sokola or palm grove villas?

Mar 2nd, 2005, 02:53 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2
sokola or palm grove villas?

My fiance and I are planning a month long honeymoon to Rarotonga, beginning around October 14, 2005. Does anyone have thoughts on either place? I would like pros and cons for both. Thank You so much!!
jmae253 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,044
Swimming/snorkeling conditions are far superior at Palm Grove as the water around the Sokola Villas is fairly shallow (waist-deep or so) and there is not much coral in the immediate area of the Sokolas to provide habitat for fish. Area near the Palm Grove has a very nice mixture of open water for swimming and coral towers for fish habitat. Water starts shallow there and very gradually gets deeper as you move away from shore. At around 100 yards out the water is about chest-deep or so and continues to get deeper as you move closer to the reef (which is about 250/300 yards out at that point). Though like in many places, a lot of the coral has suffered bleaching, there are many fish in the area including tangs, sargeants, parrotfish and even octopus (though you need to really look hard for them). Beach there is usually pretty much empty and you will typically have it to yourselves (or pretty close anyway).

Best feature of the Sokola's is the view. It is on the best single piece of property on Raro in this regard (at least in my opinion). The views are just gorgeous. You also have easy access to the motus (islets) across the lagoon that are great for exploring, and a variety of places to eat nearby as Muri is the "heart" (such as it is) of the tourist section. Still, even there, you are likely to have few other people on the beach with you in the immediate area of you units or across the lagoon on the motus. Sokola's will be more sheltered from the wind which would be a plus at that time of year (October is one of the coolest months in the Cooks).

Be sure and get to Aitutaki. With a month you have plenty of time.

LordBalfor is offline  
May 8th, 2005, 11:05 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 250
We stayed at Sokala Villas, in a private pool beach bungalow back in Nov. 2003, for a week. It was a belated honeymoon for us. We loved it!!!! I would highly recommend it!

If you look at the aerial photo on the homepage, we stayed in the beachfront bungalow at the very bottom of the photo. The full kitchen was such a savings (we made many meals and stayed in).

Sadly, my husband got sick on some food he bought at a convenience store, but the manager at Sokala took care of us, calling up the local doctor who made a housecall and brought meds and everything.

I would stay at Sokala again, hands down.
SimoneSassett is offline  
Sep 11th, 2005, 07:54 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 131
We had a week in August in a beach front bungalow at Palm Grove having taken advice from Ken (many thanks!. We had an amazing time. Everything Ken says about Palm Grove is spot on. The view of the beach and sea borderd by palm trees was idyllic. We rented a scooter from the reception at Palm Grove and had great fun touring the island. We looked at several other properties while there and were really glad that we'd chosen Palm Grove - the accommodation and the snokelling were perfect. Have a great trip!

gaynor is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 05:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,044
Gaynor -

You are quite welcome. We're return to the Cooks in April and I've already booked the Sapphire Villa rental house - which is actually located in the middle of the Palm Grove beachfront. While not part of the resort it's situated next to the creek between the original beach units and the new Matanga beachfront bungalows that were built as the Palm Grove extended.

It will be nice to be on familiar ground (I suspect we'll feel like we've come "home" again).

LordBalfor is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 07:28 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 131
Hello Ken,

I know the villa you mean - we wondered whether it was part of the resort or not - we were just a couple of bungalows down from it. The people in the matenga units had their safes broken into while we were there - it just goes to show that you need to be careful where ever you travel, you don't think about such things happening on Rarotonga and it is tempting to leave the sliding doors unlocked when you go to the beach. We'd spent 6 nights in Rio earlier on in the trip and had read lots about crime/safety there but had no bad experiences at all.

Have a great time in April, and thaks again for your advice.

gaynor is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 08:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,044
Hey Gaynor,

Yeah, burgleries of tourists is a problem in the Cooks. We had a break-in at our house in the same area 3 years ago. I would have thought the safes at the resort would be safe though. Most unfortunate indeed. We will be careful with our stuff. Thanks for the heads up.

LordBalfor is offline  

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