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“Simple paradise”

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Amuri Sands, Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 19, 2012

Thanks to Mark for a lovely (but too short) stay at Amuri sands. My friend Kate and I stayed for three nights, and wish we had skipped Rarotonga altogether and spent the time in Aitutaki.

Mark picked us up at the airport, sorted us out scooters, got us some fresh pawpaw from the tree, sorted out our lagoon trip and then sent us down to puffy's for fish and chips.

The units are simple but have everything you need, and are on a lovely stretch of beach (next door to etu moana, which is 10 times the price), with good snorkelling.

Can't wait to go back!!!

p.s as per other reviewers - consider earplugs for the roosters, a problem in whatever place you stay in the cooks, and take lots of bug spray

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank freddagg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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72 - 78 of 123 reviews

Reviewed September 4, 2012

We stayed 4 nights at Amuri Sands and loved it.
Right on the same side of the island as all the expensive resorts. Snorkeling straight out front of the unit was just awesome, so many different fish to see. The room was well appointed with a good kitchen that had 4 gas burners for cooking. Poppy dropped us at the bike rental and was very helpful even bringing us fresh local fruit one morning. The island passion fruit were sensational. We enjoyed a beautiful front row sunset that captivated us for half and hour with the changing colours of the sky and lagoon. The only negative is the units share a deck area which is screened off however our neighbours for the stay were smokers and their smoke drifted along the deck. I know there isn't much you could do to change this and for some it wouldn't be problem, however we are non smokers and found it took the edge off an otherwise perfect stay.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Erin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2012

My wife and I have just returned from a 3 night stay at Amuri Sands - one of the most beautiful settings we have stayed at. This was only surpassed by the service and assistance given by both Mark and Poppy and we pass on out highest recommendation and would stay there again.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Trevor W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2012

Wife and I just got back from a 5 night stay at Amuri Sands. What a great experience and excellent value. Like other reviews suggest, don't expect a resort. Amuri Sands is 2 small beach front units...no restaurant, no pool, no kayaks/etc. If you want all that then you can pay $500 a night just down the beach. But what you do get is the same beach in front, and an excellent host, Mark. Mark goes out of his way to make your stay enjoyable. From picking us up early at the airport, lending us reef shoes and snorkel gear, arranging all of our tours and rentals, to suggesting things to do, to providing us with fresh fruit and water...our trip would not have been the same without him.

The unit was great. The balcony overlooks the beach and the sunset view from the balcony is amazing. We went snorkeling almost every day right in front of the unit. We cooked a few meals on the stove. You can walk to a few places...we walked to Puffy's for fish and chips, to Paradise Cove for a beach buffet, and to Tamanau Beach for their Thursday Island night.

I suggest you rent a scooter while you are there. We ending up renting regular bikes and they are ok to get to a few shops, but you need a scooter to really explore the island.

Our stay ended too quickly, but when we return we will definitely look at staying here again.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Randy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2012

If you are a 4- or 5-star resort sort of person who likes to be pampered, you might not be happy at Amuri Sands. But if you want clean, basic, comfortable, no-frills accommodation, for a great price in an amazing location, you'll be very happy here. Note: If you're trying to book online, be a bit patient; internet is quite spotty, unreliable, and slow on the island. You might want to send text-only messages (rather than html) and allow a bit of time for a reply.

There are two bungalows on the tidy little ocean-front property that is Amuri Sands. They are side-by-side but separated by a space and the covered balconies out front are designed for privacy. The bungalows sit back on a long piece of ocean-front property. The views from the balcony are breath-taking and we enjoyed many peaceful moments simply drinking in the beauty of the lagoon and the sunsets over it.

The room is self-catering with a small fridge, a range-top, microwave, and basic set of dishes and cookware. The room is small but comfortable, with a two-person table, bed, bedside tables, and a small area for hanging and folding clothes, the bathroom is equipped with a shower. The room opens onto the balcony with its aforementioned views of the lagoon. The bungalows are situated in front of the best snorkeling on the island.

The room is built to equatorial standards and is not hermetically sealed. This is not a sterile resort environment. You may see a few small insects in your room despite the screened windows (mostly just a few little wee guys that show up at the top of the high walls in the evening - they don't seem to go anywhere or do anything, they just sit).

