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RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Feb. 23) - At least two hotels on the island will be closing down for business as they try to patch things up after the cyclones that affected Rarotonga this month. Avana Marina Condominiums has closed and will not reopen until further notice. Owner Bryn Donovan says that they are looking at everything being up and running again by mid-April. The condominiums are located near the Avana passage and look out towards Motu Tapu, one of three islets in Muri lagoon.

Donovan says all their units - except two were damaged due mainly to cyclone Nancy as it pounded the eastern side of the island on Tuesday last week. Two downstairs studio suites were damaged quite badly. Despite the fact that the bottom units had shutters on them, the water washed right through the rooms.

"There was a lot of whiteware floating around," says Donovan.

The pool was also damaged. The power was just turned on at the beginning of the week and as of yesterday their phones were still out of order. All guests staying at the units have been evacuated and alternative accommodation has been found. Donovan says there is a couple arriving this Friday to stay at the accommodation and the guests will be given all they can to ensure they enjoy their stay.

Another hotel, the Crown Beach Resort at Arorangi also announced late yesterday that it would close until the end of April.

Currently all in-house guests have been relocated to the garden and poolside villas, which are on the inland side of the beachfront villas which suffered substantial damage during cyclone Olaf.

In a release through Island Hopper Vacations, the resort said that it felt "it would be unfair to deliver a product service less than what their clients have been accustomed to". During the closure, the resort will undergo a number of improvements including redesign of the restaurant and bar, interior refurbishment of all their villas, and extensive landscaping on the property.

February 25, 2005

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