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“Why stay anywhere else?” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Inanobeach Bungalows

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Inanobeach Bungalows
PO Box 48 | Inano Beach, Cook Islands   |  
Hotel amenities
Evans Head
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Why stay anywhere else?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2010

Inano Beach Bungalows were just what we wanted - quiet, clean, great hosts and a to die for swimming spot!
We (two couples) were picked up from the airport by Veia, who greeted us with an ei each, that she had made just for us.
Each bungalow was self contained, roomy and very clean. Even though all bungalows were full when we were there, you hardly ever ran into other guests. Larger resorts like Samade around the corner were busy, and you would never have had the beach to yourself.
We spent every night down at the lagoon having drinks and watching the most glorious sunsets - by ourselves!
Veia was more than happy to organise a car for us, an island night and lagoon cruise. we did the island night at Puffy's. perhaps not the slickest, but hey - still don't get that music and great dancing at home! Veia had flowers ready to wear in our hair and transport there and back.
We did two island cruises. The first one with Bishops, a great cruise to see the lagoon. Fantastic lunch, ok snorkeling and excellent entertainment from the crew. They play ukulele, guitar, drums and sang beautifully (at every opportunity!).
Our second cruise was with Teking, which was smaller, there were only 9 of us for the day. Some fantastic off the boat snorkeling, saw some beautiful clams and the truly gorgeous purple coral. Again, a great lunch in a breathtaking location.
You do need to organise some transport, as a trip to the shops is a long long walk. But Veia is also happy to run you to town if need be.
We all agreed that we would all come back to Inano again - in fact we wouldn't consider anywhere else on Aitutaki to stay!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • 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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66 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
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English first
Italy
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2010

Let me first tell you that it is our second time in Aitutaki. We were also in the Cook islands in 2007. This time in 2010(17 may-5th of june) we stayed almost three weeks at Inano beach bungalows. We got married on the beautiful, amazing sandbar called Honeymoon islands with Captain Fantastic(Andrew), from Kiaorana cruise, who organized for us a perfect simple wedding!!!!
I believe that if Aitutaki is my favourite place on earth, then Honeymoon Island is my favourite place on Aitutaki, go and see it with your eyes and check the colour of the water on the ohter side of the island!!!!!!
Going to Aitutaki is a must(on my opinion) . I have traveled around the world and Aitutaki is my favourite place so far. It s not only becasue of the beautiful beaches and the amazing, unbelievable colour of the water(oh my god!!!) but also for the vibe the place transmits you and changes you forever from inside. In Aitutaki life flows slowly, very slowly, traffic runs at 30 km/h, everything is dealt with such quietness, after a few days you get to know everybody, everybody greets you in the streets, everybody is friendly, but not invasive. The only danger you are likely to encounter in Aitutaki is walking under coconut trees(a coconut may be hard on your head!) and the only nuisances seem to be sandflies and mosquitos. sandflies (our legs and bodies sadly found) seem to be more present near the shores just before entering the water. They bite, you don't realize right away and you are going to scratch for weeks(put an insect repellent also during the day to avoid them). Anyway sandflies were not present in every beach we are still not sure where we were bitten

Now let's talk about Inano Beach bungalows. We booked the beachfront bungalow for 19 nights. the bungalow is very spacious, the view(especially at sunrise and sunsets) is amazing, there is a kitchen, a table with chairs outside and inside, a closet for clothes, a comfortable queen bed and a clean toilet and new shower.the rooms are screened for mosquitos but be sure the nets are kept close at all times. the owners are Veia & Moeau . They are friendly but never invasive. The place is really quiet. the only noise you will hear is sometimes the plane landing nearby...there were other customers in the other bungalows but the clientele was very quiet too! .A very nice all tide swimming beach surrounded by palm trees on the coast is there for you, pretty big, you will feel like you almost own the place...They did good to dig a hole in the lagoon because there are low tides every day(in low tides the water really disappears on the coast) but in Inano Beach you can always go for a dip or a swim. i was on the beach bench at night until late watching the stars and there was nobody around....if you want nightlife you can find it outside of Inano... We rented a car through Veia, it costed us 30 NZ dollar a day. Veia, the owner was really nice and was always smiling to our 2 year old daughter, Luna. If you stay here she sells filtered rain water for 1 dollar. it is worth it and tastes better than the 2 dollars supermarket one
Also the people working there were nice and i say hi to them.

