20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com
20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2024]

© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Where are the Best Resorts on Rarotonga?

Some describe Rarotonga as one big resort! Everything you could think of doing on a tropical island – snorkelling, beachcombing, immersing in the local island culture – is always “just down the road”. But, of course, it can be even easier if you stay in one of Rarotonga’s actual resorts. Spilling on the sands and overlooking the encircling lagoon, the resorts on Rarotonga provide a real barefoot experience. Some are superb for families, offering kids clubs, awesome swimming pools and the like, while many others are exclusively for adult guests ensuring a tranquil hideaway. Compare all of the top options, in this ultimate list of the best resorts on Rarotonga.

1. Pacific Resort Rarotonga

If you’re not sure where to stay on Rarotonga – what sort of vibe you want or what kind of crowd you’re looking for, yet want something that’s still going to “wow” – then the Pacific Resort Rarotonga is a good go-to. All the boxes are ticked for an effortless vacation where rooms and villas are nestled among the winding paths of impressively manicured gardens or on the shores of Muri Beach. This resort may be one of the largest on the island but it still manages to keep things classy with tasteful design features and astute attention to detail. Yet, you have all of the benefits of a large resort, such as dining at the on-site Sandals Restaurant serving Pacific delights, making use of the complimentary watersports facilities, lounging by the garden pool, and treating kids to the kids’ club.

Check Pacific Resort Rarotonga out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

2. Magic Reef Beachfront Bungalows

One of the best boutique resorts on Rarotonga, Magic Reef Beachfront Bungalows is ideal for couples seeking a more sustainable stay. Your bungalow with a carved four-poster bed and classic tivaevae linens immerses you in the Cook Islands culture, while the kitchen kitted out with reusable takeaway coffee mugs, a tote bag and water bottles make exploring the island a little easier on you and the planet. What’s more, guests get exclusive rental of the resort’s EVs. Learn more about this eco-friendly resort in the 10 Best Eco Resorts on Rarotonga.

Check Magic Reef Beachfront Bungalows out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

3. Nautilus Resort

For those seeking luxury, indulge in absolute privacy and design choices that can’t help but stun at the Nautilus Resort. Each ‘are (bungalow) here features a private saltwater plunge pool, high ceilings and a spacious layout, as well as a bathroom with “his and hers” basins and a deep freestanding bathtub. On-site is a large infinity pool, the popular Nautilus Restaurant, as well as the indulgent Spa Nautilis. See more lavish stays like this in the 10 Best Luxury Accommodations & Resorts on Rarotonga.

Check Nautilus Resort out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

4. Manuia Beach Resort

On the western side of Rarotonga, Manuia Beach Resort captures some of the most breathtaking sunsets from its beachfront suites and acclaimed On The Beach (OTB) Restaurant. Alternatively, save a little by choosing a suite set privately among the tropical gardens. All in all, any one of the 24 contemporary units at Manuia provides a relaxed yet beautiful adults-only stay without pretentiousness. See how Manuia Beach Resort compares with the 10 Best Adults-Only Resorts on Rarotonga.

Check Manuia Beach Resort out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

5. Little Polynesian

A five-star adults-only resort set on the sandy shores of southern Rarotonga, Little Polynesian provides an idyllic escape for couples. Indulge in a delightful breakfast around the chic infinity pool which reflects the beach’s swaying coconut palms. Each of the 14 intimate studios feels private enough between the tropical gardens and the beachfront. The interiors are modern with subtle Polynesian touches, reminding you that you’re on island time. One of the best boutique resorts on Rarotonga, Little Polynesian is also listed in the 10 Best Boutique Resorts on Rarotonga.

