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Rarotonga Beach Bungalow vs Palm Grove Resort

Portland, Oregon
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Rarotonga Beach Bungalow vs Palm Grove Resort

We are planning on going to Rarotonga for our honeymoon in July 2007. Has anyone stayed at Rarotonga Beach Bungalows and/or Palm Grove Resort? We really want a bure on the beach with an unobstructed view. It seems like it can be boiled down to Raro. Beach Bungalow has A/C but no pool and Palm Grove the opposite.

Any and all comments are GREATLY appreciated!

Seattle, WA. USA
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2,884 posts
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1. Re: Rarotonga Beach Bungalow vs Palm Grove Resort

As you probably already know, the Palm Grove is on my absolute favorite stretch of beach (actually the very best part is just to the east of it (in front of the Main-Islander rental house)). However, I would guess the Raro Beach Bungalows are nicer inside than the Palm Grove units. Not certain of that as I've not been inside the Palm Grove units (though I have the Rarotonga Beach Bungalows) - but that would be my educated guess.

Neither is a bad choice in my opinion - but I'd probably give the edge to the Rarotonga Beach Bungalows.

Ken

US
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122 posts
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2. Re: Rarotonga Beach Bungalow vs Palm Grove Resort

I stayed in one of the beach units at Palm Grove and absolutely loved it. That was back before the expansion where some new units were added. The unit was really nice and well kept and the view from the balcony was simply outstanding. I agree that the beach along there is awesome, and has great snorkeling. Very uncrowded, too.

I'll stay there again on my next trip to the Cooks. I much prefer staying at smaller places like that as opposed to one of the larger resorts. I've seen a complaint or two that the pool is small, but I'm just flabbergasted with the idea that anybody would care to hang out by a pool when you've got that kind of beach and lagoon available.

Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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3. Re: Rarotonga Beach Bungalow vs Palm Grove Resort

I have stayed next to Palm Grove twice, once following in Lord B's footsteps at Main Islander and once next door at Tarani's Bungalow. I love that stretch of beach, but here's the thing -- Rarotonga has its seasons, and July is the dead of winter. (A/C I wouldn't worry about!)

Our first time we went in November, early summer, and loved that area. The breeze was refreshing. This time we went in early September (late winter), and it was miserable. True, the weather was supposedly unusually bad, but what we realized is that the southern beach area there is quite exposed to the prevailing winds. I'm talking howling winds and stinging sand blowing and the water all choppy. It was terrible. Water was relatively frigid too -- as in people kind of screaming a bit when they got in ....

We ended up going over to the sunset side trying to find the sun -- which was NOT shining there in Vaimaanga, was all overcast, and it was sunny and warmer there. Water is shallow though.

During the warm season I'd definitely stay on that beach again. Note that even in late November, I wore a light sweater in the evening at Palm Grove when the breeze was up.

We spent the prior week in Aitutaki, and although the lagoon water was brisk, the climate was considerably more balmy.

We didn't know what to make of the weather pattern, as we thought it was the dry season, yet it rained and/or strong winds blew for most of our three weeks there, probably 2/3 of the time, which was awful for us. (We live in the wettest city in Hawaii so we don't need to fly thousands of miles to experience tropical rain!) We had previously gone at the beginning of the wet season and it didn't rain once. So go figure. You never know I guess.

Last word of advice -- if you go in July, pay more attention to the inside amenities of your lodging than you would in summer. For example, our little rental was designed for outside living, but with the wind up the deck was no fun, even though it was a more protected deck than at Palm Grove. The bungalow didn't even have a table inside, basically there was no place to hang out but sit on the bed and read during the bad weather.

You might look for a jacuzzi, not a pool, unless they heat it.

(but not the jacuzzi at Tarani's, which gave us nothing but problems.)

I've heard Sokala Villas are very nice and being upgraded.