Places we recommend to eat for very good food & Island night: Tamanu beach( a greeting to the beautiful dancers and waitresses(they do both things on an island night)incredibly good local food buffet on Island Night on Thursday night followed by a beautiful dance &fire show. Check also the tasty Bbq night on sundays .A greeting to the beautiful dancers and waitresses(they do both things on an island night)
For a Very good breakfast : Koru cafe(hallo to the couple there and their beautiful kids)
Snack or casual dinner on the beach : samade on the beach
casual dinner at night: Boat shed
Nice dining on a sand floor and very good food: Tupuna restaurant
For a nice cup of tea and very good coconut cake: visit the lady at Tauono's on the main road (ask for directions ,you will see a small sign outside)
Cheap places to eat: the fish and chips and burger(there are signs on the road) places near the centre in arutanga are the cheapest places on the island, you will spend 1/6 of what you normally spend in a restaurant. you will find lots of locals too.
The grocery stores are the Heineken store(where you can find everything you would find at home for premium prices(a pack of frozen sliced bacon is 15 Nz dollars!!) or the slightly cheaper supermamarket near the main square-port that is also supplied with almost everything. Don't count on finding bread in aitutaki on saturday afternoon, do not even think of finding it on sunday!!!!!remember this protest sign phrase you will see around the island everywhere:=== No Aitutaki sunday flights-===-You will soon understand what i mean
The airport in Aitutaki is the best airport in the world, no security, no passport control, no luggage sections, no announcements, nobody asks you anything, the pilot from far on the runway tells you its time to go!!!all airlines should be like Air Rarotonga!!!
More than a few houses and churches have been damaged or destroyed in Aitutaki when cyclone Pat hit the island in february 2010 but dont worry: the hurricane feeling has already left the island. vegetation is back, the people are always welcoming and crops are coming back. The Island has recovered pretty well and if they didn't tell me that there had been a hurricane a few months earlier i almost wouldn't have noticed the difference(we were there in 2007)
One last note: Prices are higher in Aitutaki than Rarotonga for everything(accomodation, food, groceries,restaurants etc). I love Raro too, it is a beautiful Island(with lots of activities, beautiful beaches & more) but i think it has changed a lot in the last three years,they have built a lot more resorts and restaurants and it looks like there are more and more people, compared to Aitutaki it looks like New York City! But if you arrive from any part of the world you will find Rarotonga extremely relaxed and slow, though!!!
Beautiful beautiful Cook Islands, we will probably come back to check in a few years if that coconut tree we planted on Honeymoon Island is still there!


Luca Toscani

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2010

We were really glad we chose to stay at Inano Beach, and luckily stayed in the beachfront unit from which you have a glorious view over the lagoon and main part of the island, especially dramatic at sunset. Veia is a wonderful hostess - she gave us a very warm welcome at the airport, then suggested the best trips to do and made the bookings for us, and was happy to help in any way possible. The units are spacious and well appointed, and the windows and door are screened to keep out mosquitoes, which is a great benefit as you can leave the windows open to receive the breezes blowing off the lagoon. Aitutaki is easy and interesting to explore by scooter (there are several rental places within walking distance), and a "must do" is a lagoon cruise. We went with Bishops, which leaves from Samade's right by Inano Beach - it is truly amazing to see the beauty of the lagoon waters, especially around the sandbar 'Heaven' and 'One Foot Island', in fact almost indescribable beauty - we were a bit lost for words! Within walking distance of Inano Beach are Koru Cafe (fantastic for breakfast and lunch, great service, and sells some interesting local crafts) and the Boatshed Bar & Grill - it does lunch and dinner, and is in a great location with a nice terrace - we have some amazing photos of the moon rising over the Pacific. There is no shop within walking distance, but Veia can sell you water and beer, and anything else can be bought on the main bit of the island (scooter essential - not walking distance). Aitutaki is truly beautiful, and our stay at Inano Beach made it perfect.

