Last summer we held a seriously tropical competition in association with Beach Tomato, to win a trip-of-a-lifetime to the Cook Islands. The lucky winner, Sonali, headed off to the jaw-droppingly beautiful islands with a friend earlier this month. Here's how they got on in paradise.

Day 1:

Kia Orana! We arrived in the Cook Islands, and it was so lovely to be greeted at the airport with huge smiles and floral lei garlands. With such a warm welcome we felt at home instantly.

Day 2:

The Pacific Resort Rarotonga was situated directly on Muri Beach, and every morning our yummy breakfast was served with loads of tropical fruit, great island coffee and a spectacular view!

Day 3:

We wanted to find out a bit more about Cook Island culture, so we headed to the Te Vara Nui Village for their spectacular over-water night show. It was amazing! The beautiful Polynesian dancers showed us how to shake our hips island style.

Day 4:

We took a lagoon cruise around the islets (called Motu) with the hilarious Captain Tama crew. It was the perfect way to explore the amazing snorkelling spots in the lagoon, and we even got a demonstration on how to climb a coconut tree...easy right?!

Day 5:

We had to check out the nightlife, so we headed to the local rugby club and enjoyed a few Tui beers before being picked up by the Rarotonga party bus. It took us to all the island hotspots including the famous Rehab Club. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun!

Day 6:

As far as post party bus hangover food went, this catch of the day Mahi Mahi sandwich from the Mooring Fish Cafe (Avana Fishing Club) could not have hit a sweeter spot! Delicious wouldn’t do it justice, if only I could get one in London...

Day 7:

A short flight and we arrived in Aitutaki for the second part of our amazing trip. We hopped straight onto the famous Teking lagoon cruise which took us to the breathtaking Tapuaetai or One Foot Island. I’m not sure I’ll ever see a more beautiful place, it really was paradise.

Day 8:

Our room at Pacific Resort Aitutaki was pure luxury. Every evening we would get dressed up and enjoy a cocktail on our deck whilst watching the sun set. I felt especially glam this night in my new Reiss Rachel dress, the perfect holiday look.

Day 9:

We decided to go exploring on the moped and discovered this beautiful spot in the north of the island.  Not only was the lagoon here the most amazing shade of turquoise and perfect for swimming, there were also hammocks just waiting for me to jump into and do absolutely nothing.

Day 10:

We’d been waiting all holiday for that picture postcard sunset, and Aitutaki did not disappoint on our final night. It was hard to not feel sad knowing that we were leaving the next day, but I also felt immensely lucky to have been able to experience the Cook Islands.

Day 11:

We had a few hours to spare before our flight back to London, which we spent the beach of course! What an amazing adventure, we absolutely LOVED the Cook Islands. We’ll miss you, but we’ll be back!