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“At home on Aitutaki”
Review of Matriki Beach Huts

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Matriki Beach Huts
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 22, 2009

This was our third visit to Aitutaki. On our second visit, we stayed with Matthias and Riki, and knew this was the right place for us and that we would always come back!
First the location is fabulous, with its own lagoon and its private giant clam.
We love to stay in the beach hut. With the recent addition of a sink in the room and a shelf, it is actually reaching a decent level of luxury :), but we also hear great things about the treehouse and garden unit (which I understand has ensuite shower)
We love the outdoor shower, which reminds us of the outdoor showers we enjoyed so much in Hawaii, where they are a staple of local architecture. It has hot water, and a colony of hermit crabs who flee the fresh water in disgust.
The old toilet used to be a little forbidding, but the new double toilet is light, easy to clean and very pleasant.
Matriki is a good place for those who want to feel like they live on the island. Riki always has good gossip and stories about all the characters on Aitutaki. Matthias' lagoon cruise is by far the very best on the island, especially now with the new boat that gives him more flexibility and snorkelling possibilities. I think he is the only one that takes you snorkelling outside the reef, and the experience is fabulous, even when the turtles are on their day off...the food on the cruise is delicious, with local food and water coconuts.

I disagree with Martin's comment that Matthias is the kind that would refuse to give you a ride :)
I had a broken foot, and had to fend off Riki and Matthias' offers for rides, as I was trying to get some exercise limping along to Aquila...
We are sorry we did not get to meet Fred and Kristine, who sound like they were wonderful hosts...but we consider Matthias, Riki and Keegan part of our Cook Islands extended family, and look forward to going back!
We had scooters, reservations for Tupuna or Tamanu when we wanted them, we got to the airport on time, the place was spotless, pleasant, and I think the lowest price and best value on Aitutaki.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MarHab21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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159 - 165 of 204 reviews

Reviewed December 22, 2009

Mattais has recently taken over from the previous managers and he is doing a great job. We went on the snorkling trip (fantastic -, saw turtles, rays, etc.*), sailing, rented a car, and he was able to take us out and pick us up when we wanted to have a drink or two. * This snorkling trip is superior to many as is it small, and goes on both sides of the reef.
The beach outside the front of the huts was unbelievabe - so beautiful. We snorkled out to the giant clam.
Food prices are expensive, but I was able to make my own breakfasts and the occasional lunch in my room.
We had a nice campfire on the beach one evening - I felt at home there.
One of the best things about Matriki was the diversity of the fellow guests - from all over the world and from all types of backgrounds. The common thread was a wish to experience the Cook Islands in an authentic setting. Matriki is perfect for the "real" Aitutaki experience.
Make sure you consider a sailing trip with Mattais - he is well expeienced. Honeymoon Island and One Foot Island are "must sees".
A walk through of the 'Aituki Lagoon Resort & Spa' is highly recommended - you can stop for a drink - truly the perfect Honeymoon resort.
Make sure you catch the 'Island Night Shows" that are held at various venues on different evenings - Puffy's was good and so was the Tamau Beach show - they had some very HOT fire dancers! (both are within walking distance) You can show up for drinks only - buying the entire meal package is optional.
The town disco was very different from home, nobody arrived until 10.30 and at midnight, they 'shutter' the bar off and it was over! The music was also not what one would expect at a disco.
Aitutaki was a wonderful destination and well worth the cost of the flight from Rarotonga. Matriki was good value, well run and clean, but was basic. Take bug repellant.

Stayed: November 2009, traveled solo
2  Thank scubakerryllr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2009

Matriki Beach Huts have everything going for them: You simply can't beat the dream location on the beach, the charm of staying in a tree house directly opposite a great snorkel spot, and amazing sunsets. The huts are basic but equipped with everything you need to cook, keep yourself clean and sleep.

There's nothing in the way of sound insulation so acoustically it's like sleeping in a tent; however since everybody will go there for the same thing (peace and quiet) that won't usually be a problem. We slept very well.

There's mosquito netting, electricity and a gas hob. At night you'll sleep with the sound of the South Pacific battling the Reef. It is so beautiful that you quickly forgive and forget that, at NZD 75 per night, it is a tad overpriced. Oh, and by the way, you'll actually pay closer to NZD 90 per night because once you're there there is a "Government tax" added, which you are not told at the time of booking.

