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“Beautiful boutique villas on a paradise island”
Review of Etu Moana

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Etu Moana
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
2 reviews
“Beautiful boutique villas on a paradise island”
Reviewed 15 August 2011

It is impossible not to enjoy your stay here. Wenwish we could have stayed longer than 4 nights of our extended honeymoon! Jo-Anne and Jim along with all the lovely staff at Etu Moana make your stay very relaxing. There is plenty to see and do on the small island of Aitutaki - I would recommended Puna's (yellow boat) lagoon cruise as number 1, an amazing day of visiting islands, snorkelling a brilliant local lunch. We wouldn't hesitate to go back!

  • Stayed July 2011
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CVBaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (210)
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English first
Dunedin, New Zealand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed 14 August 2011

We went for our honeymoon and it was worth every cent. Thoroughly loved the resort the owners are lovely and staff very helpful, we chose a villa with absolute beachfront which was very lovely and quiet with the view of the lagoon very morning when you woke up.
Take a trip with Puna on the Yellow Boat on the lagoon its smaller groups and very relaxed.
Go for dinner at Tapuna's well worth the visit but go home under your own steam call a cab as going with others can be rushed at the end of the meal so you feel like you can't relax.
We have stayed on Atituaki before but this trip was the best for the whole package, great location, great place to stay.

Room Tip: if you want the beautiful view choose an absolute beach front villa although they are all great
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Caro052
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Olathe, Kansas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2011

NEW MANAGEMENT-The property is under new management and was switching hands as we were there so I will imagine all will stay the same, but it might change. The people on the island were all very friendly and the staff was very courteous. We booked this property due to tripadvisor reviews and the reviews were right on. It was nice to have only 8 bungalows as it gave us (my wife and I) enough space to enjoy being newlyweds as well as have some interaction with a small group of people (since there are only 8 bungalows, its mostly just couples). We took an island tour, did an island night, and rented a moped to roam around the island. The island tour TEKING was recommended and the crew was great. The island night was pretty standard and allowed us to try out a broad buffet of local foods- we did not like them all very much, but we tried them as part of the experience. The moped was fun because we spent the whole day cruising around, taking pictures, and we traveled up to some of the highest points on the island- beautiful views.

ON SITE:

BEACH- The Etu Moana has a pretty secluded beach that only the 8 bungalows that the people staying there can use. There are chairs/snorkel/kayak/water socks/goggles/chairs/towels- There is quite a bit of coral in the lagoon and the lagoon is blue and beautiful.

SNORKELING- you can use the kayaks and scuba gear and tie it off to a buoy to get in some snorkeling. Water Socks/goggles/snorkel are included

FOOD/DRINK- the breakfast attendants put the food out and get your coffee/milk/juice and then clear your dishes. They gave us lots of space and we barely realized they were there. The island has an 'honesty system' and the bar at the ETU is along the same lines. Basically say what you use and pay for it later. Beers cost about $3NZD, and your meals at different places on the island usually run about $15-30 NZD per person, so my wife and I split several fish and chips. There is a nice backyard restaurant next door and the island night is down the road (both within walking distance). There are local grocery stores but meat etc are quite a bit as well do to importing in all of the food. We did have some neighbors that asked the front desk for fresh tuna and receiver a kilo of tuna for around $15NZD- SO I would recommend asking and then using the grills on site or making sushi.

BIKES- The staff helps out quite a bit with bikes and the moped if necessary. The ETU MOANA has lights if you walk at night and has bike lights if you choose to bike down the road- free bikes with the stay. The moped ($25/day- i believe) has a gas station just down the road (and the whole island has a main road that runs in a circle) when you need to fill up to return it, I think we cruised around all day and refilled at the end of the day for like $5 NZD.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jc-jayhawk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2011

Simply a wonderful place to stay. It is small enough to feel like a family, not a resort, but definitely a five star experience. Clean, beautiful, comfortable and the staff are the best anywhere. The location is perfect, walking distance to what you need, and their own great lagoon area for snorkeling. I recommend the Island show on Thursday at the Tamanu down the road 1/2 km, the fish and chips at Puffy’s 0.3 km up the road and rent a scooter to drive all over the island, you can’t get lost and everyone will wave with Kia Orana on their lips. The lagoon of Aitutaki is legendary for a reason, it is an amazing sight, the spectacular pictures don’t do it justice. I hear that new owners are taking over soon, but hopefully they will stay with a winning combination of staff and policies and it will continue to be spectacular.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank yokester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2011

My wife and I just spent 12 nights at Etu Moana in Villa 1 - it was even better than we thought it would be! I don't want to echo what everyone else has said but I do want to mention that all of the staff weren't just friendly because they were supposed to be, they were literally good friendly people. Not only did we find all the staff to be friendly but so was everyone else on the island including the tourists - hard not to be happy in Aitutaki.

