We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Best beach on the island!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Palm Grove

Save Saved
You added Palm Grove to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Palm Grove
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   P.O. Box 23, Vaimaanga, Cook Islands   |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Low Season Special!
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Vaimaanga
1 review
“Best beach on the island!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

Thank you to everyone at Palm Grove for making our stay magical, especially Joanne for organising all the details for our wedding so we didn't have to think about a thing and we could just sit back and relax for the week before it.
Our room on the beach B1 was just perfect....our little piece of paradise with the water at our doorstep!
Everyone is so helpful and friendly jo, betsie, nga, mata and all the staff and all are there on friday happy hour for a chat and a drink.
Nga is such a lovely man and welcomes you at the airport with a fantastic smile and is always around if you need help with anything.
The new beds are devine and i look forward to the rest of the refurb when we next visit!!
The food is fab...ika mata to die for! Free breakfast is a lovely touch and free happy hour as well....its little things like this that make you feel looked after and that its value for money.
So happy to hear you aren't putting prices up that will ensure all loyal repeat customers and that will include my partner Dave and myself will come back year after year.
Thank you again for making our special day so amazing....and a special mention for our photographer she is a talented lady and i love love love every picture she took!
Your wedding package is value for money for what we got and our wedding....holiday...honeymoon in one came in under $9000 which would be hard to do in NZ so best decision we ever made having it with you!!
So thank you thank you a million times thank you for being the best little place in the world...where you treat people like family and make us never want to leave.
See you all soon
Cathy and Dave Alder

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

346 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    205
    102
    31
    4
    4
See reviews for
49
225
8
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (120)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Edmonton, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

We spent 7 days at the Palm Grove (our first visit to Rarotonga). We had a Matenga bungalow, which are set a bit off to the west of the resort which is great as they have their own beach front which was extremely quiet. We did spent one day in the regular beach front bungalows and they have spectacular beach and reef views. When we return, I think we would choose the beach front bungalow over the Matenga. The bungalows are well appointed and have all the necessities. The staff were very friendly, accommodating, helpful and, I think, very sincere in their desire to ensure you have a good stay with them. Free use of snorkel gear, kayaks and reef shows was much appreciated. The Wigmore Superstore is a short walk away and has all the necessities if you wish to cook on your own. We mostly ate at the restaurant (The Hibiscus) but did shop for breakfast and snack items (although breakfast is included in your room rate at the Palm Grove).

Although this was only our first visit to Raro, we would be hard pressed to decide to stay anywhere else. We have had many beach vacations in Hawaii, Bali, Australia, Belize and throughout the Caribbean, but this was by far the best beach vacation ever - due in large part to the location, staff and service offered up by Palm Grove.

Room Tip: Choose a beach front bungalow over a garden bungalow. The Matenga bungalows are a bit larger and of...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

It was our first time in the Cook Islands and Palm Grove was a perfect place to be introduced to the hospitality and cultural experiences of Rarotonga. The hospitality, the food, the accommodation, the service, the really personable staff, ... All were really wonderful. There were several "little touches" that made it a special time for us - Joanne's very considerate approach, the continental breakfasts (with great local fruit), the Happy Hour Fridays, the other guests, the flowers and landscaping of the grounds. It was a thoroughly enjoyable two weeks. Thanks for making it all possible. If you wish to relax, this is an excellent place to do that. It's clean, quiet and friendly.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Stephens, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Palm Grove Resort Rarotonga in the Cook Islands would be one of the best locations on Rarotonga. The bungalow we had on the beach was fantastic, amazing sunsets, friendly locals and staff. Plenty to see and do. Just 5000klm from Sydney, 6 hour flight with Air New Zealand who do 2 flights direct to the cook islands, Fri and Sat.
The weather was great and the water was crystal clear.
Google, Palm Grove , Rarotonga and see for yourself. There other nice resorts but this one has the best beach front location. You must get a beach bungalow.you will not regret it.

