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coral4u

This is not a resort - But we loved our stay

Review of Vaikoa Units
5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Sep 22, 2019
We were a family of three adults who received a warm welcome by our hosts at the airport. Our room (a garden unit) was clean and very well supplied with the basics: plates, glasses cutlery, toaster, jug, small fridge and bench top cooker. There is a front door and a back door (that leads to nowhere in particular) which provided awesome airflow as well as the ceiling fan cause it is was hot. In a small internal room, there is a toilet, basin and shower unit - A beach towel and showering towel each were provided. Also there is a covered communal area close to the beach that had BBQ supplies and two kayaks that were free to use.
Sure Vaikoa needs some renovations but this is reflected in the price, resources on the island are scarce, I certainly didn't see a Mitre 10 or Bunnings on the island that the hosts could simply pop down the road and get renovation supplies, so we understood their limited resources.
Yes, these units are basic, no, we did not have hot water but it wasn't missed due to the heat. While we were there bugs and mosquitoes didn't really bother us (September) so cannot comment and we slept with all the doors open and no screens.
Yes, there were sea slugs in the sea (how strange LOL), even those paying $500 for 2 ppl a night at the resort next door had them and same with the resort down the road charging $1500 a night. Bring beach shoes (which you need anyway due to the coral) or go somewhere with a swimming pool!!!
If you are on a budget and want to meet some great people this is a great place to start. As guests of Vaikoa we were greeted warmly by the locals who knew the owner (we would have loved to have met her) however in her absence our hosts were great, even taking us to the shops to get supplies via the scenic route (beautiful).
Those in our party came with a great attitude and we had a great time.
Date of stay: September 2019
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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3 - 8 of 29 reviews
Reviewed September 20, 2019

After being super excited to visit this lovely island we arrived at Vaikoa Units and were very disappointed. We stayed as two families groups and booked 2 beachfront units and the garden unit. The best way to describe this place is a dilapidated shanty town. The beachfront property was advertised as hot water and I sincerely appreciate the caretakers that tried to make this work whilst the owner was overseas but couldn’t. The whole place is in desperate need of general repairs. It really is basic camping at best. The location has so much potential but it’s just not inviting. There was a carpet of sea slucks. Personally we enjoyed Rarotonga waters and what is has to offer and the island in general. Having said that the lagoon is amazing and definitely worth a day trip including a cruise out to one foot island. Hopefully this reviews when deciding to choose to stay here as we wish we had read a review of what it is really like. Once again this is nothing personal as the current caretakers are lovely and trying their best with what they have been left to try and take care of

Date of stay: September 2019
Trip type: Traveled with family
1  Thank molishkashez
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed July 9, 2019

After reading all the reviews here, we thought we had found a hidden gem.

Sadly, the poor state of repair and careless owners put a damper on our vacation.

The unit was very dirty and in dire need of some TLC. The beds were old and uncomfortable, and screens had holes in them – meaning you had to wear bug repellent to bed.

There are other choices on the island that are much better for only a few dollars more per night. Don’t risk your vacation over a couple of bucks.

Date of stay: May 2019
1  Thank Shaybles
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed July 5, 2019

Wow, the accommodations at Vaikoa Units are extremely rundown, and none of the units have hot water (meaning cold showers). It is glorified camping, at best.

We stayed in the larger beachfront unit, which is considered the nicest unit. Check out the photos to see the sad reality of this neglected shack!

There were many holes in the building and window screens, so mosquitoes, beetles, and wasps came in regularly. We also had a swarm of 75-100 bees inside one day! There are paper towels and toilet paper stuffed into holes by previous guests in an attempt to stop the onslaught.

The lighting is very poor, so reading at night isn’t an option; fixtures consist of bare light bulbs on the ceiling - there are no bedside or table lamps. There are also no dressers or closets, so you have to live out of your suitcase (on the floor).

The two kayaks on the property both leaked badly and would fill will water if taken out on the lagoon - making it unsafe to go any distance from shore.

