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“perfect for part of our honey moon”
Review of Tamanu Beach

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Tamanu Beach
Ranked #4 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 4, 2009

Wonderfull quiet place, very quiet!!!.
Aitutaki is such a lovely place, MUST do a Island hopping trip and feed the tropical fish.

Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
Thank nodrogs8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 10, 2008

Great place to spend time doing not much at all.Wonderful location with great beach on the door step, best snorkeling on the beach right out front.Well run and maintained , staff excellent and always available.

We stayed in the older side of the resort and I highly recommend this, Bungalows are much nicer and the pool is much better,you can sit in it and watch the day go by,then 5 steps and you are back in the sea.

The newer side of the resort is very sterile with no gardens and the thatch on the roofs are made of plastic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stayed in 110 with great view of the pool and sea, great shower/bathroom.Nice kitchen fab bed with plenty of space,great deck etc etc.

Highly recommend it all

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank retiringsoonish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2008

We had a really nice lagoon view bungalow which was ready immediately. We had originally booked a beachfront bungalow but due to a mix up by our tour op, we had the lagoon view instead and requested room 210. If you have a look at the Tamanu's website you will see that this room is situated just behind and to the side of one of the beachfront ones and still has the most wonderful views of the beach/lagoon and is only a few steps from the beach itself. It's right beside one of the 2 pools. We saved ourselves quite a bit with this one and it was really perfect.
We were made very welcome from all the staff and Mike Henry (joint owner with his brother) always seemed to be around making sure everyone was having a good time and to chat with you - a nice personal touch.
Our bungalow had a huge veranda with table and chairs and even a single bed on it to relax on. There was a large lounge room with sofa and chairs, table, TV (only one station but we weren't bothered), sink, fridge and large ceiling fan. There was a large basket of fresh fruit waiting for us and a bottle of sparking wine in an ice cooler - a nice touch we thought. There is a jug in the frige with fresh water which you can get refilled at any time from the bar.
The bedroom contained a lovely super kingsize bed which was really comfortable. There was a ceiling fan and air conditioning which worked lovely.
There is a big wardrobe with combination safe, iron and ironing board and a couple of big umbrellas (just in case).
The bathroom was large with a walk-in shower and glass brick walls - the only problem was that there was nowhere in the shower to put anything, no shelf or nothing. We ended up putting our shampoo, shower gel, conditioner and sponges on top of the glass wall - ok if you are tall as the wall was about 8 foot high!!
There is a hairdryer and complimentary toilettries are provided for you. Clean beach towels are left for you every day in the cupboard under the sink.
The cleaners are very unobtrusive and kept the place very clean.
Breakfast was the usual fruits, cereals, coffee, juices, toast, pancakes etc. Cooked breakfasts are also available to order.
I did find all the lunches to be massive and far too much to eat at midday and we eventually bought ourselves bread, ham and stuff from a local shop just to have a smaller snack, rather than the larger meals with chips etc served in the restaurant.
Evening meals were great and there were always specials on the board, we tried the lamb, steak, tuna etc and all were extremely nice. The menu wasn't massive and I think we might have been bored if we were booked for a week or 2 longer than the 5 days that we stayed.
The hotel is quite happy to recommend other places to eat and will arrange a pick up for you if you want. We were a little put out to find out that one night the restaurant was to be closed because of a wedding! But the owner then informed everyone that they could either be served by their own waiter on their own verandahs whatever they wanted from the restaurant or that they would be happy to recommend other restaurants and arrange transport - very helpful.
The hotel provide bicycles - free and mopeds at a fee and they are located just at the entrance. We helped ourselves to a couple of bicycles and had a great time cycling round - it was a bit hot for that sort of thing though. But it was nice to cycle to the local shops for snacks and into town to the post office etc.
You could help yourself to beach beds or kayaks and we found that if there were more than 4 other people on the beach - it was crowded!! Seriously, it was such a beautiful place with outstanding views; peaceful and relaxing and just what we wanted. We had flown without a break from London to LA to Rarotonga to Aitutaki and we were glad we got the majority of the flights out of the way, this meant that at the Tamanu we could really let our hair down and unwind - perfect. The sea is crystal clear - you may need to bring your aqua shoes though as there are quite a few sea cucumbers and coral bits about!

