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“Simply Paradise”
Review of Etu Moana

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Etu Moana
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 September 2011

The Etu Moana is a top of the line boutique hotel. We had a lovely stay in cottage #4, nicely situated between the pool and the beach. It was well equipped with a kitchenette, a wonderful shower, and a DVD player. The air conditioner was a great bonus for sleeping and you can also open the doors and just have the screens closed for a lovely ocean breeze. It was lovely to sit on the porch lounger and just enjoy the sound of the ocean.

The Etu Moana is building a few more cottages next to #4, but during our stay construction was going on from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. so it was not a noise factor in our vacation. The new managers, Steve and Amanda were delightful and made us feel very welcome.

The front desk staff was extremely helpful in booking all of our excursions. I suggest that if you don't book before you arrive, you do this immediately upon check-in as trips like a private tour with the Black Pearl are exclusive and fill up VERY fast. We arrived on Sunday and were lucky to book both a Teking snorkeling tour on Wednesday and a private snorkeling tour with the Black Pearl on Friday. (Please see my reviews of each of these, by name.)

My husband Heath loved the Honesty Bar at the pool and made me several drinks out of the cocktail recipe book during our stay. This system was very nice and guests cleaned up after themselves. It is so much cheaper than ordering drinks at one of the restaurants nearby.

On the first day, our luggage didn't arrive until late afternoon, but Cecil made sure that it was picked up and delivered to us from the last flight in. Hubby Heath in the meantime decided to take a bike down to the convenience store to pick up snacks and a large jug of water for our stay. It was a little more taxing than he thought as there is a long slow hill and it was during the hottest part of the day--and we'd been up for about 24 hours traveling. He survived. That was the only bicycle trip though.

The front desk staff also was extremely helpful for my oddball requests for antiseptic for Heath's whiskey bug burns; apparently he's highly allergic to these bugs that come out right after sundown. If you swat at them or slap them, they have an acid mechanism that will cause a large burn blister. So here's my advice--take Neosporin. Also bring heavy duty deep woods bug spray and sunscreen without scent. The front desk also let us borrow an outlet converter for our camera charger.

The front desk also arranged for our scooter rental, and dinner reservations for local restaurants and transports.

We had wonderful breakfasts every morning poolside.

One of our favorite memories is the coconut demonstration by Cecil. Don't let her charming smile fool you, she is one tough cookie and is handy with a machete. Heath climbed a tree and I wove a plate. We all enjoyed a special treat at the end as well.

All in all this was one of the best hotels we've been to. We enjoyed kayaking around the lagoon and snorkeling after tying up to the buoy. I loved hula hooping on the beach. We got gorgeous sunset photos every night.

After seeing the other hotels on the island, I was so glad we chose the Etu Moana. Other guests become fast friends do to the small nature of this exclusive piece of paradise. It made my hubby's 40 birthday a very special time and seemed like a second honeymoon.

Room Tip: #4 is a good alternative since beachfront #1 and #3 book up to 2 years in advance for honeymooners.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sassyhoops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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453 - 459 of 945 reviews

Reviewed 23 September 2011

I just returned from a wonderful stay in cottage # 7 with my wife. The staff at Etu Moana will do almost anything for you. Getting around the island can be a little expensive if you need to take a taxi trips generally were around $20 RT but well worth it. The beautiful tree shown in the photos offers excellent shade 85% - 90% for those who tend to burn. I would like to thank the entire staff for a very relaxing vaction and will not hesitate to return.

Room Tip: All cottages have a great view
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank k0alas2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2011

Well first of all, I'd like to say that me and my just married husband came here a while ago 2008 for our honeymoon. I've been meaning to write a review for so long, just because this place is amazing! What made this place wonderful were the staff - so friendly and attentive. The cottages were beautiful inside and out, the bed comfortable and air conditioning worked a treat. As most others have said the only thing I could fault about this place is the mosquitoes but that is obviously not the fault of the hotel.

Another minor thing was the breakfast - from memory it was served quite early and we would often wake up a little late (like 9.30-10am I think?) and miss it.

Room Tip: We had a garden view room and highly recommend. There are the beach front ones, but the property is...
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  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sylvia W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2011

I just recently returned from our 7th visit to Etu Moana.It's an amazing location to restore the mind and body.The staff are so helpful and friendly and remind you to smile more! Jim and Joanne have built paradise and given so much back to the community.They deserve a gold medal.All villas are private and set in the most glorious gardens.We enjoyed our time with Jason and Don aboard Foxy Lady, landed some big fish.My husband caught a tropy bonefish with Rua and Itu.So come and kick off your shoes and stay for at least 5 days and leave the wee darlings behind with granny! It's so romantic you will fall in love again.

Room Tip: We always stay in Villa 3 or 1 more privacy and view of lagoon and sea
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank joscotland62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2011

- Beautiful villas in a garden setting right on the lagoon
- Restaurants within walking distance on the beach
- The friendliest staff we have ever had
- Villas have small kitchens with all the accessories you need
- Stay in Villa 1 or 3 if you can as they are right on the water
- Be sure and see Cecilia perform the coconut show...she is amazing!
- So nice that they include kayaks and bicycles too!
- This is the only place on Aitutaki that we will come back and stay at so that says it all!

Room Tip: Plan far in advance and request villa 1 (as we did) or Villa 3
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Massena246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2011

Had a wonderful 20th Anniversary here. The villas are very well designed and give privacy while still allowing views out to the lagoon. The covered verandah at the front of the villa is a beautiful spot to enjoy a sundowner before heading out to whichever cafe has been chosen for dinner that night. The tropical gardens are lush and beautiful. The staff, from front desk to cleaning staff, could not have been more helpful, they made everything so easy and were always genuinely friendly and interested in us having the best holiday experience possible. Loved the breakfast each morning - fresh fruit, cereal, yoghurt, croissants, toast and a fresh plunger of coffee for 2 - bliss. Thank you for a memorable stay - will definitely return!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Cat R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2011

We stayed at Etu Moana for 5 nights in August, and were more than satisfied with both the accomodation and staff. The setting is absolutely gorgeous, the gardens were lush and beautiful, the staff are among the happiest people on the planet!

Our villa (7) was beautifully appointed, private, very clean and well serviced.
Everything we could have wanted. Breakfast each morning was lovely & relaxing, and very well catered.

Beautiful beach with loads of fish and coral to explore in the complimentary kayaks.
Reception arranged our scooter hire and we enjoyed getting around the island each day, trying somewhere new for lunch or dinner.
Puna's Aitutaki Adventures lagoon cruise was a highlight of our stay and is highly recommended.

Simply stunning. We were very sad to leave and have promised ourselves a return trip as soon as funds permit !

Room Tip: We weren't disappointed not to be on the beachfront. All rooms are equally gorgeous.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lisa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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 Luxury Hotel in Aitutaki
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Aitutaki
Price Range: £280 - £355 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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