8 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com
8 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga

9 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga

© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Luxury Activities and Tours on Rarotonga

Celebrating a special occasion? Or are you perhaps just in need of a treat? Do something beyond the ordinary among the rugged interiors or on the turquoise lagoon with one of the luxury experiences on Rarotonga. There’s something to excite all of the senses between private snorkelling tours and gourmet platters delivered to you on the beach. Dive into our list of luxury activities and tours…

… But before we begin, be sure to take note of The Luxury Guide to Rarotonga and 10 Best Luxury Accommodations & Resorts on Rarotonga to help plan more of your getaway of indulgence.

1. Unwind at Rarotonga’s Spas

When it comes to luxury, it’s hard to ignore the allure of Rarotonga’s spas. A selection of resorts specialises in spa treatments, from the Vichy Showers of the Waterfall Spa at Rumours Luxury Villas which are unique on Rarotonga to the indulgent array of couples’ treatments at Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa. There are far too many options to list here, so take a look at the 10 Best Spas in Rarotonga to find your perfect place to unwind.

Location: See spa locations in the link above.

8 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

2. Be Treated to a Private Dinner on the Beach

A must for couples celebrating a special occasion, there are a number of private dining experiences available on Rarotonga. The adults-only Crown Beach Resort & Spa offers private dining under a gorgeous decorated gazebo on the beach. You can also ask about private dining at On The Beach (OTB)Sanctuary Rarotonga on the BeachThe Rarotongan Resort & LagoonariumPacific Resort Rarotonga and more. With dining areas typically decorated with torches and tropical flowers, and, of course, complete with fine dining cuisine, this experience of dining with your toes in the sand while watching the sunset is a luxury experience on Rarotonga to remember.

Location: Crown Beach Resort & Spa, On The Beach (OTB) at Manuia Beach Resort, Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach and The Rarotongan Resort & Lagoonarium – all on Main Road (Ara Tapu), Arorangi. Pacific Resort Rarotonga – Main Road (Ara Tapu), Muri.

8 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga© Craig Owen - Cook Islands Tourism

3. Get Some Retail Therapy (and Shop for the Cook Islands’ Famous Black Pearls)

Many are surprised to find that such a tiny island in the South Pacific offers so many shopping opportunities. That’s mainly because Rarotonga and the Cook Islands specialise in many unique crafts, with a highlight being black pearls – only farmed in two countries in the South Pacific. Woven fans, earrings and locally-crafted perfumes are also highlights on the shopping list. While there are shops scattered across the island, the main retail hubs are Avarua and the Punanga Nui Market (the latter open Saturdays).

Location: See shop recommendations and locations in The Guide to Shopping in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands + The Best Places to Shop.

8 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

4. Have an Elevated Snorkelling Experience on a Private Tour

Sure, anyone can go snorkelling off the beaches of Rarotonga but not everyone knows where the best spots are, nor is it always safe without a guide. Cue guided snorkelling tours; not only do they take you to the most exclusive eco-systems but they come as private tours for a more intimate experience. Snorkel Cook Islands offers a three-hour private tour with VIP transfers to their private beach and high-quality snorkelling gear then concludes with a banquet of refreshments. Learn more about the tour on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Alternatively, experience a private turtle swimming tour with Charlotte Piho Photography Tours, again, with more details on Viator and Tripadvisor. Compare the tours further in the 6 Best Snorkelling Tours in Rarotonga.

Location: Snorkel Cook Islands – Transfers included. Charlotte Piho Photography Tours – The meeting point is usually the YWAM in Vaimaanga.

8 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

5. Explore the Historical Sites and Hidden Gems on a Private Island Tour

Soon after you arrive on Rarotonga, we recommend you not only become more familiar with the island but get as much out of the sights as possible with a private guided tour. Raro Tours offers a scenic island tour exclusive to you and your group with a drive down the ancient Ara Metua inland road, visiting historical maraes, the Mairie Nui Tropical Gardens, a shell-carving studio and spa product producer and many more hidden gems that many tourists miss.

Alternatively, Cook Islands Tours offers private orientation tours of the island, taking you to interesting sights and pointing out all sorts of recommendations that you can benefit from throughout your trip. They also offer private historic walking tours of Avarua.

Location: Raro Tours – Transfers included. Cook Islands Tours – Transfers are included on the orientation tour and the meeting point is in Avarua for the walking tour.

8 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

6. Indulge in a Gourmet Island Platter… Anywhere!

Sure, we could list all of the more upmarket restaurants here, which we do in the 5 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands, but for something a little more unique, we suggest a gourmet platter delivered to you with Island Platters. Whether you want an extra special breakfast on your villa’s deck or a romantic picnic on the beach, Island Platters can curate a stunningly presented and tasty platter right in front of you using fresh local ingredients. See more unique food endeavours in the 10 Best Foodie Experiences on Rarotonga.

Location: Anywhere – platters are delivered to you.

8 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

7. Experience Rarotonga from a Fresh Perspective on a Scenic Flight

Don’t just settle for the short glimpse of Rarotonga from the air when coming into landing on your international flight; revel in the gorgeous tropical scenery on a private scenic flight. Air Rarotonga offers a stunning 30-minute flight circling Rarotonga for a wonderful birds-eye perspective of inland valleys and plantations, the towering volcanic peaks of the island’s interior, as well as the encircling turquoise lagoon and its four “motu” (islets). Find out more about the experience in The Best Scenic Flights in Rarotonga.

Location: Rarotonga Airport, Main Road (Ara Tapu), Nikao.

8 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga© David Kirkland - Cook Islands Tourism

8. Stay in a Luxury Villa or Resort

Admittedly, most of Rarotonga offers casual luxury by simply providing a stunning tropical environment. Where you can truly experience five-star over-the-top luxury are at the island’s luxury villas, resorts and boutique accommodations. From villas with a luxury spa on-site to beachfront resort rooms with a private plunge pool, there are plenty of indulgent choices in Raro. Choose from the most lavish in our 10 Best Luxury Accommodations & Resorts on Rarotonga.

Location: See the link above for locations.

8 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

9. Visit the Island of Aitutaki for the Day or Overnight on a Private Jet

There’s so much more to the Cook Islands than Rarotonga, and the most premium way to explore them is on a private jet day tour with Island Hopper Vacations. Fly from Rarotonga to Aitutaki on a private jet for up to seven of your nearest and dearest. The day tour includes a private island tour and lagoon cruise, while the overnight tour also includes a stay at the five-star Pacific Resort Aitutaki. Itineraries are customisable to include fishing or whale watching in the season.

Location: VIP transfers are included from anywhere in Rarotonga.

8 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga© David Kirkland - Cook Islands Tourism

More Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga

That’s it for the most luxurious of the luxury experiences on Rarotonga. But of course, “luxury” means something different for everybody. You might find luxury in private fishing charters, scuba diving or kitesurfing. And if there’s anything that we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in one of the following guides:

Finally, don’t leave without bookmarking The Complete Luxury Guide to the Cook Islands with the last of our advice for luxury travellers.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Cook Islands Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. Robin works and consults regularly with Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, a local government body representing the tourism industry. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

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