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“AITUTAKI LAGOON RESORT @ SPA”

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Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa
Ranked #6 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“AITUTAKI LAGOON RESORT @ SPA”
Reviewed 12 October 2013

On our first trip to Aitutaki we stayed at the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort @Spa in March 2012 and would be very happy to recommend this wonderful holiday destination.Situated on it's own private motu the resort is reached by a complimentary ferry transfer from the mainland,only 5 mins away.The Resort offers, in our opinion, the very best views of the Aitutaki Lagoon and its position assures yours privacy and exclusive vista only available to Resort guests.It was a priviledge to stay there...........and we long to return.They have two Restaurants to choose from but unfortuneately,we thought the food was little disappointing and found ourselves leaving the Resort for most of our meals.However,the complimentary breakfast was quite nice with a large selection to choose from and we could not fault the customer service or room cleanliness.While the motu is quite small,we walked around it easily in 15mins,there a many private areas scattered around the island where you could find peace,serenity and privacy in your own slice of heaven.We would definitely return.............for the view alone!

Room Tip: Bungalows on the mainland side get a little hot in the afternoon,but the airconditioners take care o...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank KarenFayeSmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RoseKareroa, Resort Manager at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 2 November 2013
Kia Orana KarenFayeSmith,

Thank you very much for your review.

We are glad that you found our private island resort a wonderful holiday destination. The resort is indeed blessed with stunning views of the breathtaking views of the Aitutaki Lagoon.

I am a little discouraged to read that you did not find your dining experiences at the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa satisfactory. We pride ourselves on offering our guests an extensive selection of meals utilising fresh local produce from the island of Aitutaki and many, many guests have complimented the meals they have enjoyed during their stays with us. In saying this, we appreciate your feedback and we are currently taking steps to improve on our menus to ensure that the diverse range of tastes and preferences of our guests dining needs are met.

We are happy to read that you would consider returning and we look forward to welcoming you back to our little slice of paradise.

Kind Regards & Kia Manuia

Rose Kareroa
Resort Manager
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Rome, Italy
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2013

this hotel has by far the best location in aitutaki right on the lagoon, one of the most magnificent in the south pacific, it provides direct access via kayak to beautiful secluded beaches on nearby motus. Unbeatable. it is therefore a pity that it lacks on so many essentials, especially given the rates charged. we stayed in a premium beachfront and wondered if the less expensive beachfront sitting on the channel side would have not been a better choice: the lagoon view was good but there is hardly any privacy with all rooms in this category arranged around a vast "plaza" essentially crossed by resorts guests at all times. this also made the room terrace quite uninviting. inside the open air shower is a nice touch. room is spacious and bright. overall the resort feels a bit tired and ill designed. breakfast is taken in a vast open air pavilion without view. at the sand bar edge, the island is dotted with bulky, ininviting and regularly empty bamboo beach cabanas. a couple of puzzling episodes: having been scratched by corals I asked for alcohol or a simple antiseptic. they did not have ANY and suggested i took a trip to the hospital on the oher side of the island! we also asked for a power adaptor and they did not have any nor provided any help to find one leading us to believe there were none on the island. we found them for sale in the tiny village. we never ate at the resort preferring to explore the nearby Boatshed (average food fun atmophere), Samade on the beach (simple but excellent), or the farther away Pacific Resort ( more formal but worth trying), Tupuna ( hard to find but worth the trip) and Tamanu (lively bbq once a week)

Room Tip: the beachfront farther away from the boat dock may be better than premium beachfront
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank unionsquare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RoseKareroa, Resort Manager at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 2 November 2013
Kia Orana “unionsquare”

Thank you for your review.

We are glad to read that you found our location magnificent. “No artists’ palette could ever conceive of a more perfect, more luminescent turquoise than that of the lagoon of Aitutaki, arguably the most beautiful in the world.” So wrote Steve Davey in his book Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die (BBC Books).

Our premium beachfront bungalows are afforded with excellent views of the magnificent lagoon which is tremendously enjoyed by many of our guests. All beachfront bungalows feature solid local timber vanities with outdoor showers with locally inspired interior.

I do apologise that our team was not forthcoming in providing you with antiseptic cream when you were scratched with coral. The advice to attend to the hospital is precautionary to ensure that you do not have any reaction to the coral.

We do have adapters available in our gift shop for purchase however as you required a transformer, we do apologise that we did not have this available for you to use or purchase.

Once again thank you for your review, we appreciate the feedback in order to improve.

Kind Regards & Kia Manuia

Rose Kareroa
Resort Manager
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Lisbon, Portugal
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2013

The Resort is a bit old and needs some update, but my room was really good! It was beachfront bungalow 211, very nice and with great location!!!
The Hotel Island is a 10 minutes drive from the airport and then a 2 minutes cross of the Lagoon in a small boat.
It's funny!
The Hotel staff is very friendly and we had a wonderful stay!! Food is good, well cooked! Breakfast very nice and diner too! Aitutaki is a jewel!! Don't Forget to book in the Hotel one day cruise in the Lagoon! It's amazingggg!!!

