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“Perfection in paradise”
Review of Etu Moana

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Etu Moana
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
aberdeen
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Perfection in paradise”
Reviewed 7 February 2007

It's all been said! We have been back three weeks and are having Etu Moana withdrawal syptoms and are planning how to get back asap!

We were lucky to get villa 1 which is righ on the beach. The view from the balcony was stunning and every evening we could hear the waves washing up on shore.

The hosts were fantastic and the quality of the villas is fantastic. From the coconut and flowers you receive when you arrive, to your own welcome cd, evrything is just right.

We missed breakfast after sleeping in. We then had breakfast delivered to us without even asking. They make you feel very special and nothing is a problem.

Get a scooter! It's great fun exploring the island and go on captain fantastic's cruise of the lagoon.

Would endorse all the positive reviews. It is not often you find somewhere like this. We are hooked!

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Leaving
  • Stayed January 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank daz03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Powell, Ohio
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2007

Beautiful, quiet, romantic, scenic, relaxing, comfortable, the list goes on and on to describe this truly island paradise. If you do encounter any problems Jim and Jo-Anne will make the extra effort to make sure they are resolved ASAP! The breakfasts with fresh seasonal fruit (many from right on their property!) were a great way to start the day.

They even have an internet connection, and the Honesty Bar at the pool is so very convenient for a cold beer, glass of wine, soda or whatever appeals to you. The snorkeling is great right off the beach with water so clear that I would often walk down to the beach to watch the fish before breakfast. If you like beautiful sunsets, I think we saw (and I took more photos of) more spectacular sunsets than anyplace else we have ever stayed! All in all a perfect place to get away at ANY age!

Stayed January 2006
Helpful?
7 Thank Home_Again341
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC area
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2007

We stayed in two places, visited quite a few, and spoke to others. In our opinion, this is the best place to stay in Aitutaki. We moved to Pacific Resort later in our stay, as pre-planned, thinking we'd be taking a step up. Ug. That was painful. We tried hard to go back, but Pacific wouldn't refund any money, and it was too much to throw away. If we went again, we'd certainly return to Etu w/o even contemplating for a second another option. Jim, Jo-Anne and Lovey, as well as the other folks there, were WONDERFUL. Our travel agent asked us to send her any notes on our honeymoon hotels, and the following is from what we sent her: "3. Etu Moana: In our opinion this is the single best place to stay in Aitu, by a long shot. If for some reason, people must have the restaurant/room service/etc. of a full-service hotel, then Pacific is better, but if you can make do with the fresh and tasty continental BF, your kitchen, and going out to eat, along with the well-priced honesty bar for drinks on property, then there is no better choice. The people there are wonderful. All the cabins are beautiful, and not getting the beach front is not a big deal. There are still wonderful views over the property. The property, by the way, is amazing. They have planted so much beautiful stuff since the pix on their site... it's much nicer than we even expected. Their free snorkling gear, reef shoes, kayaks, and bikes mean that you can do all the main stuff you want to do w/o having to think hard. The cabins are, in our opinion, better than Pacific's. They're slightly more tasteful, and the shower's bigger (in addition to having 2 showers - one inside, one outside), but most importantly, they're more intelligently designed. The one we stayed in at Pacific had no windows on 2 sides, so no through-draft was possible. At Etu, you had ventilation on all 4 walls. The lighting/dimmers/etc. are nicer, as are the porches, outdoor couches, etc. at Etu. And the feeling of being in a place where you know the people working there and they know you, is dramatically better than at Pacific. Plus, it's cheaper... you can eat at Pacific every night and still save money. Etu's pool area is very inviting too." Point is, we love it... everything about it. If we could live there forever we would. It's the best property on the island, and it's got the warmest, friendliest vibe around. Enjoy! We're jealous.

  • Liked — There is nothing NOT to like. It's amazing.
  • Disliked — Leaving. Leaving was painful. If possible, avoid leaving.
  • Stayed December 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
13 Thank ContinentCrosser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2007

We intended to cap our month-long holiday in New Zealand with four days at Etu Moana, but once we arrived, we knew we had to extend our stay! (And, for the record, we did.) We couldn't believe our eyes from the minute we were greeted with kisses and fresh coconuts and saw beautifully landscaped gardens, a pool, luxurious private villas with beds and large decks facing the turqoise lagoon and coral reefs, white sands, and comfy lounge chairs. Our hosts, Jim and Jo-Anne, were welcoming, kind, and warm, and their staff (Lovey, Teresa, et al.) were equally helpful and sweet, arranging everything from our rescheduled flights to dinner and snorkeling reservations (though some of the best snorkeling by far was right there, just steps away). Continental breakfasts by the pool feature fresh seasonal fruits (we had passionfruit and mangoes), and snorkeling gear is available as are bicycles, motorbikes, and kayaks. An "honesty" bar allows guests to get drinks at their leisure, and each villa contains a small kitchenette -- perfect for lunch or dinner in while watching the splendid sunsets. It's obvious how much Jim and Jo-Anne care about Etu Moana (Maori and named for the enormous blue starfish in the lagoon) and about their guests. It may sound cliched to rave about a place as if it's paradise, but this place was truly fantastic. We weren't on our honeymoon, but other guests were and we felt as if we were. Etu Moana is intimate and elegant, yet relaxed and peaceful. The best the island has to offer. Mark & Pamela, Cambridge, Mass.

