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Ara Tapu, Vaimaanga Cook Islands
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Traveler (580)
Room & Suite (185)
Dining (22)

About

Location
4.8
Cleanliness
4.3
Service
4.3
Value
4.4
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. 22 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, full kitchen facilities, airconditioned bedrooms, ceiling fans, 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!
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Property amenities
Free parking
Paid wifi
Pool
Free breakfast
Beach
Snorkeling
Airport transportation
Laundry service
Internet
Outdoor pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Breakfast buffet
Shuttle bus service
Self-serve laundry
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Room features
Air conditioning
Private balcony
Kitchenette
Microwave
Refrigerator
Flatscreen TV
Room types
Ocean view
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
654Reviews14Q+A100Room tips
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paula l wrote a review Jun 2022
Christchurch, New Zealand437 contributions113 helpful votes
We had 4 garden studio bungalows around the pool, just perfect for our family group of 9 across 3 generations. Breakfast was included, it was great with lovely bakery treats like banana bread & lemon loaf. We appreciated the friendly helpful staff, having scooters on site to hire, plus a bbq to cook up pool side. Just across the road is a great beach, with free snorkelling gear, a few paddle boards etc. The Hibiscus restaurant is on site & popular for guests and others. Great option with different sized villas from singles thru to multi bedroom. Something for everyone.
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Date of stay: June 2022
Rooms
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Room Tip: Choose between beach side or across the road, garden side where the pool is.
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Jess W wrote a review Jun 2022
1 contribution
What a lovely location. Location was beautiful can not fault that. Complimentary breakfast also nice. Local staff all very nice. What a shame the owner is a awful rude American lady. We had our beach villa robbed. And when reported to reception the owner told us we were lying and it was our fault for leaving the house unlocked. The house was certainly locked and we were only having dinner onsite at the resort. She was adamant that I was making it up however wouldn’t show us any camera footage- the house being surrounded by cameras. She only gave us a print out of one camera. As suspected the back door was easily unlocked with a knife. Betsy wouldn’t beleive this though nor would she come and see the demonstration. Some staff had mentioned theft had been an issue however bettsy said there wasn’t any theft since 2016. Luckily the local police officer was much more onto it. Don’t take anything valuable and don’t exspect any fresh sheets or towels or toilet paper without asking for it most days. If Betsy had even appologised or acknowledged the inconvenience it would have gone a long way.
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Pru' K wrote a review Jun 2022
Takaka, New Zealand29 contributions
+1
My husband and I visited in May and stayed a week. We had previously stayed in 2005 and loved the beach and snorkeling. We had an beachfront villa. Lively deck and sea view. We found villa quite "tired" (same as 05 with nothing done). No door mats to wipe off sand. The towels turned brown when damp...not good when u wet face washer in shower and get a colour change! I think it is time for some replacements and improvements. At the price not satisfactory... Staff are very friendly and obliging in all areas. The restaurant was excellent. Great food and buffet breakfast great. Location is excellent. Bus at gate. Beautiful beach for walks and the snorkeling is amazing; so many different fish species Short walk to Wigmores superette to pick up all yr needs. Bus at gate for town. Loved it but definitely needs a spruce up.
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Date of stay: May 2022Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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lisajane11 wrote a review Jun 2022
auckland14 contributions6 helpful votes
We really enjoyed our stay in a Beachfront house. It really was beachfront; we could step off our balcony on to the beach. Excellent snorkeling right off our beach, with massive variety of fish and corals in clear waters. There are sun loungers on the beach, and we were often the only ones there, although it was popular for people walking with the local dogs as companions. A really great location with endless beach, sheltered lagoon and close to stores and restaurants. We had breakfast included, and there was a variety of cereals, tinned fruit, paw paw and coconut, toast and spreads, and delicious ginger loaf and lemon loaf to choose from. A lovely sunny restaurant and friendly staff made for a perfect start to our days. Our unit was perhaps a little tired, but clean, spacious and a very comfortable bed. We were warned about the noisy roosters, but I think they were more of an issue back in the garden units, as we were not bothered by them. I did take ear plugs though. If you are looking for a luxury resort, then Palm Grove is not for you. But we would recommend it for its location, being on the beach and for exceptional value.
