Where to Stay on Rarotonga: The BEST Rarotonga Accommodations 🐬 [2022]
Where to Stay on Rarotonga: The BEST Rarotonga Accommodations 🐬 [2022]

Where to Stay on Rarotonga: The BEST Rarotonga Accommodations 🐬 [2022]

Β© Zhang Da Qiang – Cook Islands Tourism

Where is the Best Place to Stay on Rarotonga?

Welcome to your ultimate guide on where to stay on Rarotonga! Here, we’re not just covering the best side of Rarotonga to stay, including Muri, Arorangi, Titikaveka or Avarua, but we’re also listing the best Rarotonga accommodations in each area.

What is the Best Side of Rarotonga to Stay on?

For beaches and watersports, the best side of the island of Rarotonga to stay on is Muri Beach (east coast) or Titikaveka (southeast coast). For some of the best resorts along with amazing sunsets and whale watching, the west coast, Arorangi, is the best side of Rarotonga. And for shopping, dining and historical sightseeing, you’re best to stay on the north coast around Avarua.

In this guide on where to stay on Rarotonga, we go into further detail about these places to stay, as well as recommend some awesome off-the-beaten-track places to stay on Rarotonga.

The Top 10 Accommodations on Rarotonga

Before we dive into this complete guide on where to stay on Rarotonga, we thought you’d find it helpful for us to list our top 10 Rarotonga accommodations and where to find them.

  1. Magic Reef Beach Bungalows – Arorangi (west coast)
  2. Pacific Resort Rarotonga – Muri Beach (east coast)
  3. Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa – Titikaveka (southeast coast)
  4. Manuia Beach Resort – Arorangi (west coast)
  5. Little Polynesian Resort – Titikaveka (southeast coast)
  6. Muri Beachcomber – Muri Beach (east coast)
  7. Rarotonga Daydreamer Escape – Vaimaanga (southwest coast)
  8. Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa – Muri Beach (east coast)
  9. Mama Taras Bungalows – Muri Beach (east coast)
  10. The Edgewater Resort & Spa – Arorangi (east coast)

The list continues in the 20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga and The Top 50 Resorts in the Cook Islands.

Where to Stay on Rarotonga: The BEST Rarotonga Accommodations 🐬 [2022]© Derek Smith - Cook Islands Tourism

Rarotonga Accommodation at Muri Beach (East Coast)

Muri Beach is one of the most popular tourist hubs on Rarotonga, bustling with cafes and restaurants, tour operators – particular watersports and lagoon tours and the regular Muri Night Market. It is also often seen as the most picturesque side of Rarotonga to stay on due to its four motu (islets) jutting out of the lagoon. Accommodations capture the views from the beachfront or on the hillsides.

More About Staying at Muri Beach

What’s Muri good for? Beaches, watersports, sunrises and swimming.
What to do there? Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruise, kayaking, snorkelling, Arore Trek, SUP tours, kitesurfing, Avana Point historical site, Te Ara Museum and more.
Where to eat? Rarotonga Sailing Club, LBV, Deli-Licious, La Casita, The Rickshaw, Muri Night Market and all of the resort restaurants! See The Food Guide to Rarotonga: Places to Eat & Food Tours for more details.

The Best Resorts at Muri Beach

See the 20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga and 10 Best Hotels in Rarotonga for more information on these properties.

Luxury Accommodation in Muri

Learn more about these properties in the 5 Best Luxury Villas on Rarotonga and 10 Best Holiday Apartments in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.

Mid-Range Accommodation in Muri

Check out the 20 Best Villas on Rarotonga and 20 Best Family Accommodations on Rarotonga for extra details on some of these properties.

Cheap Accommodation in Muri

Head to the 10 Best Budget Accommodations on Rarotonga for more information on all of these Rarotonga accommodations.

Holiday Homes in Muri

More details on these holiday homes can be found in the 20 Best Holiday Homes in Rarotonga and the 25 Best Villas with a Private Pool in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.

Where to Stay on Rarotonga: The BEST Rarotonga Accommodations 🐬 [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Rarotonga Accommodation in Arorangi (West Coast)

Stretching from Black Rock in the north, all the way down the west coast to Aroa Beach in the south, the Arorangi district covers a large area of Rarotonga. The whole coast is one long sandy beach – although not ideal for swimming apart from Aroa Beach.

Needless to say, Arorangi is not as compact as Muri, so you may be within walking distance of only a few restaurants, tour operators and attractions. However, Arorangi is home to some of the best resorts on Rarotonga, is where the most whales are seen offshore in the whale season and, of course, gets the best sunsets.

More About Staying in Arorangi

What’s Arorangi good for? Sunsets, whale watching and resorts
What to do there? Raemaru Trek, Discover Marine and Wildlife Eco Centre, Tumutoa Tours, Ariki Adventures, Highland Paradise, art galleries and more.
Where to eat? Beluga Cafe, OTB, Flying Turtle Cafe, The Pacific Fish & Chip Shop and all of the resort restaurants! See The Food Guide to Rarotonga: Places to Eat & Food Tours for more details.

The Best Resorts in Arorangi

Learn more about these resorts in the 20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga.

Mid-Range Accommodation in Arorangi

Check out the 20 Best Villas on Rarotonga and 20 Best Family Accommodations on Rarotonga for extra details on some of these properties.

