Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
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Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach

Near The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium, Aroa Beach Cook Islands
Dawn in Autaki
Traveller (544)
View from the Lagoon
Pool & Beach (137)
Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
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About

3.5
#1 of 2 hotels in Aroa Beach
4.5 of 5 bubbles
Location
3.9 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
3.5 of 5 bubbles
Service
3.4 of 5 bubbles
Value
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.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Wifi
Pool
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Beach
Canoeing
Airport transportation
Parking
Paid wifi
Pool / beach towels
Adult pool
Outdoor pool
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Breakfast in the room
Complimentary welcome drink
Happy hour
Outdoor dining area
Special diet menus
Wine / champagne
Swimup bar
Poolside bar
Game room
Snorkelling
Tennis court
Bicycle tours
Billiards
Entertainment staff
Evening entertainment
Table tennis
Walking tours
Shuttle bus service
Taxi service
Banquet room
Meeting rooms
Spa
Facial treatments
Foot massage
Full body massage
Hand massage
Head massage
Massage
Neck massage
Adults only
Convenience store
Gift shop
Outdoor furniture
Picnic area
Shared lounge / TV area
Sun deck
Sun loungers / beach chairs
ATM on site
First aid kit
24-hour check-in
24-hour front desk
Clothes dryer
Laundry service
Self-serve laundry
Washing machine
Ironing service
Room features
Blackout curtains
Air conditioning
Private beach
Housekeeping
Refrigerator
Cable / satellite TV
Extra long beds
Walk-in shower
Private balcony
Room service
Safe
Seating area
Sofa
Telephone
Wardrobe / wardrobe
Iron
Private bathrooms
Tile / marble floor
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Flatscreen TV
Complimentary toiletries
Hair dryer
Room types
Ocean view
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
4.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Bay View
Mid-range
Languages Spoken
English
Hotel links
Special Offer:EXTRA 10% OFF! INDULGE IN AN ADULTS-ONLY ESCAPE!

Location

Near The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium, Aroa Beach Cook Islands
Getting there
Somewhat walkable
Places to stay are graded on a 0-100 scale. The higher the grade, the easier it is for travellers to find restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Grade: 51 out of 100
51
Rarotonga Airport
695Reviews19Q+A100Room tips

Reviews
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Detailed Reviews
Rossierose wrote a review Mar 2024
Lancashire, United Kingdom65 contributions74 helpful votes
+1
Hotel's Favourite
4.0 of 5 bubbles
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.
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Date of stay: February 2024
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: adult only area is really quiet and relaxing. can use facilities at sister hotel next door.
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.
Response from Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Responded 5 Apr 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
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Nick G wrote a review Aug 2022
Bathurst, Australia329 contributions181 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Checking in was a slow process with our room ready at 4pm rather than 3. Was okay as island time is an accepted thing so we just had another wine! We stayed in the adults only area of the Rarotongas, to avoid the children noise. A good option. Room itself was beach front, reasonably comfortable, good bed, but poor water pressure was weird considering the amount of water falling from the sky over the past 2 weeks straight. Tech was also quite old, hotel wifi is NOT free and is probably not the best option as is 50 dollars for 13 gig hotspot only to the resort. Better off to get a 69 dollar vodaphone sim and that allows 10 gig and roaming.

Dining experience was super slow. We ordered our dinner at 1834 and at 1950 gave up and asked for it to be delivered to the room, which funnily happened 15 mins later.

The bar staff super friendly, and makes excellent cocktails in the adults only area; better than the main resort bar.

Overall, an okay option for those wanting a room but want to get out and experience the island.
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Date of stay: August 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
Response from Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Responded 25 Aug 2022
Kia Orana, Thank you for your review. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed the staff service and cocktails . We are in the process of recruiting both locally and internationally. Yes our WIFI is only available within the resort and can be purchased through your phone to your hotel account. Rarotonga is one big resort, and we do encourage our guests to go out an experience the island, tours, scenery and the people. That is what makes Rarotonga special. Kind Regards, Haimona Browne Resort Manager
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Vanessa I wrote a review Nov 2022
Whakatāne, New Zealand2 contributions1 helpful vote
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I recently came back from a gorgeous trip with friends to Rarotonga. While this is my first time visiting the island, we're pretty well travelled and know how transfers/check in/resorts go.

