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Reviewed 14 April 2012

I stayed at Aito apartments from February 20 to February 25 and it was a truly fantastic experience for many reasons. Should you look for a self-catered experience, I think there is nowhere else to search in Rarotonga as Aito provides you with everything you would need at an incredible price.

First, the location is very good, just on the main and only road of Rarotonga, 50 meters from the beach and only 5 mins walk to the famous Muri beach (which is I think the nicest beach and part of the lagoon of the island) and 5 mins walk to Fruits of Rarotonga which is a very nice snorkelling spot. You can also easily catch the bus that runs around the island (beware of the schedule of the anticlockwise road!).

Second, the apartment I had (in fact there are only 2 apartments in the residence) was spotless. Very spacious, with a big living room and kitchen very well equiped, a nice bedroom with lots of storage (a huge wardrobe!) and a very nice bathroom. The apartment has everything you need, from the soap to the flyswatter without forgetting the complimentary fruit platter, milk, butter and jams you will find in the fridge when you arrive. You can also enjoy the backyard terrace with a gorgeous view on the mountains. And to kill time during the evening, there is a big TV with a DVD player and good DVDs ! I

But the truly added value of Aito apartments is the exceptional sweetness of the hosts Jean-Marc and Mere, which will make you feel that you are at home rather than at a hotel. As I was travelling alone, they invited me several times to dine with them for great BBQs. They also offered me the transfer from the airport when I arrived (which was priced at 20 NZD on their website), and booked me a shuttle back to the airport which was in the early morning (which was this time 20NZD). And was it was particularly pricy to call to and from Cook Islands, they allowed me to use their Wifi network to use Skype.

So in a word, a very very good stay and the Cook Islands was a fantastic discovery. I also suggest you do the day trip to Aitutatki or at least spend some time there because the lagoon of the island, the crystal-clear waters are really worth a visit and were in fact the highlight of my stay!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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4  Thank JohnZ05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2011

The place is fantastic - peaceful, modern, big, comfortable - should be twice the price.

Jean-Marc and his wife are the ultimate hosts - sincere, relaxed, warm and a pleasure to be around.

By far the best and most memorable accomodation experience I've had travelling.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Henry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2011

I chose Aito largely on the basis of these reviews (and my correspondence with the owners) and it exceeded my expectations. The apartment was modern, clean and spacious. I was welcomed with a fruit platter by Mere and the fridge was pre-stocked with essentials. Jean-Marc was the perfect host - quick to offer a cold beer and invite me up for dinner (as I was travelling on my own). While the apartment is close to the main road, it was still quiet. A 10 minute walk in one direction will take you to the Muri shops, while a fifteen minute walk in the other direction will take you to the great snorkeling of the Fruits of Rarotonga. If you are there on a Saturday, it is well worth checking out the market in town (near the airport). All in all, a great stay.

Stayed: October 2011, travelled solo
3  Thank Vegman99_New
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2011

My husband, 2 year old Manu and I stayed at Aito apartments for almost a week in October this year and absolutely loved it. We wished we had stayed longer. Not only was Jean-Marc a wonderful host, but the location of the place was perfect for us getting to the lovely Muri Lagoon and to wonderful snorkeling spots. It was only a short 10-15 min walk to Muri town as well. There was no need to hire a car or motorbike. We either walked to places nearby or caught the bus into town eg. for the Saturday market. I would recommend buying the 10 trip for $25 instead of paying $4 per trip. The apartment itself was huge, spotless and beautifully presented. Having a washing machine was great as well. It was also very child friendly making it possible for Manu to enjoy the spacious verandah, but there was a gate to stop him from wondering off the property. We arrived quite late at night on our 1st night, around midnight, and Jean-Marc was there to greet us and provided us with a fruit basket and a fridge full of the necessities. Being feed dinner by Jean-Marc on the weekend was also an amazing treat. Manu misses Tutu, their friendly 3 legged dog, who happily went on walks with us every time. Jean-Marc, Manu is still calling out your name wondering where you are, or as he re-named you 'Marco'. I would not hesitate to recommend Aito apartments to anyone. If you want a great location, relaxed, comfortable, child friendly place, with awesome hosts, this is the place to stay.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank Mieke S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2011

My partner and I stayed at Aito Apartments in late July, 2011 for five days/six nights and it was paradise…. We had never travelled to any of the Pacific Islands before (have previously been to Indonesia, Thailand and Brazil) and for some reason had very high expectations, but not once were we disappointed.

After arriving on a late night flight from Auckland, we checked in to our spotlessly clean, beautiful apartment. Aito Apartments are extremely well equipped, tropical, modern, sunny, have amazing views to the mountains from the back porch and are complete with v. cute dog – Tutu!

The location is better than excellent – just a 2 minute scooter ride from Fruits Of Rarotonga – the best snorkelling spot we found, 10 minute walk from the centre of Muri beach, 30 second walk to a secluded beach right across the road and a 20 minute scooter ride from the main town of Avarua.

July was the perfect time to travel to Rarotonga – it was sunny every day, hot and definitely warm enough to swim. The water was crystal clear and an amazing turquoise colour, like no other beach we had seen before.

We were so please that we had picked to stay at Aito Apartments over another hotel/Resort in Rarotonga, it was not only very relaxing but actually looked nicer than many of the other hotels/resorts on the Island.

The owners were extremely accommodating and very friendly, they organised an airport transfer for us and Jean Marc also made us an amazing dinner - very generous.

I would not hesitate in recommending Aito Apartments to friends and family, I think it is the perfect place for couples as well as families and although Rarotonga does not have much nightlife or shopping, it is the perfect escape – I just wish we had spent more time.

Recommend:
Staying at Aito Apartments
Hiring a scooter
Kayaking around Muri Lagoon over the crystal clear water
Snorkelling at Fruits of Rarotonga
The Fishing Club for a casual lunch
Kikau Hut restaurant for dinner
Making a BBQ at the apartment or having a Champagne breakfast on the balcony
The piece of beach where The Little Polynesian is located – best spot, just don’t sit under a coconut tree!
Going for a morning run – sounds horrible when you are on holiday, but is a great way to see the beach and local houses before it gets too hot
Drive down the back roads – reminds me of Bali but without the rubbish!

Don’t Expect:
Any shopping – which is perfect because then you can truly relax!
Good food – it’s hard to find a restaurant with the same quality of food as Soul Bar or Prego in Auckland. Better to buy some fresh fish and vegetables from the supermarket and cook at the apartment

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank RiadNewZealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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