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Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach

Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve Aroa, Aroa Beach Cook Islands
COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
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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.
Payments made by partners impact the order of prices displayed. Room types may vary.
Traveller (387)
Pool & Beach (105)
Room & Suite (83)
Payments made by partners impact the order of prices displayed. Room types may vary.
Travel safe during COVID-19
Visit our Travel Safe hub to see how we're helping you make more informed travel decisions during COVID-19.
What you can expect during your stay
  • Face masks required for guests in public areas
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Daily temperature and symptom checks for staff
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Updated 18/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Updated 18/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.


#1 of 2 hotels in Aroa Beach
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
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Bicycle rental
Airport transportation
Paid wifi
Adult pool
Outdoor pool
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Complimentary welcome drink
Happy hour
Outdoor dining area
Special diet menus
Wine / champagne
Swimup bar
Poolside bar
Game room
Golf course
Tennis court
Bicycle tours
Entertainment staff
Evening entertainment
Table tennis
Walking tours
Shuttle bus service
Taxi service
Banquet room
Meeting rooms
Couples massage
Facial treatments
Foot massage
Full body massage
Hand massage
Head massage
Neck massage
Adults only
Gift shop
Picnic area
Shared lounge / TV area
Sun loungers / beach chairs
First aid kit
24-hour check-in
24-hour front desk
Clothes dryer
Laundry service
Self-serve laundry
Washing machine
Ironing service
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Room features
Blackout curtains
Air conditioning
Private beach
Cable / satellite TV
Extra long beds
Walk-in shower
Private balcony
Room service
Seating area
Wardrobe / wardrobe
Private bathrooms
Tile / marble floor
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Flatscreen TV
Complimentary toiletries
Hair dryer
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Room types
Ocean view
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
Ocean View
Languages Spoken
623Reviews19Q+A100Room tips
Traveller rating
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Popular mentions
Ian B wrote a review Aug 2021
Auckland Central, New Zealand11 contributions2 helpful votes
We have stayed at Sanctuary about 4 times in the past, and loved it every time. But this recent stay in early August was totally disappointing. The first day was a total shambles, we were allocated the wrong room type, which took almost 24 hours to correct while we just sat in our room, bags still packed, waiting for an update which took nearly all day. Finally moved to the correct room to find it was not ready (no towels, toiletries, and only a sheet on the bed) Service throughout the resort just felt lacking. One person on front desk to serve drinks, take food orders, check people in and answer general questions. Long waits for food. After 5 days we still didn’t get our breakfast cards! I understand that the hospitality sector has been badly hit, with workers leaving the Cook Islands for jobs overseas. But we didn’t feel the same level of apathy across the rest of the island. Still love Rarotonga and the people, but we won’t return to Sanctuary I’m afraid.
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Date of stay: August 2021
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: Beachside Suite, upper floor for the best views of the ocean
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1 Helpful vote
suedB7610AB wrote a review Aug 2021
2 contributions2 helpful votes
Breakfast ok (expensive if not included in room rate!!!)but dinners almost inedible. Thankfully some good restaurants in Raro by taxi or bus. Staff helpful but I think they were short staffed. Only half the food available on the menu sadly lacking in fresh healthy food. A plethora of carbs and fried and sugary foods. Marguerta pizza was good but that was it. Bar shortsupplied too! No soda on arrival . Cocktails cloyingly sweet. Location of resort good and very nice beachside suites.. pity about the food. To be fair I think Raro has a staffing problem. Overworked and maybe underpaid. I stand corrected.
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Date of stay: July 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1 Helpful vote
Julie S wrote a review Aug 2021
Auckland, New Zealand16 contributions10 helpful votes
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
michele m wrote a review Jul 2021
1 contribution2 helpful votes
Loved our week-long break at the Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach. The room was clean and well-appointed with many small thoughtful touches to make our stay more comfortable. We found the staff all friendly and helpful. We enjoyed being able to use the facilities at the Rarotongan Resort as well, or to escape to our own quiet adults-only beach and pool if we chose to do so. The lagoon is amazing, and snorkeling was fabulous in the crystal clear water. There was plenty of beach gear available to use, and options for rainy days included table tennis, snooker, chess, a library of books. Loved it!
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Date of stay: July 2021
Sleep Quality
2 Helpful votes
Laura wrote a review Jul 2021
Auckland, New Zealand1 contribution5 helpful votes
We stayed 4 night at the Sanctuary and loved every minute. The resort is right on the best snorkeling beach on the island (the sea was warmer than the pool). The staff, the rooms, facilities, the view and the location were all perfect. We had a rental car and zipped around the island sightseeing and eating, but ate some delicious dishes at the resort too; especially the Ika Mata. The Rarotongan Resort next door is accessible to guests, which is useful when/if they run out of equipment, towels, etc., but we didn't visit often as everything we needed was at the Sanctuary. We saw a few other resorts around the island and were glad this is where we chose to stay. We'll 100% be back to Sanctuary and recommend to our friends and family!
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Date of stay: July 2021
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: The beachfront rooms are beautiful - highly recommend.
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3 Helpful votes
USD 105 - USD 245 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
sanctuary rarotonga-on the beach hotel aroa beach
Cook IslandsSouthern Cook IslandsRarotongaAroa Beach
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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 (4.4 km), Cook Island Christian Church (CICC) (3.2 km), and Aroa Marine Reserve (0.4 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, Tuoro Tapas Bar, and Antipodes.
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 an airport shuttle?
Yes, Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
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.