  • Stayed April 2010, 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, New Zealand
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2010

My husband and I stayed 2 nights in the beachfront bungalow at Inano. We couldn’t fault the accommodation. It was spotlessly clean, private from the other bungalows and the beachfront was very peaceful. During our stay we had a look at some of the more expensive resorts for comparisons’ sake and were stunned that Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa are charging in excess of $1000 for their ‘overwater bungalows’. Admittedly we didn’t look inside, but from the outside we were happier with our more private location.

We were collected at the airport a little late by a flustered Veia, who welcomed us with some slightly browning but still aromatic leis. Upon arrival at the bungalow she took the time to have a chat with us and encouraged us to do the Lagoon Cruise the following day which she offered to book us in for. It was amazing and the highlight of our trip.

We had 2 very peaceful nights at Inano. The resort is small and wasn’t busy – we saw no other guests during our stay. However the following issues did arise:

1) I pre-arranged a late checkout at a cost of $40 as our flight wasn’t till the afternoon of our 3rd day. We don’t get away without kids often and were looking forward to a sleep in. That morning around 9am Veia woke us up, demanding to know when we were going for breakfast. Baffled, we told her that we would be leaving soon. When we arrived back at the bungalow she’d done room service, despite us arranging the late checkout. We had wanted to spend the day relaxing, snorkelling etc but felt we couldn’t use the new towels or sit on the bed as she had left them for the next guests.

2) On our last day Veia had said she would collect us at 4 to take us to the airport (our flight was at 4:40). At 3:45 we were relaxing on the deck bungalow and she said “We’re going now”. I said “Oh, I thought we were leaving at 4” and she replied “No, we’re going now.” We then had to rush around getting our gear ready in about 5 minutes when there was ample time to spare because she wanted us out of the way, no doubt, for her next guests! She was even sweeping the floor under our feet as we were packing! We have never been treated like this before, and it’s unacceptable, especially when you have paid $40 extra to stay late!

3) My husband had previously checked whether we could use the kayaks on the property and Veia had told us to feel free. As we were leaving for the airport Veia asked me whether we’d used the kayaks that morning. When I confirmed we had she said “That will be $20.” She had made no mention of this earlier and had led us to believe they were complimentary. This was the final sting in the tail and by then we were feeling really disillusioned with her service.

I need to reiterate that Inano itself was lovely and we felt good value for money. Unfortunately we didn’t meet any of the other staff that others on tripadvisor have spoken highly of. There were other small issues, like not being told about the filtered water available there much cheaper than the shops (I had to ask) and a faulty kettle in our room, but these are easily passed over when you receive otherwise friendly service. Aitutaki is still recovering from the cyclone and needs tourists; treating them poorly is not going to help get return customers. By the end of our short stay, Veia had made us feel like her agenda was more important than the needs of her guests.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2009

I so wish I have had time to write something earlier than now... my sincerest apologies Veia and Moeau.... I will load some photos of our stay at this sensational place and write a thorough review in the common weeks. Melissa and I cannot wait to visit again. Anyone thinking of going to Aitutaki... I truly recomend Inano Beach Bungalows... although we normally stay at 5 star resorts... we were so impressed with Inano and so very happy we did not stay at a large 5 star resort as Inano is truly unique and absolutely beautiful. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions about Inano. I promise you will not be disappointed with Inano and the sensational hosts, Veia, Moeau, Tu and Junior ! They are now family to us.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2009

I'll get the important things over first -
view from beachfront bungalow AMAZING, bungalow big and clean, bed very comfortable, water in shower hot, swimming hole fantastic, mossies lots, location (for us) couldn't be better.

