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“As far as I am concerned, it doesn't get better than this!”

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Aito Apartments Muri
Ranked #11 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Muri
Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“As far as I am concerned, it doesn't get better than this!”
Reviewed November 23, 2012

I stayed in Aito for 12 nights in the first half of November 2012. All I can say is that I totally fell in love with the island, with the house and with the owners (Jean-Marc and Mere). I was treated like I was part of the family and ended up spending many evenings with Jean-Marc and Mere, and got introduced to their friends and relatives. They are such warm and loving people and I can't stop missing them... I left my heart in Raro and Aito, but will go back to claim it next year in October (plane tickets and accommodation in Aito already booked)! The apartment I stayed in was beautiful, spotlessly clean, very spacious and comfortable (great bed!), with fully equipped kitchen, huge bathroom, two large patios, and only a few steps from the amazing Titikaveka beach!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank Roberto_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Swedish first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012

After reading the reviews on Trip Advisor, we decided to choose Aito Apartments for an eight day stay in the Cook Islands. All the excellent reviews are truly deserved and staying at Jean-Marc and Mere's wonderful apartment with their hospitality made for an amazing stay. The apartment was spotlessly clean and well stocked with everything that one could need, down to laundry detergent to wash clothes. A bowl of fresh fruit met and a stocked fridge was there on our arrival the first night, so we didn't need to rush to the store to buy food. We were invited to dinner with Jean-Marc and Mere, who catered for us being vegetarian. They're both great cooks and they also brought dinner down for us a few times too in order to sample the local flavours and dishes of the Cook Islands. All was gratefully received and throughly enjoyed!

Aita Apartments is located within walking distance of Muri Beach, where there's car rental agencies, restaurants, stores and most everything else for immediate needs. There's also a beach opposite across the road, or you can drive a minute down the road to the great snorkelling spot opposite Fruits of Rarotonga. A little further on opposite the Seventh Day Adventist College is another great beach too. The drive to the main town takes about 15 minutes. A circle trip around the island takes about 40-45 minutes. There's a supermarket not far away heading clockwise which has great ice cream for $2 a scoop.

There is wifi in the flat, but you need to buy a wifi code from the telephone shop in the main town near the Avis rental car shop in order to jump on the internet. I'm sure there are other places you can buy it from though.

All in all Aita is a fantastic place to stay and I'd definitely stay there again! What made our stay even more special though was the kindness and hospitality of Jean-Marc and Mere. Thank you!

This is a time lapse video I made around the Cook Islands starting and ending at Aita... http://vimeo.com/52765367

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Fimpsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2012

We choose to stay at Aito apts based on the reviews on Trip Advisor. Each and every one of the reviews gave Aito an excellent rating which I can now personally add were very well deserved. We arrived around 2am and were greeted by Jean Marc who was waiting for us even though I had emailed him to say that our flight had been delayed.He welcomed us to what was to be our home away from home for the next seven days.The apt was spotlessly clean,very spacious and the bed was comfortable too.We especially appreciated all the little extras that the hosts did for us to help make our stay more enjoyable. Unfortunately the weather we had whilst In Raro was not kind to us but Jean Marc and Mere certainly made up for it ,they were excellent hosts and we cannot wait to return.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank juju1057
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax
Level Contributor
110 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2012

We chose Aito Apartments based on the excellent Trip Advisor reviews. The excellent reviews are well deserved.

Jean-Marc and Mere were wonderful hosts. They responded promptly to email inquiries about their apartments and worked with our travel schedule to accommodate us both before and after a planned 7-day trip to Aitutaki. They very kindly stocked the kitchen with all the little things needed to get going in the morning - very much appreciated after our long overnight flight from Los Angeles upon first arrival. Because there were no guests currently in our apartment upon arrival, Jean-Marc met us at 7am and allowed us into the apartment. With the supplies provided, we were able to make a nice breakfast of eggs, toast, juice, and coffee...and then head to bed for a few hours. There was also hand soap, bath soap, and dishwashing supplies. We appreciated these thoughtful touches immensely!! It was so nice not to have to run out to a grocery store immediately upon arrival, especially given our exhaustion.

We stayed in one apartment upon our arrival and the other when we returned. Both apartments are immaculately clean, bright, spacious, and luxurious. These apartments are EXTREMELY good value for the money, and this even more true when you take into account all the thoughtful and generous 'extras'.

