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“Truly Paradise”
Review of Palm Grove

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Palm Grove
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vaimaanga
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 May 2012

This was my first trip to Rarotonga and the Palm Grove was a wonderful place to stay! I spent 11 nights in one of the beach units and 1 night in the garden, both units were extremely nice and have everything one needs for a comfortable, pleasent stay.

Words can't describe the lovely beaches and crystal clear water!

The Palm Grove has a wonderful management team and superb staff, I have never been to a place where the people were more pleasent and personable!

The Yellow Hibiscus is a very nice resteraunt, had the catch of the day several times and they were kind enough to even prepare my fish brought back from my fishing charter! Tropical breakfast in the mornings were a great way to start the day with a good variety of fresh fruits, cereal, juices and coffee. Friday night Happy Hour with entertainment is not to be missed!

I don't drive but the bus service is right in front of the hotel so there is really no issue getting anywhere you need to go on the island.

This was one of the best holidays I've ever taken and I am looking forward to planning my next visit to The Palm Grove!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled solo
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6  Thank Albert P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 May 2012

We stayed for two nights at Palm Grove's three-bedroom house. We find that multiple-bedroom properties are a life saver when travelling with our 1.5- and 4.5-year olds.

The Palm Grove property straddles the main road around Rarotonga (some reviewers who have called this a "busy two-lane highway" are laying it on a bit thick; it is a two-lane paved road but the traffic toodles along at 50 kph and we never had any issues crossing the road with our little ones). On the beach side, there are nice little beachfront bungalows and the inland side has the main office, the pool, the restaurant, the two- and three-bedroom houses, plus some apartments.

The house was a bit cabin-like and rustic; cinder-block walls, wood paneling, all that. The fixtures and fittings were a bit 1970s as well, bordering on being dingy. The place could definitely use a face-lift. However, everything worked, and it was pretty clean and very spacious. You could comfortably sleep six people and probably cater for ten in a pinch, though there would be stiff competition for the single bathroom and shower!

There was a bit of an ant problem in the kitchen so you had to ensure everything was spotless all the time, and even then the tiny (harmless) ants would explore around the wash basin.

It sort of reminded me of staying in a cabin (or "bach" in Kiwi-speak)... a bit utilitarian but gets the job done.

Every bedroom had ceiling fans and very good air conditioning, which was a lifesaver! The beds were comfortable and the linen clean.

The house is set in their own garden areas with its own yard bordered by hedges, so it's kind of like having you own house. The staff are even happy for you to drive your car across the lawn and park directly in front of your door, which is very convenient if you brought too much luggage on holiday (like we did!).

The staff were relaxed and friendly, and there's a decent and reasonably-priced restaurant on the property. Breakfast was okay, no hot items (unless you count toast) but juice, yoghurt, cereals, fruits, coffee, tea, etc. We made our own cooked breakfasts, there is a well-stocked supermarket a few hundred metres down the road.

I guess I would characterise Palm Grove as "functional". It's friendly, it's in a decent location (the beach and snorkeling are good), the restaurant's okay, and there are shops and infrastructure nearby. I think it's pretty good for families and pensioners. However, if you're looking for a slick resort property with modern design, marble, glass and polished stainless steel fittings, gourmet dining, and white glove service, Palm Grove is not for you.

In short, I would definitely stay here again but wouldn't spend months eagerly anticipating my stay. It's a decent place to stay but not a destination in itself.

Room Tip: This review pertains only to Palm Grove's sole three-bedroom house.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank TrayflowinUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PalmGrove, Owner at Palm Grove, responded to this reviewResponded 16 May 2012

