The picture-perfect Cook Islands, dotting the remote South Pacific Ocean, provide the ideal tropical getaway for leisure and pleasure. Sun lovers and honeymooners alike flock to the island for rest, relaxation, romance and some of the most spectacular white sand beaches on the planet.
To complement this idyllic location, you need the perfect resort to match. Here are our top 10 picks for a memorable stay in Polynesian paradise.
Edgewater Resort & Spa
As the largest resort on Rarotonga, this feature-packed haven offers guests a prime beachfront location and close proximity to the airport so you can start your holiday sooner. With accommodation options ranging from lagoon-view rooms to apartments, deluxe suites and beachfront villas, there is something for everyone at Edgewater.
Aside from all the luxuries you would expect at an island resort, Edgewater boasts its own health spa, tantalising restaurants, a waterside bar, full-size tennis courts and a kids’ club so mum and dad can enjoy some well-deserved time alone.
Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa
With an entire beach to itself, the Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa offers privacy and seclusion from the hustle and bustle of the ‘hotel mile’ on the island’s eastern side. A big drawcard is the world-class snorkelling on offer – here you can take a guided fish-feeding or snorkelling tour or sign up for the incredible night-snorkelling adventure.
Guests are also rewarded with premier southwest coast positioning for magnificent sunsets when dining in the evening, while little ones will enjoy the on-site kid’s club, crèche and teen zone.
Pacific Resort Rarotonga
Those seeking a more intimate holiday experience will love the boutique Pacific Resort on Rarotonga’s gorgeous Muri Beach. The 4-star service is met with a range of stylish beachfront villas, garden suites or spacious family rooms combined with a sumptuous seafood restaurant and a breezy beach-side bar to indulge in as you drink in unrivalled views of Muri Lagoon.
Another top feature is the Beach Hut, where you can pick up snorkelling, kayaking, paddleboarding and windsurfing gear before hitting the beach for a day of sun-soaked aquatic fun.
Crown Beach Resort & Spa
On the western 'sunset coast' of Rarotonga, Crown Beach Resort sprawls over 2 hectares of botanical gardens before uniting with a powdery white private beach for guests to revel in. The luxurious Courtyard Pool Suite comes with ultimate seclusion and its own private swimming pool while the beachfront villas allow you to wake up to breathtaking views of the turquoise lagoon.
There are a couple of restaurants to tantalise your tastebuds, plus close proximity to the west coast affords you the finest restaurants if you feel like venturing out. Guests can also enjoy an invigorating massage or rejuvenating facial at the resort’s luxurious Spa Ariki.
Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa
The adults-only oasis of this stunning 5-star resort is a dream come true for honeymooners seeking complete and utter luxury on a secluded, private island. Just a 2-minute boat ride from the main island of Aitutaki, this resort is famous for its overwater bungalows right on the exquisite Aitutaki Lagoon.
Dining at the bar and grill is a spectacular affair here with gorgeous views to accompany your meal, and the romantic couples jacuzzi and sauna are just a few of the indulgent services available at the resort’s prestigious spa.
Club Raro Resort
Just a convenient 1.5 kilometres from the shops, restaurants and bars of Cook Island’s capital Avarua sits Club Raro Resort with its charming mosaic pathways, tropical palm trees and glorious beachfront. There’s a range of bright, modern rooms and self-contained accommodation on offer here enhanced by warm and friendly Polynesian hospitality.
When you can pull yourself away from the swim-up pool bar with happy hours daily, enjoy kicking back on the deck as the sun goes down over the island’s tranquil north coast.
Pacific Resort Aitutaki
Combine award-winning service, 5-star luxury and the mesmerising location of Aitutaki and you get the exclusive Pacific Resort Aitutaki with its collection of 27 impeccably designed beachfront bungalows and villas.
With beautiful views over the turquoise waters of Aitutaki Lagoon, lavish dining and drinking to be had at the Rapae Bay Restaurant along with spa treatments right by the beach, it’s no wonder this holiday sanctuary is a sought-after wedding and honeymoon destination.
Muri Beach Club
Another adults-only leisure ground, Muri Beach Club is situated right on the crystal-clear waters of Muri Lagoon and comes loaded with plenty of aquatic adventures including snorkelling, kayaking, kite surfing, sailing lessons and incredible glass-bottomed boat rides.
After a day of outdoor activities or lazing in the sun, kick back and watch the sunset with fresh and flavourful Polynesian cuisine, live music, cocktails and a warm, feel-good atmosphere at the SilverSands Restaurant and Bar.
This 4-star boutique resort designed just for adults is located on the sun-drenched western coast of Rarotonga. The delightful beachfront suites mix traditional thatched-roof island charm with modern finishes, and the swim-up pool bar and tropical-themed spa treatments make it even harder to leave.
On top of that, the resort is just steps away from the phenomenal Aroa Marine Reserve where you can snorkel in a marine wonderland of kaleidoscopic colour.
Situated on the northwest coast of Rarotonga is the tranquil Sunset Resort, famous for its supreme sunset vantage point (hence the name) and intimate range of 35 bright, modern suites and studios – a welcome retreat for guests looking for a quiet hideaway.
Complimentary breakfast is served every day amid the lush, tropical gardens and if you manage to peel yourself away from the poolside, the helpful staff can arrange activities to suit your pleasure, including everything from safari and lagoon tours to whale watching, golf, scuba diving, snorkelling and deep-sea fishing.