Check Little Polynesian out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

6. Motu Beachfront Art Villas

Working in harmony with the natural and social environment, Motu Beachfront Art Villas or simply “MOTU” gives back to the local community with proceeds from your stay going toward healthcare, education and the arts. Speaking of the arts, the 10 “art villas” have a fresh and minimalistic design to emphasise the collection of works in your villa and the surrounding premises. Everything is here for a self-sustaining stay between your villa’s sleek kitchenette and the complimentary use of e-bikes to explore the island. See more stays with bikes included in the 10 Accommodations in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands with Bike Hire.

Check Motu Beachfront Art Villas out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© Motu Beachfront Art Villas

7. Crown Beach Resort & Spa

A short drive from Rarotonga’s airport, Crown Beach Resort & Spa is the ideal retreat for a fly-and-flop getaway. Transition effortlessly to island time with each villa featuring tasteful design-driven furniture and artwork. Some offer private pools while others circle a courtyard pool or are scattered throughout verdant gardens. For dinner, choose from the relaxed Ocean’s Restaurant, fine dining at Flambé, or a private dinner with your loved one on the beach. Note that Crown Beach is also adults-only.

Check Crown Beach Resort & Spa out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

8. 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 couples, groups and 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 holiday fun, the Activities Hut always has something going on, while the Coconut Kids’ Club gives families room to have their own holidays. Learn more about the best resorts for families in the 20 Best Family Resorts & Accommodations on Rarotonga.

Check Edgewater Resort & Spa out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© Zhang Da Qiang - Cook Islands Tourism

9. 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 resorts for snorkelling. Couples have their own quiet hideaways in the resort with the Honeymoon Suite boasting its own private pool and sauna, while families adore the Moko’s Kids’ Club and 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. Wherever you stay among the vast complex connected by winding garden paths, you’re sure to have a blast at one of Rarotonga’s most popular resorts.

Check The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

10. Muri Beach Resort

An intimate resort on the shores of Muri Beach, Muri Beach Resort offers 20 self-contained villas and apartments scattered among spacious gardens. Family and couples’ villas are kept separate ensuring parties are less likely to disturb each other’s fun in the sun, but the central pool, barbecue area and beachfront deck are always there for get-togethers. Muri Beach Resort is also an eco-resort, operating completely off the grid, as well as having other relevant environmental initiatives.

Check Muri Beach Resort out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

11. Club Raro Resort

For a reasonably-priced Rarotonga holiday exclusively for adults, check out Club Raro Resort. Your stay is in minimalistic yet fresh rooms among its gardens, by the pool and on the beachfront. If you need something more functional, opt for a studio apartment with a few extra food preparation facilities. You won’t have to worry about breakfast, however, with breakfast included in every room and the Jalapenos restaurant offers an easy dining option. The pool is a popular hangout where you can treat yourself at the poolside bar. Otherwise, Avarua and its vibrant nightlife are just down the road. See more affordable options like Club Raro in the 10 Best Budget Accommodations on Rarotonga.

Check Club Raro Resort out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

12. Moana Sands Lagoon Resort

One of three resorts by the Moana Sands Group on Rarotonga, Moana Sands Lagoon Resort is their 18+ offering. This ultra-modern resort treats guests to gorgeous sea views from almost anywhere on the complex at the southern end of Muri Beach. Take a dip in the central pool, be pampered at the Hibiscus Spa, and dine at the charming Laguna Restaurant and Bar.

Check Moana Sands Lagoon Resort out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© Moana Sands Lagoon Resort

13. Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach

Situated on the shores of Aroa Beach and lagoon, the four-star adults-only Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach gives you the option of a refreshing dip in the lagoon or their pool with a swim-up bar. Their casual toes-in-the-sand restaurant, Bluewater Grill, is a highlight, while the airy high-ceiling suites on the beachfront are irresistible (just opt for a room on the top level for a “real” beach view). There’s a generous array of in-resort activities between free cultural workshops and marine snorkelling tours, yet you’re in a convenient place on the southwest side of the island to explore Raro’s attractions.

