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Guest Comments

Our guests have loved the location, the spaciousness of the accommodation and the warm welcome...

Family holiday in June traversed Atiu, Aitutaki and Rarotonga. Experience to remember and treasure with each island having its own character. Time on Aitutaki was made special with my daughter and her now husband marrying from our base at Aretai Beach Villas. Can totally recommend for a relaxed and easy place for a committed couple to put a ring on! Plenty of people have reviewed the villas, they are fine for comfort, facilities and all that others have mentioned.
I have special praise for Lawton's helpful, 'can do' enthusiasm to make plans come to fruition.  Can honestly say this is an amazing place to create unforgettable family time- thanks Lawton!
And yes, I recommend Aretai, with love!

"I wanted absolute beach front accommodation and this is exactly what I received. Although I was a solo traveler, the well equipped villa provided accommodation for more. Great kitchen facilities, large clean bathroom with soft fluffy towels, excellent water pressure, quality bed linen, lots of power points and superb views of the beach and crystal clear lagoon just metres away from my verandah. There are plenty of sun lounges and kayaks available and a good little swimming spot just 100 metres up the beach or snorkelling off the beach right outside the villas. Lawton the manager provided great personalized service and called in each day to see if I needed any help or advice. He knows everyone on the island and is a great resource for help with motorcycle hire, activities and eating out etc - nothing was too much trouble. I purchased a Bluesky visitor SIM card and reception was mostly very good at the villa and most places on the island. I had a perfect 6 days there and would love to come back one day!  Oct 2019 

Villas with Beautiful Sunset views
Recently stayed at Aretai and all I can do is rave about this property and the villa. The villas are situated on the beautiful lagoon with sunset views that will amaze!!! The property managers Lawton and Marie are the best and were helpful in getting reservations for different island activities.
I would highly recommend for families, friends or a romantic getaway!!! " Sept 2019 
More than adequate...We stayed at Aretai in June 2018  as a side trip to our twelve night stay on Rarotonga. This was also our second time on Aitutaki (having experienced the day trip on our previous visit). We wanted a home base to explore the island and have something beach front to enjoy the sunsets and relax on our down time.I think Aretai delivered for us. The accommodation is pretty basic, but you’ve got all you need to be comfortable.Lawton was a great host. He picked us up at the airport, made reservations for dinner the first night, and helped secure the last van in town on very short notice (elections were being held and some government folks had all the vehicles).The path to the highest point on the island (beautiful overlook) is about 100 meters down the road toward town. Take the time to hike up there.The beach isn’t adequate for swimming or snorkeling, but the sunsets are spectacular and you can wade out into the lagoon for quite a ways. After a day on the lagoon. High scores for the beauty of the place and the on-site manager Lawton. Should we ever be blessed to return for another extended stay on Aitutaki, Aretai would be a great option.

My husband and I just spent 2 of the best holiday weeks of our life staying at Aretai Villas in Aitutaki. This place really is a little slice of paradise. There are 3 Aretai Villas - 2 are quite literally on the edge of the lagoon beach with one ever so slightly back but still with beach views. The villas are more than adequate for a really comfortable home away from home holiday. Spacious rooms, high ceilings, loads of light and ventilation, screened from insects, ceiling fans, comfortable beds, fully equipped kitchen and a large covered balcony overlooking the beach perfectly screened from the afternoon sun by beautiful coconut palms. The grounds around the villas are large and immaculately kept. 
Narnie or Mama as she is affectionately called owns and lives on the property. She is a gentle, warm, wonderful woman who welcomes you to her land and generously shares the fruits of her garden with her guests, bringing you fresh paw paw, bananas, coconuts, lemons and passionfruit. Two of her children have built beach front villas - only 5 in total. Aretai has 3 and the slightly more upmarket Are-a-Matatui has 2. We were fortunate to meet the owners of Aretai who were visiting during our stay. Bobbie and Sue were friendly open people who welcomed us to share music and meals with their friends and family.

The island has an incredibly lay back feel about it. No one seems to be in any hurry. The people are proud and friendly. I’m a big self caterer and whilst the island relies mostly on everything being shipped in if you ferret around you can find more than enough fresh local produce to cook up a storm. The small markets are open early every morning except Sunday. Anything special that you may want to eat during your stay bring with you. I packed one suitcase full of food. As long as it’s not opened you won't have a problem. You can even bring in cheeses and fresh meat so long as it’s cryopaked or still sealed. I brought in a whole slab of smoked salmon without any problems. Steer clear of attempting to bring in fresh fruits and veges, you can get them locally. For those who want to eat out there’s plenty of places to choose from.

