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“Spacious somehwhat tired houses in good location let down by poor maintenance”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Palm Grove

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Palm Grove
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vaimaanga
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Spacious somehwhat tired houses in good location let down by poor maintenance”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2009

We stayed in both the 2 and 3 bedroom houses at Palm Grove with two small children. Both houses offer pros and cons, but the main problem with them is that they are not particularly well maintained and a little tired. eg toaster was melted, windows in 3 br house had a number of broken latches, so couldn't be locked (but fixed promptly once reported), portacot was dirty and had big hole in its side, couple of holes in wall in 3 br house. Furnishing in both is quite good. Both come with BBQs and covered outside eating areas.
The "resort" itself was good - not a luxury resort by any means, but with a reasonable price given its presentation and facilities. On the plus side the gardens and pool are well maintained and the breakfast was pretty good. The beach was first rate, like many beaches on Rarotonga, so staying in the beach bungalows would have been lovely but not an option for us with the small kids.
Service was businesslike, and with the exception of a very friendly waitress in the restaurant, not particularly warm.
The clientelle at the resort is mainly 40+, and there was maybe only one other family with kids there at the same time as us. There was a small collection of sand toys availabe for kids, but apart from that the place is not particularly child friendly.
The houses themselves are surround by large lawn areas which make good play areas, but are separated from the road only by a kind of a hedge with gaps in it, so certainly not kid proof. The houses were far enough from the road as to not be annoyingly noisy. The biggest problem was the roosters in the morning.
Here's summary of the pros and cons of the two houses for those tossing up between them:
2 bedroom. Pros: Big living area. BIt further from road.
Cons: Hot water often was unusably cold. Aircon only in one bedroom, but we didn't need it in June. Kitchen a bit tired.
3 bedrooms: Pros: Solar hot water that was hot. Aircon in all three bedrooms. Nicer kitchen. Separate toilet.
Cons: Lighting was so dim in living area to be almost unusable. Smaller living area, but still reasonable size. Small bathroom.

Overall I would stay at these houses at Palm Grove again for a future trip, but only after having a look to see if I couldn't get something better. A bit of a disappointment after the other good reviews.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank cellofellow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PalmGrove, Owner at Palm Grove, responded to this review, July 16, 2009
Kia Orana cellofellow,

Thank you for taking the time to review Palm Grove. I'd like to take this opportunity to respond to a few of your comments.

I'm sorry you experienced some maintenance issues while you were here. We try to be as diligent as possible with our maintenance and repairs - as you will have seen with our prompt response to replacing the window latches in the 3 Bedroom unit. Our biggest problem is that both the 2 Bedroom and 3 Bedroom unit are extremely popular because of their excellent value and privacy - and we only have one of each unit. Consequently, they are booked solid for months on end which has forced us to postpone some of our planned upgrades to these units. But we have been trying to fit them in where we can. In fact, we have just completely redone the shower in the 3 Bedroom since you've departed as we had a 48-hour window between guests! Our next planned upgrade is to the 2 Bedroom kitchen, as well as adding an aircon unit to the 2nd Bedroom; unfortunately these upgrades cannot happen until November, the first time the unit will be vacant for 4 days in a row. But urgent maintenance issues are attended to asap.

I'm not certain if you have the hot water setup backwards, but it's the 2 Bedroom that's on solar and the 3 Bedroom has gas powered hot water. I've reviewed the maintenance log for while you were in the 2 Bedroom (10-15 June) but I don't see any complaints about cold water. I'm wondering if we had some cloudy days while you were here? If so, the solar heater would have been providing cooler water but turning on the booster switch would have rectified the problem in 20-30 minutes.

Your comments regarding our children's facilities are 100% correct. Palm Grove accepts infants and children in all of our garden units. But, with the exception of the 2 and 3 Bedroom units, our garden units are studio and 1 Bedroom setups and only sleep 3 maximum. So we cater to families in the 2 and 3 Bedroom units, but can only accept a couple with 1 child in the other garden units. So we don't usually have more than 2-3 families onsite at any given time. The majority of our guests are quite happy with this setup and actually choose Palm Grove knowing that we are not "overrun" with children, as can sometimes happen at larger resorts. So we are child-friendly in that we accept children, but we're not the place to stay if you're looking for kids club facilities and lots of playmates for your children.

I hope my comments have been helpful to you and other TripAdvisor members. Please don't hesitate to contact us directly at beach@palmgrove.co.ck if we can assist you with anything further.

