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“A Hidden Gem”
Review of Atiu Villas

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Atiu Villas
Wilyabrup, Australia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“A Hidden Gem”
Reviewed 22 November 2012

We returned to Atiu after having honeymooned here in 1987 and did wonder how the island, it's people and Atiu Villas would have changed in that time. The population was now just a third of what it was, the people were just as friendly and welcoming as ever and Atiu Villas had doubled in size!

Host Roger Malcom collects his guests from the airport and introduces you to the island and its history and geology during the short and picturesque drive to the villas.The villa grounds are beautifully maintained and add to the relaxed atmosphere that so typifies Atiu. New visitors to Atiu should expect facilities to be more basic than on 'Miami' (the local name for Rarotonga!) but the villas are certainly comfortable, clean and well designed for the climate with a large verandah that overlooks the gardens or jungle while still maintaining privacy.The villas are all made by Roger from local timbers and are testimony to his dedication and hard work for the past 3 decades.


Dining options on Atiu are limited, espcially for vegetarians. One option is to self cater in your villa using the well stocked pantry and refrigerator.Vego's may consider bringing some foods with them if having an extended stay although there are quarantine considerations to be aware of. Some supplies are also available from several stores in the villages although vego options are again limited. The onsite Kura's Kitchen will cater for vego's if you let them know when you book, but they are only open for dinner. The food is good and plentiful and it a great way of meeting other guests from around the world. There are a couple of other cafes on the island and we did enjoy some nice food while chatting to the locals.

Atiu Villas have scooters available for hire and are the best way to explore the islands tracks and beaches. With 25 beaches and just a handful of guests, you can pick your very own! Roger is also happy ot arrange a number of tours using local guides to explore different aspects of Atiu, its culture and its people.

We enjoyed Atiu more this time around as we took the time to explore more of the island and chat and eat with the friendly locals. Atiu Villas is a perfect base and Roger & Kura and staff perfect hosts. This island really is a gem and well worth a visit.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank ovolacto_oz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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83 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
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English first
Moscow, Idaho
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 November 2012

Atiu Villas offers comfortable ares with a kitchenette and a deck that overlooks beautifully landscaped grounds. The atmosphere is casual and comfortable. There are 400 residents on the island and only eight tourists when we were there in mid-May 2012. Family style dining offered good food and let us get to know the staff and other guests. Roger offered a good introduction to the geological, biological, and cultural history of the island on the drive from the airport. While the forest is very nice and well preserved for lowland Polynesian forest, it is the birds that are the main biological attraction. The red lorikeet, Rarotongan fruit dove, and Polynesian swiftlet visited the villa grounds. Bird Man George's tour led us to additional species and included a delicious lunch of banana, papaya, and freshly grated coconut. Marshall Humphreys' tour of the swiftlet cave gave an excellent understanding of this unique bird. The Coral Garden offers an amazing opportunity to see a great diversity of reef fish gatheried into a small area, if you are lucky enough to have the tide and winds cooperate. Other highlights were the tumunu (bush bar), the coffee tour with Jurgen, and the fabric art studio where you can see the local tivaevae elevated to an internationally recognized art form. Three days went too fast.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank James J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dee Why, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2012

Upon arriving at Atiu Villas and seeing how gorgeous my villa was, and how beautiful the island was, I immediately changed my flights so that I could stay a while longer here. The villas and surrounds are absolutely stunning! Beautiful landscaping, a lovely pool to swim in at the end of a day exploring the island, and delicious dinners. The villas themselves are amazing and have everything you could possibly wish for. I only wish I could have stayed longer. Tip for anyone planning to spend 'a couple of nights' on Atiu: 2 nights isn't nearly enough. 4 or 5 nights is more like it!

Room Tip: Villa 6 is divine.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled solo
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5 Thank Kim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 September 2012

This was our second visit to Atiu Villas, we didn’t stay long enough the first time, and even though we stayed 4 nights this time, it still wasn't long enough. Kura and Roger are the perfect hosts, warm and helpful, with great evening meals and drinks in the pavilion and Kura's kitchen. The villas and grounds are simply paradise, lush gardens, peaceful tranquillity, and even a pool added since our last visit. The experience of riding round the island and walking on beaches totally on your own, without even any footprints is divine, especially on Sunday after experiencing the spirited a cappella singing in the beautiful CACC church . This time we even went reef fishing, after visiting the caves and the bird-man George tour last time. Lots to do if you want, but just perfect for chilling out too. Great wifi access if you want this while you’re on holiday. If you stay for a few days, the lower cost of the villas compared to Aitutaki or Rarotonga will pay for the airfare. We’ll be back!

Room Tip: Villas five and six at the boottom of the garden are the newest, and enjoy the most privavcy, but al...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Greg48Auckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sammamish, WA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2012

We spent three nights at Atiu Villas in July, 2012. The bungalows are set in the most beautiful tropical gardens. It was everything we could have hoped for and only wish we could have stayed longer. We enjoyed it all. Thank you to Roger and his staff for taking care of us. You are the best!

If you are looking for an amazing adventure - Atiu is the place. The secluded beaches are breath-taking and the cave tour was worth every minute of the challenging hike. The island is paradise and you can spend entire days without ever seeing another person!! No paved roads - no restaurants, resorts or shopping malls - just friendly people and natural beauty everywhere you go!! The home-cooked dinners each evening were the best. We will be back.

A special thank you to Tree Ritchie at South Seas Adventure for taking care of every travel detail of our vacation.

Room Tip: Rooms are very rustic!!
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank DaveandSandie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2012

Like some of the other reviews, Atiu was our favourite island in Cook Islands. We were there in January for 3 nights. The island was so unique, relaxing and everyone was so friendly. We fell in love with the place the moment we landed, and it's just somewhere you've got to be to experience it.

Roger, Kura and Einstein the cat were great hosts. Coffee from Atiu is fantastic and Roger can organise all your tours. You can also hire an inexpensive scooter from Roger and tour around at your own pace.

If you are planning a trip to Cook Islands and want to escape the beaten tourist track, add Atiu to the list!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank alphaleo01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane
Level Contributor
222 reviews
151 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2012

The previous reviewer took the title "Natural Paradise" I was going to use! This was hands down my favourite place in the Cook Islands and I wish we could have stayed longer, next time we will. I am an avid birder and attracted by the gorgeous Rimatara Lorikeets (Kura) which have been recently re-introduced to Atiu and are thriving! The villas are gorgeous, very tropical in design and surrounded by lush vegetation which attract hungry lorikeets at times. The food is actually very reasonable and we would have been happy to use the pre-stocked cupboards if we hadn't already had left over tinned food from Aitutaki. Roger is a great bloke and puts on a nice mini-tour from the airport and gave us beautiful fragrant eis. Free wifi is a bonus, no other place in the Cooks gave us this little bonus!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tikibird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Atiu Villas

Property: Atiu Villas
Address: 7 Box | Areora, Cook Islands (Formerly Atiu Motel)
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Atiu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Atiu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Atiu Villas 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Atiu Villas is located on Atiu Island at the edge of a central plateau overlooking a tropical garden, pineapple fields, jungle and has distant views down a valley of the Pacific Ocean. The villas are built in the native style out of polished native timbers of mango, mahogany, red peanut, cedar and coconut in 6 well separated villas and includes a villa suitable for families. A tour desk, restaurant, bar, entertainment area, swimming pool, floodlit tennis court, property wide free Wifi, rental bicycles, scooters and car are all available on site. ... more   less 
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