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Atiu Villas
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All reviewsstayed longerisland tourcook islandsbirdman georgeinteresting islandgreat conceptgreat hostsplace to stayenjoyable holidaytiny airportthree nightsself caterstocked fridgelate at nightremote islandlong tablefamily villa
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Reviewed 28 April 2012

We have just returned from the Cook Islands where we spent the first half of our holiday on Atiu as guests at the wonderful Atiu Villas. The 6 villas are set in lush tropical gardens and are set out in a way that provide a quiet private retreat. Whilst the resort is not 5 star luxury, it provides things that many accommodations don't. These being great hospitality, plenty of opportunities to socialise with other guests and staff at the communal dining table and around the pool, homestyle meals and Roger, an excellent host and manager.

Now for practicalities - note first that Atiu is a remote island that relies on supplies by cargo ship every 5 weeks, and smaller cargo by daily plane - so life is a little simpler and more self reliant - no luxury spa's or big shopping centres here! If that's your thing, this is not for you. However, if you want to have a closer experience with the island and the locals - this is definitely the place!

The Villa we stayed in had a king and single bed, and a loft bed as well, a kitchenette with toaster, gas stove, and bar fridge. There is an ensuite with shower and toilet - hot water by solar panel. No air conditioning but there was a ceiling fan in the main room. The cupboards and fridge are stocked with basic foods - breakfast cereals, eggs, drinks, canned food and light lunch supplies - record what you take and pay at the end of your stay.There are a couple of small shops in the nearby village for other supplies - variety is limited however. A picnic table on the verandah looking over the gardens is where we would eat our breakfast and lunch. Most nights dinner is available at the resort. Roger will book you into the local tours if you want and will organise an island night by co-ordinating with other guests, including those staying elsewhere. The island night is a wonderful family gathering of the local villagers, singing, dancing and music - unpretentious and warmly welcoming.

All in all, our stay at the Atiu Villas has provided us with wonderful memories and we hope to return soon!

Thanks to Roger, and Andrew (barman and fishing guide) and our tour guides, Marshall, Birdman George and Juergen and Andrea.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank j0belly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2012

There is not a lot to do on Atiu, but this is a good thing. There are only about 400 people on the island and it is very laid back. Atiu Villas are probably the best accommodation option on the island. The rooms are a bit dated, but still comfortable. The fridge and cupboard are fully stocked and you pay for what you use - which is good as there are not a lot of food options on the island. There is a restaurant at Atiu Villas and the food is basic island fare - but very good! Alcohol options are plentiful and cheap. The best thing about Atiu is the ability to grab a motorbike and go exploring this fascinating island. If you want to do activities while you are there, contact Roger at Atiu Villas before hand - otherwise you may not be able to do it at the last minute. The pool is nice to relax in at the end of the day - but beware of mosquitoes! they are everywhere on this island.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled on business
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4  Thank Joeschwaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2012

My partner and I stayed here for two nights (way too short in hindsight) as part of our Cooks Islands holiday. It was splendid. The villas are very very spacious, the beds are comfortable and a double bed is a real double bed not zipped together singles. Each villa has a veranda with a picnic table and two comfy chairs; excellent to enjoy a glass of wine at night after a satisfying day.

When you think Rarotonga or Aitutaki have little shops, Atiu has not even a handful of stores and hardly any restaurants (often the few that are there are not open all the time) so you are pretty much dependent on your villa and....your hosts! Kura's Kitchen eliminates any need to even think about cooking dinner. For NZ$30pp you can join Roger for a 2-course meal and that does not only provide you with excellent food, you also get to know the other guests and can ask Roger anything you like about Atiu. Drinks are extra but at NZ$20/bottle for very good wine that is not an issue, especially not bearing in mind the wine is shipped into Rarotonga where it is put on smaller ships to supply the outer islands (Atiu receives a ship every 5 weeks! but nevertheless Roger offered us a choice of 4 red wines!). We enjoyed every second of our stay.

If you like doing your own thing for dinner, not to worry; the fridge and cupboards in the kitchen of your villa are fully stocked with all you need at prices the same as the general store. No mini-bar rip off prices, just honest provision of what you may need. We cooked our own breakfast (even the eggs were provided) and enjoyed it on the veranda.

Roger was very generous in sharing his knowledge of Atiu with us and straight after he picked us up from the airport he showed us various sites and told us the history of Atiu. What a great start to our stay!

We did a tour with Birdman George and recommended it (kindly arranged by Roger for us) and did the walk to the Cave with swimhole and native bird. Both were brilliant.

Nothing seems too much trouble at Atiu Villas; there are scooters to rent and even a 4WD Jeep. We paid NZ$55/day (inc fuel which is well over NZ$2/litre on the islands) which was well below the NZ$70/day (exc fuel) we paid on Aitutaki for a little Nissan Micra that was about to fall apart.

It was just brilliant! Don't think about it just contact Roger (check for the Atiu Villas website and contact them directly to avoid the travel agent taking a share) and book.

Room Tip: We stayed in Villa 6 which has most privacy but all villas have a lot of privacy. When we stayed here (Feb 2012) there was a cat with 3 kittens on the veranda that was fed by previous guests (and by us). Roger let us know before and asked us if we were ok with pets so do not worry if you don't like cats; there are villas where the cats do not come. Also worth noting there is no poultry wondering about on the premises.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank london4travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2012

Been there for 5 days.

It's simple: On Atiu go to Atiu Villas. You'll get a host (Roger) that cares about you - sometimes more than you wish when he wants you to take some more drinks. He also has got a very unique sense of humor. He'll tell you stories about Atiu and his people and you'll have to think twiche about if tha's the truth or not. You'll love Roger for sure :-)

To all those allergy sufferers: My wife doesn't eat seafood and is allergic to hazelnuts: no problem for Kura's kitchen. They respected that and still cooked delicious meals!

Room Tip: bird lovers: take villa #5 and you'll have good chance to see some frutas flying to a special bush next to the terrace 1-2 times during a day.
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Hinuleus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2011

We stayed at The Atiu Villas for two nights in September. First things first - if you are going to The Cook Islands and are looking for something a bit different, hop on the ten seater from Rarotonga and get ye to Atiu!

We totally loved the island, and even writing this I am regretting the fact that we only had two nights there.

The villas are charming in an old fashioned way, but roomy, clean and comfortable, with everything you could need - including wifi! There is a nice pool and beautiful tropical gardens to chill out in. You can also hire bikes and scooters on site which is great as you can pootle around the island at your own pace.

Our hosts, Roger and Kura made everyone very welcome and became part of the Atiu experience. Roger met us at the airport and took us on a brief island tour while we sat on plastic garden chairs in the back of his pick-up truck. Kura manages Kura's Kitchen at the Villas which provides excellent and wholesome island food for villa guests as well as outsiders - I don't think there's another proper restaurant on the island.

So, go to Atiu and go to Atiu villas!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Conchwillow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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