While the lead up to arrival was interesting with limited communication from the hotel (we booked direct so there wouldn't be any issues), we weren't super convinced that everything had been booked correctly. We booked a VIP package which included 10% off food and beverage, 10% of the spa and breakfast included.
We also arranged transfers to the resort well in advance.

However, upon landing, it appeared that no transfer company had our names down, but knowing how small the island was, we weren't too phased and was expected as everything was pretty casual leading up to it. We managed to get on a transfer and arrive at the hotel where our room seemed to be double booked, however the staff went back and forth to make sure we were upgraded and taken care of (we weren't super concerned).

The main disappointment was on arrival being told that the spa was not operating as that was a key reason we purchased the VIP package instead of normal rates, however the staff were incredibly helpful booking alternative arrangements for us at a nearby resort instead.

The rooms were spacious, airy and had everything you needed (aircon, balconies, insect screens, even broom and shovel for all the sand you'd bring in).

But the reason why I wanted to write this review was to thank two particular staff members who made our 5 day stay so enjoyable! We were served by Akuila and Meli almost everyday at the Sanctuary restaurant and bar and they were the most hospitable and lovely attendants I've come across in years. Akuila especially went above and beyond with a smile on his face many times when he was the only one on the bar serving multiple people at a time, sometimes till late in the evening and then would be back in the morning for training in reception. He is a an absolute asset to the Sanctuary/Rarotongan family and I look forward to returning in a few years to see him running the place with Meli by his side. No question was too difficult, they genuinely tried to get to know the guests by first name, room numbers and them as people - manaakitanga at it's finest.

So while we had a few hiccups, we were not concerned at all as we know Raro is still working through its Covid-19 kinks, and we were already relaxed on holiday, many many thanks to Akuila, Meli and the Sanctuary/Rarotongan staff for making our stay so memorable.
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Date of stay: November 2022
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Room Tip: Occasionally it can get loud at night when your room is closest to the pool/bar area
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.
Response from Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Responded 10 Mar 2023
Kia Orana, Thank you for taking the time to post a detailed review of your stay with us. We are humbled to hear that you enjoyed the warm hospitality from Akuila and Meli. They are certainly superstars of our resort. Please accept my apologies for the misunderstanding with your airport transfers. We have restructured our team in reservations and now have one person dedicated to airport transfers etc. Our Spa has also been opened now for some months as we have been fortunate to employ professional spa therapists from overseas. Thank you again for choosing to stay with us. Kind Regards, Haimona Browne Resort Manager
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Julie S wrote a review Aug 2021
Auckland, New Zealand16 contributions12 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
I read the reviews about poor service etc before I came to Raro but I thought maybe the person writing the review was unlucky and I would have a much better experience. How wrong I was. There has been so many errors and poor service that I am bitterly disappointed.
After an extremely slow arrival through Rarotonga Airport yesterday we finally got to the resort 3 hours after landing to be told (at 5pm) that our Beachside suite wasn't ready. We were told that we would be upgraded to the Honeymoon Suite for one night. I said I didn't want to change rooms so we got the Honeymoon suite for the 2 nights we are here. I'm glad I didn't pay for it. The outside shower hadn't been cleaned and still had the soap and face cloth in the shower from the previous guests. The room does not have a beach view which is disappointing as that is why we booked this resort.
Service is slow, the staff do not seem to care. Dinner took over an hour and ten mins to arrive and all the local dishes including Ika Mata were sold out before we ordered at 7pm.
The next day I ordered room service and was lucky to get Ika Mata before it sold out but it was bought to my room with no cutlery. Impossible to eat with your hands and for a $9 room service charge is another disappointment when you have to eat it with your fingers.

As it is raining today we asked the staff about a rental car and they told us to walk down the road to the car rental shop. Of course we get there and it is closed on Sunday. Another small annoyance as the staff would have known this before they sent us down the road. They just don't care.

There is no ATM at the resort, you need cash for the bus and it is $20 per person to get anywhere on the island by taxi to get to the ATM.

If I was paying for budget accommodation then I can't have high expectations about the service but this is $300 per night!

