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“A hidden gem”
Review of Makayla Palms

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Makayla Palms
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 April 2014

We stayed at Makayla Palms for almost a month last year from Dec 16, 2013 to Jan 11, 2014. It was our first time at Makayla Palms and our seventh visit to Rarotonga.

It is difficult to add much more to the many positive experiences other visitors have had, except we think Makayla Palm is the “hidden gem” amongst all the other accommodations on the island.

Rachel, John, Loving and Fred made us immediately feel at home and staying at villa Tiare surrounded by a lush tropical garden was a delight. With the lagoon just a short walk away, we spent our days at the beach, snorkeling and swimming out to the edge reef. Overall our time at Makayla Palms was more like visiting relatives, a “Home away from Home”.

We are looking forward to be at Makayla Palms again in December 2014

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank 5points2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (386)
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102 - 108 of 386 reviews

Reviewed 31 March 2014

We stayed at Makayla Palms for 9 days in February. Rachel picked us up at the airport and when we drove into Makayla Palms we knew immediately we would be very happy there.
3 villas set apart from each other in the most beautiful spacious gardens. We stayed in Tiarre villa, which was beautiful and furnished to a very high standard. It was very clean and comfortable with everything you would need provided in the kitchen, and a BBQ on the verandah which we used for many evening meals. The location was excellent, only one minute walk to the beach, and this was probably the best beach on the island, white sand and a fabulous blue lagoon. We went snorkelling every day using the snorkelling equipment provided free, there was also free use of Kayaks. We seemed to have the beach to ourselves most days and hardly ever saw anyone else, it really was paradise.
Makayla Palms gardens are a joy and these are looked after by Fred who does a wonderful job, his wife Loving is the housekeeper and keeps everything ship-shape as well as finding time to stop and chat and giving us fruit and herbs grown in the garden.
Whilst we were there we enjoyed an Umu, a traditional feast prepared by Fred and Loving of food wrapped in banana leaves and cooked underground, it was delicious, so many different meats and fish to taste. During this evening we were entertained to traditional singing and dancing by Freds daughters and niece. It was a wonderful evening and we are so glad to have been part of it.
Rachel was the perfect host, bringing us homemade cakes and biscuits, calling in to make sure all was ok and giving us info on shopping and Restaurants, nothing was too much trouble.
We would certainly highly recommend Makayla Palms.
We were sorry not to have met John, as he was away in NZ, but would like to thank you both from Linda and Malcolm in England.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jupiter50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2014

My daughter and I went on a fact-finding mission as she would like to get married in Rarotonga. We stayed at Makayla Palms but got so much more than we bargained for! Rachel (the owner) was so helpful and generous and kind! The villa was superb and the location excellent ! I would definitely recommend this place.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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3  Thank Joydavids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2014

My mother and I stayed in one of the Villas at Mikayla Palms for a sweet and short holiday. We could not believe how gorgeous the villa was and how private it was. It is so close to the beach, probably about 50-100 feet. We would spend hours on the beach and sometimes watch the sunset. The best part was swimming, then we would walk up the little path and get a bite to eat then go back down to the beach. It is wonderful staying in Villa as you don't have limitations of anything such as meal times arranged by a hotel. Everything is at your service in the Villa. It's also a great way to cook and eat with local produce. It's nice and close to everything and all the equipment you need to snorkel and kayak is all available for you. It was lovely for us to have some beautiful home baking made by Rachel aswell. I would highly recommend staying at Mikayla Palms to enhance the best experience of your stay in Rarotonga. There is no chance you will be disappointed. Thank John and Rachel for such a wonderful place to stay.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Lisa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2014

The Makayla Palms live up to their reviews, they are wonderful and I highly recommend anyone looking for self catered accommodation to stay here. It was our home away from home and we loved it!

We stayed in the Tiare Villa 6-14 February 2014, and everything we needed was provided. It was great having the convenience of fridge/freezer, bbq, cook top and other kitchen basics. Plus the fruit platter and little baked treats were most appreciated.

Rachel was a wonderful host and it was nice to have someone there to ask advice, make reservations or just to have a friendly chat. Loving, who is the housekeeper, would also pop in for a chat, so was nice to have friendly faces.

The beach in my opinion is the best on the island, with great snorkelling and swimming at all tides. The snorkelling gear is provided free, as are the kayaks, which were also great to have.

The gardens are very well maintained by Fred, and it was great to be able to help yourself to any fruit that was ripe. There is also a fruit stall just across the road which was very cheap and handy.

Our room had a ceiling fan and a stand up fan, and also air conditioning for a surcharge. We coped with just the fans, but would recommend paying the surcharge if you struggle with the heat. All the doors and windows have secure insect screens, which means you can leave all the doors and windows open and still be secure...not that we felt this was an issue...but at least it keeps the bugs outside.

