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“Beautiful location”
Review of Palm Grove

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Palm Grove
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vaimaanga
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Beautiful location”
Reviewed 25 January 2014

We stayed in a beachfront Matenga bungalow; just 20 steps to the pristine water of the lagoon. How delightful to hear the sounds of water and the wind blowing through the palms at night. Most relaxing. The resort restaurant, The Yellow Hibiscus, served the most delicious meals at moderate prices. Breakfasts were included in the room rate and the local paw paw was something to die for. We have not found such sweet and tasty paw paw elsewhere, even in tropical Australia. We found the location of Palm Grove on the southern coast of Rarotonga amongst the best on the island. The Cook Islands have become our favourite holiday destination.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Paul H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (201)
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English first
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2014

We stayed at Palm Grove in October, but our stay is still very fresh in our minds. Stayed in the Garden Villas which were all that we wanted with the kitchen included. Breakfast was awesome and is a plus when you stay at Palm Grove, with cereal, fruits , yoghurt , toast , and the choice to purchase a cooked breakfast. Happy Hour night was a lot of fun and we meet some very nice people also staying at the resort. Wigmores supermarket a short walk away , very convenient for us as we self catered and made use of the barbeques at resort. The best part was the location of Palm Grove, quite with a great sandy beach and a perfect lagoon for snorkling..

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank jan r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2014

PROS: The Resort Restaurant - The Yellow Hibiscus, the BBQ Dinner was amazing, great live music with fresh produce. I highly recommend trying the Ika Mata (Raw Fish). The staff were so friendly. It is away from most of the larger resorts and feels really private, great location for watching a sunset. Own kitchen so you can self cater.

CONS: We stayed in the Garden Villa and sadly the room was very run down.
The safe only had a padlock, the air conditioner was broken (the staff did move us to another room, the woman on front desk was slightly rude about re arranging her bookings the next day), our phone in the new room was not activated and could not get it turned on for 4 hours - we missed a Island night experience because we couldn't contact them in time.
The woman on front desk never offered to help us book tours, just told us to call them from our room. Also just to reiterate this resort does not provide any activities which I didn't realize mattered until I got there.

Overall I would probably stay somewhere else next time. Palm Grove is just behind what the other resorts offer in this price range. I would come to eat at the restaurant though.

When we were looking we wanted to know if same sex couples had any problems, the staff never said anything and treated us respectfully. Hope this helps.

Room Tip: If you do stay here pay the extra for the Beach Villa
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Paekiri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PalmGrove, Owner at Palm Grove, responded to this review, 17 January 2014
Kia Orana Paekiri,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review of Palm Grove. It’s great to see how pleased you and Rosemary were with our restaurant - particularly our staff – and our wonderful location on the stunning southern coast of Rarotonga. But I’m disappointed to hear that you were not fully satisfied with your stay and I’d like to take this opportunity to address your comments.

You stayed in our One Bedroom Superior bungalow which features the same high quality furniture and mattresses as all of the bungalows at Palm Grove, and includes kingsize beds, flatscreen TV, kitchen facilities, air conditioning, and private patio overlooking the lush mountainous interior of Rarotonga. I apologize that you encountered a fault with your air conditioner the morning after you checked in (Tuesday) but I’m very pleased that we were able to immediately move you to another room. While faults are not necessarily common, they can happen and we pride ourselves on addressing any maintenance concerns very quickly. We moved you from G12 to G10 and had the air conditioner in G12 repaired that same day. There was no conflict with other reservations in making this room change so I'm unsure of how you got the impression that anyone in the office was at all put out by doing this for you. When a maintenance issue arises, if it's something that requires us to call in an outside contractor it's usually our preference to move guests to another room asap rather than have guests endure any sort of wait while the maintenance issue is attended to.

