Our flight from Rarotonga to Aitutaki was short and sweet, although the size of the plane was shockingly small (read: 16 seats total). Once we began to land, we understood why the need for such a small plane. The island we were landing on was TINY.
The hotel we stayed at on Aitutaki, Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, was actually on its own sandy island! So once we landed we took a bus to a boat to get to the hotel. Have you ever been on a plane, a bus, and a boat in one day? I hadn’t! When new guests arrive to the island you are
greeted by a man sounding a conch shell… such a coo touch to the island vibe! And yes I went back and took a picture the next day with other guests arrived… it was that cool!
Our own little island resort consisted of mini bungalows for each room. Most of them were on the beach, however there were a few that were over the water (i.e. the kind you see in all of the travel magazines). Every room had its own deck, outdoor shower, and beach front access a dozen steps from your front door. If you want simplicity and relaxation THIS is the place to go!
Everything here is on what the locals call ‘island time’, meaning show up relatively close to the time listed and it will be happening. Meaning breakfast says 7-9 but if you show up at 10 you can still get breakfast.
Some of the resort features (besides the welcome man playing the conch shell) included crab races (our crab Stanly lost), beach front breakfast including coconut pancakes, fresh coconuts and fresh passion fruit), an island spa in a tiki hut, a tiny gym (I think we were the only people that used it), and nightly sunsets that were nothing short of amazing!
Most of our days were spent with early morning coffee on our deck watching the palm trees sway in the wind, a leisurely island breakfast with more substantial coffee from the restaurants’ espresso machine. Then relaxing and reading on the beach and our morning adventure of either snorkeling or paddle boarding or kayaking (depending on the tide that day), then back to more relaxing and reading on the beach.
Most afternoons we adventured off our tiny island to Koru Cafe down the road that had the most amazing sandwiches with the freshest ingredients I think I’ve ever had! They have some of the best coffee we had in the Cook Islands (why are we such coffee-a-holics?) and the mahi- mani sandwich is the best sandwich I’ve ever had!
Because it was just my mom and I on the trip, our nights were nothing wild or crazy. After an afternoon adventure, kayaking, paddle boarding, or bike riding, and more reading and lounging on the beach we would often have our own happy hour on our deck. After getting ready and having a glass or two of wine (extended happy hour?) we would head to the other side of the island for sunset, followed by dinner (and sometimes a show) at the hotel. We may have been 😉 in bed ‘recovering’ from our oh so strenuous days by 9 pm nearly every night. Hey its allowed when your up before 6 am while on vacation!
All and all it was an amazing relaxing vacation at a unbelievably beautiful and remote place. Given the opportunity, I would go back in a heartbeat!!