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“Absolutely Fabulous”
Review of Royale Takitumu

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Royale Takitumu
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Absolutely Fabulous”
Reviewed 12 February 2008

Ah, the beautiful Royale Takitumu.

We booked this trip and this accomodation via Air NewZealand. Not so impressed with Air NewZealand - it was 'fine' for economy travel I suppose. The flight from LA is long and the seating cramped. Sleeping impossible. Anyway who cares, the flight is minor compared to the vacation!

I read up on the reviews etc from the Royal Takitumu and they were all quite good, but I was still unsure exactly what to expect. This place was wonderful, really exactly the style of accomodations we love! Where to start ....

Very private - there is no sign on the road to indicate it is even there - understated elegance and unpretentious. We were warmly welcomed by Rongo, with a lovely tropical fruit drink. Our flight came in very early (before the official check in time), but it was no problem to leave our bags in the office and return later in the day. The bus service is reliable so we hopped on a bus and went ot check out 'town'. We returned later, took our bags and checked into our villa, a beautiful beachfront paradise. It was soooo quiet, I thought we were the only guests! We stayed 5 days in total and there were only 2 or 3 other couples we saw/met. We walked on our beach and there was literally no one else around. Perhaps the time of year but we really welcomed the seclusion.

The villas are really lovely (there are only 10 in total), the grounds very beautiful, clean and well manicured. Our villa (#10) was beachfront, had a lovely grassy area in front and a wonderful sandy white beach complete with hammock, kayaks, etc. The villas are well outfitted with a lovely spacious kitchen and living area, CD player (no TV which is perfect I think), a telephone. Bathrooms are huge with jetted/soaker tub, toilet and bidet, hair dryer. Bedroom is comfortable, air conditioned, has everything you need.

Staff are very helpful. We found out the owners are fellow Canadians also (with lineage to Cook Islanders). Amber really was very helpful and we enjoyed chatting and finding out about her family and how they built this wonderful resort.

The resort is in the area of Titikaveka, known to have the 'best' swimming & snorkelling beaches on the entire island. They are right. We spent literally hours and hours snorkelling and we tried various other areas but the BEST was right out our front door.

One really nice touch was that in your villa, the Kitchen is large, has a refridgerator and microwave, supplies for coffee and tea, and they also get you started by providing Milk, Bread and a bowl of local fruits. This was very handy for newcomers arriving without a good idea of where and how to get supplies right away.
Although we ate most lunch/dinners out - breakfast was always at our villa and on the deck each morning. It was wonderful to take in the warm breeze and ocean waves each day and a perfect start was breakfast on the patio.

About the island of Rarotonga - it is a cool island. Aside from the high cost of living (food, gas, etc....very expensive by our standards. A box of cereal is $10, six small yogurts for $9, gas $2.30 per litre) and eating in restaurants equally as expensive, so we mostly ate out. Dinners count on $100/per couple, Lunch about $50/couple. We rented a BMW convertible and had a blast driving all over the island. We went to island night at the Rarotongan Resort - it was very good, well worth it - great show and good buffet style dinner.

Tamarind House has great reviews - our meal there was 'ok', but the ambiance is very nice. In town I recommend for lunch Cafe Salsa which we went to a few times - great food, just be prepared to wait...and wait....and wait...service is slooooow. The fish & chip place is good, nice and breezy down by the marina. Found it really cute that the chickens run amock everywhere, even through the restaurants. Also the local cats find there way around - I thought it amusing that the Fish and Chip shop had their own local kitty who hung out in the Kitchen, no doubt eating any fish scraps that fell to the floor.

We left Rarotonga for 6 days on Aitutaki at the Etu Moana - another spectacular location and accomodation setting (read my reviews on Etu Moana also). Although different, both the Royale Takitumu and Etu Moana were on the same scale in terms of being a '5' - outstanding accomodations, superior with all the amenities expected in a private villa style resort.

