New Zealand and Australia have seen some extreme weather over the last few months with a mix of record high temperatures and floods. Now both countries are moving into winter which could mean more extreme weather including freezing temperatures for some!
We are delighted to announce that Rumours Luxury Villas and Spa in Rarotonga has again gained international recognition for its quality and service. We have won the award for the Best Resort Spa in the Cook Islands as part of the 2013 World Luxury Spa Awards. In addition to this, Rumours has won three other major awards as well for 2013:
Last Wednesday morning two traditional double-hull waka arrived safely at Avarua harbour on Rarotonga. The crew are on an epic 10,000 km Waka Tapu journey from Auckland in New Zealand to Rapanui (Easter Island).
Leading the expedition is master navigator Jacko Thatcher who is one of five traditional Po (master) navigators in the South Pacific. The two double-hulled canoes Te Aurere and Ngahiraka mai Tawhiti have been built in the traditional style and are navigated using star compasses and knowledge of the stars passed down through generations of Polynesian navigators.
The sailors will be enjoying a well earned break on shore and all the people of the Cook Islands are incredibly proud of them. If you are staying at Rumours, or anywhere else on Rarotonga have a look at the port in Avarua or ask at Trader Jacks and they will tell you where the two waka are moored.
Have you ever dreamed of visiting a tropical island with white sand beaches and warm sapphire-hued waters. Here at Rumours of Rarotonga the dream is a reality. The Island is almost completely encircled by a reef, which harbours a lagoon of clear turquoise waters and soft white coral sand beaches.
When you stay in a beachfront Villa you are able to step off your private deck straight on to a white sand beach. Here you can enjoy swimming in the warm blue lagoon, or you can relax in your deck chair with the water lapping at your feet.
When you feel like a change from the idyllic beach scenery, you then have the option of swimming in your own private pool with a rock waterfall, or relaxing on your private sun soaked deck. And when the evening comes you can relax in your private spa located beside your Villa.
At Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa, a romantic beachside wedding is surprisingly simple to organize. Ceremonies to renew vows are also increasing in popularity.
You might prefer a traditional ceremony or something more relaxed with an island theme. If it’s a wedding at sunset or beside the lagoon under an Arch beautified with Tropical flowers a Cook Islands Wedding at Rumours can be designed just for you.
Our team of dedicated wedding coordinators can plan your perfect wedding day with stress free organization.
With a wealth of local knowledge and experience our team of professionals will help you create your perfect day you will remember for a lifetime.
The most obvious reason that jumps to mind when thinking of a holiday destination is the weather. Everybody wants a sunny and warm holiday, and even though it has been summer in Europe and the United States the weather has been anything but that. I have been watching the international weather reports on the news lately and like most I am shocked at how bad the weather seems to be this year. The United Kingdom suffered a wet and cold summer, the United States has had tropical storms and severe drought to contend with, Australia’s winter has seen devastating floods and New Zealand is also feeling the effects of a winter deluge!
We also have our award winning ‘Waterfall Spa’ facility which is a purpose built luxury Spa where our guests can unwind and enjoy exclusive beauty/spa treatments at the hands of our incredibly talented therapists.
It really was the worst kept secret in Rarotonga. Yes Hillary Clinton did arrive on our sunny shores, along with her incredibly large entourage and additional cargo plane! And I have to say, what an amazing visit for Rarotonga and for the Pacific Islands Forum.
As we blogged last time, this was the biggest VIP visitor since Queen Elizabeth II in 1974. The hype she created was huge, with locals still buzzing over the historic visit by the US Secretary of State and her delegation.
While here, Clinton did an amazing job of talking to the locals while happily posing for photos. She even delighted some by thoughtful touches such as using a Polynesian inspired clutch purse designed by ex-pat Rachel Guinea.
In terms of official business, Clinton really did impress. Given what an incredible role model she is to women (intelligent and driven), as part of her visit she met with a group committed to improving the lives of Pacific women. There she spoke about gender equality and launched the Rarotonga Partnership for the Advancement of Pacific Island Women. This is an initiative between the governments of the US, New Zealand and Australia to support emerging women leaders, and establish networks for sustainable leadership development in the region.
