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Cook Islands Travel Guide

Muri Beach Club
Muri Beach Club, Rarotonga

Rarotonga Accommodations

US$250 and up

The Crown Beach Resort, south of the Edgewater Resort in Arorangi, originally opened in 1998 and was completely refurbished after a hurricane in 2005. The 22 thatched and air-conditioned units come with continental breakfast included. All have small kitchenettes, and a swimming pool and watersports are available. The lagoon water off its beach is rather shallow for swimming. The Windjammer Restaurant (closed Tues.) is on the premises.

Royale Takitumu Villas, formerly known as Takitumu Romantic Villas, is near Kent Hall on the south side of the island. The 10 deluxe one-bedroom thatched villas are between a swimming pool and the white sand beach (good snorkeling). It's self-catering. Children under 12 are not admitted. There's no sign outside this resort.

Sea Change Villas has five garden units and three beachfront villas clustered together just east of the Saltwater Café. The beautifully-decorated thatched bungalows have private swimming pools. Discounts are often available through their website.

Rarotonga Beach Bungalows, adjacent to the Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel, reflects the traditional architecture of old Polynesia. The three thatched beachfront units and two garden units built in 2002 are raised above the ground on stilts to facilitate ventilation. All units have a covered deck overlooking the lagoon, full kitchen, and an air-conditioned bedroom. Kayaks and snorkeling gear are loaned free and a complimentary tropical breakfast is served every morning. Guest email and laundry facilities are provided.

The Little Polynesian, also at Titikaveka, was totally redeveloped in 2006 and now has 10 "overbeach" bungalows and two tightly-packed garden duplex units. Cooking facilities are not provided but each unit does have a mini-bar, TV, spa bathm and both indoor and outdoor showers. Children under 12 are not accepted. This property faces one of the finest snorkeling beaches on the island (a swimming pool is also provided). It's overpriced.

Rumours Luxury Villas (formerly Rumours of Romance) has five two-bedroom units. This upscale and tightly-packed complex is surrounded by high walls. A short walk west the same company also has a pair of two-story duplex units previously known as Reflections on Rarotonga in a separate complex built in 2002. Children under 18 are not accepted. Full kitchens and private swimming pools are provided, but the whole place is so tightly squeezed together on a tiny lot there's little space even to park. The beach is good but it's hard to justify their outlandish prices, the highest in the Cook Islands.

In 2008 Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa opened next to Rumours Luxury Villas. This upscale timeshare development currently offers five two- or three-bedroom units, each with kitchen, laundry, and private swimming pool. Three of the existing villas face the beach while the other two are near the entrance. An additional six villas are scheduled to open in 2011. Unlike similar properties targeting romantic tourists, children are welcome here. Te Manava is managed by the Pacific Resort.

The Pacific Resort at Muri Beach offers 64 self-catering rooms (children under 12 free when using existing bedding). Breakfast and airport transfers are included in the rates. Only 15 rooms face right onto the beach. The rooms have undergone a million dollar upgrade in recent years. A swimming pool, water-sports facility, Barefoot Bar, and evening entertainment are part of this well-rounded resort that fits nicely into its surroundings. Feedback on the resort's restaurants does vary, however. The sandy beach is good for swimming but not for snorkeling. The beach hut rents snorkeling gear. Avis has a desk here.

The four two-story accommodation blocks of the Muri Beach Club Hotel, opposite Koromiri Island, opened in 2005. It has eight garden rooms, nine pool view rooms, and 13 beachfront rooms. Breakfast, snorkeling gear, and kayaks are included. An X-shaped pool sits at the heart of this adults-only resort where children 18 and under are banned. Airport transfers are extra.

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