Island Night was a real spectacular evening. There was lots of local traditional food to try, all sorts of things, some I liked and some I didn't, but everyone had more than enough choice and plenty to eat. The entertainment was very good and we really enjoyed the whole evening - it was a real highlight.
We also did a lagoon cruise with Aitutaki Adventures (this was included in our holiday price) and was unmissable! One little word of warning, there are NO toilet facilities on the boat at all. On joining the boat I had already been to the area before and knew where the toilet was, so I popped off quickly but I did notice that nothing was mentioned to any of the other guests about going before we set off. The snorkelling was great and we stopped a few times on various places and had a lovely lunch on One Foot Island. Again, nothing was ever mentioned about toilet facilities and my husband and I walked off into the thicker bush area and found a toilet - extremely basic, just a cement hole, but when you gotta go........ So, if you are the sort of person who might need more than a quick 'p' now and then - be warned, especially us ladies (you know what I mean!).
Perhaps you could check before you go with this company because other cruisers did have facilities. Having said that, it was the most fantastic day. Although you do stop for refreshments and later on lunch, it is extremely hot so I would suggest that you bring a bottle of water with you as there are no refreshments on this boat.

Apart from a very small craft shop selling a few T-shirts, etc there nowhere on site to purchase any sun creams, mozzie sprays, batteries, headache tablets etc, so make sure you bring these essentials with you.

All in all, Tamanu Beach Resort was a really lovely place to stay and it's not easy to think of anything negative to say about it. Staff are friendly, accommodation clean, roomy and comfortable. Food is great and the location is really hard to beat.
I have only managed to come up with 5 possible improvements I can think of, and when you read them you'll see, it's really only nit picking!
1 - nowhere to put anything in the shower, surely easily fixed with a shelf or something.
2 - it's quite dark in the bathroom, not so good for shaving (hubby said), perhaps a bit better lighting
3 - perhaps a few light choices or snacks available for lunch time might be nice.
4 - sunbeds are rather hard as they are wooden and the lounge covers were a bit on the thin side - perhaps thicker covers would help in the 'numb bum' department :-)
5 - a full length mirror somewhere would be good - I do like to see what a state I look like when I go out.

As you can see - really heavy stuff!

I must also add that this resort has a 'no under 12s' rule and this really adds to the relaxation of the place. No screaming kids anywhere, no tantrums in the restaurant or running round under the waitresses feet! I honestly didn't realise just how much this adds to the perfection of the resort until we went on to our next destination and I missed the quiet seclusion in stunningly beautiful surroundings. Perfect!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank GinaG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2008

We stayed in the studio Lagoon Bungalow for four nights at the end of our honeymoon this september(number111) we had a wonderful view of the pool and the ocean. This bungalow was a little less private then our place on Raratonga, but equally as stunning. it had a table and chairs out on our own deck, kitchen , fan(with airconditioning if you wanted, but we did not need it) We found Atuitiki very remote and extreamly quiet when compared to Rarotonga(and even raro was quit). we mostly ate in the hotel restarant, as there seemed to be little else near by. this is definatly not the place for people who like night life! we tryed finding one place listed in our lonely planet guide book for dinner one night, but it was closed. This hotel had an absolutly fabulus island night preformance!!!! very diffrent from the one we saw in Raratonga. You could choose to have the dinner buffet and then watch the show or you could simply show up after dinner to watch the dancing and music. We really liked that this hotel was family owned. We saw the owner on sevral occasions and he happily shared his plans for the hotel for us(they are planning to put in a spa near one of the pools) the hotel had sevral bikes that you could borrow(although a few were in need of a bit of a tune up...but they got us where we wanted to go:-)there was also motorized bikes you could rent for a fee, but we did not use them. we cycled around the island easily. one day we rode up past the airport to the Lagoon resort....seemed nice, but our pina colada cost us 19 Newzealand dollars!!! we had a good view from the bar though and after a hot bicycle ride it tasted great!!! Based on our visti, I would definatly choose Tamanu over the lagoon. we had to check out at 10 am, but they let you shower in a vacant room if they have one. the one bedroom bungalows seem more luxurious then the studio bungalows and they have a television, unlike the studio bungalows (although we definatly did not miss tv)....walking back from the restarant along the beach to our place was great. you can hear fish jumping in the water and see milions of bright stars in the sky. wow. Just a note...come prepared for mosquitos. don't be afraid to smell like mosquito repelent. the first night i refused to put it on to go to dinner, but severly regretted it when i came home with tons of itchy bites. the hotel has some repelent at the bar and special rings that are suposed to get ride of the bugs but...if the bugs like you wear the repelent! . On another note DO NOT LEAVE THIS ISLAND WITHOUT GOING ON A LAGOON CRUISE!!! we went with a company called Aitutaki Adventures. the front desk can book it for you if you ask. It was run by a husband and wife. amazing food and unforgettable lagoon tour...sand bars, deserted island, clear blue water, jumping off the boat to snorkal and swim. need i say more. any way i would definalty reccomend this hotel for a romantic getaway with a loved one or a peaceful place to relax with friends.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Zoom_the_world
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2008

