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“Amazing! (Gay Friendly Location!)” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Etu Moana

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Etu Moana
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   PO Box 123, Cook Islands   |  
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Ranked #1 of 10 hotels in Aitutaki
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Amazing! (Gay Friendly Location!)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

My wife and I went for our honeymoon this first week of July. We stayed in Villa #7 and loved it! We did a lot of research before our trip and were prepared for a slower pace of life and to just appreciate the beauty of the island.

Some of the negative reviews I read about:

Roosters.... yes, they can be annoying at first...our rooster sounded like he was being choked to death...but this is an island that wakes up with the sun and goes to bed with it. You'll get the most out of your day adjusting to that schedule.

Mosquitos.... You're in a tropical location, what do you expect? We were prepared with bug spray and were careful when opening doors to not let any in.

Breakfast.... They must have updated the breakfast because we really enjoyed the various breads and jams along with cereal, fruit, hardboiled eggs, coffee and juice.

Beach... no this is not a swimming beach, but we knew that going in. The coral housed some beautiful, colorful fish that we only see in aquariums in the states, so it was great just walking around in the crystal clear water looking at all of them. We saw an eel and blue starfish as well. The sea cucumbers are not ideal, but they help make all that beautiful white sand, so appreciate instead of complain.

The managers, Steve and Amanda were lovely. They left a bottle of champagne for us with a note congratulating us on our marriage. It was a very nice surprise!

Our trip was planned for 5 days in Aitutaki, 7 days in Rarotonga...I wish we had done it the other way around. Aitutaki was so peaceful and relaxing. We can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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626 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (112)
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English first
Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

Beautiful place to have a holiday, thank you for the friendly welcome and the wonderful up grade nearer the beach....want to come back!! Was great walking down the beach in the dark meeting the crabs looking for the restaurant for dinner....

Room Tip: Closer to the beach is best.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Top Contributor
150 reviews 150 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

My wife and I celebrated my 60th birthday here and stayed 6 nights. We could readily have spent a month at this place!!!! Lots of extra touches were provided - a spacious room with a comfortable super king bed with "views to die for" looking out over Aitutaki Lagoon (we had a beachfront villa); a huge covered, elevated deck which serves as extra living space. A well appointed bathroom with a nice tiled walk-in shower and rain shower head. Granite bench tops in the kitchen and the bath room. The deck has a table and chairs, a lovely comfortable day bed with 2 cushions (on one side of the deck), and a recliner on the other. Afternoon power naps on the day bed are highly recommended!The deck proved to be great for eating our breakfasts on (we selected what we wanted from the serving area around the swimming pool each morning and took it back to our villa), for watching the sunsets from and for escaping the searing sun! All of the staff are exceptionally and genuinely friendly here. Our many thanks to Steve and Amanda (who manage the resort), for providing good advice on things to do and places to eat. The villas are fitted out to a very high standard. Continetal breakfasts are excellent (who really needs scambled eggs any way!), although the coffee is a little strong for our liking. Very easy to lose track of time here. You'll need a car or scooter, as the resort does not offer lunches or dinners; some restaurants will pick you up but wheels give you much greater flexibility. We hired a pink (yes pink) Honda Jazz from Aquila car rentals in town for only $50/day for a 4 day hire. This is actually cheaper and safer than hiring 2 scooters which are $30 each/day. Bring plenty of effective mosquito repellent and water resistant sun screen.
A few negatives: our villa did not have a compendium when we arrived and despite asking for one twice, it never turned up - we had to borrow one from a guest in another villa, which was disappointing as it contains alot of interesting info which we read about only towards the end of our 6 day stay. We felt there should have been travel brochures in the villa with various activities and places to eat at on the Island - yes they have one in the front office; however this office is not manned in the evenings when you are planning the day ahead. The lagoon is also very shallow and rocky in front of the villas, especially at low tide.
See my revews on "Trip Advisor" of the many restaurants we ate at on Aitutaki; and the 2 lagoon tours we did (with Teking and Aitutaki Adventures - I recommend both very highly). Best restaurants we discovered are the Koru Cafe for lunch and Tipunas for dinner. We were very disappointed with the food and service at the 5 star Pacific Resort.
After looking around at a number of accomodation options (for the future) during our holiday, we came away convinced this is ther best place to stay at on Aitutaki. Yes it's alittle expensive but as Mr Nike says, "just do it!"

