We visited Palm Island in May 2011. This was our 8th all-inclusive vacation, but our first to a resort this small. We’ve visited 4 Sandals properties (in Antigua, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and the Bahamas), two properties in the Riviera Maya, and one in the Dominican Republic. All had between 200-1200 rooms, with an average of about 450 rooms. This resort has ~50 rooms/suites. I was initially worried that it might be too small, and that we might get bored with the lack of connection to the outside world (no TV, internet, radio, etc.), but surprisingly, we both enjoyed the private seclusion that this resort provided. We were looking for an escape from the hustle-bustle of our everyday lives, and this was the perfect solution for us.
A few words of advice up front: if you are looking for a lively resort with an active night life and lots of activities, this is NOT the place for you. This resort is very small, very private, very secluded, and thus, very, very quiet. However, if you, too, are looking for a complete escape from a busy life, this might be the place. If your definition of a “luxury resort” is a sparkling new hotel with lots of over-the-top amenities, butler service, and the ultimate in pampering, you will most likely be disappointed here. The luxury found here is the privacy and absolute relaxation provided by this secluded little island.
I initially considered this resort because I had two friends who had both been there and had good things to say. Location-wise, Palm Island is an absolute jewel. As the name denotes, the resort is on Palm Island, a tiny private island off the coast of Union Island in the Grenadines. Other than the resort itself, there are only a few private homes on the island. Getting there was a bit of a challenge… It was a two-day journey for us each way; we flew into Barbados, then caught the island hopper to Union island, and finally a ferry to Palm. If we ever returned, we would probably choose to stay 8-10 nights. Our trip this time was 10d in total, but only 6 were spent at the resort—the rest were spent en-route.
I spent quite a bit of time researching the room choices. We are people who need air conditioning to survive in the tropics, so we booked one of the suites, since they claimed to be fully-air conditioned. We struggled a bit, as the A/C did not cool the room to below 75 degrees at any time, no matter how long/high we ran it. Part of that problem might have come from the fact that the door was louvered, and outside air continually came through. That said, the door was the only portion of our room that did have louvers. When walking around the rest of the resort, most rooms had louvered windows on 3 sides of the room. We talked to a few couples staying in those rooms, and they claim you can close the louvers and run the A/C. Not sure how well that would work though… Our suite was quite large and laid out well. We were in one of four rooms on the south-west side of the resort, past the boutique and Sunset Grille. We had a wonderful view, and the privacy was great, but both my husband and I felt that it could not compare to any of the rooms that we have stayed at in the past. Remaining ocean-front rooms in the resort are spread out around the main restaurant, and palm view rooms face the center of the island.
This was, by far, the smallest AI resort we’ve ever visited. In the past, I’ve made choices based on available activities and restaurants. This is the first time we’d been to a resort where there was only one main dining option. I was a bit worried going in, but my husband and I both agreed that the food we had here was some of the best that we’ve had on any AI vacation. Breakfast options were a bit limited, but it wasn’t a real problem. Lunch can be found at either the main restaurant or at the Sunset Grille; the menu did not change from day to day, although the menu at the main restaurant was different from that at the Sunset Grille. We ate most of our lunch meals at the Grille as it was right next door to our room. The dinner menu at the main restaurant was different every night of our 7n stay, and we had no problem finding something we liked each night. It was a 5 course meal—aperitif, appetizer, salad, entrée, dessert—and sometimes took a little while to finish. Wine choices were limited, but we enjoyed the house white just fine. At the time of our stay, the resort was less than 50% capacity, so we never had to wait to be seated, no matter when we showed up for dinner (anywhere from 7pm to 8:30pm). One night during the week, they have a beach BBQ, and it was fabulous! Grilled chicken, steak, pork, and seafood, including fish, shrimp, and whole lobster tails.
The beach was beautiful and quite large. There was some good snorkeling on the south-west side between the two resort docks, and on the north-west side in front of the oceanfront cottages. We did get bitten by the sand-fleas, but not too badly, and mainly on a cloudy days. I would definitely recommend using the bug spray that the resort supplies if you go to the beach. The pool is on the interior of the resort. It was very quiet. In fact, 3/6 days we were there, we were the only people at the pool! And even on days when other people were there, there wasn’t a problem finding a chair.
All in all, we had a wonderful, relaxing vacation, and all was pretty much as expected. I’m giving this trip a 4-star rating only because while they claim that this is a ‘luxury’ resort, it didn’t feel overly luxurious in many regards, and a lot of ‘extras’ that we have come to expect at other AI’s such as the Sandals properties weren’t included here. The true luxury at Palm Island is the pristine Caribbean location and the absolute seclusion. If you are looking to escape, and want no connection to the outside world, this kind of luxury is priceless.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Palm Island Resort & Spa is a spectacular 135-acre private island resort in the heart of the Grenadines. All-Inclusive. Perfect for couples, honeymooners, and weddings. Incredible white sand beaches surrounded by brilliant turquoise waters. This dreamy, romantic resort offers a true escape from everyday life. Freshwater swimming pool with waterfall, relaxing spa offering massage and beauty treatments, wide array of water sports, Scuba diving, beachfront dining, and so much more! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Palm Island Hotel St. Vincent And The Grenadines
- Palm Island Grenadines
- Palm Island Resort & Spa St. Vincent And The Grenadines/Union Island