Still, it's beautiful, and we had every intention to enjoy ourselves there and to hell with the money.

So why in the end where we glad to leave the place?

The previous hosts, Fred and Kristene, have left, and by all accounts they seem to have been excellent hosts. German-born owner Matthias and his partner Riki have taken over after an absence of 2 years, and unfortunately Matthias attitude to running a guest house is very different. If you do stay there, and you need anything (maybe a late evening phone call to sort out an urgent situation on the other side of the globe) I strongly suggest you ask at the resort next door, where people are friendly and go out of their way to be helpful even if you're not staying there.

If you ask Matthias for assistance, it will end in him shouting, swearing (he likes using the F-word a lot) and doing his best to ruin what's left of your stay. I dread to think what he'd act like in a real emergency. When it was time to drop us at the airport (we had paid in advance for that) he took us 3 full hours before it was time to get rid of us ASAP (thankfully the lovely lady at Air Rarotonga booked us onto an earlier flight so it turned out well for us).

But then what can you expect, he' s the kind of host who won't offer you a lift home when he's in his car and sees you struggling with a big bag on the way home from the shops.

Having said all that, if you're on Aitutaki and you get a chance DO go on his Lagoon trips - they're NZD 75 each and worth every cent, the snorkelling is amazing, you get loads of time at each spot, and the food (served on one of the uninhabited "Motus" or mini- islands) delicious and plentyful. It was the best tour of this kind i've been on, easily the best on the island. And because this seems to be something he enjoys, i didn't hear Matthias bark or swear at anyone all day.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank GlobetrekkerOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2009

Well, it isnt easy to describe our feelings about matriki and aitutaki. We made our reservations with kristene (the former manager) and were welcomed by the real owner matthias. He is there alone and has no further help(sometimes a local lady makes some cleanings). So maybe the former reviews are not longer comparable.
The website gives still plenty of information.
Well, it isnt easy to describe our feelings about matriki and aitutaki. We made our reservations with kristene (the former manager) and were welcomed by the real owner matthias. He is there alone and has no further help(sometimes a local lady makes some cleanings). So maybe the former reviews are not longer comparable.
The website gives still plenty of information.
We saw aitutaki a bit worn out, run-down and therefore overpriced. There are a lot of deserted houses and shops. On one-foot-island are 3 primitive huts to feed the lagoon-cruise-guests (with always ready mosquitoes) and the surrounding area is almost ranked.
Snorkling is good near maina-island, but the visibility wasn’t too great(maybe 4meters deep). There havent been plenty of fish and the corals 50% bleached(greater views on rarotonga).
If you travel on Sunday, you can see many protesters at the airport(depending on how good the weather is...) against air-rarotonga(and the travellers). Throughout the island are therefore signboards fixed.
So here is the Sunday holiest, but no protests against opened Neibaa store and the hospital...
That case is strange in a modern country connected to NEWZEALAND and not to: yes: no insults...
you can roam everywhere without any dogs, but this it isnt valid for plenty of chicken. So you wont miss sunrise.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank herb59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2009

My partner and I had the pleasure of staying at Matriki for 2 weeks in May this year. We were lucky enough to book the Beach Hut, which is located right on the beach, in fact, it is about 20 steps from the lagoon. Amazing.

The beach hut is very basic but it contains everything you need for a pleasant stay. It consists of a double bed (complete with a good mosquito net), a gas stove, utensils and a sink....that's about it really. They are as clean as they can be. The location of Matriki is fantastic and you will never get tired of watching the sunsets...simply breath-taking. There is a tap on the premises which provides clean water for the guest, which was invaluable during our time there. The toilets were always clean and my only criticism regarding these would be the lighting at night. There were "glow in the dark" type lighting, but these faded around midnight, so it is advisable to definitely have a torch handy. The only other negative we had was the private outdoor shower which is attached to the Beach hut. Although there had been some attempt to make the shower secluded, there were definitely gaps where passers by (as well as the upper treehouse room) were able to catch a glimpse of you showering which made it uncomfortable at times.

The managers, Fred and Kris, made us feel welcome as soon as we arrived, and invited all the guests for a BBQ one evening mid-week, which was a nice touch. There are bikes available for hire, as well as a 2 seater scooter which you can hire for about $25 a day which was a fantastic way of seeing the entire island. Snorkeling equipment was also available for a small fee.