Tamanu Beach is a great place to stay while on Aitutaki.

The bungalows are cosy with a nice view of the lagoon. Cool off in the pool that`s right on the beach, or snorkle in the lagoon.

The staff is very helpful, always smiling and up for a chat.

The restaurant is excellent. And its fantastic to sit there and watch the sunset.

Tamanu Beach provides you with internet access in the lobby, as well as scooters when you want to cruise around the island.

The staff helped us book lagooncruise and deep sea fishing which is highly reccomended to do while on Aitutaki.

They have a fantastic Island Night BBQ and show.

We felt like we were visiting friends.

Just go! :-)

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank KMHNorway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2008

I've stayed in Tamanu in the first week of September 2008 and just loved the experience!

First of all Aitutaki is a wonderfull lagoon island with an incredible beautiful blue water. When we arrive by plane the pilot smoothly swings the plane left and right to let everyone in the plane to have an aerial view of the laggon and take some pictures. At the airport we have a local singer welcoming us and the hotel staff waiting with a flower necklace for each guest. We start immediatly feeling welcome in this wonderful island!

We then arrived at the hotel, the receptionist showed us our room, explained how the resort worked and invited us for breakfast although we didn't have breakfast booked for that day. They upgraded our room (we had booked an interior bungalow room and they pulled us closer to the beach to a 2nd line bungalow) filled the room with flowers and, since it was our honeymoon, they offered us a bottle of champagne.

The resort has complimentary kayaks and snorkling gear (included in the price) and some chairs in the beach to allow us better appreciate the sea in front of the rooms.

We've attended an island night, which is a buffet dinner with songs and fire show and we really enjoyed watching the representation of the old maori traditions (including the Haka ritual). This occurs everyweek in the hotel.

We've rented in the hotel a scooter to go around the island and have a look at the town, lookoutpoints, etc ... well it is very easy to drive since it is always very calm with very few traffic.

We also had a wonderful experience with Aitutaki Adventures (the yellow boat) in a lagoon cruise. Although the day was very windy, Mr Puna and wife Mrs Tutu did all they could to provide us an excellent day. Although the wind prevented us from snorkling in some of the best spots we did reach the motus, their excelent beaches, the birds nesting at maina island, the beach of one foot island, visiting four motus altogether. We had an excellent snack at honeymoon island and an excelent luch at one foot island! Captain Puna is an excellent story teller (ask him to exlplain the one foot story!) and Mrs Tutu is an excelent cooker. And most of all they are both very nice and do their best to provide us a great experience!

On the down side we didn't like the dive center Bubbles Below. Although Aitutaki has a wonderfull sea to explore underwater the people from this dive center are not very professional. They are more concerned in taking their photos with their cameras than guiding our dives. In one occasion I lost track of the guide to find him later taking pictures of a turtle instead of calling us to see the turle! When I approached I couldn't immediatly take photos because I had the guide's camera and arm in front of my camera! Something I had never seen...
Next time I go there, I'll try one of the other dive centers...

Finally on the downside, we got two rainy days and another two windy days. I guess we weren't lucky because this is supposeddly the best time to go there and rain is not frequent in september. In fact when we arrived local people were complaining it didn't rain a single drop for a month. I think they have sporadic rains that come and go fast but it isn't usual to have a rainy day this time of the year.

