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“Samade on the Beach”
Review of Aitutaki Village

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Aitutaki Village
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in Aitutaki
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Samade on the Beach”
Reviewed 28 January 2014

Lovely hosts and fantastic food. Sweet bungalows all beside the world's best Lagoon.Heaven on Earth.
This is Polynesian Hospitality at its best and the food was much better than expected. We felt so very warmly welcomed and enjoyed loved our stay.

Room Tip: Small place so I imagine that all the rooms are pretty quiet and private-
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank AnniMoana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2014

We have just returned from Aitutaki and had the most wonderful time.
We were met by Elaine at the airport for the five minute drive to the resort. Don't be put off that this resort is so close to the airport.
The accommodation is not the best and is somewhat tired and dated but what it lacks in luxury is more than made up by the location and the staff.
The resort is under new management and at the time we stayed a new floor was being put down in the bar and Thomas, the owner, was very apologetic that we had to have our meals out on the beach under the palm trees for one day. Oh dear what a shame!!! Absolutely not, people pay a fortune to do this and we did suggest that he continue to do so but he was not convinced!
The breakfast of beautiful fresh fruit, pancakes and toast was more than adequate.
The menu did not have much choice but what we had was delicious though if you stayed for more than three nights you would be bored with it.
The bbq night was a disappointment as it was not a bbq and all cooked in the kitchen but still good just not what we expected for a bbq and there was no entertainment.
The location is really beautiful and we thought the best on the island. The lagoon is calm and lovely to swim in with lots of fish to be seen.
We did the lagoon cruise with Bishops and I could not speak highly enough of this wonderful day, one of the best days of my life. I thought the Great Barrier Reef was good but this was so much better, Warm, calm water, so many fish, huge calms, turtles and feeding the huge trevally - George with the big lips.
As it was Christmas holiday time all the cars were rented out to locals and so our only option if we wanted to see the island was a moped hired from the Boat Shed down the road. My husband has not been on a motorbike for more than 40 years and after a wobbly start we really enjoyed our day and saw all the island. I would suggest booking a car before you get there if you go at peak times.
A really wonderful stay with some of the friendliest people I have ever met.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Norma T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gold Coast, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2013

My partner and I recently took our first trip to the Cook Islands before his Australian visa expired as he had seen Aitutaki on a Swedish(go figure) travel show when he was younger and it had been a dream of his ever since to visit this island.
We looked at a range of accommodation for Aitutaki and ended up choosing Samade on the Beach as it was much more affordable then most on the island and had apparently a great location and to say the least we were not disappointed!!
The huts we stayed in were clean, spacious, the location was infact absoulutly beautiful - waking up every morning to that view of the lagoon was magnificent, Thomas and his staff were so friendly and helpful and went right out of they're way for any requests! When I arrived I asked one of the ladies if they did any cocktails in coconuts as I had been looking all over Rarotonga for one, (typical tourist in the South Pacific) he replied they don't, but she said leave it with her, she'll arrange it and get one made just for me. Small things like this really make a great difference with service and it was excellent to see the staff at Samade go out of their way for you.
The buffet breakfast was great every morning, do not miss out on the passion fruit pancakes, they were so delicious!
We also took the Bishops lagoon cruise that Samade organised for us, which was perhaps the best day we had on the island. The staff were halerious, friendly and great entertainment. Took us to some amazing snorkel sites (which I actually preferred to the Great Barrier Reef which I did earlier this year) and got to swim with the Giant Trevelli Fish! (100% must do!!!! Amazing experience) Lunch on One Foot Island was hearty, plentiful and delicious.
Overall I 100% recommend Samade on the Beach and was overjoyed by our random choice of accommodation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Thomas and all his staff for making our experience one of the best international travel trips I have taken so far, I hope to return someday!

  • Stayed December 2013
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Helpful?
2 Thank jasminekenyon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gunnedah, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2013 via mobile

It had been 12 long years since I had been home and this time I took my husband. Instantly I knew that he had to witness the beauty of our island from the best spot possible, and Samade was it! The rooms are very clean, comfortable, with air conditioning, kitchenette, hot water and King size bedding.
The staff are second to none, they really do make you feel like you have come home. We stayed here for two weeks, which wasn't long enough in our view. The location has and always will be amazing! It is the best swimming beach on the island, with snorkelling spots all within an easy distance, you can either walk along the sandbars around to the marine reserve at Akitua, or hire a scooter and head for the end of the runway which has awesome snorkelling.
They are currently renovating, but it in no way interrupts your holiday, it is a necessity that the new owners are undertaking to make this place even more special and when it is done you will value this place even more.
So to Thomas, Teina and all the staff, you know who you are, from my husband and I, we wish you all the very best and thank you for making our holiday and my husbands first visit home an amazing one.
Kia Orana e Kia Manuia

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Moe T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
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.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank miskairal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
Thank Emma F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nikao, Cook Islands
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank James W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aitutaki Village

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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