The experience begins as you descend to Aitutaki Airport! The lagoon is magical; dotted with small tropical islands and ringed with "talcum powder' coral sand. I have never experienced such an organised arrival! We were met on the tarmac at the small but charming Aitutaki Airport by a hotel representative who after presenting us with a beautiful lei, ushered us into a lounge reserved for the resort. Check in to the resort was completed "in a jiff" in the airport lounge, and after identifying our luggage, everything was taken care of and we were driven to the resort and were quickly installed in our stunning bungalow. We opted for a beach front suite- a beautiful large room perched above the beach, looking across the lagoon. I would highly recommend this quality of room though I don't believe there is a bad room in the resort!
The resort is a tranquil haven- beautifully kept gardens with the bungalows sculptured seamlessly into the landscape. Even when at capacity, you never get the impression of a crowd. During our week long stay, not once did we have trouble securing a couple of pool side loungers.
For us, Aitutaki provided the ideal holiday. Walking/biking around the island was relaxing and fun and we met some lovely locals who are very friendly and cheerful. It is a very safe place- probably a bit like life used to be before rock music, the internet and mobile phones. Plenty of low key cafes/eateries and nothing much to buy except tonic water to go with the gin!
The resort food satisfied our demands- great breakfasts that set you up for the day. The local seafood is well worth a go- I particularly liked the fresh tuna. There is a more casual restaurant by the pool but even in the main restaurant, most patrons seemed to feel comfortable and were welcomed in "beach dress".
The hilight of my stay was the snorkelling with "Teking". There are a number of lagoon tour operators and a helpful discussion with Jason, the resort Assistant Manager will probably enable you to make the right choice. Some tours are a relaxed look around the islands of the lagoons while others, such as Teking are focused on exploring what lies under the water. If you like snorkelling, select Teking. A great guy who gelled with our small group! Even showed us turtles-he is the "main man"!
Doing nothing is a greatly under rated past time, but I feel Aitutaki was invented for this activity. It was great to relax on the beach in front of our bungalow with a glass of fine champagne in hand, some delicious pre dinner nibbles nearby, watching the sun sink low in the lagoon- next to that special person in my life. As I write this, I cannot wait to return!
The resort staff are well trained, courteous and helpful. They gave us useful suggestions on how to fill in the day and were always attentive and followed through with requests.
I have to mention Jason- I feel he is the key to the success of this place! I am not sure if he ever has a day off as he always semmed to be about the place! He interfaced well with guests/staff and I think because of him, problems do not occur. We had an issue with our room configuration on arrival but he promptly sorted it out and produced a satisfactory solution. Because of the small and intimate nature of the resort, he comes to know guests, and discreetly and regularly checks that things are going well for you and attends to any issues you may have. Every resort like this needs a "Jason" and in my view, this is why a number of similar places I have visited in the past fail.
The Pacific Resort Aitutaki is a very special place. Do not waste your time in Rarotonga. After reading this review DO NOT TELL ANYONE ELSE HOW GOOD THIS PLACE IS!
Sick of cocktails not as good as the ones you make yourself at home?
Then get yourself one of those refillable plastic sports drink bottles with a wide neck and a "pop top". Shake everything up with the ice, "pop the top" to drain the contents.
Thanks Jason/Julian and the team for a great stay! We will return!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Secluded Luxury … The multi-award winning, five-star Pacific Resort Aitutaki, surrounded by the breathtaking, tranquil turquoise waters of the Aitutaki lagoon, offers an intimate collection of only 27 luxuriously appointed bungalows and villas. Each air-conditioned room offers uninterrupted views across the lagoon from your very own private sundeck. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pacific Resort Aitutaki Hotel Aitutaki