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Reviewed 6 October 2010

Alright, so I needed to book a place for my honeymoon on Aitutaki. Price wasn't my biggest issue. I wanted a great place to stay right on the beach. So I looked into the Pacific Resort and the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort because they have the highest cost so I thought they'd be the best. After months of research, Etu Moana and their very reasonable rates was clearly not just the best value, the best overall place to stay regardless of money.

Everywhere we went on the island and ran into other travelers they asked, "Where are you staying?" We would tell them Etu Moana and they would always say, "Oh, cool. That's where we wanted to stay but they were all booked." The takeaway here is that according to the hotel, if you want a specific villa for a specific date(s), you should reserve at least 9 months in advance. This place is already super popular and will continue to get even more popular. I reserved our Villa #3 12 months in advance.

Etu Moana has a great location on the island. Right in the middle of everything (not like Aitutaki Lagoon Resort which is on a corner of the island way far away from anything). You can watch the sunsets right from your deck. Snorkeling out in front of the hotel is pretty good as well. The people that work there are the best. So friendly and so very helpful. You can rent a scooter for the day right at the front desk which is super convenient. Not having a restaurant on site was actually a good thing. We cooked in a few nights (saved some $$$) and then explored some of the island food. Having leftovers really helped for a quick and easy lunch in the Villa. And the breakfast they provide is perfect. Plenty to eat. We also liked the size of Etu Moana. Not to big and not too small. It had a very comfortable feel to it. And that's saying a lot for me because my wife and I are hotel snobs. This place is simply the best. There really isn't any reason not to stay here unless, of course, they are full. Book early and I guarantee you will be happy you did.

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