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“Warm and hospitable, with unparalleled views!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Aitutaki Village

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Aitutaki Village
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
salem
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Warm and hospitable, with unparalleled views!”
Reviewed October 11, 2013

Gorgeous setting, very welcoming and hospitable owner and staff, with personalized service. Comfortable room and bed, and handy kitchenette. Fun “island night” with delicious dinner and entertainment. The only thing keeping it from 5 stars in my view: Expensive ($10/hour) but slow and unreliable internet service :( Will also be great when they get their kayaks in, although the paddle boards were fun. Might also be nice to have bicycles available on that part of the island, as I would've enjoyed biking out to the end of the old airport road for snorkeling! Thanks for a fabulous vacation!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank sueinor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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150 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2013

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.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank jovanm27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SamadeBeach, Marketing at Aitutaki Village, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
Kia Orana,
Thank you for your kinds words, and wonderful restaurant review. We printed this out right away and passed it on to our chef who was all smiles! Happy to hear you felt welcomed by our team here, and you enjoyed your stay by the beautiful Ootu Beach. Our kayaks arrived yesterday, and new linen so we are making improvements, sorry you missed out on using the kayaks - you will have to come back and visit us! We hope to see you both again, and thanks again for the lovely detailed review.
Regards, Team Samade
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Whangaparaoa, New Zealand
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2013

From the moment we were greeted by Lexi with a great big smile and the ubiquitous eis (flower garlands) at the tiny airport, we felt welcome on this amazing island. When we reached Samade, we were again greeted, this time by the owner, Thomas, who told us all about Aitutaki and made suggestions on how we could enjoy the three days we were staying on the island.

Samade on the Beach is a work in progress. Taken over by the present owners this year, it is about to undergo a transformation that will see much improvement to the existing facilities. Already situated on the best beach on the island (which probably means it's just about the best beach in the world), this is a resort that is really going places. Even now, although the accommodation is basic - a detached "Lockwood type" unit, with separate bathroom -it is more than adequate for an enjoyable stay. The rooms are air conditioned, the shower is okay and the double bed squeaks a bit but is comfortable. The resort is undergoing a major refit, due (Thomas tells me) to be completed by end of March 2014. However, my advice to visitors would be to get in now while the rates are really competitive and get fabulous value for money on one of the world's very best beaches. Sure, there are much more swept up resorts on this island, such as the Pacific Resort and the nearby Aitutaki Lagoon Resort, but compare the prices and, if what you seek is a great place to stay, where the staff are genuinely friendly and you are able to step from your unit onto your own heavenly lagoon beach, at a fraction of the price the others are charging, then Samade on the Beach could be as wonderfully enjoyable for you as it was for us. A great bar and restaurant, right on the beach, means you never have to "leave home" if you don't want to. And don't miss out on Bishop's Lagoon tour while you're there.The full day boat trip around the lagoon was the highlight of our Aitutaki visit. If I could make one suggestion to the owners it would be, as part of your refit, please, please provide some basic cooking and eating facilities. Aitutaki, being small, has very limited "eating out" facilities, and those that exist are mainly limited to the highly priced resorts. The provision of a cooktop, microwave and some pots, dishes and cutlery in the units would give visitors (especially families) the opportunity to have a fabulous holiday at a reasonable price. It would also be a great point of difference which would no doubt entice even more visitors to this wonderful spot.

Room Tip: The lower the number, the nearer the beach. However, all units are very close to the beach anyway.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank WillyH2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SamadeBeach, Marketing at Aitutaki Village, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
Kia Orana,
The team here are happy you felt so welcomed in Aitutaki and Samade on the Beach! We will look into the ideas of cooking facilities at Samade during our 'make-over' project and thank you for your suggestions. Our brand new linen & kayaks have arrived yesterday so we are excited about that. It was great having you both here and we hope to see you again in the near future.
Regards, Team Samade
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whangarei Heads, New Zealand
Level Contributor
73 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2013

When you travel for 40 years you get jaded and guarded in stating over the top positive things ... but occasionally an experience melts the reserve ... meets the deeper needs ...
We travel for a variety of reasons but sincere and mellow not aggressive Inn keepers - who provide awesome locations and consistent delicious food , drink, and relaxed friendship at a reasonable affordable price ... are so Rare .

Thomas and his team of Rarotanga formed camaraderie/hotel staff ... are rare and so is the place Samade ... we had been there to Autitaki and Samade - before Thomas became the head man and at first were worried since he apologized at the first sit down when we arrived about his many challenges in getting Samade to what he considered a good place.
He has already largely accomplished his task !