Check Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach Resort out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

14. Castaway Resort

Another fabulous option on the western side of Rarotonga, Castaway Resort is the resort of the hugely popular Wilson’s Beach Bar & Restaurant, yet only guests aged 16 and over can stay, ensuring a tranquil setting throughout the day. The resort is all about the fun with a diverse theme at their restaurant each night, a beach bonfire on Sundays and a “Whale Bell” to ring if you spot a humpback whale from their deck! Villas and studios are modern and inviting, if not a little compact, giving guests the option to also self-cater if they wish.

Check Castaway Resort out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

15. Sunset Resort

As the name suggests, Sunset Resort benefits from the wonderful sunsets captured along Rarotonga’s Arorangi Beach. Choose from an array of suites, studios and two-bedroom apartments, all with at least a kitchenette, plenty of space to keep the rooms airy, and non-objectional decor. There are two generously sized pools at this resort, while the on-site Anchorage Restaurant is not only highly recommended on the island but a complimentary breakfast is served for guests there each morning.

Check Sunset Resort out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

16. Ocean Escape Resort & Spa

A trendy wee resort on Rarotonga’s east coast, Ocean Escape Resort & Spa is exclusively adults-only and has design features that are sure to impress between the lagoon pool and nautical touches that evoke images of a classy pirate ship! Join friends in the poolside cabana and barbecue area or enjoy tapas plates with your loved one at the on-site bar. Most villas have a view of the pool, each exuding colourful designs. The beachfront villas, however, are the most spacious and most luxurious with uninterrupted views of the ocean.

Check Ocean Escape Resort & Spa out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© Ocean Escape Resort & Spa

17. Sea Change Villas

A collection of villas designed for romantic getaways, Sea Change Villas each feature a king-size four-poster bed, a shower in your spacious bathroom with showerheads for two, a lounge in front of your private pool, and complimentary use of your villa’s own kayaks, snorkelling gear and SUP boards. Also offering an array of romance packages, Sea Change Villas makes an appearance in the 10 Most Romantic Wedding & Honeymoon Resorts on Rarotonga.

Check Sea Change Villas out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

18. Lagoon Breeze Villas

A serious consideration for families, Lagoon Breeze Villas sets the scene with their thatched holiday homes set among spacious tropical gardens. Facilities include a swimming pool, toddlers’ pool and Aroa Beach is just across the road. All 25 villas have fully-equipped kitchens, while the five-bedroom villa has its own pool. There’s a breakfast area where you don’t have to worry about your first meal of the day, while the bar is open for happy hour each day. Check out more villas in the 20 Best Villas in Rarotonga.

Check Lagoon Breeze Villas out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

19. Muri Beach Club Hotel

Reserved for guests aged 18 and above, the Muri Beach Club Hotel offers 30 harmless hotel rooms on the shores of Muri Beach, as well as around their courtyard and the large central swimming pool. Play a game of giant chess, enjoy your complimentary breakfast by the pool, and lounge on the beachfront where snorkelling gear is available or you can get a massage on the sands… Check out their spa listed in the 10 Best Spas in Rarotonga.

Check Muri Beach Club Hotel out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

20. 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 with plenty of facilities to keep them entertained, while couples can escape to the beachfront villas exclusively for older guests. Explore the lagoon with the kayaks and snorkelling gear between relaxing in your self-contained villa or two/three-bedroom house. The on-site Yellow Hibiscus restaurant provides a welcome break from cooking.

Check Palm Grove out:

20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga 👙 [2023]© Palm Grove

More About the Best Resorts on Rarotonga

If you didn’t quite find the perfect fit from this list of the best resorts on Rarotonga, then check out these other accommodations listings with something sure to suit:

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, it’s likely to be covered in The Best Cook Islands Travel Guide and Where to Stay on Rarotonga: The Best Rarotonga Accommodations.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Cook Islands Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as the Cook Islands. She knows the islands inside out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Raro’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also the editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

Was this article useful?