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“Great location and options for accomodation”
Review of Palm Grove

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Palm Grove
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vaimaanga
Certificate of Excellence
Ealing
Level Contributor
59 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great location and options for accomodation”
Reviewed 20 August 2014

Booked a couple of units for a family trip. Pleased we booked well in advance as it is popular and that's partly because of its boutique size. CD/radio and microwave did not work - took a couple of days to get sorted, but hardly a show stopper. Garden bungalow was private and quiet (except for the ubiquitous roosters - which you can't get away from anyway), only 30secs from the pool & 2 mins from the fabulous beach. Used the bbq area, very handy & in-laws happy with their beachfront bungalow which was simple, roomy and comfortable. Wigmore store 250m away handy for groceries, yes it stocks beer & wine. You should have gotten your liquor on arrival at Raro!

Room Tip: Garden bungalows are bang up to date and very comfortable. Weekly happy hour at Friday - when the l...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank karenandtim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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542 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (201)
Date | Rating
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English first
Whanganui, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2014 via mobile

Really enjoyed our stay great place, amazing beach, we really enjoyed snorkeling in the lagoon fish were cool. Room was nice. BBQ night was real good heaps of food. Breakfast every morning was good. Friendly staff grounds men even hashed 2 coconuts we go out of a tree and open them up so we could drink them. On down side, the rosters haha but that's raro for ya.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Tallandshort2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch
Level Contributor
43 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014

My daughter had her wedding at Palm Grove in July. She had brought decorations with her and once they were in place, the staff took over to give the reception area the most amazing 'Island' touch. They wrapped poles in flax, hung palm leaves around door frames and did some wonderful flower arranging. They had even gone out and brought colours to match my daughters colour scheme. Most of the guest's stayed at Palm Grove, so this had a wonderful relaxed feel to it. Our room was a Garden Superior and was roomy and clean, with a king size bed and a single in the lounge. We had a lovely private garden. We made use of the BBQ on several occasions, with such a large group of us, and the restaurant happily made us salads and hot chips to go with our BBQ's! The beach is wonderful for kayaking {free of charge} and snorkeling with the fish and star-fish. We did not think the menu at The Yellow Hibiscus was over priced at all, and the food was always absolutely delicious. Staff were pleasant and I would not hesitate to stay there again.

Room Tip: A room closer to the office will grab the wi-fi, we were just that bit too far out and had to use it...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Correna B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paraparaumu, New Zealand
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2014

We stayed at Palm Grove for 10 nights late July/early August in a beachfront unit, opposite of the garden side of the hotel and over the road. From the sliding doors, over the deck we looked and walked straight onto the beach and to the lagoon. All windows had gauze against mosquitoes, which were galore outside, so don't forget repellent!
We had a comfortable king-size bed. The room was serviced daily except Sunday, when only the towels were changed. Kitchen was well equipped and bathroom spacy and reasonably clean. Bath towels and beach towels that were provided were not flash and fluffy, but clean.
The staff at Palm Grove were very friendly and helpful. Snorkeling gear was free (with a bond). We purchased $25 for 500 Mb of wifi from the local Telecom.
Breakfast at the Yellow Hibiscus Restaurant on site was included in the room price and our extra ordered scrambled eggs were only NZ$ 6! The communication between restaurant and the hotel was a bit rusty when we wanted all meals added to our account. Thinking we had payed all, it appeared that one dinner tab was left behind, so an extra invoice was presented afterwards, about which we felt a bit uncomfortable.
Happy hour on Friday nights was fun with $ 8 cocktails and great music (and dancing). The food they provided was consistently wonderful and not overpriced. It is important to allow waiting (Island) time, but hey, we were on holiday. BBQ on Sunday was fun and beautifully cooked. The restaurant is a bit dated, but the atmosphere and quality of the food make up for this.
Everywhere on Rarotonga many dogs are roaming free and many roosters with hens walk around freely; this is not the hotel's doing, so with its open planning it is not to blame for the loud crowing day and night.
Unfortunately the weather turned bad after our 4th day and didn't recover to our and the local's disappointment. However, there is enough to do and visit to keep us happy and busy.

Room Tip: Room Tip: Beachfront unit if you want optimal enjoyment.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Christine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PalmGrove, Owner at Palm Grove, responded to this review, 5 August 2014
Kia Orana Christine,

It was lovely meeting you during your stay! Thank you for your kind words last Thursday about how much you enjoyed Palm Grove and your Matenga Beachfront room, and we’re so appreciative you took the time to post a review and share your experience with other TripAdvisor readers.

I’m very sorry for the mixup with the docket for your Wednesday night dinner. I was the one helping you when you came to the office on Thursday morning; you’d asked to pay for everything that you’d charged to your room to that point, explaining that you’d be paying cash for any remaining charges between then and your departure early Saturday morning. As you’ll remember, I went through all the restaurant dockets charged to your room, before presenting you with the bill and docket receipts. My mistake was in not double-checking that the receptionist had already processed all the Wednesday night dockets before I printed out your bill on Thursday morning. So shortly after you’d settled your bill, the receptionist then completed the Wednesday night dockets and accordingly added your Wednesday night dinner to your bill. But it was me that should have double-checked the previous evening’s dockets had been completed before printing your bill, so the error is entirely mine. Please accept my sincere apologies!

