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“"Home away from home"”
Review of Palm Grove

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Palm Grove
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vaimaanga
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 26, 2009

Celebrated our 40th anniversary at the Palm Grove. Our "Home away from Home". This was our 4th trip and we ALWAYS stay at the Palm Grove.
Quiet,private,fun and beautiful, all rolled into one.
The staff is always friendly and accomodating. We have stayed in all the different units and found them clean and cozy.
" IT IS" the MOST PERFECT beach on the island. Laying on the beach, snorkeling, kayaking,its ideal for everything.
We enjoyed the Friday night Happy Hour. You can meet the staff and all the other visitors. We've gained new friends during this time. Loved the local entertainment.
Thank you Betsy,Joanne, Na and ALL your staff for ALWAYS making us feel welcome.
Bill & Deb San Diego,USA

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank kylesandiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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457 - 463 of 566 reviews

Reviewed September 23, 2009

Staff friendly and helpful
Nice grounds and tidy.
Clean Rooms
In room entertainment at night with the Geeko's
Great Views from Beach Bungalows
Self contained bungalows
Sunday night BBQ night at the Yellow Hibiscus awesome night.
Friday & Sat local talent for your entertainment

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Samantha P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2009

Good value for money and in a location that is as good as higher priced accomadation in the area. Snorkeling has one of the best locations and assessibilty to accomadation.
We stayed in one of the garden bungalows and there was a bad smell from the rear of the unit which was strong when the wind was blowing towards the unit. I suspect this was due to poor drainage.
I would not recommend the Hibiscus restaurant located at the Palm grove. Meals were of poor quality for the same money as other top restaurants in the area.
In summary if you are after the complete package in accomadation and are willing to pay more I would recommend finding alternate accomadation.
If you are on a budget and are looking for value for money without the trappings then this accomadation may suit your needs.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank NzLocal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PalmGrove, Owner at Palm Grove, responded to this reviewResponded October 1, 2009

Kia Orana NzLocal,

Thank you for taking the time to review Palm Grove. We're pleased that you enjoyed our facilities, including our stunning beach and lagoon. We consider ourselves a solid mid-range accommodation and are happy you agreed that we are good value.

Regarding your drainage concerns, we are fortunate to have excellent drainage behind our Garden Studio bungalows as the land there slopes down and away from the property. I have been over to inspect the area behind those bungalows several times this week since reading your review, but cannot find any evidence of standing water or unpleasant odour, either on our property or on the adjacent property behind us. But in light of your concerns, I will continue to check on the area and make sure there isn't a problem.

I'm sorry you did not enjoy our onsite restaurant. The restaurant is generally a very popular destination for inhouse guests as well as other tourists and locals. We serve quality food at great prices and are less expensive than all other nearby restaurants; our mains are priced at $15-25 while most other restaurants in this area have mains priced at $26-32 (I phoned several of them today to confirm this is correct). We're also very lucky to have a wonderful review of our restaurant published in the current issue of Escape Magazine, and we're expecting the restaurant to be reviewed in the upcoming issue of The Cook Islands Sun newspaper.

I hope my comments have been helpful to both you and other Tripadvisor members.

Kind regards,

Betsy Eisler

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Reviewed September 17, 2009

We stayed in Palm Grove recently in the one bedroom garden suite. We were visiting Rarotonga for a family wedding and most of the family stayed at one of the resorts so having visited them often had the opportunity to compare the two different types of accomodation.

Our bungalow at first seemed a bit tired, the curtains could have done with a few more hooks and there was a musty smell in the wardrobe (but easily fixed by hanging the beautiful 'ei that we were given at the airport in the wardrobe).

This accomodation is not flash but we really didn't care and actually we didn't pay enough for flash.

What was flash though was the ease of access to the beach, the bus stop right outside, the staff who made you feel special, the happy hour on friday night with free drinks and nibbles and fun and laughter with the locals, the delicious barbecue we signed up for on monday night, the friendly animals who popped by to say hello (cat and dogs and chooks and lizards), breakfast, the shop just a short walk down the road, the free kayaks (one and two person), the free snorkeling equipment and the free ride to and from church on Sunday.
Our bed was comfortable, the shower was great (awesome pressure) and even though the weather wasn't what we had hoped for the snorkelling and kayaking were fun when the sun shined.

The rest of my family were in what one may consider luxury in comparison but they never met the locals, they mingled with the tourists and complained about the ants, the noise from others etc.
Give me Palm Grove anyday. We will definitely return and be bringing friends and family with us.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Luther5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2009

We stayed in a beachfront room for 4 nights. The room was great and exactly what you would expect for the price and 3 star rating. Beach was perfect and never more than a few people about. Just a few steps from our deck to the water. Fantastic snorkling with lots of fish before you are even knee deep. Staff were all helpful and welcoming and made you feel like family - but also very laid back in a typical Cook Island way. Excellent access to the round Island buses that stop right out front, and motor scooters for hire on site. Will definately be back. Good general store just 200 meters away. Bar prices were very resonable and they make great cocktails!

Only complaint would be the lack of good snorkling equipment available. We were told that this was included for free but were unable to get any equipment to use, that fit, or wasnt worn out or broken. So bring your own or be prepared to rent it from down the road.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank TaminatorRangitikei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PalmGrove, Owner at Palm Grove, responded to this reviewResponded September 2, 2009

Kia Orana TaminatorRangitikei,

Thank you for your review of Palm Grove. We are very pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and hope that you'll visit us again soon!

I'm sorry you had trouble finding suitable snorkel equipment from our complimentary supply. We keep approx. 60 sets of masks and snorkels on hand, and even more pairs of fins, to ensure that we have enough for everyone - even when we're at full capacity. But sets do get damaged or lost and so at the beginning of August I'd purchased 15 new mask/snorkel sets, replacing 25% of our supply. But there seems to be quite a bit of wear and tear recently and so I'm about to purchase another 15 sets this week! We do our utmost to keep our supply up to date so that all guests can enjoy snorkeling in our stunning lagoon. Of course there are those guests who are really avid snorkelers and much prefer to bring their own equipment with them for ease of use, comfort, and because they generally buy much higher quality equipment when it is for their own use.

Thanks again for your comments and please don't hesitate to contact us directly should we be able to help you with anything in the future.

Kind regards,

Betsy Eisler

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Reviewed August 26, 2009

We planned a trip to the Cook Islands staying at Palm Grove Lodge. Decided to marry ( months prior to staying , of course) and let Palm Grove Lodge take care of the details.. They did so very well, and so our thanks to Besty, Joan, and Nau who did us proud. We also stayed in a bungalow right on the beach so well kept, great location and with very good amenties. We both loved it. A very special place, thoroughly recommed it for great relaxing peacful and perfect surroundings . And the topical fish in the lagoon are superb., great snorkling., right off the beach.

Thanks team , we will be back next year.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank winelover66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about 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: $144 - $236 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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