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“Swimming at Etu Moana - be aware”
Review of Etu Moana

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Etu Moana
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 14, 2007

We were there in late August and can endorse everything people have said about the place, despite the weather being pretty disappointing eg we never saw once of the infamous sunsets that everyone talks about. We would go back in a shot and wouldn't bother with Rarotonga at all, especially if you are after somewhere where you can really unwind and relax. Just a point though - we thought from photos that you could swim off the beach but it isnt really possible. Its just too shallow most of the time, there's lots of coral This doesn't seem to be something that anyone brings to your attention (however, there is a lovely smallish pool on site though and you can do some snorkelling off the beach). If you are really keen on swimming in the sea (like us) you can make the effort to walk up the beach a few hundred metres to a spot where the lagoon has been dug out especially for swimming. We also took a scooter round to Sammys where there is nice swimming.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled with family
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7  Thank ripeka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 6, 2007

It's all been said! We have been back three weeks and are having Etu Moana withdrawal syptoms and are planning how to get back asap!

We were lucky to get villa 1 which is righ on the beach. The view from the balcony was stunning and every evening we could hear the waves washing up on shore.

The hosts were fantastic and the quality of the villas is fantastic. From the coconut and flowers you receive when you arrive, to your own welcome cd, evrything is just right.

We missed breakfast after sleeping in. We then had breakfast delivered to us without even asking. They make you feel very special and nothing is a problem.

Get a scooter! It's great fun exploring the island and go on captain fantastic's cruise of the lagoon.

Would endorse all the positive reviews. It is not often you find somewhere like this. We are hooked!

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank daz03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2007

Beautiful, quiet, romantic, scenic, relaxing, comfortable, the list goes on and on to describe this truly island paradise. If you do encounter any problems Jim and Jo-Anne will make the extra effort to make sure they are resolved ASAP! The breakfasts with fresh seasonal fruit (many from right on their property!) were a great way to start the day.

They even have an internet connection, and the Honesty Bar at the pool is so very convenient for a cold beer, glass of wine, soda or whatever appeals to you. The snorkeling is great right off the beach with water so clear that I would often walk down to the beach to watch the fish before breakfast. If you like beautiful sunsets, I think we saw (and I took more photos of) more spectacular sunsets than anyplace else we have ever stayed! All in all a perfect place to get away at ANY age!

Stayed: January 2006
7  Thank Home_Again341
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2007

We stayed in two places, visited quite a few, and spoke to others. In our opinion, this is the best place to stay in Aitutaki. We moved to Pacific Resort later in our stay, as pre-planned, thinking we'd be taking a step up. Ug. That was painful. We tried hard to go back, but Pacific wouldn't refund any money, and it was too much to throw away. If we went again, we'd certainly return to Etu w/o even contemplating for a second another option. Jim, Jo-Anne and Lovey, as well as the other folks there, were WONDERFUL. Our travel agent asked us to send her any notes on our honeymoon hotels, and the following is from what we sent her: "3. Etu Moana: In our opinion this is the single best place to stay in Aitu, by a long shot. If for some reason, people must have the restaurant/room service/etc. of a full-service hotel, then Pacific is better, but if you can make do with the fresh and tasty continental BF, your kitchen, and going out to eat, along with the well-priced honesty bar for drinks on property, then there is no better choice. The people there are wonderful. All the cabins are beautiful, and not getting the beach front is not a big deal. There are still wonderful views over the property. The property, by the way, is amazing. They have planted so much beautiful stuff since the pix on their site... it's much nicer than we even expected. Their free snorkling gear, reef shoes, kayaks, and bikes mean that you can do all the main stuff you want to do w/o having to think hard. The cabins are, in our opinion, better than Pacific's. They're slightly more tasteful, and the shower's bigger (in addition to having 2 showers - one inside, one outside), but most importantly, they're more intelligently designed. The one we stayed in at Pacific had no windows on 2 sides, so no through-draft was possible. At Etu, you had ventilation on all 4 walls. The lighting/dimmers/etc. are nicer, as are the porches, outdoor couches, etc. at Etu. And the feeling of being in a place where you know the people working there and they know you, is dramatically better than at Pacific. Plus, it's cheaper... you can eat at Pacific every night and still save money. Etu's pool area is very inviting too." Point is, we love it... everything about it. If we could live there forever we would. It's the best property on the island, and it's got the warmest, friendliest vibe around. Enjoy! We're jealous.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank ContinentCrosser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2007

