- Reviews: 3
Tapae Holiday Home: Best Vaue Holiday House in Rarotonga
I have stayed at the Tapae Holiday House twice and ahve booked it again for ten days next April....extremely good value!
Over the road from the Cook Islands Game Fish Club where they have happy hours Mon-Sat 4-7pm, also the best fish and chips on the Island at the Flying Boat Takeaways on the same property
- Reviews: 4901
Raina Beach Apartments: Self service accomodations
Great location, right across the road from the best snorkelling in Rarotonga. Not much to look at from the outside but spacious and great staff!
- Reviews: 1189
Backpackers International: Budget Accommodation
We had a great stay at Backpackers International in Rarotonga. The hostel was undergoing renovations during our stay after a hurricane had caused some damage to the building. Parts of the hostel were still a bit rough around the edges but on whole can’t really complain about this small family run business trying o get back on its feet after some bad luck.
Tisa and her family are the best thing about this hostel. They are always available to offer advice and help and are extremely friendly and accommodating. As well as this, the location of the hostel on Rarotonga’s southern coast, has it just a minute’s walk from the beautiful beach and lagoon and only 10 minutes from the Rarotongan Resort and Aro’a Beach, offering some of the best snorkelling on the island.
The hostel itself provides everything a backpacker could need including kitchen, TV room and downstairs social area although it is important to realise that the place is being renovated at present and will take some time to complete. The pictures on the website are old ones and do need o be updated.
Travelling as a couple we found that the double room was better value than the dorms and this turned out to be a good call as peeking into one of the dorm rooms one day, I wasn’t overly impressed with the tiny room. The double room was much better with a decent size double bed although as we stayed over a week at the hostel it would have been nice if the room had been cleaned (budget room or not the room should have been cleaned during our stay).
The social area downstairs really added so much to our stay, where everyone gathered at a large communal table in the evenings. Got to meet so many other travellers during our stay at his hostel and there was a great atmosphere here in the evenings.
- Reviews: 1
Aremango Guesthouse, Rarotonga: Aremango in Rarotonga -- laidback budget place
I had a few days in Rarotonga, a stopover on a trip to Australia/NZ with Air New Zealand (stopover adds almost nothing to the airfare). I stayed at Aremango Guesthouse on Muri Beach.
This is a great, very laid-back place -- nothing fancy -- nice big rooms, communal kitchen, comfy den, and cozy room for watching DVDs if it's rainy or you're tired. This is NOT a resort and NOT a B&B: you prepare your own food (and Amanda, the manager, politely insists that people clean up after themselves; the place is casual but spotlessly clean). There are also several immaculately clean shared bathrooms/showers. There's a nice deck, pretty garden, hammocks and various nooks to laze around. They provide snorkeling gear and bicycles for free, and kayaks are $10/day. Wireless internet is a bit pricey by western standards (NZ $10/hr), but fast and very reliable, and reflects what they have to pay. Or, there's a funky internet cafe about 5 minutes' walk down the road plus some small stores and a few cafes/restaurants ranging from pretty cheap to ridiculously expensive. Everything on Raro is nearby (borrow a bicycle, rent a motorscooter, or take the hourly round-the-island bus -- a bus trip the circumference of the island takes less than an hour, so a bus trip to a real supermarket or club etc. in "downtown" Avarua takes about 20 min).
The clientele were an eclectic bunch: friendly young round-the-world travelers, biology professor, scholar of gypsy studies, cool former hippy, and misc. others. We all got along really well. You can pretty much do what you like, although no loud late-night parties etc. The front door is unlocked 24 hrs/day so you can come and go as you please (individual rooms have locks). Amanda knows EVERYONE on the island, is extremely friendly and accommodating, and has lived all over the world. Since I left on the midnight flight the last day, she didn't feel right charging the full rate, so let me keep the room for the day and only charged me NZ $10. For the other nights, the rate was around US $35. Various people were leaving on the same flight, so she gave us all a ride to the airport (a taxi would have cost about NZ $15). It's pretty much what happens, happens -- but Amanda runs a tight ship in terms of keeping the place neat, ensuring friendly interactions, and is very businesslike while being cheerful and able to arrange all sorts of things. Just realize that this is not a place where you you can expect to be waited on hand and foot like you would in a resort-type hotel. You're more like a guest in someone's home and should act accordingly, for excellent prices.
The beautiful Muri Lagoon is a 3 minute walk, and there's great snorkeling with tons of marine life around the tiny islands (motus) just offshore (you can easily swim to them or even walk at low tide). Best for snorkeling is the southernmost motu (Taakoka, just off its N tip). And a great dive shop (Pacific Divers) is just down the road, plus a sailing/windsurfing club equally nearby. Definitely don't miss the Sat. AM market in Avarua, with great food, good deals, and totally honest sellers.
Why more people haven't caught on to Aremango, who knows? Many of the guests were returning visitors who wouldn't stay anywhere else on the island. And I'll definitely stay there again next time I'm in Raro.
Raro is a safe, friendly, slow-paced beautiful island that hasn't (yet?) become commercialized like Tahiti and much of Hawaii, and I look forward to going back. And staying at Aremango again!
Friendly, small, quiet, clean, eclectic visitors, great manager, right next to beautiful beach/lagoon, excellent snorkeling and nearby access to diving, sailing etc.