Thanks and regards,

Betsy Eisler
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (194)
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dunedin
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2009

Our group of five ladies stayed at Palm Grove for 5 nights in G17, the 3 bedroom unit. On our arrival early in the morning we were greated by Na's smiley friendly face, which was nice considering it was 1.30am in the morning! What a wonderful experience we had there, we loved all aspects of Palm Grove, the friendly staff, lovely meals, and our unit was awesome. Our highlight was the Friday night BBQ, the meal was most enjoyable and the band were great!! On our last day Na showed us around the other units and spent time with us chatting about Rarotonga. What a great service you provide, and you should all be proud of what you have achieved. I will definately be back with my family and friends, and would not think about staying anywhere else. All the best for the future, look forward to seeing you all again sometime.
Megan and Friends - Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank DunedinDougalm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2009

Our stay began well when we arrived at the airport to find Ng waiting to transfer us to Palm Grove. He was pleasant and cheerful - even at 1.30am! After a quick check-in process we were shown to our bungalow. We were pleasantly surprised by how spacious it was - a good sized bedroom with a comfortable king sized bed, sitting room with lounge and dining furniture which opened onto a private deck with outdoor table setting, small kitchenette with a good sized fridge, electric hobs and microwave, spacious bathroom. Don't expect five star luxury but the bungalow is well-maintained and very clean and comfortable. We opted for a superior garden room rather than the more expensive beach front ones but we weren't disappointed. The gardens surrounding our bungalow were absolutely beautiful - hibiscus outside the bathroom window.

Breakfast, which was included in the price, is quite basic but adequate - toast, packaged cereals, fruit, juice and coffee. Other options could be ordered and weren't overly expensive. We only ate in the restaurant once - on our last night, because there were so many other places we wanted to try, the restaurant at Manuia was great, excellent food and great service and Trader Jack's had the best seafood chowder and great service also. The fish and chip shop at the wharf does the most amazing fish burgers at a great price. The meal we did eat at Palm Grove was fine and quite reasonably priced. Friday night happy hour was lively for such a small resort and free drinks and nibbles are a nice gesture on behalf of management I thought. The entertainment, Tani & Rose, were great.

The swimming pool is quite small but very clean and nice to relax by - comfy cane chaise lounges as well as the usual deck chairs. To be honest we didn't really use the pool - my husband swam once and I didn't use it at all as it would have been hard to go past the beach for swimming. The beach - what can I say, in our opinion it's the best on the island. In high tide it's great for swimming. At other times the snorkelling is just amazing and is right off the beach! We've snorkelled in Fiji and thought that the snorkelling here was as good if not better. The water was crystal clear and we saw a multitude of fish varieties and sizes. A word of warning - would definitely recommend wearing beach shoes as there were literally hundreds of sea urchins in the reef and rocks.

The snorkelling equipment and kayaks provided free of charge for guest use are in good condition and although I bought my own reef shoes in Avarua, there were plenty available to use. We hired a scooter at the resort which was really convenient and no more expensive than anywhere else. I can't recommend hiring a scooter highly enough. We had so much fun checking out other beaches and different places to eat, wandering around Avarua, popping to the shop and exploring the backroads.

Overall, if you're looking for clean, comfortable, spacious accommodation in beautiful gardens with a gorgeous beach and great snorkelling right on your doorstep, I would highly recommend Palm Grove.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank LuluBAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vissefjarda, Sweden
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2009

We stayed at Palm Grove for seven days in the beginning of April. We stayed in a Beach Bungalow, B8. We had a great view of the lagoon from our balcony. All staff were very friendly and the lady in the front desk were very helpful with bookings and information.
Tropical breakfast was ok and the restaurant, The Yellow Hibiscus, served nice dinner. But as we like to try different places we only eat here once.
The beach was cleaned every morning and from what we saw it was one of the best and It offers great snorkeling.
We enjoyed our stay and can really recommend this place

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Annellen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queensland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2009

My wife and I have recently returned from a week in Rarotonga staying at Palm Grove. With the plane arriving on the other side of midnight we were greeted by Palm Grove staff and shuttled back to the facility with some other couples.

We stayed in a Matenga bechfront bungalow (B9) which was only a hop, step and jump to the lagoon. The room was spacious enough, everything was clean and tidy, the staff cleaning the room were very obliging and the view from the front balcony was magnificient.

Eatiing and dining at Palm Grove was no problem, a short walk across the road and there you were. Breakfasts in our package were classified as a "tropical beakfast" and provided quite a range of cereals and fresh fruits for all tastes.
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The meals in the restaurant (The Yellow Hibiscus) were of a good standard and had a wide range on the menu. The staff there were friendly, happy and willing to help you with your dining experience.
We did not have all meals there as we wanted to experience other venues on the island but this was by choice.

Palm Grove facilities are good, snorkeling and swimming in the lagoon is a treat (better than some other spots we went to) kyaks and snorkelling gear were available on site and we had no trouble in getting these for our use.
Joanne and staff were always willing to help and provide info on local attractions that would be of interest.

