After a butt-numbing ten hour flight from California, a rainy layover in Rarotonga, and another fifty minute flight courtesy of a rather young looking pilot, Poppy welcomed us under bright blue skies at the tiny Aitutaki airport with her rockin' tan, warm smile, and a couple of fresh, sweet smelling leis. We drove a short five or so minutes to our destination, Amuri Sands, which would be our home for the next five nights. Poppy informed us that we would have the place all to ourselves. Score.
Poppy gave us a brief yet thorough tour of the property. The kitchen was well equipped with pots, utensils, a fridge, and a stove. Alas, no microwave, but we did survive. Rainwater for drinking set up outside or you can go to town and buy a liter for nine USD. The bathroom included a sink, toilet, and shower. The room had a bed, bedside tables filled with some books (think Fabio on the cover), couple of fans, and small table with two chairs. The balcony had another table and two chairs. The room was super clean, which I loved. Neatfreaks unite. There is no beach access from the balcony. You have to go out the front door and around the side. For some lazy people, this might be a problem. If you like, you can jump about five feet off the balcony onto the sandy beach below, but apparantly I am not that daring. Watch for falling coconuts. Use the super duper long stick to knock a fresh young one out of the trees and enjoy the warm, refreshing taste that kicks Zico's [--].
There were bugs, but that's a given. The room came equipped with mosquito coils- Thank you! Over the course of our stay there were two small white lizards that decided to room with us. They seemed friendly enough, but obviously didn't care much about privacy as one of them stayed plastered to the wall of the bathroom... staring... with its red eyes. I also had a few semi-sleepless nights, nervous that one of them would decide to plumet from the ceiling and straight into my open mouth. Although it didn't happen, I think I would've felt better if we had some sort of mosquito netting around the bed, but hey, that's just me. I made due hiding under my blanket. Also bring earplugs unless "cocka-doodle-do" is music to your ears.
Poppy was more than willing to make some recommendations for activities around the island. I had already booked a snorkel tour with Teking so Poppy helped us set up a scooter rental with the Boat Shed and guided us in making a reservation for a water taxi to drop us off at One Foot Island to spend the day. (FYI- The motu drop off never happened because I was a bright red lobster by the day were supposed to go. Don't forget to reapply your sunscreen, people.) Puffy's for fish and chips a short scooter ride to the north and Tuano's Cafe a brief walk to the south.
The snorkeling right outside the property was decent, but you couldn't pull me away from what became my favorite place to snorkel and sunburn... errr... sunbathe, which was a short scooter ride north and through the bushes at the end of the old landing strip. That place was my Nirvana.
To sum it all up, I hope to stay at Amuri Sands again someday. Sure you can stay at the beautiful Pacific Resort to the south or the bougie Aitutaki Lagoon Resort to the north, but I prefer to stay at Amuri Sands and pretend I'm a local...
Thanks, Poppy and Mark...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kia Orana, and welcome to Amuri Sands, Aitutaki. We are a family-run business with 2 chalets on the beachfront on the west coast of Aitutaki, Cook Islands. We provide budget accommodation for your self-catering needs and are positioned near dining outlets and shops. The beach we are positioned on has some of the best snorkeling on the island. We look forward to you staying with us. Kia Manuia. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Amuri Sands, Aitutaki Hotel Aitutaki
- Amuri Sands, Aitutaki South Pacific - Cook Islands