Room Tip: Get a beach bungalow on your own private beach.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

We have just returned from our 3rd stay at Palm Grove (4th to 14th March) and we would never consider staying anywhere elseon the island. The resort is gorgeous and would definately recommend staying in the beach front bungalows as they have the perfect view and are so private. Also the way they are decorated with the wall coverings makes you really feel like you are on a tropical island. The bed is so super comfortable and the shower pressure is better than what we have at home. All the staff are so lovely and friendly and we were also remembered and felt like rock stars when we arrived! Just down the road is an awesome restaurant called Vaimai which is so cool - you can walk along the beach (about 10 minutes) and the tables are on the beach - very romantic, excellent food and you cannot believe the sunsets. Don't even need to wear shoes. The food at the Yellow Hibiscus is really nice too and barbeque night (Sunday) is great and the salads are amazing. Eugene cooks a mean steak! Also Sunday and Tuesday they have a guy singing and he is excellent and needs to get signed up. We keep thinking we should go somewhere else for holidays and be a bit more adventurous (though we have travelled and lived overseas for many years) but when it comes time to book a trip we just can't keep away - Rarotonga is a beautiful place, the people are so happy and friendly and Palm Grove is the perfect example. We will be back!!!!

Room Tip: Definately go for the beach front bungalows
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

Our second trip to Rarotonga on Feb 2013 couldn't be dampened by the jaded and less than enthusiastic management and staff at Palm Grove. We travelled with our family to Rarotonga the week prior and stayed at Natura, a beautiful holiday house next door to Palm Grove. After the family left, we rolled our bags a couple of houses down and moved into B2. The room was the same as last year, and had a new bed and soft furnishings.

Our dissatisfaction started when reception were clearly put out by my request to be house in the room I requested months earlier. Polite enough, and nothing was said that could be considered obvious. At no point did anyone say, sorry about the mix up. Things went downhill. This was our second visit in 13 months; lots of emails had been exchanged, yet at no point did any member of staff welcome us or for that matter speak a word of greeting to us.

The first night we went over to Yellow Hibiscus there was a regular event underway. When we asked for a menu to order from, we were rudely advised that all the menus were out. That was it, nothing more. So we went to Little Polynesia where we were greeted warmly and fed well.

Over the duration of our stay, the washing up in our room was not done, one. single. time. The housekeeping came at random times and did an exceptionally poor job.

To be honest, the property hadn't changed much, it was still awesome for us, sitting on one of the beach beaches on the island, but the customer service had, enormously. Palm Grove isn’t that schmick, it's tired and worn, but the location is perfection and you tend to ignore the bits falling down. However, once you've been to Rarotonga once or twice, you know you where to find cheap fabulous on water accommodation. You go back to Palm Grove because previous experience has been good and it made up part of what made your holiday lovely and memorable.

We won’t be returning a 3rd time to Palm Grove (but we will be returning to Rarotonga). We are both thick skinned and compensate for peoples personalities in situations like this BUT, there are plenty of other properties who welcome and care about their guests. I know who will be getting my hard earned holiday dollar.

Since last year the demographics seemed to have changed from 30-50 year old to 50-70 year old. I would have loved to engage the manager or anyone for that matter regarding the shift, but they seemed too busy all the time entertaining these groups of people.

We still had a wonderful holiday, with no thanks to the staff and management, but with a huge thank you to the beautiful people (and puppies) of Rarotonga.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PalmGrove, Owner at Palm Grove, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Kia Orana Victoria,

Thanks so much for taking the time to post your second review of Palm Grove! We’re so pleased you again loved our location on one of the absolute best beaches on Rarotonga. But I am very sorry to hear that your second stay with us was not as enjoyable as your first. I'd like to take this opportunity to respond to and clarify a few of your comments.

Just a few months after your first stay with us in Jan 2012, you'd emailed regarding booking again for 2013. Over the next several months Joanne and I responded to all of your queries leading up to and after your booking was confirmed. I've just reread through all 18 of these emails and while I do note that you mentioned in one email that you'd stayed in B2 on your previous stay, I cannot locate any correspondence where you requested B2 for your 2013 stay. Regardless, as you have noted, you asked to be moved to B2 upon checkin and fortunately we were able to shift around bookings in order to accommodate your request. I'm sorry that you felt an apology was in order for a "mix up" but we hadn't viewed this as a mistake – instead we were simply responding to what we understood was a last minute request.