It was a once in a lifetime trip for us. Many wonderful memories - see photos attached!

Audrey
Vancouver BC

  • Liked — The villas themselves, the location, the beach, the snorkelling
  • Disliked — Nothing to dislike.
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Carpediem75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Sydney,Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2008

We have just returned from a two week stay in the Cook Islands, stopping at the Royale Takitumu Villas for three nights on the way to Aitutaki. We were so pleased we decided to stop off as the Villas were excellent and really made the stop worthwhile.

We were upgraded to a beach front room which was great! The room was huge and well appointed in island stye, decorated with beautiful flowers when we arrived. The bathroom was clean and modern with an awesome spa bath....even my 6'3'' tall boyfriend fitted in. The best part was we were right on a deserted white sand beach. We had the place almost to ourselves, it was really nice and quiet. The hotel has its own kayaks, there is plenty of good snorkeling right by the hotel and even hammocks to relax in.

The hotel staff were great, really friendly and even arranged morining tea to get to know the other guests. The only possible downside is that there are only 2 restaurants within walking distance. We walked from Muri beach one night and it was a bit of a trek...thanks goodness we'd had a few drinks so we had our magic drinking shoes on. A taxi to Muri beach only costs $10 and the bus is pretty regular so not too much of an issue.

Overall a great place to stay, we would definately go back.

  • Liked — The location, right on one of the islands best beaches
  • Disliked — Nothing, it was an amazing place!
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kt-and-damo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2007

We stayed in a luxury thatched roof bungalow, one of only ten or so, on a beautiful beach in a stunning blue coral lagoon that we often had completely to ourselves. We spent a week lying in hammocks, strung between coconut trees, snorkeling, and paddling kayaks in the blue lagoon. The staff were wonderful; they left flowers on our beds and cracked open coconuts for us. They hosted a wonderful BBQ and a petanque contest.

We took one trip into town for groceries and never needed to leave Royale Takitumu after that. There is a BBQ, a farmstand down the road and full kitchens.

Avoid Island Night at the Edgewater (or at least skip the dinner).

Royale Takitumu might seem expensive by Rarotonga standards, but an equivalent lodging someplace in Hawaii would cost several times as much. It was worth every penny!

  • Liked — relaxing location, great staff, kayaks, snorkeling, hammocks, BBQ, petanque
  • Disliked — noisy roosters on the adjoining properties
  • Stayed August 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TAmember123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2007

We stayed at Royale Takitumu for a week at the beginning of June this year. It was stunning.
The hosts were really welcoming, and on arrival, after being hit by the warm rarotongan air, the juice and personal orientation was great.
Our villa (number 7) had a beautiful pond outside it with a bridge up to the veranda. We had a clear view of the ocean from our veranda and from the lounge bit if we didnt have the insect door closed.
The bedroom was huge and the bed was really comfortable - my only complaint being that the mosquito net wasnt big enough for the bed. This got frustrating when we would wake up with mozzies in the net with us, although the friendly lizard on the roof was eating the majority of them.
The bathroom was big and the water pressure in the showers was nice. The retractable clothes line in the bathroom was really helpful for hanging togs on to dry overnight (outside had heaps of bugs that I didnt want on my togs).
The Villas provide transport to a local restaurant and one night of the week holds a bbq which is great for if your stuck for ideas or just want to stay in. The hosts are again, wonderful cooking the dinner and entertaining. Otherwise, restaurants around the Royale Takitumu Villas were of superb quality (Paw Paw Patch 3 nights!). Shop really close for stocking up on the basics for the kitchenette - expensive, but so is everything.
The beach was gorgeous - my favourite from around the island. Great assortment of fish. Clear blue water, exactly what you would expect from a rarotongan beach,
Want to go back to Rarotonga at some stage and will be checking out the Royale Takitumu villas again. It was very beautiful, very quiet!, and very relaxing.
The staff are very helpful and friendly, we would know, we asked a lot of questions.
Overall we believe that the Royale Takitumu villas were fantastic and would recommend them to anyone going to stay in rarotonga - if you dont have kids.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Very Queit
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank ErinnyH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
Reviewed 18 June 2007