They are self-catering apartments with a full kitchen, cookware, and linens. There is a cold-water washing machine and dry-line out back so you can do some laundry if you're there for an extended stay, another touch that we greatly appreciated.

There is a large wardrobe in the bedroom with plenty of space to fold and hang clothes, plus additional space in a hall closet if required. The eat-in kitchen and living room are open concept, making the apartment a very comfortable place to spend a rainy day if you are unfortunate enough to have one (or several). The apartments have a TV and DVD player, with a nice selection of DVDs. And there are several books you can choose from as well. The front porch is large with a full-size table to take your meals outdoors if you prefer, and the back verandah has amazing views of the mountains and is also covered so suitable to enjoy in almost any weather.

During our stay, Jean-Marc and Mere invited us to join them upstairs in their home for dinner; they are AMAZING cooks, wonderful hosts, and charming people and I can think of few meals I have enjoyed more. On several occasions, Jean-Marc also popped down to our apartment with meals for us to enjoy or freshly caught BBQ fish for us to try. We were humbled and touched by their generosity.

The apartments are well situated, with beach access, walking distance to groceries and several nice restaurants, 10-15 minute walk to the 'Fruits of Rarotonga' for snorkeling, 15-20 minute walk to Pacific Divers (after arranging the diving, they picked us up and dropped us off), walking distance to rental agencies if you want to pick up a car or scooter, and you can access the bus going either direction by simply waving it down (see more, below). There is a phone in the apartment, with free local access - very handy for arranging activities. And there is wireless internet access but you'll need to go into TeleCom in Avarua to purchase an access code.

Groceries are VERY expensive in the Cook Islands and you may need to adjust your typical cooking habits to fit your desires to availabilities rather than expecting to find the selection you might be used to back home. There is a small grocery within about a 5-10 minute walk of the apartments and larger grocery stores in Avarua. The prices are not substantially different between the two, although there is a larger selection in Avarua. Even if groceries are expensive, it is still less expensive to cook in than to eat out.

When we first stayed in Rarotonga at the start of our holiday, we elected not to rent a vehicle. This is manageable; but we enjoyed ourselves more upon our return when we did rent a vehicle and could get around the island more easily. There is a bus that runs clockwise around the island and (with the exception of Sundays) another that runs counter-clockwise. You can catch the bus by waving it down anywhere along its route and you can be let off anywhere along the route with notice to the driver. The cost is $4NZ one-way and $7NZ return; you do not require exact change, as the driver can make change.

There are two ATM machines within walking distance to the apartments, with a higher fee at the ANZ than at the Westpac for foreign cards. There are also several ATM machines in Avarua. Different machines have different cash withdrawal limits that vary between $800-$1000NZD (with a $4.50NZD fee at the less expensive Westpac machines). NOTE: If you are arriving from Canada, you can avoid this fee if you bank at home with Scotiabank, which is a member of the Westpac global alliance.

The largest identifiable town (there are others named on the map but they don't have identifiable town centres or many shops/restaurants to speak of) is Avarua, on the north of the island. Avarua is about a 20-minute bus ride from Aito Apartments. Note that EVERYTHING is closed in town on Sundays. EVERYTHING. We found only two shops open for coffee and/or breakfast and had to look hard to find these.

If you are traveling to Aitutaki, there are strict baggage limits. There are storage lockers at the airport but these are quite expensive; we would have required two large lockers at a combined cost of almost $300NZD for the week. However, given that we were returning to their apartments after our trip to Aitutaki, Jean-Marc and Mere very kindly offered to allow us to store our belongings with them during our absence!! They also drove us to the airport and picked us up!!

I can't say enough great things about Aito Apartments. If you're thinking about staying anywhere else, don't. There are undoubtedly other apartments that are described as beautiful and well-situated, making it somewhat difficult to determine your best option for accommodations. But Jean-Marc and Mere's kindness and generosity tip the scales entirely against any other option. Unless you are somebody who NEEDS to have an apartment overlooking the ocean, you will not be disappointed by Aito Apartments or their hosts.

