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“Best location, great service, but needs some updates”
Review of Aitutaki Seaside

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Aitutaki Seaside
Idaho
Level Contributor
86 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Best location, great service, but needs some updates”
Reviewed 17 October 2012

We stayed here for 8 nights for our honeymoon in early October 2012. The bungalows couldn't be in a better place on the island. Absolutely incredible view from the deck. There are three bungalows which are right on the beach. They are off of the road so it is nice and quiet. Roro picked us up as advertised and took us in to town for groceries. The bungalow was very nice and clean, and Roro came by occasionally to check on us and service the room. She also took us into town to pick up some bicycles to ride around on, and booked the included lagoon cruise (through TeKing) as promised. I guess some other reviewers didn't realize that the building behind the bungalows contains the laundry and masks/snorkels, but they were all there for use by the guests. We snorkeling off of the beach is decent but the best snorkeling is done by boat through a snorkel tour. Yes it is shallow, and yes there are many sea cucumbers, but the island is an atoll and that is just how the beaches are on these types of islands. After touring the island, the beaches in front of even the most expensive resorts were just the same, so don't get turned off by complaints. However, for a some deeper water, there is a public beach area just down the road (500m or so to the left if looking out towards the ocean) where they have dredged the bottom out next to shore, providing a nice deeper place to swim and snorkel.

We never had a problem with bugs inside the bungelow, but we made sure to keep all food in the fridge or sealed up, and always put trash into the outside bin immediately. There were a few mosquitoes outside, but not bad considering it is a tropical island. Roro provided us with a few mosquito coils which helped. Be sure to bring some bug spray no matter where you stay.

There are a few places to eat within walking distance, but rent some kind of transportation. The island is small enough for bicycles to be adequate (which we did) but most people would probably prefer scooters. If doing your own cooking, be sure to go to the local market downtown. They didn't have much, but we got a bag of 12 nice sized tomatoes from the garden for $3, as opposed to 4 from the grocery store for $10.

The only things we were disappointed in were the poor condition of the beach chairs and kayaks. They kayaks worked and there were paddles, but there were cracks in the seats of the two smaller kyaks. There need to be more beach chairs as well (at least 2 per bungalow). However, to us, these were small issues and did not reduce our enjoyment of the lodging or the island.

Overall, we loved this place and the owners, but a few things need upgrading or replaced.
If we ever make it back, we will definitely stay here again!

Pros: location, location, location (right on beach and centrally located on island); great air conditioning; covered deck; laundry; airport pickup and trip to grocery store; having a kitchen to do some cooking

Cons: poor condition of beach chairs and kayaks

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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78 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2012 via mobile

Seaside lodges are in a great location, set on the beach, great for sunsets. Walking distance to a number of places to eat and about mid way by vehicle between the village at one end of the island and Koru cafe and the Boat shed at the other end. Sadly the service did not match the location. Pick up from the airport never occurred for us or other guests who arrived during the same period. Fortunately the locals from Air Rarotonga and neighbours of the property helped us out. This is a good spot for families our couples who want their own more private beach area. The facilities themselves were "tired and worn" and lacked even one working BBQ between the three units. Place will benefit from a good spruce up and an owner who is motivated about the business

Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank Chris R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Prestbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

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.

Room Tip: Ask whether any of the other lodges are booked....it is really nice when you get the whole beach to...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Clyde B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford
Level Contributor
397 reviews
115 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

This is one of those places you don't want to tell anyone about but the secret is out anyway, there nothing I can say which hasn't been said already. The hosts were just magnificent as were the standard of the bungalow and location. Just a truly magical place.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank debcox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Launceston, Tasmania
Level Contributor
57 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2011

We were extremely well looked after by Roro (our host) during our stay at the lodges. We had two lodges for 6 nights which are absolute beachfront in a protected lagoon area.

Our stay included airport pickup and delivery, kayaks, snorkels, reef shoes, air-conditioned fully self contained accommodation, a trip to the grocery store, assistance with hiring a car and a very thoughtful delivery of pumpkin for my little girl from our host.

I'd recommend hiring a car or scooter so that you can get around and would definitely recommend a lagoon cruise. There's a few slugs in the ocean - so I wore reef shoes most of the time.

We'd recommend the island night at puffys, adventure lagoon cruises and walking about 500m to the left til you hit the swimming dredge in the ocean.

Extremely relaxing, lovely atmosphere and good functional accommodation.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kirsty_TAS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IL
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 26 September 2011

Our family rented the three bungalows for a beautiful week in Aitutaki. These lodges are situated in an ideal, private location on the beach. A few steps to the water led us to great snorkeling. The bungalows are just a short scooter ride into town for dinner and provisions. The bungalows had everything we needed for a comfortable stay. Screened in windows and doors were essential, and the air conditioning unit was an unexpected plus. They need a few updates, but really they were great. We did have warm water for the showers, so all was good. Roro is a gracious and lovely host. The people of Aitutaki are warm and welcoming. Eat local! Great fish burgers!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank inluvwturbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2011

What a wonderful quiet honeymoon place to stay. Privately Owned and run by a lovely family who could'nt do enough to make our stay of 6 days more pleasant. 3 Lovely chalets right on the west side for beautiful sunsets.Beach & Lagoon at your feet. Well appointed Chalets with every mod con available in Chalet. Hard to imagine that we were in the middle of nowhere. Met at airport by Roro taken to supermarket to get necessities, organised rental car/scooter, organised snorkel trip with Teking Lagoon snorkelling cruise to Honeymoon and One Foot Island for us. Told us where all the restaurants/cafe's were and lots more. What a wonderful and caring family who are now part of our family, so easy to get to know.
YOU MUST CHECK THIS PLACE OUT - While there are other places to stay, THIS IS THE REAL PEACE OF PARADISE TO STAY !! - We will be back again and again !!
Tony & Fiona Taylor ( Hamilton, NZ)

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TTaylor92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aitutaki Seaside

Property: Aitutaki Seaside
Address: Amuri | P.O. Box 79, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Aitutaki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 3
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

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