San Diego...
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660 posts
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4. Re: Rarotonga Beach Bungalow vs Palm Grove Resort

I went by both last August and they are both in great locations. Palm Grove area has a beautiful beach and Raro Beach Bungalows also with deeper water for snorkeling. The Raro Beach Bungalows looked to be a little nicer, with the prime units right on the water having the most amazing views.

Seattle, WA. USA
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5. Re: Rarotonga Beach Bungalow vs Palm Grove Resort

KamaainaK brings up a good point. I hadn't really noticed that your trip was in July (gee, it would help if I actually read the post properly). Though I've not been to the Cooks during their winter, I have read several posts from folks who encountered relatively cool weather. I think MOST of those folks came from warm weather locations (where the daily average high that time of year is pretty darned warm. making the Cooks seem even cooler than it would if they were from a cooler location) and that MOST folks do find the weather to be fine.

However, the key word here is MOST. Average daily high on Raro that time of year is around 77/78 (around the same as the July average daily high here in Seattle). If you get that average high (or even a bit warmer) it should be fine for you. but remember, that's an AVERAGE and for each day where you get a daily high of say, 5 degrees warmer, there'll (in theory anyway) also be a day that's 5 degrees cooler. If you are unlucky enough to be there when a cool snap comes in (as KamaainaK apparently was) it could be pretty chilly.

Anyway, that time of year is the only time of year when I would be tempted to stay on the west side (which is more protected from the wind). I'd also plan on spending most of my time on Aitutaki (which is probably 3 degrees warm or so).

Anyway, just something to consider.

Ken

santa barbara,CA
Destination Expert
for French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tahiti
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6. Re: Rarotonga Beach Bungalow vs Palm Grove Resort

Rarotonga Beach Bungalows would be my pick hands down. The beach is fantastic out front, the bungalows are lovely, and you don't need a pool with all that azure blue water out front. Just my opinion....

sunny regards,

shully

Los Angeles
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178 posts
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7. Re: Rarotonga Beach Bungalow vs Palm Grove Resort

Hey WCF,

My wife and I honeymooned back in May and stayed at the RBB. We were a little concerned because there was no pool. As soon as we arrived, the pool issue never came up. Swimming off the RBB was fantastic - the view and beach were perfect. We also stayed there because of the AC, but never used it.

I can't speak for the Palm Grove Resort, since I did not see it. But, the RBB was the most perfect honeymoon place I can imagine. People rave about the Etu Moana (on Aitutaki), but this was our favorite hands down - we stayed at both. Also, if you check old trip reports, you won't find a bad word about this place.

Good luck planning!

- - - - BB

Melbourne, Australia
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9 posts
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8. Re: Rarotonga Beach Bungalow vs Palm Grove Resort

We stayed at Palm Grove earlier this year. It was 90% humidity. Palm Grove did not offer air con in the units we were in. They do have newer units on the beach which seem far nicer. I urge you to read the reviews of the Palm Grove. Although some travellers did not experience the rudeness that we did I can assure you that it is there. We were also leaft at the airport!! Palm Beach is gorgeous as is the whole of Rarotonga. If I was to go there again we would stay only at Rarotongan beach resort. Everything is there. The Lagoon Lodges looked lovely as well. If you go to Palm Grove request a bungalow on the beach. Other reviews did not seem to have as many problems there as we did on the other side of the road. Enjoy!

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Rarotonga Beach Bungalow vs Palm Grove Resort

Further to my formwer comment. I feel I should say that we were there for a wedding. If you really want this to be special book in at Crown Beach Resort. They were wonderful to my nephew and his new bride. The whole resort embraced them and welcomed them. The staff we lovely and the service was exceptional. We did have the wedding and reception there and it was far beyond expectations. I know my nephew and new neice would want me to tell you that Crown Beach is the honeymoon spot. That's if yo can handle being on a grogeous beach everyday. Good luck. I wish you well in your marriage.

10. Re: Rarotonga Beach Bungalow vs Palm Grove Resort

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