What you should definitely bring:
1. Waterproof bag for cash and credit cards that you can swim with
2. A really nice camera (we had an underwater point and shoot plus our dslr)
3. A beer koozie (its hot out there, gotta keep the beers cold!)
4. Mossie repellent (there are some mossies in the shade but even if you do get bit the bites go away within a couple hours and stop itching... Where I live you can end up with scars so that was a nice change of pace.)
5. A lot of books, i think that i read 8 books while we were there, smart play might be to invest in a kindle

What Etu already has for you:
Water shoes, snorkeling equipment, kayaks, safe for your valuables, food storage containers, plates, silverware, glasses, pots, ice, juices, beers, wines, mixers, liquor, bottled water, blender, toasters, grille, soap, shampoo, beach towels, purified water, dvds, breakfast (white bread, wheat bread, papaya, star fruit, variety of yogurts, french press coffee, juice, milk, croissants, cereal, variety of jams, honey, and butter), good lcoal advice, bikes, scooters, all the coconuts that you can open, plus dinner and lunch spots easily within walking distance..

What we did during our stay:
1. Wet n' Wild dropped us off at one foot island in the morning and picked us up in the afternoon. We were completely by ourselves except for the two hours that excursion boats come in for. Antonio was our captain and his wife picked us up at Etu Moana and dropped us back off. We played shipwrecked and loved it!
2. Black Pearl was pretty amazing. Mike and Mere are the owners and they let you pick what you want to do as far as snorkel in the reef or outside the reef, go deepsea fishing, walk around some of the unihabited islands in the lagoon, spear fish, pretty much whatever you want. Kathryn and I did the spearfishing and snorkeling - I even caught three fish. They made us a FEAST - best part of it was the seared tuna, rediculously good. I think that this is the excursion that I will most fondly remember.
3. Teking Cruise is run by Teking himself along with a staff. We went on this trip after a couple poor weather days so it was pretty busy. He had about 30 of us on 3 different boats but it was in no way crowded. We saw more fish on this trip than the rest of our 12 days combined, we saw some amazing islands, got to see numerous giant clams, and he took us to a portion of the reef with the prettiest coral. Teking even drove us to church on Sunday. This is a must and will give you the best feel for the lagoon.
4. Island Night at Tamanu Beach is a 5 minute walk away and it was so good that we went twice. They had a crazy amount of food and a really cool dance show after. The food was really good, worth the price by itself. One of the best parts of the dancing was that the dancers were clearly having the time of their lives while dancing, smiles ear to ear.
5. Snorkeling outside of Etu Moana was fabulous - even better 300 meters to the left when looking at the ocean.
6. Hike to the top of the tallest point of the island - it was a short hike but a bit steep and very slippery after the rain. The best thing that I can say about the view up there is that it is underwhelming and ubstructed. The second highest hill offers better views.
7. Scooter all around the island - we went into every shop, checked out every beach, looked at all the churches, played around in the neighborhoods, met a lot of great people, and got a good feel for the island life.

Places to eat:
1. Puffys - great spot to get a fish burger and save some money
2. Tamanu Beach - only went for Island Night but it was a serious feast
3. Cafe Tapunas - we were most excited for this place and went twice, both times we did not have a good meal. I even tried the mud crab, maybe being from Maryland I expected something different. Most people really liked it though.
4. Tuanus - not sure if that is how you spell it but its extremely close to Etu Moana, its open Mon, Wed & Fri and was by far my favorite lunch spot.
5. Boat Shed - Kathryn's favorite place, very good menu and my second favorite dinner spot.
6. Rapae Bay - we had little expectations but it was the best dinner that we had and the price is similar to all the rest of the restaurants.

What to avoid:
Rarotonga - its just nothing compared to Aitutaki. There is nothing that we saw on Rarotonga that could even compare to Aitutaki as far as things to do, the lagoon, the food - do yourself a favor and just skip it, spend all your time on Aitutaki.