At the Pacific Islands Forum she told leaders that "our countries are bound by shared interest and more importantly shared values, a shared history and shared goals for our future". The Forum participants then agreed to international commitment to sustainable ocean management and conservation. This included the launch of the World’s biggest marine park, by the Cook Islands government. A huge 1.2 million square kilometres (386,000 square miles), this is equal to the size of Egypt!
Of course much more was discussed, and it is hoped that the results of the forum will translate into real tangible economic benefit for the whole of the Cook Islands.
Nevertheless, for those in the tourism industry one of the lasting legacies will be the amazing feedback Hillary Clinton and other Forum leaders gave to journalists while on their visit. Hillary and other guests were reported to be ‘spellbound’ by our Islands’ natural beauty, and charmed by the local people and the beautiful cultural performances. While on the Forum retreat, the local paper quoted one of the leaders as saying “this is heaven”.
And at the end of her visit, clearly taken with the Cook Islands, Hillary Clinton said she would prefer “not to go on to the next stop”.
There is no denying; in terms of tourism promotion this was an incredible way to showcase our patch of paradise.
The above photo was sourced from the US Embassy New Zealand page on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/us_embassy_newzealand/
Everyone here in Rarotonga is very excited about the news that another ‘high profile’ international guest is expected to visit the Cook Islands. Rumour is the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be attending the annual Pacific Forum to be held here in Rarotonga beginning August 27.
While the US Embassy in New Zealand declined to confirm the rumour, Cook Island officials are ‘preparing as if she is coming’. This preparation includes sourcing vehicles for her stay, in addition to the three SUVs owned by the government. In all there will be 16 cars, police vehicles, motorbikes and scout cars.
Local Police have asked drivers to be on alert for the ‘motorcade’ which will be transporting VIP leaders around Rarotonga. There will also be tighter security on the Island during the Forum, with New Zealand providing some extra police officers to assist the local police force.
You may wonder why such a powerful and influential US politician is attending the annual forum. Apparently her presence would ‘emphasize Washington’s policy shift on trade, humanitarian aid and military presence in the Region as it seeks to capitalize upon and counterbalance the rise of many Pacific and Asian nations.’ Translated I would say, the US needs as many ‘allies’ as possible in the current world economic and political environment.
If the rumour proves true, this will be the biggest dignitary to visit Rarotonga since Queen Elizabeth II came to stay with Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips – in 1974! Hopefully Hillary and her entourage will consider some much needed R&R at Rumours Luxury Villas and Spa!
The photograph above of Queen Elizabeth was taken by Bill Johnson and all credit for the photo goes to him.
Over the last 5 years there have been some amazing advances in technology and we are able to enjoy them while living in the tropical island paradise of Rarotonga. As the owner of Rumours Luxury Villas and Spa I have a vested interest in how these advances can enhance tourism and tourists alike in Rarotonga. We have worked very hard at ensuring our guests have access to the right type of technology while on holiday at our resort, and that they are also informed about what is available.
Facebook is an example of one of the additions we have made to our marketing strategy. This is a fantastic way to stay engaged with those guests who have stayed with us, and it also gives us the opportunity to share information about our resort and Rarotonga with future guests. Currently we have over 2,700 people who ‘like’ Rumours on Facebook, and this number grows every time we have new visitors stay. I like Facebook for the fact that we can post specials and news and our ‘followers’ get the information instantly.
Access to the internet is also important for some of our guests. We are able to provide WiFi for all our luxury villas and there are currently 70+ WiFi locations around Rarotonga that you can connect to.
A new application is also available on itraveller (through iTunes). This ‘App’ provides information on where to go and what you can see. It includes a fully zoomable offline map with interactive guide, GPS positioning and points of interest nearby, driving directions, landmarks, shopping, restaurants etc. The App is compatible to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
An example of new technology introduced to Rumours is the amazing addition of a 2.5 metre screen and projection system in our ‘Ultimate Beachfront Villa’. We recognise that while our guests are here to relax by the beach and/or pool, come the evening one of the ultimate ways to relax is in front of a great movie. The large screen is a luxury item that some guests will not have at home, so we hope it may be as memorable as the facilities and tropical beachfront setting that our guests enjoy.
So we will continue to watch with interest the advances and changes with technology and the internet, and where possible use these to our best advantage to enhance our guests’ stay here in Rarotonga.