A friend and I stayed at this hotel for four nights after having organised the stay and our transfers through a travel agent in Melbourne.
The resort grounds are beautiful and set on one of the most beautiful beaches on the island (Ou'tu Beach). The setting is amazing and you'd almost believe you're looking at some touched-up post card rather than being there in real life.
Overall we enjoyed our stay, however while we were there we encountered a few problems that other travellers should know about before booking here:
1) We dined at one of the hotel restaurants on "steak night" where I ordered a well done steak. The entire steak was not at all well done and was in fact more rare than my friends (which was ordered at Medium-rare). The steak was RAW in the middle and I asked for it to be re-cooked.
2) Our exchange vouchers also mentioned that we were entitled to a free massage, car hire, bottle of wine and upgrade to a beach front room. We enquired about all of these on arrival so that our vouchers could be issues and the reception staff told us to go ahead and book these activities and that they would issue us these the next day. Needless to say we're still waiting for the exchange vouchers and despite availability of rooms (they only had 37 guests staying after the 2nd day), we never got upgraded to our room.
3) Each day we would enquire about the vouchers and would be told they would be available to us the next day but to go ahead in our activities. At the end of our trip when it was time to check out they asked us to pay for the massage and car hire! We were outraged and refused as the paper clearly stated we were entitled to this. They then said that it was only available for people who had stayed with their sister resort on Rarotonga. We asked why they hadn't told us this prior to us completing any of the activities and they were unable to provide us with an answer.
4) After they had agreed to not make us pay because it was a result of their lack of communication they told us we could take out the car as long as it was refuelled with petrol on the way back with a receipt to prove this. We went to the car and we found the tank wasn't full to begin with. We spoke to the guy responsible for the cars and he told us not to worry about refuelling given our trouble that morning (it was our last day). On our return the receptionist said she didn't know anything about it and argued with us over the petrol. I then told her to speak to the car-maintenance man to resolve as it wasn't my responsibility to communicate messages between the staff.
5) Our transfers were completely paid for to and from the airport, on arrival and departure. When we first arrived one of the receptionists (they changed all the time) looked at the exchange vouchers and acknowledged that we wouldn't be paying transfer costs. On our departure they wanted to charge my friend and I $90 saying that the transfers weren't included. We ended up spending most of our last day in arguments with them and their management with my travel agent on the phone trying to resolve the mix up because we had paid for the transfers prior to our departure. They remained really unhelpful until 5pm when they told us that the transfers would be handled by our agent and we wouldn't need to pay for them. Our transfer was supposed to be at 6 - so therefore we had no time to enjoy the last day of our holiday.
Overall the resort location is nice, while a little overpriced, however the service just isn't up to scratch, and they lack in their attention to detail. The bungalows are out-dated and should be refurbished. From everything we have heard talking to other tourists on the island at the time, there are MUCH better hotels to stay at.
- 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