I have stayed at the islands before, having been to Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands , so I know what "island time" is but this is next level. Get me to Aitutaki asap.
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Date of stay: August 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
Response from Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Responded 29 Apr 2022
Kia Orana, Thank you for your review. I am disappointed to hear that you experienced some shortfalls in service during your stay. There are no ATM machines at the resort. The closest ATM machine is located at Wigmore's Superstore, less than 10 minutes drive from the resort. Polynesian rentals is located about 100m from the resort. The resort has a Duty Manager available from 8am-8pm who would have been more than happy to address any concerns during your stay, and I would have also welcomed the opportunity to meet with you personally. Please feel free to contact me directly if you wish to share more detailed feedback. Kind Regards, Haimona Browne Resort Manager
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Letty wrote a review Feb 2020
11 contributions3 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
We spent just one night at the sanctuary, check in was very slow as we checked in at the bar area instead of the reception as the reception had signs for the Rarotongan (its the same place). We had upstairs rooms with a beach view, the view was nice. The room was rather small and very dated, the shower drain was blocked and the shower filled up within minuets of turning the shower on. We ordered eggs for breakfast and were served rotten eggs. We were glad our stay here was only one night and would not come back. The only positive is the staff are very friendly and we did enjoy a few cocktails at the bar area.
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Date of stay: December 2019
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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.
Response from Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Responded 9 June 2022
Kia Orana, Thank you for your review of your one night stay with us. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed the warm hospitality from our staff as well as the tasty cocktails. Sorry but i have to question your comment about serving rotten eggs. Our kitchen team are qualified chefs in their own rights and will never serve our guests rotten eggs. The resort has a Duty Manager available from 8am-8pm who would have been more than happy to address any concerns during your stay, and I would have also welcomed the opportunity to meet with you personally. Kind Regards, Haimona Browne Resort Manager
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RobChristina wrote a review June 2022
Christchurch, New Zealand105 contributions18 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Loved the location & great hard-working staff. No kids in the restaurant and pool area either…
But wouldn’t stay here again. Felt sorry for the staff… they were seriously overworked. Long waits for reception and for meals. Note: the Sanctuary reception is the Rarotongan reception, also the meals ordered at the Sanctuary restaurant, all come from the Rarotongan kitchen, and after long waits they’re cold by the time they arrive. We ended up going to & ordering from the Rarotongan to eat (faster service and meals are hot).
The one morning we had breakfast at the Sanctuary, we had to ask for cups, glasses and bread to make toast. When the bread finally came it was a frozen loaf!
Rooms here are dated and dark. We also had a maintenance issue on day 1 (our bathroom basin didn’t empty) so we reported it immediately to reception. Nothing was done in the 6 days we were there! Thankfully on day 2 we managed to remove the plug ourselves to allow the water to flow.
Overall, we would have been happy to pay a little more for shorter waits at reception & better service at the restaurant.
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
Response from Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Responded 8 July 2022
Kia Orana Rob, We are delighted to hear you loved the beachfront location and found our hard-working staff to be great. Also pleased you enjoyed the no kids aspect of the resort as well as the swim-up pool par. I am disappointed you experienced some service shortfalls as well. As you will be aware, there is a world wide staff shortage in the hospitality industry as many people have left the industry during the pandemic. The staff shortage is more acute in the Cook Islands as many people left for New Zealand and Australia to find work during the pandemic. We are in the process of recruiting additional staff locally and internationally. We have a Duty Manager available from 8am-8pm who would have been more than happy to address any concerns during your stay, and I would have also welcomed the opportunity to meet with you personally. Yours sincerely, Haimona Browne Resort Manager
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leighchalmers28 wrote a review July 2022
