"Auraka e kai mata I te vi - Don’t eat the mangoes while they are green" (Cook Islands Saying)
As per the local saying above, which means - Don’t do things in haste. Be Patient - we all know it can be difficult to ‘slow down’ living life in the city, so if your patience is being tested it might be time to consider a visit to Aitutaki to soak up the refreshing pace. Etu Moana has had a great start to 2019, and as we ease into April, refreshing temperatures are ahead and we hope over the next 9 months of the year – or into 2020, you can fit in a break away to visit the Villas and the beautiful people of Aitutaki - remember that our specials can be found at the end of this Newsletter… the team await with smiles from the isles.
NEWS FROM ETU MOANA
Bathroom Refurbishment Part II
Those of you who have stayed since February 2018, may have enjoyed the delightfully re-designed and renovated bathrooms in Villas 1 to 6, the result of a dedicated and passionate project of Owner Hanne Hawle and her German Architect, Eduard Schmutz. Now, Part II of the refurbishment, which included Villa 7 & 8 plus the Day Bathroom, was completed in late January 2019.
In Hanne’s own words;
The leading concept was that Aitutaki is created by two natural elements: The reef with the bright, colorful turquoise lagoon, and the volcano with the dark soil and black rock. While outside the villas you are indulged in the intense colors of the lagoon, the new bathrooms resemble the volcanic element with a velvety darkness. They offer a place for the senses to retreat. Here you are sheltered from the bright sunlight and the salt water. The rain shower moistens your skin with precious Aitutaki rain water while you are surrounded by pure materials. Touch the handmade, river stone sink, born in a tropical volcanic river. Unique and inimitable - just as you are. Enjoy.
It was very sad to farewell Kirsti & Paul following three years ‘at the helm’ of Etu Moana Beach Villas. As they flew off to distant shores and new challenges, Etu Moana welcomed Nicholas and Philippa Goodhew (known as Nick & Pip) to the team. This British/Kiwi couple have spent the last 12 years managing luxury lodges in New Zealand and are now thrilled to return to the tropics, having previously run remote island resorts in Fiji. Originally a Marine Engineer and Human Resource Manager, the Goodhews spent time working on Private yachts floating around various parts of the world with the rich and famous. They very much look forward to hosting you at Etu Moana.
The new Managers took the opportunity to take the wonderful staff at Etu Moana out for lunch together after a ‘photo shoot’.
Left to Right:Very Back – Nick & Vili (on either side of the sign)
Back - Randy, Terangi, Cathy, Alone, Mii, Judy & Miti
Front – Pip, Isabella & Angeline
Etu Moana Beach Villas featured on the Australian TV programme of ‘Getaway’ last month. The footage of the Villas and the island of Aitutaki are stunningly captured by Catriona Rowntree and her team. You can view this six minute video by clicking the link below - click here:
Aitutaki is extremely fortunate to have an annual visit by dedicated volunteers from the USA to provide professional veterinary care for our islands felines, over a period of around 10 days in February. The ‘Esther Honey Foundation’ provides compassionate care for the animals of the South Pacific’s remote islands - click here:
They even sport the ‘Etu Moana’ Starfish on their WebPage!
So, it was fitting for Etu Moana to acknowledge the fine work of these Vets and their effort to our community of Aitutaki with a donation. After a hard day of surgery, we took them out for an evening of entertainment - to Aitutaki Village’s Blue Lagoon Restaurant where we enjoyed the ‘Battle of the 5 Ka’ara’ – the fiercely fought annual drumming competition on the island. The beats were astounding, passionate and pulsating as we indulged in a feast of local delicacies (such as ika mata, meats from the umukai, rukau, fresh tuna sashimi and much more….
Pictured on the left, local Stephanie Joseph who coordinates the Vet Trek on the Island, Nick and Pip Goodhew along with seven of the eight volunteers. A well deserved evening out on Etu Moana.
And more so, the cat desexing program was a huge success - they spayed / neutered over 100 cats and had many cats came for health checks. They also desexed 3 small male goats!! A wonderful achievement.
Our regular & very special guests, Phil & Candy (who you may recall featured in our last newsletter), are also generous with their time and donations of food and medication for the island cats including bringing kitten formula from home for the community. They happened to be here during the vet trek and assisted greatly in running around with cat cages, ensuring the vets had plenty of bottled water and so on. A great team effort.
Pursuit in Paradise
The ‘Pursuit in Paradise’ Aitutaki Marathon event took place for the second time, following its successful inaugural in 2018. Imagine a 14 square kilometer island hosting a 42.2km race! And do it well they do – with runners hardly re-tracing their steps as they criss- cross the island over roads, tracks and look-out peaks.The hugely successful event attracted 40 keen participants and spanned over 4 days, running to international guidelines with runners from all parts of the world such as Germany, Italy, USA, Luxembourg, Canada, New Zealand and Australia as well as local Cook Island runners.
