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“one and only (budget) place to stay on aitutaki”
Review of Matriki Beach Huts

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Matriki Beach Huts
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 17, 2010

Not being mentioned by the Lonely Planet, as the author couldn¨t find it, the only real budget place on Aitutaki is www.matrikibeachhuts.com. The huts/rooms are basic, but clean and fully equipped with a kitchen. and offer great value for money, you wouldn¨t get elsewhere on Aitutaki. They are located at a quite beach that offers the best snorkeling on the main island. The owner Matthias, a German expat spending most of his life in Australia, New Zealand and the Cooks, is a great guy and will make you feel like home immediately. Matriki consists of only 4 huts, therefore the number of guests is limited and the atmosphere therefore very personal. In fact all the guests there were really nice and we felt like a big family for our entire stay. We enoyed many great days and nights at Matriki with BBQs, guitar playing and star gazing at night and even had a spontaneous wedding of our neighbours in front of our hut. The highlight of our stay was an overnight stay on a deserted mini island (honey moon island) with Matthias and all the guests (group of 7), where we went fishing and night snorkeling, and simply enjoyed the simplicity of the beautiful island life. If you however prefer privacy, Matriki is great as well, as they huts are separated from each other with plenty of space in between. Most other luxury resorts we have seen during our one week stay on Aitutaki looked rather impersonal and a certain relaxed island vibe seemed to be missing. So even with more money to spend on accommodation, we would still stay at Matriki beach huts once again. Definitely recommended!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank masterpeter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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157 - 163 of 206 reviews

Reviewed March 31, 2010

A beach "camping" experience in a great location with a good host, friendly people and close to some excellent eating spots. The Treehouse was just a step away from the lagoon with wonderful snorkeling opportunities. Every time we went snorkelling we saw new amazing creatures. Saw a few stand-out birds - Blue Nun (Violet Lorikeet), Red-tailed Tropic Bird and Brown Booby. The Great Frigate Bird fished on the edge of the lagoon and an assortment of terns, noddies, tattlers and herons passed by. A perfect spot to read a book in a hammock and watch the sunset. With a fridge and coffee plunger, a shower and bed with a view, what more could you want?

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Yclept14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2010

We spent 6 nights at Matriki Beach Huts staying in both the garden hut and beach hut. The accommodation is located right on a beautiful stretch of beach with the best snorkelling on the island just outside.

The huts are basic but contain everything you need. If you like camping and a simple life, you'll love these. Each hut has its own deck (the beach huts and treehouse have beach facing ones) which are great for relaxing. The outside shower (beach hut) was nice, although it lacked a bit of privacy and the share toilets were clean. In line with everything else on Aitutaki, the huts are expensive for what they are (and the 'tax' that is added on makes it even more so) but you couldn't get a much better location.

We found Matthias and Riki welcoming and they were willing to help us out if we needed advice or a booking made. They also rent bikes and scooters. We wanted a scooter but they didn't have any left so they arranged for one from another company and took us to pick it up. They also picked us up from the airport, but we didn't realise until the end of our trip that we had been charged for this service - we assumed it was complimentary so that came as a surprise.

The only downside with the accommodation was that we weren't given any information about the island on arrival and had to keep going back to ask, when we sometimes felt as though we were intruding (the office is in Matthias and Riki's house).

The highlight of our trip was Matthias' boat trip which was amazing - he takes you away from all the other tourist boats to his favourite snorkelling spots and lunch on Maina Island was delicious!

In conclusion, a good option for those on a budget and who don't need all the mod-cons of the fancy resorts.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank rachferris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2010

I spent 5 nights here and thoroughly loved every minute at this fantastic value for money accommodation. Mathius was a friendly and extremely accommodating host.. Whether it be on our sailing regatta to "One Foot" or the great snorkling trip,he was always extremely informative and helpful. I loved my Tree House lower level hut with friendly visits from Tiger Lily one of the two resident cats, always on the lookout for food.

Sitting on my porch, late at night, enjoying a "nightcap" , the stars were spectacular. and I was lucky to see two shooting stars within ten minutes one night and another the following night!

My fellow guests in the other huts were great fun and we were lucky that Mathius would be our taxi driver in the evening(s). I'm sure he enjoyed sharing the social experience with a great group of international travellers.

The sublime scenery of Aitutaki will remain in my memory forever (have great photos) and hopefully I will return someday.

Highly recommended.

Sue from Australia

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled solo
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2  Thank JACKDYER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matthias2, owner at Matriki Beach Huts, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2010

I'd like ti thank all those guests that have written reviews - even the "negative" ones as what they show is what we at Matriki Beach Huts are aiming to offer - authenticity, and that means also having "a bad hair day" or showing that we are also humans like everyone else. And that is perhaps why so many feel at home and at ease here. Having so many great reviews and guests comments in our Guest Books and on the websites has it's advantages and it's disadvantages. It can lead to people having too high expectations and so disappointment - no we are not a 5 star hotel - and for us there's the pressure to perform.
What we are doing is to just be because we know that it is not only our doing that makes this place what it is, but also all those great and different people from all over that come to stay with us. A nice BBQ on the beach happens because people click and want to do it - it is not our doing - and then we will do our part to make it happen. Same goes for all other activities. And having max 10 people makes it easy to meet and befriend everyone.
We live on the property and sometimes need our space and want to thank all those who then respect our privacy - and if someone doesn't, they may get a "bark" as someone put it. So if you wish to be part of what makes this place what it is we look forward to welcoming you some day.

Matthias and Riki

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.
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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 #2 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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