On your trip to Rarotonga, Cook Islands, it’s interesting to visit the different hotel establishments besides its beautiful beaches. Here we go with the review of the restaurant located at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium, one of the most traditional hotels on the island. The coral reef in front of the hotel constitutes a marine reserve (Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve), making it an excellent place to snorkel.
AMBIENCE The restaurant’s space faces the ocean so the view is unbeatable. However, the decoration would need a restyling, the colours of the furniture, railing and deck are not the best. The place does not have functional music either. The hotel has kayaks and stand up paddles to take a ride in the lagoon, which is an excellent alternative to do before or after eating.
SERVICE There are waiters but the place works under the self-service modality. They give you an electronic device so you can pick up your plate through the kitchen dispatch sector when it’s ready. The staff that takes the order is friendly and always smiling.
FOOD & MENU The menu is basic, closer to fast food than to a gourmet establishment We certainly expected more from a 4-star hotel. However, the dishes were well presented and tasty. We ordered grilled beef with mushroom sauce and shrimps that comes with fries & salad and breaded chicken with smoked ham and cheese, which also comes with fries salad.
DRINK The wine we ordered was at the proper serving temperature and was nice, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
TIMES With a very few people on the restaurant, waiting times were reduced.
PRESENTATION Good garnishing of the food.
PRICE Considering that the place is self service, the price should be lower. It’s reasonable anyway.
GENERAL EXPERIENCE The experience was positive, especially since the restaurant environment is a dream. Besides, we enjoy feeding the fish with the remains of our food, they gather to wait for them under the deck. The restaurant is more geared towards families than couples, groups or singles. To satisfy both audiences, they could accommodate families with their children around the pool and couples and groups at the opposite end. There is no maître who coordinates this kind of things, at least not when we visited the restaurant. We understand that at the time of our visit and in a context where the borders are closed and there are no tourists on the island, the menu is reduced. However, a 4-star hotel should not alter the quality and category of the service.
Our suggestions for the establishment would be to modify the restaurant’s colour scheme, offer gourmet options, play functional music (especially to neutralize the screaming of the children) and change the self-service for personalized attention according to a 4-star hotel. Live music shows and thematic buffets could be organized with a fixed price to achieve a greater appeal. It would enhance the experience of receiving guests with a welcome drink.