Thanks Rachel & John for having us - we love the Makalya Palms!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mrsmills2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2014

We stayed at Makayla in late December and early January. The location on the south side of the island is superb. Set back from the shore by 50-100 feet adds privacy. We would walk the path to the beach for morning walks, snorkeling, sunning, and sunsets. The beach is great.
The Makayla Resort is really a gem. Each of 3 units are privately located on the property. Fruits and herbs abound to be picked. Fred and Loving are great and have a wonderful family. Fred keeps up the grounds and loving keeps up the rooms etc.
One of our highlights was an Umu, which we asked Fred and Loving to do. They brought many items of food and shared the was the items are cooked in the ground. We had chicken, Fish, pork, salads, sides, all cooked to perfection. We all ate in the common area Gazebo. Fred and Loving explained some of the Rarotongan Culture and they even brought his daughters who did several traditional dances while Fred played guitar and Rarotongan Drums. Well we have to say these was a fantastic experience and we recommend for anyone staying at Makayla. Need to arrange a few days in advance. This was way better than going to the Hotel Shows.
As it was winding down we were asked to take some of the food back to our villa as well, and it was still great the next day or two.
My other suggestion would be to let John and Renee reserve a car in advance. We went to reserve one with Polynesian and they were out of cars. We finally got one from Polynesian and it was a real rattletrap. No problems as the driving in the driving in The Cooks is easy. But we will always remember that car.
I have attached pictures of the beach and from the Umu feast.
Plan to go the beach early in the am and look for reef fish hanging near the shore too.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank patrick491
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JDMR, Owner at Makayla Palms, responded to this reviewResponded 7 February 2014

We were so pleased to see your comments about our local experience umu with Fred and his family and that it was a highlight of your stay. It is a really authentic experience and Fred and Loving enjoying sharing their culture. The little girls dancing which includes their 3 year old grand daughter continues to be a hit with our guests and it is part of the girls learning and retaining their heritage.Thank you so much for your kind review.
John, Rachel, Loving and Fred

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Reviewed 30 January 2014

Righto, what can I say that hasn't already been said? Probably not a lot.

We first stayed at Makayla Palms in 2009, came back to Raro twice after that but had to stay elsewhere as the ankle-biters would have shattered the peace there; we finally made it back again child-free for 6 nights this month. Absolute, uninterrupted bliss.

Sadly Rachel & John were in NZ while we visited so we didn't see them this time but Loving (who is a super-star and a hoot) took us under her wing. We were both there to get away from it all & Loving left us alone but was on site everyday if we needed her for anything. I had a garden tour with Fred and made a stunning pot of tea from lemongrass picked from behind our villa... also ate the sweetest pineapple I've ever tasted that grew about 10 feet away from where we slept (outside, I hasten to add, not in the villa!).

We stayed in the Tiare villa which I loved as it's behind the other 2 and as you can see from my photos is very private. We loved just being able to drift along the fence bordering Tiane villa in front, past Maeva Beach house and onto the usually deserted beach. It is the most beautiful stretch of beach... we've stayed on it 4 times now and I don't think I will ever tire of it.

Don't be discouraged by the fact that Makayla isn't absolute beach-front. There are certainly other properties which are but you'll pay three times as much for a view which is only 30 seconds away from Makayla Palms.

Our villa was meticulously clean & thoughtfully equipped with milk, butter, jams, bread, fresh fruit and some home baked biccies. There were also some bathroomy bits like cotton wool pads which I thought was great and there were other pantry basics as well. The bed was really comfy which is always a plus. Good selection of DVDs for inclement weather!

A massive plus for us is that the villa had aircon... we've only ever visited in July before and the difference in temperature was staggering. The first thing we did was swap the very dilapidated convertible car we'd hired for a sensible hatchback with a roof & aircon :o)

I can't rate this place highly enough... if you want someone at your elbow every time you sneeze then you need to head to a swank resort but if you want an incredibly well-equipped, thoughtfully executed, comfortable, clean place to stay in stunning surroundings (did I mention the beautifully maintained gardens?) run by honest, friendly staff, then this is it.

**I managed to sneak a peek in the 2 bedroom villa between guests and was impressed at how spacious it was and especially liked the fact that the master & second bedroom are on opposite sides of the building.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ukkird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JDMR, Owner at Makayla Palms, responded to this reviewResponded 6 February 2014

Well! we were absolutely thrilled with your glowing review and certainly hope you get to visit again without the "ankle biters!" As you know we bend over backwards for our guests and the best part was that although we were away you were well looked after in our absence. We too were sorry to miss you both but know you will return and we can catch up then!
Thank you again for your kindness to us all at Makayla Palms

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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: £150 - £230 (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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