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“Our version of paradise”

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Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa
Ranked #6 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Our version of paradise”
Reviewed January 20, 2013

Stayed 5-9th Jan in #14 BeachFront Bungalow and thought it was perfect. Well appointed and clean rooms, friendly staff, the resort provided a large range of free facilities such as snorkels, flippers, reef shoes, kayaks and wind surfers. Minor issues: if you are staying for 5 nights or more you would need to consider eating elsewhere for variety, and the wait staff need to clear tables prior to bringing out the next course. But we are totally in love with Aitutaki Lagoon Resort, mother nature allowed to be at her most beautiful. The Vaka cruise out to One Foot Island is a must do, my husband can not stop talking about Big George the giant trevally.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LynnH2230
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoseKareroa, Resort Manager at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 13, 2013
Kia Orana “LynnH2230”

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of our property The Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, very much appreciated.

It’s pleasing to read that you enjoyed your newly renovated beachfront bungalow and found it well appointed and clean. Our staff takes pride in keeping our rooms and grounds in pristine condition.
The resort offers our in house guests Free Daily Activities including snorkeling, snorkeling lessons, snorkeling safaris, fish feeding, crab hunting, crab racing, kayaking safaris, Polynesian canoe ‘Vaka’ lessons, wind surfing, beach volleyball, lessons on island (hula) dancing, pareu (sarong) tying, palm-frond weaving, flower garland (ei) making, coconut climbing and husking show, giant chess, board games & guest library.

We have taken your comments about menu variety on board and is constantly looking for ways to provide our guests with memorable cuisine utilizing local produce.

The Aitutaki lagoon is always a highlight of peoples stay and one must take a Lagoon Cruise to appreciate its beauty and abundance up close.
We hope to be able to welcome you back to your “version of paradise” in the near future.

Kind Regards & Kia Manuia

Rose Kareroa
Resort Manager
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Australia
Level 6 Contributor
41 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

We were staying else where on the Island but decided to go here for lunch. On our arrival we were greeted by a very rude receptionist who told us ( 3 adults & a 17 year old) we would have to pay $50 PER PERSON for a day pass. I told her we were only going to use there restaurant and no other resort facilities, she said it didn't matter we still had to pay. How ridiculous as if we would pay $200 just to enter the resort!! Anyway she said we could have a quick look around before deciding, in which we did.
The resort was empty, we were lucky to see half a dozen people, it looked run down, no atmosphere and very little shade, though the lagoon did look amazing. We landed up leaving and going to the Pacific Resort where we we greeted my lovely staff and had a beautiful lunch.

Over the next day or two when talking to other travellers and telling them of our experience they were all shocked as they ate at the restaurant (which was very ordinary), swam in the lagoon (one couple spent nearly the whole day there) and was never asked to pay a $50 day pass fee. So not sure why we were, maybe we weren't the right 'cliental' for them but considering how empty the resort was I don't think they can be too picky!!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank whatthe111111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoseKareroa, Resort Manager at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 17, 2013
Kia Orana “whatthe111111”

Thank you for this review.

We do have procedures and processes in place for visitors to our Private Island Resort. We do regret the inconvenience if you found this unacceptable during your visit.

Bona fide diners at our restaurants are most welcome, but we strictly reserve the use of the resort’s facilities to our guests whom have paid much money to stay on our Private Island Resort. I can assure you that other properties on Aitutaki do not allow visitors other than their guests to use the facilities reserved for their guests.

Our resort has recently undergone a major upgrade totaling over $2 million and have received raving comments from our guests. Our Resort offers a lot of space and tranquility for our guests so the quietness during your visit does not necessarily mean that the Resort was empty but rather the opposite.

Again, thank you for your review.

Meitaki Atupaka
Rose Kareroa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

Heaven on earth. A wonderful and well maintained resort set on an exquisite lagoon. Apparently over 1 million dollars was spent upgrading the resort last year and it really shows. The colours of the lagoon are incredible and you can easily find your self just mesmerised by the diverse colours of turquoise, teal, light blues and greens. The staff are attentive and the manager Rose is exceptional - with a huge dose of humility, Rose puts the success of the resort down to her staff, certainly a generous trait to have. After a bad experience staying at the Rarotongan, Rose suggested we come over to Aitutaki a day earlier at no extra cost and we were upgraded to a deluxe beachfront bungalow. And what a bungalow. It was very spacious and the interior was stunning. Enjoying a balcony, beachfront and hammock we were definitely in paradise. The outdoor shower was novel and just enhanced the island vibe and for three of us (married couple with a teenager), we had a lot of space. There was enough to do to stave off any potential boredom such as pool, ping pong, kayaks, windsurfers, standup paddle boards, canoes and a selection of resort activities, such as crab racing, sarong tying and bike riding. If there was just one thing that could be improved upon it would have to be the food. A better and more diverse menu selection would be encouraged for lunch and dinner (several different specials every night would be good) and the tropical breakfast selection should be expanded with more to offer.
If you have the opportunity to stay here grab it.