We stayed at Royale Takitumu for 3 days in May 2007 and can highly recommend it. We were warmly welcomed with a refreshing drink of juice and shown to our villa. Our first impressions were of the beautiful gardens and we were extremely impressed with how well everything is kept. Our villa was No.4, a VIP beachfront which had a lovely view of the water. It was lovely to sit on the deck and watch the waves break on the reef. walking along the beach was great as (we thought) this was the nicest beach compared to other parts of the island we saw. the villas are lovely, with a very comfortable "living" area (kitchenette with table & 2 chairs, and two 2-seater couches). the bathroom was good and big. The staff also did a great job of cleaning and were always very friendly.
The main reason for our stay was to have our wedding ceremony at Royale Takitumu, and again, we can highly recommend this place if you are looking for a small, intimate and romantic spot to tie the knot. The staff were wonderful in arranging everything for us and it was a beautiful ceremony (held in the garden, but overlooking the water).
One of the things we liked the most about RT is that is was very peaceful, quiet and we rarely saw other guests! At times we felt like we had the whole place to ourselves which just added to our relaxing island holiday.

  • Liked — quiet & peaceful setting, great beach
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank francisbaby05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kanab, UT
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2007

My wife & I stayed 5 nights at The Royale Takitumu Villas in the middle of FEB, on the end of a 3 week South Pacific vacation that included Bora Bora and Aitutaki.

Catherine met us to get us checked in and was very nice as she gave us a tour of the grounds and led us to our villa. We were given a "statrer' fridge set up of some bread, juice and jam, which is handy since no food is included in the rate. This got us by until we could get into town to buy some supplies.

The grounds are beautifully kept, with a wide arrangement of vegetation and a number of fish pools and small waterfalls throughout the property. Everything was neat & tidy.

Our villa was #7 and not directly on the beach. The view of the lagoon was still great. The villas are very roomy, consisting of a living area & kitchen, a separate bathroom, a separate bedroom and a nice covered porch out front. There is a little plastic tub filled with water on the porch so you can dip your feet when you return from the beach to remove sand. The porch also has hose for further sand removal. It is also a great place to read the daily paper which Catherine brings by every morning.

The bathroom has a large jetted tub/shower as well as a bidet.

The bedroom has a large mossie('squito) net over the bed. Also the air con for the unit is in the bedroom which keeps the bedroom plenty cool IF you keep the sliding door CLOSED.

The ceiling fan in the living room does NOT do such a great job keep the rest of the unit cool, even if the door to the bedroom IS left open to let the air con escape around the rest of the unit.

While we saw some of the other units leave their sliding glass doors open to catch the occasional breeze, I don't suggest this, as the mossies will eat you alive. The grounds people do a great job of spraying, but it is the tropics, after all, so there are lots of mossies. We were thankful for the 3 small lizards living In our villa, as they worked round the clock to eat their weight in mossies.

The sliding screen doors were attatched to wooden louvers, so if you wanted to leave the screen door open, you couldn't see out. And the louvers prevented any breeze from coming in. This combination defeated the purpose of having a screen door. Other island accommodations we have stayed in have a triple slide consisting of a glass door, a screendoor and a lovered or shuttered door. That way, you can use them in any combination and they are functional. I would suggest that Takitumu add a third track & separate the screen from the louvers. This was an inconvenience that diminished our enjoyment as we couldn't see out w ith the screen open.

Superb location and perhaps the best snorkeling of our entire trip. The beach off the villas is part of a protected marine reserve and the fish were plentiful and larger than anywhere else. The water was clear and we spent up to 2 hour snorkeling each day. We saw a turtle, a ray and tons of reef fish. Early in the morning and at dusk the larger fish feed near shore and many times you can see the small fish fly onto the shore to escape being eaten. This of course presents them with another problem. I threw several gasping fish back into the water, the dead ones I left for the stray beach kitty.

