My husband and I decided on Aitutaki Escape after reading favourable comments on TA, and we were not at all disappointed with our choice!
From the moment we stepped off the plane, Vane (the Manager) took wonderful care of us. Because we took an unexpected early flight from Rarotonga, our villa was not quite ready, so Vane delivered us to the nearby Koru Cafe where we could relax over an iced coffee. However, it was not long before he returned to collect us. He first took us on a short drive around the village so we could familiarise ourselves, and he made recommendations as to where we could find various facilities such as restaurants and ATM machines etc.
Upon stepping through the solid wooden gate into the high-walled courtyard is a decent sized swimming pool, and a little further, a hot tub/jacuzzi. A little further along to the front door we noticed a "waterfall wall" which can be turned on or off as you wish. The villa itself is amazing, as others have described -- very modern, and clean, which the housekeeping girls did a great job of maintaining each day.
Beyond the villa and only a few more steps away, is the lagoon itself, and a couple of kayaks are provided for personal use. There is also a nice bbq on the deck, although we did not use it.
Whilst there is a good sized TV in the villa, there is no access to any television channels, however Vane has a good selection of DVDs or you can bring your own, which we did, then left them with Vane for other guests to view. (Not that one goes to Aitutaki to watch tv - although being able to keep up with world news now and again would have been nice). The kitchen is well equipped with full size fridge, microwave oven, hotplates and dishwasher. A very minor complaint is that clear in-room instructions on how to use appliances (particularly the tv set-up for the technically-challenged like us, and the microwave) would have been helpful, even though Vane is always available to answer any questions as to their operation.
The king-sized bed is super comfy and comes with mosquito netting which Vane recommended using at night. It only takes one mossie to spoil a night's sleep! The bathroom area is lovely, with the huge shower section having glassed in roof and wall, but extremely private. Complimentary l'Occitane toiletries are a nice luxury touch.
Breakfast is provided at the time you nominate and consists of cereal of your choice, fresh fruit: paw-paw was in season when we were there, and it had to be the best I've ever tasted, beautiful big sweet passionfruit, fresh coconut (yum - I could not get enough of this!!) beautiful brown and white breads and/or croissants, plus jam. You also have a choice of fruit juice or banana smoothie. Tea and coffee are always available. Vane also provided fresh whole coconut which had been punctured to insert a drinking straw. I only wish I'd had a hammer to break them open for the flesh!
Tiny mosquito fish in the retention channel of the waterfall wall eagerly take care of any stray mossies - although do remember to bring plenty of repellent (the villa is equipped with mosquito coils which are very effective).
We are both in our sixties, with varying health problems, and Vane took good care our of our comfort and well-being, which we really appreciated.
As far as peace and quiet go, Aitutaki Escape is perfect, e.x.c.e.p.t for a nearby rooster who decided to announce his presence, causing all the others to do the same :-) A couple of nights we could hear loud music, but it wasn't really a bother.
The island itself is a very authentic Polynesian experience -- no cheesy souvenir shops or t-shirts here! Be sure to pop into the white church if you are there on a Sunday, but please be discreet when taking photographs.
Whilst many choose to use complimentary bicycles or hire a motor scooter during their stay at the Escape, we chose to hire a small car at Vane's recommendation. Some form of transport is necessary to get around the island at your convenience, as well as visiting various restaurants etc.
Vane's advice was invaluable to us. He organised a private visit to One Foot Island (take your passport for 'official' stamp) and some of the other small motus of the lagoon for snorkelling.
All-in-all we would definitely stay at Aitutaki Escape again without hesitation. We both wish Vane & Lily well for their plans for expansion, and thank them for their hospitality.
- 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