New Zealand23 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed for a week and really enjoyed our stay - we also stayed last year so came back again this year! Our room was very clean and tidy - huge comfy bed and great beach view. Really love that the pool is away from the beach, as it was sometimes a bit windy to lie on the beach, but it would be perfectly calm by the pool.
It was awesome having free use of the snorkels (cleaned and sterilized!), Flippers, SUP and kayak to explore the awesome marine sanctuary in front of the resort!
We had breakfast at the resort (it's basic but was included) but ate all our other meals at other restaurants for variety.
It was a bit short staffed eg rooms not serviced every day or drinks sometimes took a big longer - but we expected that (didn't bother us) due to staff shortages, plus island time! 😁
Decor is a bit dated, but that's understandable due to the couple of years but it was clean and tidy! Also loved the adults only as it was school holidays!
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Date of stay: July 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
Response from Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Responded 9 Aug 2022
Kia Orana, Thank you for your kind review. We are delighted you totally enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you again for choosing to stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you back soon. Kind Regards, Haimona Browne Resort Manager
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Squirrel25 wrote a review Oct 2023
Port Macquarie, Australia143 contributions66 helpful votes
+1
4.0 of 5 bubbles
We had 10 wonderful nights here at Sanctuary. I had my heart set on a room on the second floor in the beachfront suites and sooooo glad I got it. The view is stunning. Bathroom is small however great water flow and lots of hot water. Bed very comfy and huge. Housekeeping were great - put out the sign if you want the room made up otherwise they can provide you with anything you need like replacement towels etc and you can get a credit towards the room. We did both depending on our needs. All the staff are welcoming and bar/restaurant staff always helpful and happy. We were quite happy with breakfast options and did try to eat lunch at other places for a change of scenery so we would plan our day around where we wanted to end up for lunch. Bus stop out the front of the sister resort is very handy. Dinner most nights was in the resort as we didn't have any transport. Menu was extensive so we didn't feel too restricted in what to eat. It was much nicer to grab a table around the pool when dining at Sanctuary. We had quite a few meals at the sister resort to enjoy the sunset and music. Especially the couple on a Tuesday night - they were so good and her voice was amazing. Generally we arrived just before end of happy hour to grab a table, a cocktail and take in the sunset. Except for Sunday night it was pretty relaxed and most of the kids are either inside or have already eaten and departed so it wasn't too crazy. Really the families were all chill and relaxed and it added to the atmosphere but it was nice to know we would retreat back to the adults only side later. On a couple of occasions we caught the clockwise bus, had an early dinner at Castaways or The Shipwreck and walked home on the beach. We did catch the anti-clockwise to the Muri Market one night as well. There are a lot of activities to join if you want however we were out most days or snorkelling so didn't partake. We had looked at three places to stay and after checking the others out when we got there we were so happy to have chosen Sanctuary mainly because its Adults Only, has great snorkelling and swimming and is in a quiet part of the island with ability to walk long way up the beach either north or south. I would happily stay here again.
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Date of stay: September 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Breachfront Suite on the second floor.
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.
Response from Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Responded 3 Oct 2023
Kia Orana, Thank you for your review. I am pleased to hear you had a lovely stay and you enjoyed the beachfront location, the amazing views from your suite, the snorkeling the warm hospitality from our staff. I am also happy that you enjoyed your meals and the entertainment. Thank you again for choosing our resort and for being amazing guests and we look forward to welcoming you back soon. Kind Regards, Haimona Browne Resort Manager
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Kabell14 wrote a review Jan 2020
Hong Kong, China136 contributions68 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed at the sanctuary for five nights in January. We had a downstairs room probably the one closest to the beach which was lovely. Without a doubt the scenery there looking onto the beach and lagoon is absolutely stunning. However our room could only be considered a three star best it was just tired and left in the 1990s.