When guests move rooms, unfortunately our system does not automatically turn on the phone in the new room, and I’m very sorry the office neglected to do this for you. However, the office would have been open all day Tuesday and the restaurant that evening, and a staff member from either location could have activated your phone for you as soon as you’d let us know we’d forgotten. So I’m confused about your comment regarding waiting 4 hours and would appreciate some clarification as to how this happened?

Our reception area also acts as a full service tour desk and offers flyers/information on over 35 tours/excursions/entertainment options available on Rarotonga, in addition to information on a myriad of restaurants and other information like bus schedules, rental cars, and island maps. We will always happily offer advice on tours and restaurants, and make any bookings or reservations for our guests. Guests do sometimes ask if they are able to book tours themselves from their room, and the answer would have been yes, but I’m sorry if there was some confusion and you were left with the impression that we were unable or unwilling to book tours for you. Our receptionist was on holiday during your stay with us so your daily contact would have been with Joanne (the manager) and me (the owner). As island nights are offered 6 nights a week at multiple locations, we could have easily booked you and Rosemary into an island night on any subsequent night you requested.

You are correct that our rooms have lock boxes available for guest use, and we offer free use of our office safe as well. You have stated that your room was “run down” but apart from the air conditioner fault (repaired same day), you haven’t mentioned any other specific concerns and I would be quite keen to receive further information from you regarding this issue. Most TripAdvisor readers are aware of the many refurbishments we have undertaken in the last two years and for which we are receiving great feedback, so I am sorry you were disappointed with the room amenities Palm Grove has to offer.

Palm Grove is a solid midrange accommodation and we pride ourselves on offering excellent value for money. For your 7 night stay with us, you were able to combine two different specials we had on offer for December – a discount on your nightly rate PLUS a free night, bringing your nightly spend down to less than NZ$200 for your room. I can honestly say that you’d find it very difficult to find a similar room at one of our competitors for this price, so I believe your statement about Palm Grove being “behind” our competitors isn’t accurate. However, we certainly respect your opinion and would love the opportunity to talk to you about this further. Please feel free to contact me directly at beach@palmgrove.co.ck

Thank you again for your review of Palm Grove and I hope my comments have been helpful to you as well as other TripAdvisor readers.

Kind regards,

Betsy Eisler
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2013

We stayed Nov 2013, in a beachfront studio (B3) highly recommended, Palm Grove has the best relaxed atmosphere that is very welcome from our busy day to day life in Sydney, everyone was wonderful and the beach studios are just that (on the beach), the buffet breakfast is fine it has everything you could want and yes they have some tinned fruit this goes on top of cereal or spooned over yoghurt , and there was fresh fruit on offer every day along with some fresh baked scones on a particular day and if you want something cooked you only need to ask. We loved that the whole feel of the resort is one of staying with friends this it was makes it unique, we didn't want day spas and restaurants galore to choose from so if you want the latter maybe somewhere else would suit you. We also loved Cafe Salsa in town great service and the best toasties ever and Viama Restaurant just a short stroll down the road does excellent pizza and if you get a chance have dinner there and dine in the sand you wont be disappointed. We are planning our return for late 2014 and cant wait to see the refurbished beach studios, Highly recommended just relax and switch to island time

Room Tip: Beach front studios are quiet and right on the beach (B3) PERFECT
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Kazz54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portarlington, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2013

A great beach bungalow with amazing sunsets ,the best short walks /snorkelling along the wonderful beach/reef and cooking the best BBQ fish and steak ever. Nothing was too hard to assist us with and anything we wanted to do was booked for us .
the only thing we had to do was choose what to do and where to go.

