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Nicole M
Melbourne, Australia

Bring your reef booties

Review of Maina Sunset
3.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Aug 23, 2016via mobile
Maina (aka: Honeymoon Island) is everything everyone says about it. Beautiful, pristine, white beaches, crystal clear warm shallow waters etc. etc.

I think what you might not be prepared for is all the coral. There are very few spots over Maina Island that are just sand. The rest is filled with scattered bits of the dead coral. It's not unattractive - but it rips your feet apart. So bring reef booties if you want to get the most out of your time on this island :)
Date of stay: August 2016
Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Reviewed April 10, 2015

My partner and I stayed at the Reef Motel for a total of 9 nights in March of 2015. We found the staff very friendly and really helpful, respecting our privacy 100%. We found our rooms clean and tidy, with mosquito coils, toilet tissues, towels, tea and coffee. We did have to ask for clean towels when we wanted them.
Fortunately I took a mosquito net with us which proved useful. It is hot in Rarotonga! We slept with the balcony door open in the upstairs unit, and also down by the beach. Fortunately March is a quiet time so there were not too many people about.
Every morning we had access to freshly picked Pawpaw, Guava, Avocado, and Mango depending on what was ripe. A quick trip down the road on our scooters and we could pick up take out donuts and coffee, then settle back down to watch the waves on the reef and people walking along the beach.
Our stay was really memorable sitting in the food shack with the owner watching the sunset and hearing about the history of Raorotonga.
If you want down to earth, no frills holiday accommodation then we would recommend staying here.

Room tip: Rooms in the two story motel block are quieter as they are further away from the sound of the waves.
Date of stay: March 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank AndrinaEyles
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed August 24, 2008

I'm a hardy traveler, and actually quite easy to please, but this place has absolutely nothing to recommend it. If it were possible to give this place ZERO stars, I would. The problems with this place are really too numerous and serious to list in full, but here're the lowlights:

(1) Even though the property claims to be "Beachfront", there really is NO VIEW OF THE BEACH from anywhere except the owner's family's private cookshack (Their website misleadingly makes the cookshack look like a charming bungalow on the beach--it's not). If you try to use the beach (for sunbathing only, because the high reef makes swimming there impossible), the people using the cookshack and the flies that swarm to feed there will be right on top of you!

(2) There is effectively no place to park your rental car, or even a scooter for that matter. If there are more than 3 cars total at the property (bearing in mind there are 12 units), you WILL either be blocked in or trap someone else!

(3) The single-lane, deeply rutted, rocky/dirt drive into the place (think Oregon Trail) WILL high-center your rental car or dump your scooter.

(4) There were plenty of electrical outlets in our room, but none were functional. The noisy mini-fridge was plugged into an outlet in ANOTHER room with a 50' extension cord under the doors!

(5) The ceiling fan was broken.

(6) Mosquitos on this side of Raro are ferocious and legion, and THERE WERE NO SCREENS ON THE LANAI DOOR and no mosquito coils or repellent were provided. This is a big issue, because there was an outbreak of Dengue fever when we were there. Nevermind the enormous wolf spiders coming in from the lanai.

(7) Showers consisted of alternating spritzes of cool and scalding-hot water.

(8) The mattress was so badly sprung I slept on the floor.

(9) Two TINY handtowels were supplied--for two persons' use of both shower and sink-- and never replaced with fresh during our entire stay. After our allotment of ONE roll of toilet paper ran out, we had to buy our own. The toilet seat was unattached to the commode.

(10) The restaurant that is affiliated with the "resort"--named Kaena-- was closed down--good thing, apparently, because the chef seriously poisoned himself by eating the bacteria-laden fish caught inside the reef. Makes you wonder if he served it to patrons as well.

(11) Both (mismatched) lanai chairs were literally collapsing. There was no lanai table.

(12) There is a private residence built TIGHT against the rear of the main building. The three dogs who live there took 8 hour barking shifts, 24/7. Probably 365, too.

(13) No two stair steps were the same height or depth--virtually every step was a trip hazard equal to the extension cord. While this was funny in daylight, not so at night, because there is NO WALKWAY LIGHTING.

(14) The place has an ominous, depressing feel to it. It may be mana, it may be Feng Shui, but it's oppressive and undeniable.

Given the complete unfitness of this place, the asking price of NZ$195/night is preposterous-- I wouldn't spend NZ$195 to stay a YEAR there,

If, however--God Forbid--you find yourself stuck at Sunset Beach Reefcomber, go see Mark at Island Hoppers Travel in Avarua. Mark happily fixed us up on short notice with airfare to an outlying island, beautiful, comfortable lodgings there on a quiet stretch of beach, and all for less than HALF the price of this dump!

Fair Warning: The Sunset Beach Reefcomber also has a sister "resort" on Aitutaki, called Maina Sunset Motel. We looked at this one, too, and--difficult as it is to believe--it looks EVEN WORSE than the Reefcomber!

Date of stay: August 2008
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
41  Thank Kaleo Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed September 8, 2005

GOt this place at something like $40 a night, we were the only guests! Awesome in ground pool that is luke warm, when we got up in the morning there were piglets running around the place which was really cute!

Really really clean like all of Aitutaki, and right on the edge of the lagoon. The owner is happy to take you fishing too!

Not as palatial as the other resorts but still a really nice place, I suggest u negotiate fees with the owner directly, as if they are empty they may be desperate for guests.

Aitutaki is so lovely, it's a real "holiday" holiday, you'll forget all your worries. There are almost no cars too! Try talk some locals into going out looking for land crabs at night with torches, so much fun and very tasty! A real genuine polynesian experience. vin

Date of stay: August 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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16  Thank Departure12587
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed July 20, 2007
Google Translation

Date of stay: September 2003
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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