Room Tip: My Beachfront bungalow was number 211, and it was good!
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Luis F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RoseKareroa, Resort Manager at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 2 November 2013
Kia Orana Luis F,

Meitaki Atupaka for taking the time to post a review of our Resort.

As you mentioned our Beachfront Bungalows overlooking O’otu “Full Moon Lagoon” certainly offers its own private beach with magnificent sunsets in the evenings.

We are pleased that you enjoyed the warm, helpful and friendly services provided by our staff. It is also pleasing to learn that you also enjoyed your dining experience; I will pass on your commendations to our team.

We are also glad that you got to enjoy the beautiful Aitutaki Lagoon on the various lagoon excursions on offer.

We are very happy that you had such a lovely holiday and enjoyed the fantastic location and services we have to offer at The Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa.

Kind Regards & Kia Manuia

Rose Kareroa
Resort Manager
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Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed 18 September 2013

Aitutaki is most famous for its magnificent coral lagoon, a highlight of any visit to the Cook Islands, and undoubtedly one of the most memorable sights in the South Pacific. Flying over the island from Rarotonga is an unforgettable experience; the vast lagoon spreads out below in a shining disc of jade-greens, turquoises and indigo blues, studded with 15 tiny islets and bright banks of orange coral just beneath the ocean's surface. It's easy to see why Aitutaki is the second-most visited island in the Cooks, and unsurprisingly for most people the lagoon is the major draw. Snorkelling trips and boat cruises to the deserted motu (islet) are both popular activities, and there are plenty of soft, sandy beaches to seek out - but the island's rural back-roads are also well worth exploring, with many intriguing marae (sacred meeting ground) and some beautiful coral-walled churches to discover.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Ke H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RoseKareroa, Resort Manager at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 2 November 2013
Kia Orana Ke H,

Thank you for your wonderful review on Aitutaki.

You are certainly spot on with your beautiful description of the Aitutaki Lagoon. “No artists’ palette could ever conceive of a more perfect, more luminescent turquoise than that of the lagoon of Aitutaki, arguably the most beautiful in the world.” So wrote Steve Davey in his book Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die (BBC Books).

In this regards, we are blessed to be located on absolute beachfront upon the island’s pristine white sand shores with a spectacular, uninterrupted view of the vast blue of Aitutaki Lagoon.

We are glad you enjoyed your holiday and hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Kind Regards & Kia Manuia

Rose Kareroa
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
167 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2013

We were greeted at the airport (in torrential rain) by a man from Aitutaki Lagoon resort and spa (ALRS), who gave us the traditional coconut and a lay. We were then transferred (10 mins max) to the ALRS where we had to board a little boat to cross the lagoon (100 feet) to the entrance of the resort. We were greeted by a young man blowing a conch (very contrived) and then filled out our paperwork at the reception. The resort didn't have the right information for our stay (length of stay) but that was quickly rectified. We were then taken to our over water bungalow which was lovely, spacious, clean and well appointed. The view of the lagoon from the deck and room is amazing and well worth the extra money to stay in these bungalows if choosing to stay in the ALRS. The bungalows are not completely over the water, but you just need to walk downstairs, to a landing and you can get into the water. There is an outside shower, which isn't terribly hot, so it can be cool whilst showering (if the temp outside is cool).

The water outside the bungalows is green, vibrant green as far as the eye can see and you can't wait to get into it, its just so inviting. You need reef shoes to swim in the lagoon as there is coral around. We saw fish out the front of our bungalow and star fish etc, so there are fish around out the front of the bungalows. The current can be strong, but it will only take you down towards the activities hut, so you can just swim in it and let it take you (as we did). The overwater bungalows are the best positioned and the best views of the most beautiful lagoon you can ever imagine!

The resort is expensive, as the rooms are premium priced and then for most activities (apart from kayaking, kite surfing, and paddle boarding) require extra money to be involved in eg $35 for sarong dyeing, $25 to hunt for crabs, $35 to "nightlife tour" (drink with locals and activities bar staff at local establishments) , $30 for 1/2 hour in a spa ($5 for each extra person). So I believe this is unnecessary and "greedy" when people have already paid high rates to stay at the resort.

We had the tropical breakfast, which was more than sufficient for breakfast. It must be remembered that this is a 3rd world country and the food is not of a western world standard for a high class resort! We did eat eat the Bounty Restaurant and had the 3 course 'chefs special" which was pleasant enough. We also ate at the Flying ? down near the beach and the meal there was less than acceptable! The cocktails at the cocktail hour were good value and good cocktails! All in all, the food was acceptable but not fantastic, breakfast was the best meal there! The service is pretty poor, with most things taking more time than usual to occur from ordering to plate clearing - everything is on island time!

We paid $55 per person for airport transfers and boat transfers on/off the island, which too was exorbitant for a 5 min ride to/from the airport and a 50 feet boat ride off the island (the compendium in the room said $110 per person, so I would expect increased prices).