Room Tip: Room 29 is brilliant
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Justine W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoseKareroa, Resort Manager at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Kia Orana “beautifulenergy”

Thank you for taking the time to post a lovely review of our Resort. I will certainly pass on your commendations to our team.

We are extremely pleased that you and your family had a fantastic time at our Resort and experienced our lovely staff and taken part in the many activity options available at the Resort. I am also pleased to have had the opportunity to address your concerns and offer a satisfactory solution. It was certainly a pleasure having you with us.

I am also happy that you have enjoyed our recently upgraded NEW LOOK resort especially the new additions to the Deluxe Beachfront bungalows.

I have taken onboard your comments in regards to menu selection and have asked our team to explore options which would enable our Resort to excel in offering top of the range cuisine.

We have passed on your comments to our team and we look forward to being able to welcome you back to the Resort.

Kia Manuia


Rose Kareroa
Resort Manager
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Shanghai
Level 6 Contributor
260 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Well, I had not wanted to stay here after reading the reviews, but pricewise there is little else. The famous hotel at the reef side is just outrageously expensive.
Anyway, they have bungalows at three different locations on their little motu island. All are prettz much on the beach. we had the cheapest ones and they were just 20m from the water. the more expensive ones are actually some 100 m from the water.
the overwater bungalows are half on the beach. so save the money.
the honeymoon villa is in the middle of the island, surrounded by walls. so forget it. for that money you can get a great place in many other countries but right on the beach.
decoration is ok, but there is a large hole above the bed towards the bathroom. bathroom doors do not have blinds, so room is very bright at sunrise.
breakfast is tropical, really nothing special considering the money you spend. my wife once ordered eggs and had to wait 20 minutes!
staff is not very friendly / the male staff is actually nicer / not smiling, not helpful. one feels like an intruder. staff is from the island, thus no hospitality training nor understanding for this concept. there are no comments by the management on the bad tripadvisor reviews / obviously they dont care and just take the money. one example: I deposited a dirty diaper at the trash bin at the beach hut. the staff calls me and tells me that this should not be put into this bin and that I please take it out again (from a large industrial type rubbish bin). 5 star resort?
another example: you have to bring snorkelling gear, etc back by 5:30, unless you will pay a fine! any resort that has sun loungers without cushions is not worth its salt anyway. they put some flowery covers onto their old and sunburnt sun loungers. besides, there are no sun loungers on the beach, only those at your beach villa. pool is very small and old. no shadow for children.
resort is inside the lagoon. the problem is that right at the beach there are two channels where the current for tide passes. so the water is not clear and strong current. sand around the resort is not for walking barefoot. picked up more than 20 pieces of glass...
food at restaurant can be ok, sometimes not. no proper winelist (a true 5 star resort would have a good winelist).
Basically, Aitutaki is just worth a day trip to cruise the lagoon (only one real snorkelling point). the beach with the reef where most hotels are is exactly like Rarotonga. so no point in spending a lot of money to stay there. read my Rarotonga review - we stayed at a great place.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank RolandShanghai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoseKareroa, Resort Manager at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Kia Orana “RolandShanghai”

Thank you for taking the time to submit a review.

I am disappointed that you generally did not enjoy your holiday with us; it would be nice to have had the opportunity to discuss some of your concerns while you were in-house.

Our beachfront bungalows which you have mentioned as being 20 metres from the water is our entry level accommodation. These newly renovated bungalows face “Ootu” channel and offer great views of spectacular sunsets. The Premium Beachfront bungalows directly face the “million dollar” views of the expanse of Aitutaki Lagoon. All of our rooms, except for the private “Royal Honeymoon Villa – Te Arau” are located on absolute beachfront.

Both our Beachfront and Premium Beachfront Bungalows feature outdoor showers and newly renovated bathrooms including his & her vanities. The ‘large hole above the bed’ window offers expanse views of our pristine Aitutaki Lagoon, not only from the main room of your bungalow but as well as far as your outdoor shower. We have incorporated the indoor outdoor Polynesian ambiance to our bungalows.

