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“Unique and special. A spiritual experience :-)”

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Ahu Ahu Beach Villas
Certificate of Excellence
Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Unique and special. A spiritual experience :-)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2012 via mobile

I have been a regular visitor to Ahu Ahu for the past 7 years and there is seriously nothing else like it probably anywhere in the world! These carefully crafted villas have absorbed the spirits of their owners, the lovely David & Nuala, who crafted them, and many others who may have traveled on the railway sleepers or gazed through the recycled windows in times gone by. If you want someone to swipe your credit card on arrival, a wardrobe with mega coat hangers and 24 hr room service go stay somewhere else! This is where people with souls come to nurture them.
Each of the 4 villas is built slightly differently with a predominance of recycled timber including huge beams with bolts or the shadows of where they have been. The floors are polished concrete with shells from the beach sprinkled throughout some are Paua which sparkles in the sun which streams through the north facing windows. Even in winter Ahu Ahu feels as if it has central heating, as the materials seem to retain the heat, although in summer the villas are cool and comfortable.
I always bring my own groceries and drinks. There is a good sized fridge, 4 cooktop elements and a microwave with plenty of saucepans etc........... Good glasses are plentiful whether you what to have soft drinks, wine or champagne. There are big containers of tea, ground coffee and sugar, olive oil for cooking and balsamic for flavoring. You will have to do your own dishes with organic dish wash liquid and use a good strong absorbent tea towel to dry them.
The TV is a small, modern, flat screen digital on satellite with sufficient channels to satisfy most people other than those who perhaps don't like to listen to the sound of the sea, the NZ Wood Pigeon, Tui or other myriad of birds populating the area. The modern stereo accommodated my IPod, providing excellent sound, and mobile phone coverage is good. There is wireless broadband for those attached to the internet.
The villas are ideal for an individual or couple and 4 people can stay with 2 in single beds on the mezzanine floor. Yes, you will be able to hear one another! If you can't cope with that go get a hotel or motel with two bedrooms. I doubt we'll miss you here.
David and Nuala have the wonderful ability to make you feel like you are the most important guest they have ever had the pleasure of hosting. They respect your privacy but welcome you with open arms. You will feel nourished and completely at home. Whether you want to sit outside your villa under the sun umbrella contemplating the waves or walk over the soft grass to get to them, this is a place for people with soul who celebrate the joys of difference. The most interesting people in the world are probably not concerned if their clothes aren't hanging in a wardrobe!

Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank Jennifer R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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140 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Central, New Zealand
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2012

We rented 3 villas and the lodge for my husbands 40th. We stayed in the lodge with our three children and friends (childless) stayed in the villas. It was a fantastic way to spend time with our friends, they wandered down to the lodge to hang out with us but could escape and retreat to their villas if they wanted to. The lodge was perfect for a family with a large living area, concrete outdoor deck big enough for toddler bikes, a huge lawn and a big fire pit for roasting marshmallows. The kids even got a ride on the tractor. Easy access to the beach, walking, running and biking. The hosts were relaxed, available but unobtrusive. If I was building a seaside bach, it would be like the lodge. Can't recommend this place highly enough and can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 3under7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2012

Four of us stayed in one of the villas. For $300+ night it was extremely cramped, and by the end of our stay we were intimately acquainted with the nighttime emissions and rustlings of our friends. None of us had much sleep, and no privacy to speak of. Beautiful villa though, exquisitely done with recycled windows, fittings etc. Gorgeous views. Just a pity that there is no privacy.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chinobu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlsbad, CA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2012

This is a true New Zealand gem, and I'm so happy we stayed here. David and Nuala are extremely nice hosts, the accommodations are beautiful and intelligently designed, and the grounds are spectacular. If you're looking for a low-key place to recharge your batteries, this is it!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DebbieCarlsbad_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level Contributor
45 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2011

We booked the lodge and villas for 5 couples to share my husband's 40th Birthday. The property is just stunning and it blows you away when you see the views along the coast. We are locals but we still were amazed. The lodge was the perfect gathering spot for the party. Lots of room indoors and outdoors. Even for a bigger party there would be ample room. The villas were only a short walk from the lodge and were more than adequate for our (and our guests) needs.
David and Nuala were great hosts. They cooked us dinner which started with some nibbles out in the courtyard. As the cooking was happening in the lodge kitchen they were more than happy to mix with our friends. Dinner itself was devine. Steak perfectly cooked. Dessert (pavalova with fresh fruit) was devine as well. As David is an accomplished singer he entertained us between courses which was an awesome surprise. After dinner the fire was lit and David and Nuala left us to it.
Had we known this little gem was on our doorstep sooner we would have been out there years ago. For what we got we feel that we had good value for our money. Would thoroughly recommend this property as a great place to get some friends together for a good time.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank shazm1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lausanne, Switzerland
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2011

