Tom's Beach Cottage in Arutanga is a large island-style house on the beach. The seven rooms have old-fashioned brass beds and mosquito nets but the two facing the street get considerable traffic noise. A "honeymoon" bungalow a bit closer to the beach is double priced. When things are slow these rates are reduced.
A communal kitchen is available (beware of mice), plus a lounge with a pool table and a sitting room with photos of the family. Local calls on the house phone cost extra. Tom rents scooters and bicycles to guests. Many stores and facilities are nearby.
The Amuri Guest House near Tom's Beach Cottage has six clean rooms with shared bath. Communal cooking facilities are provided.
Vaikoa Units, a km north of the Pacific Resort Aitutaki, offers seven self-catering units in parallel wooden blocks (no hot water). The nearest grocery store is a 15-minute walk away. It's right on one of the best snorkeling beaches on the main island. The managers are friendly but guests tend to keep to themselves.
Matriki Beach Huts, on a great beach next door to the fancy Tamanu Beach Hotel north of town, has two beach houses and one garden bungalow. Each has cooking facilities, a sink, and a private outdoor shower, but two of the units share a toilet beside the main house. Owners Fred and Kristene Perron rent scooters, bicycles, and snorkeling gear to their guests.
Josie's Beach Lodge, at Ootu Beach to the right as you approach the bridge over to the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort, has six double rooms with shared bath and cooking facilities in an older building. The lodge can prepare an excellent breakfast for you if you order in advance. It's good value.