There are no phones or internet at the bungalow. It is truly getting away from it all. But Mark is very accommodating in making arrangements to meet your every need. He also makes a point of providing a weather forecast up on the office door each morning so that you know what to expect for the day (to the extent that the weather bears out the forecast!).

Aitutaki is very small and so there is no public transport. But it's large enough that relying on walking or riding a bicycle would get tiresome. You will probably want to hire a vehicle if you're staying more than a couple days. If you're only staying a day or two, you might be able to get by with the pick-up and drop-off services provided by most event organizations, but it would nevertheless be awkward for picking up groceries or getting to see the majority of the island.

As an aside: Having never ridden motorized scooters before (or any other motorized cycle), we were quite intimidated at the prospect. But Aitutaki is a great place to learn. If you can ride a bicycle, you can ride a motor scooter; it is surprisingly intuitive and feels quite natural after a day or two. With great weather, very little traffic, safe roads, and sane drivers, it's a great place to learn. You can also get by, of course, with a rental car. Mark will help hook up you up with transportation after your arrival; you don't need to worry about trying to pre-book that (or anything else). You will require a Cook Islands Drivers' license to rent a vehicle. Whereas this is a $20 or $25 fee (I forget which) in Rarotonga and requires that you travel to the Avarua police station to apply, in Aitutaki it is only $2.50 and requires a quick stop by their police station up the road a little way from Amuri Sands. If you have a recognized license, you will not be required to take a written or practical test; you will only show them your home license and they will issue a Cook Islands license. Don't forego this formality, however. It is not simply a money-grab. You must have a Cook Islands License to be covered by the rental vehicle insurance.

In addition to providing very comfortable accommodations and booking rental vehicles, lagoon tours, and any other adventures, Mark will also pick you up and drop you off at the airport. Plus, he has a number of fruit and coconut trees on the property and will educate you in husking coconut and will likely encourage you to help eat some of his fresh bananas and papayas.

Amuri Sands is a great choice of accommodation on Aitutaki and we were very happy spending a full week there. The room is clean, quiet, comfortable. The location is great. The views are outstanding. And the owner is very helpful.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank IntentToTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2012

We have just returned from a most memorable stay at Amuri Sands. It was a perfect,peaceful place to unwind and relax in the beautiful beachfront position and very well kept surrounding gardens.Mark was the perfect host and helped with bookings and advice throughout our stay. Thanks Mark.The units are well equipped with everything you need and linen supplied.We spent lots of time on the balcony enjoying the views of the lagoon, watching the sunsets and having a glass of wine. We enjoyed bananas and paw paw given to us by Mark from the garden. Restaurants are of a very good standard and we had enjoyable meals out. We hope to be back.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Meandered
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2012

Amuri Sands Units are situated on the sunset side of Aitutaki. You will share the beach with people staying at Etu Moana BUT for 1/4 of the price!!!
The units are simple but well equipped with fly screens, kitchen (fully equipped), bathroom, queen size bed and a great balcony with views on a white sandy beach and the reef. We spent hours just looking at these heavenly surroundings wondering if we were dreaming!
Mark is a great host, helping us getting a scooter, booking our day trips and always having good advice for restaurants and pearl shops. He also gives you fantastic bananas and pawpaw!
At high tide, snorkelling in front of the unit is great. There is also a deeper spot where you can swim.
We had such a great time that we extended our stay on Aitutaki.
Don't forget mosquito repellent and ear plugs (roosters are awake at 3-4am!...)
Thank you so much Mark, we had an amazing time, we hope to be back soon!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank chrix_20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Amuri Sands, Aitutaki

Address: Main Rd, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Beach Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Aitutaki
Price Range: $73 - $91 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kia Orana, and welcome to Amuri Sands, Aitutaki. We are a family-run business with 2 chalets on the beachfront on the west coast of Aitutaki, Cook Islands. We provide budget accommodation for your self-catering needs and are positioned near dining outlets and shops. The beach we are positioned on has some of the best snorkeling on the island. We look forward to you staying with us. Kia Manuia. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Amuri Sands, Aitutaki Hotel Aitutaki

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