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“We'll be back”
Review of Aitutaki Village

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Aitutaki Village
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 December 2013

Aitutaki is one of those places you never want to leave, made all the better by Samade's location and staff. You start the trip to Aitutaki with a 50 minute flight culminating in flying right over the lagoon giving you a view of what is to come, the thing you have been dreaming of. Met at the airport by a smiling Elaine who instantly makes you feel comfortable and at home. We spent 8 nights there in late October. The rooms are clean, there are new towels including beach towels for use and the Kayaks (single and doubles) were also new. Spectacular view of the most beautiful lagoon from the bar/restaurant area which is a short distance from the rooms. Rooms are very clean, air con works well, plenty of hot water and good mosquito screens, serviced daily except Sundays. Coffee and tea making facilities with bar fridge in the room. Staff are very helpful, friendly and always smiling. We were lucky enough to get in 2 of the feast nights held on Tuesdays plus a bar-b-q on Sunday. No dogs on Aitutaki which instantly cut the noise levels of Raro by half. Lots of chooks.

We chose to walk up to the nearby bike hire but Samade would have organised it for us.You will need to hire a scooter or a car to get around as there is no public transport and cycling looked hard work in the wind along the airport straight. There is no real snorkeling at Samade, just beautiful, clear water and beach however there is a good snorkeling spot with beach a short ride away at the end of the airport straight. This is totally enclosed by reef, safe and always has plenty of depth of water. Not a great variety of fish or coral and lots of sea cucumbers. The water was always warm.

We organised tours through Samade, the cultural tour which was very interesting and included a fantastic tasting lunch of only local foods. We also did the Bishop's lagoon cruise which was a fun and friendly day although the day we picked turned out very windy so snorkeling was limited. The lunch on One Foot Island was fantastic, alcohol was available, beach towels provided and the "Captains" so entertaining. Because of the less than perfect weather there weren't so many people but this just made it better, we made some wonderful friends.

We hope to get back to Aitutaki and Samade. I was nervous that we'd be bored with 8 nights there but by the end felt sorry for those who chose to spend more time in Raro.

Room Tip: The odd numbered rooms cop the afternoon sun on their verandah/deck. Go for an even numbered room.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank miskairal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 December 2013

This was my second trip to Samade, and once again they did not disappoint. This time I visited with my partner and my parents, who had never travelled to the Cook Islands before. All I can say is what an amazing holiday. Thomas and his team were friendly and professional and we left feeling apart of the Samade family. The location of Samade is the best in Aitutaki, and Samade provides all the equipment and activities to help you enjoy the lagoon including SUPs, Kayaks, snorkels and lagoon cruises.

Samade has an amazing beach bar and restaurant over looking the lagoon, with great food and drinks, however it was the service of the bar and wait staff that really helped to make all our dinning and drinking experiences memorable.

The rooms are clean, tidy and comfortable and are presented beautifully on arrival with hibiscus flowers, cool air-conditioning and amazingly folded towels in the shapes of flowers on the bed! Each guest has a friendly pick up from the airport followed by a chilled tropical juice on arrival over looking the lagoon.

While we were there Samade was undergoing some renovations, however we did not notice these at all, and are looking forward to going back again and seeing the changes. Although to me, Samade is perfect as it is!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Emma F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2013

My partner and I have been to Aitutaki many times and Samade is now our favourite place to stay. Thomas and his team went above and beyond to make our stay a truly relaxing one. By the time we left, we felt part of the family and will coming back to this little slice of paradise.

Samade doesn't have the big pool and fancy bars of the other resorts, but with the lagoon right there, you wont notice. Thomas had just begun rennovations to the main eating area (which was in need of some serious TLC) and a recent day trip out to Aitutaki confirms that things are progressing really well. In terms of location, you can't go any better on Aitutaki in my view. The sheltered part of the massive lagoon is right in-front of you, and the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort is just across the sandbar if you are looking for a day spa (although we spent almost all of our time just lounging by the lagoon).

The real benefit of staying at Samade though is the service. I've stayed in a lot of places around the world, and the quality of service at Samade is second to none. Thomas has a lot of local knowledge and even helped me organise the first ever 'lagoon boat private dinner and proposal' done by Samade at the short notice when I proposed to my now-fiancee. We got a boat to take the two of us out onto the lagoon to have a four course meal, and as the sun set over the beautiful lagoon, I proposed and she said yes. Thomas even managed to fly in her favourite wine and a bottle of champagne for the occasion to surprise her.

We will definitely be coming back and tell all our friends to stay here, we really can't praise Thomas and his team enough. Meitaki maata!

James

Room Tip: The rooms are all similar. Compact, tidy, and with all the conveniences you might need (jug, fridge...
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank James W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2013

I have tried to write this review about half a dozen times but each time I find myself stumped trying to describe just what Samade is like. I suggest you look through the photos others have posted to get an idea of the beauty of the setting but how to describe the atmosphere? Pretty close to heaven I would suggest.
What we loved most is the feeling that Thomas and staff convey that you are more than guests - you are friends. Most days we didn't venture far from the waters edge - it is so beautiful it is hard to drag yourself away. We loved the fruit platters for breakfast and Island Night was a special memory.
At the moment, with new owners, Samade is getting a bit of a spruce up. We were delighted to hear from Thomas that they are committed to retaining the casual atmosphere - we will return!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Marjanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2013

We have just returned home from our trip to Raratonga/Aitutaki, having spent three beautiful nights at Samade I have to commend Thomas and his team for giving us one of the most memorable holiday experiences we have ever had the pleasure of enjoying.
A friendly greeting at the airport, soon after followed by a greeting by the Owner and introduction to any other staff that were nearby had us feeling right at home from the start.
The quality of the food surprised us, we weren't expecting such awesome meals, I loved the Ikamata, definitely the best I had on our trip (and I tried quite a few)
We were lucky enough to enjoy an Island night while we were here, an experience not to be missed, even though my dancing left a lot to be desired, lol.
I honestly can't say enough positives about the experience and hospitality we enjoyed for our short stay in your slice of Paradise.
It is obvious that everyone enjoys coming to work at Samade, as the staff were always so friendly and helpful, always happy for a chat and willing to showcase their people, culture and Island paradise to us foreigners.
In summary, the whole team at Samade proved to us you don't need the best facilities to have the best holiday experience, your staff more than make up for any lacking facilities.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Nigel A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2013

Samade on the Beach was so nice! Amazing views and everyone was really helpful. It was also great that there was free use of paddleboards and kayaks. A minor downside was a lack of options for doing laundry.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Carly F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2013

Elaine, Thomas & the crew were just great in finding & organising a party of 14 kids & adults for my 50th. Location is just stunning & kicking off each day with breakfast almost in the lagoon was fantastic. Accommodation great, dinners superb & they couldnt be more helpful with sorting out rentals, trips & anything else we asked for. Will be back for sure.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank 333Steve333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aitutaki Village

Address: Ootu Beach | PO Box 75, Cook Islands (Formerly Samade on the Beach)
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Aitutaki
Price Range: £166 - £235 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Aitutaki Village 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aitutaki Village is a small boutique resort on Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. Situated on the white sandy beach of Ootu (meaning full moon) on the south western point of the island. The property provides a quiet and relaxing environment on the edge of the protected Aitutaki lagoon, ideal for swimming and water activities at all tides.The Polynesian inspired restaurant and bar has stunning views and is located on the lagoons edge. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is available everyday, we also offer special dinner evenings, lagoon cruises, private island excursions, rental vehicles, kayaks and island tours. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Samade On The Beach Hotel Aitutaki
Aitutaki Village South Pacific - Cook Islands

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