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“PERFECT - again...never disappoints!”
Review of Makayla Palms

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Makayla Palms
Certificate of Excellence
Mangawhai, New Zealand
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“PERFECT - again...never disappoints!”
Reviewed September 16, 2013

What to say about Makayla Palms? Our wonderful hosts' standards remain impeccable, the beach, as always - sublime, local restaurants, as per usual - delicious!

This is our 5th visit to Rarotonga (3rd visit to Makayla Palms - since we visited the first time 3 years ago we never book anywhere else!). Once again we find the place to be perfect in every way and are already looking at flights and availability for our next stay.

Rarotonga is NOT Fiji.....it is better in every way. The unspoilt Island paradise has kept its charm thanks to the unique property ownership laws that date back forever and as such, the massive chain resorts have been kept out and if you are clever you will choose a small, locally owned resort such as Makayla Palms where you can feel more like a guest and another person fighting for a lounge chair by the pool!

We were luck enough to experince a local umu (local food cooked in the ground prepared by long time staff members and friends Fred and Loving) one night and our hosts joined us along with the other guests for an intimate and enjoyable evening.

As I've said in my other reviews, you won't find a better beach in the South Pacific and once again I discovered wonderful snorkelling (which unlike other islands in the Pacific actually gets better with age as the reef and lagoon continue to prosper due to lack of people) - I even saw wild turtles for the 4th time which is always a delight and beats paying to spend half a day on a boat full of other people to see these amazing creatures in captivity.

I can't go on about this place enough - if you are sick of tired old resorts and fighting for your space then try something new - you will NOT regret it and you can be assured that Makayla Palms is #1 on Tripadvisor for a reason!

Thanks again John, Rachel, Loving and Fred (and the girls!) for an incredible stay - we can't wait to see you again as soon as work permits!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Monsieurnz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JDMR, Owner at Makayla Palms, responded to this review, September 18, 2013
Your third enjoyable stay with us and repeat guests who become good friends are just the absolute icing on the cake for us and makes what we do an absolute pleasure.To have guests say to us on arrival that it is "just like coming home"...a bonus! Thank you for your review and including us in your stay.......John, Rachel and the Makayla Palms team.
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Kaitaia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2013

We spent 12 relaxing days here at Makayla Palms. Our hosts Rachel and John could not be faulted from the point of my first tentative internet enquiry through to our early morning transfer back to the airport to come home. Nothing is too much trouble for this couple - they are both genuinely warm, friendly and attentive but never intrusive. The Villas are spacious, clean and comfortable and extremely well appointed. They are set in beautifully laid out and groomed grounds and include a great herb garden for guests to help themselves to. (And I did on many occasions!!) The location at Titikaveka is great with the very best beach on the island - this is our 4th visit to Rarotonga so we can say this from experience. The Umu night with Fred, Loving and their girls is an absolute treat and not to be missed.The food is amazing!! The large covered outdoor deck area off each Villa is great for all your meals and evening drinks or just somewhere to stretch out during the day with a good book. The convenience store for basic items and little fruit and vege road side stalls are very handy and straight across the road we experienced a very unique and enjoyable lunch. The restaurant at Moana Sands is a very easy walk along the beach and we had two lovely evening meals here - one inside in the restaurant and the other on the beach. Vaima restaurant is also nice and they will pick you up and deliver you home at no cost. Self catering is also easy with stove top elements, microwave oven and excellent quality hooded barbeque on the deck. We bought a marinated butterflied chicken at Prime Meats in town and barbequed it - yum!! We recommend that you try the Progressive dinner - a great opportunity to experience fabulous local food in local homes. And Rachel's home baking is another lovely touch and treat which is unique to Makayla Palms. We also enjoyed Rachel's breakfast tray with delicious savoury muffins. We can thoroughly recommend Makayla Palms as a great holiday location and we will return !!!!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank NMAYM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JDMR, Owner at Makayla Palms, responded to this review, September 17, 2013
Well what can we say! You have written such a kind review and obviously enjoyed all that Makayla Palms and Rarotonga has to offer. We enjoyed our interactions with you both and are so pleased that you had a great time at the umu and enjoyed our little girls the "Makayla Dance Group".We look forward to seeing you again and many thanks for your review.
John,Rachel, Loving,Fred and the "girls"
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Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 11, 2013

From Rachel's warm welcome at the airport (at a very antisocial hour) until the moment we left, both Rachel and John were the consummate hosts. The villa was superb, clean, comfortable and had everything we needed to see us through until we found Karl's shop a short walk away. Just moments from a stunning beach, which at times is all yours, and only a few minutes further to some great restaurants, it was the perfect place to switch off, relax and unwind.
Make sure to join John and Rachel when they invite Fred, Loving and their girls to host a traditional "umu" where fantastic fish and pork dishes are just a part of the feast. Followed up with a display of traditional island dancing, it was a great welcome and helped complete the Cook island experience.