The cafe across the road called Koru cafe was very good (but expensive). We had 2 steak sandwiches, 2 x coffee and a shared date cake ($86). We did go back and have a deluxe bacon/egg roll and a shared carrot cake (not as good as date cake), 2 x coffee and it was just over $50. So expect to pay above average for everything in the Cook ISlands. The coffee at this cafe was good, well worth a visit.

The resort had very little occupancy when we were there, so it was like having the resort to yourself, you just didn't see too many people around. YOu would see them at the restaurants or breakfast but thats about it. It was like your own private resort, which was great! Plenty of space, hammocks, chess board, draughts, beach chairs for all to enjoy!

The staff were helpful and most went out of their way to assist in whatever way they could. The reception staff on arrival were a tad officious and unpleasant, telling me to sit down when I stood to walk to reception. The housekeeping staff were amazing, friendly, helpful and fantastic! Freda and the two boys in the activities hut were also very good and Freda took her job very seriously and wanted to always do a good job!

Would I stay here again. I think this place is a once in a life time place to visit and I wouldn't come back for that reason alone. If I were coming to the Cook Islands, I would not only visit Rarotonga but make the trip to Aitutaki and I would stay at this resort ONLY for the view over the lagoon, which is absolutely amazing, postcard, travel brochure views from your front door. It is expensive with more expense when you arrive, which I think is greed on the part of the owners and not good business sense to satisfy clients to want to come back!

Visit Aitutaki, its worth the expense and the visit!

W

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Louise M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RoseKareroa, Resort Manager at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 2 November 2013
Kia Orana “Lawyerlou2211”

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review.

I am pleased to hear that your arrival was a smooth and quick process, allowing you to start your holiday on a fantastic note. Our conch shell welcome to our own private island is an experience in itself.

Great to hear you enjoyed the Cook Islands only Overwater offering spectacular, uninterrupted view of the vast blue of Aitutaki Lagoon.

We pride ourselves on offering our guests an extensive selection of meals utilizing fresh local produce from the island of Aitutaki and many, many guests have complimented the meals they have enjoyed during their stays with us. In saying this, we appreciate your feedback and will explore ways to improve our menus to ensure that the diverse range of tastes and preferences of our guests dining needs are met.

Thank you for your kind comments about the efficiency and friendliness of our staff. I can assure you that they are very happy to help in any way possible to make your stay comfortable with us. I will pass on your kind words to Freda and the team at activities.

Thank you again for your feedback and we hope to be able to welcome you back in the future.

Kind Regards & Kia Manuia

Rose Kareroa
Resort Manager
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Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 September 2013

Undoubtedly, the location of the resort is absolutely spectacular. It's really, really beautiful, and there are a ton of activities (snorkeling, kayaking, etc.) that you can take advantage of as part of the cost of your stay. While our room (a beachfront bungalow) was nice, it was a little hard not to feel like a second-class guest staying on the ferry-side of the resort (still a nice view but not the sweeping views or hammocks provided to guests on the other side). That might not be a big deal ordinarily, but given how expensive this place was (for our budget, anyway), that was a little disappointing.

Maybe, it was because it was an island or the way that they do your arrival orientation, but when we were there, it felt weirdly like being on a cruise -- like you were trapped with a lot of other American travelers and were being given what the staff thought you expected islanders to do (complete with conch shell greeting as you disembark the ferry). This might really appeal to some travelers, but particularly because we had spent a week in Raro at a vacation home (rather than a resort), it felt strangely contrived.

Once we settled in and figured out how to explore Aitutaki away from the resort and had a chance to kayak around on our own, we had an enjoyable stay. The room itself was nice. The location really is amazing, and Aitutaki is otherworldly. I'm just not sure I would stay at this particular resort again.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank LosMichelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntington Beach, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2013

We stayed in an overwater bungalow, which is actually nested part-way on the beach (unlike the ones in Bora-Bora), yet somehow this beat the Bora Bora version because of the homey-ness of the resort. It is small and doesn't feel commercialized in the least.The support beams underneath the bungalow have coral growing on them as if they belong there! The lagoon beneath is so clear that it looks and feels like a giant aquarium! The staff did really fun activities to bring everyone together, like the hermit-crab races (we won!!) It was my SO's birthday and with literally no warning, (I just asked the staff to embarrass him by announcing it at that race), they ran to the gift shop and got a present for him! We went in March, which was the "low season", and on the plus-side it wasn't crowded; however, it was humid and very HOT!!! If you're used to mild weather like those of us from S. California, this is pretty jarring.

Room Tip: If you fly all this way and don't book and overwater bungalow, you're throwing away a major...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jenwill2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa

Property: Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa
Address: | Akitua Private Island, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Aitutaki
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Aitutaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only private island, adults only resort in the Cook Islands. It is the only Cook Islands resort to offer that invention of incurable romantics - the Overwater Bungalow. And it is the only resort on Aitutaki with a truly Polynesian flavour, so you can truly savour what the South Pacific is famous for. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aitutaki Lagoon Resort And Spa
Aitutaki Lagoon Hotel Aitutaki
Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa South Pacific - Cook Islands
Lagoon Resort Aitutaki

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