* This post is not sponsored but contains affiliate links. Meaning at no cost to you, we may receive a tiny referral commission when you book through our links. (Full Disclosure)

Rarotonga is one of the most popular family destinations to escape the cold during the winter months down under. Many Rarotonga accommodations for families are 4-star resorts, and they are some of the best accommodations on Rarotonga in our opinion.

However, there are many other types of accommodation to consider, such as self-contained bungalows and holiday homes. Your family will be spoiled for choice with booking the best accommodation on Rarotonga for your long-awaited Cook Islands holiday.

In this post, we’ll cover 3 types of the most popular Rarotonga resorts for families with kids. Our family has stayed in these resorts first-hand (none of which are sponsored, by the way) and will share our recommendations on the best accommodation in Rarotonga with kids.

Of course, there are many other luxury accommodations on Rarotonga that are worth staying with. Most people tend to stick with Muri, where most activities are happening. However, you may not want to be amongst the crowd for your island getaway. So, decide where you want to base yourselves first, then filter through the accommodation options from there.

Nonetheless, staying at any of these Rarotonga family-friendly resorts will almost guarantee you palm trees, tropical breezes, and the most friendly hospitality.

Don’t forget to download your FREE copy of the Rarotonga Pocket Guide. This pocket guide is the most compact travel guide. It’s mobile-friendly and is designed for travelling parents on the go. Please note that this guide is written pre-covid, and some tour operators and restaurants may no longer be in business.

Rarotonga Accommodation Family Travel Guide Cook Islands Featured

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Series: Rarotonga Cook Islands Family Travel Guide

Rarotonga Essential Information Must Know Before You Go
Top Things To Do with Kids in Rarotonga
Top Resorts & Best Accommodation on Rarotonga for Families
Top Family-Friendly Cafés & Restaurants in Rarotonga

Video Guide to Rarotonga Accommodation for Families

Map Overview

The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa

Resort Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Highlights: Top marine reserve for snorkelling, kids club
Website: http://www.rarotonganbeachresort.xyz/

We were invited to this beautiful Rarotonga family resort with welcoming drinks late at night after our flights to Rarotonga. Sipping a tropical juice in the lobby enjoying a change of scenery was the perfect way to kickstart an island vacation.

Toddler loving her welcome drink on arrival at The Rarotongan Beach Resort while we're waiting to check in
Welcoming drink on arrival at The Rarotongan Beach Resort

© Photos by Kida

What we loved about The Rarotongan Beach Resort

The Rarotongan Beach Resort is away from the crowds and far bigger than we thought. We would recommend booking a beachfront room if your budget allows it. Nothing beats the luxury of walking straight out onto the sand for a lazy relaxing rewind. We specifically booked this resort for its well-known marine reserve and its Kids Club, which we will talk about below.

© Photos by Kida

The location of this resort

The Rarotongan Beach Resort is pretty much around the middle of either side of the island, so it’s a short drive to Avarua Town Centre for grocery, harbour and market, or Muri for activities, things to do, beach and market.

The Rarotongan Beach Resort has a lot to offer. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to cover everything during our 2-night stay here. If you only have a few nights in Rarotonga, consider The Rarotongan Beach Resort as your base and hire a car to get around the island.

© Photos by Kida

Things to do with kids at The Rarotongan Beach Resort

The staff at Rarotongan Beach Resort were super friendly and great with kids. There was an activity schedule at the Kids Club hosting a range of things to-dos every day, ending with a movie session in the evenings.

Check the blackboard beside the pool for today’s activities and schedules, and book your family in with a staff member there. Some in-house activities such as fish feeding from the restaurant deck and kayaking lessons were excellent things to do with the kids. Best of all, they were complimentary!

© Photos by Kida

Buffet breakfast at The Rarotongan

Our family recently adopted a ‘must-have tradition’ to include a hearty buffet breakfast when booking our resort stays. There was a huge selection of delicious fruits, muesli and pastries for a continental breakfast at The Rarotongan Beach Resort. You probably won’t need much more for a healthy full breakfast, but hot breakfasts were also available at an additional cost.

© Photos by Kida

Snorkelling at one of the best marine reserves here

I saved the best part to the last – the marine reserve at The Rarotongan Beach Resort is one of the best snorkelling spots on the island. The marine reserve is within a few steps from a waterfront room at the resort, and it’s not that deep at all!

© Photos by Kida

If you plan to snorkel on Rarotonga with or without kids, then The Rarotongan Beach Resort is definitely one of the best Rarotonga accommodations for families.

© Photos by Kida

The Edgewater Resort & Spa

Resort Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Highlights: Kids club, best sunset
Website: https://www.edgewater.co.ck/

The Edgewater Resort is probably rated one of the best accommodations on Rarotonga for families. It’s affordable and relatively close to Avarua centre and the best restaurants dotted along the island’s main road. Would we rate it the best family resort on Rarotonga? Hmm, probably not the best, but it has its pros. Read on.

Family-friendly pool area

The family-friendly pool at The Edgewater Resort has a mini water slide for the kids and is near the main resort restaurant looking out to the ocean.

However, the pool and restaurant area is divided from the beach by a row of black boulders. You’ll have to jump over the rocks to get to the sandy beach, which for our family was a bit of a nuisance as jumping over large rocks with a baby in my arm wasn’t in my expertise.

Activities & Kids Club

By The Brasserie, there was a list of activities and programs for guests to participate in, such as Ika Mata demonstrations and dance lessons.

We visited The Edgewater Resort on a rainy day as a guest to try out its pool and restaurant. I think the Kids Club was closed, peeking from the outside for whatever reason. Nonetheless, the Kids Club here was recommended for 4yo+, and there were lots of toys and activity-packed programs to keep the little ones entertained.

© Photos by Kida

Free continental breakfast

One attractive selling point of The Edgewater Resort was their complimentary tropical breakfast. Hot buffet breakfast was also available at an additional charge.

The water at The Edgewater Resort

As a water-lover, I took my snorkelling mask and went in the water for a swim. Although, to be fair, it was probably because of the weather that I was almost swept away by the waves, which looked deceivingly calm. The water clarity wasn’t great either, and of course, I didn’t spot anything, not even a fish. In saying that, I’d love to go back and stay at The Edgewater Resort again to truly experience what the other guests were raving about.

The Edgewater Resort Beach

© Photos by Kida

Sunset & theme nights at The Edgewater Resort

If you want to witness a stunning pacific island sunset, this would be one of the best places to catch the golden hour. The Edgewater Resort runs theme nights and island nights throughout the week. So book yourselves on one of the cultural shows and enjoy a magical night on the west coast of Rarotonga.

Other Rarotonga Accommodation for Families

We didn’t get to stay at these resorts but came across them while we were on the island and would highly recommend them as one of the best accommodations on Rarotonga for families.

Pacific Resort Rarotonga is a 4-star family resort in the hub of Muri. It was fully booked during the dates we were travelling, so I couldn’t give you any specifics. However, we did pay a visit to their restaurant on Good Friday evening, and it was fully booked as well. So we walked around the resort, took a walk on the beach and loved the ambience at Pacific Resort Rarotonga.

Nautilus Resort Rarotonga is another 4-star resort on Muri beach if you decide to base in Muri. This resort felt very much like a 4.5-star to us based on our experience here on a day pass.

© Photos by Kida

The highlight of this resort was the infinity pool facing Taakoka Island and their fancy restaurant. On a side note, you can enjoy its infinity pool for the day if you spend a certain amount at the restaurant. In our opinion, it was well worth the experience.

Aroko Bungalows

Accommodation Rating: Self-contained
Highlights: Private, cooking convenience
Website: http://www.arokobungalows.com/

For a budget family-friendly accommodation in Rarotonga, we would highly recommend Aroko Bungalows! We didn’t expect much at all for the price we paid (NZ$98), but we were pleasantly surprised with every aspect of this bungalow upon arrival.

Aroko Bungalow with palm trees
Aroko Bungalow

© Photos by Kida

The location of Aroko Bungalows

Although Aroko Bungalow is located in Muri, it’s still best to have your own transportation as it’s about a 10-minutes walk to the centre of Muri. The main road of Rarotonga is narrow, so it’s not very safe walking to the hub with kids, especially at night where there weren’t many street lights at the time of our stay. There were island buses running on the island, but they didn’t run very frequently, so factor in extra waiting times, and I mean extra island waiting times.

