LuvTrip Romantic Getaways

Romantic Getaways to the Cook Islands

by Jane Cassie

The fifteen Cook isle archipelago is located in the Polynesian Triangle between Tahiti and Fiji, and Rarotonga is the queen bee of them all. It’s a dreamy destination that boasts virgin white beaches, iridescent lagoons, and thriving coral reefs. The people are friendly and pace is slow. There’s no rush hour, fast food restaurants, or big box stores. Supposedly, there’s no building taller than a coconut tree. And there are plenty of palms to judge this by. As well as lining sugar-fine shores, billowing fronds canopy the thirty-two kilometers of7 grey asphalt that rings this island gem. They throw shade over the interior hills that are cloaked with vibrant flora and cast shadows over sunbathers, many of who are honeymooners.

“Kia Orana, Kia Orana!” It’s a grand Cook Island hello, and one that’s always accompanied by a full-faced grin. From the moment you step off the plane, where Jake Numanga plunks his blister-provoking ukulele, you’ll receive a warm welcome. And after being draped in a lei of gardenias, and served a sweet tropical drink, you’ll know you’re on ultimate island time.

During your stay you’ll have the opportunity to take in cultural shows, island nights, safari tours and Avarua’s weekly market. It’s a bustling hot spot every Saturday where vendors sell everything from hand-sewn Tivaevae quilts to carvings of the well-endowed God, Tangaroa –and is well worth the experience.

Sunday remains a day of rest on the Cook Islands and church continues to be a cornerstone in its culture. Although there are varied denominations, seventy percent of the population attends Presbyterian services. A visit to one of these Sabbath sanctuaries is another must do!

Many of the warm lagoons embracing this tropical isle also have a hypnotic effect. The aquatic playgrounds stretch from silky shores to distant craggy reefs and boast every tone of blue from the palest azure to the most eye-blurring aquamarine. It’s here where you’ll splash and laze about in idle reverie, saunter hand in hand and watch the glowing sun dip below the horizon. And just steps away, when it’s time to retire at the end each glorious day, it may be one of these honeymooning haunts where you discover even more romance on Rarotonga.

Muri Beach Club Hotel

This classy contemporary snuggles up to the stunningly turquoise Muri lagoon, and instead of being dressed in Polynesian decor, it glitters in modern-day brilliance.

Thirty-one superbly appointed rooms pay homage to the minimalist décor, where maple-style furnishings and polished silver fuse in the glow of light-drenched trawled walls. Although the interiors are worth romantic hibernation, you’ll be lured to the treasures that wait beyond. Magnificent Muri Lagoon is trimmed by a chalk white beachfront and bordering the far side is an uninhabited Robinson Crusoe-style motus (isle). Between it and the sapphire abyss is a fish-riddled wonderland just waiting to be explored. It’s a surreal intermingling that’ll make you feel at one with the Pacific and free from any worldly cares.

The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa:

This property rims the captivating Aroa Beach where languid days of tide-safe swimming and sensational snorkeling wrap up with stunning sunsets. It’s easy to see why this body of water has been coined the ‘Lagoon of Love.’

Thatched roof walkways trail from these sandy shores to a hundred and fifty-six accommodations that sprawl over the property’s six heavenly acres. Both the private honeymoon retreat, and Grand Beachfront Suites are especially made with lovers in mind. These post and beam treasures are tiled with terra cotta, cloaked with authentic pandanus, and overlooking Aroa’s silky shoreline. Outside the door, lazy hammocks sway beneath wavering palms, kayaks and snorkel gear offer aquatic exploring, and land-loving attractions wait at every turn.

The Edgewater Resort and Spa

This largest resort on the island certainly boasts all the intimacies required for couples –a scalloped shoreline, limpid blue lagoon, a pampering spa, and sun-baked sand, where you can pledge your love. And after saying ‘I dos’ you’ll saunter beneath an archway of fragrant frangipanis for your celebratory reception, whether it’s a family affair, or an intimate occasion for just two.

If you book one of their garden suites, you’ll enjoy the scent of embracing hibiscus. The Beachfront Rooms will provide access for that quick dip, and if you can splurge –bump it up a notch and go with the Beachfront Deluxe. Your spa bath, private patio and panoramic sea vista will heighten any stay. When registering as newlyweds, you’ll also receive a complementary fresh fruit basket and a bottle of bubbly. And the rest of the amoré will be up to you!

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