OK, the detail.

We came to AItutaki after six nights at Muri Beach Cottages on Raro. Our whole holiday was booked around the five nights at Inano in the beachfront bungalow.

Met at the airport by the wonderful Teu (hope I've spelt that right) who is the housekeeper at Inano. Teu showed us around the bungalow and explained about water, and more importantly beer, being avalable from Moeau. We just had to ask.

The bungalow had just been vacated by an Aussie mother and her 13yo son who had been staying for three weeks. Ethan had arrived with a typical 13yo's attitude - there's nothing to do - and ended up three weeks later not wanting to leave. We're not surprised.

I agree with what all previous posters have said about the bungalows. They're huge, have great verandahs, are fully screened to keep the mossies out, are far enough away from each other that you aren't looking in on each other. All excpet the becahfront face the lagoon on an angle, the beachfront faces straight out to the lagoon. They are serviced daily except Sunday. Moeau hangs bananas that he grows away from Inano on a branch that you can take if you feel like one. Apparently when the mangoes are in season they are also offered.

Veia was away during our visit - she actually flew back to the island on the plane we were leaving on. Teu as I've said was wonderful and very welcoming. Moeau was friendly but maybe hadn't had many gay couples stay before. Maybe we were just a little paranoid.

The gardens are beautiful - Junior does a great job looking after them.

The beach - it is not a soft sand beach like we have here in Australia. I'm thinking that what's there is what was excavated out of the lagoon to make the swimming hole. It's kind of set like concrete but there was only one other family staying so we didn't have a problem using the loungers. We're not sunbakers so it wouldn't have bothered us if they'd been taken. The sand round at Samade, a five minute walk away, was soft if that's your thing.

The water - it was clean and nice and cool. It gets deep pretty much straight away so you'd need to keep an eye on children.

One reviewer complained about the mud in the swimming hole and said the sand was just a thin layer. I agree with Moeau's response. It is sand for a long, long way down. But.... there is also very fine silt mixed into the sand that gives an odd texture to it. If you've ever swum in a lake in an old limestone quarry you'll know what I'm talking about. We loved the swimming hole. In summer, the coolness of the water will be a big bonus.

Location - we loved the location. We had five cafes/restaurants withing walking distance. We ate dinner at The Boatshed twice -very good meals. Samade three times - one ok lunch, one very ordinary dinner and island night that we really enjoyed. We ate at Koru Cafe for breakfast - the pancakes were FANTASTIC! We didn't make it for lunch but heard that the lunches were huge. Also went to Sunday bbq over at Tamanu.

Beer - appeared to be $5 most places for standard beers. Strangely, Samade charged either $6 or 6.50 for the same beers. Weird. Wine - surprised that wine was what we would consider cheap (from a restaurant perspective) at Raro and even more so on Aitutaki considering how difficult it is to get stuff there.

Things to do - we hired a scooter for a day from The Boatshed so we could ride around the island. We went up to the lookout. We walked out into the lagoon from Samade and up past The Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa and along the motus until we decided we'd gone far enough. Maybe a two hour walk there and then back in an hour.

We went out on the glass bottom boat lagoon cruise (Teu organised that for us) and then the yellow boat lagoon cruise (we booked that at the visitor centre). Both were fantastic. REALLY FANTASTIC. Would have liked to go out with Teking as well if we'd had another day so that we could have experienced lunch sat out in the water. Which ever cruise you choose you'll have an amazing experience. You just won't believe the intensity fo the blues until you experience them. Photos just can't do it justice.

Finally, mossies. There are a lot of mossies on Aitutaki and they are worst around the inner lagoon. We brought mossie coils with us and we were left some by the family who had been in the bungalow before us. We also bought more at Koru. I lit one as soon as I got up and sat it out on the verandah. I had one sat on a saucer inside ecah night. I can cope with ants and flies and spiders but hate mossies buzzing around my head at night. Didn't hear one!

