Kia Orana to the Cooks
It’s an exciting time for Kiwi travellers with the announcement of a second travel bubble opening later this month to the beautiful Cook Islands, just one month after the Australia bubble opened in April. And after over a year of travel restrictions, Booking.com has new research revealing our appetite to explore the world remains undiminished. Nearly two thirds of Kiwi travellers (59%) feel more hopeful about travelling in 2021 since the global roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, with the bubble announcements welcome news for many keen travellers.
Further proof that Kiwis are as eager as ever to dust off their passports comes as Booking.com reveals searches for accommodation in Rarotonga shot up 15 places in the most searched destinations year-on-year. For those itching to get back to island travel, Booking.com shares their picks for travellers planning to head to the Cook Islands once the bubble opens on 17 May.
Best for families
For many with kids in tow, escaping the New Zealand winter for an island getaway has become something of a July school holiday ritual. A week-long stay at a Rarotonga beachfront villa offers a relaxed yet fun-filled environment, with the added benefit of self catering making mealtimes with the family a breeze. Overlooking the beautiful Muri Lagoon, Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa offers 5-star accommodation with a private pool and patio – and a completely self contained space means you have all the luxuries of home at your fingertips.
Best for a romantic getaway
If it’s a romantic trip for two you’re after, look no further than Aitutaki. Just a short plane ride away from the Rarotonga Airport you’ll find, situated on its own private island, the Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort. A luxury, adults only resort that offers beach-front and over-water bungalows with panoramic views of Aitutaki Lagoon, you can enjoy stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling and cultural activities – or if you’re after some pampering, head to the spa that offers massages, a sauna and a hot tub.
Best for getting back to basics
For a true island experience a stay at the Ikurangi Eco Retreat in Matavera Rarotonga will leave you feeling rested and at one with nature. You can choose from snorkeling at the nearby beach or hiking and cycling – the property offers free bicycles onsite. Just 5 minutes’ drive from shopping and dining options, this eco retreat offers an onsite swimming pool and if a day outdoors has worn you out, enjoy a private meal cooked by a private chef served on your balcony. You can also unwind with an in-room massage.
Best on a budget
If you’re keen on an island getaway but the luxury resort life just isn’t for you, then a self catering beach hut could be just the ticket to relaxation. The Matriki Beach Huts provide absolute beachfront accommodation on the sunset side of the island. You can enjoy snorkelling from the beautiful white sand beach right at the front of the property. Or make the most of the outdoors and go on a hike or head out for a fishing trip. Each of the unique, rustic, self-contained beach huts, has its own terrace, simple cooking facilities and an open air shower.
Best for group travel
It’s time to reinstate the annual island getaway with the gang and where better than a private villa in sunny Raro. The Te Etu Villas are in close proximity to one another and offer all the amenities you could need for group travel, from a private pool to a poolside bar and barbeque. These gorgeous self contained villas also boast a sun terrace and both snorkelling and cycling can be enjoyed nearby this holiday home.