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“Superb” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Makayla Palms

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Makayla Palms
Certificate of Excellence
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Superb”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

An excellent choice for any visitors to Raro:
- Lovely villas stocked with all the essentials for a self-catering holiday (and some things you didn't even realise were essential).
- 10 second walk to the beach (with few other visitors). Amazing snorkelling straight off the beach - no need to try other spots round the island.
- Delicious breakfasts and home-baking.
- Rachel and John make everything so easy: from scooter/car hire and snorkel equipment to well-vetted restaurant and activity recommendations/bookings. As hosts, they absolutely can't be faulted.
We'll be back!

  • 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
Helpful?
1 Thank NISKandJP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JDMR, Owner at Makayla Palms, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
We are thrilled that you enjoyed your stay with us at Makayla Palms and appreciate your kind words.We work hard to help our guests have an excellent experience where we can and the icing on the cake for us is telling us that you will return! Love to see you both again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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364 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

This was our first trip to the Cook Islands, and we really enjoyed the people there. Our time there felt like being in an actual community instead of something set up for tourists. This was enhanced by the fact that John and Rachel knew everyone (maybe not surprising since it takes 45 minutes to circumnavigate the whole island by car).
Makayla Palms was a beautiful, modern, clean, well taken care of property on Raro. The owners take great pride in their villas and the grounds. They have a wonderful garden and the beach is secluded (we had the whole beach to ourselves most of the time). We cooked while we stayed there and it's in walking distance of a botanical garden with a cafe and has a little fruit stand across the street but otherwise you would some sort of transportation to get around (bike, motorbike, car, kayak, bus). It was unusually hot while we stayed there so sleeping was a bit a challenge (although it made the ocean feel that much nicer). My wife had allergies to the smoke around the island from burning piles of yard cuttings and sweet flowers. Our villa was the closest to the road so we did hear motorbikes, but that's not unique to MP.
John and Rachel had great recommendations for local places to visit, and they arranged a very nice dinner for us prepared by a local family, with dancing from their talented daughters. They really take care of you: our original flight in was cancelled (Virgin Australia) but John met us at the airport with a rental car that they had paid for, and they arranged for us to stay in the Rarotongan on the first night until our room at MP was available.
We didn't really know what to expect, but ended up having a great relaxing time, swimming 3x a day and getting immersed in island time.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank beroe1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

Makayla Palms is a little slice of paradise with a beautiful beach for swimming & snorkelling. John & Rachel are top notch hosts -- full of knowledge re the island, excellent suggestions for activities, restaurants & shopping. In addition, Rachel's breakfasts are a treat both in taste & visually! The units are comfortable & well maintained with beautiful gardens surrounding them. We found it to be the perfect place to relax & enjoy the beauty of the South Pacific.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jmdToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Havelock North, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

Makayla Palms is situated in one of the more picturesque beaches in Rarotonga. From the villa's it took us less than a minute to walk right to the beach front. Rachel and John supplied lots of snorkelling gear, kayaks and plenty of beach towels. The villa's are tastefully decorated and spotless. Rachel spoiled us with her delicious home baking and was happy to advise us on the best places to go for food and entertainment on the island. Rachel and John even offer a rental car for guests to book. Fred and his family did a traditional "umu" for us in Makayla Palms' own private garden which we thoroughly enjoyed. While we enjoyed the food his daughters entertained us with beautiful traditional dances. As well as this Fred shared with us his wide range of knowledge on coconuts and the many ways in which they were traditionally used. We have no hesitations whatsoever on recommending Makayla Palms - we thoroughly enjoyed coming back to Rarotonga and wouldn't want to stay anywhere else.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Helpful?
1 Thank EdieCooper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milsons Point, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

Our first (and hopefully not last) visit to the Cook Islands was a memorable one. We were fortunate to chose the perfect place for our stay: Makayla Palms on the beautiful island of Rarotonga. John and Rachel are the perfect hosts for an amazing holiday. They go the extra mile to make you feel welcome which includes home made cookies, fresh fruit and personal attention. The accommodation (Villa Tia) is a joy. Clean, spacious and well furnished and equiped and situated close to the beach surrounded by beautiful plants and trees. Furthermore complimentary kayaks, reef shoes and snorkel gear. As said: heaven on earth. A special thanks to Loving and Fred for the complimentarty fruits during our stay.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Henry H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newmarket, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

We loved it very much. Very beautiful and very well maintained. The best beach for the snorkeling. John and Rachel are very supportive and helpful. Thank you for your hospitality!!!
For the location and the price there is nothing better in Rarotonga.