As a small accommodation, some of our processes are still manual, including restaurant bills. This means that the restaurant does their reconciliation at the end of each dinner shift, noting which dockets were paid by cash, credit card, or charged to the guest’s room. And then the following morning, the receptionist has to manually process any dockets that were charged to the associated room. I am pleased to note however that we are already pricing POS systems that would automatically add restaurant charges to the associated room, thereby removing the manual process and any added delay, and I’m hopeful we will have a POS in place in the coming months.

Christine, thank you again for your review and I do hope you’ll think of us again should you return to Rarotonga!

Kind regards,

Betsy Eisler
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whangarei, New Zealand
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2014

Stayed in a beach front bungalow. Down steps onto one of the best beaches in Rarotonga. The unit was great everything we had asked for. Staff in both Hotel and the on site restaurant were so helpful, kind and always willing to help.Comlimentary continental breakfast was always good and food at yellow Hibiscus restaurant was great. Did the happy Hour thursday and BBQ sunday both were well worth it, and the BBQ chef can certainly cook mewrare steak awesome.

Just be aware Rarotonga has chickens and ROOSTERS roaming everywhere so early morning cockerel blasts are the norm.

Room Tip: On the beach front has to be the go
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Barry A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seal Beach, California
Level Contributor
55 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2014

Myself and 10 yr old daughter stayed in a Garden Unit at Palm Grove June 30 - July 5, 2014. Overall we had a nice stay. Just across the road was a nice beach with some excellent snorkeling. Saw many fish (big and small) that we did not see in other locations. We brought bread and pretzels on a couple of occasions to attract fish and they came in droves. We were able to capture a lot of it with our underwater camera that is a must bring if you really want to capture the marine life, rock and coral. Also, the hotel provided kayaks for the guest' to use at no additional charge. A continental breakfast was included in the room rate. A hot breakfast was available at an additional charge. I found that onsite restaurant was overpriced but had some nice dishes. The rooms are spacious and somewhat comfortable, but lack character. The bed was too soft. As soon as I sat on the bed, I felt swallowed up by the mattress. Needless to say, I did a lot of tossing. The TV only had 1 station but was clear when we did view it. The cleaning staff was very nice. It was hit and miss with the other staff. The restaurant was understaffed during the dinner hours. We had made our reservations before setting off in the morning and we still would end up waiting over an hour for our meal. The last night that we were there, we were refused dinner service by a lady that worked at the restaurant. We did not make reservations that morning, but considering that the restaurant was nearly empty when we arrived, we thought we could get a quick bite before we had to leave for the airport. We were told later on that the lady who refused us was trying to call our room to to invite us back to the restaurant (we were told that the phone was busy.. Never once did we use that phone or received any calls) but by then it was too late. Finally, during Friday night Happy Hour, while chatting to a couple sitting at the same table, the office staff had told the couple that they could stay up to 9:30 pm for a late check out fee of $95.00.. I had paid much more and was told originally that our check out time would be 6 pm. When I called her on it, she said that we could stay until 9:30 but never offered a credit for the difference.. The two incidents mentioned above would not deter me from recommending or returning, but I would expect more from the staff that I felt duped and refused by.

Room Tip: Splurge for beachfront.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CocoMos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PalmGrove, Owner at Palm Grove, responded to this review, 5 August 2014
Kia Orana Lisa,

Thanks much for posting your review of Palm Grove. It’s wonderful to hear how much you enjoyed many aspects of your stay, including our outstanding beach with excellent snorkelling, and complimentary snorkel equipment and kayaks! But I’m disappointed you were not satisfied with some of our service, especially as the two instances you’ve highlighted seem to stem from misunderstandings. I have sent you a private message to explain, but I’d like to take this opportunity to share this information for the benefit of other TripAdvisor readers.

For guests that are departing on late evening or overnight flights, we offer 4 options beyond 10am checkout. 1: prebook your room for the additional night and be ensured of full use of your room right up until airport departure. 2: prebook a guaranteed late checkout until 6pm for 50% of the room rate. 3: enquire about an “on request” late checkout during your stay; if available, the “on request” late checkout is offered at a reduced rate. 4: checkout at 10am and we will store your luggage at reception for no charge until you depart for the airport; guests can hold on to their towels and feel free to continue to use the property facilities for the remainder of the day. With either option 2 or 3, we will always gladly extend the late checkout beyond 6pm for no charge if there is no conflict with the next arriving guest, but this is obviously subject to availability.

