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“Simplicity is fine, but where to lounge?”

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Amuri Sands, Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 24, 2014

So, I’ve wrangled with this review because I’m going against the grain here…I was trying to analyze if I was being too picky or had heightened expectations. We have traveled quite a bit and have stayed in places much simpler than Amuri Sands. It’s not about lack of luxury. My final conclusion boils down to: we were just never comfortable or able to relax here. And I will explain why…

What do most people do to relax at their hotel, villa, etc. when on vacation in a hot tropical location?

One thing would be to enjoy refreshing ocean breezes. It was so hot and still and the cottage is so set back from the water and sheltered, that no air moved. We tried to open the doors to get a cross breeze, but that just let in all the mozzies and there was still no air. Maybe you could turn on the fan and cool down that way, well there was a fan, but it was a teeny wall-mounted thing that only pointed at the bed and was barely strong enough to be felt from that distance.
Okay, let’s have a cool drink and forget about all that. Oh, we need ice for a cool drink. That presented some problems due to the shoebox-sized freezer with the broken door. We bought a bag of ice and after some juggling and decanting into smaller containers; we were able to save about half of it. No worries, let’s just make that drink…in one of the two small juice glasses provided and head out to the deck to enjoy the view.

We’re on the deck now, and I’m hot and sticking to this hard plastic upright chair with mozzie coils burning on one side and the next door neighbor burning rubbish on the other and still no breeze…but there are mozzies! And we can’t even hear wave action to help us imagine we aren’t in the middle of Outback.

So, let’s head down to the water, shall we? Maybe if we sit down there, we’ll catch a breeze. Let’s go thru the house, around the back, then thru the palms that you MUST keep an eye on for falling coconuts and then you finally make it to the two loungers (the duplex unit accommodates 4) on the beach. They are so dilapidated, one of them we are afraid wouldn’t hold my husband’s weight. Well let’s cool down in the water. This requires laying down flat in one foot of water between coral and sand slugs. Nevermind….

Obviously, the weather and ocean conditions are not what are at fault here, and if you just want a place to sleep and take a hot shower, this should do it. But I think there are improvements that can be made to make the time you spend in at the home more comfortable. If you are experiencing bad weather and can’t go out on the lagoon or ride bikes around the island, or you are simply “sunned out”, you are going to be lying on the bed as the only comfortable place to be and hope that the electricity holds so the little fan will still spit out a bit of air. I think I expected better based on previous reviews and they were misleading. The pictures look exactly like I remember it. Look at them in the light of my review.

I do want to mention, we had no problems with the host or the booking process. That all went fine.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank emmechelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 19, 2014

Amuri Sands is a wonderful place in an excellent location. What makes it stand out is all the hard work that Mark puts into the experience. We were impressed and grateful for the help we received with advice, bookings and that he is there most mornings to help with the property and keep it immaculate. From the decking we watched allot of sunsets and stunning views of the ocean.

Every thought has been put into making the stay comfortable and the reputation Mark and Amuri Sands has earned is very evident, the grounds are well kept, the rooms have all the equipment needed for a self contained stay. We had a lovely relaxing time here, casual snorkeling outside the property, walking to a couple of the resorts up the road for dinner, zipping around on scooters, diving and taking a lagoon cruise (a must do on a clear day).
Thanks Mark, the stay was wonderful.

Room Tip: Both rooms have a private deck to look out over the ocean and enjoy a few drinks at sunset.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JathyC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2014 via mobile

The owner, Mark met us at the plane with a great smile and Flower Lei's. His determination to make our enjoyment of our stay perfect was there every day. Our unit was perfect for us with the deck overlooking the coconut trees and the Beautiful Pacific Ocean. Mark kept the property neat and tidy and was able to assist and advise on suitable trips and entertainment for our enjoyment. Every one a winner! This is the best value cabin we have rented anywhere on Earth! The photos from the front yard and lagoon are fabulous ... Spoil yourself ... Try Amuri Sands soon

