We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Excellent vacation”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Aitutaki
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Aretai Beach Villas
San Diego, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Excellent vacation”
Reviewed 18 July 2013

My wife and I just returned from 9 nights at Aretai and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. We are frequent travelers who do extensive homework before deciding on a place to stay and our experiences have confirmed the positive T-advisor reviews for Aretai. Huge deck, rooms, closets and wonderful location. If a quiet, large place to stay without the hassles of crowds is your style then you won't find a better value than Aretai.. period. One look at the other value accomodations on the island and you'll see what I mean.
We talked to a handful of couples and groups that came and went during our stay and everyone said that they'd have planned more time at Aretai if they'd known how peaceful it is.

Here are some tips not only for Aretai but for Aitutaki:
- just forget everything. sit on the deck of the villa and read while listening to the palms rustle in the wind. There are leftover books in the closet in unit 2.
- if you want a glass of wine to go with that, the Heineken store has easily the best prices on wine and beer...at least it did last week.
- down the beach 100yrds to the swimming hole at sunset.
- mosquito repellent for when the wind dies down. This goes for the whole island but what's great is that they go away with the breeze.
- Rino rentals for scooters. Ask Mama to call them and have them drop one off or go next door to Puffy's and ask him to call. This goes for any booking on the island.
- the gas station in the AM for bread and lettuce or Heineken store for bread all day. the big store by the wharf at 6am for produce and if you're lucky.. donuts(!).
- we brought meat and sausages from Prime Meats on Raro. Glad we did because finding raw fish-chickn-beef on Aitu is a hassle. Fired up the Aretai BBQ and grilled out on multiple nights. This is a huge bonus. If the grill is crusty.. use the brush!
- we brought pasta and a can of sauce from Raro which was a good call too. Bringing aged dutch cheese with us from the mainland was brilliant.
- Pacific Resorts for postcards and stamps. their beach is also open to anyone. best food presentation on the island but Tavana (?) is a close second. Atmosphere and price make PR second to T in my opinion.
- there is great snorkeling and kayaking right out front of the villas in the lagoon but it's best to wait until high tide to let the water fill in.
- TeKing lagoon tours (snorkeling) is the small group way to go. Bishop for big tours.
- Mona's water taxi (PaPa) to get dropped off at a remote motu for 3-4 hours. you won't regret this one. bring water sandals for the coral and snorkel gear. his sign is on the road by the Heini store.
- The cultural tour is fantastic. A great meal and island experience by a local anthropologist at a working site. This was a great surprise.
- Blackjack for deep sea fishing. He'll prob let you keep a fish or two unlike the other outfits.
- Puffy's for island night on Wednesdays. Call ahead to make sure that it's on.
- Ootu beach to chill out and have a super tasty sandwich from Samade at the same time. This is really the best beer on the island.
- Happy hour cocktails at the Aitutaki Resort restaurant: 5:30-6:30pm. Amazing location and would be a great place to stay here if money were no object.

Hope this info is helpful. It's true that Aretai isn't for everyone. Folks craving a high maintenance visit should stick to resorts where they can be catered to. If that isn't enough then they should probably just stay on another island altogether.

Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
10 Thank FBCoconut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SueJtravels, Family at Aretai Beach Villas, responded to this review, 23 July 2013
Thanks for the nice review. Glad you loved Aitutaki and Mama and the tips for other guests are fantastic!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

52 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    34
    15
    2
    0
    1
See reviews for
19
23
Solo
0
2
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2013