There are 2 nice rope hammocks strung between palm trees right on the beach and this was a nice touch. Also some kayaks available as well as comp snorkel gear, though my wife had a hard time finding fins that weren't ripped on the heel. There is a shower and hose on the beach as well so you can rinse after coming out of the water, again very handy.

Also DO NOT MISS laying on the beach chairs at night to watch the stars!!!!!! We have travelled all over the world and the view of the Milky Way at night here is AMAZING! You have an unobstructed view in almost all directions and NO light pollution.
Do yourselves a favor and take advantage of this often overlooked benefit. Another free bit of fun is husking and eating coconuts! They're all over the beach and with some sweat you'll have a refreshing drink and a tasty treat. Use a machete if you can borrow one. I used a huge dive knife I brought with me. A leatherman will also work, but will take more time.

Royal Takitumu is within walking distance to several restaurants, either along the main road OR along the beach. This is handy if you don't have a car, although the bus system is simple & efficient: $4 NZ, per adult one way/$6 for a roundtrip.Make reservations, as many places are small & fill up quickly. The local calls are free, another nice perk.

The staff is very friendly and I am forever indebted to Rongo for helping me win the pentanque pairs championionship of the South Pacific, after my wife had to bail due to being attcked by a 456 lb starfish (not really). Catherine was a doll to lend me the $10 NZ to get the bus into town to change money, since, overcome with POGO sickness (again, kidding) after I got off the plane, I forgot to change money at the airport. I DID repay her. Lovie was a hoot and did a nice job on the room cleaning as well as sitting with us for a spell to discuss world affairs and gossip. Bill, the owner was also very friendly as he went about his work of 1000 tasks that all resort owners must undertake.

We missed Island Night (Wed) but had a nice breakfast tea (organized by the staff) with the other guests one morning. As mentioned earlier, the pentaque tournament was quite enjoyable, as was the company, the cheese & bubbley.

My only complaint was the lack of separate screen door, but
overall, a lovely place in a great location with a warm, friendly staff. Probably one of the nicest places on Rarotonga.

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
4 Thank victrometer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Plymouth
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2006

We have just returned from a week in the Cook Islands. If you want a romantic, intimate, relaxing, well-appointed beach front villa with caring and accommodating staff, this is the place for you! We found Royale Takitumu Villas to be absolutely the best place to celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary. The Villa had everything you could want and in our opinion, was a five-star rating. The rooms were serviced to an exceptional standard and finished promptly each morning by lovely friendly staff. The beach was right at our door and often we were the only one's on the beach. The snorkelling was excellent compared to other parts of the island. We would recommend this accommodation to any couple wanting a honeymoon or getaway (without the kids).
Awesome time spent here. Thank you Catherine, Rongo, and Bill.

  • Liked — Privacy, situation, cleanliness
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Tips/Secrets — Pawpaws only 20c ea across the road. Yummy for breakfast. Also hire a scooter and try out the various restaurants. They're fabulous.
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Burmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royale Takitumu

Property: Royale Takitumu
Address: PO Box 1031, Titikaveka 0001, Cook Islands
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Titikaveka
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Titikaveka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Royale Takitumu 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Royale Takitumu provides our guests with a truly relaxing, intimate, beachfront holiday with a distinctively authentic, Polynesian Cook Islands experience. Ten individual, private bungalows boast breathtaking views of Rarotonga's finest white sand beach. Royal Takitumu is a small, secluded private resort, located close to nearby sites, shops and restaurants, with services you expect from a large resort. Royale Takitumu embodies the wonderful and unique aspects of this island paradise. Royal Takitumu - Genuine. Natural. Cook Islands. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royale Takitumu Hotel Titikaveka
Royale Takitumu Rarotonga, Cook Islands - Titikaveka

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