It is rare for the owners of holiday accommodations to become as much a part of a cherished holiday memory as the place you were visiting. Thank-you, Jean-Marc and Mere.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank IntentToTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2012

Everything that's been said in these reviews is absolutely true! I have stayed in several places on Rarotonga, but Aito is the best! And Jean-marc and Mere are the best! If you're looking for immaculate and spacious accommodation on Raro, Aito Apartments are the place to go! Mere left a banana cake for us and when they barbequed for relatives and friends, they brought us a barbeque meal. In addition to that we were invited upstairs to their living quarters for a meal one evening. We were there from July 19th to August 2nd and wouldn't stay anywhere else on Raro!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank phyllismdrj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2012

This past April we visited the Cook Islands, spending our first 2 nights in Rarotonga before heading to Aitutaki for 5 nights and then back again to Rarotonga for the final 7 nights which is when we stayed at Aito Apartments.

Before finalizing our decisions about where to stay, I studied reviews, did hours of research and worried for months as I did not want to make a bad choice and be disappointed. We are not 'high maintenance' travelers but I did want to ensure we got the best bang for our buck and Aito Apartments over-delivered in that regard. I completely agree with previous reviews - the units are spacious, comfortable and absolutely spotless and of the 3 places we stayed, Aito was definitely our favorite. (For the record, the other places we stayed were ranked #1 and #12 in the Cooks and while we were very happy with those choices, we also paid a significant amount more for both).

What was our favorite part about Aito Apartments? Most definitely Jean-Marc, Mere and Tutu (their dog)! We joked that we'd like to take them all home as souvenirs of our trip but honestly, their warmth, humour & hospitality is our favorite memory of our trip to the Cook Islands. We miss them!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank NewCookie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
62 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2012

I stayed at Aito apartments from February 20 to February 25 and it was a truly fantastic experience for many reasons. Should you look for a self-catered experience, I think there is nowhere else to search in Rarotonga as Aito provides you with everything you would need at an incredible price.

First, the location is very good, just on the main and only road of Rarotonga, 50 meters from the beach and only 5 mins walk to the famous Muri beach (which is I think the nicest beach and part of the lagoon of the island) and 5 mins walk to Fruits of Rarotonga which is a very nice snorkelling spot. You can also easily catch the bus that runs around the island (beware of the schedule of the anticlockwise road!).

Second, the apartment I had (in fact there are only 2 apartments in the residence) was spotless. Very spacious, with a big living room and kitchen very well equiped, a nice bedroom with lots of storage (a huge wardrobe!) and a very nice bathroom. The apartment has everything you need, from the soap to the flyswatter without forgetting the complimentary fruit platter, milk, butter and jams you will find in the fridge when you arrive. You can also enjoy the backyard terrace with a gorgeous view on the mountains. And to kill time during the evening, there is a big TV with a DVD player and good DVDs ! I

But the truly added value of Aito apartments is the exceptional sweetness of the hosts Jean-Marc and Mere, which will make you feel that you are at home rather than at a hotel. As I was travelling alone, they invited me several times to dine with them for great BBQs. They also offered me the transfer from the airport when I arrived (which was priced at 20 NZD on their website), and booked me a shuttle back to the airport which was in the early morning (which was this time 20NZD). And was it was particularly pricy to call to and from Cook Islands, they allowed me to use their Wifi network to use Skype.

So in a word, a very very good stay and the Cook Islands was a fantastic discovery. I also suggest you do the day trip to Aitutatki or at least spend some time there because the lagoon of the island, the crystal-clear waters are really worth a visit and were in fact the highlight of my stay!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank JohnZ05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aito Apartments Muri

Property: Aito Apartments Muri
Address: Rarotonga, Muri 3065, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Muri
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Muri
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
AITO offers 2 Spacious Modern Deluxe self-contained 1 bedroom with ensuite apartments for your enjoyment.Located on the ground floor with ramp access.Fully equipped kitchen with an outdoor BBQ, laundry area with washing machine & cloths line, ceiling fans in bedroom&lounge;, fully screened windows, Solar hot water.Broadban access can be bought from nearby Resorts.Only a pace away from the Beach & pristine Lagoon.The local round-the-island bus service is right at your front gate.Rental cars/bikes, internet Cafes, Restaurants, Hotel&Resorts;, Boat&Safari Tours, Aquatic facilities, Sailing club and the best snorkelling spot is within a walking distance.Relax & unwind in this beautiful family home with the breeze from the Pacific Ocean.Suitable for 1-3 persons per apartment.Your host Mere&Jean-Marc, live on the top floor and will be happy to welcome and assist you.Minimum Stay: 3 ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Aito Apartments Muri Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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