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“Great place to get away from it all!”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Aitutaki Seaside

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Aitutaki Seaside
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
38 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Great place to get away from it all!”
Reviewed July 5, 2007

My husband and I honeymooned in Aitutaki and stayed at Seaside Lodges for 5 nights. Overall, we had a marvellous time and loved the laid back nature of the island and lagoon.

Solo, the owner, is extremely helpful and took us into town for groceries once we arrived. She also organised a lagoon cruise and an Island Night for us as part of the accommodation package.

The bungalow was well equipped, and had airconditioning and a nice deck out to the beach. The water is quite shallow though, and not the greatest for swimming. Kayaks and snorkling gear were also available for use, as was a guest laundry.

Our only issues were 1. as the electric water heater element was broken, we could only have hot showers in the late afternoon when the water had been warmed through solar heating, and 2. our bungalow wasn't serviced whilst we were there... not a biggie as we are tidy people.

  • Liked — Views and quiet location
  • Disliked — Lack of hot water and servicing
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Angelco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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77 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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 (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Montgomery, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2007

Yes, the 3 properties are quite close to the airport (about a 10-min drive) but aircraft noise is absolutely not a problem, and on Sundays no flights operate anyway.

We arrived on a morning flight from Rarotonga on Fri, 31 Mar and stayed till 1700 hrs on Tues, 4 April. Note: Seaside Lodges are totally flexible on arrivals and departures and did not charge us extra to keep our bungalow until leaving for the airport at 1530 hrs.

Frankly, we were glad to leave Raro after a 5-day stay where we'd had some torrential rain and the sky was again clouding over (apparently, it continued to have heavy downpours whilst we were away), but we landed in Aitu just 50 mins later under a cloudless blue sky which remained that way. It was fabulous and as you approach Aitu the view of island and its triangular lagoon is absolutely stunning - it's worth the cost of the flight just to see it!

As with the other reviewers, Roro met us at the airport and was a darling, so warm and friendly and very different from the manageress of the Lagoon Lodges where we'd stayed in Rarotonga . Roro gave us a brief tour round the island stopping off at the supermarket-cum-internet cafe which she and Solo own, the harbour, and a little market. We did some immediate shopping then she took us to our Lodge, the beauty and tranquility of the location was just breathtaking. By now, it was getting pretty hot so walking into the air-conditioned room was absolute bliss. The place was spotlesssly clean and very well-equipped. She lent us some CDs and DVDs as reception on the one and only local radio and TV channel is poor/bad, and restaurants close around 9PM.

Roro also organised a scooter for us which arrived before we'd finished unpacking, and booked us a tour of the islands for the following day and Solo brought us a big bag of freshly baked banana donuts to take along on the trip. During our stay, we were kept supplied with regular deliveries of bananas and water.

The scooter is an essential on the island not because things are far away - Aitu isn't that big so nothing is far anyway - but it's the only way to get some cool air blowing around in the hot temperatures outside. Humidity was high when we were there and stepping out onto the balcony from an air-conditioned interior was just like walking into a very warm oven.

When we arrived we had the place to ourselves for 3 days which was lovely. We went kayaking in the morning before it got too hot, then later we'd go off on the scooter ending up at Samade on the Beach for a drink and a swim. We also went to the Island night there on the Sunday evening - they were very friendly and had great music.

We had a fabulous stay at the Seaside Lodges and cannot thank Roro and Solo enough for their kindness and hospitality. We wish them the best and hope they do really well.

For information, they were also building another 3 properties just up the road closer to Etu Moana which are probably finshed by now.


  • Liked — Air-conditioning, well-equipped kitchen
  • Disliked — having bed in living quarters - prefer separate room
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank haar0064
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2007

I was greeted by Raro at the airport, and from there she gave ma a short tour of the island before taking me to my beautiful bungalow. There are 3 single units, all with kitchens and a large bed, TV, CD player and a stack of books and movies. The units are clean, airy, and fresh. You pretty much have the beach to yourself, and I'd recommend taking the kayaks out for a spin. I rented a scooter (via Raro...delivered right to the bungalow), and that was plenty to get around the island. Samades on the Beach is a quick drive, and a great place to have a fish sandwich and a few drinks while watching bikinis. I have absolutely no complaints!

If you're looking for someplace that's going to pamper you, this is not it. I'd say for the most part, the Cook Islands are not for you if that's your scene. The bungalows are for those looking for peace and quiet with a good bit of self-sufficiency and some of the most beautiful, inviting waters on the planet.

