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“Absolutely brilliant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Palm Grove

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Palm Grove
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   P.O. Box 23, Vaimaanga, Cook Islands   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Vaimaanga
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Absolutely brilliant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

We have just returned from 7 days at Palm Grove and we had a brilliant time. The resort is located on what must be the best beach in Rarotonga -it is pristine with few people on the beach. The staff couldn't have been more helpful in settling us in (14 of us) and getting us set up with car and scooter rentals and giving us helpful hints of places to see and restaurants to dine at. Some of us stayed in the villa on the beach and it was very nice. What a great night we had on Good Friday - free drinks and great live music. Who the heck was Alice?

Room Tip: Go for a beach front room if possible.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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329 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (107)
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English first
Victoria, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

We only spent one night at the Palm Grove and were quite disappointed. Admittedly, we arrived on Good Friday (a holiday) but the reception was closed and the other staff were not helpful or welcoming. They couldn't assist with getting us enough towels or phone service or a quieter bungalow. Then at 4pm, the happy hour at the bar began. We were forced to listen to loud music for the next 5 hours. It would have been nice if they had warned us about this when we booked - especially as we were staying only the one night. Upon getting home, I have discovered they have double charged us for our stay - so yet another problem to sort out.
On a positive note, the bungalow was quite nicely laid out, was clean and the bed was comfortable. Just don't expect peace and quiet at this place.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PalmGrove, Owner at Palm Grove, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Kia Orana nitpicker101,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of Palm Grove. We are very pleased that you enjoyed your bungalow and especially our premium mattresses! But I’m sorry that you were disappointed with your 1 night stay and I’d like to take this opportunity to respond to your comments.

I’m sorry that you were unhappy with our shortened reception hours, in observance of the Good Friday public holiday. As with overseas travel to any country, local customs and observances may be different than you’re used to at home. In the Cook Islands, Good Friday and Christmas Day are the two most religious holidays all year and are more strictly observed than any other holiday. This means that almost every business, store, tour operator, cafe, restaurant, and bar on the island was closed all day. At Palm Grove, our housekeeping service, groundskeeping, maintenance, and restaurant (including breakfast, lunch, and dinner) all operated as normal. The only difference was that we closed reception at 1pm. But the restaurant staff were notified of your arrival and were expecting you when you got to the property at 1.30pm. Apii, the restaurant cook, showed you to your Garden Studio room and then returned to the restaurant. She has reported that you came back to see her a little later to complain that there were only two beach towels in the room (there were three of you); as she didn’t have a key to the housekeeping area, she suggested you use a bath towel in the meantime and tells me you then went for a swim in the pool. A little later you came back to see her, asking about the rental car you booked through a third-party rental car company. She correctly told you she’d didn’t know anything about that, but has reported that the rental company arrived a few minutes later to pick you up. She says you then returned to enquire about moving rooms, and she told you that you’d have to speak to the office or a supervisor about that. She admits she didn’t make it clear to you that the restaurant supervisor, office manager, and myself (the owner) would all be at the property by 4pm, to prepare for our weekly Happy Hour function. So I am sorry you weren’t put in contact with us regarding a room change. Unfortunately, we only had one vacant room that evening and it was a Beachfront Studio that could not have accommodated the three of you, so changing rooms was not an option.

Our long-standing Friday evening Happy Hour is a guest favourite, and to my knowledge is the most generous happy hour available in the Cook Islands (and probably almost anywhere!). Your review seems to indicate this took place starting at 4pm for 5 hours, but I’d like to clarify our happy hour details for the benefit of other readers: from 4.30pm to 6pm we offer FREE drinks (house red/white wine, Heineken by the glass, and all soft drinks; all other beers/spirits are half price = NZ$2.50 or NZ$3.00). In addition, we offer live music 5pm – 8pm. As it was Good Friday, we were one of only a handful of restaurants open that evening, so Happy Hour was very well attended by the majority of our guests, plus other tourists and locals wishing to dine out for dinner. I was at Happy Hour and did smile and say hello when I saw the three of you come and go from your room twice, once to the beach and once to get in your rental car to go out. I remember thinking it was a shame you didn’t join us for Happy Hour but certainly that was your prerogative. When it got closer to 8pm there were a host of guests up dancing, so I asked the band to continue for a little longer. It was just a few minutes after that that I saw the three of you return to your room, so I immediately asked the restaurant supervisor to ring you to let you know the live music was finishing very soon; the supervisor told me she’d spoken to you and you’d indicated there wasn’t any problem. So I’m very dismayed to now read that you were upset with the music at Happy Hour that evening. As for “warning” you about Happy Hour, we would never have thought to do such a thing since this is the first time I can remember ever receiving a complaint about Happy Hour; instead most guests tell us that Friday evenings are the highlight of their stay.

As for incorrectly double-charging you, I sincerely apologize. You paid your room bill at the restaurant on Saturday evening before departing. When the cash and credit card receipt was sent to the office Sunday morning, it was mistakenly noted as room B1 (rather than your room G1) and was applied to that room. Our system them automatically charged your “outstanding” balance to the credit card on file. We did not realize the error until you emailed us about it the day after posting your review. Upon receiving your email, a credit was immediately processed to your card. I am very sorry for this human error on our part but I trust you were pleased with the prompt response to your email and I thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Palm Grove is located on the stunning southern coast of Rarotonga, in the village of Vaimaanga. We are as far from town (Avarua) as you can get, and many locals refer to this area of the island as the “country.” As such, we are in a quiet and peaceful location, as many guests have noted in previous reviews. So our guests can definitely expect peace and quiet, and I do not think this is marred by the live entertainment we offer during our weekly Happy Hour. But I will definitely take your comments under advisement. We are revamping our website in the next month so I will take that opportunity to more clearly mention the hours that we offer free live music, should there perhaps be another future guest that wants to avoid live music.

Thank you again for your feedback. Please feel free to contact me directly should you or any TripAdvisor reader have any questions regarding my comments.

Kind regards,

Betsy Eisler
Palm Grove
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
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
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Edmonton, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 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...
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  • 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.
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  • 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
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  • 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.

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Additional Information about Palm Grove

Also Known As:
Palm Grove Hotel Vaimaanga
Palm Grove Hotel
Palm Grove Rarotonga
Palm Grove Rarotonga, Cook Islands
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 
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