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“Nice views and beach”

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Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
Reviewed 13 January 2018

Positives:
We had a lower floor room so it was nice being able to walk straight on to the beach
Nice comfy big bed
Nice bathroom - with decent shower
Food ok

Negatives:
Screen doors didn't lock
Bathroom wasn't particularly clean - waste in shower was cracked and broken
Air conditioner dripped - dripping straight on to the floor and side table in to the lamp
Reception is actually the bar
Staff not very friendly
Room not serviced till about 2pm each day - we stayed a week and the linen was not replaced at all.
Sand everywhere!
Pool was kinda cold!

It was a nice stay, but i think the rooms need some general maintenance and a decent clean! The staff could be more inviting to their paying customers.

Room Tip: Our room was 710 - lower level and straight on to the beach
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  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank porkynz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 16 January 2018

Kia Orana,
Thank you for taking the time to post your review of your recent stay with us.
I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your Beachfront Suite, and the easy accessibility to the beach.
I apologise for the shortfalls you experienced during your stay. I have addressed these with the Managers responsible for these areas.
The resort has a Duty Manager available from 7am-10pm who would have been more than happy to address any issues during your stay.
Wishing you all the best for 2018.
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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5 - 9 of 497 reviews

Reviewed 5 January 2018 via mobile

I suprised my darling for his birthday with a week in Raro. We love Raro and have tried a few locations... the luxurious Pacific resort firstly (will do a review of them soon!) And Edgewater secondly...a good, more budget option for our group of friends we went with...so for this little romantic getaway I wanted reasonably priced with superking, aircon, no kids and beachfront and that's what we got. It's not super luxurious but just right...the bed was comfy and the room was cool (we're VERY picky as we sleep in a lovely super king at home with the aircon on 16°C year round!!). The beach was right outside our door and the staff were wonderful. The buffet breakfast wasn't great (bit dry and stale by the time we got up and not refrigerated so warm fruit yuk..) but great food off the menu. The gorgeous pool has a swim up bar but getting bar staff was tricky...you bang a drum to get their attention as no-one mans that bar. Overall we LOVED our time there and highly recommend as great value for $$.

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank dynamicchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 11 January 2018

Kia Orana,
Thank you for your review.
What a wonderful way to surprise your darling, with a week in the Tropics. We are thrilled you had a great stay and loved our little quirks, like banging the drum to summon staff to the swim-up pool bar. It was great to hear the staff were friendly, this kind of feedback is what we like to hear.
The Californian King beds are a definite attraction for our guests, so we are pleased you appreciated it.
We hope to welcome you back again, and in the meantime we wish you both all the best for 2018.
Kind regards
Haimona Browne, Resort Manager

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Reviewed 1 January 2018 via mobile

Positives
Great location (although there are plenty of similarly placed resorts)
Pacific-centric decor
Large beds

Negatives
Booked pick up and checked 3 times with the resort - no response from resort - no transport booking was made for us.
Responding to the Resorts request to confirm booking several weeks beforehand I again asked for transport, early access to one of our three rooms for early check in , etc - NO response (again)
One of our rooms was not available requiring that one of our party change rooms because they had double booked the one room - note occupancy was very low at time of our arrival - where are their systems???
Room cleaning was very hit and miss - we had to ask either reception or the cleaners on most days to please clean our room - often this did not occur and on one occasion the cleaner was clearly very grumpy and unhappy with us for raising our concerns
Sand on the floor in the dining room/breakfast area??
Breakfast is basic and not of good quality - regardless of any response from management citing a vast range of options - all pretty ordinary
Managers drinks and local snacks - not set up, different views from staff about whether it was on or not - local snacks =spring rolls?????
Everything seems a bit chaotic and disorganized - felt like a bit of a shambles.
Dinners were fine - not outstanding or even very good, but fine. Food took a long time to arrive. Often by the time we ordered and got our food the kitchen was closed for dessert. We ate each night about 7pm - so not late. On one evening one of our party waited 45 minutes to be served by any of the many staff whizzing around - they left unattended and hungry.
When we raised concerns we were politely listened to and offered many excuses - we left us feeling that it was pointless to raise concerns as “these things happen” is far from an adequate response.

Loved the Cook Islands - we will return but not to this resort. Future visitors - please do your research - there is much better available for very comparable prices.

Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
2  Thank Deb581123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 11 January 2018

Kia Orana Deb,
Thank you for your feedback.
I am pleased to hear you appreciated our absolute beachfront location right on the Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve with its abundant marine life, as well as the tropical feel of our rooms and the California King bed.
Our continental tropical buffet includes seasonal fresh island fruits which at the moment is pawpaw, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, banana. Also the buffet has fresh fruit salad, home-stewed fruits, Bircher muesli, homemade yoghurt, fresh-baked breads, pastries, muffins & croissants, cereals, toast, spreads, fruit juices, tea & coffee, with other hot breakfast options available for a small charge.
The resort has a Duty Manager available from 7am-10pm who would have been more than happy to address any issues during your stay, and I would have welcomed the opportunity to meet with you personally whilst you were in house.
Kind regards,
Haimona Browne, Resort Manager

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Reviewed 29 December 2017

well, we were lucky to be moved here, rooms are great, massive bed, good setup, deck on the beach, a delight to have a drink looking at the sea !, breakfast included as per the Rarontongan resort next door, boring after 10 days a bit of change in the selection would be great, great pool with a pool bar, beach is nice with a good selection of equipment free to use, pity for the bad people smoking on the beach and leaving their cigarette butts in the sand of in the water, a few ashtrays around would be great as well as some rubbish bins, staff good, of course as per the sister hotel, a surchharge of 15% on public holiday, a disgrace when you pay a lot of money to stay there, one of the few hotel doing that on the island !!

