Where To Stay: Six Ways To Experience The Cook Islands

Dan Jacobs
Photography By
Cook Islands Tourism

The Cook Islands are truly a slice of paradise, a collection of 15 secluded islands in the South Pacific Ocean making up a total of only 240 square kilometres of land. But, just as much as they're enriched with rugged mountains, coral reefs, lagoons and white sandy beaches, you shouldn't underestimate the diversity of accommodation tucked away in this tranquil oasis that just keeps on giving.

Whether you’re looking for all the bells and whistles of a luxury resort stay, or you want to feel at one with nature in a self-catered beach villa, the Cook Islands has something for every type of traveller. After all, this is exactly why the Cook Islands attracts thousands of visitors all throughout the year including families, couples on the hunt for a romantic getaway and people looking to escape the rat-race.

So, if the Cook Islands already sounds like the dream holiday destination for you, here’s what you could be looking forward to during your stay.

Resort or hotel stay

Muri Beach Club Hotel

If you want a variety of experiences and convenience on your Cook Islands holiday, then a resort stay could be the perfect choice. By choosing to stay at a resort, you’ll have convenient access to the beach for plenty of rest and relaxation, while fun-packed activities and entertainment will be included for both adults and children within the resort’s stunning grounds.  

Typically, resorts in the Cook Islands will provide complimentary entertainment and activities including cultural performances and watersports such as snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding and cycling, as well as kids’ clubs . Kids Club properties include Edgewater Resort and Spa, Pacific Resort Rarotonga and The Rarotongan Beach Resort and Lagoonairum

Resorts also offer convenient dining options for those evenings when you don’t feel like getting out and about. In the Cook Islands, resort restaurants often attract guests from outside promising a range of traditional and international dishes in some of the islands’ most idyllic settings.        

Suggested hotel and resorts include Edgewater Resort and Spa, Pacific Resort Rarotonga , Muri Beach Club Hotel, Moana Sands Lagoon Resort and Aitutaki’s Tamanu Beach Resort.

Luxury treat


From time-to-time, we all dream about escaping our usual daily routine to be treated like a VIP in a little slice of paradise. Well, you can make this dream come true in the Cook Islands.

The Cook Islands are home to some award-winning luxury resorts which are perfectly complemented by the islands’ beautiful natural features including tropical gardens, waterfalls and dramatic mountainous backdrops.

Popular choices for weddings and events and romantic getaways include  Nautilus Resort Rarotonga, Pacific Resort Aitutaki and Rumours Luxury Villas and Spa. Here, you’ll be spoilt with absolute beachfront accommodation, Polynesian cuisine boasting the highest quality ingredients, exquisite spa treatments and even private dining experiences with the sand between your toes. 

Beach villa

Te Manava

A beach villa is a great option for couples and families who want that resort-style luxurious experience in a stunning natural setting they can call their own. Most villas offer an absolute beachfront living experience complete with open-plan kitchen, dining and entertainment and some with their very own private pools and gardens. Te Manava Luxury Villas and Te Vakaroa Villas are two popular choices among visitors to the Cook Islands.

But, while a beach villa is perfect for enjoying the type of secluded peace and tranquillity the Cook Islands are famous for, you won’t have to compromise on service; villa’s typically include complimentary sporting activities with optional spa treatments and guided tours. You could even look forward to breakfast being delivered to your door every single day.


Moana Sands

Staying in an apartment-style resort in the Cook Islands could be a more affordable option for families, singles and couples looking to spend plenty of time out and about exploring the islands. That’s right, while you could enjoy all the essentials during the evenings and mornings such as a pool, scenic views, a comfortable room and casual dining options, you could find more room in your holiday budget for some of the many activities the Cook Islands offer. To give you an idea, island hopping, lagoon cruises, Tuk Tuk sightseeing and a range of cultural and dining tours are some of the many things that could tempt you out of your hotel every single day.

Edgewater Resort and Spa Villas and Moana Sands Beachfront Villas are two great examples of this type of accommodation on the Cook Islands – each also including a range of their own complimentary activities. 

Holiday homes

Muri Lagoon Villa

If you’re a family – large or small – or a big group travelling together, then you might consider a holiday home a more flexible and convenient choice of accommodation. Designed to have everyone under one roof or close-by, holiday homes in the Cook Islands are typically large and spacious, either with multiple bedrooms in each, or several homes in the same location. 

By booking a holiday home, you can have peace of mind you’ll be greeted with all the same amenities you’d have in your own home. These might include internal washing facilities, fully equipped kitchens for self-catered stays, barbecues, and comfortable outdoor furniture. For inspiration, why not take a look at Cook Islands Holiday Villas, Paradise Holiday Homes, and Aramoana on the Beach.

Overwater bungalow

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort Private Island

We’ve all heard about them and probably seen plenty of stunning pictures of luxurious bungalows hovering over immaculate turquoise waters. But you don’t always know where in the world they’re tucked away! Well, try the Cook Islands.

Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort is perched right on the edge of one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons and set against the vibrant backdrop of lush tropical palms. A bungalow on your very own private tropical island is a must-do for a once in a lifetime experience, special occasion or travellers looking for the ultimate serenity.