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“Absolute bliss”

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Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa
Ranked #6 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Reviewed July 9, 2008

This place could be twice the price and still worth it. The scenary, the people, the food, the facilties, the rooms, the lagoon access, even the greeting off the place at the airport, everything about this place is perfect. It is my dream to go back one day!

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank tentotheminus9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 26, 2008

We stayed for 3 nights in 2 garden view bungalows (one for us and one for our 2 teenage boys). Our bungalow (no.17) had a beautiful view over the beach and lagoon. The rooms are simple but clean and cosy. Our room had a king size bed and a single bed with a large TV, tea and coffee facilities and a fridge.

We loved the short ferry ride to and from the island (takes less than 1 min.). The staff were all very friendly and always found answers to our questions (even if it took them asking a few of the staff to get the answer). Our teenager boys enjoyed the free canoes and the staff playing table tennis with them.

We all enjoyed the snorkelling around the resort although we also took a tour with Kia Orana Cruise around the outer motus (islands) which included fantastic snorkelling over some giant clams and so many fish! A smaller boat (seats 10) so a more intimate tour.

We enjoyed the island night and meal at the resort but wanted to experience Aitutaki, so ate out all around the island the rest of our stay. For breakfast and lunches (and snacks in between) I would highly recommend the Koru Cafe which is a very short walk from the ferry. Absolutely delicious food at a good price with a very friendly atmosphere. We also hired moped bikes from The Boat Shed Bar & Grill, again a very short walk from the ferry, for a reasonable price.

One hint would be to book all tours and vehicle hire yourself as, like other resorts, this resort will add their own fee for booking a tour for you. You can do this from your room. Unless you have a limited stay in Aitutaki there is probably no need to book ahead of your visit to the island.

Over all, we cannot wait to come back to this resort again. We thoroughly enjoyed our time here and around the island. We found no problems with either our accommodation, the staff or the resort and would recommend it to anyone as a lovely place to relax and soak up the tranquillity and beauty.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank LoveHolidays44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2008

We spent a glorious 6 nights here in paradise. Our Beachfront Bungalow was all we expected and more, with just steps to the beautiful lagoon.
Staff were extremely attentive and ensured our stay was as perfect as could be.
We suggest you have a Candlelit Dinner for 2 on the beach during your stay - a beautiful experience to remember.
Food was generally good and the cocktails and mocktails were sheer heaven (better value at Happy Hour!!)
This resort focuses on seclusion and privacy for couples young and old, where love and time to be together is high on the agenda. Not a place for children I may add - the arrival of which spoilt the ambiance a little!! (an intimate evening dinner in the beach bar restaurant with children screaming and running around is not my idea of paradise!!!!) Please keep this resort for adults only!!!
In all, a truly memorable stay - we will certainly be back.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Katek_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2008

My hubby and I stayed here for 8 days on our honeymoon. It was an amazing setting - even better than the touched up photos in any travel magazine. After 2 nights we were upgraded to a deluxe bungalow which was very nice, with spectacular views. Clear blue water, tropical fish, uninhabited island across the lagoon that you could boat to. Food was slightly overpriced for what it was, but other than that, it was perfect. We're dreaming of going back to this magic spot, would highly recommend it!

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank paoztraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2008

The Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa is in a beautiful location, but otherwise leaves MUCH to be desired. We spent a week here, and stayed in a deluxe beachfront bungalow and an overwater bungalow. The deluxe beachfront bungalow was nice and very large, and we loved the hammock outside. However, it looks like it hasn't been touched up since the 70's, and the shower was tiny and so short that my husband and I both had to significantly duck to use it. The overwater bungalow was nice and newer. The view is spectacular. However, it was very, very windy while we were there and we couldn't sit comfortably on our porch at all. After paying all that money, we didn't use the room in the way we were hoping to. Also, the only shower in the overwater bungalow is outside - it would have been lovely had it not been for the weather! We spent our time trying to shower as quickly as possible in the high, cold winds.

Our main problem with the resort was the staff. The staff never knew what was going on, and bungled every single interaction we had with them. Literally. It took us a minimum of 5 separate tries to get an accurate answer to any question we had, even the smallest ones. And the staff didn't seem to care - they were lackadaisical at best. They messed up our room reservations, our dinner reservations, and our lagoon cruise reservations. A half-day car hire came with our reservation package, but we never got a chance to use it because it was always being used by someone else. Additionally, the resort messed up our final bill - we had about $400 in inaccurate charges.

We also went to the spa and got massages. The sauna and spa were grungy and left much to be desired.

In the end, I just felt like the resort was trying to rip me off at every turn. The food was ok but ridiculously overpriced and the resort charges you for things that many other hotels on the island give you for free (I know - we stayed at a different hotel our first week in Aitutaki). The staff was uncaring and careless; in the end, we felt this place was a waste of our money.

I recommend that you visit the resort's private island for lunch or dinner and enjoy the surroundings, but please don't repeat our mistake and stay here.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Travel_Lover_47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2008

My husband and I just came back from a 12 day honeymoon in the Cook Islands. For the first leg of our trip we stayed at the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa. Overall, we had a good experience with some things we would definitely liked to see changed. We stayed in one of the deluxe beachfront bungalows and our place was amazing, absolutely no compliants there. On several of our nights there we ate at the resort's restaurants. On average, we were not very happy with the food there; the only night being really good was the pasta night. The service at the restaurants was really good. The cocktails were almost comically expensive so don't waste your money. Service at the reception was touch and go at best; for some reason whenever we asked a question no one ever knew the answer until we finally got to the 5th person! The grounds are very nice and the lagoon is absolutely to die for but I'm sure you can get the same views and better service at another hotel for maybe a cheaper price.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank pedsdoc08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2008

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.

Be warned!

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank IntrepidTraveller84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa

Address: Akitua Private Island | Motu Akitua, 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: $369 - $530 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 Hotel Aitutaki
Aitutaki Lagoon Resort And Spa
Aitutaki Lagoon Resort Spa
Lagoon Resort Aitutaki

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