The Top Child-Friendly Accommodations in the Cook Islands
Create positive memories together, have new family experiences and, most importantly, relax on a family getaway to the Cook Islands. The sparsely scattered islands in the South Pacific offer the ultimate small-island experience where nothing is too far nor too complicated. The holiday hotspots of Rarotonga and Aitutaki both offer a generous array of family resorts, holiday homes and boutique villas, while those feeling more “adventurous” can venture to the outer islands with even more family stays available. We’ve picked out the most child-friendly in this list of the best family accommodations in the Cook Islands!
Before you get scrolling, be sure to open The Complete Travel Guide to the Cook Islands for Families in a new tab – you’ll thank us later.
1. Pacific Resort Rarotonga
All the boxes are ticked for an effortless family vacation at the Pacific Resort Rarotonga. Stay nestled among the winding paths of manicured gardens or on Muri Beach, dine at the on-site restaurant with Pacific delights and a dedicated kids’ menu, and allow each family member to enjoy their own Raro time thanks to the resort’s fantastic kids’ club. Whether you want to spend some time together on the beach making use of the kayaks or let them loose at the kids’ pool, Pacific Resort Rarotonga can cater for an idyllic family holiday. See how the resort compares to others on the island in the 20 Best Family Resorts on Rarotonga.
Check Pacific Resort Rarotonga out:
- Pacific Resort Rarotonga on Booking.com
- Pacific Resort Rarotonga on Trip.com
- Pacific Resort Rarotonga on Expedia
2. Mama Taras Bungalows
If the resort holiday is not your family’s style, try a slice of home-away-from-home paradise at Mama Taras Bungalows. Set back among the fruit tree gardens in the town of Muri, a small selection of contemporary bungalows are available for families of up to four holidaying on Rarotonga. Alternatively, enjoy an ultra-contemporary stay in the villa for up to six guests with its own private pool. Either way, you have your own space with self-catering facilities and are within short walking distance of Muri Beach and its tours and restaurants. Check out alternative self-catering stays like this in the 10 Best Self-Catering Accommodations in the Cook Islands.
Check Mama Taras Bungalows out:
- Mama Taras Bungalows on Booking.com
- Mama Taras Bungalows on Expedia
- Mama Taras Villa on Booking.com
- Mama Taras Villa on Expedia
3. Palm Grove
A boutique resort on the absolute beachfront of Rarotonga’s southern shores, Palm Grove welcomes guests of all ages. Children aged five and under stay for free and will enjoy the children’s pool, paddling pool, and sand toys to borrow from reception. While families can enjoy quiet nights in with the kitchen facilities provided in their villa, the on-site Yellow Hibiscus restaurant provides a welcome break from cooking. Explore the lagoon with the kayaks and snorkelling gear between relaxing in your self-contained villa or two/three-bedroom house. See more options like this in the 10 Best Boutique Resorts on Rarotonga.
Check Palm Grove out:
4. Aitutaki Village
If your family is looking for an alternative Cook Islands holiday destination, take a look at Aitutaki Village. Offering three-star bungalows at Ootu Beach, the family-friendly accommodation is in the heart of the dining and lagoon cruise precinct of Aitutaki. Families of three have a choice of a standard or premium bungalow with a single bed and double bed in a studio layout, while tribes of four can enjoy the family room with the single bed swapped for a bunk. Right across the quiet road are the accommodation’s sun loungers by a sheltered swimming beach, as well as the accommodation’s restaurant. A continental breakfast is included in your stay. See other child-friendly stays on the island in the 10 Best Family Accommodations on Aitutaki.
Check Aitutaki Village out:
5. Edgewater Resort & Spa
Welcome to Rarotonga’s largest resort! Set along the palm-lined beach of Arorangi, the Edgewater Resort & Spa not only has a prime position for glorious sunsets but it happens to have everything families need for a fun yet relaxing stay in paradise. Rooms are simplistic in their design but airy with service making up for the lack of aesthetic luxury. When it comes to family fun, the Activities Hut will keep the whole family entertained, while the Coconut Kids’ Club gives families room to have their own holidays. Learn more about the kids’ club in The Best Kids’ Clubs in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
Check Edgewater Resort & Spa out:
- Edgewater Resort & Spa on Booking.com
- Edgewater Resort & Spa on Trip.com
- Edgewater Resort & Spa on Expedia
6. The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium
Set on the shores of Aroa Beach and a marine reserve, The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium is one of the best places to snorkel and explore the lagoon with kids. Kids love the educational (and free) Moko’s Kids’ Club while parents love the fact that children ages 11 and under can stay for free! There’s no group too big or too small for The Rarotongan, with rooms able to interconnect to keep the family together. Wherever you stay among the vast complex, kids will have a blast charging through the winding garden pathways to get to their next adventure. Is it one of the best resorts on the island though? Find out in the 20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga!
