed the resort. It is older--mid 1970s, but clean. The staff is nice, and the town is accessible. The biggest drawback would be that the water is rocky, instead of the nice beach most people prefer.
Open Air, Friendly staff, near the ocean. Close to town
My wife and I stayed last year at Club Raro. We arrived very early in the morning due to the flight being delayed (Aloha Airlines). The Raro tours shuttle from the airport took us to the hotel charging us about 20NZD for both my wife and I. The only problem was waiting for the tour bus to fill before they left. There were no cabs at 3:00 am. The security guards let us in. The lobby is open and breezy. There is a small restaurant that has a cooked breakfast in the morning. The pool is located in the middle of the resort and the bungalow surround the pool, and some stretch along the water. The water there is rocky, although I did see people snorkeling. We stayed in a waterfront bungalow.
The sound of the water crashing against the reef was mesmerizing. The room was clean, and simple. The bed was a queen, and the TV was a 19-inch with only 4 channels (Local Cook TV (not on much), CNN, Cartoon Network, French Movie Channel). The bathroom is large and clean.
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