Rarotonga for the Luxe Traveller.
A small reinforced stone wall path, delicately laced with bright pink bougainvillea and tropical greenery, leads to the adults-only boutique property. Management owners Belinda and Andrew Griffin, who hail from Australia, are typically on hand to assist and welcome guests. Private and luxurious, without pretense or stuffiness, the property sits on Muri lagoon.
Given Rarotonga’s startling scenery, it is no surprise that my Platinum Beachfront Villa is dramatic even from the entrance – met with the sound of water from a natural rock waterfall flowing into the private pool. Crossing a curved bridge reveals a luscious garden bursting with vibrant flora on either side and a large deck which calls out for an afternoon barbeque. The element of water continues as I enter the two-bedroom thatched roof villa, with an indoor 3-foot waterfall feature that trickles with calm. A lavish living space, complete with a canopy day bed gives way to large retractable glass doors that lead to a second expansive patio with breathtaking views of the impossibly turquoise lagoon and ocean beyond. Elegant four poster beds overlook the ocean, and showpiece bathrooms with domed glass ceiling and circular shower with river stone floors enhance the elements of nature.
There is plenty to be spoiled with, from breakfast delivered each morning to my villa, to the gift basket with tasty snacks and treats, and flowers and champagne upon arrival. Award winning Waterfall spa, located adjacent to the property boasts an array of treatments and is consistently rated among the top in the Cook Islands. Special touches like the Italian espresso maker in the fully-equipped kitchen, kayaks and snorkelling equipment available for use during my stay and VIP return airport transfers ensure that active, adventurous guests are catered for but so too those who prefer utter relaxation. On an overcast afternoon, I order the seafood option from Island Platters (the resort has an affiliation), which is delivered straight to my villa. Laden with a massive selection that includes mussels, mahi mahi, prawns and tuna, it is more than enough to feed a crowd and beckons to be devoured.
What CSL liked Best
Laying in my private hammock on the outdoor patio, I gaze as the ocean’s colours continually evolve by the hour. The waxing and waning tides of Muri lagoon at sunset reveal the most dramatic mirror-like glaze transposed from the cotton candy sky onto the ocean, making it seem endless.
This original travel article on Rarotonga first appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.