  • Stayed January 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
Helpful?
Thank Vlad K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JDMR, Owner at Makayla Palms, responded to this review, February 1, 2013
We so enjoyed your stay....it was all too short! Fascinated to find that Russians know all about the Cook Islands.Thanks for your kind review and we very much hope that we will see you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Drayton Valley, AB Canada
Level Contributor
112 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

My husband & I had the pleasure of staying at Makayla Palms January 7th through the 26th, 2013. We stayed one night in Villa Tiare, which is a studio type accommodation, and the rest of our stay was in Villa Tiana, which is a large, 2-bedroom accommodation. We preferred the latter, just because it was much more spacious - a large kitchen and dining area, living area, very large and luxurious bath, with bedrooms on either side of the bath. Each bedroom has an air conditioner, but be advised that it costs $25 per air conditioner per day. There are ceiling fans in the units, but we found we were much more comfortable using the air conditioning at night. The owners are in the process of changing the windows, to allow much better air circulation, so AC may not be required once that is done. The Villa is well equipped - kitchen has most everything you could desire and they provide bread, milk, butter, jams, fruit, etc. for your first morning there, so that you don't go hungry until you've had a chance to rest up sufficiently to go shopping. There is a large lanai in front with a teak dining table that seats 6, as well as a large propane barbecue. There is a narrow "greenbelt" that runs the length of the property in front of the Villa. There is a laundry room attached to the Villa Tiana - a washing machine, a large washtub, ironing board, etc. Note that it costs $5 for each load of laundry. Both John & Rachel are very personable and happy to answer your questions, make reservations for you, etc. I requested a life vest and John provided one, so that I could go kayaking. They provide kayaks (double and single), reef shoes, snorkel gear, etc.
There are lots of books, games, and videos in the units, in case it's raining for a few days and you need to amuse yourselves indoors. They brought us fruit from time to time, as well as lovely homemade baking. When we ran out of books, Rachel was happy to bring us more. John drove us to Avarua the day after our arrival, so that we could get a driver's licence, as well as show us where to shop for food, internet cards, bank, etc.
Our Villa was cleaned every 5 days by Loving, who did an excellent job every time. Her husband Fred, showed us how to open a coconut, and made us a great snack of fresh papaya and freshly shredded coconut. Sadly, we didn't really find about this until our last day there, but Loving and Fred will do an Umu for you - that is, cook a meal in their traditional way, underground, bring it to the Gazebo on the property, and have their girls do some cultural song/dance for you. I had several massages with Inano while I was there - she brings her portable table and sets it up on your lanai - she's very good.
The grounds are beautifully landscaped, very, very nice. Each of the 3 Villas is somewhat private from the others due to clever landscaping. As others have said, it's just a few minutes walk to the beach and while we were there, we pretty much had that lovely beach all to ourselves. Snorkelling is good right off the beach. I would highly recommend this accomodation if you're planning a trip to Rarotonga - top-notch accommodations, and John & Rachel make sure that you are totally happy with your stay - they are truly delightful people.

  • Stayed January 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank travelynx00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JDMR, Owner at Makayla Palms, responded to this review, February 1, 2013
Thank you for your lovely review and we are so pleased that you had an enjoyable stay after the Cook Islands being on your bucket list for 23 years! Thanks to you too Andy for helping with the new little rock wall near your villa. The lovely "Queen of the Night" is growing really well and we will always think of it as your garden.We truly enjoyed reading about your visit with us and know that you have returned to the cold with lots of happy memories of the Cook islands. Love you to come and see us again
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Makayla Palms

Property: Makayla Palms
Address: Kauare, Titikaveka 0000, Cook Islands
Location: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Titikaveka
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Titikaveka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Makayla Palms 4*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Air NZ Cook Island Tourism Award Winner 2016/2017 Self Catering Villas Award winning Rarotongan accommodation at its best! Excellence on trip Advisor. Beautiful self catering villas with private beach access to stunning Titikaveka lagoon and beach. A perfect tropical holiday destination. Relax on the uncrowded beach with complimentary kayaks and snorkeling equipment or explore the many and varied activities on the island. Makayla Palms has a two bedroom villa and two couples villas (studios) and they have everything you need for your tropical holiday. These fully screened villas feature full kitchens, spacious lounges with flat screen TV, iPod dock, DVD player and Wifi modem. A cupboard contains all linen changes and beach towels, books games and DVDs. Guests enjoy the BBQ on their deck and the open air shower. AIR CON available with a surcharge. Within walking distance is a village shop, a fruit stall, a church, Tuk tuk tours, cafes and restaurants. Three kms away in Muri are many more cafes and restaurants. There is a car and scooters that can be pre booked and parking is available on the property. Buses run regularly and may be hailed at the gate. Exclusive airport transfers are available for booking. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Makayla Palms Hotel Titikaveka
Makayla Palms Rarotonga, Cook Islands - Titikaveka

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