I read that Aitutaki was apparently nominated as the Worlds Most Beautiful Island in the Lonely Planet Guide for 2010. It is certainly beautiful, slow paced and real, without mass-tourism like Bora-Bora. Aitutaki is a very pleasant island to relax and enjoy tropical beauty.
We stayed in the Samade on the Beach for 6 nights in late September 2013. The resort is smallish, with 12 bungalows of the same size, type and fittings. There is also a main building with the reception and restaurant.
Samade had a very recent change of ownership. New owner Thomas greeted us and apologised that some things are slightly run down and replacement (i.e. bed linen, towels, kayaks) occurs slowly.
Our impression is that whilst the above statement is correct, it did not hinder our stay and holiday in any way. The bungalows, while basic, are clean and tidy and everything (from the ceiling fan and air-conditioner to the shower and flyscreens) works properly. Samade is on the best spot in the Aitutaki lagoon and offers great opportunities to enjoy the beach lunges, swimming, fishing, paddleboards, not to distant snorkelling. There are also two bicycles for a free use.
All staff, including Thomas, were extremely welcoming and forthcoming for all our enquiries and requests and made extra effort to make us enjoy our stay even better. Breakfasts were OK without to much choice but they were willing to accommodate any additional requests, pancakes were everyone’s favourite and run out extremely quickly, although if asked they are happy to make another load (which again disappears quickly). Cocktails were good. Food in the Samade restaurant was brilliant and, very deservingly, much more details are in my separate post.
Samade is in our opinion a great place to choose for a stay, especially if one is not looking for an expensive luxurious resort but towards the feeling of staying with the locals. We really enjoyed our stay there and Samade will definitely be our choice again should we have opportunity to return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aitutaki Village is a small boutique resort on Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. Situated on the white sandy beach of Ootu (meaning full moon) on the south western point of the island. The property provides a quiet and relaxing environment on the edge of the protected Aitutaki lagoon, ideal for swimming and water activities at all tides.The Polynesian inspired restaurant and bar has stunning views and is located on the lagoons edge. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is available everyday, we also offer special dinner evenings, lagoon cruises, private island excursions, rental vehicles, kayaks and island tours. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Samade On The Beach Hotel Aitutaki