The Best Cook Islands Resorts and Hotels

The South Pacific paradise is waiting.
A woman walks by the pool at Pacific resort Aitutaki

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The Cook Islands remain one of the world’s greatest hidden gems. Its 15 glorious clumps of rock scattered across the South Pacific are nothing short of spectacular, yet a trip to any of them is uniquely quiet—even in today’s age of social media-fueled travel. 

Don’t mistake underrated for underdeveloped, though. The best Cook Islands resorts are as modern as they come, making any time spent there utter bliss—it’s just tough to get to, and that’s holding off the swarms for now.

With only five airports servicing the country, most beach-loving tourists opt for the direct connections found in Fiji and Tahiti, leaving the Cook Islands wide open for the more intrepid.

Of course, that’s you, isn’t it?

To help, we’ve found some of the best Cook Islands resorts and hotels to get you planning.

The best Cook Islands resorts and hotels on a budget

Paparei Bungalows

The Paprei Bungalows in the Cook Islands
Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Aitutaki
Price: $150+
Vibe: Bliss on a budget
The rundown: One of the perks of opting for the far-flung paradise of the Cook Islands is the ability to find cheaper accommodation than the more traditional destinations. Paprei Bungalows is the perfect example of this.

Set on a private beach on Aitutaki Island, the impossibly beautiful and second most visited in the Cook Islands, your $ 150-a-night investment is going a long way here. Don’t get us wrong, it’s not a luxury spot and frills are kept to a minimum. But you’ve got everything you need for a comfortable stay. That price point alone makes it one of the best Cook Islands resorts.

The Black Pearl Beachside Apartments

The view from a room at the bleack pearl beachside apartments in cook islands
Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Price: $120+
Vibe: Humble, homey, and high-value
The rundown: We’ve already shown you how to get to the Cook Islands for almost nothing. But if you’re trying to save even more pennies, for $120 a night you can stay at the delightful Black Pearl Beachside Apartments. Just 10 minutes from the airport, you’ll even save on the taxi ride there.

This is a humble place to stay. Built for cozy beach stays with the family, the stunning gardens and excellent saltwater pool make it the perfect base to return to after exploring the island. It’s just across the road from the beach itself (the sunset side of the island), where you can bask in the South Pacific sun until your heart’s content. There aren’t too many places in Fiji you could grab for that price.

The best Cook Islands resorts and hotels on a mid-range budget

Muri Beach Resort

The inside view from a room in Muri Beach resort
Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Price: $270+
Vibe: Secret garden (on a beach)
The rundown: The finely manicured gardens the Muri Beach Resort is built among should tell you everything you need to know about the place. Service and experience are at the forefront of any stay, whether you’re writing postcards from your oceanview desk or basking in the sunshine, cocktail in hand, at the pool.

Set on Rarotonga, the center point and most populous of the Cook Islands, you’re never far from experiencing everything the region has to offer. Better yet, you don’t have another plane to catch once you step off your final one for the day. It’s one of the best Cook Islands resorts that doesn’t break the bank.

Resort Tava’e

The sunset view from a Resort Tava'e
Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Price: $290+
Vibe: South Pacific serenity
The rundown: Despite its location on one of the quietest islands in the country, the Resort Tava’e is a remarkably modern affair. The sleekly designed property has a distinct beach club feel but holds onto the essence of the island with aplomb.

Naturally, you’re never more than a few steps from the sublime beach it’s built on. The staff is attentive, catering to the needs of any and all its guests, while the on-site amenities, like the two communal pools, are a hit for those needing a timeout from the sand. It’s unlikely that’ll last long, though—Aitutaki is stunning.

The best Cook Islands resorts and hotels on a big budget

Pacific Resort Aitutaki

The restaurant view at pacific resort aitutaki
Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Price: $700+
Vibe: Secluded luxury paradise
The rundown: It doesn’t get any better than this. The tiny island of Aitutaki (technically an atoll) is a regular feature on lists of the most beautiful places on Earth, and it’s not hard to see why. Its water and beaches put Fiji to shame and the secluded atmosphere is no illusion.

Pacific Resort Aitutaki is the country’s premier luxury resort, setting the island’s beauty as the focal point of any stay while buoying the experience with outstanding service. There are only 29 accommodations in the resort, and each one is a true beachfront bungalow. If you’re coming all this way, you may as well opt for the best. And this is certainly one of the best Cook Islands resorts.

Rumours Luxury Villas and Spa

The view from Rumours Luxury Villas and spa
Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Rarotonga
Price: $500+
Vibe: Luxury home away from home
The rundown: Rumours’ selection of luxury villas are the dream homes we’d all build on a beach paradise. Private pools, each with its own waterfall feature, ocean-facing bedrooms, and sprawling inner spaces to retreat to when the sun’s been a little too much; these are the standards set at Rumours.

Of course, it also has all the amenities of a high-end resort at its guest’s disposal, elevating a stay at one of the most exclusive properties in the Cook Islands even further. It’s easily one of the best Cook Islands resorts, and arguably the best one on the main island of Rarotonga.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This post contains references to products from one or more of our partners and we may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

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