Spend as much time on, around and in the Lagoon as possible. It’s the highlight of this place, you won’t believe the colour of the water and the clarity. We spent our 2 weeks exploring the little island on our scooters, sailing the lagoon on a hired Hobicat, deep sea fishing with Mike at Black Pearl Charters where we caught the most delicious yellow fin tuna, snorkeling in a perfect natural ocean aquarium - thanks Matthias at Matriki, swimming, relaxing and eating fresh delicious food. It ticked every box for being an absolutely perfect holiday. 2 weeks was not nearly long enough.

To describe this place one needs to use too many cliches in the one sentence. It really is magic. I can’t speak highly enough about our stay at Aretai Villas. Thanks Mama, Sue, Bobbie and all the Aitutaki folk who made our holiday. Aretai is perfect venue for a quiet romantic holiday for a couple, it's a safe playground for a small family, and would be loads of fun for a group of friends where you could rent more than one Villa. It's a place where you can choose to lay low and relax or make your own fun. Definitely put this one on the must do list.... Leesa from Sydney via Trip Advisor October 2012

'A very quick note just to say we are back and what a fantastic time we had, the weather was superb, every day was fine and hot, Aitutaki is the most amazing place -  the Lagoon Cruise would have to rate as one of the best things ever and is one of the worlds must do things!! The Villas were very comfortable, Tutai was just great and very helpful ... ... A huge thank you for the oppourtunity to enjoy the Villas and paradise...Colin and Vicki

'This place is superb! We couldn’t have gone anywhere better. A great way to celebrate my 50th. ' GF NZ 

'We came from Rarotonga where we also had a beautiful vacation. Here we have had an even more fantastic stay. Comfortable villas and a service minded Mama. Our highlights have been a boat trip with Kia Orana to Honeymoon Island , with fantastic snorkelling, an evening at coconut Crusher bar with local entertainment (song and dancing) and a service at the church. Thank you very much from us Norwegians. We will recommend Aitutaki to everyone!'

'Perfect for us: we like to have some meals out and the others cook at home. If we’d known the villas were quite this big , we’d have bought more of us! Mama Tai is very kind and creates a lovely warm vibe: scones when we arrived, milk and butter in the fridge even. Coconuts and paw paw just outside the door fresh to pick. We took advantage of the BBQ, the kayaks and the loan of mama’s machete to crack open 'drinking coconuts’. E&S James

'Thankyou for 5 truly wonderful days in paradise in villa 3, which felt like home the moment we walked in and is equipped with all you could ask for. And to top it all off there is mama tahi, with her beautiful smile and loving warm nature to look after you-thank you'

 Aitutaki was everything we hoped for and more, and Aretai was the perfect place for our small family to stay while there. We loved the exclusivity of our self-contained unit right on the beach and being able to see the lagoon and step right out onto it whenever we wanted to was awesome. The second bedroom was a godsend for our 10 month old, and the unit had everything we needed. Mama, in her 80s and quite the host, took care of anything else we needed with a friendliness we came to know as typical of this part of the world. We could see whales from our deck and the kayaks provided at Aretai gave us the freedom to experience the lagoon in a very different way. I would highly recommend Aretai for a romantic escape or a family holiday. We can't wait to go back!" Tammie Matson, author (

'We had the most awesome family holiday one could ever wish for- absolute paradise, It was cool. I had the time of my life. The snorkelling was better than “fnding Nemo’ The heat was amazingly hot and it was winter! Overall I think it was our best holiday yet.' Katie (11)

'Staying here was the highlight of our trip to the Cook Islands! The villa was very comfortable and spacious and the view spectacular. Thanks Mama for making our stay very comfortable and for providing us with your delicious scones.' G,S & C  Brisbane

'Staying here in this house on Aitutaki was the best week ever, we thank you mama for your hospitality which made it even more of a paradise! Hope to come back one day.Otto & Daniela Austria.

 'Our family holiday in the South Pacific has been truly “wonder- ful”  It was lovely to begin our New Year in paradise. This was a long awaited holiday and it was amazing to truly be in the spots that we had only previously seen in our travel brochures and on the internet. It was everything we hoped for and more. Your beach villas are so spacious, comfortable and tastefully decorated. The view from the couch will be  a treasured memory of luxurious relaxation. The lagoon cruise on the big boat was fabulous and the one with Andrew of  Kia Orana was even better.We leave reluctantly bu will take away “forever memories “ to treasure always.'

 'We’ve had a wonderful relaxing and comfortable stay with mama-just what we needed! The villas are a delight and so is mama. Thank you for the welcome scones, all the fresh fruit and the help and advice. A wonderful place to stay.' J,M & N Toowomba, Australia.


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