  • Stayed January 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank Cambridge2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, MD
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2007

We stayed at Etu Moana for 7 nights for our honeymoon right after Christmas. It was the second place we stayed at on the island of Aitutaki for our 2 week stay, and BY FAR the most incredible. Joann, Jim, and the staff are the friendliest, most helpful people we encountered in our total 2 week stay in the Cook Islands. The Bungalows are beautiful, the entire grounds are exqusite, and the setting is private, romantic, and VERY hard to leave!

After having a sub-par experience at another resort on Aitutaki, coming to Etu Moana was the best thing we could have done. I don't know that in all of our travels we have seen a place run better, kept up better, or been more comfortable. It was like staying at a friends house!

If you are thinking of going to the Cook Islands, we urge you to stay at Etu Moana, you will NOT be disappointed. Take it from the many past guests that have taken the time to write. Also we have the following recommendations:

Samade's on the Beach for lunch and relaxing (dinner is good there as well)
Cafe Tupuna for dinner
Te Vaka aslo has great food
The Island nights at Samade's are great , really reasonable prices and fun show
The Pacific resort has a good restaurant, pricey but good food
Bishop Crusies trip to Honeymoon and One Foot Islands - take the small 10 person boat (and bring lots of sunscreen)
The Discover Aitutaki Safari tour was great and we learned a lot about the history of the island


One last thing, if you are thinking of staying in Rarotonga, reconsider. Aitutaki is a much better experience as far as relaxation and the overall environment. Rarotonga is more crowded and has less of a warm feel.

Enjoy your trip!!!

  • Liked — The staff and management were incredible and the bungalows were BEAUTIFUL!
  • Disliked — We truely loved everything!
  • Tips/Secrets — Strongly recommend staying here over the other options on the island!
  • Stayed December 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank mboyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bellingham, Wash.
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2007

In our third and longest visit to Aitutaki, we stayed for the first time at the Etu Moana. We couldn't have made a better choice. The owners, Jim and Jo-Anne have built this exquisite boutique resort with much thought involved in planning. And along with the rich amenities, they have put together a staff of people who truly made us feel more like "family," than short term tourists. Early in our trip, I managed to crack myself up in a motor scooter wreck. We still had over two weeks to go in our trip. By the time, I got bandaged up at the hospital, I looked like a mummy! Certainly, this situation might have ruined many a couple's trip plans. But not for us. The Etu Moana staff wrapped their arms around us with real love and generosity. Many others on Aitutaki took the same approach with us. We were in awe of the compassion of so many. We have made many friends from this trip. Our goal now is to plan a fourth Aitutaki trip within the next two years. And it will be back to the Etu Moana. Afterall, we want to keep in touch with our family there.:)
Kia Orana,
T & T Hunt
Bellingham, Wash.(USA)

  • Liked — Staff..21st.century amenities in early 20th.century type island lifestyle.
  • Disliked — Hmmmm..I can't think of one.
  • Tips/Secrets — Bring mosquito spray & high s.p.f.sun tan lotion. Can be quite hot and humid. But the villas have wonderful a/c..ahhhh
  • Stayed December 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank TJBellingham,Wash.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shelby Township, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2006

We stayed 8 days/7nights in absolute beachfront villa 3 at Etu Moana. They supply breakfast every morning with choices like granola cereal, juice, coffee, breads, and fresh fruit. The honesty bar at the pool has sodas, beers, water, and various liquors. It might be a good idea to bring your own drink mixers w/ you, which we had not thought of at the time.

The villas have a super full service kitchen. This includes a fridge and stove w/ all cooking utensils you could want, even a George Forman grill. We went to the local store in town and bought many boxed noodles and rices and had those for lunch. We also were able to find fresh cheese at the store and had cheese and crackers.

There are only 2 tv channels, but there is a dvd player and they have free dvd "rentals" that you can bring back to your room. Which was really helpful for us as it rained a full half the time we were there, and there's not a lot to do outside in the rain. The king sized bed was comfortable and the service very good. We also had our own geckos living on our ceiling which was pretty funny, as well as about 14 of them on the porch that came out every night.

From this property you really need to rent a scooter, which we did, or use the free pedal bikes. I'd recommend the scooter as you can go slow. I rode on the back, my husband drove, I have zero scooter experience and we went ALL OVER the entire island on it, even to the top of the mntn. to see the WWII gun turrets, and we had no problems at all on them. The desk is also very good about making you reservations for dinner or any of the tours, we HIGHLY recommend the Kia Orana all day cruise. Super great value, once in a lifetime trip!

We did a lot of snorkeling at Etu Moana. Yes, there are sea cucumbers all over the ocean floor here and you definitely need sea shoes. We got by w/out stepping on a single sea cucumber so that is possible. We saw tons of fish, also some very large puffers and some blemies, many crabs, starfish, etc. Another fun activity was we took the kayaks out, I'd never kayaked before either, all the way to the breakers and rode the large waves coming in. And I should mention that 90% of the time we were the ONLY people on this beach, snorkeling or kayaking, it was fantastic!

The owners are very nice, they have 3 rescue cats as of now who live there too. Jo Anne also takes care of the many, many strays on the islands b/c, as to my understanding, there is no vet on Aitutaki. Also dogs are not allowed on the island. But there sure are a lot of pigs, goats, chickens and roosters, as well as tons of cats. All in all this property was beautiful and very well kept.

  • Liked — Beachfront, hardly any other people, quiet, honesty bar, free breakfast, clean, geckos!
  • Disliked — Price a little steep for us
  • Tips/Secrets — Bring drink mixers & dvd's, rent a scooter, brings some warm clothes you don't think you'll need but will, SPF 100+ sunblock, lots of bug spray, comfortable shoes!
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
15 Thank asylum23
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 Luxury Hotel in Aitutaki
#1 On the Beach 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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