  • Liked — It's secluded and clean
  • Disliked — I had to leave!!!
  • Stayed June 2006, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank nasotang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waedenswil Switzerland
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2007

We stayed at the Aitutaki Seaside Lodges in December 2006 and it felt like being in Paradise. But not so at the beginning. We were not aware that the lodges were quite isolated. Once we had rented a car it made all the difference. The owner offers a great package: stay 5 nights and you will get a discount besides a one day lagoon cruise and an island night buffet with cultural entertainment. Excellent value and the lagoon cruise was a dream.

Stayed January 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank Bangtao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2006

Wow!! We were picked up from the airport by Roro and two of her children. She was so friendly and helpful and took us on a tour of Aitutaki before dropping us at the Lodges. Well; there are three lodges not too close together and set so you have privacy, right on the sand. They are air conditioned and look brand new. Because of the Survivor crew she was concerned that we be able to hire transport and organised it immediately. Included in our package (because we stayed five nights) was a cruise and an Island Night dinner. It is also equipped with tv, cd/dvd player if the weather is not so good.
Provided were kayaks (a couple of singles and a double). Unfortunately the promised snoorkling gear was no longer available so take your own!
There are hammocks and sun loungers on what is basically your own private beach!
Definately take surf shoes (lots of sea slugs!!). The water out the front is no good for swimming but if you kayak along a few metres you get to a deeper bit where swimming is wonderful. Race the 'flying fish' back again in your kayak!
We took a walk along the beach and after about 10 mins you come to Etu Moana. We had heard so much about the place that we had to go check it out. We met a lovely German couple on our walk and they showed us their room there. Yes it is superior to Seaside Lodges but not majorly. You get breakfast and the fittings and layout are slightly nicer. They also had a pool and bar. However it was almost twice the price and I would not be willing to pay that much extra for what ammounts to not that much difference. Seaside Lodges was more private and quieter too.
We used our scooter to visit Samande on the Beach and swam in the lagoon there. No fish but the bluest clearest water you ever saw. It was nice to grab a smoothie from their bar and soak up the sun. We ate at Tapuna which is inland and it was fantastic, we reccomend highly. The cruise was on a smaller boat and we got to go to Honeymoon Island. Our Captain Fantastic was just that and told us lots about the naming of the Islands etc. My partner went on a dive with Aitutaki Scuba(Bubbles Below was taken up with Survivor).He got to see a reef shark, a huge Turtle and much more!
Because most of the accomomdation on Aitutaki was taken up with the crew from Survivor there wern't many tourists!
We climbed up th the highest point to view this magical island. It is easy to do but remember your mosquito repellent!
On our last night we walked on the beach just as the sun was setting and my partner got down on one knee!
What a perfect holiday. We are in love with Aitutaki and long to return! Perhaps for the honeymoon!!?!

Helpful?
9 Thank bynny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 19, 2006

We can absolutely recommend these bungalows (---) without a doubt. We were traveling with a child so we had our list off demands.
The day we arrived (may, 2006) we were picked up from the airport free of charge, by Solo. Solo and his wife are the owners of this three bungalows. A very nice and ‘especially’ helpful couple. The bungalows are about a ten-minute drive from the airport and located on a virtually private beach. You are just far enough from the airport to not to be bothered by it. The bungalows are more than we hoped for. They are quite new, modern, ‘clean’ and with ‘fully’ equipped kitchens. As a lover for cooking the kitchen did fulfill more of my wishes. Everything you need in a temporary house was there. The only thing we missed was a telephone for emergencies. The bungalows are far from town so it is very handy to rent a pushbike, scooter or car. Solo is always helpful to arrange one for you. The only things that are close by is the local disco where everybody can be found on a Friday night and there is Puffy’s with a restaurant also on walking distance.
The bungalow has a amazing view with the most beautiful sunset that we have ever seen. Sitting in you hammock you can enjoy the peace and quietness. Because there are only three bungalows you have to be lucky to have great neighbors (we did). The reef in front of the bungalows is worth while checking out. With your kayak and snorkel set that are included with the bungalow, you can go out for hours.

Another thing that we found also special, that at the time we stayed there the price includes a great island night and island tour. Ask to go with older catamaran, but on the day that Bishop cruises goes out as well, because they are the only ones to have the key for the post office on one-foot island. Bishop cruises was the first to organize these tours so that don’t feel like they have to entertain you any more. The other one takes you to far more interesting islands and has great entertainers on board!