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Room Tip: We hired a car instead of scooters and were pleased we did. The weather was very changeable and...
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linzi_5 wrote a review Jun 2022
Wellington, New Zealand81 contributions10 helpful votes
The highlight- The beach here is absolutely beautiful and has wonderful easy access snorkelling. Very quiet and secluded. Easily accessible without being a guest. They have happy hours on Friday night- actually free, but they don’t advertise that very well, but nice option and they had a good band playing (a couple)- definite highlight The good- Food I had at the restaurant eg fish burger and a couple of other meals were good (although breakfast was average and half the fruit is out of a can, disappointing since there is such beautiful fruit on the island- the fresh fruit they had was lovely). Service at breakfast wasn’t great either though, plates left on tables for ages. The not great- The service really let down the whole stay majorly which means I would not return or recommend to anyone. Receptionist makes you feel like you are inconveniencing her, hardly looks up, talks to you while looking at her computer, does as minimal as possible to help guests out. Another couple of guests made the exact same comment to me in passing- that nobody wanted to ask reception for something as just felt so unwelcome. Some examples I had: -enquired about car hire. She called one place, and said they aren’t answering. I had to ask her to try some others. - I suggested while Raro is still getting back to normal after covid that a one pager could be added into compendium sheets to know what things are different from the compendium eg when buses aren’t running, shop opening hours etc. she just grumbled. It would have helped me plan my time so much better as I would have definitely got a hire car if I had known (they could even email guests some of this stuff but going above and beyond is not the norm it seems). Mentioned this to the other receptionist (maybe the owner) on the last day and said I made a suggestion but she didn’t seem interested. She said how should they know what’s running (the other receptionist was the one that told me the bus wasn’t going and they live there and work in the service industry so would hope they would make it their goal to) and then she said also it would mean putting a print out in each room and keeping it up to date. Hardly an effort given the place is so small and would think giving the guests as great an experience and information as possible would be the aim of a service business - but the default seems to be -fend for yourself. So basically if you go here, make sure you do all your research before you go. As per last review in May on here by another traveller which had similar comments, I do wonder if it’s because I had kids with me. Perhaps they aren’t that keen on kids being there as the clientele was more couples or retirees. Also I wouldn’t purchase their internet either, they also don’t help in giving you the heads up that it gobbles internet magically heaps faster (I used 5gb in less than 12 hours, when I use that in a month on my phone at home). Not their issue per say but what is their issue is not giving their guests a heads up. I saw heads up about the extreme rapid usage at other hotels, again not hard to do. Rather buy a SIM card at the airport, think it will be better value. Room cleaning by house cleaning is basic, just made beds and that’s it, no sweeping / mopping etc. I didn’t go into the pool as was quite cold, sure would be fine if weather was much hotter (beach made up for that so we swam there) but don’t bank on the pool if going when we went (June), didn’t see anyone in it at all.
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Traveled with family
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BobbieMc01 wrote a review May 2022
Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand69 contributions9 helpful votes
You pay for the location and that is it. You won’t be made to feel welcome particularly if you have children, customer service is borderline rude and the houses are way over priced. Personally we would look at hiring an Air BnB in the area next time or staying at the other resort we stayed at and make day trips to the area. After a few days our kids asked to go back to the resort we were at before. Incredible private beach so if you’re a couple, this could be great, but if you’re looking to experience true rarotongan hospitality, want to feel relaxed with kids, this is not the place. As some else has reviewed below, the soul of Rarotonga is lacking here.
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Date of stay: May 2022Trip type: Traveled with family
Room Tip: Beach villas are not ideal for young families due to many trip hazards and very steep stairs.
