Jul 28, 2014
travelling to rarotonga- part 2
Where to stay
The last time we travelled to Raro we stayed in self catering houses. This time we stayed in a resort. The resort wins hands down. The option of catering or not catering and the pool/ restaurant/ beach cannot be beaten.
Resorts and the word "luxury" are used loosely in Rarotonga. The only truly luxurious resort is the Pacific Rarotonga and you pay through the nose to stay there. Our resort, the Edgewater Resort and Spa is billed as luxury. Sure *cough*. It was actually a bit frayed around the edges and our villa needed an upgrade but was scrupulously clean. The staff were super friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The food was great and the cocktails sublime. The pool was lovely and we spent most of our time poolside. I called us "pool flies" as we grabbed a table & umbrella between the pool and beach after breakfast and stayed there until after cocktail hour at 5pm.
I would recommend spending the extra money to be beach front. Nothing beats looking out the living room window onto the sea and beach. The "garden" accommodation always seems to be a little suburb like. And seeing the sea constantly even if you chose to hang around in the accommodation is worth the extra money.
Most resorts offer a kids club with kids activities. The kids club at our resort was dire. The kids spent the time on ipads so we gave this a skip. The poolside activities though were amazing. Learning about the coconut tree and seeing someone scale it, (cruelty free) crab racing, traditional drum lessons and flower garland making were some of the activities we did. We loved them all and so did the kiddies.
I thoroughly recommend the Edgewater. And if management read this, any discounts for another visit would be accepted (of course!). The resort is on the side of the island that misses the wind in July to a large extent so win, win, win.
The best food we found was in the resort. Over the last two whole times we have been in Raro, the food at our resort was equal to any that can be found on the island. MJ and I had a very expensive and utterly ordinary dinner out together out of the resort. We would have been better to dine in the resort.
We are really spoilt with the variety and quality of food we have in New Zealand. It is important to remember this when people tell you you have to try food in Raro. Case in point, tripping around the island to find LBV cafe where the "best donuts ever are served". Yes they were nice, but really expensive and we have better doughnuts in little 'ol New Zealand. We were also sucked in by a roadside sign advertising the "world famous custard slice". Uh, not. The food we found was not bad, just not as good as home (but like I said, we are spoilt in NZ).
Food is incredibly expensive in Rarotonga. If you plan to self cater at all it's a good idea to take snacks, anything you need that is gluten or dairy free, mixers for drinks and things for the kids. We stacked a chilli bin full of things and it was the best idea ever. We also took sandwich fillings (need to be vacuum sealed) and dips. We had a ready source of snacky type food and lunch material for any time of day or night.
Kids in Raro
I packed a whole lot for them to do. I didn't know what they would like to do and wanted to keep boredom at bay. Turns out all they really wanted to do was swim. In the pool and in the sea. With the odd bit of sand castle building thrown in.
I took DVDs and these were fabulous in the afternoon as a break from the water and sand.
The staff at our resort, particularly the Fijian restaurant staff looooved the kids. So much so Grace got a princess dress as a present from one of them. The amazing way that the kids were treated made the holiday extra special. Overall children are prized on the island and everywhere we went, people were kind to them.
Grace and Luka would have been happy never to leave the resort. Luka learned to snorkel and we went shell hunting along the shore line. They both loved the activities put on by the resort every day and Grace broke out impromptu dancing every time the drums came out.
It was a perfect family holiday. Everybody loved it and we can't wait to go back. The only thing I would change is the airline we flew on. Everything else was pretty much awesome!
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travelling to rarotonga- part 2