If you are a scuba diver, we went with Bubbles Below (---); they took us to two great diving spots. They have a small boat with good diving equipment. Friendly owner! By the way this was also arranged by Solo.

If you go to Aitutaki don’t forget to pack a ‘good’ sun block and mosquito repellent. The mosquitoes here are very thirsty/ agressive!! And of course bring you good humor and just sit back and enjoy.

Thank you for making our stay so great!!

Helpful?
8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2005

The property is very close to the airport so the ride was short. The owner’s wife Raro (roll the R’s)met as at the airport and drove us. We had asked for rental scooters ahead of time so she drove us first to the scooter rental then we followed her on our scooters to the property (make sure the headlight works on your scooter, you need it after sundown). The Seaside Lodges are 3 bungalows on stilts on the beach on the NorthWest coast. They are very nice bungalows that look relatively new. The covered deck has a table & chairs. Inside you basically have a square with the back right corner walled off to house the full restroom. The kitchen, bedroom and living area are all open in the remaining “L” shaped space. The kitchen was fully appointed, plenty of dishes, utensils and pots & pans. There was air conditioning which was nice. We really needed it – it seemed much warmer here than Rarotonga. Each bungalow is supplied with a kayak and paddles although there is only one for two people, the other two were solo kayaks. Raro is a delightful host, she drove us to the large grocery store in town to do our initial stock-up on food and water. Take advantage of this because it’s hard to carry many groceries on a scooter. Raro does not stay on the property but she visits once in awhile. She and her husband also own the Internet Café/Bar down the road (5 minute scooter ride) where you can go and ask that she be called if you need anything. We did this twice and she was very responsive. We stayed 5 nights and accordingly received a complimentary lagoon cruise and island night dinner. We loved the lagoon cruise but we skipped the island night dinner because it was on our last night and we wanted to stay in the bungalow on the beach. Raro didn’t like that we’d be missing such a treat so she made us a dinner of home cooked fish and mashed potatoes. It was amazingly good! The bungalows were clean and very comfortable. Towels and beach towels are supplied. Raro bought two bars of soap for us but we needed our own shampoo. The kitchen had dish soap and salt & pepper but we had to buy our own sugar. I would have prefered to take some sugar packs rather than buy a large bag at the store. Raro advised us to avoid the water so we spent a good deal on bottled water, about $10 - $12 NZD per day. The Lodges are on a section of beach that is quite nice but shallow near shore - you need to wade or kayak out a number of yards to find deeper water (4 to 5 feet maximum). Snorkeling was fun but not a whole lot to see - worth a trip or two to see the blue starfish! We could walk on the beach for a long distance and not see anyone - be prepared to be pretty much on your own here. Paradise for some, might be boring for others. I would stay at the SeaSide Lodges again without hesitation, they looked nicer than most other accomodations on the island.

Helpful?
20 Thank MikeInOhio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aitutaki Seaside

Property: Aitutaki Seaside
Address: Amuri | P.O. Box 79, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Aitutaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
AITUTAKI SEASIDE: Aitutaki Seaside is an accommodation made up of three absolute beachfront bungalows situated in a private setting on the north western side of Aitutaki. They are self catering, self servicing bungalows that are equipped with all of the essentials required to cater for your stay. As all three bungalows are ABSOLUTE BEACHFRONT they have excellent views to the lagoon straight from your veranda and being situated on the western side of the Island they all look out to the sunset side of the Island. From your bungalow walk on the white sandy beach and within seconds dip your toes in the stunning Turquoise lagoon. You will be greeted at the Airport and the managers will meet you at Aitutaki Seaside Lodges to welcome you and provide a brief orientation. Return airport transfers can be arranged. Please note a surcharge may apply. please contact us to request airport transfers. Each Bungalow has a simple open plan design with kitchenette and en-suite. They are fully insect screened and have air conditioning. There is a phone available to all guests in the guest laundry which will allow for making local calls to assist in booking restaurants, lagoon tours, rental vehicles and also to contact the managers if required. BBQ facilities are available for guests use. There is a wifi hotspot available from your room. Please note surcharges apply. Aitutaki Seaside provides good value and we are sue they will cater well to your stay in Aitutaki. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aitutaki Seaside Hotel Aitutaki

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