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Reviewed 30 September 2010

We loved Etu Moana, there are already some great reviews about the hotel, so I won't repeat ad nauseum! Everything they say is true, it's so beautiful and well run.

We stayed in Villa 1 in July for a week - so this review is a bit overdue, but we had the best time! The view waking up every morning to the lagoon was so relaxing and reminded us every morning that we were in paradise. My husband and I made good use of the kayaks, bicycles and scooter rental that was organised by the Hotel. We brought our own snorkels and we were glad we did - the hotel ones seemed a bit old/leaky from what we saw.

Definitely Recommend:
**Teking's Lagoon Tour - the highlight of our trip
**Island Night, we went to the place just down the beach (about 400m) and it was great
**David's Coconut show - it is truly amazing, and I'm not just talking about the free cocktail ;)
**Rent a scooter and explore the island. We scootered right up to the highest point, there's a generator there powering the island (a bit noisy) but it was fun to scooter the dirt tracks and climb the last leg up the hill to see the whole lagoon stretched out below you.
**Just walk the beach
**Snorkel, snorkel, snorkel
**Ask Jim and Joanne questions - they really know the area
**Try out the cocktails - best prices on the island!

Just so you know:
**There are a lot of sea cucumbers in the lagoon outside the hotel, we didn't mind but some other guests found them gross
**Mosquitos: we used the local mix - 1/2 baby oil and 1/2 dettol. Not the best smelling, but we didn't get one bite. Also, light your mosquito coils at night and you should be fine.
**On our 2nd last day we accidentally found out I was allergic to Paw Paw - we took a trip to the hospital to visit the doctor. The hospital was undergoing renovations and service was a bit slow, but it was a good experience and I got great treatment.
**Don't swim with jewelery/rings on. It sounds like common sense, but we wish someone had told us before hand!

Lastly:
Jim, Joanne and all the staff were the perfect hosts. We woke up late on our first morning there (jet lag!) and missed the breakfast time. We were a bit bummed but got ready and walked out to find a tray with all the breakfast gear on our verandah table. When my snorkel clip broke just before our lagoon tour, Jim gave me one of his. All the little things made a huge difference.

We're so glad we chose Etu Moana over the other hotels on the island, it really is a hidden gem, it has everything that all the other resorts offer (beside a restaurant) for a much better price and personalised experience.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Z-CGageler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2010

Aitutaki had been a long time dream destination for me so when my husband and I decided to go there for our 3rd wedding anniversary we chose Etu Moana and from the moment we stepped onto the lush tropical pathway to our villa I knew we weren't going to be dissapointed and we weren't the view took my breath away......I had arrived!!!

Etu Moana only has 8 villas and for us is what made it so special, you get that personal touch and thanks to Jeff, Janine and the gorgeous girls they have there we felt like we'd come to stay with very good friends.

We will be back!!
Jodie & Christian

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank JodieM159
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2010

We loved staying at Etu Moana. The welcome was second to none and made us feel very special. The staff were warm and friendly and Janine and Jeff made sure everything was perfect for us. The honesty bar was much appreciated with drinks sold at a very fair price. The breakfast was delicious and served at the pool area surrounded by beautiful gardens. The villa was immaculate and a restful place to be at the end of the day.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank waiheke10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2010

We stayed at Etu Moana for 12 nights in villa 5. I am still jet-lagged from the journey home, but would jump back on the plane right now to be back there.

The property is simply beautiful, with superbly kept grounds boasting an array of colourful flowers and foliage. The villas are fantastic, well equipped, well laid out, and well spaced out, with great views over the garden and lagoon.

The level of service we received was unparralelled. Jeff and Janine were amazing hosts, as well were the entire team at Etu Moana. They all made us feel so welcome and at home. We wrote in our guest book something like "never been so far from home, never felt so much at home", and I can whole-heartedly echo that sentiment here in this review. All the staff were so frieldly and willing to go the extra mile for their guests; for example, Jeff & Janine went to fetch a local remedy for mozzie bites for my wife who was suffering from allergic inflamations from some of the bites she had. They will also organise any excursions, restaurant bookings or transport that you want, as well as offer informed advice about activities on the island.

The pool and bar form a great central area to the villas. Breakfast is served here, and is of continental style. I've always been a bacon & sausage man myself, but found the breakfast at Etu Moana to be just right, and of very decent quality and always served with a smile.
The bar is self-serve and relies on an honesty system, which was great as you can help yourself to 6 beers and just tick off 2 in your book..... just kidding Jeff!
The pool area also plays host to David's cocunut show on wednesday afternoons. David is a great bloke and part time grounds keeper at Etu Moana. His cocunut show is a must-see; very interesting, informative and entertaining. David is also a talented local artist, whose paintings and carvings adorn the villas and public areas.

Having had a nose at some of the other premuim accomodations on offer on Aitutaki, we would say that the setting and villas at Etu Moana look way more impressive and attractive than those of their higher priced competitors.

So to summarise, Etu Moana is the best place we have ever stayed, helped us fall completely in love with Aitutaki, and was the icing on the cake that was the most perfect honeymoon we could have ever hoped for.

Huge thanks to all the team at Etu Moana for such a memorable time.
Until next time, Ka Kite!

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank GenericScreenName79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2010

Stayed here for four nights in Sept. First night was in a beachfront Villa #1, which was really beautiful and felt very special, then moved to Villa 7, still had a view from the deck but it was next to the "laundry" villa, so did get a lil bit of noise. I think I would try to get a beachfront villa the whole time next time! But we booked at quite late notice so were happy to get four nights there.
The gardens are really nice, the pool is great and really like the thought that had gone into the planning of the villas such as the outside shower, the outdoor daybed, and the layout of the villas which ensured privacy for all villas. Kitchens had good utensils, we did most our cooking in the villa. We also liked the DVD library and the reasonably priced honesty bar. Scooter hire on site and free bikes are good, as is the location, in walking distance to Puffys and Tauonos (both which were not open the day we we went looking for lunch), and Tamanu Beach.
Good value compared with other places on the island. We moved to a studio room (with kitchen) at Tamanu Beach for 3 nights following our stay here and found it not nearly as nice or private.
Snorkelling outside resort was ok, beach is nice but not real sand, and as it is a lagoon it is shallow. Snorkelling outside Tamanu beach seemed a lot better. Ootu beach best for swimming (but not snorkelling).

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jahna_NZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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