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“A little slice of heaven in the Pacific”
Review of Aitutaki Escape

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Aitutaki Escape
Ranked #4 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“A little slice of heaven in the Pacific”
Reviewed 11 July 2011

We travelled with my wife, daughter and daughter's partner, two couples two villas what could be better. We where met at the airport by Oa who new our names (no hold up cards here) and taken to two of the best villa style accommodations we have seen anywhere. After setteling in Ioane cam by and introduced himself. Ioane was in effect our driver, tour recommender, and general advisor on all things Aitutaki.
The service could not have been better, if was one of the best short holiday we have had together.
Next trip we will by-pass Raratonga and go straight to Aitutaki

Room Tip: Book early there are only 3 villas at the this stage
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank LJA_55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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159 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
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  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2011

My husband and I spent 5 wonderful nights at Aitutaki Escape at the beginning of June for our belated honeymoon, and we absolutely loved it! It met and exceeded all of our expectations. We were met at the airport by the lovely Oa, and ten minutes later we were in our villa. We stayed in the Ultimate Villa, and loved the absolute privacy of it - it seemed as though we had the whole beachfront to ourselves. We loved the privacy of our own pool and spa, and the 4 head shower in the main bathroom was great. The main bedroom had a fantastic view, with doors that opened straight onto the balcony, which led right to the beach. The villa had absolutely everything we could need, and Ioane and Oa were more than happy to help us with anything we wanted.

While at Aitutaki we rented a car, which for us was a necessity, to get to shops and restuarants (as they aren't really within walking distance). Puffy's takeaway and restuarant is close to the resort, which had excellent food and service.

With our accommodation package a dinner for two at our villa was included, which was cooked by Koru Cafe (can't remember their names, but they were absolutely fantastic) - the 3 course meal was nothing short of amazing, and with the friendly service they provided it was an awesome night.

For luxury, privacy & seclusion, and excellent service, you can't go past Aitutaki Escape. We would definitely recommend this place to others, and will be back again.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bel_and_Neil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
49 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2011

Incessant winds considerably compromised our vacation in paradise. The reason you go to Aitutaki is to experience the world-class azure blue lagoon. High winds churned up white caps and two foot swells; thus, cutting short our time on the lagoon. --Segway into our beautiful villa. Since we were forced to hunker-down inside, we were doubly glad to be quartered in such beautiful surroundings as Aitutaki Escape. We stayed three nights at Escape. Escape is the newest in a chain of resorts along the beach on the sunset side of the island. I will say right up front that the west side of the island does not offer the best lagoon/ocean view. If your choice of accommodation is all about the view, then book your stay at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa. However, if you want luxury, privacy, and a feeling of being in your own personal vacation home then you will want to stay at Aitutaki Escape. Ioane, the owner/manager of Escape, went out of his way to assure our every need was met. Others on TA complained that even though the villa is on the beach, the bedroom does not face the ocean. Again, since the west side of the island does not face the turquoise lagoon (& this is a true statement for all resorts on the west side), the most romantic setting is the garden/pool courtyard. Actually, we thought the floor to ceiling glass walls of the bedroom facing the private garden with lush tropical vegetation, pool, spa, and waterfall accented by the island mountain as a backdrop was much more appealing than the ocean view. Escape is truly an escape....quite, secluded & richly appointed. The vanity and shower of the bathroom are beautiful; separating the garden by a glass wall exudes the feeling of being outside. The villa at Escape gave us the luxury we expected. We had no problems with bugs, lizards, mosquitoes, or any other unwanted critters. You will need a mode of transportation to get to restaurants and other island sites. I hope you will choose to stay at Escape.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank joloughlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2010

Apologies for the delayed review! My wife and I honeymooned here after 6 nights in Rumours Raro, styaing for 4 nights. We arrived 5 days after the cyclone that devastated the island and were unsure of whether we should go given that the locals would be in disaster relief mode, we are glad we did as the island was still beautiful and most of the local Raro population encouraged us to return.

Craig and Tanya were wonderful hosts - they were both super busy with the hotels clean up (and I imagine their own) but still gave us excellend service and were always avaialble. They give the resort a very relaxed and personal feel which I think is a hallmark of any luxury hotel. The villas are beautifully appointed with wide bi-fold doors that spill out into the lagoon. Other reviews commented on the location not being fantastic, it is difficult for us to comment as we arrived post cyclone pat and there was a lot of debris around and vegetation lost. Immediately outfront you can (and we did) swim at high tide although it is very shallow and you do need to go out quite far - just a few minutes around the corner is a deeper dug out area. We did visit other resorts in the area and the comments are fair in regards to those being more lush - (pacific resort combs their beach daily which we think is going a bit far).

The resort would be perfect if its bedroom faced the ocean!! - frankly I am surprised that they were designed in this way, only the ultimte villas bedoom does. It would be perfect to wake up to such a beautoful view and have afternoon naps with the ocean right in front of you! The other option would be to have day bed on the balcony or lounge area. The flip side is that the bedroom is very private and does open out into the spa and pool area. We did check out the ultimate villa which was Beautiful! It has a spa which faces the ocean, oceanfront bedroom and day sofa.