Room Tip: We stayed in villa 9 which we were told is the "owners villa"; we think it's the best...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Macquarie
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

Etu Moana is a perfect place to stay whilst on Aitutaki. A lovely quiet resort in a nice part of the island. There is a reef out the front of the resort where you can snorkel or kayak to see the coral and fish.
The managers, Amanda and Steve, and all of the staff are lovely and very happy to help with any information, ideas whilst staying on the island.
Breakfast was just right - a variety of breads, fresh local fruits, cereals, yoghurts, boiled eggs, juices, tea & coffee.
We had a wonderfully relaxing time in Etu Moana and would definitely recommend it to others. Thank you Amanda, Steve and the crew .

Room Tip: We stayed in villa 1 - absolute beachfront which was wonderful but all villas are set out well.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

Having read all the great reviews on Trip Advisor, we were not to be disappointed.
Etu Moana is a lovely resort. Amanda and Steve were great hosts as were the staff. Couldnt do enough to help you. These guys really go out of there way to make you feel welcome.
Aitutaki's lagoon is amazing. We were lucky enough to take a private day trip out with Mike & Melee on the Black Pearl. Worth every $. and if we had stayed longer which we wanted to do, we would have gone again. We have been to Raratonga 5 times and this is the first time we have gone to Aitutaki. In future, we will probably just go there..its a little peace of heaven.
The Resort is quiet and peaceful which we find very relaxing and it suits us to have facilities like the Villas kitchenette, so on days when we didnt want to go out we stayed in and cooked.
There are 2 nice restaurants within walking distance, but you probably need a car/scooter to explore the other places like the Boat Shed and the Cafe. Overall Etu Moana gets a 10/10 for quality, price, and service.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

Aitutaki's lagoon is surreal and the boutique resort Etu Moana, beyond beautiful. A lot of attention to details had been put in this place and it shows. The villas are high end, very comfortable and the site is truly magnificent. Our hosts Steve & Ananda are Canadians from Vancouver Island and are very warm & kind. They love where they live and care about their guests. We were very impressed with the lush, friendly and GORGEOUS island!  We highly recommend beautiful & friendly Aitutaki  and this small resort. We only stayed for three nights and frankly, it was not enough. Five nights  would have been better or even longer. We are already talking about coming back!

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

This is a nice place to stay. The staff is extremely accommodating and helpful. The bungalows are very nice and they do not try to scam you out of money for every single thing like other major hotels on the island. The view is not bad but not the prettiest on the island. The only thing that I would list as a negative are the Roosters the sit right outside your window every morning at 4:30 and call until sunrise. Good luck sleeping past 4:30. I am under the impression that is a normal part of life on this island though.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Etu Moana

Address: PO Box 123, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Aitutaki
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Aitutaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Etu Moana 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Etu Moana Beach Villas offers ten Polynesian style villas with thatched roofing. The Villas are situated on a beautiful white sandy beach and you have a mesmerizing view of the turquoise lagoon from each Villa. The Villas are all self contained and have a kingsize bed, large covered verandas, and Tasmanian oak floors. The style is crisp and modern. We offer complimentary Tropical breakfast, kayaks, snorkel equipment, and bicycles. In addition we also offer a gift music CD, coconut drink, ei's and airport transfers. The lovely Cook Island staff at Etu Moana are waiting for you! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Etu Moana Aitutaki
Etu Moana Hotel Aitutaki

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