Cheap Accommodation in Arorangi

Head to the 10 Best Budget Accommodations on Rarotonga and 6 Best Motels on Rarotonga for more information on all of these Rarotonga accommodations.

Holiday Homes in Arorangi

Learn more about these stays in the 20 Best Holiday Homes in Rarotonga and the 25 Best Villas with a Private Pool in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.

Where to Stay on Rarotonga: The BEST Rarotonga Accommodations 🐬 [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Rarotonga Accommodation in Titikaveka (Southeast Coast)

Titikaveka is increasingly becoming one of the best places to stay on Rarotonga due to its excellent swimming beach with a marine reserve, on which many Rarotonga accommodations are located.

The proximity to Muri Beach means that those who stay here are not too far away from the action – some even within walking distance of Muri. There are also a couple of cafes and the Mairie Nui Gardens that are among some of Titikaveka’s own attractions.

More About Staying in Titikaveka

What’s Titikaveka good for? Swimming, snorkelling and going to Muri!
What to do there? Mairie Nui Gardens, kayak and SUP hire, the day spa at Raela Villas and more.
Where to eat? Charlie’s Cafe and all of the resort restaurants! See The Food Guide to Rarotonga: Places to Eat & Food Tours for more details.

The Best Resorts in Titikaveka

Find out more about these resorts in the 10 Best Boutique Resorts on Rarotonga and 10 Best Hotels in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.

Luxury Accommodation in Titikaveka

Learn more about these accommodations in the 10 Best Luxury Accommodations on Rarotonga and 20 Best Villas on Rarotonga.

Mid-Range Accommodation in Titikaveka

See how some of these accommodations stack in the 20 Best Family Accommodations on Rarotonga, 25 Best Villas in the Cook Islands and 20 Best Holiday Homes in Rarotonga.

Where to Stay on Rarotonga: The BEST Rarotonga Accommodations 🐬 [2022]© Moana Sands Beachfront Villas

Rarotonga Accommodation in Vaimaanga (Southwest Coast)

Also on the south coast, Vaimaanga boasts some excellent swimming beaches (just be mindful of the dangerous passages), as well as proximity to attractions like the Papua Waterfall. Another benefit of staying in Vaimaanga is Wigmore’s Superstore, one of the largest supermarkets outside of Avarua, which makes staying in the self-catering accommodations here all too simle.

More About Staying in Vaimaanga

What’s Vaimaanga good for? Swimming, beaches, turtle swimming tours, inland waterfall and grocery shopping
What to do there? Turtle swimming with Snorkel Cook Islands, drive or hike to the Papua Waterfall, hiking the Cross-Island Trek and more.
Where to eat? Pick up grocery supplies from Wigmore’s – see A Guide to Supermarkets in Rarotonga for more information.

Mid-Range Accommodation in Vaimaanga

More details on these accommodations can be found in the 10 Best Holiday Apartments in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands and 20 Best Family Accommodations on Rarotonga.

Holiday Homes in Vaimaanga

Check out all of these holiday homes in our 20 Best Holiday Homes in Rarotonga.

Where to Stay on Rarotonga: The BEST Rarotonga Accommodations 🐬 [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Where Else to Stay on Rarotonga

Rarotonga accommodation is not just exclusive to the holiday hotspots, as the capital, Avarua and its surrounding suburbs also have some delightful holiday accommodations. For those looking to stay a little “off the beaten track” or find cheaper accommodation, you may want to consider the quieter side of the island, Matavera.

About Avarua & Nikao + Where to Stay

On the northern coast of Rarotonga are the nation’s capital, Avarua, and the suburb of Nikao where Rarotonga Airport is located (west of Avarua). Staying in this area means close proximity to a variety of grocery stores and restaurants, as well as fishing and boat tours at the Avatiu Harbour and historical sites, souvenir shopping and the Punanga Nui Market within Avarua.

About Tupapa + Where to Stay

East of Avarua is the suburb and village of Tupapa with good advanced surfing, beaches and proximity to town.

About Matavera + Where to Stay

Stretching up the northeast coast of Rarotonga, the district of Matavera is a quieter side of the island in terms of tourism. It has a few historical sites, hiking trails and villages with churches and small convenience stores. The swimming is not good here due to the reef being so close to shore but the sunrise is magical.

Where to Stay on Rarotonga: The BEST Rarotonga Accommodations 🐬 [2022]© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

The Best Accommodation on Rarotonga: Accommodation Categories

By now, you’ve probably realised that Rarotonga has accommodation appealing to all types of travellers and that here, at Cook Islands Pocket Guide, we’ve ranked all the best! Browse Rarotonga accommodation by category using the following links:

Plan more of your trip according to different travel styles using The Complete Travel Guide to Rarotonga.

More About Where to Stay on Rarotonga + The Best Rarotonga Accommodations

Woah! Well done for making it this far in our guide to the best Rarotonga accommodations. By now, you probably have a good idea of where to stay on Rarotonga, so plan the rest of your trip with these guides:

Finally, if you’re still unsure where to stay on Rarotonga, go back to square one with our guide, Where to Stay in the Cook Islands: The Best Cook Islands Accommodations.

Author

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 editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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