So that's about it. Yes, long like all of my reviews, but I hope those who read this get something out of it even if you don't stay at Inano. We loved it and if we went back to Aitutaki we would stay at Inano again (but we'd also stay a week on the west coast as well) :-)

If you are interested in the full review of our Cook Islands holiday, with lots more photos, we have a travel blog on Travelpod under aussiepanda

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belgium
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2009

My daughter (18) and I spent two weeks at Inano Beach Bungalows and we loved it.

The location is a dream: a quiet cove in the inner lagoon with no immediate neighbors, yet in walking distance to the Koru Cafe, the Boatshed and Samade. The walk along a palm grove path to O’otu is a joy. For early birds, Inano Beach is just a short walk away from the east side of the island to enjoy the magic of the sunrise above the ocean.

The beach is just beautiful: so white it sometimes hurts the eyes to look at it without sunglasses. There are two lovely beach shades and several loungers.
The owners have dug up the sand all along the property and this makes a huge, deep natural swimming pool. It is ideal for those of us who want to step out of the bungalow and be able to swim any time of the day, whatever the tide. The water is like the water at O’otu beach with the advantage that there are no sea cucumbers here. As there are no neighbors, there are no passersby.
The place has a fascinating beach life: fishes and eels, different crab species, a multitude of living shells, wading birds fishing for their food. I never got bored watching all this beauty: National Geographic live!
There is a beach shower to rinse of the salt and sand. Excellent to keep the bungalow and bathroom free of sand.
The lagoon here is perfect (no coral) and safe to float on an air mattress or inflatable toys: we used ours for hours on end.
Single and double canoes are for rent at NZD10/day.

We stayed at the beachfront unit but all bungalows (except for the family bungalow that has a separate bedroom) are identical. They have a large covered deck set in such a way that even when it rains or on windy days you can sit outside.

The bungalow is very spacious. The high ceiling creates a roomy and airy atmosphere. The way the windows are placed provide for excellent cross ventilation. There is no air conditioning but I think those two features make it redundant even in summer (there is also a ceiling fan).
Full screening makes the bungalow a safe haven against mosquitoes.
Although the kitchen is not abundantly equipped, it has everything you need to cook your own meals (during the two weeks we stayed there, we only ate out twice). It has a microwave oven, water boiler, toaster but no coffee machine.
The bathroom is functional and comfortable, and above all immaculately clean.

The beach, the grounds and the bungalows are very clean: the grounds raked and the bungalows serviced daily, except on Sundays.
There were always free bananas and the handyman provided us with freshly husked coconuts: delightful.

What makes this place special though, is the dedication of the owners to their place and the respect for their culture demonstrated in the use of traditional crafts: no plastic but solid, locally handmade wooden loungers; walls, ceiling and cupboard doors covered with locally plaited pandanus panels, the roof thatching handmade by Veia herself, the wooden carved giant spoon and fork in the kitchen, the wooden tipani flowers in the bathroom, the hand printed flowers in the corners of the sheets and the colourful bedspreads, all make this place very charming.

Veia and Moeau are attentive and discrete in their approach to their guests.

Although the view from the beachfront unit is absolutely fabulous, most of the other bungalows have a partial view of the lagoon that is very nice as well. They are well spaced and the lay-out of the garden provides adequate privacy.

Good value.

Bottom line: charming, cozy, comfortable, clean

  • Stayed August 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Inanobeach Bungalows

Address: PO Box 48 | Inano Beach, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Aitutaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Inano Beach is an all tide swimming beachfront property with seven self–catering individual stand alone bungalows, one beachfront and 5 partial lagoon view garden bungalows, laid out in a semi circle to provide some views of our natural marine reserve that is part of a private beach.We are situated on the sheltered inland side of the lagoon, with stunning views looking across turquoise waters and the marine reserve towards the main bulk of Aitutaki Island. ... more   less 
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