Etu Moana is an Associate sponsor of the Event, so in true Aitutaki spirit we also set our alarms for 5am to be part of the supporting tent stations dotted around the island – here we were joined by two of the local college students, Tovada and Maini, who helped add a lot of joviality with their music box and cries of encouragement to the runners while passing out water, giving ice-sponge-downs and ensuring we ‘ticked-off’ each and every runner between ‘stations.’ We were at a critical intersection where the Half marathon and full marathon competitors passed so we were busy.
?We also attended a very special prize-giving and Etu Moana’s Manager Nick, handed out certificates and awards for one of the wining categories.An iconic event for marathon junkies and runners from around the world as well as local runners - SO, get training, the next one takes place 23-26 March, 2020.
Etu Moana’s very own Reservationist, Isabella, was performing on the night (seen here on the left).
Etu Moana Inspires Author
Marc Cameron, Ghost writer (for Tom Clancy) and talented author, visited our shores as part of his annual book writing excursion from home in Alaska to the tranquility of the Cook Islands. Additionally, he was promoting his new release, ‘Open Carry’.
'Bringing down a criminal is only half the problem. First, you have to find the target, and that is where U.S. Marshal Arliss Cutter thrives. It reads like a cross between Lee Child’s The Killing Floor and C.J. Box’s Blood Trail - perfect for fans of both those series.
Marc and Wife Victoria are regular visitors to Rarotonga and this was his maiden visit to Aitutaki – he says he WILL be back.
Promoting his new release ‘Open Carry’ Marc and Victoria took the chance for some promotional photography around the Resort.
Our Etu Moana Stars
In late December 2018, Angeline Ngamutea joined our team at Etu Moana, bringing youth and vitality to the Front Office. She will place an ‘ei’ around your neck at the airport or hand you a fresh cold ‘nu’ (coconut water) when you reach reception. Angeline may be on the end of the phone when you call or be your concierge, assisting with your plans during your stay. Wherever you meet her, you won’t miss her beautiful smile. Welcome Angie.
Other staff news
Randy Palomo (left) took the honour of ‘Etu Moana’s STAR OF THE QUARTER,’ in March, as voted by his colleagues. When staff were given the chance to say which member of the team they felt deserved the title for the first quarter of 2019, and in a couple of words ‘Why’ – Randy received the most votes with supporting comments such as ‘ dedicated’ & ‘hard working’ – many thanks Randy for your efforts in keeping our grounds looking magnificent. Randy is seen here with his colleague and fellow Grounds-keeper, Vili.
Our Miti has hospitality skills across the spectrum, and when he is not working serving breakfast or in Housekeeping, he is our skillful cocktail-creator. On Friday’s the honesty pool bar has its bartender and it is a delightful hour for our guests to share travel stories and yarns of their time on Aitutaki, over a tropical blend of house specialities.
The grounds are full of colour and at this time of year the stunning creamy flowers of the ‘cordyline australis yucca’ are in full bloom. There are so many other colours to delight guests along the paths around the Villas too.
Our ethos at Etu Moana is total commitment to our environment and ecological impact on this ‘piece of paradise’ so we were pleased to see Aitutaki as an island following suit with an immense solar project (thanks to some funding from overseas). New Zealand team, Kris and Noel, spent most of February and March on island managing the installation of hundreds of solar panels, which will ensure our community’s dependence on diesel fuel for electricity generation will cease and the actual reliability for power will be greater. Etu Moana Managers, Nick & Pip visited the project and gave their support.
Nick seen here with Project Manager, Noel:
To do on your next visit
We know it is hard to tear yourself away from the sandy white beaches, the turquoise waters and swinging in a hammock by the sea, however, we highly recommend you take a ‘cruise’ around the island, either by pushbike, scooter or car, to explore the ‘interior’ – the summit at Muanga Pu (the highest point on the island at 124m) rewards with breath-taking vistas and the southern end of Aittutaki is gloriously green.
In keeping with the theme at the start – “being patient and enjoying an easy pace on the island away from the stresses of the city’ our offer for bookings between now and 31st December 2019.
Book an Absolute Beach front Villa for 4 nights or more, and we will ensure you relax into Aitutaki and Etu Moana mode with 2 x one hour (complimentary) massages and a bottle of wine.
Either email email@example.com directly or make an online booking and use the promotional code ‘KiaOrana2019’ (Subject to availability).
15% discount for direct bookings
We decided to keep our favourite special open for 2019 as well so you, our direct guests benefit from the best discount.
Book you stay in a Beach Villa direct with us for 2018 & 2019 and receive a 15% discount on your room rate.
Kia Manuia from All of the Staff here at Etu Moana.
Pip & Nick Goodhew