Situated about 15 minutes’ drive from the airport, the Nautilus Resort sits on the beachfront in Muri with beautiful views of the lagoon and ocean.
Nautilus Resort offers elegant 4.5 star-rated boutique beachfront accommodation with classic Polynesian style features. There are 17 premium luxury villas, each with its own private salt water plunge pool and it’s all set among lush tropical gardens, bountiful in tropical flowers and fruit trees.
The resort also features a world class restaurant and cocktail bar perched on the beachfront overlooking Muri Lagoon. Here you can enjoy a chic casual dining experience on the beachfront patio or for a fine dining experience in the evenings, the main restaurant is the perfect venue for a special occasion, corporate event or wedding celebration.
For a luxurious treat that will have you feeling a million dollars, book yourself in for a relaxing, rejuvenating treatment at the resort’s Thalgo-branded Spa Nautilus.
The internationally-recognised French-based Thalgo Beaute products used in Spa Nautilus blend European sophistication with traditional Polynesian massage rituals, all set in tropical garden surroundings.
Owned by Jane and Paul Pearson, the Nautilus Resort is a sister resort to Muri Beach Resort just next door. It is in good hands with Tim Meyer as its hotel operations manager, Mike Fosbender who is the food and beverage director and Leilani Gardiner, the weddings and events coordinator, all of whom happily greeted me upon my visit to the resort this week.
Fosbender says the restaurant has set a new standard for fine dining on the island, and he is proud of his team of staff from around the world who contribute to the food and service through their extensive experience in the hospitality trade.
“Nautilus Restaurant was opened in May 2014, prior to the resort opening and has grown in reputation with the resort since then,” Fosbender says.
The restaurant welcomes guests from outside the resort and regularly receives referrals from other resorts, which are greatly appreciated
“There is also a loyal and steadily growing following of local guests who enjoy our cuisine, whether for a night out with family or friends, a special occasion celebration or corporate occasion.
“One of the achievements we are proud of is winning the inaugural Chaine de Rotisseurs Restaurant competitions in the Cook Islands last September to be crowned “Restaurant of the Year,” Fosbender says.
The competition was based on a popular vote system. Guests were presented with a three course set menu with wine matching, which they then rated for a number of aspects.
Fosbender says the restaurant is known for its signature dishes and cocktails, including its Mojito cocktail and its “ika mata” or raw fish dish.
“Many people claim our interpretation of ika mata to be the best on the island. For dessert, our “Chocoholic Dream” will excite your tastebuds. We use local fruit to create delicious homemade ice cream that will excite kids and adults alike.”
THE RESTAURANT sources fresh produce from local farmers and also deals with local organic growers to support the restaurant’s philosophy of offering healthy eating options.
Both restaurant and bar are open to the public so you don’t have to be a resort guest to sample the great dishes coming out of the kitchen or the wicked cocktails from the bar. Make a booking though,as this place gets busy.
Gardiner is excited about her schedule for the year as she is hosting one to two weddings a week.
Meyer is proud of his team and together they strive to create truly Polynesian moments for their guests.
“If you’re not totally content lazing by the pool pondering your next meal, there are complimentary kayaks, stand up paddle boards and snorkelling equipment for all guests.”
The resort’s guest service attendants will happily organise anything you want for you, including car hire, restaurant reservations and activity bookings.
“Nautilus Resort is the perfect getaway for families with our Kid’s Concierge service and in-house guests activities programme, as well as being very romantic and intimate,” says Meyer.
“Our honeymooning guests especially enjoy the luxury and privacy that our ares (villas) provide to celebrate this special time in their lives.”
He says guests are often overwhelmed by the beautiful interior design of the bathrooms and the presence of their own private plunge pool.
“One thing you won’t feel about a visit to Nautilus, whether as an in-house guest or a diner at the restaurant, is let down.
“This place is setting new standards in the islands and should be on everyone’s Cook Islands holiday ‘bucket list’.”