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Bruce B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

Indeed, Mark is a terrific host - friendly and very helpful. And Amuri Sands was perfect for us. Mark greeted us at the airport and after a few minutes down the road, we arrived at his property. The bungalow was neat, very clean, and comfortable, but the highlight is the beach front. The grassy street side of the bungalow gives way to the combed sandy ocean side dotted with tall palms. Beware falling coconuts. I grabbed one of the many coconuts laying about, and using the husker in the yard, had the pleasure of my first husk - I won no awards for speed or technique. Mark provides rainwater daily, which was on shortage while we were there due to very dry conditions, yet we never went thirsty and it was very delicious water. He also brings fresh fruit every morning - papaya was so good, fresh towels and supplies, and can tell you whatever you need to know about the island and where to get things. And it was easy to get things and explore the island because Mark knows a guy who rents scooters and happens to leave one at Amuri Sands. The water at Amuri is full of coral, good for a decent snorkel, but not deep enough for a good swim. Mark will tell ya where to go for that. The accomodations are simple and tidy with all that's needed; bed, washroom, kitchen, deck facing the ocean. Ultimately we weren't there much because of all the island has to offer. Eat fish n chips at Puffys up the street. Fellow Canadians, go see Sonya for an abundance of fresh fruit, or for whatever she's making for lunch. For 7 nights on a month long honeymoon in the South Pacific, we stayed here. It was our favourite stop and we wish we were there right now. Mark, we hope you're still there when we come back! Thanks for letting us be a part of your paradise. Craig and Sham.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Sham_Craig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2014

We stayed here for 8 days Dec2013 and had both units. The accommodation was clean and comfy, the deck perfect for relaxing and gazing at the view. Poppy looked after us and was extremely welcoming, hospitable and helpful. We had an amazing time and just loved the location with our own private beach. The tariff is excellent value for money and we were really happy with our choice. Definitely plan to be back, its truly paradise on a tropical island.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank TheGoodfellows
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2014

We stayed here 8 days january 2014 and you cannot find a better place to stay on the island if you compare price with what you get! Beds are really comfortable, fans make it nice. Cooking - no problem with a gas-stove. Private veranda and beach. What more can you ask for?

Mark is a fantastic host that always help you regardless what problem!

Go there!

/Peter and Carina Abrahamsson - Stockholm Sweden

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Peter_sthlm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2014

My wife and I spent 12 days here, and I wished it was 12 years. I loved it here and have thought about it ever since I left. The sunset every evening is so perfect, it really is quite breathtaking and hard to believe.

The two bungalows are situated next to each other, but not too close, you hardly even know anyone is next door. The rooms are nicely arranged and comfortable. There is a shower which has plenty of hot water. There is a small kitchen area for you to do some cooking, it really saves you money to bring some food with you and cook while you are there, that's what we did most nights. Besides, having dinner as you watch the sunset is really where you want to be anyway.

The property has beautiful flowers and lovely trees throughout and are landscaped quite nicely.

The water in front of the property is quite shallow, but if you are a fan of snorkeling, there is a channel where you can get out to deeper waters and see some of the fish that call Aitutaki home. Just watch out for the sea cucumbers, they are quite plentiful and quite gross. If you want to do some swimming, there is a deep water swimming spot a short walk down, and it was fun to go here for a quick dip. The beach out front is nice to sit and relax while the day just goes by, if you see 2 people the entire day, it's busy.

Mark was a great host. He assisted us with booking trips and helped us find the best snorkel and beach spots. He also greeted us upon arrival at the airport and had the most amazing smelling leis for us. Each day he puts a weather and tide report up, which is helpful in planning out your day.

If you are looking for 5-star luxury, this isn't the place for you. If you are looking for a relaxed atmosphere with comfortable accommodations while you are visiting this little bit of paradise, then you will be happy here.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank SomePersonHere
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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