Check The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium out:
- The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium on Booking.com
- The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium on Trip.com
- The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium on Expedia
7. Muri Beachcomber
Enjoy light and airy self-contained units at a quiet location on Muri Beach. Muri Beachcomber‘s family rooms are scattered among the gardens of this spacious property, with each unit boasting a fully-equipped kitchen and separate bedrooms for the parents and children. There are a generous number of inclusions with your stay on Rarotonga, such as airport transfers, kayaks, SUP boards, snorkelling gear, wet shoes and bicycles. The guest lounge also has everything you need to keep entertained before your flight or on a rainy day with movies, a computer and a shower room.
Check Muri Beachcomber out:
8. Rarotonga Daydreamer Escape
Nestled among gorgeous tropical plants, the privacy more than makes up for the fact that you’re not on the beach at Rarotonga Daydreamer Escape (but don’t worry, it’s a two-minute walk away). Yet you are footsteps away from the boutique resort’s pool and communal barbecue area. Families have contemporary one, two and three-bedroom apartments to enjoy with spacious decks and indoor and outdoor lounging spaces.
Check Rarotonga Daydreamer Escape out:
- Rarotonga Daydreamer Escape on Booking.com
- Rarotonga Daydreamer Escape on Trip.com
- Rarotonga Daydreamer Escape on Expedia
9. Are Kapakapa
Spacious, airy and in a location in Aitutaki that’s out of the way, Are Kapakapa offers a delightful holiday home for families of up to five. The location is a little different, secluded in gardens above the old airport runway, yet it’s nearby a child-friendly snorkelling spot at Base One. The holiday home is one of the best self-catering accommodations on Aitutaki thanks to its modern kitchen (including a dishwasher!), as well as its barbecue area under a covered verandah with mosquito covers should you want extra protection. Discover similar family-friendly holiday rentals in the 20 Best Holiday Homes in the Cook Islands.
Check Are Kapakapa out:
10. Gina’s Garden Lodges
Although a little out of the way toward the south of Aitutaki’s main island, Gina’s Garden Lodges boasts irresistible prices for families on a budget. Each lodge sleeps a family of five and is set among gorgeous grounds with plenty for children to explore. Kids love the mezzanine bedroom, while the cooking facilities help keep the holiday costs to a minimum. Oh, and this accommodation is actually owned by a Cook Islands queen! See more stays like this in the 10 Best Budget Accommodations in the Cook Islands.
Check Gina’s Garden Lodges out:
- Gina’s Garden Lodges on Booking.com
- Gina’s Garden Lodges on Trip.com
- Gina’s Garden Lodges on Expedia
11. Te Etu Villas
Two very affordable family-friendly holiday homes in the Cook Islands, Te Etu Villas is tucked away on the quiet backroads of Rarotonga‘s Tupapa. Each villa features a private pool, mountain views and open-plan living between the well-presented lounge, kitchen and dining area that opens up to the pool area. Te Etu Villa 1 has two bedrooms, while Te Etu Villa 2 has three. All in all, Te Etu Villas shows guests that you don’t need to be on the beach to have an enjoyable holiday in Raro. If a holiday home on Rarotonga sounds good, check out the 20 Best Holiday Homes in Rarotonga.
Check Te Etu Villa out:
- Te Etu Villa 1 on Booking.com
- Te Etu Villa 1 on Expedia
- Te Etu Villa 2 on Booking.com
- Te Etu Villa 2 on Expedia
12. Nautilus Resort
Indulge in absolute privacy and design choices that can’t help but “wow” at the luxury Nautilus Resort. Each ‘are (bungalow) here features a private saltwater plunge pool, high ceilings and a spacious layout that the whole family can enjoy. There are luxury villas suitable for families of three up to eight, while on-site is also a large infinity pool, the popular Nautilus Restaurant, free use of watersports equipment, as well as the indulgent Spa Nautilis. See more upscale stays like this in the 10 Best Luxury Accommodations & Resorts in the Cook Islands.
Check Nautilus Resort out:
13. Nikao Beach Bungalows
Moments away from the conveniences of Avarua and Rarotonga International Airport yet directly on the sands of Nikao Beach, Nikao Beach Bungalows is the ultimate accommodation for a fly-and-flop family holiday. The spacious two-bedroom villas are a good go-to for families, including a kitchen and a deck with a barbecue and plenty of places to lounge both inside and on the beach. Take advantage of the free-to-use kayaks and the outdoor shower so the little ones don’t drag sand into the house!
Check Nikao Beach Bungalows out:
- Nikao Beach Bungalows on Booking.com
- Nikao Beach Bungalows on Trip.com
- Nikao Beach Bungalows on Expedia
14. Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa
An alternative luxury option for families seeking to treat themselves, Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa has a small selection of uniquely designed one, two and three-bedroom villas on Rarotonga. Enjoy entertaining from your elegantly designed kitchen or from the barbecue in front of your private pool. Alternatively, Muri‘s restaurants are just a short walk down the beach or make use of the complimentary transfers to the Pacific Resort Rarotonga. Babysitting services are available or children are welcome to join the kids’ club at the Pacific Resort.