I'm kind of stunned by the last review of this amazing place because i stayed at this property for months and found it quite different, so I am writing about my experience. I understand we are all different and may have different needs but I can truly say I am used to traveling in 5 star villas & hotels around the world as I do this full time so have always thought I was very discriminating when it came to lodging.
It is a gorgeous situation but that is where my opinion departs. It may be true that there isn't a lot of storage space but do you really need a closet when your staying someplace for the weekend? I loved the fact that this felt more like a private villa than a hotel room. We stayed for over 2 months and didn't need a closet. This is the most stunning beach in NZ as far as I'm concerned so I needed bikinis and such....I had no need for heels and a full wardrobe here. No one has mentioned that included with your villa is an outdoor shower as well as an indoor one. After surf, this was perfect....pull off your wetsuit, rinse it off, hang it. We also found that we could leave our 10-12 ft paddleboards as well as our short boards outside on our oceanfront deck. I couldn't do this at any of the best Hotels worldwide such as Four Seasons or the Mandarin Orientals which we love, so I guess thats a trade off sometimes. These rustic and handmade villas are special, they are not a group of hotel chains that provide twice daily maid service, turndown service at night but in saying that the linens were impeccable and ironed(!) There were definitely plenty of towels, tea towels in drawers and really whatever I needed. I was constantly asked if I needed more, but I just didn't. They also give you the option of having your room cleaned everyday if you wanted at a minimal cost but we didn't want it or need it. In terms of communication, we were always able to reach the hosts, 24/7 - they only live on the next driveway. There was a landline for emergencies but since we had excellent cell coverage we weren't worried. The hosts also had an office number and cell number in case we needed anything. As for restaurants, there are none on-site, thank goodness! What is the need when within 5 minutes you have downtown Oakura at your pleasure and our personal favorite, Lahars in Okato just minutes away also. Ahu Ahu is a sub tropical destination not a city destination. If you were to look for a place like this anywhere else in the world I guarantee you the tariff(rates) would be triple if not more. This place is glorious and exceptional in every way. It is a private villa(s) on an estate that everyone in Taranaki knows or wants to buy into but can't because its not for sale. It's quite the secret and I feel like I'm betraying this untouched beautiful place by writing about it. I've paid triple for a place like this in Kaui, Hawaii, Greece, Italy, the Carribean nightly and I can say without hesitation this is more than a value if you have a global sense of place and price and can understand that quiet and beauty like this usually can't be rented or bought at any price actually. I adore being pampered in 5 star hotels like any other human but I absolutely love a spiritual place like this in a private estate setting where not much else compares. I looked at EVERYTHING in New Plymouth, Oakura and surroundings....nothing else compares. I heard through the grapevine that Jack Johnson wanted to stay here while doing his concert tour through NZ but there wasn't space and the owners had to politely decline. If this was a big hotel chain, they would have kicked someone else out who already had a booking and accepted his booking. That says a lot to me about the proprietors and I found it to be true. Exceptional people, exceptional villas and I aim to get back to NZ asap to stay at Ahu's.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank puravidaalohakiaora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taupo, New Zealand
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2011

there were limited spaces to put things including clothes (only two coathangers for the villa and no drawers for storage let alone bathroom or kitchen storage) and for the nightly tariff of $300 I thought it was poor value. No room servicing or extra towels or tea towels, or rubbish removal over 3 days. First night my son discovered there were no working lights in the mezzanine and when we reported it by cellphone (no landline to the hosts either) we informed the caretaker that we were going out for a while and the room could be serviced. Returned to find a side lamp in the mezzanine but no beds made or towels changed. No restaurants without a 5-10 minute drive but limited cooking facilities. Wake up New Zealand! We need to do better than this for such a tariiff.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank honestappraiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ahu Ahu Beach Villas

Property: Ahu Ahu Beach Villas
Address: 321 Ahu Ahu Rd, RD4 New Plymouth | Oakura, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Phone Number:
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Taranaki Region > New Plymouth
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 Specialty Lodging in New Plymouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ahu Ahu Beach Villas 4.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Modern accommodation in a rustic style, Ahu Ahu Beach Villas and Oraukawa Lodge are set in farmland with stunning seaviews from every room and only a short stroll from the beach and famed surf breaks. The Villas are ideal for a romantic getaway or family luxury holiday. Oraukawa Lodge can be yours for a function or event, and is well set up for business meetings and corporate events in inspiring surroundings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ahu Ahu Beach Villas Hotel New Plymouth

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