There is no daily housekeeping, and our towels were only exchanged once during our 9-night stay. Sheets were not changed at all. Any cleaning that takes place between guests is very minimal. The units are dirty and in disrepair.

The worn-out linoleum flooring is not glued down and caused us to trip several times - which we attempted to fix with duct tape.

There’s an interior doorway with very low clearance; anyone over 5’9” in height will hit their head, as I did several times (leaving several gashes in my scalp). Adding to the problem, the location of the low doorway is at the top of a stairway - so you are looking down as you smack your head.

The ceiling fans are too weak to provide adequate ventilation, and there is no AC.

Privacy is also an issue, as the neighboring unit is just 6 feet away, and the beach shower which is used by all 8 units is on your porch. The drapes throughout the unit are sheer, so people can see in, particularly at night.

Although beachfront, the vegetation is not maintained and blocks much of the view.

Doors do not lock securely, and there isn’t a safe or anywhere to secure money, valuables, or passports. The gaps around the doors also let in insects (and we used duct tape in an attempt to seal them up).

The faucet in the bathroom doesn’t protrude far enough out to even wash your hands, requiring use of the kitchen sink for hand washing and brushing teeth. Only one miniature bar of hand soap was provided, and there was no shampoo. There are no towel bars or hooks (none whatsoever!), and no soap dish or shelves of any kind in the shower. There is no trash can. Additionally, there is no place to set toiletries in the bathroom, so they have to be left on a table in the living area.

A Bluesky Wi-Fi hot spot is not available on-site, so you have to go down the road to a cafe for reception.

We wrote to the owner about the issues (who was off-island during our stay), but he only made excuses for the condition of the property. Regarding the lack of hot water, he replied “you didn’t ask me if there was hot water when you made the booking”! This is a cash-only place, so disputing a credit card charge is not an option.

There are much nicer properties on the island for a few dollars more per night (that include hot water). If for some reason you are still considering this place, bring LOTS of mosquito repellent (which you will have to wear while sleeping), a roll of duct tape, and a strong sense of humor... you are going to need it! The owners have no concern for the well-being of their guests, who seem to be an inconvenience to them if there are any issues.

Should the owner respond here on TripAdvisor (which I doubt he will) suggesting that I'm being too harsh, don't believe it. Contact me, and I'll share the email conversations which clearly demonstrate his poor attitude and excuse-making approach.

Steer clear of this place!

Room tip: No good rooms, all are in very poor shape. None have hot water.
Date of stay: May 2019
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank TheNakedTruth
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed May 3, 2018 via mobile

Decided to try out Vaikoa because of all the great reviews. And yet we were greatly surprised by what an amazing place this is!

The lodge is run by Mama and Junior, who are literally ready to help and assist with ANYTHING and are super generous (Junior heard we were planning on buying some fresh fish, so he gave us a half kilo of freshly caught tuna. And didn't accept anything in return! Also, my flip-flop ripped just before arriving to Aitutaki, but instead of buying a new pair Mama just found me a pair in her house).

Staying here was an amazing experience as we really had the opportunity to feel the authentic side of the island, living next to the family. I can't stress how much of a added bonus this is, but when we left after 6 days, we felt like we were saying goodbye to long time friends.

The lodge itself is a great budget option, with on of the best snorkel spots literally 10 metres from your front door. 2 kayaks are also available for no extra cost, at any time of day.

Suitable for all types of travellers,
this is THE place to stay in Aitutaki.

Date of stay: May 2018
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1  Thank Eli H
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed January 3, 2018

We returned as we said we would. This time we stayed for 2 weeks, renewed our wedding vows and our grown up daughters came over for a week to spend time with us here in paradise. As all the other reviewers keep pointing out this is a home away from home. No hassels, no stress and your part of the family straight away. Sissy the cat even treats you like family here. Next time we want to be here even longer. Can't wait to return to Vaikoa.

Room tip: it doesn't matter what room, you are all part of the family here.Bungalow if you must!
Date of stay: December 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank M D
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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