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“Perfect Cook Islands!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Etu Moana

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Etu Moana
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
Gloucester, NSW
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Perfect Cook Islands!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2011

Our brief stay at Etu Moana on our recent honeymoon was spectacular. The villas are stunning, love the decor and multiple daybeds! Best of all is the amazing garden they have worked so hard on to create an intimate and secluded space for each couple. All the little touches made it so special and worth while, from the friendly welcoming staff, personal treatment, beautiful breakfasts by the pool, word of the day and more. The villas are so well equipped with anything you could need or want, and everything is beautifully done, they even put bows on the toilet paper :) The complementary island music cd is a contnuing reminder of our island memories. Get a fish burger from McNeds, awesome and huge! Thank you Steve and Amanda and all the other kind helpful lovely staff!

Room Tip: All the rooms are great!
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mike P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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871 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (200)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2011

After reading the glowing reviews, we decided to spend our entire 13 day honeymoon at Etu Moana. We booked Villa 4 over a year in advance, and continued to read reviews as they were posted, leading to very high expectations when we arrived. We are happy to say that Etu Moana met and exceeded our expectations in every respect, from the incredible staff to the comfortable villa and the beautiful gardens.

We were met at the airport by Cecilia, who greeted us warmly and helped us with our bags after a long and tiring trip. On the way to the villa, she told us a little about the island, and made some suggestions on where to eat and things to do. Upon arrival at Etu Moana, we were met by Steve and Amanda, the new managers. They made us feel at home immediately, and as we chatted, it turns out they also from British Columbia, making us neighbours. Later in our stay, Amanda spent an hour taking photos for us, and magically made a polished shell appear for us to take home, even though there are none available on Aitutaki. The entire staff is wonderful, always smiling and ever helpful. All we had to do was ask at Reception, and dinner reservations, tour bookings, and scooter hire were looked after immediately.

The villa was clean and very comfortable; we spent many hours on the deck, watching the lagoon, the myna birds and the occasional chicken! The shower is large, but water pressure is lacking, which is understandable on a small island. Our only minor complaint about the room would be the drawers in the TV stand, bed, and kitchen – they are not on guides, and can be difficult to open at times, especially for someone with limited use of an arm. We used the outdoor shower a lot, and also the rinsing tap by the steps up to the deck. The passion fruit we found growing by the outdoor shower was delicious.

Breakfast was very good; we made a point of getting up in time every day, which is unusual for us. Cecilia, Alone and Tere gave very good, attentive service without being obtrusive. The small coffee presses with Atiu coffee will be much missed at home. Be careful if you leave the table with food on it – the myna birds will be there in no time to help themselves.

The gardens are simply beautiful, and being near the beach end of the property we got to walk through them many times a day. It seemed every time we looked, we could always find some new flower we hadn’t seen before, and the fragrance from the flowers by Villas 5 and 6 was delightful.

The beach is raked every morning, and we had great fun with the kayaks paddling around and snorkelling by the buoys close to the reef. Snorkeling close to shore is OK, but it gets better the further out you go. Etu Moana also keeps two kayaks at the sailing club at the far end of the airport. We took those out one day and had an incredible time paddling to 3 uninhabited motu, and thanks to Cecilia’s demonstration, we were able to open and eat a coconut on our very own deserted island. For swimming, there is a deeper area about 100 yards north along the beach, or use the pool.

If you are visiting Etu Moana soon, and are concerned about noise from the construction of the new villas – don’t worry! Work only goes on between 10am and 4pm, and noise is minimal. We were right next to it, and didn’t even notice it most days.

All in all, we had a fabulous stay, and Etu Moana turned out to be everything we hoped it would be, and more. We highly recommend it for anyone wanting to escape to a peaceful paradise.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank fawlty25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2011

We spent 6 nights in Villa 1 for the first part of our honeymoon in the Cook Islands. Etu Moana was a perfect place to relax after the stressful time around a wedding... The staff were fantastic - Amanda and Steve are great managers. The villas are lovely - well fitted out and comfortable. I especially loved the outdoor shower even with the geckos and crabs!

The pool was great, especially as every time we wanted a swim we were the only ones there. In fact it really felt like you had the place and the beach to yourselves. The kayaks and bicycles were fun to use and the honesty bar is brilliant.

One negative is breakfast - supermarket style (cheap) bread, cereals and some fruit (although not much left if you're there after 9am). Although we were aware supplies are hard to come by on the island so more exciting bread and additional fruit would have made a big difference.

I was also disappointed there was no mention made of it being our honeymoon - a bottle of bubbly or even just a note saying congrats would have been a nice touch (and we've seen at places that cost alot less.).

Finally, the lagoon is not as pretty here as it is up the other end of the island due to very shallow water. It's not really an issue at high tide but at low tide it's not as pretty as you'd expect from the broshures.

Even with the few minor negatives we had a fantastic honeymoon and wouldn't hesitate to return when we need some proper relaxation.

Room Tip: absolute beachfront is worth it
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank emily b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2011

My husband and I traveled to the Cook Islands in July this year on our honeymoon. It was the first time that either of us had ever been to the Cooks, and so we were terribly impressed with ourselves that we had chosen Aitutaki as our honeymoon destination, spending 10 days at Etu Moana. To put it simply, it was incredible.

