Australia & NZ
Romance and relaxation in the Cook Islands
Put your feet up and channel your inner romantic as we head to the Cook Islands to warm the cockles of your heart. Dubbed the best romantic getaway in the world, this South Pacific showstopper will have you swooning at first glance. Dripping in natural beauty and doused in buckets of sunshine, these tropical islands are the place for romance, relaxation and a serious change of pace.
Located between New Zealand and Hawaii, the Cook Islands are a six-hour flight from Sydney. The capital, Rarotonga is the largest and most visited island, but we take our weary souls on a 50-minute flight from Rarotonga to the second-most visited island of Aitutaki. Nothing against Rarotonga, but we’ve heard the hook-shaped atoll of Aitutaki looks like the setting of 80′s classic, Blue Lagoon. What’s not to love about that?
With visions of crystal clear water and swaying palm trees on the brain, we head straight to Aitutaki’s coral lagoon to see what all the fuss is about. If there was a prize for the world’s most beautiful lagoon, Aitutaki Lagoon would proudly wear the crown. If we didn’t know any better, we’d think it had been airbrushed.
Visions of diving, snorkelling and swimming in the luminous lagoon come to mind as we eye off the coral islets curling around its perimeter. The main issue at this stage is working out how we’re ever supposed to part ways with this island paradise at the end of our five night stay. Maybe a permanent move here is required.
With hammocks, cocktails and siestas calling our names, we hot foot it to our home for the week, Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa. It’s the only resort set directly on the lagoon, so for view junkies like us, it’s a no brainer. Oh, and it just happens to be the only resort in the Cook Islands that lies on its own private island. Planning a honeymoon? This is your place. Better still, you can tie the knot here. The romantic retreat is home to a beach chapel that completes the scene for incurable romantics dreaming of saying ‘I do’ with the world’s most beautiful lagoon as their witness.
It causes physical pain to look past the resort’s overwater bungalows, but it’s the brand spanking, premium beachfront bungalows that get our vote. We’re not disappointed. In fact, we squeal like five-year-olds when we lay eyes on our Californian super king-size bed with its uninterrupted vista out across the lagoon. Surely life doesn’t get any better than this? Now, for our next big decision – hammock time, lagoon time or wine-o-clock? Maybe all three is in order.
As you’ve probably gathered, resting your weary head is the main order of the day on the Cook Islands. But if adventure is more your thing, there’s windsurfing, kayaking, swimming in underground caves, snorkelling and boat trips to the deserted motu (islet), ukulele classes, and did we mention hula dancing lessons? Now you’re talking.
Dying for a break in paradise? Escape from the daily grind and wake up to the world’s best views. HotelClub is rewarding two lucky VIP members with the chance to win one of two holidays in a breathtaking room with a view – Cook Islands Escape from the Ordinary or Hong Kong Urban Adventure. Click here to enter.
By Amy Compton, follow her on Google+.