Little Polynesian, a celebration of Cook Islands heritage

Posted on 18/04/2023

Originally named the Little Polynesian Motel, the humble beachfront property was acquired in 1985 by Cook Islands sisters; the late Te Tika Mataiapo – Dorice Reid and late Jeannine Peyroux. Recognising the trend in Cook Islands tourism for upscale accommodation, the pair was determined to evolve with the dynamic industry and the property went through a complete redevelopment in 2006; establishing the now 5 star boutique adults-only Little Polynesian Resort.

Passionate about their homeland, Te Tika (a traditional chief) and Jeannine envisioned the Little Polynesian with a Cook Islands signature of its own, where nature meets the design that was fashioned in respect to and as a reflection of Cook Islands culture.  The resort’s Cook Islands traditional architecture and grounds were designed with one purpose: to integrate harmoniously with nature’s beauty and charm.

Simple and unpretentious, the resort welcomes you to a world of elegance, a timeless universe of sophistication and authenticity inspired by Cook Islands values.

Celebrating Cook Islands culture and designed for the future, you are treated to stylish rooms that are a seamless blend of Polynesian and contemporary luxury designs. Dwellings combine a time-honoured construction; unusually high roofing, a long but almost forgotten trademark of traditional Cook Islands architecture, top modern furnishing from Europe and traditional craftwork. Appreciation will certainly develop for the fine wood mahogany floors in the Beachfront Bungalows and the closets with hand carved artistry. The frieze (elegant wood trim) are lime washed mahogany and hand carved with the Cook Islands traditional symbol “tikitiki tangata” meaning “man holding hands in peace and unity”.

The vaulted ceilings feature sinuous woven beams and have a story behind them that was often shared by Te Tika Mataiapo. During the development stages of the resort a “tau’nga” (an expert, a knowledgeable/skilled person in a specific area) from the island of Mangaia was specially consulted with. The expert craftsman had been requested to weave an intricate and delicate design “ina ere” meaning to “catch a star”. Surprised, when tears filled the eyes of the tau’nga (as it was uncustomary for old-men to cry), Te Tika questioned his sadness and his tender response was “the art of sennit weaving hadn’t been practiced for 100 years.” Last exercised in 1891, the craftsman was honoured by the opportunity to revive the art of sennit weaving.

Encompassing the essence of the islands through subtle touches of color and humble works of traditional artistry from locally-sourced materials, the resort accentuates the feel of true Polynesia.

You will undoubtedly be captivated by the elegance and authentic charm that is Little Polynesian Resort.


Ready to book?  Visit our offers page for some great value deals.

Want more information on the Cook Islands? Visit Cook Island Tourism