There were some bad things but I will not use it to dock any points for the review. I'll put a reason for it later.
My wife and I were upgraded to the 2 bedroom villa. Very spacious, too big for one couple to be honest. The two bedroom villa could probably sleep 6-8 people comfortably. There's two large couches in the living room. One of the rooms was facing the private pool; the second room was facing the lagoon. The one strange thing about the second room was it seems a little small and the bed was facing the lagoon at a strange angle.Seems there was some space restrictions forcing the owners to have the bed face that way. Living room was very big, two large couches, one love seat connection one of the couches and two large chairs for the television.
Everything was available. Pans, utensils, cups, knives, etc. The fridge had juice, water, and milk by default. Which is nice because water could get pricey on the island.
Kayaking boats, snorkeling gear, bicycles, television (but no cable/satellite), accessible DVD collection, private pool lot of neat things provided by the resort. The WiFi is one small gripe I had. Zenbu is supposedly widespread throughout the Cook Islands so I thought it would be a great idea to get 50 MBs and figure I could use it later at a WiFi Hotspot if need be. Wrong. There's a fine print somewhere in Zenbu's FAQ that the Hotspot accessibility is only available if the venue that sold you the access code provides it. I guess there's some crazy tiered pricing by Zenbu but the point is I was not able to use it at another Zenbu hotspot location because my access code was restricted to Aitutaki Escape's WiFi. I think that's pretty terrible of Zenbu to sort of advertise it but really it isn't freely available. I'm sure the company probably asks resorts to pay even more if they want to allow access codes at any hotspot location. Please send me a message if you're staying here, I'll try and give you my access code, I think I have 20 MBs or so left. 50 MBs for $15 at slow speeds is a little absurd but oh well. I guess I'm technologically spoiled.
Obviously, I do not need to say anything about this. Beautiful, beautiful, and still beautiful. It was low-tide during our stay so kayaking was pretty much impossible due to the close contact with reef.
Vane is the manager/owner there. Personally, I think he was newly placed into the position because he seemed to be scrambling around a little bit, rushing to get things done. He was very nice and patient though. Tried to give us suggestions, offered us rides, offered to call places for us, quite accomodating if you ask me. His housekeepers were fine, pretty standard in hotel services I think. Nothing stood out about them to me.
I really am not sure if there is a bad location for any of the hotels in AItutaki. Most of them are along the west side of the island minus Aitutaki Lagoon Resort (which was the first resort on the island). If your resort does not have onsite dining there will be one close by. Renting a scooter, you'll be able to go through the whole island in about one hour (which will include the roads going through the middle of the island). Escape was the northern most resort which was good since it was closer to the Airport and closer walk to the north side of the island, for whale watching.
Bugs, bugs, bugs. My wife and I concluded that the housekeeping was probably not allowed access to the fans/AC so they opened all the doors. Since the doors are opened for a couple hours, this allows "x" amount of bugs into our living space. The first two nights I think we spent thirty minutes or so to kill mosquitoes, wasps, other miscellaneous bugs. On one of our last days we asked for no housekeeping because our Do Not Disturb sign was missing and we had a lot less bugs. Actually I think we only had one that night.
AC, my wife and I are pretty sensitive to heat and I understand it is costly and a luxury to have air conditioning on but this is a luxury resort. There should be one of two things in the living room. Either an additional AC to help cool the whole unit down or curtains to block the back doors because during sundown, the granite just burns up and heats the whole place to an oven. Opening doors for us was not an option because we both had multiple mosquito bites on all extremities already.
The showers & overall water pressure and temperature. I'm not sure if this was an issue at our villa only but the pressure would be a little inconsistent and sporadic. Example: we would be showering then the temperature would drop a couple degrees without us touching anything then all of a sudden it was get stronger then increase in temperature.
Dirt, gravel driveway. Please be careful when turning onto the driveway with a scooter. I was not going very fast on my scooter when turning into the driveway; however, due to the drastic change in terrain and the craptastic "tread" on the scooter wheels I feel over and was forced to pay for the $200 bond at the scooter rental place. Is it partially my fault? Definitely. Could the driveway have more gravel or something? Probably. Could the scooter rental place care about their vehicles? Definitely.
On a small note, the Blu-Ray player was broken during our stay. When we changed the input, the Blu-Ray player would start up, but then the screen goes to black and starts flickering. I think there is either an issue with the existing HDMI plug or the player itself.
Overall, I think Escape is nice. We had a relaxing time. Vane is a very patient, hospitable person and really wants to make your stay memorable. I would just hope he could instill this ideal towards his housekeeping crew so they can further improve the premises. This would ensure guests will be happy and will return. Annie R. mentioned her BBQ was not cleaned. My wife and I did not use ours but going back to the housekeeping crew, I think if they made tasks more organized and less routine, they would be able to double check everything in preparation of new incoming guests.
- 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