To conclude, I definetly recommend Aitutaki, a very calm island with very friendly people, Tamanu - a casual luxury small resort with very friendly staff and Aitutaki Adventures - a very professional and also nice couple to guide us through the lagoon.

Hope to see you back soon, Aitutaki!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Paulo C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2008

We stayed at Tamanu Beach (formerly Are Tamanu?) for 5 nights in February 2007. We had a bungalow in the “new” section (i.e. the section with the bungalows not the studios).

The bungalow had no cooking facilities, but was otherwise exactly what we were looking for, with plenty of space, big comfortable beds and a good outside seating area. It was about 50 metres from the beach. The beach and snorkelling were excellent.

However, our stay there was not as enjoyable as it should have been, given the excellent location and the fact that the accommodation was basically so good.

Firstly, the staff were in general really not at all helpful. With a couple of exceptions, we usually got the feeling that we were being a nuisance, even if we just turned up at the restaurant for lunch! There were many specific examples of this, but here are a couple.

They ran out of fruit juice on day 2, and told us that there wouldn’t be any more for 2 weeks until the ship arrived. The store 400 meters along the road had a selection of juices all the time we were there. Couldn’t somebody go there and buy a dozen boxes? They’d still make a profit selling it at the bar.

For 3 of the 5 mornings we were there breakfast was served in our rooms as there were not enough guests to warrant setting out the breakfast buffet. On each day we had to go though the same routine. Breakfast was delivered, then we had to go to the bar to collect, bowls, spoons, etc to eat it with. Couldn’t any member of staff have put those on the tray each day?

Secondly, the whole resort had the feeling of neglect. Clearly it has been in better shape, but it seems that the care needed isn’t provided any more. Again, many examples, but here are a couple.

When we arrived we were allocated a bungalow with a broken door lock. The reception team had not known it was broken, although the maintenance team had already arranged to send it to New Zealand to be fixed. Wouldn’t you think they would communicate with each other about this?

Secondly, a tiny point but one that sums Tamanu Beach up. When we arrived at our second (replacement) bungalow on day 1, there was a wrapped bar of soap on the ground at the bottom of the steps. Although housekeeping came most days and the gardeners cut the grass and did some kind of general tidying up, nobody ever picked that bar of soap up!

All of the basic elements for Tamanu Beach to be a great resort are there, but somebody needs to manage it with a lot of care and a good chunk of enthusiasm to make it one, and some of this care and enthusiasm will need to be transferred to the staff as well! Or was it just that the boss was on vacation when we were there?

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank LawrenceUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tamanu Beach

Address: PO Box 59, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Aitutaki
Price Range: $288 - $366 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tamanu Beach 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A warm island welcome to Tamanu Beach Hotel- your casual luxury Pacific Island getaway destination, on the pristine atoll of Aitutaki. Tamanu Beach resort is located on the western coast of Aitutaki, with stunning sunset views from our beachfront Restaurant and Bar. Tamanu Beach resort offers four bungalow accommodation options, including garden bungalows and one bedroom lagoon view bungalows. All of our Cook Islands bungalows are nestled amongst lush tropical gardens. Our beachfront bungalows are on the water's edge- a stone's throw from our gorgeous blue lagoon. Our stunning Aitutaki beachfront resort features 23 bungalows, conference facilities, two fresh water swimming pools, a beachfront bar and restaurant and a gift shop. Casual Luxury at Tamanu Beach Our private, white sand beach borders Aitutaki Island's crystal clear lagoon providing endless opportunities for island activities such as swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and SUPS in the azure waters. Tamanu Beach is family operated and we offer guests a truly unique Polynesian experience. Every Thursday enjoy our "Takurua" Island Feast and show - a performance of Cook Islands song, dance, fire dancing and more from our talented and dynamic cultural group. Tamanu Beach is a popular haven for magical Cook Islands weddings and honeymoons, and is within easy reach of local cafes, bars and restaurants giving you the opportunity to dine out at your leisure. Your stay with us includes the following complimentary services: •Return airport transfers •Daily tropical breakfast •All SUPS, Kayaks and Masks and Snorkels ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tamanu Beach Aitutaki
Tamanu Beach Hotel Aitutaki

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