- Reviews: 17
Raina Lagoon Villas: Beach bungalow
This property has 6 villas, tropical island style with nice decks and thatched roofs. Breakfast is served daily on your decks and is fruit, cereal and coconut. Each villa sits on the beach at waters edge. They have a small kitchen, good for "home" cooking, bathroom and a very nice garden shower. It is very comgfortable and the host are wonderful and very accomodating.
It's a perfect place to just sit, relax and enjoy the island and South Pacific.
Small overall property, great beachfront site and wonderful garden showers
- Reviews: 6
Sea Change Villas: Luxury by the sea
Sea Change Villas is a great choice for a luxurious tropical getaway. They have six villas, 2 are right on the beach and the rest a few steps away. We stayed at a 'Plantation Villa'.
Each villa is very private and you have your own backyard with a fresh-water swimming pool.
The amenities and furniture are first class and the staff takes really good care of you without being intrusive.
Prices include free use of snorkeling and kayaking gear and the wonderful beach right in front of the villas was mostly deserted.
The private swimming pool was absolutely fantastic.
- Reviews: 1443
Rau's Guesthouse: Nice guesthouse near Titikaveka
I stayed at Rau’s Guesthouse for 3 nights in late April 2006.
This spacious guesthouse is located just across the road from a wonderful sandy beach between the villages of Titikaveka and Vaimaanga. Although its address is listed as Titikaveka, it is actually much closer to Vaimaanga.
I paid 47 NZD (approx. 17 GBP) per night for a single room. There are only 5 rooms in this guesthouse (3 with twin/double beds and 2 with two single beds). At the time of my visit, only 2 other rooms were occupied so I was given one of the rooms with a twin bed.
My room consisted of a twin bed, a much-needed electric fan, a lamp, a set of drawers, a wardrobe and a large window with insect screens. A clean towel was provided in my room upon arrival.
There are separate male and female shower and toilet rooms. The female shower room is loacted inside the guesthouse, while the male one is attached to the garage. There is just one shower and toilet in the male room……but this never proved to be a problem during my stay. Because of its location (practically outside), the male room attracted insects and worms, but it was never a problem!
The guesthouse contains a huge living and dining area with a large dining table, sofas, TV, DVD player, a computer with Internet access, bookshelves and a telephone from which you can make free local calls.
There is also a very well stocked kitchen with a large fridge for guests’ use (put labels on your food and drink to identify it!), a microwave, an oven, a kettle, a toaster, a huge array of crockery, cutlery, pots, pans and utensils and a washing machine. The lovely owners provide some food (bread, milk, coffee, tea and fresh fruit) for their guests, as well as washing up liquid and other disposables.
The garage has ample room for parking your hired bicycles and mopeds, while the long drive has plenty of space for parking a hire car. There is a large lawn out front with sun loungers and a BBQ area.
There is a large supermarket in the nearby village of Vaimaanga, just a 5-10 minute walk from the guesthouse, and 2 or 3 restaurants within a 10-15 minute walk.
An excellent beach is located directly opposite the guesthouse and the island buses stop just a few minutes away from the front gate.
The price of the guesthouse includes a free transfer from the airport (via "Raro Tours" minibuses), but you'll have to pay for your transfer back to the airport at the end of your stay. To get back to the airport, you can either phone Raro Tours to arrange a pick-up (10 NZD per person) or catch the local bus (3 NZD).
The owners don't live on site, but do visit at some point each day to check that everything is to your satisfaction. The guesthouse is cleaned thoroughly 3 mornings a week. The owners will email you in advance to sort out the procedure for arrival. I arrived at 2am, so the owners informed me that a room key would be left on the dining room in an envelope with my name on......I could then go straight to bed and sort out payment "whenever"! :-)
The owners are very friendly people! I never met Atua in person, but Mata was a fabulous hostess - unfailingly happy and friendly and nothing at all was too much trouble! They clearly enjoy running this guesthouse and you will leave as friends rather than mere guests! :-)
- Reviews: 6
Tiare Village: You get commission on that?
Tiare Village is quiet
(- apart from when the plane lands on the runway twenty yards away at 4am every morning -)
helpful with recommendations
(- unless you want services from companies that don't offer the manager 15% commission - )
friendly and welcoming
(- apart from when they forget they promised to pick you up from the airport - )
and hires out transport
(- though, of course the local police tend to demand the bikes you use are roadworthy or have lights, so that can be difficult.)
But it's welcoming and clean!
(- though watch out for the 2am to 7am rooster / wild dog chorus, and the fatal mozzie infestations -)
There's a nice pool, a great dvd collection for hire, and it's just 25 minutes walk down a darkened lampless road to get to Avarua, the island's main town. It's on the daytime bus route (7-4pm), and has gorgeous geckos. About eleven of them, running around the kitchen, giggling cutely.
Good prices - $NZ 20 for a dorm bed. (- though they'll put you in the wrong sex dorm, and the advertised long stay discounts will magically disappear)
- Reviews: 38
Tias on the Beach: Best beach on the island
Geoff and Tia own two houses on the best beach on the island. They are close to shopping and you only have to walk out the front door to catch the around-island bus.
Great snorkeling, wonderful beach and only three houses in sight.
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