From helping us book around the tricky dateline, to delivering us safely to the airport when it was time to leave, nothing was too much trouble. When I come back to Rarotonga there's no question where I'll choose to stay.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JamesStripe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2013

You can believe all the positive reviews. This place is a well-maintained and sparkling accommodation choice. Our one-bedroom villa was very clean, and bright with plenty of storage.The gardens are superbly tended with many beautiful flowers, and herbs and fruit available when in season. John and Rachel are great hosts and willing to share their vast knowledge of the island, and suggestions for excursions and dining options. The beach and lagoon, whilst not fully visible from much of the property is only 40 metres away and the water in the lagoon was crystal clear and the beach was almost always deserted. There is a good selection of DVDs available for those who wish to watch TV. The pleasant surprise was the amount of provided pantry items and bathroom supplies available on a "use and replace " basis. It was a very pleasant stay in a beautiful tropical setting, and it's apparent that the owners work hard to ensure their guests have a good holiday.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Loopy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2013

We made our second visit to Makayla Palms in July and had a wonderful time again. Our family joined us this time around as we felt we should be sharing this beautiful spot. As reviewed by others, the accommodation and surroundings is of a very high standard and we were very comfortable. Our big kids enjoyed the 2 bedroom Villa Tiana and we loved being in Villa Tia just next door. We ate together on the deck at "their place" for half the time and ate out for the other half. This time we enjoyed the fare at the Rickshaw Cafe at Muri Beach, Fish and Chips at the Boat Club and dinner on the deck at Trader Jacks. We bought fresh fish at Avarua and tried our hand at making Ika Mata (successfully) and also made fish burgers. Apart from a few of us going on the Koka Cruises glass bottom boat trip and a few of us circumnavigating the Island on push bikes we just relaxed, snorkelled, kayaked and swam off the gorgeous beach at the end of the path. We only saw Rachel fleetingly this time around, but all enjoyed the baking she had prepared before her departure. John provided an excellent secretarial service as it became clear our daughter's social life was transferred from home to the Islands...places to go and people to see! Thanks for a lovely holiday Rachel and John; your property is awesome and remains a credit to you. We all enjoyed our lovely mid-winter escape.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jo C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JDMR, Owner at Makayla Palms, responded to this review, September 18, 2013
Thrilled that you returned with the family and had such a fabulous time.John's new secretarial service sounds great too! Sorry I missed you all this time but look forward to your next stay and catching up! Rachel........and John
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Napier, New Zealand
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2013

We have just returned from our second visit to Makayla Palms, and this stay was equally as enjoyable as the previous. Rachel and John are such fabulous hosts, and the villas were up to the usual excellent standard. We will certainly be going back. It is fabulous having such a beautiful uncrowded beach, to call your own.

Room Tip: All villas are excellent,
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bev T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JDMR, Owner at Makayla Palms, responded to this review, September 25, 2013
Always lovely to see Makayla "friends" return who just slide into Raro time and the villas as though they have never left!! Greatly appreciate the help you gave the local community too. Look forward to your visit next year.John and Rachel
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Auckland, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed August 26, 2013

This was the first holiday in 20 years that my husband and I had had without kids. It was near perfect with the only let down being several days of rain. The accommodation at Makayla Palms was fabulous with the villa having a well-equipped kitchen and a pantry stocked with the essentials. We cooked many of our own meals, and with Rachel’s input on where best to source local produce, we dined on beautiful fresh fish, meat and produce.
A short stroll through the gardens at Makayla Palms gave us access to a white sand beach that at times was empty. We had free use of kayaks and snorkelling equipment, both of which we put to good use. The fish life as you near the reef is abundant and we saw several large schools of fish.
We hired a scooter from John and Rachel for the week which is such a fun way to see the island and gave us a chance to stop for a spot of lunch at the Saltwater Cafe or The Mooring Fish Cafe while exploring the island.
The views of the island from the Needle are well-worth the mud and 4 hour hike over the cross island track. Parts of the track are quite steep and not always well-marked, but if you enjoy hiking then give it a go.
Thanks John and Rachel for helping make our long-awaited holiday near perfect.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank CoupleonHoliday853
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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