Unique Sleeps: Aitutaki Escape, Cook Islands
Unique Sleeps: Amazing hotels hand picked by Expedia Experts. Aitutaki Escape, Cook Islands.
Set on a crystal blue lagoon, the island of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands has long been a favourite honeymoon destination for Australians. The bright blue skies, pure white sands, palm trees and coconuts have me convinced that this is the reality our dreams of paradise are based off.
The pace of Aitutaki is much quieter than its big sister Rarotonga. The quick 45-minute flight from the Rarotonga airport is an easy one to make when the island glides by your plane window – the bright blue ocean shining almost neon in the sunshine. Your hosts meet you at the airport, flower ‘eis’ in hand (one of my favourite things about the Cook Islands is the plethora of floral leis – all my tropical island dreams come true with one strand of flowers!), before escorting you like a VIP to your chosen abode.
Aitutaki Escape is known for its luxury. Set into the Aitutaki Lagoon, with just three adult-only villas, the resort offers complete privacy and ticks all the “ultimate honeymoon” boxes.
We arrive to find every corner of the villa topped with fresh tropical blooms – brightly coloured hibiscus blooms are everywhere from the bed and shower to our coffee table. A fruit basket filled with tropical delights is set on our kitchen bench, perfect for post flight snacking.
Your villa (my favourite and where we stayed is villa 2) is as big as a small apartment. It’s designed to have all the creature comforts of home. Although my home definitely doesn’t have a private pool and spa set in a beautiful private courtyard, complete with tropical garden and sun loungers.
A small pathway leads to your living room – flat screen TV, surround sound and a small library of books and DVDs. There’s a fully contained kitchen and small desk. Water features and marble floors compliment the high-pitched roofs and of course one should not have to clean on their honeymoon, so a daily maid service attends your room (at a time of your choosing).
The bedroom’s piece de resistance is the handmade iron wood four poster super king sized bed. Floor to ceiling windows look down on the courtyard.
Of course, I’m keeping the best until last – the entrance to your villa has been fitted out with a luxury pool and spa but the real gem is on the other side of the villa. Here you’ll find a private deck (complete with dining area, BBQ and sun lounges) with a panoramic view of that famous lagoon. It feels like a view just for you and your beloved alone.
Walk along your private boardwalk to an elevated platform that’s perfectly placed for a romantic sunset dinner (and also the perfect spot for a wedding ceremony!) or walk down the stairs directly onto the sand and within a few short steps dive into the world’s most beautiful water playground.
On our first afternoon here I commanded one of the lagoon-side sun loungers, sitting with a good book and a frangipani adorned coconut chilled from the fridge under a bright blue sky.
We wake in the morning and await our breakfast delivery – fresh fruit smoothies and yoghurt, along with pastries delivered hot out of the oven. Returning home to our quiet oasis, jumping into the pool the minute we shut our gate, or pulling up a chair and simply taking in the view, this is pretty close to paradise.
The resort comes well equipped with everything you need to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Your hosts will happily take you for a drive around the island, letting you stock your kitchen for your stay. Bikes, kayaks and watersport equipment are free to use and an attentive reception desk is ready to help you with your every whim and desire. The team can even arrange your dinner (at a restaurant on the island or cooked by your own private chef – did I mention they dish up all the trimmings?) or an in room massage.
Elopements are a specialty of Aitutaki Escape and as one of the villas has two bedrooms, you can even bring your family and friends along for the ride. The resort will arrange everything – from the flower-covered arch at the end of your deck to your celebrant. But make no mistake – this is not a cookie cutter affair; each wedding is designed to be completely unique to you and your beloved and as private, or as lavish as you wish.
That’s the thing about this place and all that it offers – it’s set up so you can cosy away in your villa and never see another soul, simply enjoying the luxury, the views and each other while recharging your batteries. Or it’s the place you can come back to after a busy day enjoying the sights and sounds around the island – and still find the peace and comfort of home.
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