The setting is Magnificent , the rooms are comfortable and well set out , AC fine, food in Restaurant awesome - tasty , fresh , brought with sincere smiles and wonderful Pina Colada's
including a side portion if your partner gets one and you decline ...
The lagoon swings in and out providing fresh and clear deep water for swimming within 3 feet of the Samade shore and pools of shallow if you want that ..the kyaks were missing but what can you do ? they were to come in a fortnite so are probably there now.
Local restaurants are fantastic with similarly sincere friendly Cook Island folks providing service and good food if you like variety .. We stayed 2 weeks and would like a month of this slice of what is rare and wonderful every year ! Go and enjoy !

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Richard1901
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SamadeBeach, Marketing at Aitutaki Village, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
Kia Orana Richard, thank you for taking the time to write about us, we loved your review! We hope to see you back here one day for a Pina Colada... Regards, Team Samade
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Surfers Paradise, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2013

Awesome and niche little set up friendly staff There Thomas and his crew.The island night is excellent and well worth the cost. Rooms are more than adequate and Buffett breaking was plentiful. The vaka ship cruise to one foot was well worth it. Paradise on Earth.

WE will be back

Steve and Judirra GOLD COAST

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Steve K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hastings, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

I shouldn't say this or recommend Samade but!
What a drop dead stunning location and superb resort.
Friendliest, most helpful staff, though Lonely's memory isn't the greatest. (we made up)
Fantastic cook. Best barman ever, thanks Ned.
Ran out of bacon one day but never out of beer or wine.
Bed squeaked a bit.
Man I am a winger and don't even come from Aussy.
I would put Aitutaki at the top of my vacation list and Samade second to none.
If you are looking for 5 star and stuffiness find somewhere else.
If you want the friendliest, most relaxing laid back holiday go to Samade.
I am already planning my next visit's

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank vince b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SamadeBeach, Marketing at Aitutaki Village, responded to this review, September 6, 2013
Kia Orana Vince, thanks for your amazing review of Samade.
It was a lot of fun having you around and we know 'Lonely' misses you. We will have to fix up those squeaky beds. Make sure you come back and visit us!
Team Samade
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san diego
Level Contributor
71 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2013

After staying on Rarotonga for 5 nights with a lovely view of the reef off shore, and the endless sea beyond, we wanted a different view for our 3 nights at Aitutaki. So choose Samade for its prime location on the lagoon. The view here of the lagoon is ever changing blue hues with the tide and you just can’t get enough of it. Sometimes at low tide you can walk out in crystal clear warm water one quarter across the lagoon and only be in water up to your knees. You can sit on a newly created sandbar and watch as the scenery changes before your eyes.

Samade is what we expected – it has this great location on the lagoon, is walking distance to 2 nice restaurants (The Boat Shed was one of our favorites for their excellent Ika Mata – get the starter portion, not the main – it is nearly the same). You can even take a 1 minute ferry ride across to the close by exclusive Aitutaki Lagoon Resort, which sits on its own motu and have a drink or dinner there. A scooter rental was very close as well, but Ade (the owner) called and had them pick us up. We scootered entirely around the island and made stops at the gorgeous Pacific Resort for an overpriced lunch and a drink at Puffy’s, as well as many stops for photo ops. (Tip, if you are out at dusk, always have mozzie repellant handy if there is no wind.)

The Samade falas or bungalows are clean, neat, large, and comfortable, albeit not fancy. The air and fan both worked flawlessly. We found the bungalows and Samade to offer true island very casual style. It is a flip flops only kind of place. The management (Lexie, Alone, and Ade - the colorful, exciting owner) of Samade were efficient, warm, pleasant, and most accommodating. They will arrange anything for you and offer on site the use of lounge chairs, kayaks and stand up paddle boards. We were sorry we didn’t have one more day here as we would have loved kayaking or trying the paddle boards. Besides our scooter day exploring, we took a lagoon all day snorkeling tour with Kia Orana arranged by Samade and can recommend it highly. There were 5 stops with the highlights being snorkeling among giant (really giant!) clams, and walking across the lagoon from one motu to another. The ever changing views were breathtaking.

Our Samade 3 night rate included airport transfers and daily breakfast buffet (cereal, toast, delicious fresh fruit, and pancakes) We found Samade to be a bargain for all it offered. While breakfast was always fresh and good, and the bar was always open for a cold one and some friendly island chat , our barbeque dinner was disappointedly so-so. Probably the only negative thing we could say about our otherwise lovely, memorable time at Samade

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank mchcal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aitutaki Village

Property: Aitutaki Village
Address: Ootu Beach | PO Box 75, Cook Islands (Formerly Samade on the Beach)
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Aitutaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Aitutaki Village 3*
Number of rooms: 12
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

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