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Deborah G wrote a review Apr 2022
New Plymouth, New Zealand27 contributions16 helpful votes
We had 8 beautiful nights in a Beach front Bure. Amenities ,very clean and tastefully decorated. Kitchenette with full size fridge had everything you would want for your stay,if you needed extra,nothing was too much trouble with a quick call to the office. Betsy & Joanne were on hand to book excursions or offer sound advice as required. The restaurant is an added bonus,with a comprehensive menu and if you are fortunate to be staying a Sunday night ,do book for their Island BBQ,it’s memorable. There is various accommodation available at this resort to suit all budgets and occasions,with a Superette within walking distance. We will definitely return to this wonderful Resort. It definitely punches well above its rating. Thank you to Betsy and Joanne and all the staff for making our stay so very pleasant. Deb & Ross
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Date of stay: April 2022Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Kay E wrote a review Mar 2022
Papamoa, New Zealand10 contributions6 helpful votes
Staying at Palm Grove in a villa on the beach was just amazing. The weather played its part everyday. Sunshine 28-31c. The property also had a swimming pool and Restaurant so you didn’t have to always go out at night. Very fortunate to have the use or snorkeling gear and kayaks. The fish outside the property is ankle deep to see them which is great for people that don’t go in to far. Certainly a lot of variants of 🐠 fish. The property is spotless and everyone there to help. Thank you to all the staff for making our trip very special celebrating both our birthdays and recent engagement. Thank you Betsy and Joanne for organising excursions for us. You all made our 8days memorable. Hope to be back and see you all again in the near future. Cheers Kay Evans…Warren Scobie..😁
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Date of stay: March 2022Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Room Tip: Pack plenty of insect repellent as you need it day and night. Along with sunscreen and hats.
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Sherpa496580 wrote a review Jul 2021
Glenfield, New Zealand4 contributions5 helpful votes
Although our Beachfront Bungalow was gorgeous and right on the water, the rooms from 6 upwards are RIGHT next to the road, the numbers 1 to 4 are closer to the beach and further from the road, when we arrived the place was really empty, the guy on our shuttle with us was booked for a garden room and was upgraded for free to one of the front four rooms. In the morning my partner went over to see Betsy in the office, he said, Hi, we booked in yesterday from NZ, she said “yep” he said, is there any chance we could be moved to one of the rooms further from the road and the traffic noise was REALLY loud, her response was “ no sorry” nothing else, no explanation, she was brusque and to the point of rude. I had read a heap of reviews on this place and the main complaint seemed to be about Betsy’s attitude, I would like to back this up. My travel agent had especially mentioned tin our booking confirmation that it was my birthday, but no acknowledgement of this was made at all , I did arrange with Tangi the head of housekeeping for her to make me a head wreath, which was absolutely beautiful and a bargain at $10 The staff are friendly, but not nearly as friendly as some other places we went, like Castaways where they heard it was my birthday and had the singer do my favourite song and the crowd sing happy birthday, we spoke to the owner there who was lovely and it was clear that the great friendly service came from the top, unlike at Palm Grove, there is just no heart in the place, the restaurant, although it serves good food, is devoid of any personality at all and is facing the busy road. there are much better restaurants in the area, right on the beach with great food and excellent. In short, would not stay there again, the beach is fantastic, the service and hospitality just isn’t there.
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Date of stay: June 2021
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Room Tip: If getting the beach front Bungalow, definitely request rooms 1 to 4 they are further from the...
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2 Helpful votes
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Phil J wrote a review Mar 2020
4 contributions2 helpful votes
Great friendly place to stay top staff good food an entertainment At Palm Grove restaurant 👍 Got to do the safari 4wd also the mud buggies at the Hilton So many great places to eat an shop Lovely beach’s
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Date of stay: June 2019
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PRICE RANGE
$147 - $182 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
ALSO KNOWN AS
palm grove hotel vaimaanga, palm grove rarotonga
LOCATION
Cook IslandsSouthern Cook IslandsRarotongaVaimaanga
NUMBER OF ROOMS
22
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Frequently Asked Questions about Palm Grove
Which popular attractions are close to Palm Grove?
Nearby attractions include Tik-e Tours (4.1 miles), Cook Island Christian Church (CICC) (3.5 miles), and Aroa Marine Reserve (2.0 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Palm Grove?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Palm Grove?
Top room amenities include a kitchenette, air conditioning, and a flat screen TV.
What food & drink options are available at Palm Grove?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Palm Grove?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Palm Grove?
Conveniently located restaurants include The Mooring Fish Cafe Rarotonga, Beluga, and Tuoro Tapas Bar.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Palm Grove?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Palm Grove have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Palm Grove offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Palm Grove have airport transportation?
Yes, Palm Grove offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Palm Grove?
Yes, laundry service and self serve laundry are offered to guests.
Are there any historical sites close to Palm Grove?
Many travelers enjoy visiting Wreck of the Matai (4.1 miles).