Tag Archives: rarotonga

Hotel Profile Series: Muri Beach Club Hotel in the Cook Islands

We hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend! Is it time to think about a post-Christmas beachfront vacation?

Today we’re taking a closer look at one of our fav destinations, the Cook Islands!

The Cook Islands has been compared to “Hawaii fifty years ago,” with the two main islands Rarotonga and Aitutaki still maintaining their slow island feel. With uncrowded beaches and undeveloped infrastructure, Cook Islands are the perfect island getaway for a honeymoon, wedding, family reunion, or just to kick back and relax on a tropical vacation.

Muri Beach Club Hotel

Muri Beach Club Hotel is an adult-only resort, welcoming couples and singles at the heart of Muri Lagoon on Rarotonga’s east shore. The waters beckon for you to enjoy snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, glass-bottomed boat rides, windsurfing, sailing and other water activities. The offshore islands are just a stone’s throw away, and you can literally walk to them through four feet of water during low tide. (Just be sure to be back before high tide comes, or you’ll be swimming home!)

WIT Agent Nancy and her husband stayed a few years ago on Rarotonga at this location, and speak highly of its spacious rooms and huge verandas. The 30 rooms range from garden rooms with mountain views, pool rooms with easy access to the pool and beach, and deluxe beachfront views of Muri Lagoon.

The attentive and welcoming staff will be happy to organize some fun activities for you, like offroad adventures on a buggy or quad, an afternoon atop a paddleboard, or taking a lagoon cruise with Captain Tamas. At night, relax with live music, island night show and a Polynesian buffet dinner — as you chill out a few steps from the lagoon.

If you want to explore more of the island, or pick up fresh fruits at the Saturday market, simply catch the bus or hire a vehicle—car, scooter, bicycle—from the concierge. Just 30 minutes from airport to the beach, the Cook Islands are incredibly easy to navigate. The bus service goes around the island, one bus going clockwise and one bus going counterclockwise – it’s really a step back in time!

How to Get There: The South Pacific isn’t so tough to get from the West Coast! The flights are uncomplicated, simply fly from Portland to LAX straight to Rarotonga. Prices are cheaper than either Fiji or Tahiti. As a self-governing island country in free association with New Zealand, everyone speaks English and local currency is the New Zealand dollar. PLUS did you know you could easily combine a few days in the Cook Islands with a grand adventure in New Zealand?

Our Past Posts on the Cook Islands: 

Call your agent at Willamette Intl Travel to organize special air + hotel packages for you and yours: 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel. Who knew an offbeat tropical paradise was so within reach?

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Cook Islands

Today we’re wrapping up our week-long blog visit to the Pacific in spiritu with the Cook Islands! Call our office or email us to find out more about these island destinations!

Photo by Philby, Creative Commons

Cook Islands

The Cook Islands is an archipelago composed of 15 small islands, a mixture of coral atolls and volcanic islands. The majority of the population live and thrive on the largest, Rarotonga and Aitutaki, breathtaking with their stunning sands and blue lagoons. Rarotonga has only one flight per week from the US mainland—so factor in either a 5- or 12-night stay.

Seeking tropics but not sweltering humidity? The best time to go is from April to November, after the storms and cyclones have left the region, with cool winds from July to September. A popular tourist destination, the Cook Islands have a range of accommodation—to fit the budget-conscious, romantic, or luxury travelers. You just have to ask yourself two questions: “Do I want to watch the sunrise or sunset from my room?” And “Do I prefer an ocean beach or a lagoon beach?” The beauty of the islands has also been the backdrop to countless weddings and honeymoons.

Photo by eutrophication&hypoxia, Creative Commons

The Cook Islands offer a range of activities for every type of traveler. Go shopping for black pearl jewelry, take a dive cruise to one of the gorgeous lagoons, take a buggy tour, discover the Anatakitaki caves and the unique cavern Kopeka birds. Try the local cuisine, from ika mata (raw fish), umu food (food prepared in an earth oven), curried eke, octopus in coconut curry, and poke (cooked fruit pudding). As with many Polynesian cultures, the Cook Islanders have a rich heritage of storytelling, and frequently put on craft, dance and music performances.

photo by Akos Kokai, Creative Commons

Love the water? Head over to Muri Lagoon and hit the waves: swim, paddle, sail or kayak to and around the lagoon’s many motu (islands). Stroll along the lagoon’s long beach on the east side, or check out the old shipwreck. Locals call the islands’ numerous marine reserves “fish bowls”—because you can’t snorkel in them without encountering enormous schools of fish. Ocean temperatures average around 75°F, peaking at 80°F during January and February.

Nancy’s Must-Do List:

  • As your plane lands, watch for the line of locals at the runway edge, ducking at your jumbo jet blasts over them – this is serious local entertainment.
  • Ride the island bus; takes an hour to circumnavigate the island. The fare is only a few dollars. You can catch the buses in Avarua, the main town for banking, groceries, and shopping. It is also the school bus!
  • Thinking of doing just the day trip to Aitutaki? Go for at least 2 days/1 night or you will kick yourself.

Did you know? The Cook Islands Maori language is closely related to both Tahitian and New Zealand Maori, and by extension, Hawaiian!

Our agents Barb, Nancy and Pam have all been to the Cook Islands and would love to share their knowledge with you! Call us up for a chat at 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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