My fiancée and I travelled to Aitutaki for 5 nights in February 2012. Overall, we absolutely loved the island. This accommodation was quite nice and the location was excellent as well. There were a few advertised things that we did not receive, but it did not detract too much from the overall holiday. We went to Rarotonga afterwards for 4 nights and found it to be only about half as nice as the island of Aitutaki!
So the Seaside Lodges are a group of 3 lodges probably built 10-20 years ago. We loved the raised ceilings, humongous sandy front yard, coconut trees within reach if you want to try your hand at acquiring your own juice, AIR CONDITIONING!!, hermit crabs, warm water, using the scooter everywhere, the sunny weather, etc etc etc.
Some of the things that were advertised that we did not receive: There were no free snorkels or fins, the beach chairs and hammocks were somewhat usable but essentially broken, laundry was available supposedly but we barely saw our hostess so not sure how it would have been done at her place, no paddles for the sea kayak. The water is very nice and beautiful, but you can't really swim in it unless you don't mind the sea cucumbers / slugs under each footstep.
Also, our rate included a free lagoon cruise to be booked during our stay ($200NZ/night for 5 nights). Despite us asking for the free cruise to be booked on multiple occasions to our hostess and trying again when she forgot the first time, we were left with having to book it and pay for it ourselves due to her unreliability. Since we have returned home, all subsequent emails have been ignored by Aitutaki Seaside Lodges asking about this situation....so a bit on the unprofessional side on that front. Due to this all happening, we decided to walk to the airport on the morning of our flight to Aitutaki instead of relying on the transport to the airport we were promised as a result of the previous unreliability.
Anyway, the lagoon cruise turned out to be completely awesome - highly recommend. The Island nights were very disappointing and we wouldn't recommend them. Extremely touristy!
It is worth it to hire a scooter for the duration of your stay, however ours broken down on the final evening and we had to walk it home. Other favourite things to do around the island - hire a kayak and go around to the motu of Ee - very secluded nice beach, spotted a huge crab there (not a coconut crab). It was great to scooter around to all parts of the island on back roads and to see the real Cook Islands, rather than touristy Rarotonga.
In terms of businesses on the island, we really enjoyed Vaka Bar, if we have it spelled correctly. It is near to the Seaside Lodges and has a great dinner overlooking the beach. Don't bother with reservations - we walked up and got the best dinner table to watch the sunset, and later overheard some French bloke with his family whining about he reserved a table overlooking the beach but they apparently forgot about his reservation - whoops!
There seemed to be a few restaurants that were closed for the season, but the best were the BoatHouse - great atmosphere and beers and a live coconut crab inside a tank. Samade's on the beach is nice, just don't go in the morning as a) it smells like sewage out front for some reason and b) we were charged $15 for an atrocious all you can eat breakfast and the couple next to us were charged $10, basically just go for the view if you go to Samade's and not much else.
In terms of food, just put everything in the refrigerator and your trash outside, otherwise you will get a lot of ants inside of the lodges like we did on day #2. For grocery shopping we do not recommend anything on the western side of the island as the selection is poor and way overpriced. Instead, it's best to shop where the locals shop at another store on the eastern side of the island right around the middle in terms of north-south.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- AITUTAKI SEASIDE: Aitutaki Seaside is an accommodation made up of three absolute beachfront bungalows situated in a private setting on the north western side of Aitutaki. They are self catering, self servicing bungalows that are equipped with all of the essentials required to cater for your stay. As all three bungalows are ABSOLUTE BEACHFRONT they have excellent views to the lagoon straight from your veranda and being situated on the western side of the Island they all look out to the sunset side of the Island. From your bungalow walk on the white sandy beach and within seconds dip your toes in the stunning Turquoise lagoon. You will be greeted at the Airport and the managers will meet you at Aitutaki Seaside Lodges to welcome you and provide a brief orientation. Return airport transfers can be arranged. Please note a surcharge may apply. please contact us to request airport transfers. Each Bungalow has a simple open plan design with kitchenette and en-suite. They are fully insect screened and have air conditioning. There is a phone available to all guests in the guest laundry which will allow for making local calls to assist in booking restaurants, lagoon tours, rental vehicles and also to contact the managers if required. BBQ facilities are available for guests use. There is a wifi hotspot available from your room. Please note surcharges apply. Aitutaki Seaside provides good value and we are sue they will cater well to your stay in Aitutaki. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aitutaki Seaside Hotel Aitutaki
- Aitutaki Seaside South Pacific - Cook Islands