We are going in June for our first trip but from all the research that I have done it really seems private rentals is the best way to go to save money. Makayla Palms gets rave reviews in Rarotonga. The gem I have found though is on Aitutaki and is called Paradise Cove - right on the best beach, really cute bures and costs only $100 a night if you book directly.
Suzi about 10 years ago
I know this is an old question, but I've just returned from Rarotonga and here's my 2 cents worth. Almost *everything* on Rarotonga is 'on the water' or near enough. I spent 2 nights at the Edgewater which was a resort directly on the beach (but not my thing - too big, too busy) and 6 nights at the Lagoon Breeze Villas, which was about 50 metres across the road from the water and about 400 metres from a really nice beach. Despite this 'distance' from the water that I worried about when I booked, it was insignificant. From the balcony of my villa, i could see the water and hear breaking waves all night. It was a 3 minute walk to a great beach, unbelievable snorkelling and the personal attention we got from a smaller, caring accom was great. almost 7 years ago