The Top Five-Star Resorts and Villas in the Cook Islands
The Cook Islands is not a destination to be done in halves. The verdant mountain backdrops of Rarotonga or tranquil turquoise waters of the Aitutaki Lagoon are settings to revel in, only matched by the gorgeous design-driven five-star accommodations of the Cook Islands. From private villas to paradise resorts, luxury comes in quite a selection across Rarotonga and Aitutaki. We go over the top picks hand-picked by our experts at Cook Islands Pocket Guide, in this list of the best luxury resorts and accommodations in the Cook Islands.
Before we begin, be sure to open The Complete Luxury Guide to the Cook Islands for more advice to make your getaway effortless.
1. Nautilus Resort
Indulge in absolute privacy and design choices that can’t help but “wow” at the Nautilus Resort. Each ‘are (bungalow) at this resort on Rarotonga features a private saltwater plunge pool, high ceilings and a spacious layout, as well as a bathroom with “his and hers” basins and a deep freestanding bathtub. Beachfront ‘ares have their own lounging space with a hammock in the palm trees along with free use of watersports equipment to explore the Muri Lagoon and its “motu”. When you’re not in your lavish villa, relax by the resort’s large infinity lagoon pool, enjoy fine dining at the Nautilus Restaurant, and simply indulge at Spa Nautilis. See how Nautilus Resort stacks up in the 10 Best Luxury Resorts on Rarotonga.
Check Nautilus Resort out:
2. Pacific Resort Aitutaki
And what about the most luxurious resort in Aitutaki? For us, the Pacific Resort Aitutaki easily tops the list with its gorgeous design from the architecture to the gardens, as well as five-star service. Stay absolute beachfront or down any one of the winding garden footpaths with botanical displays and a historical marae to admire along the way. When you’re not in your stylish island-inspired bungalow or villa, relax at the resort’s infinity pool with a waterfall, make use of the complimentary watersports equipment, and dine in the elevated fine dining restaurant overlooking the beach and lagoon. See how the resort compares to the 5 Best Luxury Accommodations on Aitutaki.
Check Pacific Resort Aitutaki out:
- Pacific Resort Aitutaki on Booking.com
- Pacific Resort Aitutaki on Trip.com
- Pacific Resort Aitutaki on Expedia
3. Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa
Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa pulls out all the stops. The villas on Rarotonga are wrapped in luxury, each with uniquely designed private pools – some with a waterfall – while guests are treated to a welcome gift basket and bubbles on arrival. The attention to detail is unmatched, down to the handpainted dinnerware of your fully equipped kitchen, while your villa’s designated kayaks will help you explore more of the lagoon just steps away. Needless to say, Rumours ranks high in our 5 Best Luxury Villas on Rarotonga.
Check Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa out:
- Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa on Booking.com
- Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa on Trip.com
- Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa on Expedia
4. Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa
For couples, families and groups who have big dreams for their getaway, Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa offers one of the most acclaimed luxury accommodations in the Cook Islands. Choose from a small selection of uniquely designed one, two and three-bedroom villas, each blissfully private from the other. Enjoy entertaining from your elegantly designed kitchen or from the barbecue in front of your private pool. Alternatively, Muri‘s restaurants are just a short walk down the beach. Oh, and don’t pass on the opportunity to sample a spa treatment that makes Te Manava a top contender in the 10 Best Spa Resorts in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
Check Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa out:
- Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa on Booking.com
- Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa on Trip.com
- Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa on Expedia
5. Sea Change Villas
Specialising in romantic retreats, Sea Change Villas is undoubtedly a first go-to for couples seeking luxury accommodation on Rarotonga. There are 15 villas scattered along the sands of Titikaveka Beach, each one exuding its own luxurious touches. Wake up in a king-size four-poster bed, shower in your spacious bathroom with showerheads for two, lounge in front of your private pool and make use of your villa’s kayaks, snorkelling gear and SUP board. It’s just one of many effortlessly romantic villas we list in the 10 Most Romantic Wedding & Honeymoon Accommodations in the Cook Islands.
Check Sea Change Villas out:
6. Little Polynesian
A five-star boutique resort set on the sandy shores of southern Rarotonga, Little Polynesian provides an adults-only luxury escape for couples. Indulge in a delightful breakfast around the chic infinity pool which reflects the beach’s swaying coconut palms. Each of the 14 intimate studios feels private enough between the tropical gardens and the beachfront. The interiors are modern with subtle Polynesian touches to remind you that you’re on island time. One of the best r18 luxury resorts in the Cook Islands, Little Polynesian is also listed in the 20 Best Adults-Only Resorts in the Cook Islands.
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7. Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort
The five-star Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort might be the only resort in the Cook Islands with overwater bungalows but even its lowest tier of accommodation literally sits on the white sands of the resort’s own private island. There’s easy access to Aitutaki’s main island with a short resort ferry, but we’ll forgive you for feeling that the resort, with its included in-house activities and paid extras such as the spa and restaurant with a private dining pavilion, has everything you need… See how Aitutaki Lagoon compares to the rest in the 10 Best Resorts on Aitutaki.
Check Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort out:
- Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort on Booking.com
- Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort on Trip.com
- Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort on Expedia
8. Aitutaki Escape
An unforgettable experience awaits at the design-orientated Aitutaki Escape, consisting of blissfully private one-bedroom and two-bedroom villas. Your enclosed piece of paradise consists of a private pool, access to the beach, as well as your own spacious contemporary kitchen. A highlight experience here is indulging in a private dinner under the stars on a beachfront deck affectionately known as the “helicopter pad”.
Check Aitutaki Escape out:
9. Crown Beach Resort & Spa
A short drive from Rarotonga’s airport, Crown Beach Resort & Spa is the ideal retreat for a fly-and-flop luxury getaway. Transition effortlessly to island time with each villa featuring tasteful design-driven furniture and artwork. Some offer private pools while others circle a courtyard pool or are scattered throughout verdant gardens. For dinner, choose from the relaxed Ocean’s Restaurant, fine dining at Flambé, or a private dinner with your loved one on the beach. See how Crown Beach compares to the rest on the island in the 20 Best Resorts on Rarotonga.
Check Crown Beach Resort & Spa out:
- Crown Beach Resort & Spa on Booking.com
- Crown Beach Resort & Spa on Trip.com
- Crown Beach Resort & Spa on Expedia
10. Pacific Resort Rarotonga
Welcoming couples and families alike, all the boxes are ticked for an effortless luxury vacation at the Pacific Resort Rarotonga. Stay nestled among the winding paths of impressively manicured gardens or on Muri Beach. This resort may be one of the largest on the island but still manages to keep things classy. Yet, you have all of the benefits of a large resort, such as dining at the on-site Sandals Restaurant with Pacific delights, making use of the complimentary watersports facilities, lounging by the garden pool, and treating kids to the kids’ club. Needless to say, Pacific Resort Rarotonga ranks pretty high in our 20 Best Family Accommodations in the Cook Islands.
Check Pacific Resort Rarotonga out:
- Pacific Resort Rarotonga on Booking.com
- Pacific Resort Rarotonga on Trip.com
- Pacific Resort Rarotonga on Expedia
More Luxury Resorts and Accommodations in the Cook Islands
Now that you know some of the best luxury resorts and accommodations in the Cook Islands, see how they compare to more lavish stays mentioned in the following articles:
- 10 Best Boutique Accommodations & Resorts in the Cook Islands
- 8 Best Eco Resorts in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
- The Best Overwater Bungalows in the Cook Islands
Finally, plan the complete luxury getaway experience using our itineraries: The Cook Islands Luxury Itinerary: 14 Days, The Cook Islands Luxury Itinerary: 10 Days, Luxury Itinerary: 7 Days, Luxury Itinerary: 5 Days and Luxury Itinerary: 3 Days.