You checked in on Friday afternoon when we host our long-standing “Happy Hour” which includes FREE drinks from 4.30-6pm and live music from 5-8pm. This is a very popular evening at Palm Grove and is usually the highlight of most guests’ stay. As this is our busiest night at the restaurant, guests are highly encouraged to make a reservation if they are intending to dine inhouse that evening. You have not mentioned so I can only assume that you didn’t have a reservation and instead had just asked at the bar to see a menu? It’s unfortunate that at the time you asked, all of our menus were in use. While uncommon this does sometimes happen for a very short time (a matter of minutes). I’m sorry that you decided to dine at another restaurant because of this.

I’m pleased that you noticed some of the improvements that we’ve made to the rooms and property since your last visit! This includes premium mattresses, and upgraded linens, towels, and furniture in every one of our rooms. Last year we also carried out a lounge refurb in our garden rooms, hired a new chef at the restaurant, revamped our dinner menu, and added live music two more evenings a week. And we are now less than two weeks away from starting our next refurb which includes a completely new swimming pool, patio, and pergola, plus kitchen and bathroom upgrades to our Garden Studios! Plus later this year we are undergoing a refurb in our Beachfront Studios which will include new kitchens, bathrooms, balconies, sliding doors, and refinished floors. (The Beachfront Studio work is tentatively scheduled to begin in November but an exact date will be announced in the coming weeks.) We are pleased to say that we have not raised our room rates after our last refurb and will not be doing so after our next refurb, so we are confident that we currently are and will continue to offer some of the best value accommodation on Rarotonga.

Palm Grove is known for our casual atmosphere and friendly staff and we repeatedly get great feedback about this. I am so very sorry that you did not have the same experience during your stay this time. We have had next to no staff turnover since your last visit so the same staff that you referred to as “gorgeous and helpful” in your last review were all still here during this visit. I note that after the drinks you enjoyed your first night (Friday evening) you didn’t return to the restaurant for another drink or meal throughout the rest of your stay (apart from complimentary breakfast buffet) and perhaps this was part of the reason you didn’t enjoy the same staff interaction as your last visit? Staff love chatting with guests and are always up for a laugh, but staff are also always careful to respect guests that seem to want to keep to themselves.

The demographics of our guests have not changed and I’d estimate that average guest age is 50. Looks like perhaps you caught a week with more younger guests your first time and a week with more older guests your second time? Joanne and I would have loved to talk to you about this or any of your concerns – at least one of us is here every day and 4-5 days a week both of us are here – so I do wish you had sought us out. If we were busy chatting with other guests when you saw us, any other staff would have happily passed along a message from you so that we could have followed up straight away.

Victoria, it’s repeat guests like you who make Palm Grove so successful and I’m very disappointed that we didn’t live up to your expectations this time around. I’m guessing that perhaps we got off on the wrong foot from the moment you arrived when you thought you’d requested B2 but in fact had not. I wish I could have made this up to you while you were here but I hope that perhaps you’d be willing to give us another chance. Would you be so kind as to contact me directly so I can offer you a special discount on your next stay that may entice you to return for your third visit? You can reach me at beach@palmgrove.co.ck

Kind regards,

Betsy Eisler
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We stayed for 8 days over Christmas. Bungalow right on the beach and was probably the premier location on Raratonga. Fantastic beach and snorkelling right at your back door. Not the best appointed resort but just perfect in so many ways. Easy, simple relaxing living. Hibiscus Restaurant on site, with pool and best of all scooters to hire and see the entire island cheaply and with great fun!!!!!
Soooooooooo relaxing and in an idyllic location.

Room Tip: Take a beachside bungalow if available, just beautiful, If not the other huts and bungalows are a s...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Palm Grove? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Palm Grove

Address: P.O. Box 23, Vaimaanga, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Location: 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*
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Tingo, BookingOdigeoWL, Agoda and Venere so you can book your Palm Grove reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Palm Grove Hotel Vaimaanga
Palm Grove Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Palm Grove, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.