What people on the island think of Etu Moana:
Everyone that lives on the island told us that we had picked the right spot - even tourists that stayed at other places were jealous. The closest comparison that I can make is the villas at Pacific Resort and they look like they are pretty much the same for 3 times the price. We walked to Pacific the two times we had dinner at the resort and were happy to return to our Villa back at Etu Moana.

WE WILL BE BACK AS SOON AS WE CAN!!!!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank broyer1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Rosa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2011

We spent our honey moon at Etu Moana in May 2009 vowing to Jo-Anne & Jim the owners we would see them in 2 yrs. We are sure they hear that all the time. Well we arrived May 9th 2011, 2 years and 5 days after our first trip. The weather was a bit off the first few days from the last trip. We arrived to rain and on our first night the most incredible lightening storm we have ever witnessed. After 3 days of hit and miss weather Jim's accurate prediction for sunshine was perfect & we had 10 more glorious days of sunshine and full moon starry evenings.
Our dearest friends Tom & Dawn from the Los Angeles area arrived after convincing testimony from our honeymoon to spend a week with us at Etu. We again stayed in villa 6 the whole 12 nights.The island has made a remarkable recovery from cyclone Pat in 2010. There was sadness in seeing the destroyed homes of the locals still waiting for there relief homes to be completed. Again the generosity of the islanders and the staff of Etu are still unsurpassed to anything we have ever experienced!
I caught 22 kilos-55 lbs of yellow fin tuna with Black Pearl charters (thanks Mike) We invited Jo-Anne,Jim & all the other couples from the 7remaining villas for a pot luck at the pool that evening. What a great experience that was for us all. A night filled with warm on shore breezes and laughter. It felt like one big family gathering, And that is that we have experienced at Etu Moana both times.We of course did the yellow boat tour with Puna & TuTu on the Lagoon not to be missed. We also did a private Lagoon tour with Quinton with wet & wild that was a day the four of us will treasure for ever. Dinner at Tapunas more times than we can count our love to her,Moi & there newest addition friendship!! Tom & Dawn caught a flight to Aitu for 3 days only to meet up with us for a day in Raro before catching a flight back home To the busy lives we all live here in the US. The lack of EGO and the LOVE & HUMBLENESS from just about everyone we encountered makes this a place that attracts us to there.Which we never would have found if it was not for trip advisors report of this MAGICAL place in 2008. Jim & Jo-Anne have a created a place that is special to every one who has stayed here due to (in our opinion) 3 things
1) LOCATION
2) ATTENTION TO DETAIL
3) STAFF- we love you all

Asked when we will return we were saddened to not have an anwser this trip because we are going to Europe to vist the couples we met on our honeymoon in 2008.

PS. Remember your in the South Pacific- prepare do your home work on mosquitos we found bens 100% deet mixed with baby oil the best! ear plugs if chickens bother you.
leave your expectations in Los Angeles when you board your flt to PARADISE.
enjoy the outside shower in your villa look for the Southenr Cross,Take over 3000, pictures we did:-) Climd the highest point, Rent a scooter and get off the beaten path, catch island night at Tamanus right down the beach! tell Emma at the bar Marcus says hello.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tikkidude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2011

We loved our holiday on this beautiful island and our fantastic accomodation made it all the more perfect. The rooms were immculately clean, the grounds and gardens were so impressive. My husband is a gardener and he was well impressed with how tidy everything was. The honesty bar was great too, an excellent selection of really well prices drinks and all the trimmings to make the cocktail perfect! Our only complaint was that our stay was too short but we will be back and for longer this time.

Room Tip: Pay the extra for the absolute beach front villa, it is worth every cent.
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jomccurdy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Etu Moana

Property: Etu Moana
Address: PO Box 123, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Aitutaki
#1 Luxury Hotel in Aitutaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Etu Moana 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Etu Moana Beach Villas offers ten Polynesian style villas with thatched roofing. The Villas are situated on a beautiful white sandy beach and you have a mesmerizing view of the turquoise lagoon from each Villa. The Villas are all self contained and have a kingsize bed, large covered verandas, and Tasmanian oak floors. The style is crisp and modern. We offer complimentary Tropical breakfast, kayaks, SUP, snorkel equipment, and bicycles. In the rooms are smart TVs with 40+ movies on a hard drive. You are also able to listen to your own music by connecting your phone via bluetooth with a sound bar. In addition we also offer a gift USB card, coconut drink, ei's and airport transfers. The lovely Cook Island staff at Etu Moana are waiting for you! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Etu Moana Aitutaki, South Pacific - Cook Islands
Etu Moana Hotel Aitutaki

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