The staff are so friendly kind and fantastic and really make this resort. However the food is below expected standards. there is only one menu despite them advertising three different restaurants. Regarding the menu whilst the portions are very large, it is dated and unimaginative it was more reminiscent of cooks rather than chefs.

All in all I would probably skip this resort and look at one of the others. Having travelled extensively through Asia and the world this resort is stuck in the 1990s and needs to really look at how to attract guests and give them a first class experience. Make the Sanctuary experience different to the other half of the resort, provide a beach service for ordering a different and improved menu at the least!
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Date of stay: January 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
Response from Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Responded 9 June 2022
Kia Orana, Thank you for your review. I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed the beachfront location, the stunning views from your Suite as well as the warm hospitality from our staff. Our menus are available on our website for guests to view. I'm surprised that our suites did not meet your expectations as we generally receive positive feedback from our guests about their accommodation. Thank you again for your feedback. Kind Regards, Haimona Browne Resort Manager
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Vanessa D wrote a review May 2022
Feilding, New Zealand42 contributions62 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
This is a great hotel, our room was beachfront which was great. Straight out of the doors, down the sand into the sea for the best snorkelling you could find anywhere.
The staff are really helpful and friendly and work very hard.
The hotel does need a refresh but the rooms are clean and comfortable. We read some negative reviews before coming, some in relation to breakfast but I found the buffet to be really good with a good selection of items and the best pastries.
The restaurant had a solid menu with good family choices and the food was good. On very busy days, there can be a wait for food. Other people in their reviews had mentioned the system of collecting your own food. I had no problem with this and in Covid times, it’s far more hygienic.
Our housekeeping was done most days and the days it wasn’t done, we received refunds without asking.
We had issues with very noisy guests above, the hotel dealt with this very efficiently.
There can be no better placed hotel for lagoon access and a great beach. Good facilities available, kayaks, paddle boards and snorkel gear although we only used the flippers.
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Date of stay: April 2022
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
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.
Response from Haimona Browne, Owner at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Responded 11 May 2022
Kia Orana, Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your stay with us. I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your holiday and that you enjoyed the beachfront location of the resort. The resort enjoys a prime location directly on Aroa Lagoonarium Marine Sanctuary with beautiful white sand beaches, the island’s best all tide snorkeling with abundant tropical fish and occasional turtles and eagle rays as well as stunning sunsets. Guests can explore the marine sanctuary with complimentary kayaks, paddle boards, snorkels & masks, etc. I am also pleased we managed to promptly address all your concerns. Thank you again for choosing to stay with us. Kind Regards, Haimona Browne Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Answer from Guide728154
Just to clarify maggie100, there was a fire at our sister resort in Aitutaki some weeks ago, which damaged the Beach Bar and some adjacent buildings. The repairs are well underway and the resort is operating as normal.
Chris W asked a question Feb 2018
Sydney, Australia2 contributions2 helpful votes
could you give us some idea the typical cost of beer and wine at the resorts thankyou.chris
Answer from suemedav
Cronulla, Australia72 contributions15 helpful votes
Sorry can’t remember
Answer from Haimona B
Aroa Beach, Cook Islands93 contributions1 helpful vote
Kia Orana. Thank you for your query. Please find below our WIFI rates available at the resort; $10 - 450MB $30 - 1,500MB $50 - 3,000MB WIFI access is resort wide. Please let me know if you have any further queries. Kind Regards, Haimona Browne Resort Manager
Answer from cookieabroad
Auckland Central, New Zealand137 contributions55 helpful votes
Okay it would be best to contact us via email rather than through this forum
Answer from Haimona B
Aroa Beach, Cook Islands93 contributions1 helpful vote
Kia Orana Helen, Thank you for your query. Please email me your full booking details to and I will be happy look at some options for you. Thank you and look forward to hearing from you Kind Regards, Haimona Browne Resort Manager
Walter M wrote a tip 16 May
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Check the seasons as they vary widely…"
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Odyssey22787329323 wrote a tip 13 May
1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"The swim up bar was not staffed properly so don’t expect quick service "
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AJ wrote a tip 11 May
Auckland, New Zealand316 contributions113 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The restaurant can get busy so plan ahead."
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Rossierose wrote a tip Mar 2024
Lancashire, United Kingdom65 contributions74 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"adult only area is really quiet and relaxing. can use facilities at sister hotel next door."
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ILJ80 wrote a tip Jan 2024
Sydney, Australia17 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"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"
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Aroa Beach area.
PRICE RANGE
AU$200 - AU$422 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
ALSO KNOWN AS
sanctuary rarotonga-on the beach hotel aroa beach
LOCATION
Cook IslandsSouthern Cook IslandsRarotongaAroa Beach
NUMBER OF ROOMS
49
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect total costs of the stay, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.
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SANCTUARY RAROTONGA-ON THE BEACH (AU$200): 2024 Prices & Reviews (Aroa Beach) - Photos of Hotel - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach
Which popular attractions are close to Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach?
Nearby attractions include Tik-e Tours (4.3 km), Aroa Marine Reserve (0.3 km), and Cook Island Christian Church (CICC) (3.1 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include a swimup bar, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach?
Top room amenities include air conditioning, a flat screen TV, and a refrigerator.
What food & drink options are available at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach?
Guests can enjoy a swimup bar, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach?
Conveniently located restaurants include Beluga, The Waffle Shack, and Wilson's Beach Bar & Restaurant - Castaway Resort.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach?
Yes, guests have access to a pool and a fitness centre during their stay.
Does Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach have airport transportation?
Yes, Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach?
Yes, laundry service and self serve laundry are offered to guests.
Does Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach offer any business services?
Yes, guests have access to meeting rooms and a banquet room during their stay.
Are there any historical sites close to Sanctuary Rarotonga-on The Beach?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Wreck of the Matai (6.9 km).
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