WE PAID TOO MUCH FOR WHAT WE GOT! My family and I stayed here at Aretai for 5 nights. First of all, they clean the rooms every 3 days! I didn't come on vacation to make beds, clean bathrooms and sweep floors. (A place down the rode that charges $94.00 per night cleans daily) I was so upset my husband decides to open up a bottle of wine for me but their wine opener was broken. So he sent our kids to the main house to get a another one. They come back with a can opener. They told my boys to use that. REALLY?? Let's continue.... The towels were cheap and old. I would dry myself with it and I was still wet. The bed sheets and bedspread were ancient. Zero bathroom amenities. For $300 a night plus $50 per per additional person . there was 5 of us.($450) (that's $2250 I paid) they should at least clean the rooms daily, buy new quality towels, sheets, bedspread and at the very least have little shampoo/conditioner bottles in the bathroom. There was no AC. I need AC. At the very least they should install a multi-split air conditioner in the living room. For $450.00 a night I believe they can afford it. There are 4 cats roaming the property that belong to the manager, her name is Mama. Kids love playing with them. The problem is that when I picked up the kitten and saw his belly, 8 fleas scattered! They offer no activities on the premises. Down the rode at another property they have bonfires at night and have a potluck night where all vacationers make a dish from their country. The managers of the property set up two tables on the beach and everyone eats together while they get to know each other. At least it's an option. They have 1 portable BBQ that was filthy! For $450 a night they should at least clean it. The beach in front of the property isn't the best by far. We went in the first day we arrived and never again. The best is near the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort. That beach/water is amazing. Great for families. I did see some rental beach villas that are privately owned on that side. I plan on looking into those the next time I go to Aitutaki. Even though Aretai was bad, Aitutaki is beautiful. We tried to spend every waking moment far away from Aretai. Unfortunately it rained the first two days we arrived. In regards to the fruit. We did receive fruit one day and that came from the lady that runs the transportation vehicle, not from Aretai. The owners of this property live in New Zealand and our making a lot of money from us vacationers. They should either lower their prices or put some money into the property and upgrade it. In the immediate future they should hire an additional housekeeper and clean daily. If I would have paid around $150.00usd per night I would not complain. I would have gotten what I paid for. But to paid $450.00 per night doesn't sit well with me. We work hard for our money. This was our family vacation and I felt we got ripped off. You are probably saying to yourself why did you book it in the first place. Well, we didn't. After staying at the Pacific Resorts in Rarotonga last year and loving it, we again contacted the Pacific Resorts Rep in the USA to book the Aitutaki PR for us. They came back and said they do not allow 5 people in a room. Max 4. However, there are villas called Aretai that they send their guests to if Pacific Resort is full and they will take 5 people. Since this was about 1 1/2 weeks before, we said yes blindly. Why would I think that Pacific Resorts being a 4/5 star property would recommend a 1 to 2 star property. We complained to them as well. All in all, unless you are ready for that, stay somewhere else.

Room Tip: The beach/water is not the best. It's not even pretty in color.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank chubay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SueJtravels, Family at Aretai Beach Villas, responded to this review, 7 July 2013
I am sorry to read that you didn't enjoy your time at Aretai Beach Villas. Perhaps your booking agent didn't give you the correct information when you booked.
We have never worked with Pacific Resort for bookings. Next door at Are Matatui, which is more luxurious and more expensive than Aretai, used to take families from Pacific Resort but no longer offer that service either. It is difficult to find accommodation for families in Aitutaki and we prefer to only take 4 people per villa, but realise this disadvantages families with 3 children, hence we will accept bookings for 5.
Our villas are advertised as self catering and are geared for travelers who generally prefer not to be disturbed daily. We also advertise that the villas are serviced every three days however fresh towels are available on request. This would be consistent with properties of this type.
Your points about bottle opener, linen etc are noted and we are in the process of upgrading some of our furnishings and some bathroom fittings.
The normal owner/manager was away for three weeks having some medical treatment and we are aware that perhaps things didn't run as smoothly while she was off the island.
So again we are sorry that your experience spoilt your holiday in the Aitutaki.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2013

My husband and I spent 4 nights on this paradise island. The villa was spacious with a wonderful deck outside that we made full use of. A good swimming channel just 30 metres to the left along the beach. Full kitchen with stove, fridge etc-great for families. We ate out every night and used the recommendations given in the visitors book-all really good. Mama was amazing and we were provided with fresh fruit and even freshly baked scones!
We will definitely be back with friends to stay at Aretai Beach Villas.

Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank VickiAb1940
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2013

I spent a week here with a group of friends in January. We were made to feel welcome from the moment we arrived at Aretai as we were picked up from the airport by Mama Nicholas. There are 5 villas, with 2 being more luxurious in their standard, and the other 3 simple but with plenty of space and all the facilities you would expect in a beach side villa. Admitedly, there are better places for swiming and snorkelling on the island, but really this is just nit picking on what is itself a beautiful spot.
When you come to Aretai, expect the best standard of hospitality from Mama Nicholas who will adopt you like you were a grandchild of her own for the duration of your stay. Mama was able to organise everything we wanted to do on the island, including the delivery of transport, day trips on the lagoon and a deep sea fishing trip outside the reef. Mama's kind nature and grace alone made staying at this place a delight.
The island itself is not big, so Aretai is within a few minutes scooter ride of any place you might wish to visit. There is a fully equipped kitchen in every villa which we used almost every day, but I would recommend you travel around and visit some of the local cafe's and restaurants dotted around the island and in the resorts. After a long day travelling around the island and swimming in the lagoon, there is no better way to spend an evening than lounging on one of the large villa balconies, or walking the 10 metres to the beach to wade in the warm water and watch the sun go down.
This isand is a beautiful place, and unlike any other place I had been to before. Its warmth and character are captured perfectly by Aretai and Mama Nicholas. Overwall, this was a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank H0wesy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Valais
Level Contributor
39 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2013

