For the Adventurous Traveller.
This adult-only resort in Arorangi is like living in an elaborate, immaculate garden. Offering activities, dining, a friendly staff and beachfront location, it is one of most well-rounded properties on the island, allows guests a mix of both privacy and a plethora of locally-inspired activities.
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Opened in the Spring of 2017, Flambé restaurant features a creative menu inspired by the demi-god Maui, known for bringing fire to humans. Order the succulent local seafood platter (which can easily be shared among four) with an array of raw tuna and oysters, grilled prawns and scallops and mahi mahi and marinated ika mata. This is easily one of the best restaurants on Rarotonga.
/ courtesy Crown beach resort and spa
/ Courtesy Crown beach resort and spa
The oasis offered by my courtyard pool suite comes in the form of a private pool, gazebo, and open courtyard. While the main elements – king sized bed, living area and wet bar – are well appointed, it is details like the silver claw-foot bathtub, outdoor shower and monsoon rain shower that make the difference.
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Laughter can be heard coming from the salt water pool, one of the largest in Rarotonga, where guests splash and sea life is depicted in mosaic tile. Follow the hibiscus plantings to the fine powder sand of the beach, the hub of hotel. Spa Ariki is located on site and Islands nights every Thursday at the hotel feature a lively cultural dance show and buffet.
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What CSL liked Best
Standing apart, Crown Beach’s resort activities are posted daily and range from pareu tying and sea kayaking, to nature trail walks, and ei haku (flower crown) making. When I first meet activities manager Ngametua, he is wearing a warm smile and kikau (grass) skirt. As a final welcoming gesture, he plays the pātē (a small percussion instrument) for the group of guests ready for the day’s coconut climbing lesson. Several mid-aged men unsuccessfully try to scale a coconut palm, while, as part of the reigning coconut climbing champion team, Ngametua nimbly ambles upwards of 20 feet in the blink of an eye. Over a few days, I enjoy learning about local Cook Island traditions from him and assistant Kura. While some colleagues refer to him as the resort’s mascot, I think he is a cultural ambassador.
This original travel article first appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.