I am disappointed that you found our staff unfriendly; many of our guests go to great lengths to applaud the staff for being so nice and super-friendly. I beg to disagree with your comments that “staff is from the island, thus no hospitality training nor understanding for this concept”. The majority of Cook Islanders enjoy having visitors to our country. However, Cook Islanders tend to be shy and respectful of other people’s space and tend not to initiate contact however if one is friendly towards the local folks it will be met in kind.

Our natural environment is treasured by our Cook Island people and we have various conservation and educational programs to raise awareness and reverse any environment damage. Our Resort sponsors recycling organise associations eg. glass bottles are broken down into sand and re-used in cement paving’s, green waste is mulched or composted back into our gardens or grounds, other refuge that cannot be recycled on the island eg. dirty dipper nappies, are disposed off separately before taken of the island to the island waste management disposal. I would have been delighted to have personally shown you our program.

Part of our recent upgrade of the resort included the upgrade of our beach and pool facilities eg. New face-lift of our main pool and is frequently utilised by guests all day, Brand New Sunloungers, Standup Paddle Boards, Single and Double Kayaks, and many more.

We invite you to visit our Facebook / The Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa – Cook Islands Page for more update shots of the resort and guests who have enjoyed their stay with us.

We have taken up your comments with our management team to address with their staff, thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Kia Manuia & Kind Regards

Rose Kareroa
Resort Manager
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Los Angeles, California
Level 3 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

We spent 3 nights here and stayed in their deluxe beachfront bungalow. The deluxe bungalow was very pretty and we enjoyed the outdoor shower with breezy palm trees above. The deluxe bungalows are well separated so that one feels secluded and there was very little foot traffic in front of us. The vibe was great! Be careful the regular beachfront bungalows are not as nice but ok if this is only what your budget allows.

We are so happy that we decided to stay there, even though we had read many negative reviews. There's no question that this resort's location is the very best in Aitutaki.
The theatrical welcome by the seashell horn blowing costumed native guy was wonderful, not to mention that this all takes place while arriving on their boat making your arrival
unmatched by any of the other hotels we saw or stayed at, whose welcomes were lackluster at best to say the least.

At the Aitutaki airport, there are only two resorts, which have their own welcome booth, they are the Pacific Resort and the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa. As soon as our Rarotonga Airlines flight arrived, propellers and all, we were greeted with a tropical flower lei and fresh coconut juice at the welcome booth. We were so glad that we chose Aitutaki Lagoon resort.

It is true that this resort does not have a luxury world class resort reception with a marble floor, etc. Also, their pool is surprisingly petite. However, the spectacular view of the vast lagoon justified everything for us and its location was everything. After we took a lagoon day tour, we realized that right at our own resort, we could see almost the same gorgeous turquoise lagoon & sandbar and motus (small islands) as the ones we saw during the lagoon cruise.

We did travel to the westside of the main Aitutaki island and saw most of the other resorts, their ocean view including Pacific Resort's ocean view was no comparison to the one from Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, because the resorts located on the westside of the main island are not facing the lagoon.

Having read some negative reviews here on tripadvisor.com, we were a bit concerned so we followed some tips from past happy visitors reviews. We made most of the island night opportunities in Aitutaki by easily renting a scooter, and eating out every night. In fact one very nice dinner and island night show (Samade) is an easy walking distance from the hotel.

Also you can easily catch the buffet and fire dancers show at the Pacific Resort. Transportation is available if you don't feel like scootering at night.

We were not stuck on an isolated island and had the freedom to look around at anything we liked, we ate at Tamanu resort too. We had a wonderful seafood barbecue lunch at an uninhibited motus during our Kia Orana lagoon cruise.

There are several eating options right around the resort once you cross the O'otu channel (10 second ride), there's Koru's cafe (No.1 rated in Aitutaki), Samade, and the Boat Shed, all of these are located around the O'otu beach walking distance from this resort.

Breakfast for the first two mornings was served at their Bounty restaurant, however the third morning it was served at their Flying boat restaurant. Here we were practically sitting on the lagoon enjoying the beautiful lagoon views and feeding tropical fish from our own table.

Also, there are at least 2 scooter rentals right at the crossing boat area of this resort. Moreover, there are 2 to 3 cruise companies operating right out of the O'otu beach, which become very handy.