I never thought I would see such a perfect slice of paradise. The welcome was warm and the bungalow was spacious, simple and comfortable with everything we needed. We loved the big verandah right on the beach and snoozed the afternoon away on the chaise lounges under the palms. (Just watch out you are not under the coconuts!) The snorkling was good, but better when we walked along the beach towards the village. It was lovely kayaking in the evenings. We didn't rent a car or moto, but walked along the beach (about 45 minutes) to the village for shopping. Coming back via the road, we were offered a lift. The people on Aitutaki are very friendly and not spoilt by mass tourism. There is a small take-away restaurant next door (Puffy's) who also do a nice Island Night with a dancing and music show once a week. All in all, a dream vacation.

Room Tip: If you are going to do self-catering, take along a knapsack of your favourite stuff. You find all th...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TOOTLE46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2013

We spent 2 nights here and while the bungalow was very basic it was a good base to explore the rest of the island. Our bungalow view was blocked by palm trees and the cleanliness of the bungalow was of an adequate standard. The beach and swimming area out front is pretty ordinary compared to other places around the island, yet the gardens are lovely and well kept. The lovely host/owner of the property Mama (85 years young) certainly made up for our disappointment in the bungalow with her wonderful hospitality and friendliness. Mama organised our car, day trip out in the lagoon with Aitutaki Adventures which was a magnificent day out and real must for anyone visiting the Island. The snorkelling was fantastic and the lunch provided beautiful. We enjoyed a daily supply of bananas and passion fruit from Mama and wonderful chats. We had a lovely meal at the Pacific Resort which I highly recommend.

I was unsure on how to rate our stay, as the bungalow was average yet Mama was such a delightful character - sometimes your trip is not always about your accommodation or the places you go but the people you meet along the way!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank whatthe111111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland N Z
Level Contributor
80 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2012

If you are coming to the Cooks islands go north to Aitutaki and stay at Aretai Villas as its the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the lagoon. They are in the style of well built and designed beach cottages and perfect for a family or couple. They are well equiped and furnished and have lovely covered verandahs with quality outdoor furniture where you can look at the sea and have your meals. We loved the kitchen and suggest visitors bring some of their own food as local supplies can be limited though all the basics are available. There is a small restaurant very close by by that does OK meals including fresh fish and salad.
They are right on the beach with a swimming area where you can get in over your head a few metres to the left. The grounds are well kept and it is a haven of peace and quiet. Mama who hosts the villas is a delightful, gracious woman who will bring you fresh pawpaw each day.

We loved being able to walk to the far point along the beach and not see anyone or in the other direction to get to a couple of small resorts for meals.

Looking out at the lagoon any time of day is one of life's treats. It is stunning.We loved this place and would love to stay again.

Rent a scooter too, very cheap and with 30kms speed limit very safe and have a meal at Tupunas Restaurant. Gorgeous!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mary-53-2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Aitutaki hotels
1.1 mi away
Pacific Resort Aitutaki
Pacific Resort Aitutaki
#2 of 10 in Aitutaki
5.0 of 5 bubbles 1,095 reviews
1.7 mi away
Aitutaki Village
Aitutaki Village
#5 of 10 in Aitutaki
4.5 of 5 bubbles 154 reviews
0.2 mi away
Aitutaki Escape
Aitutaki Escape
#4 of 10 in Aitutaki
5.0 of 5 bubbles 155 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.6 mi away
Tamanu Beach
Tamanu Beach
#3 of 10 in Aitutaki
4.5 of 5 bubbles 441 reviews
1.9 mi away
Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa
0.6 mi away
Matriki Beach Huts
Matriki Beach Huts
#1 of 13 in Aitutaki
4.5 of 5 bubbles 197 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Aretai Beach Villas? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Aretai Beach Villas

Property: Aretai Beach Villas
Address: Village, Amuri, PH31645, Cook Islands
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Aitutaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:2 star — Aretai Beach Villas 2*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Your private piece of paradise, Aretai Beach Villas provides top quality accommodation on a magnificent stretch of white, sandy, beach, on the sunset side of the island. Guests have easy access to a wonderful safe lagoon and local restaurants. Three, attractive, generously sized, stand alone two bedroom units, are self catering. Each unit has a separate modern kitchen with full cooking facilities, and is well appointed with all you need. Lounge area with quality cane furniture. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Aretai Beach Villas Hotel Aitutaki
Aretai Beach Villas Aitutaki, South Pacific - Cook Islands

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing