Advice on Choosing Accommodation in Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the Cook Islands for Your Wedding or Honeymoon
A wedding and honeymoon only come once in a lifetime (in theory), so you want to get this right. The Cook Islands might be home to a breathtaking array of resorts and villas, but boy, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one! Luckily with this guide, we’ll give you some food for thought and make the path clearer for choosing the right wedding and honeymoon accommodation in Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the Cook Islands.
For more advice on planning your special occasion, check out The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to the Cook Islands or How to Plan a Wedding in the Cook Islands.
5 Tips for Choosing Wedding and Honeymoon Accommodation in the Cook Islands
- Don’t just compare accommodations, but compare wedding and honeymoon packages too
- Tell your accommodation that it is your honeymoon when booking; they might just have a freebie for you when you arrive
- Some honeymoon packages require you to provide proof that you have gotten married within the last year or six months
- The high season is between June and August, as well as Easter and Christmas, so be sure to book early if visiting at these times to avoid disappointment – see the 10 Reasons to Travel in the Low Season in the Cook Islands for more advice
- As per the law for entering the Cook Islands, you need to have your accommodation booked before you arrive – remember the name and/or address of your accommodation to write on your Passenger Arrival Card.
Types of Honeymoon or Wedding Accommodation in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands
Of course, couples shape their own wedding/honeymoon to how they want it to be, whether it’s a budget getaway or a luxury island escape. If you’re looking for something on a budget, get advice from How to Find Cheap Accommodation in the Cook Islands. Those looking for wedding venues or something more “special” for their honeymoon, however, tend to either choose one of Rarotonga or Aitutaki‘s resorts, villas or boutique accommodations. The difference between these accommodation categories is subtle, but we’ll explain nonetheless…
Resorts and Adults-Only Resorts
Lining the beaches of Rarotonga and Aitutaki, many of the Cook Islands’ resorts not only serve the greater crowd of holidaymakers but have special services for couples, whether it be a honeymoon suite, “his & her” spa treatments or private dining on the beach. A significant portion of Rarotonga and Aitutaki’s resorts are “adults only”, meaning that guests are no younger than 12, 16 or 18 years old, ensuring a more “tranquil” tone is set at the resort.
Compare resorts in 20 Most Romantic Honeymoon Resorts in the Cook Islands, as well as adults-only resorts in the 20 Best Adults-Only Resorts in the Cook Islands.
For couples seeking a little more privacy, the Cook Islands’ boutique villa complexes or private holiday villas fit the bill. On Rarotonga and Aitutaki, you have luxury villas kitted out with a private pool and impressive design choices, and some on Rarotonga also have their own spa. Alternatively, private holiday villas are available, which are more upscale holiday homes. Compare both in the 25 Best Villas in the Cook Islands.
Boutique accommodation refers to small-scale accommodations, such as resorts with only a few rooms or properties with just a couple of bungalows on the beach. Villas or resorts can fall into this category, but boutique accommodations can also include self-contained beach houses, of which there are a few in Aitutaki and Rarotonga. The boutique accommodation is so appealing for couples seeking a romantic stay due to the serenity and exclusivity these accommodations provide.
Discover some of our favourite boutique accommodations in the 10 Best Boutique Accommodations in the Cook Islands.
Location, What is Nearby and How to Get There?
Do you want an island with lots of restaurants, tourist activities and ways to also keep the costs down? Choose Rarotonga. Or do you crave more serenity and the blissfulness of a less-visited lagoon atoll? Head to Aitutaki. Or are you seeking something more adventurous, like an uplifted coral atoll awash in caves and lined with beaches hardly anyone visits? Venture to any one of the outer islands, such as Atiu, Mangaia, Mitiaro, Mauke or even the Northern Group!
Compare islands in The Best Islands to Visit in the Cook Islands or browse our couples’ guides for each destination (where available):
- The Romantic Getaway Guide to Rarotonga
- The Romantic Getaway Guide to Aitutaki
- The Romantic Getaway Guide to Atiu
- The Romantic Getaway Guide to Mangaia
- The Complete Travel Guide to Mauke
- The Complete Travel Guide to Mitiaro
- The Complete Travel Guide to the Northern Cook Islands.
Once you have chosen a destination, there are only minor considerations that need to be made in terms of where to stay on your chosen island. That’s because all of the Cook Islands are small enough to explore with the aid of car hire, scooter rental or even the public bus service available on Rarotonga. In other words, everything is close by! See how to get around in our Cook Islands Transport Guide.
As Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands, you might want to dive deeper into the subject of “where to stay” in A Guide to Where to Stay on Rarotonga.
The Price of Honeymoon Accommodation in the Cook Islands and What’s Included in Your Stay?
When comparing wedding and honeymoon accommodation in the Cook Islands, there are three types of inclusions you might want to compare if they are available: the facilities and services of your accommodation, the wedding packages and/or the honeymoon packages.
Many of the Cook Islands’ resorts are not just about having a bed for the night but a full holiday experience. A price might be “high” but check what the price actually includes, such as kayak, SUP and snorkelling gear rental, daily breakfast, a swimming pool, bicycles or e-bikes, a beach or cultural activities program with snorkelling tours or weaving lessons, for example. Compare the inclusions to the facilities you would otherwise pay for.
Check out some typical Cook Island resort facilities in How to Pick the Best Resort in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands, which also applies to the type of facilities you’ll find in many villas and boutique accommodations.
Wedding packages take the guesswork out of planning an overseas wedding, offering a range of inclusions. There are typically two or three tiers of wedding packages, ranging from a simple wedding with just the essentials to a full-blown celebration. Wedding packages typically include a wedding planner, help with obtaining a wedding license, tropical flower head or neck garlands (‘eis), a decorated ceremony venue (usually on the beach), a minister/celebrant, sparkling wine and more.
Check out the 10 Best Wedding Packages in the Cook Islands for an example of resort wedding packages and what’s included. Note that wedding packages are only available in Rarotonga and Aitutaki.
Honeymoon or romance packages come in three forms: either they include your accommodation, they are an optional add-on to your nightly rate, or are a free gift from the resort. For instance, a five-night honeymoon package might include accommodation, airport transfers, all breakfasts, a candlelit dinner on the beach, a bottle of sparkling wine, and a couples’ massage.
Honeymoon packages added to your nightly rate typically include something like a special room set-up on arrival, a bottle of bubbles in your room, a couple’s massage at their spa, a private beach picnic and a room upgrade if available.
Free honeymoon packages are typically a bottle of sparkling wine in your room, a food and beverage voucher and/or a room upgrade if available.
Check out more examples in the 10 Best Honeymoon Packages in the Cook Islands. Note that honeymoon packages are also only available in Rarotonga and Aitutaki.
More About Choosing a Wedding or Honeymoon Accommodation in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands
That’s it for our guide on how to choose a wedding or honeymoon accommodation in Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the Cook Islands, but that’s by no means the end of our advice for couples! Check out more guides below:
- 20 Most Romantic Things to Do in the Cook Islands for Couples
- 20 Most Romantic Honeymoon Resorts in the Cook Islands
- How to Plan a Wedding in the Cook Islands
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’ll probably find it in The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to the Cook Islands.