We intended to cap our month-long holiday in New Zealand with four days at Etu Moana, but once we arrived, we knew we had to extend our stay! (And, for the record, we did.) We couldn't believe our eyes from the minute we were greeted with kisses and fresh coconuts and saw beautifully landscaped gardens, a pool, luxurious private villas with beds and large decks facing the turqoise lagoon and coral reefs, white sands, and comfy lounge chairs. Our hosts, Jim and Jo-Anne, were welcoming, kind, and warm, and their staff (Lovey, Teresa, et al.) were equally helpful and sweet, arranging everything from our rescheduled flights to dinner and snorkeling reservations (though some of the best snorkeling by far was right there, just steps away). Continental breakfasts by the pool feature fresh seasonal fruits (we had passionfruit and mangoes), and snorkeling gear is available as are bicycles, motorbikes, and kayaks. An "honesty" bar allows guests to get drinks at their leisure, and each villa contains a small kitchenette -- perfect for lunch or dinner in while watching the splendid sunsets. It's obvious how much Jim and Jo-Anne care about Etu Moana (Maori and named for the enormous blue starfish in the lagoon) and about their guests. It may sound cliched to rave about a place as if it's paradise, but this place was truly fantastic. We weren't on our honeymoon, but other guests were and we felt as if we were. Etu Moana is intimate and elegant, yet relaxed and peaceful. The best the island has to offer. Mark & Pamela, Cambridge, Mass.

  • Stayed: January 2007
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8  Thank Cambridge2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2007

We stayed at Etu Moana for 7 nights for our honeymoon right after Christmas. It was the second place we stayed at on the island of Aitutaki for our 2 week stay, and BY FAR the most incredible. Joann, Jim, and the staff are the friendliest, most helpful people we encountered in our total 2 week stay in the Cook Islands. The Bungalows are beautiful, the entire grounds are exqusite, and the setting is private, romantic, and VERY hard to leave!

After having a sub-par experience at another resort on Aitutaki, coming to Etu Moana was the best thing we could have done. I don't know that in all of our travels we have seen a place run better, kept up better, or been more comfortable. It was like staying at a friends house!

If you are thinking of going to the Cook Islands, we urge you to stay at Etu Moana, you will NOT be disappointed. Take it from the many past guests that have taken the time to write. Also we have the following recommendations:

Samade's on the Beach for lunch and relaxing (dinner is good there as well)
Cafe Tupuna for dinner
Te Vaka aslo has great food
The Island nights at Samade's are great , really reasonable prices and fun show
The Pacific resort has a good restaurant, pricey but good food
Bishop Crusies trip to Honeymoon and One Foot Islands - take the small 10 person boat (and bring lots of sunscreen)
The Discover Aitutaki Safari tour was great and we learned a lot about the history of the island


One last thing, if you are thinking of staying in Rarotonga, reconsider. Aitutaki is a much better experience as far as relaxation and the overall environment. Rarotonga is more crowded and has less of a warm feel.

Enjoy your trip!!!

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank mboyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2007

In our third and longest visit to Aitutaki, we stayed for the first time at the Etu Moana. We couldn't have made a better choice. The owners, Jim and Jo-Anne have built this exquisite boutique resort with much thought involved in planning. And along with the rich amenities, they have put together a staff of people who truly made us feel more like "family," than short term tourists. Early in our trip, I managed to crack myself up in a motor scooter wreck. We still had over two weeks to go in our trip. By the time, I got bandaged up at the hospital, I looked like a mummy! Certainly, this situation might have ruined many a couple's trip plans. But not for us. The Etu Moana staff wrapped their arms around us with real love and generosity. Many others on Aitutaki took the same approach with us. We were in awe of the compassion of so many. We have made many friends from this trip. Our goal now is to plan a fourth Aitutaki trip within the next two years. And it will be back to the Etu Moana. Afterall, we want to keep in touch with our family there.:)
Kia Orana,
T & T Hunt
Bellingham, Wash.(USA)

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank TJBellingham,Wash.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Etu Moana

Address: PO Box 123, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Aitutaki
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Aitutaki
Price Range: $374 - $475 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Etu Moana 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Etu Moana Beach Villas offers ten Polynesian style villas with thatched roofing. The Villas are situated on a beautiful white sandy beach and you have a mesmerizing view of the turquoise lagoon from each Villa. The Villas are all self contained and have a kingsize bed, large covered verandas, and Tasmanian oak floors. The style is crisp and modern. We offer complimentary Tropical breakfast, kayaks, SUP, snorkel equipment, and bicycles. In the rooms are smart TVs with 40+ movies on a hard drive. You are also able to listen to your own music by connecting your phone via bluetooth with a sound bar. In addition we also offer a gift USB card, coconut drink, ei's and airport transfers. The lovely Cook Island staff at Etu Moana are waiting for you! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Etu Moana Aitutaki
Etu Moana Hotel Aitutaki

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