There is no restaurant at the hotel - which means you need to hire a bike to be able to eat out around the island (highly recommended as quite good non-hotel based restaurants around), on those nights where it is pouring down going out on scooter can be difficult and there are order-in options.

Overall - a fantastic and beautiful resort with very friendly and helpful hosts. Would we stay there again? - yes we would but only in the ultimate villa. No matter how luxurious the interior, bedroom and bathrooms -you go to aitutaki for the islands beauty and being able to "live and lie" on its beaches. If you can afford it - go for the ultimate villa otherwise there may be better value at other small resorts around.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank JKNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2010

This was our 2nd trip back to the Cooks. This time around we stayed at Rumours in Raro for 4 days, Rumours in Aitutaki for 3 days, then back to Rumours in Raro for another 4 days.

We absolutely love Rumours in Rarotonga and are going back...again. We were not nearly as impressed with Rumours' Aitutaki sibling however. There were really two main issues:

1) The location is not great. In front of the unit the sand is coarse and the swimming is difficult with nothing to see (relatively speaking). It's almost like they cleared too much area for the buildings that are there. The surrounding geography is very bland and stark, especially compared to how lush the rest of the island is, maybe in 20 years when the small amount of landscaping matures it will look better. We also had motorcycles riding up and down the beach at night and although we don't blame the resort it just takes away from the secluded privacy that one might expect. This didn't actually affect sleeping which leads to point 2.

2) Whoever designed the layout of these buildings should be shot. Now we didn't get a chance to check out the Ultimate Villa but who in their right mind would put a bedroom to a 5 star accommodation that is right on the beach in the back of the living space??? The thing that made me upset about this is that they ask you very politely not to use the A/C as the island has limited power resources etc. etc. but at night with every window open there was hardly any breeze, make that no breeze through the bedroom (as there's only a full door and window slats on one side). Without the A/C it was too hot for me to sleep. My wife could but she did say it was uncomfortable and she's always cold anyway. One of my favourite things to do in tropical destinations is to lie on the bed for a nap in the afternoon (or several thoughout the day) and catch glimpses of the ocean and a nice full ocean breeze blowing through the suite. This is the reason we will not be coming back. Maybe the Pacific Resort next time as we stayed in the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort the first trip.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank Taisdealair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
1 review
Reviewed 11 July 2010

We stayed here for 3 nights on our honeymoon, we got the 2 island paradise special where we stayed in Aitutaki for 3 nights and in Rarotonga Rumours for 4 nights.
Everything was just what we read on the reviews, everything was clean and also very spacious. We would absolutely love to come here again for another holiday!!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
Helpful?
Thank di0484
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2010

While the resort is the best appointed on the island, it is not the best location. In fact you can stay on the very same beach for as little as $80 a night with someone like Paradise Cove. (Yes beachfront, but not anywhere near as luxurious).

Yes the resort is amazing, and yes the location and view is beautiful, but you can pay far less for the same or a better location. Aitutaki Lagoon Resort or Akaiami Paradise are a million times better in terms of location - ie: far better swimming area, more beautiful etc...

Neither of those places are as well appointed though, so YOU choose. If you do choose to stay at Rumours, make sure you visit the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort, you may decide to move.

A downside of this is you will have to put up with the local staff, who, while being very friendly and helpful, are only as motivated as the $6 or so they earn an hour, which is scandalous considering the rates that visitors are charged.

For goodness sake though make sure you spend at least one night at Akaiami Lodges, which is a simply fantastic location. IF you go on a tour with Bishops cruises you will spend 10 minutes on the island so you can inspect the accomodation yourself if you choose.

In summary though as far as Rumours is concerned. AMAZING complex, but average lcoation in terms of what else is available, hence the "average" score.

The reason I woudn't recommend this to a friend is that in my opinion if you travel to an amazing place like Aitutaki location is far more important than conveniences such as TV's etc...

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Maythisbelove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aitutaki Escape

Property: Aitutaki Escape
Address: Amuri, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Aitutaki
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Aitutaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Aitutaki Escape 5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aitutaki Escape is a boutique beachfront property with just 3 private beautifully appointed spacious and luxurious Villas, all fully air-conditioned, with direct access to the beach and lagoon. Each Villa has a private courtyard featuring a swimming pool, beachfront decks and boardwalks, full kitchen facilities, very spacious interiors, king size beds, lavish bathrooms, complimented with genuine Cook Islands hospitality, service and meticulous attention to detail. An onsite Cafe offers food and beverage experiences daily and all excursions and tours offered on Aitutaki are arranged conveniently onsite. This property is regarded as the leading Luxury property for Aitutaki with full focus on delivering premiere experiences via its services and facilities and throughout Aitutaki. Aitutaki Escape boasts authentic Polynesian elegance and offers its guests a secluded and safe haven to leave the rest of the World behind......... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aitutaki Escape Hotel Aitutaki
Aitutaki Escape South Pacific - Cook Islands

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