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Aitutaki bungalow, HELP PLEASE!!

Auckland, New...
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44 posts
7 reviews
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Aitutaki bungalow, HELP PLEASE!!

Am going to Aitutaki for 5 nights in July 2006. Have flights confirmed but no accomcdation as yet!!We really want a romantic beach front at a snip. Our first option was Inano but they have just cancelled us for a larger booking. Then Paradise Cove but they have no availability! Then the Aitutaki Beach Villa but they have only the first 3 nights so we would have to move!

Our other options are Popara and Ranginui but , although available, ????don't look as good

Do you think it worth taking the 3 nights at Beach Villa and moving on ???? for the last 2 nights. If so to where? or ????

Please please help.....

Melbourne, Australia
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60 posts
18 reviews
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11. Re: Aitutaki bungalow, HELP PLEASE!!

I've just got back from Aitutaki, and stayed myself 2 nights at Samade on the Beach in Ootu Beach, and then 2 nights at Etu Moana. I've just posted reviews of both which should be up soon.

Basically Samade on the Beach is basic but nice modern bungalows. The plots of land (which are all family tribal land) go backward from the beach rather than along. So the restaurant/bar at Samade is right on the beach, steps from the lagoon water. It is perfect for swimming with a soft sand bottom (rather than sharp coral everywhere), and forms a natural water hole formed by a sand spit which is visible at low-tide. The restaurant and bar there are pretty good. It costs around NZ $250 a night, but of course the bungalows are back from the beach behind the restaurant and bar, although set into nice garden areas with palms, and obviously just metres from the beach. I found the service somewhat erratic at the restaurant, although acknowledge this was over the busy Christmas and its run by extended family members who were inundated with Cook Island friends visiting from NZ and were on the beers late into the night I suspect, so may have been coping with hang-overs and stress.

Ranginui is just literally 100 metres down the road, and I think it looked really nice as well. Obviously if you stay there you can just wander down the road to Samade, and it is more absolute beachfront, with the bungalows set on grass looking straight out to the lagoon. So that's definitely a contender as well for you.

Etu Moana is absolutely divinely perfect and I could not fault a single thing about it, but you do pay more for this place, it was NZ $450 a night and I think they're putting up their rates for 2006 to around NZ $500 a night, but there is a discount for longer stays. This place is so fabulous I don't know where to begin. The owners are friendly lovely Canadians who everyone finds just so nice. They built the 8 boutique bungalows themselves, which are immaculate with Italian tile bathroom, inside and private outside shower, beautiful kitchen with granite top, kingsize bed, and so on. A stunning blue pool, and lagoon view from all bungalows (which you can go snorkelling in - with free snorkel gear provided). I don't know anyone who didn't adore this place. I think every single person on here gave it 5 out of 5.

I can't think of a more wonderful place to spend your honeymoon, if you can stretch to the more expensive price. If you do stay here, there is a restaurant down the road from Etu Moana, at Are Tamanu. Also down the road Pacific Resort has a nice restaurant. The best one on the island is Cafe Tapuna, but it is a bit of a drive to get to so you will need to organise transport. And of course you can visit Samade for a meal. There island night is great, only $35 a head for food and entertainment per person, and good fun.

I don't know what days of the week you are staying at Rarotonga or Aitutaki, but note:

- Friday on Rarotonga is there only late night when the bars go to 2am. Other nights they close at midnight.

- Sunday on either Rarotonga or Aitutaki is their day of rest, the Sabbath, and they take it very seriously. Almost all of them go to church, and keep it a day of rest, which originates from the missionary era.

So you might want to twig the dates so you stay Friday night on Rarotonga. In terms of restaurants there in Rarotonga, the top resturant is Tamarind House (which was closed over the Christmas period so I haven't personally checked it out). The Pacific Resort in Muri is a beautiful resort right on the beach, with a beachfront restaurant which does beautiful food and great also for lunch as well as dinner. The Flame Tree is also in Muri, but set into garden rather than near the beach. Sails Restaurant is in the sailing club in Muri and you sit on a deck looking at the beach and lagoon, also good for lunch.

One we went to which I loved on Rarotonga was the restaurant at Manuia Boutique Hotel (hope I have spelling correct), which was a sand bottom restaurant, right beside their new swimming pool and absolute beachfront, on the sunset side of the island so choose a night which looks like it will be a good sunset (eg not overcast and horrible) and this is a great place to go.

A very cool bohemian painted hexagon restaurant set in garden with beautiful food and candlelight dinners is the Kikau Hut, with lovely music played most nights of the week, and cool colourful paintings all over the walls and floors.

Have a great trip!

canada
2 posts
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12. Re: Aitutaki bungalow, HELP PLEASE!!

i'm a canadian who lived on aitutaki for 10 months. aitutaki beach villa is owned by the family of an aquaintance of mine. very private, right on the beach, good choice. i'd recommend sunny beach lodge, close to town, very clean. are tamanu is beautiful but $$$. have a fabulous time! i'd be happy to suggest anything else if you have any other questions.

Victoria, Canada
10 posts
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13. Re: Aitutaki bungalow, HELP PLEASE!!

nanogirl

i'm a fellow canadian too - so cool to hear of your 10 month stay - good on you - i've emailed ait. beach villa for our dates in march but haven't heard back yet

sue

Orlando, FL
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60 posts
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14. Re: Aitutaki bungalow, HELP PLEASE!!

I'll be staying at Popoara in March and write a review when I return. As others have noted, it is NOT on the beach. For me that's not a big deal, but I can understand why many people would want beach bungalow.

Looks like you've been given some great advice here. I hope you have a wonderful time in July. :)

--sam

canada
2 posts
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15. Re: Aitutaki bungalow, HELP PLEASE!!

email on aitutaki is sketchy at best, so patience is required, not to mention locals running on island time :)

Auckland, New...
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5 posts
5 reviews
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16. Re: Aitutaki bungalow, HELP PLEASE!!

We are going to rarotonga for a friends wedding they are both from rarotonga and have recommended we go out to aitutaki for 2 nights only, they said this would be plenty not much to do out there apart from the day trip out to the islands/lagoon and apparently expensive for food/alcohol. They have recommended www.aretaibeachvillas.com which looks amazing and has beachfront villas exactly what we want, hope this helps, Donna