There are a couple of food options nearby. Puffy's was good value, although it mostly served deep fried food. Tuano's Garden Cafe was just up the road which sells most fruits (when in season) and they also served lunch, but if I'm honest, wasn't really value for money.

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Matriki. If you're looking for luxury, then Matriki is definitely not for you. If you're looking for a very rustic experience right on the beach, then you can't go wrong here.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank loubob07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
clubfred, Manager at Matriki Beach Huts, responded to this reviewResponded October 5, 2009

I just wanted to put on a quick update and let everyone know that Fred and I have finished our two year contract with Matriki and are on our way back to Canada. The owner, Matthias, has returned to run the property.

Thanks so much to everyone who came to visit us and *many* more thanks to those who took the time to post a review on Trip Advisor. We owe much of our success to the reviews we received here. What an amazing two years we enjoyed, (everyone should see Aitutaki at least once in their life). Meitaki!

Kristene

p.s. Yes, the Beach Hut shower does need addressing - I left it on the "to do" list for Matthias and I also blocked off the Beach Hut for four days for repairs. Thanks for mentioning the lights to the toilets, I will make sure to bring this to his attention, as well.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2009

Price: I've done months of research prior to booking my Cook Islands trip, and Matriki was definitely the BEST priced in Aitutaki. (i think it was NZ$55/night in the upper treehouse)

Accomodation: I would have preferred the beach hut but it was already booked, so I had to settle for the upper treehouse (given that i am a solo female traveller, it was a good option as it felt safer for me). The double bed was nicer than alot of the hostels i've stayed at, and having a kitchen meant I could prepare my own meals rather than have to go out to hunt for food. Everything worked fine in the kitchen, except they dont' have a lighter to light the gas stove so one has to use a match. The shower is outside, but it's only a quick run down the stairs. The only problem was there was no light in the shower, but Fred has kindly provided me with a shower light I could leave there for the duration of my stay. The toilet was a little bit further of a walk, but it was very clean and well maintained. The windows are screened, so there is minimal mosquito/flies (all the mosquito bites i got were from sitting on the beach at dusk). It does get a little hot without a fan, but once you get in bed it cools off as the night settles in.
The only other problem I can see with living in the treehouse is noise at night if you and your neighbour have different sleeping schedule. I was lucky to have the whole treehosue to myself for the first 2 night, but the 3rd night I could hear my downstairs neighbours walking around and dragging chairs, etc.

Location: Great location - right on the beach. You wake up to the sound of crashing waves. The water is very shallow, but you can still snorkle and see quite a few fishes right infront of the beach hut. Snokle equipment rental was really cheap as well (i think NZ$3 for mask and fins. Fred provided me with life jacket at no extra cost)

Transfer: transfer was about NZ$10. As soon as I stepped off the plane Fred came up and met me (he is really good at guessing his guests). The morning of my departure Fred was ready to go whenever I was.

Overall: it's a very intimate ambience and very accomodating hosts. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone who wants to see Aitutaki on a budget.

Side note: if you want to do a lagoon cruise, i strongly recommend Aitutaki Adventures (great snorkling, awesome food, wonderful hospitality, all for NZ$65). I've also done a cruise with Biship (charged me NZ$75 although website says NZ$65), but was not impressed.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank oceaniahereicome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2009

We stayed here for a week while we were in the Cook Islands and it was amazing! The weather unfortunatly wasn't great, but Fred and Kris made us feel welcome in their shelter (and the games of scraibble were really fun!) But when the weather was good the lagoon and beach were right outside the door and the giant clam just has to be seen!
Our room was comfortable and as its probably the only place on Aitutaki we could afford we were glad it was clean and nice to stay in!
As a backpacker you might find the whole island a bit slow, but we went there to relax and relax we did!
Would go back there in a heartbeat!! If only we weren't so far away...

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ClaireAndCharlie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Matriki Beach Huts

Address: Anaunga, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Aitutaki
Price Range: $83 - $86 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Quiet budget rustic self contained absolute beachfront huts on the nicest natural snorkeling and swimming beach on beautiful Aitutaki, Cook Islands. ... more   less 
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Matriki Beach Huts Hotel Aitutaki

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