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“Amazing...”
Review of Matriki Beach Huts

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Matriki Beach Huts
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 June 2009

We stayed here for a week while we were in the Cook Islands and it was amazing! The weather unfortunatly wasn't great, but Fred and Kris made us feel welcome in their shelter (and the games of scraibble were really fun!) But when the weather was good the lagoon and beach were right outside the door and the giant clam just has to be seen!
Our room was comfortable and as its probably the only place on Aitutaki we could afford we were glad it was clean and nice to stay in!
As a backpacker you might find the whole island a bit slow, but we went there to relax and relax we did!
Would go back there in a heartbeat!! If only we weren't so far away...

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ClaireAndCharlie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 June 2009

We just returned from 3 weeks in the Cook Islands and they were more fun and beautiful than our high expectations! Here are a few recommendations that might help you out if planning a trip there:

Many flights arrive in Rarotonga around midnight or at 5am when everything is closed. The Aquarius Hostel is 100 meters walking distance from the airport terminal and is clean, on the beach, and a great place to crash while you sort out your plan, especially if waiting for a late morning flight to Atiu or Aitutaki. Air Rarotonga opens at 7am. Morning flights to outer islands tend to be booked up, so if you want to head straight from Raro to the other islands, you should book in advance.

In Raro: Aremango's Guest house next to Vara's Backpackers is a nice chill place to hang out on Muri beach. Vara's was booked up when we were there. Bikes are 5 NZD a day and are a great way to explore the island and get some exercize. It took half a day to ride around the entire island.

We spent the majority of our time on Aitutaki. The Matriki Huts www.MatrikiBeachHuts.com are the best value place to stay in my opinion. You get a beach side hut with a fan available if the breeze is low, a nice deck facing the beach, a small kitchen for self catering a fridge for drinks. There is fantastic snorkeling 50 meters out from the beach. I saw several Moreys, Giant Clams and swam for awhile with an Eagle Ray. There are Stone fish in the Lagoon here so wear reef shoes. Fred and Kristene are fantastic hosts. Unfortunately they will be going back to Canada in October but you will love hanging out with them if you get there in the next few months. Huts are super clean, environmentally friendly, and sit on one of the best stretches of beach on Aitutaki. You can easily walk to restaurants or take one of the bikes or scooters to get around the island. Fred invited all of the guests over one evening to share in a barbeque of a tuna he caught- all on the house! It feels like you are staying with friends when you stay there. I can't recommend Matriki highly enough.

Fred runs the best snorkel tour in the islands. He has a small fishing boat that can take you outside the reef where you will snorkel in the best visabilty you've ever seen and he knows where there are resident Wrasse (huge fish) , dozens of eagle rays, turtles, and the occassional reef shark. He is very knowledgable as a naturalist and has some great stories from his previous life as a stuntman in the film industry.

You can rent bikes or a scooter to explore the island and get a Cook Island's driver license for 2.50 NZD as opposed to 20 NZD in Raro and it's good for use in Raro.

Spyder's is the only internet cafe on Aitutaki and connection is really slow but the guys that work there are cool and a lot of locals show up around 6pm to drink and watch rugby on the big screen outside.

A few Photos of the brilliant Aitutaki Lagoon: http://www.michaelandersongallery.com/gallery.php?gallery=cookislands

Hope this helps!

-Mike Anderson

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank AndersonImages
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2009

I stayed at in the upper treehouse at Matriki for 4 nights at the beginning of June. The arrangement they've set up on the wonderful beachfront is simply superb - I loved every minute of my stay there! I was backpacking around Aitutaki and was fortunate enough to fill the place of a couple who had pulled out of staying at Matriki at the last minute. I also stayed at Paradise Cove (just north up the beach) and Amuri Guesthouse (towards Arutanga) - it was streets ahead in service, location, price and cleanliness.

I had an incident with cockroaches in Paradise cove; I'm very happy to say I felt very comfortable sleeping in the treehouse and didn't see any insects (apart from the odd mosquito and ant). The mosquito nets above the begs are a fantastic idea and give you peace of mind to get a good night's sleep! Unfortunately I didn't get any time to talk to Kris, but I spent quite a while talking to Fred - he's really friendly! Even once I'd moved out of Matriki, he invited me back to a BBQ in the evening along with some of the other guests. He cooked fresh tuna for us all and it was really tasty! As a solo traveller it was great to be able to catch up with others and hear their recommendations about what to do on the island.

The cooking facilities in the treehouse were basic but more than adequate. There is a small cafe just up the road that's open in the evening called Puffys which does really nice food at decent prices. The lady below me cooked her own food and she seemed to get on just fine with what was available. There is also a BBQ that i think anyone could use. The bed was large and very comfortable. If I had one gripe it would be that occasionally the water in the shower was cold. I believe they use a solar panel to heat the water and I found on a couple of occasions it definitely hadn't been sunny enough!! Still, the temperature in Aitutaki meant it was actually quite refreshing to take a cold shower! The location is fantastic - check out the attached photo of the beach right outside the huts. For snorkeling, it's one of the best spots on the island. For swimming, I found the area to the north of the island (around Ootu beach) to be a lot better but I guess you can't have everything.

