Tracey Bond is a travel and lifestyle writer based in Auckland.

Rarotonga: Where to stay in the Cooks

The beachfront at Crown Beach Resort is the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail at sunset. Photo / Cook Islands Tourism
The beachfront at Crown Beach Resort is the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail at sunset. Photo / Cook Islands Tourism


Nautilus, at the top end of Muri Beach, is one of the newer luxury resorts on the island. Lots of fruit trees have recently been planted around the property with the aim of creating a Garden of Eden guests can help themselves to.

Villas are luxuriously appointed with two bedrooms off a large open-plan kitchen and diner.

Each bedroom has a massive ensuite bathroom with bath. Villas have their own sea water plunge pool and an outdoor shower.

The beachfront bar and restaurant has one of the best views on this side of the island - looking over the lagoon to the tiny island of Taakoka. It's also a fabulous spot for a wedding.

Extra touches: Espresso coffee machine with pods.

Best for: Young professionals looking for some time out from their busy lives.


On the western sunset side of the island you'll find the Crown Beach Resort.

This resort feels intimate, despite its size, with lots of winding pathways fringed with beautiful tropical flowers and trees.

Villas are hidden behind a large wooden gate.

Through the gate lies a beautiful walled courtyard with recliners and a generous plunge pool with a waterfall. The villas have a king-size bed, TV area, kitchenette and separate shower room and bathroom.

The Crown Beach Resort.
The Crown Beach Resort.

Snorkelling gear is provided in each room. Daily activities are on offer at the beach hut.

The beachfront is the perfect spot to order a cocktail and watch the sun go down.

Oceans Restaurant has different themed nights, including an Island Night showcasing local culture, and a new signature restaurant will open on site in 2016.

Extra touches: Each night someone lights candles in your room and scatters beautiful fresh, tropical flowers across your bed.

Best for: Couples celebrating special occasions.


Also on Muri Beach is Te Vakaroa Villas, a five-star resort with six luxurious private villas overlooking the lagoon and an infinity swimming pool. Each self-catering one- or two-bedroom villa is air-conditioned and has satellite TV with bluetooth entertainment provided.

A complimentary tropical breakfast is delivered to your room each morning, and dining and bar facilities are available at Sails Restaurant next door. Sails also provides the room service menu - which can be enjoyed by the pool if you wish - and there is a chef available by arrangement.

Guests can use kayaks and snorkelling equipment for free.

Extra touches: Quality French toiletries, fresh flowers, well-stocked minibar, plunger coffee and a selection of condiments for use during your stay including olive oils, balsamic vinegar and sauces.

Best for: A romantic, private, luxurious Pacific getaway.

Te Vakaroa Villas in Rarotonga.
Te Vakaroa Villas in Rarotonga.


Jetstar flies from Auckland to Rarotonga three times a week, with one-way fares starting from $219.


- NZ Herald

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