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“Paradise in the Cook Islands”
Review of Makayla Palms

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Makayla Palms
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 September 2012

Just returned from a wonderful 11 days in Rarotonga staying at the beautiful Makayla Palms. We loved or Villa Tiare, it was everything that we could have wanted, pristinely clean with well stocked pantry, private and only metres to the awesome Titikaveka beach. We even had our own little family of geckos that came out at night. Lots of roosters came by daily but they didn't bother us at all, we enjoyed watching the little chicks bustling along with their Mums. There were local friendly dogs that would join us on our walks along the beach. The buses are a great way to get around and we used them almost daily. Our hosts at Makayla Palms, Rachel and John, were always on hand when we needed anything and were so helpful, Rachels yummy baking was an added bonus. Lovie looked after us and our villa so well and Fred did a great job tending the amazing tropical gardens. We were thrilled and privileged to be able to attend a local island buffet and show which was a fundraiser for Lovie and Freds son and his friend to attend a sports event in Australia. We can recommend The Sands restaurant for cocktails and meals, just a short walk along the beach, Vaima Restaurant for great dining on the beach (they pick up and drop off), Manuia Beach Right on the Beach Restaurant for lovely lunches, The Mooring Cafe for yummy fish sandwiches, The Cafe (located in the Beachcomber Gallery) for the very best coffee and Saltwater Cafe for yummy Sunday lunch. Our 11 days weren't enough, we so wish we could have stayed longer, much longer! Thank you Rachel, John, Lovie and Fred for making us feel at home in your own slice of South Pacific Paradise at Titikaveka, Rarotonga. We hope to be back one day.

Room Tip: All the villas are beautiful
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank GulfHarbourBadgers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JDMR, Owner at Makayla Palms, responded to this reviewResponded 25 September 2012

We loved that you enjoyed your "home away from home' at Makayla Palms and we certainly enjoyed your company! Being at the fundraiser with us for Loving's son was a real local experience and a big thank you for that.We look forward to seeing you again in our wee corner of paradise.John,Rachel,Loving and Fred

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179 - 185 of 392 reviews

Reviewed 17 September 2012

I recently stayed at makayla palms with a group of friends. The villa is a modern spacious layout with all the stylish comforts from home, and even had marmite! The most pristine beach on the island is so close and for the most part is yours to enjoy on your own. Rachel and john are amazing hosts and rachel provides the most delicious baking and great advice on places to visit. Will definitely be back!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Helen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JDMR, Owner at Makayla Palms, responded to this reviewResponded 25 September 2012

You girls had a great time and enjoyed all that Raro had to offer...and more! We are so happy that your celebratory holiday was such a success and would love to see you return!
John,Rachel,Loving and Fred.

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Reviewed 16 September 2012

We were a group of five ladies travelling to Rarotonga to celebrate our 40th birthdays, and the place was wonderful! Our villa had plenty of room for us, we had wonderful indoor/outdoor living, and the full cooking facilities were very helpful. The villas and the wonderful gardens were a very peaceful and relaxing environment, and with the beach only metres away we had a home away from home + more!. Brilliant stay, fantastic home baking and terrific hosts.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Karen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JDMR, Owner at Makayla Palms, responded to this reviewResponded 25 September 2012

We really appreciate your kind comments and that you had a "brilliant stay."
Look forward to seeing you again.
John,Rachel,Loving and Fred

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Reviewed 2 September 2012

We have just enjoyed our second visit to Villa Tiare and our third to the Cook Islands. It just gets better! Rachel and John have become our friends and so have Lovie and Fred who provided a great umu one evening for the guests at Makayla Palms. We love the comfort and style of Villa Tiare and all the extras thoughtfully provided by Rachel and John. Lovie swoops in and in no time everything is cleaned and tidied. The local store and fruit/vegie stalls so close are a bonus and Sunday morning at Church is a special experience. This year we attended some of the Maeve Nui celebrations and competitions and we'll definitely be back for that next year.
Many thanks to the Rennies for another wonderful three weeks.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank jandy36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2012

We've just returned to NZ after spending 7 nights at Makayla Palms - this was our 4th trip - that speaks volumes re. how much we love it! We stayed in the 2 bedroom villa along with my sister and brother-in-law who were visiting "down under" from the UK. We spent 2 weeks showing them a little bit of NZ and then escaped the NZ winter for some sunshine and a glimpse at what we've been raving about for the last few years! They fell in love with Rarotonga and Makayla Palms, just like we did. They were blown away (as we always are) by Rachel and John's friendliness and kindness (and of course the home baking!), the quality of the villas, and the availability of all the gear you need for the beach - towels, snorkel gear, kayaks, reef shoes.
We also enjoyed one of Rachel and John's special tropical breakfasts one morning which was a fantastic start to the day.
As usual we were interested in R&J's current recommendations on places to eat - top places for us were Vaima (once for dinner and once for yummy take-away pizzas) and Sands.
Makayla Palms isn't right on the beach - it's all of 30 seconds walk away from what we think is the most beautiful beach on the island! Being slightly set back definitely has its pluses on the breezy Raro days when you can escape to your sheltered private verandah.
For high quality, clean, comfortable accommodation - a tropical home away from home - I'd highly recommend Makayla Palms!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Cooks_Fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2012