Entertainment was good, especially on Friday night for "happy hour" which was a great fun night (even the locals come to this).
Tani and Rose provided the entertainment and were superb. Don't miss them if you get the opportunity even if you don't stay there. The BBQ on Sunday night was one not to be missed as well (steak or fish).

The Cook Islands is a place to consider If you want a hoiday to "get away from it all". Peace and quiet is the order of the day.
Don't expect the same levels of service as some other countries but this is all part of the Cook Island experience.
We had a minor issue (with our front sliding door) but hey this is the Cook Islands so you really need to go with the flow.

Things to see and do are the Aitutaki day tour, the island night experience, visit Trader Jacks, dine at Tamarind House (Sue was a delight) and hire a car or scooter. You need to obtain a Cook Island Drivers Licence from the Police Station to do this.

Overall, a great place to unwind, pity it had to end and I would be be happy to holiday there again.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Cookholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2009

My husband and I have just returned from a week at Palm Grove with our 10mth old daughter.
Having never been to the Cook Islands before, we were a little hesitant when booking non-resort style accommodation but it took us about 5 minutes to discover that we had done the right thing. Palm Grove has everything we could possibly ask for, and then some. It's peaceful, clean, has a great restaurant, friendly staff and immaculate gardens and pool area. The beach...what can I say..... you really need to see it to believe it.
After arriving at midnight and being greeted with gardenia ei's, we had our amusing and very (what we would discover to be) "local-style" transfer in the minibus back to Palm Grove. We had booked a Garden Superior room and were not disappointed. The rooms cater perfectly for small families, our daughter had a cot which we moved around depending on what we were doing ie. put it in the main bedroom for daysleeps and then into the loungeroom for nighttime. In saying that, the cot was a portacot that had seen better days but otherwise her sheets were changed regularly so we really have no complaints in that area.
The rooms were serviced each day and were quite clean. There was a few mouldy bits in the bathroom but I think the 90% humidity can be blamed for that... it certainly wasn't anything worth worrying about.
Our room had an aircon over our bed which was a little noisy but after the first 2 days, we got used to the heat/humidity and slept with just the fan on.
We woke up to the chorus of the roosters...much to my husband's horror, although we heard them less each day and the chickens actually became quite friendly which our daughter loved.
Being set back from the road and the beach, the garden villas have a lot of privacy and peace. We didn't hear the cars on the road and really liked being away from the main beach area where people walked through. We spent a lot of quality book-reading time on our balcony looking at the mountains and the rainclouds...very relaxing.
The breakfasts are great, a good selection of fresh local fruits as well as the typical toast/cereal options. Our bubba was catered for with a highchair so it was no problem feeding her at the same time.
We ate in the Yellow Hibiscus every night except one when we had a bbq but the staff kindly prepared a salad for us. The restaurant menu is not extensive but the food is great and huge portions. My husband and I struggled through our plates each night. The staff in the restaurant were fabulous and often chatted to our daughter - one night Tina took her off for a walk in the kitchen so we could eat in peace... what a blessing!
We strongly recommend the Sunday bbq night. More food than you can possibly imagine - the salads are wonderful. Followed by banana fritters with icecream... for NZ$30.... who can complain!
Overall, we totally enjoyed our stay at Palm Grove. There was nothing that we could complain about... although we did see one not so friendly face in the office which was surprising... quite possibly the same person referred to in other reviews. Otherwise, perfect and highly recommended!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Narre24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2009

My husband and I stayed at Palm Grove in February and had such an enjoyable visit! We had been to Rarotonga before but this was our first time at Palm Grove and we're so happy that we chose it. Previous reviewers are right, this resort has absolutely the best beach on the island and it's never crowded! We stayed in a beach bungalow and woke up every morning to a stunning view from our verandah. After a quick breakfast at their Yellow Hibiscus restaurant (the buffet is lovely with lots of fresh fruit!), we always grabbed our masks and went straight to the lagoon - which was filled with tropical fish. We tried snorkeling at a few other beaches on Rarotonga, but the snorkeling at Palm Grove was definitely superior.
There is plenty to do on Rarotonga but since we'd been there before, we had come back to do nothing but relax. And we were able to do plenty of that! There is a pool onsite and I took a swim there when I'd had enough of the sand. But we spent most of our time marveling at our gorgeous view and sneaking in a few afternoon naps!
The resort staff are very friendly and lots of fun, especially the ladies at the restaurant. We had quite a few laughs with them and they definitely made our holiday more enjoyable. We were thrilled with our stay at Palm Grove and are already talking about when we can visit again!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank aussiewardSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palm Grove

Property: Palm Grove
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*
Number of rooms: 25
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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Also Known As:
Palm Grove Hotel Vaimaanga
Palm Grove Rarotonga, Cook Islands

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