Check Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa out:
- Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa on Booking.com
- Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa on Trip.com
- Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa on Expedia
15. The Black Pearl at Puaikura
An affordable boutique resort experience, The Black Pearl at Puaikura is another great consideration for family accommodation in the Cook Islands, again, specifically on Rarotonga. Surrounding a central pool among tropical gardens are 12 airy suites adorning modern murals and self-catering facilities. Bedding arrangements are either in separate bedrooms or in an open-plan studio, depending on what you choose. Either way, child rates are ultra-affordable, little ones under two stay free and baby cribs are available.
Check The Black Pearl at Puaikura out:
- The Black Pearl at Puaikura on Booking.com
- The Black Pearl at Puaikura on Trip.com
- The Black Pearl at Puaikura on Expedia
16. Avana Waterfront Apartments
Strewn along the northern edge of the Muri Lagoon at the historic Avana Harbour, Avana Waterfront Apartments is a good go-to for families who want to experience some fishing during their stay with charters departing right from the accommodation’s jetty (or just enjoy feeding the fish off the jetty). While most apartments fit up to three guests, the three-bedroom apartment is best suited for families with an occupancy of up to six. You have a full-size kitchen with a dishwasher, kayaks available and babysitting services for a fee. See more apartment-style stays in the 10 Best Holiday Apartments in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
Check Avana Waterfront Apartments out:
- Avana Waterfront Apartments on Booking.com
- Avana Waterfront Apartments on Trip.com
- Avana Waterfront Apartments on Expedia
17. Kuru Club Aitutaki
Kuru Club Aitutaki brings island living to the 21st Century with a selection of contemporary bungalows with a minimalist design and interconnecting for families. The beachfront property near the Aitutaki Airport has everything you need to enjoy the outdoors from free watersport equipment rental to an infinity pool. Spoil the kids (and yourselves) with activities on the lagoon via the resort’s private boat or rent one of the property’s electric vehicles and enjoy your own tiki tour around Aitutaki. Either way, you’ll enjoy a more sustainable stay with the accommodation using 100% solar energy and recycled irrigation water. See more accommodations that are doing good for the planet in the 8 Best Eco Resorts in the Cook Islands.
Check Kuru Club Aitutaki out:
18. Nevaeh Holiday Home
A holiday home with generous inclusions to make your family getaway seamless, Naveah Holiday Home on the northern coast of Rarotonga is a tempting prospect. This modern and relatively spacious three-bedroom two-bathroom home not only has a private swimming pool and a playground but has car rental for as little as NZ$45 per day – cheaper than anywhere else on the island! With Avarua just down the road, you now have an easy way to get into town. See more accommodation with handy vehicle options in the 6 Accommodations in the Cook Islands with Car or Scooter Hire.
Check Naveah Holiday Home out:
19. Atiu Villas
As we come toward the end of our list of the best family accommodations and resorts in the Cook Islands, we’d thought you might also like to consider some of the lesser-visited islands of the Cook Islands that are also amazing for a family getaway. Accommodations like Atiu Villas make it easy on Atiu with everything you need for an effortless stay on a remote island: a restaurant and bar, self-catering facilities in your villa, a larder in your room to buy grocery supplies, a tour desk, bicycle, scooter and car hire and even 500Mb free WiFi a day (trust us, that’s generous in the Cook Islands)! There are also excellent corners of the property to unwind as a family, whether it’s the swimming pool or the tennis court. Discover more about the family villas described in detail in Where to Stay on Atiu.
Check Atiu Villas out:
20. Ri’s Retreat
Speaking of outer islands, Ri’s Retreat offers two studio bungalows, as well as a two-bedroom unit among spacious gardens on the island of Mauke. The bungalows are relatively modern and come equipped with a full kitchen. There are also extra services to help make your time cruisey on this underdeveloped island, as your hosts are happy to arrange locally inspired meals, guided tours and bicycle and scooter hire. Note that the other property of Ri’s Retreat, Ri’s Hideaway (pictured), is no longer available.
More About Family Resorts and Accommodations in the Cook Islands
Wow! Well done for making it this far! Now that you know some of the best family resorts and accommodations in the Cook Islands, you might like to bring your family holiday plan together with one of our itineraries:
- The Cook Islands Family Itinerary: 14 Days
- The Cook Islands Family Itinerary: 10 Days
- The Cook Islands Family Itinerary: 7 Days
- The Cook Islands Family Itinerary: 5 Days
- Rarotonga Family Itinerary: 3 Days
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Complete Travel Guide to the Cook Islands for Families and 30 Tips for Your Family Cook Islands Vacation.