We had a stopover stay at the Pacific Resort in Rarotonga, staying in a garden villa, at a very comparable price to the room rates at Etu Moana, and so we were expecting a similar standard of accommodation when we arrived in Aitutaki. In every way possible, Etu Moana outstripped our experience in Raro. Aitutaki itself is a very different place to Rarotonga, with the locals enjoying a much quieter and more laid back lifestyle. The island is tiny and it is very easy to get around on a scooter, although my husband and I mostly chose to ride bicycles, and we hired a car one day so that we could attend church and have a bit of a fun, zippy tour around the place in the dilapidated little convertible we hired. Really, Aitutaki was a perfect honeymoon destination; it was quiet, relaxed, not at all touristy in any sense and suited us wonderfully well.

Etu Moana was the icing on the cake, and our stay there rates as the best service and hospitality that I have ever experienced anywhere in the world. Our villa, #8, was the furthest villa from the beachfront and we loved the privacy that we were afforded in comparison to the absolute beachfront villas (these villas are situated quite close to the area on the beach where all of the deckchairs and kayaks were located). The villa was immaculate and decorated with lots of warm timber. Our bathroom had an enormous shower area and an outdoor shower so that we could wash off the sand before entering our little haven. Each day, the villa was made up so beautifully that upon entering, it felt like we had just arrived all over again (right down to the little bow tied on the toilet paper roll). The staff are what makes the place; Cecilia, Tere, Lovey...everyone was so friendly and welcoming, greeting us by name every morning when we came down to our poolside breakfast and asking us what we had planned for the day. No-one was ever intrusive, and nothing was too much trouble.

One of the things we particularly loved about Etu Moana was the fact that so few guests could stay there at any one time. During our first few days there, we got to know the other guests and we all enjoyed a few afternoons having spontaneous cocktail parties around the poolside, making great use of the fabulous honesty bar provided by the resort (at extremely reasonable prices!). Even though we were on our honeymoon, we really did value the fact that we were able to socialise with some of the other guests, and also have our privacy whenever we wanted. Aitutaki (and Etu Moana itself) is really, really private, particularly when compared to Rarotonga, which is a far livelier destination. Probably the most memorable experience of our trip was doing an island tour in the 'Yellow Boat' - it was just wonderful. Attending the local church service at the Cook Islands Christian Church was also a great experience, and the singing was just so beautiful. We were made to feel very welcome, and many visitors attend the church service every Sunday, so do not feel nervous about going.

One warning though, there isn't much in the way of grocery shopping on the island so be prepared to eat out a lot. There isn't a huge choice in restaurants on the island, but we had excellent meals wherever we ate, and would highly recommend Puffys as a cheap and cheerful eatery that had very good quality fish, chips and salad when we didn't want to venture too far from home.

When it came time for us to leave, I really and truly had a tear in my eye to be departing from our new island home. Incredible!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MtheTeaLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2011

We are so glad that we picked Etu Moana as our honeymoon destination. We are happy to find out that my husband and I are actually the first Chinese couple staying in Etu Moana. Everything has just been great. All the staffs are very friendly and happy to assist with any enquiries. The lagoon in front of the resort is just beautiful. The garden and swimming pool are just as lovely as the pictures. We are so happy that we stayed at Etu Moana and we will definitely come back again.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jessica Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
eurekacalifornia
Level Contributor
43 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2011

If we could move to Etu Moana we would. We have just returned from our 4th visit and it is just as great as always. So we just went ahead and booked for next year for an even longer stay.The managers Steve and Amanda are warm and welcoming. The staff treat you as family. We just plain LOVE this place. Try to go for your honeymoon, anniversary, birthday or just to watch the sun go from one side of the sky to the other and then the moonrise and star counting. Maybe a bit of snorkeling, kayaking or swimming. Perhaps Puffy's Island night or dinner at Tupunas. It's a lovely spot in the Cook Islands..Go and you won't regret it.

Room Tip: All Villas have nice views of the lagoon and gardens. Absolute beachfront is our choice.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank philandcandi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 October 2011

It was trip advisor that pointed us to Etu Moana, so I must add my part to urge you to plan ahead and book your stay at Etu Moana in Aitutaki! It appears to be a fairly popular place with lots of return stayers, so I am glad we planned our trip early!

Etu Moana was fantastic from all regards. The staff and service were fantastic, nothing was an effort for them, and their knowledge of the island makes it very easy to plan your days.

The villas are all beautiful, nothing to be changed about them, they're just as the pictures show. The gardens are lush, and I'm sure that they'll only be more beautiful as the palm trees grow taller and taller. Breakfast is served with a smile and the fact that lunch or dinner isn't served is not at all an issue as there are lovely cafes and restaurants within a short walk along the beach, or scooter ride around the island.

The sculpted trees on the beach provide wonderful shade to sit on the beach chairs and read. I have very fair skin, so these trees were just perfect, I'm a lifelong 'shade-baker'! There is fantastic snorkelling off the beach from Etu Moana, too easy. A wander along the beach at night with a torch will find many crabs!

There are guest books in each villa where previous travellers provide their experiences and recommendations - what a fantastic asset. It meant that we could stay away from the internet for our entire stay, a nice way to go.

We would love to be able to return one day for another holiday, and would definitely stay at Etu Moana again.

Room Tip: Any, only difference in the villas is the amount of lagoon you can see from your bed. We stayed in N...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Brooke11235
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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