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“Great luxury villa”
Review of Aitutaki Escape

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Aitutaki Escape
Ranked #4 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
Costa Mesa, California
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great luxury villa”
Reviewed 14 October 2013

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.

Room:
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.

Kitchen:
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.

Amenities:
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.

Lagoon:
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.

Service:
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.

Location:
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.

The Bad:
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.

Room Tip: Stayed in two room villa, too big for two people.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank spamster20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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161 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
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  • English first
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English first
Newcastle, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 September 2013

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.

Room Tip: There are only three villas and as far as we could tell, they are all of a similar standard, althoug...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pixie_Newcastle_NSW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2013

This was our first visit to Aitutaki we wanted to treat ourselves to nice accommodation in this stunning part of the world. Thanks to other tripadvisor reviews my partner a made the best decision in book booking at the Aitutaki Escape. You get what you pay for and this was certainly value for money worth every cent we weren't disappointed at all.

Firstly the owners Vane and his wife Lily are genuinely nice and very hospitable people. Awesome communication prior to our arrival and outstanding customer service throughout our stay - nothing was ever a problem and they have fantastic knowledge of the area giving reliable recommendations.

The villas are luxurious, private, spacious and have all the amnesties you'd expect. In fact it exceeded our expectations - A picture speaks a thousand words so check out my photos! It was so nice to have both a pool to swim in during the day and a spa pool to relax in at night. The villa is situated on the beach to enjoy breath taking sunsets at night out over the lagoon.

If your looking for somewhere private, unique and exclusive away from the other crowds on holiday then I can highly recommend Aitutaki Escape.


  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ben M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2013

Pure Luxury and Relaxation

Wow, what can I say about this place except it is pretty perfect accommodation to stay at in beautiful Aitutaki. We stayed a total of seven wonderful nights in the Ultimate Villa. From the moment we arrived we were greeted at the airport and whisked off to our accommodation. Vane met us there and from the very start we were made to feel very welcome and nothing was too much trouble. Vane took us for a quick drive around the town and pointed out the best spots to eat and where to pick up any necessities. Vane your attention to detail and passion for your wonderful villas that you have created makes this place just as wonderful as the beautiful accommodation. There was never any hassle in helping us organise tours for our time there and one night offered to drop us off and pick us up to a restaurant due to some heavy rain – which wasn’t scooter friendly.

The villa itself is everything you would want for a luxurious and well appointed villa. The location is to die for with the views on the sunset side of the island. It felt very private and it was lovely to open up the big doors and just chill out and relax without a care in the world. The villa also has a very nice kitchen if you feel like cooking in one night, and also has a barbeque. The koru café which is very popular and does BBQ packs that you can order to cook in your villa, however we didn’t try this as we decided to eat out most nights. Books, magazines, DVD’s are all available for use, and we found the one day that there was not going to be any action due to heavy rain we enjoyed the day of watching movies on the big TV or reading a book to having a spa out on the deck in the rain. The bathroom is very spacious and lovely with his and her basins and really nice L’Occitane toiletries provided. Fresh towels plus extra for beach towels for use if you decide to do some snorkelling.

There is plenty of spots to lounge around in the villa from the two reclining chairs on the front deck platform that takes you down to the lagoon, to the deck itself and in the garden area. The furniture was so comfortable and we found ourselves constantly drifting off on the lounge with the fresh breeze blowing in.

The lagoon itself is so magical, if you want to have a swim all you need to do is go out the villa on to the beach, turn left and walk up about 400 metres there is a dug out section that is really nice for a dip. The villa provides snorkelling gear and reef shoes as well and you can snorkel around in high tide in this area, we saw lots of beautiful fish. Recommend that you get a scooter or car to get around the island, breakfast is provided which is huge and plentiful, but lunch and dinner is not. For dinner there are places that will pick you up and drop you off as well. The villa also had a compendium full of things to do and it is a must to go on a snorkelling trip, visit some of the islands and spend a half day their on your own, we also did a cultural trip which was really interesting. If you want a place where you can switch off from the world and totally wind back and forget the hectic pace of life this is certainly the place to do it. We have stayed at other places in the pacific in this price range and this by far is the most beautiful we have stayed at.

Vane and Lily this is such a wonderful place thank you for making our stay wonderful and very memorable we will certainly be back again.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lentil01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 July 2013

From the moment we arrived the personal attention was beyond expectation. The staff were attentive and extremely polite, Vane, who is the owner, went out of his way to ensure our stay was the most enjoyable experience you could have. The 4 days there felt like a month, the facilities are outstanding, the setting was amazing, you could not grow tired of the place. We would not hesitate to return.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank barneyathome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2013

Thank you Vane & Lily for a wonderful relaxing 4 day stay, with a very well appointed Villa & exceptional hospitality. The Villa was so comfortable that we didnt want to leave to come home.
This would be the most enjoyable stay we have had in the Cook Islands.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CUpton1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hillston
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2013

We have just returned from three nights of absolute bliss. From being met at the airport by owner/manager Vane who gave us a personal guided tour of the most breathtaking island of Aitutaki to presenting us with the most awesome Villas we have ever stayed in, the precision put into the comfort and design of these villas were second to none. We can not say enough positive things about this little gem of a place other than "Try it for yourselves people, you wont regret it". We have been married for 21 years but felt like we were on our second honeymoon from the time we opened the front door of our Villa, Vane's personal service was above and beyond what we ever expected. He organised our outings, hire car was delivered, taxied us to our Island Night etc etc etc. and what a wonderful bonus that he shared with us his personal stories of growing up in the Cook Islands. Thankyou for the beautiful memories we have bought home with us and that will stay with us and keep doing what your doing. Kia Orana

Room Tip: there a three villas and we stayed in villa no 3.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RohNel
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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