Room Tip: if you like the beach choose the beach bungalows if you like quiet and privacy choose the garden acc...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank LNBARNES
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gisborne, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2013

Such a beautiful and amazing place to stay! I highly recommend it. My husband and I held our wedding at the gorgeous beach at Palm Grove and was followed by our reception at the onsite restaurant, The Yellow Hibiscus. The team at Palm Grove made planning a wedding effortless, with everything we wanted taken care of and giving us the wedding we had dreamed of. We can confidently say our wedding was perfect and there is nothing we would change or want done differently if done again. The team at the Yellow Hibiscus restaurant made our reception look wonderful and incorporated everything that had been discussed. The food was delicious, a lot of our guests had said it was one of the best meals they had while staying in Rarotonga. They also catered to guests who were Vegan and Gluten Free without any complaints. I could go on and on about how much of an amazing stay we had, we will definitely be back.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Anita A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2013

Traveled the Rarotonga Island from end to end, and have to admit that Palm Grove accommodation was exceptional, we found the Garden bungalows to be the quietest and coziest accommodation on the island. Even Muri Beach Club Hotel beachfront rooms weren't as good in our opinion.

We also liked the convenient location close to wonderful Vaima restaurant (best on the island) and the Wigmore's Superstore (largest on the island), as well as beautiful resort The Rarotongan (great smoothies), as well as the mini-golf course Coco Putt.

But we did not like some of the amenities such as swimming pool, it was tiny and loud kids were in it almost all the time, with very windy beach that disallowed us from enjoying swimming altogether.

We also thought the restaurant was by far the worst on the island. We tried the lunch once, ordered 3 things, only to have the waitress come back after half an hour saying 2 of those 3 things are unavailable. So we both opted for the burger, only to receive it inedible, the meat was burnt black on the outside and bloody raw on the inside.

Breakfasts were indeed very limited. There were no scones, no muffins that were advertised, no pastry whatsoever, and no fresh fruit during the breakfasts we had there. Fresh juice yes, canned fruit yes, but no fresh fruit. I'm not asking for freshly baked bread rolls, ham, cheese, crepes, or various hot options they have for free in Muri Beach Club Hotel, but fresh fruit, pastry, and even a few hard boiled eggs (plenty of local produce available there) should be mandatory in a resort-style Raro breakfast. Apart from fresh juice and yogurt, the breakfast only had prepackaged cereal, toast from the bag, and jam (not even any honey), it felt like we could have had the same breakfast for $5 by going to the store 300m away. Just to clarify, we appeared at the breakfast pretty much first thing at 8am, so no one can speculate that we were too late and all the good stuff was gone. The breakfast was simply that limited.

I think the staff service could have been better too, because there was no staff monitoring the breakfast. When something ran out, that was it, no one ever bothered to check, refill, restock, or even clean the tables. One morning we didn't even have cutlery to eat with.

Palm Grove was also the only place that had cats on the property, which is a big minus. Tame dogs are lovely, but the cats here were intrusive and a big turn off.

I wish we could combine Palm Grove's garden villa, Muri Beach Club Hotel's buffet breakfast, and The Rarotongan bar. That would be a perfect hotel on Rarotonga. Too bad the beach all-around the island is kind of useless for swimming (shallow, windy, littered).

Room Tip: Garden villas are spacious and tranquil (if you don't count kids in the pool), while Beach bunga...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Daniel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Palm Grove

Property: Palm Grove
Address: P.O. Box 23, Vaimaanga, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Vaimaanga
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vaimaanga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Palm Grove 3.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the enchanting area of Vaimaanga on the stunning southern coast, Palm Grove enjoys the tranquility of one of the best locations on Rarotonga. 26 individual bungalows are scattered over 5 acres of landscaped beachfront and garden property. Bungalows are available in studio to 3-bedroom layout and feature kingsize beds, kitchen facilities, aircon, flatscreen TV, and private patio/balcony. Property amenities include our onsite restaurant and bar, swimming pool, guest BBQ, laundry facility, tour desk, and motorbike rentals. All guests receive complimentary daily tropical breakfast buffet and use of kayaks, snorkel equipment, beach chairs and beach towels. Welcome to Palm Grove, your private piece of paradise! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palm Grove Hotel Vaimaanga
Palm Grove Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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