  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Cheferic1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 11 January 2018

Kia Orana
Thank you for your feedback.
I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your tropical-themed Beachfront Suite, with the Californian King bed and the views out over the amazing Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve.
Our continental tropical buffet includes seasonal fresh island fruits, fresh fruit salad, home-stewed fruits, Bircher muesli, homemade yoghurt, fresh-baked breads, pastries, muffins & croissants, cereals, toast, spreads, fruit juices, tea & coffee, with other hot breakfast options available for a small charge.
The 15% surcharge on Public Holiday’s is typically charged in the Cook Islands and New Zealand, although some places may include the surcharge in their prices which are normally increased to accommodate to this surcharge.
Best wishes,
Haimona Browne, Resort Manager

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A TripAdvisor Member
43
Reviewed 22 December 2017 via mobile

This is a belated review, but having checked recent reviews I can see the same problems still occurring, so I thought it would be still helpful to provide some feedback. We stayed for 4 nights.

Let’s start with the positives:
The view from the upstairs room in the 600 Block is lovely.
The decor of the room was nice. Bed comfortable.
The deck of the partner resort The Rarotongan where you can enjoy sunset drinks overlooking the beautiful lagoon...still a favourite memory of mine (unfortunately the ONLY one from our stay here)
The girl who cleaned our room was lovely.
The Customer Service manager Jason Napper handled our multiple issues respectfully and professionally and upon request compensated our very disappointing stay well on checkout with no charge for our food and free last night.

Cons: SO SO MANY
1. Communication issues (previous manager quit/fired and his emails not accessed by anyone...) meant our request for a transfer pickup from the airport was not activated...we were left stranded as the airport literally shut up for the night. We had to wait while the duty manager himself drove out to get us. No charge.
My email request 7 months earlier for gluten free breakfast options and restaurant options also not passed on and so there was nothing prepared for me (their almost complete ignorance how to cater GF another story that caused LONG delays trying to get fed at their restaurants and I usually had to eat bland rubbish)
2. On arrival, told our requested room not available until the next day (so disappointed as I had dry early on communicated specifically which room type/Block I preferred), so placed in a different room. However it was discovered this rooms air conditioning not working, so then we had to change rooms again to a horror of a room in the far block overlooking dodgy backyards of neighbours). Next morning we were finally given our requested room.
3. Night duty manager very unprofessional and spent so much time criticising other staff and blaming them for the mix up. We did get a free bottle of wine in compensation.
4. They were renovating the block next to us (no prior warning of this) so we had tradies roaming the place, staring at us on the beach below, and using power tools all day. Not the excluded tranquil escape we had envisioned.
5. Breakfast area is awful...on sand in a corridor between the 2 resorts. Food very basic, and no gluten free options except for fruit, although I pushed to get complimentary gf toast and eggs, which took about 30 min to appear each time (my husband long since finished his breakfast each time) and on the 3rd day it was of such poor quality it was inedible (& copped lots of attitude from the staff on this morning)
6. Staff very hit and miss. Restaurant maître de bad attitude, slow slow service, one amazing waiter. My GF food awful (can’t believe the kitchen sent it out and expected someone to pay for it), my husband enjoyed his food. I was so emotional from the experience each meal just trying to establish what I could eat and then having it so awful, I actually ended up in tears a few times and we just left.

So be warned. Nice location. Good rooms if you go for the 2 blocks with nice views. Upstairs rooms best for privacy and views. Unreliable service & overall poor staff attitude and it is a complete lottery whether you will enjoy your stay or not.

Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 26 December 2017

Kia Orana,
Thank you for your review.
I am pleased to hear that you loved the outstanding views afforded by our absolute beachfront location on the Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve, and that staff were lovely and helpful.
I would have appreciated the opportunity to meet with you personally during your stay.
I apologise for the communication breakdown in regards to your special requirements. Unfortunately as your concerns relate back to April 2017, it is difficult for me to address these specifically.
As you set out, numerous different Managers and staff members attempted to address your various concerns although clearly we were unsuccessful in this regard.
You will be pleased to know we have recently welcomed a new Executive Chef who is in the process of overhauling all our menus.
Best wishes for the festive season and beyond.
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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Additional Information about Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach

Address: Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve | Aroa, Aroa Beach, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Aroa Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Aroa Beach
Price Range: RM 839 - RM 1,976 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach 4*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A true taste of the exotic Cook Islands in the heart of the South Pacific, Sanctuary Rarotonga is an adults-only resort located on the pristine white sand shores of Aroa Lagoon. All suites are absolute beachfront. Tropical buffet breakfast, many resort activities, and daily activities program are included in the nightly rate. The perfect location for a romantic honeymoon or a relaxed beach holiday. Three effortless Weddings in Paradise packages. A true South Pacific paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanctuary Rarotonga-On The Beach Hotel Aroa Beach
Sanctuary Rarotonga-On The Beach Aroa Beach

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