The main things I liked about Matriki were:
1) The character of the huts - you can tell you're somewhere special!
2) The cleanliness, design and spaciousness of the rooms
3) The welcoming, hospitable nature of the hosts Fred + Kris
4) The location (see the photos!)
5) The very reasonable prices!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled solo
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1  Thank davidblyghton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2009

It's nice to see that budget travel in exotic locations can still be cheap, clean, friendly and exciting! I must have been doing something right because I basically fluked into Aitutaki and Matriki Beach Huts. To make a long story short, I was in a bar outside of New Plymouth NZ watching the Wellington 7's and met a great guy from the Cook's. A few weeks later I had changed my itinerary and my travels completely. On Rarotonga I was told that 2.5 weeks was too long to spend on Aitutaki ............WRONG! Rarotonga is a wonderful place, but Aitutaki is much quieter, the villages extremely charming and the people are superb. Matriki is quite basic but totally clean, well-maintained and most importantly, very friendly. The beach and lagoon are so beautiful they are off the charts, and the fish, eels, clams etc. very numerous. It's an easy 1 km swim out to the outer reef and the water is never deeper than 2-3 meters. Fred's Adventure Snorkel trips on his little ponga travelling outside the reef to snorkel the outer canyons to see the eagle rays were one of my life's greatest experiences! I've never gone deep sea fishing but when Fred and I were catching tuna while standing in the boat amongst big swells as the sun was setting and storm clouds brewing.......WOW! Then back to prepare the fish and share with other guests. Speaking of the guests, it was great to meet so many people of different nationalities and ages with the same appreciation for budget travel. I stayed in the Garden Unit, but if I had it to do again I would pay less and stay in the Beach Hut or the Treehouse with the million dollar view. The communal toilet/shower is just fine. I believe Kris and Fred's contract will be up this Sept/Oct so get to Aitutaki before they leave.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled solo
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2  Thank bestdayever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2009

We actually stayed at Innano beach for 5 days and at sunny beach for 4 days but we spent all our time at Matriki. We got to know a german family that stayed at Matriki. We went over to visit them one day and fell in love with the people, beach and the nice atmosphere at Matriki. We spent a week at this place and went on a snorkling trip and a fishing trip with Fred. He is a really great guy and it feelt like your where out with a great friend having a good day at the best places in the Aitutaki lagoon.
The hosts Fred and Kris are lovely people that really made our stay at Aitutaki into one of the best traveling experiences ever.
As for my rating of the rooms we I base that on the experience of spending a rainy day at our german friends room. although it is a little bit small it is nice and clean and a bargain if you compare with other places on Aitutaki

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank nice-sweses
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2009

My husband and I spend 5 days of our honeymoon in March at Matriki in the upper tree house which is directly on the best beach to snorkel with all the colorful corals and fishes. Although we had a lot of rain for our first 2-3 days the place is great due to Fred and Kris effort and great service! They even organized a free BBQ for their guests (and non-guests which were welcome as well) and also take their guests to snorkel trips outside the lagoon.
You can rent bikes and scooters and explore the whole island. Restaurants are not far walking. The rooms are very clean and beautiful; you really get the Robinson feeling but still have the luxury of having your private kitchen and bathroom (which were very clean).
Overall: a great stay at Matriki! Thank you Fred & Kris

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank backpackKaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2009

My partner and I stayed at Matriki Beach Huts in March '09. The property; 2 efficiency rooms in a treehouse overlooking the Aitutaki Lagoon, 1 efficiency in a separate beach hut and 1 efficiency attached to the main house (where the property owners live) was fantastic! The current property managers, Fred and Kris, are a wealth of information about life on Aitutaki and offer day excursions such as deep sea fishing, snorkeling the inner and outer reef (the only operator to do so) and recommendations on what to do (and not do) on Aitutaki. Both Fred and Kris will go out of their way to make you feel at home (without being overbearing) and assist in any request you many have including helping arrange a coconut lime birthday cake ($25 NZ) from a local baker. Thanks, Fred and Kris!


Booking:
The upper treehouse ($70 NZ/night for 2), required a deposit paid by a check or credit card via secure email before our stay. The balance was paid in cash upon check out – along with any incidentals such as optional snorkeling cruise ($75 NZ pp), snorkel gear rental ($3 NZ/ day pp), bike rental, etc.


Location:
The property - located on the beach, a 2-3 minute walk from the main road – shares the same beach as some of the best 5 star properties in the Pacific. Like most properties in the area, it does require a 20-30 min walk, bike or a scooter to travel to main village. If intending to explore, Fred and Kris have several scooters available to rent on property. If none are available, they will help arrange one of the several local rental companies to deliver a scooter/ car with a short driving lesson. The property also includes a great beach/ sitting area along with a portion of the lagoon which has a myriad of local fish and large clam, easily assessable by a short swim from shore.


Property :
Available to all guests, the property also includes a common area (grill, picnic tables, hammock, lending library, brochures of local items of interest and a map of past visitors - most are Australia and NZ).

The upper treehouse is very roomy with nice front porch overlooking the lagoon and outer reef. The room has a small table, bed with mosquito netting and a kitchen – stocked with plates, glasses, cooking utensils, etc. The kitchen includes a small propane grill, mini fridge and sink. A camping type shower is located downstairs, attached to the treehouse and the shared toilet a short 1 minute walk away. The property is very roomy for two and quite a lovely value - especially when compared to other properties in the same location offering “high-end luxury.” Matriki has really found a sweet spot among world travelers and is highly recommended for anyone on a budget planning to visit Aitutaki.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Beth066
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Matriki Beach Huts

Address: Anaunga, Cook Islands
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Aitutaki
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Aitutaki
Price Range: £66 - £69 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Quiet budget rustic self contained absolute beachfront huts on the nicest natural snorkeling and swimming beach on beautiful Aitutaki, Cook Islands. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Matriki Beach Huts Hotel Aitutaki
Matriki Beach Huts Aitutaki, South Pacific - Cook Islands

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