In conclusion, Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa is the only resort we would like to come back to if we return to Aitutaki. For those looking for a more economical option to Bora Bora, this is the perfect place.

Room Tip: To be a happy customer, it's better to choose either a deluxe bungalow or premium bungalow here...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Moochi11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoseKareroa, Resort Manager at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 17, 2013
Kia Orana “Moochi11”

Thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderful review. It was a pleasure having you stay with us at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa.

We are pleased to hear that your arrival was unmatched right down to the tropical flower lei and fresh coconut juice at the airport therefore allowing you to start your holiday on a fantastic note.
Our conch shell welcome to our own private island is an experience in itself.

It’s also great to hear you enjoyed our spacious Deluxe Beachfront Bungalows located on absolute beachfront upon the island’s pristine white sand shores with a spectacular, uninterrupted view of the vast blue of Aitutaki Lagoon.

“No artists’ palette could ever conceive of a more perfect, more luminescent turquoise than that of the lagoon of Aitutaki, arguably the most beautiful in the world.” So wrote Steve Davey in his book Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die (BBC Books).

I am very happy to read that you got to explore the island and lagoon and experienced what Aitutaki has to offer.

We hope to welcome you back to our resorts again in the very near future as a valued return guest.

Kind Regards & Kia Manuia

Rose Kareroa
Resort Manager
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Lustenau, Austria
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2012

Beautiful location on the small island. Decent size bungalows with outside showers (we loved it but heard one older couple complaining that it is not normal:-)). Nice restaurant with good food, nothing spectacular but with good variety and for 6 days we found no problem with our orders. Breakfast simple continental and choice of order a la carte. Amazing sunsets and sky view at night. Small spa but aromatherapy massage is highly recommended, it was wonderful.
On the minuses, water is not clear as the island is surrounded by deep channel with strong current run by tides. Staff was friendly but again, not smiling at hello, you needed to chat the smile up. Culture thing?
All in al, worth going for few days just to see the amazing atoll.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Magdalena Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoseKareroa, Resort Manager at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Kia Orana Magdalena Z,

Thank you for your kind comments about your recent stay at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa.

I am pleased to read that you loved the outdoor showers in our bungalows. It is pleasing also to know that you enjoyed the menu offerings in our restaurants.

We specialise in honeymooners & couples seeking an exclusive haven to unwind and relax on a stunning private island with white sandy beach & sparkling turquoise lagoon.

We hope to see you both again, soon.

Kia Manuia

Rose Kareroa
Resort Manager
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Bar Harbor, Maine
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2012

Splurge a little and reserve a deluxe beachfront bungalow on the lagoon (not the channel) and you'll see shades of blue, green, and aqua that have to be among the most spectacular on the planet. Beautiful sand beach with warm water swimming .... Plenty of water sports, a friendly crew - all make this a nearly perfect place. So nice that no review can do it justice.

Minor complaints: Restaurant food is mediocre and overpriced. And what I really found irritating was the fact that the play American rock, pop, and rap music during mealtimes. The Cook Islands have a long history of local music including some incredible drumming. Why don't they understand that we come for an authentic island experience? But....... This is still heaven on earth and a great place to get away from the daily grind. Will return someday.

Room Tip: Book early to get a good room. Room #27 was as good as it gets.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MsTravel1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RoseKareroa, Resort Manager at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Kia Orana “MsTravel1968”

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of our Resort.

I am happy to read that you enjoyed our Deluxe Beachfront Bungalow with its wonderful location and views of the stunning Aitutaki Lagoon.

We appreciate your constructive feedback in regards to food and beverage services and dining music, our team is exploring ways in which we can make improvements to our services and entertainment program during dining time. Since your stay we have introduced new local mix of well known local entertainer sounds. We strive to provide fresh local produce on all our menus and are constantly looking for ways to provide our guests with memorable cuisine with an authentic island experience.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the island.

Meitaki Atupaka e Kia Manuia

Rose Kareroa
Resort Manager
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Additional Information about Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa

Property: Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa
Address: | Akitua Private Island, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Aitutaki
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Aitutaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only private island, adults only resort in the Cook Islands. It is the only Cook Islands resort to offer that invention of incurable romantics - the Overwater Bungalow. And it is the only resort on Aitutaki with a truly Polynesian flavour, so you can truly savour what the South Pacific is famous for. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aitutaki Lagoon Resort And Spa
Aitutaki Lagoon Hotel Aitutaki
Aitutaki Lagoon Resort Spa
Lagoon Resort Aitutaki

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