In your instance, you chose to prebook the guaranteed late checkout until 6pm, at the time you made your 5 night reservation, knowing that your flight departed at midnight. This was duly booked and confirmed for you and the fee charged was 50% of the Garden Studio rate, which worked out to be NZ$112.50. While you were inhouse, the guests you were chatting with were in a One Bedroom Superior and they had booked to checkout at 10am on Friday for a flight departing at 12.50am on Saturday. When they enquired about the “on request” late checkout during their stay, we confirmed it was available and quoted them the reduced rate of NZ$95 (versus the prebooked late checkout in this room category which is NZ$130); at the time, we let them know we could extend the late checkout from 6pm until their airport departure for free. So while it is correct they paid a lesser fee than you for their late checkout, it seems you were unaware they booked this “on request” just a day earlier, rather than prebooking it almost 5 months in advance as you had done. Please bear in mind the “on request” late checkout is oftentimes not available when guests only enquire during their stay, due to a conflict with the next arriving guest, and so guests that wait until they are inhouse to enquire about a late checkout will miss out and be required to vacate their room at 10am.

There are 3 separate flights that depart late Saturday night, so on Fridays we always double check the bookings/arrangements for Saturday night departures so we are up to date on which rooms are checking out at 10am, which rooms have booked a late checkout – and of those rooms with late checkout, which of them can extend their late checkout beyond 6pm for free. I’ve reviewed our reception diary for Saturday 05 July and your room was noted with “late checkout until departure.” You commented that you heard about these guests paying a lesser fee on Friday night, so I assume you spoke with Tangi, our Saturday receptionist, the following morning and he let you know you had use of your room until departure for no extra charge - so I’m not sure what you mean by “when I called her on it” (since Tangi is a gentleman)? I’m also unsure of what “credit for the difference” you are referring to, unless you had expected a refund on your prebooked guaranteed late checkout, to match the “on request” rate? Tangi would have been aware of the reason for the difference in rates and he certainly would have rang me at home on Saturday if you had made any sort of complaint about our hotel policy or pricing structure when speaking to him. But please accept my sincere apologies for any misunderstanding and I will ensure we endeavour to be even more clear when explaining our late checkout policies to future guests.

Regarding your experience at the restaurant on the Saturday night you were departing, I’ve had a followup with Mata, the restaurant supervisor. She was the one assisting you that evening. We run a small but busy onsite restaurant, which is why guests are always encouraged to make reservations. Although the restaurant did not have many diners seated when you enquired about having dinner that Saturday, there were 20 diners due to arrive shortly, including a table of 12. This is why she was unable to offer you an immediate table when you walked in without a reservation. She did however ask if you wanted to book for a little later, but you opted not to. Within 10 minutes of you leaving the restaurant, the table of 12 unexpectedly cancelled. As you had already dined at the restaurant 3 out of the previous 4 evenings, Mata knew which room you were in and tried ringing you to let you know she now had a table available for you. It’s unfortunate she wasn’t able to get through to your room and there’s no way for me to know at this point why Mata was getting a busy signal when she tried to reach you. Regardless, she did see you returning from up the road a little later and made a point of coming out to speak to you and let you know she’d been trying to reach you. As it turned out, you’d gotten some food up with road and no longer wanted to have dinner. I’m frustrated that Mata made an extra effort to get in touch with you and speak to you as soon as she saw you again (which I find commendable) but your comments seem to attribute some sort of deception to her actions. Mata did not refuse to serve you but rather correctly explained that we were fully booked at that time and offered you a later table. Unfortunately this is the chance you take when you don’t make a reservation in advance – either here on Rarotonga or anywhere in the world.

Our restaurant offers great meals at very reasonable prices for Rarotonga, an island where most goods and food/beverage are imported from overseas at increased costs and sometimes with associated levies. In keeping with the excellent value accommodation we offer, we have always been careful to ensure our restaurant pricing is as affordable as possible, and I’m confident our menu selections reflect this philosophy. During your stay, your average restaurant bill for 2 people for dinner was NZ$39.50, with a further NZ$15.50 for drinks, so I’m sorry to hear you found the restaurant to be overpriced.

All of our bungalows feature superking beds with premium 32cm thick mattresses with pillowtop, more commonly found in luxury accommodations, and we have been receiving rave reviews from our guests since we installed these mattresses several years ago. I’ve lost track of the number of guests that have contacted us upon their return home to find out the brand/model of our mattresses so they can purchase one for home.

Lisa, thank you again for your comments and please feel free to contact me via email or respond to the private message I have already sent you. For any other TripAdvisor reader that would like more information about any of the issues I’ve addressed, you can contact me directly at beach@palmgrove.co.ck

King regards,

Betsy Eisler
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2014

We stayed here as part of a wedding group in July and we had a beachfront bungalow. I was so pleased we had decided to stay beach front as sitting out on the deck reading and having a drink in the afternoon was one of the most enjoyable times of my stay.


Some of our friends stayed in garden units so I got the opportunity to look in them and they also looked very comfortable.

We had a king sized bed that was so soft and comfortable for me but my husband didn't enjoy it as much as he likes his bed slightly firmer. The room was serviced every day except Sunday.

The staff at palm grove were all very friendly and helpful and willing to help out with any questions we had. I purchased $25 of wifi from palm grove and it lasted me the whole 8 nights we were on the island using it for emails Facebook and skping my children back home daily. As phone calls were expensive I felt that the wifi option was very good.

Happy hour on Friday night was good with beer and wine provided and half price cocktail of the day.

I can not fault palm grove at all, lived up to all my expectations.

Room Tip: Beachfront unit if you want a room with a view
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank kidscarer
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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