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- Rarotonga Beach BungalowsAug 24, 2012
Looking forward to our 10-day Cook Island holiday, my husband selected the Rarotonga Beach Bungalows, which, although expensive, are indeed located in a very picturesque and beautiful setting, right on lovely Titikaveka Beach. The accommodation is slightly tired, the living room furniture uncomfortable, the hot water only lukewarm, the radios don’t work and the fridge makes an awfully loud rattle intermittently day and night – at least in Onu bungalow – and the communal washing machine was on the blink. But the local Rarotongan staff are warm, friendly and welcoming, as are most Cook Islanders. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the resort’s owner, Tom Fearon. In the early hours of Monday, 06 August 2012, my husband suffered a fatal myocardial infarction while we were staying in Onu bungalow at this resort. What was a dreadful and terribly panicky and sad occasion for me was made so much worse by the unfeeling, cruel, inconsiderate, unhelpful Mr Fearon. When I alerted the resident hostess, Luckey, around 3.30am, who then alerted Mr Fearon, asking for help because I thought my husband was dead and that I could not turn him over as he was face-down on the bed, Mr Fearon’s response to me was, “I’m not medically trained. I can’t help you.” I was totally stunned by his reaction to my request for assistance. I had called an ambulance, which had not arrived, and Mr Fearon said he would check on that instead of coming into our bungalow to help me try and turn my husband onto his back so that I could attempt to resuscitate him. He left me standing outside the bungalow in the middle of the night, not knowing what to do. Thankfully, Luckey was kind enough to stay with me until help arrived - unfortunately way too late.
Although Mr Fearon allowed me to make some calls home and to use the internet in the office (free internet access was part of our package) and he also photocopied and faxed some documents for me that were required by the travel insurance company, he was consistently unhelpful and unfeeling when any other requests were made of him. On my final day in Rarotonga, when I was at last able to take my husband home, Mr Fearon, while onsite in his accommodation, refused to open the office in the middle of a weekday afternoon for me so that my air tickets could be emailed through. Instead, I had to ask that they be sent to the local undertaker.
Mr Fearon may be all charm when he wants to be, but don’t ask him to go out of his way.
Thank you Luckey, Miriama, Mary and Jacqueline for your kindness. Luckey for staying with me and being so supportive and for the shell necklace, one for each of us, you gave me when I left. Jacqueline for the hibiscus flower you were wearing in your hair and which you gave to me with your sympathy. Miriama for your hugs. And to the lovely couple from Auckland in the bungalow next door who popped in to check on me and give me hugs several times. Also the young Australian couple in the bungalow behind who left flowers and chocolate at my door. It helped a lot.
- Rarotonga Beach BungalowsMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 4First to ReviewJul 04, 2012
This is a great little property. Only 5 cottages and has a very "mom and pop" feel to it. The office staff are incredibly friendly.
Best things about the property:
- small and intimate
- fantastic beachfront good for swimming
- good value (reasonable rates, in-room kitchen + access to laundry if you need them)
- very friendly staff that make you feel at home
- kayaks and snorkeling gear are included
- nice little library / communal area to sit and read (if you want to be inside)
A few suggestions to ensure you have a good stay:
- office staff are not available 24 hours. keep this in mind and plan around it. staff are very friendly and helpful when they are around and they do check in regularly to see if notes have been left. that said, response times may be a little slower than at a typical hotel and you will likely need to "do it yourself" on restaurant bookings, etc.
- it can get chilly when the wind is blowing (at least in September). bring a windbreaker
- lunch options near the property are limited / non-existent. if you plan to arrive at lunch, eat in advance or be ready to check in and then travel a few minutes by car to get to a good lunch spot
- you don't have to have a car or scooter if you are willing to be flexible and adapt to the bus schedule. we found the bus fairly convenient but it may not be for everyone since it only runs 1x per hour in each direction
The team that runs this property is very friendly and went out of their way to help us. When folks are around, they are very helpful. One member of the staff actually drove us to lunch because we showed up without having eaten.
The property is lovely but it is rustic so don't expect high design and fine furnishings. Expect charming and functional.