Letters: Enamoured but cautious of Raro hospitality

Monday August 12, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear editor,

I wish to write and thank the Cook Islands Tourism Marketing Corporation for intervening on our behalf, when I received a deeply shocking and unprofessional email from the owner of private rental accommodation following our stay in Matavera.


The email was essentially an “award” for being their dirtiest guests and advised we were required to pay an additional $780 (on top of the 4000 that we had paid for the week to stay there).

The owners did not communicate to us the fact that cleaning was not included in the (not inexpensive) tariff. Not on their website (advertising the beach house was a Cook Islands Tourism winner in 2016) nor on the premises itself.

We saw the owners daily during our stay and they did not tell us their expectations were that the house was to be left spotless. And given we were on holiday with our two young boys with a very early departing flight, we did our best to leave it tidy and that was all. 

Your Director of Destination Development was apologetic for the unprofessional email we received. The owner was asked by the Tourism Marketing Corporation representative to apologise, but refused.

We remain enamoured with the hospitable culture and natural beauty of Rarotonga but I wish to add a caution. Our experience means we will definitely avoid private accommodation.

And I have also heard wonderful things about Samoa.  

Bridie MacDonald
Wellington, NZ

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