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“Paradise on Earth”

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Gina's Garden Lodges
Reviewed October 7, 2009

My stay on Aitutaki was absolute paradise and Gina garden was for me, the garden of Eden on Earth.
Des and Tutai, the owners are the most lovable, natural and helpfull persons I ever met.
They did all efforts in the world to make me and my spouse to feel at home.

I will never forget the time I spent on Akaiami Island where they took me for a day of resting out after the long travel. I would recomend everyone to not only stay at Ginas Garden but also to take a couple of days at their Akaiami lodge.

The name Ginas garden is really, The Garden...... This garden is very big and very beutifull with all the pretty flowers and all the fruits. Only the garden itself was a experiance to remember for life with all pretty little nature, smells, sounds......
I spent hours only taking pictures of beutifull flowers.

I would like to remind potential people who consider staying at Ginas, that this is not a resort, this is a tropical nature experiance. An experiance that will stay with you for life.

We stayed for 3 weeks, and really got to know some people, their hospitality and service mindness is more then one could expect.

I really, really want to recomend Ginas Garden because I will never forget it, and I will come back.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AnkiSwipe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 - 27 of 37 reviews

Reviewed September 25, 2009

If you want to stay in a cheap accomodation, then stay here, the lodges are clean but very very basics, the beds are not good, there is no aircon, everything smells humid. a good backpacker option.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Fernando E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2009

I spent approximately a month on Aitutaki. A total of only a couple of hours on Rarotonga. I just loved everything about Aitutaki. The owner met me at the airport with a warm welcome and several leis, possibly from the Lodges, that smelled exactly like paradise. We stopped by the grocery store to stock up on necessary items and on to the scooter store to order a bike to be delivered to the Lodges. Everything was just perfect. Des And Tutaki are gracious and helpful in every way. The Lodges are in a lovely green setting with flowers, trees and birds. I brought my dvd player and Des kept me supplied with movies! They also saw to it that I had lots of sightseeing adventures. I had lots of opportunities to meet people and enjoy island life. If you enjoy the resort lifestyle, this is not the place for you. I'm recommending Gina's to everyone I know!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Gordon_Ross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2009

I stayed at Gina´s for about a week with my friends. We were greeted on the airport with amazing leis and brought back to the lodges (picking up motorbikes on our way), where we got two huts instead of one, but for the same price! This great impression stayed for the rest of our time there, we picked coconuts which we got help to open, fresh fruit and help to organize our different activities. The service was great, and we felt that we stayed in a special place where we got value for our money.
Will always remember this holiday as something very special!

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank elinaNewZealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2008

I have been to Gina's twice so I am biased. I know that good reseach is a big part of expectations and the final result. All factors must be balanced as to good and not so good in relation to cost. This is a low cost(pay for what you get) but 5/5 experience.... A must do. Treat Gina's as a base.
I put Gina's at the comfortable value end of the market.....if you want cocktails served by the pool then this is not for you. If you want to taste the best tropical passionfruit outside your window then this is it. You are in the tropics so insects are a plenty. You come for the experience....its the unexpected that grabs you. My daughter will never forget seeing the birth of a baby goat just around the corner or the litter of piglets checking us out on arrival or the land crabs under our feet at night walking back from a top restaurant experience nearby.
But the clincher is the Island overnight trip with Des and Tutai ... if you want a true adventure there is none better ...put roughing it aside and you will love it. Do the work and you get the rewards...if you want to catch lobster and cook it you can...I did.
I am planning my next trip back...its a great family bond but not for singles.
Stuart

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank StuartChrisSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2008

We are an Irish couple who have just spent 26 days in Gina's Garden Lodges and we absolutely loved it. The lodges are located inland at the southern end of the island and are clean and comfortable with a well equipped kitchen, plenty of living space, a large bathroom & enough beds for a small family. The lodges are cleaned daily with fresh linen and towels provided. Each lodge has a large veranda with comfy chairs which are perfect for relaxing in at the end of the day and watching the geckos patrol. The gardens surrounding them are lush and beautiful and kept immaculately. The quiet location ensures a peaceful nights sleep and although you'll probably want to hire a moped or bicycle, it is an easy stroll into town (and you'll probably be offered a lift by the passing locals anyway). Also one of the best restaurants on the island is just next door.

Tutai and Des are wonderful hosts, helping with any queries or requests you might have regarding the island; they will arrange moped hire, lagoon or diving trips and offer advice on the best places to buy fresh food and local produce. Tutai met us at the airport with floral leis and then drove us around the island stopping at all the different shops and telling us which were the best for which foods. Tutai can also offer an insight into the local politics as she is the Queen of the island.

After spending 7 months traveling around the world, Aitutaki was without doubt the friendliest and most beautiful place that we visited and we think Gina's is the best value accommodation the island has to offer. Aitutaki is a wonderful place to visit and we would recommend it highly.

We were disappointed to read a couple of the other reviews which seemed to exaggerate the presence of insects at Gina's. We had no problems with insects inside our lodge and while there are mossies outside in the evening this is common to anywhere on the island and in the tropics as a whole.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Dickon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2008

Gina's garden lodges are off the beaten path, so if you are expecting a beach view, this isn't for you. The easy availability of motorscooters made that not a problem for us and encouraged us to explore the islands a bit more. The owner, Tutai (aka Gina, aka The Queen) was willing to drop us off and pick us at the motor scooter rental place during the airport transfers.

There is a problem with bugs, however. We never had cockroaches crawling on us, as one reviewer asserted, but we saw enough inside the two different lodges that we stayed in that the claim is certainly credible. We also arrived to find three wasps inside the lodge and scores just outside the front door. If a person stayed inside the house and entered quickly, the mosquitos weren't too bad - maybe 5 to 10 per evening. The screens need work in some places.

Gina herself was quite a nice lady and the help (Pani) was also quite good. They have most of the basic equipment to allow you to cook for yourself, although some of the implements like hand-crank can-openers no longer work.

There are four lodges; they all seem built to the same plan. The "hot" water comes from solar, so if you have a cloudy day, the best you can expect is water that, well, isn't frigid. In the evening after sunny days, it is quite toasty.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank That_NASA_Guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gina's Garden Lodges

Address: PO Box 10, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Aitutaki
Price Range: $73 - $101 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Gina's Garden Lodges 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gina’s has two properties on Aitutaki Island, Cook Islands. One - Gina's Garden Lodges, is on the main island, and is about 5 minutes walk from the Tautu landing, on the Eastern shores of Aitutaki lagoon. The second, beach side property is situated on one of the reef islands at Akaiami Island - 5 miles across the lagoon. This is Gina's Akaiami Beach Lodge. We are family friendly and welcome children of all ages. Both of these locales offer an environment that is special to Eastern Polynesia, and in their own way give reality to those Pacific dreams which travelers seek, and which cannot be found at Resort Hotels. ... more   less 
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