Shandelle Battersby relaxes at Muri Beach Club Hotel in Rarotonga


In the heart of Muri village, known for its beautiful beach - one of the jewels in Rarotonga's crown. This adults-only resort (18 years and over) is on the southeast of the island.

Room: A beachside ground floor studio room, with a telly (with more than Raro's sole channel: there are also in-house movies and a satellite feed), minibar, air con, robes and slippers, and homemade welcome heart-shaped cookies in the fridge. Fresh hibiscus flowers are dotted throughout and best of all, the patio is right on the white-sand beach, with the aquamarine lagoon only a few metres away.

Check-in experience: Polished and friendly, in that lovely Cook Islands' way.


The bed: A comfy king, set facing the water.

The bathroom: Large, with a big standalone shower and a heated towel rail.

Toiletries: A range called Pacific's Frangipani.

Food: Head down to the on-site SilverSands restaurant and bar, which specialises in Polynesian and seafood cuisine.


It's all about watersports on Muri Beach - the hotel has kayaks, stand up paddleboards, little sail boats, Treddlecats and snorkelling gear guests can borrow for free - there's even a complimentary guided snorkel tour once a week. If you prefer relaxing by the pool, there's a pretty saltwater one with lots of loungers and day beds. There are also in-house yoga sessions twice a week, for $9pp.

The views: From my bed I could see Koromiri, an uninhabited motu that some of the lagoon cruise companies use for their lunch stops.

What's in the neighbourhood? Muri is Rarotonga's second-largest town after Avarua, so you'll find shopping, eateries and activity centres nearby. But nothing is very far away on this tiny island. Next door is a rugby ground, which was cranking all day Saturday.

Other facilities: The hotel has a spa and beauty centre, gift shop, book swap, cards and board games, and movie nights in the Lagoon Lounge.

Price: From $518, but keep an eye out for specials.

Noise: None, except the faint roar of the ocean.

Free wi-fi? No, but there is a computer in reception you can use.

What's so good about this place? It's really nice, there's lots to do, and the beach and pool are gorgeous.