We spent 3 weeks in the cook islands, 2 weeks in Raro specifically. It was our honeymoon and they made us feel very special. We spent Christmas there and Rachel and John actually got a gift for us. We didn't have to buy many groceries at all because of all the fresh fruit and baking that Rachel would bring for us. We spent an afternoon with Lovie and Fred and they taught us how to weave baskets and about 1000 ways to use a coconut, I would definitely recommend doing this to every guest. It was probably the best part of our trip.
Overall we had a great stay and we can't wait to go back someday.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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Thank Andrew204mb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2012

My new husband and I have just arrived back from a relaxing 8 nights at Makayla Palms. What an outstanding place to stay. We try to stay away from resorts as they aren't really our cup of tea, so when friends recommended the self contained villas that make up Makayla Palms, it sounded perfect for our honeymoon. Funnily enough my parents-in-law bet us to it and got to Makayla before we did! Their high recommendations cemented that this was where we were going to stay.

We arrived to a spacious, clean, well equipped and modern 2 bedroom villa with well stocked cupboards and everything you need. No its not right on the beach, but its a mere 15second walk across the grass to the most beautiful stretch of beach on the island which is mostly deserted! We made the most of the beach on the sunny days (unfortunately we arrived during some patchy weather) by snorkeling and kayaking with the provided gear. Also made very good use of the BBQ on the nights we weren't sampling the local restaurants! Loved how the same dog would turn up for a visit as soon as you fired up the BBQ. We really love self catered accommodation as we like being able to do what we want, when we want, cater for ourselves if we want to so that you can cook a BBQ or make a yummy breakfast if you prefer not to eat out for every single meal. So if thats your thing then this is the place for sure. Rachel has great recommendations on where to go on the island - what to visit, where to eat etc. Oh and she is a pretty good baker too! We sampled her banana loaf and ginger crunch - yum!

We recommend hiring scooters or a car to get around for the convenience. The bus is great but is definitely on island time! We loved having our scooters and definitely did a few trips around the island.

As far as food goes, we recommend the Mooring for their seared tuna sandwiches, Tamarind House, Vaima and Sands all great food, Flying Boat for yummy fish and chips (and whale watching if you're lucky, as we were!), Saltwater cafe for great coffee and breakfasts and Le Bon Vivant in town does excellent coffee and cakes - apparently they are great for dinner too but we never got to try unfortunately. We also did the progressive dinner which was great - excellent food and great to meet local people in their homes. Make sure you make it to the saturday morning market too for lots of local delights.

If you're into diving, its definitely recommended in Rarotonga and Sabine and the team at The Dive Centre on Aroa Beach were fantastic.

My only criticism - which isn't even a criticism of Makayla - is the roosters who like to crow all through the night, and the mosquitos which took a liking to me! But you will get this anywhere on the island, so just make sure you pack air-plugs and insect repellent.

So if you're looking for an outstanding place to stay then this is it... 3 private self contained villas set in beautiful grounds by the best beach with accommodating hosts - what more could you ask for?!

Thanks John and Rachel for everything including all the extras you provided us with to make our honeymoon extra special - it was much appreciated. Hopefully we will be back one day!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Samantha D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Makayla Palms

Address: Kauare, Titikaveka 0000, Cook Islands
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Titikaveka
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Titikaveka
Price Range: £140 - £216 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Makayla Palms 4*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Air NZ Cook Island Tourism Award Winner 2016/2017 Self Catering Villas Award winning Rarotongan accommodation at its best! Excellence on trip Advisor. Beautiful self catering villas with private beach access to stunning Titikaveka lagoon and beach. A perfect tropical holiday destination. Relax on the uncrowded beach with complimentary kayaks and snorkeling equipment or explore the many and varied activities on the island. Makayla Palms has a two bedroom villa and two couples villas (studios) and they have everything you need for your tropical holiday. These fully screened villas feature full kitchens, spacious lounges with flat screen TV, iPod dock, DVD player and Wifi modem. A cupboard contains all linen changes and beach towels, books games and DVDs. Guests enjoy the BBQ on their deck and the open air shower. AIR CON available with a surcharge. Within walking distance is a village shop, a fruit stall, a church, Tuk tuk tours, cafes and restaurants. Three kms away in Muri are many more cafes and restaurants. There is a car and scooters that can be pre booked and parking is available on the property. Buses run regularly and may be hailed at the gate. Exclusive airport transfers are available for booking. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Makayla Palms Hotel Titikaveka
Makayla Palms Rarotonga, Cook Islands - Titikaveka

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