© Photos by Kida

The family bungalow at Aroko

Our bungalow was very private and had all the amenities we needed for a self-contained accommodation on Rarotonga. There was a stove, standard-sized fridge, sink, wardrobe and an outdoor deck overlooking the three islands. We had a spacious room with a single bed and a queen-sized bed. Kayaks and BBQ plates were free to use for guests.

© Photos by Kida

We booked an extra night here due to our 11pm departure flight back to New Zealand. We chose Aroko Bungalows to be close to the Muri Night Market, which was on our itinerary the night before flying back.

Flights back to New Zealand were all at night times for some reason, maybe it was due to the time zone differences or demand, but you may consider booking a bungalow to freshen up before the flight for budget-friendly day use.

© Photos by Kida

The owner had young kids herself and kindly offered to lend us their stroller during our stay. Despite the walking at night, we really enjoyed our stay at Aroko Bungalows. It was quiet, comfortable and private, with beautiful open views of Muri and the islands. For those reasons, we would recommend Aroko Bungalows as one of the best Rarotonga accommodations for families.

Holiday Homes

If you’re travelling with a big family, consider looking up Rarotonga accommodation for families on Bookabach if you’re from New Zealand, Stayz if you’re from Australia or Airbnb and Vrbo.

You can get some really nice rooms on the beach for an affordable price. Some of the luxury Rarotonga accommodation for families may be expensive, but if you calculate it per head, it’s worth the money staying at the best location in comfort.

To Recap

The top pick from our family for the best accommodation on Rarotonga with kids is The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa.

The best accommodation on Rarotonga Muri Beach we would recommend is Pacific Resort Rarotonga and Nautilus Resort Rarotonga.

For a budget stay on Rarotonga, consider staying with Aroko Bungalows.

Our family is planning another trip to Rarotonga in the coming months this year, so if we do stay at any other accommodation, we will come back and update this post!

Included in this travel guide

  • Essential information about travelling to Rarotonga
  • Top things to do
  • Family-friendly accommodation & resorts
  • Restaurants & cafés
  • Packing list
  • Getting around
  • Bucket list
  • Blank page for notes

Accommodation Booking Sites & Apps

Below is a list of hotel booking sites I personally use myself. You can find a range of family accommodation on these websites, from holiday parks to holiday homes, hotels to resorts.

*Some of these links are affiliate links. (full disclosure)
It doesn’t affect you in any way, but we may receive a small commission for bookings through our site.

Hot Tip

If you only travel occasionally, consider booking with the hotel directly. You might get a discount & better service.

However, if you’re a frequent traveller that stays at hotels often, we recommend sticking with one hotel booking site/app to reap the benefits of its loyalty program.

Hotel Booking Sites

hotels.com hotel booking
I use Hotels.com app to book hotels after browsing through hotel comparison sites. The loyalty program is my favourite and customer service has been excellent so far.
Trip.com hotel booking
Sometimes I find the best prices on Trip.com, so I use Trip as an alternative hotel booking app.
Agoda hotel booking
Agoda also offers some of the best prices around, and its rewards system is simple to use and is one of my go-to hotel booking apps.
Booking hotel booking
Occasionally, the hotel I’d like to book is only available on Booking.com. This site has the most complete list of accommodations.

Hotel Comparison Sites

trivago hotel comparison
Trivago is the first hotel comparison site I’ve used and still love today.
How to use Trivago & tips
google hotels comparison
Google Hotels is the most convenient to use for me as I use Google maps to bookmark the places I want to go.
How to plan a trip in 30 minutes

Holiday Homes

Vrbo holiday home hotel booking
Vrbo is a holiday home booking site. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you may be more familiar with the name Homeaway, which is now acquired by Vrbo.

New Zealand travels: use Bookabach.co.nz
Australia travels: use stayz.com.au
Airbnb holiday home hotel booking
I personally find Airbnb is getting more and more expensive with fees, so I don’t use it often anymore. However, Airbnb still remains one of the largest holiday home booking sites.

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