Kia Orana TrayflowinUK,

Thank you so much for taking the time to review Palm Grove. We're pleased that you enjoyed our friendly staff, wonderful beach and lagoon, and the convenience of our 3-bedroom house. In addition to 23 studio and 1 bedroom bungalows, Palm Grove has 3 houses onsite (a 2bed/1bath and a 3bed/1bath in the garden, plus our new 3bed/2bath Beach Villa on the beach) and these houses are great for families or groups as they offer extra space and are very economical. Our garden houses retail for approx. NZ$315/night for 4 adults and that price includes daily tropical breakfast buffet, daily servicing, and complimentary use of kayaks, snorkel equipment, beach chairs, and beach towels. Each house has its own private yard and BBQ, and includes front and back patio/deck, full kitchen, living/dining area with flatscreen TV, DVD, and stereo with MP3 hookup, and airconditioned bedrooms. We are confident they provide excellent value for money, especially as they include access to Palm Grove's beach - absolutely one of the best beaches on Rarotonga.
While our garden houses are not new construction, they are clean and tidy and spacious, and they have been newly refurnished including new mattresses and linens (along with the rest of our 26 units). Next refurbishment for the 3 bedroom will be the bathroom, which we intend to completely gut and redo. Unfortunately due to the popularity of this unit and current bookings, the earliest we'll be able to do work in the house is November 2012. The excellent price and amenities of the garden houses means they are fully booked many months ahead!
Folks who have not necessarily spent much time in the tropics may not be used to the increased insect life that goes along with our climate. Palm Grove has all units sprayed inside and out several times a year to keep pests to a minimum. Even so, any food or spills left unattended on kitchen counters will quickly attract "sugar" ants (the local term for the very small ants found almost everywhere on Rarotonga). We kindly suggest guests keep all foodstuffs in the fridge or sealed plastic containers.
We’re pleased to hear you would consider staying with us again! While we're very proud of what Palm Grove has to offer our guests, we believe Rarotonga is the destination and Palm Grove provides a wonderful base from which to explore the entire island. I do hope you enjoyed your time on Rarotonga and would eagerly anticipate another visit to our beautiful island!

Thank you again for your review and please feel free to contact me directly at beach@palmgrove.co.ck if you have any questions.

Kind regards,

Betsy Eisler

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2012

this was our 6th stay at palm grove another 18 days of paradise,thanks again to the great management team and wonderful staff,that made us so welcome .we choose to stay in the garden studios,as they are central to the resturant office and swimming pool, with the beach just across the road.there is a good supermarket in walking distance and we hire our scooters on site so there is no picking up or having to drop back,what more could you want.hope to do it all again next year.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank 255118Margaret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2012

We enjoyed a blissful week in a Beach Front bungalow in January this year. It was exactly what we expected. Ten steps to the water at high tide, excellent air conditioning and a really comfy bed. If you want granite and marble and lush furnishings you will pay 4-6 times more for a bungalow/studio up the road on a less amazing beach. Full size late model fridge, gas stove top, microwave and everything you need to cook up a gourmet meal if you desire, all in very good condition. Good size bathroom, not airconditioned, but that didnt bother us for the most part once we gave up blowdrying our hair !!

The staff are gorgous and helpful. Breakfast is basic, but does the job well enough. The Yellow Hibiscus does a good steak and an awesome chocolate milkshake. The water is divine, straight from the tap, unlike some other areas of Rarotonga. Staff clean daily and will leave extra towels if you catch them.

There is a small servicable pool, but why would you bother when you have one of the most beautiful beaches in the world a few steps away. At low tide you can walk almost to the reef, and high tide you can snorkle just 10 meters in. (snorkling gear from reception FOC) Fishies everywhere!!! (Reception have reef shoes - wear them)

Bike hire is available from reception, all you have to do is scoot off to the police station, smile for the camera and pay $20 for a CI drivers licence.

It's not far from a few excellent restaurants. Lets face it, no where on Rarotonga is far from anywhere.

This was one of the best holidays I've ever taken. So much so, that im about to book the Palm Grove House for a family holiday in 2013. Very highly recommended.

Victoria Bowen-Miller

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Victoria B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2012

Stayed here for 6 nights.early April.. This was our 3rd visit to Rarotonga, and probably the best place we have stayed at. Friendly helpful staff. Friday night Happy Hour (s) were exactly
that. Entertainment .. top class and generous on the drinks.
Tropical breakfast each morning was great with a good array of cereals, fruits and drinks.
This was free as part of our deal. Restaurant meals, good value for money.
Pool adequate, and great snorkling at the beach. Accomodation was in a Garden Superior
1 bedroom.... very comfortable. (only grump was noisy air conditioner above bed!) but
overall good. Had one night in beachfront bungalow....great location. Motorbike hireage
was reasonable rates.

Room Tip: Beachfront would be worth the extra money. We also found our garden superior unit very comfortable...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Palm Grove

Address: P.O. Box 23, Vaimaanga, Cook Islands
Phone Number:
Region: Cook Islands > Southern Cook Islands > Rarotonga > Vaimaanga
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: $190 - $329 (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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