My husband and I returned last week from a 10-night stay at Palm Island. This was our 5th or 6th trip (lost count, sorry!). Obviously, we have always enjoyed it, and many of the guests are repeats, which says a lot about the property.
It's a beautiful island, about 3 miles circumferentially. There are trails, sandy roads, and walkways throughout the island for those who want to explore among the accommodations and beyond the hotel. There are some privately-owned houses on the island, and a resident doctor (French) and his family. He's an artist and has provided the sealife paintings found in the rooms and elsewhere around the resort.
The only animal you're likely to encounter are the iguanas, who live in the trees and come out during the heat of the day. Some are quite big, but they're harmless. Younger ones are a bright green -- older ones a gray color with black stripes around their tails. Fun to watch, and occasionally one will show up at meal time in the restaurant to beg (this is usually "George"). There're many birds on the island, some of which also visit the restaurants to swipe food and try to foil the best efforts of management to keep them out. Seems as if water pistols work better than the high tech solutions! They're there at breakfast and lunch, are not really a problem, and it's fun to watch their efforts to evade being shooed away.
The beach is big and beautiful, with plenty of shade for those who want it. Surf is small, nearly non-existent (barring a storm). Beach never seems crowded. So-so snorkeling at one end of the beach. Better snorkeling at the Tobago Cays where there is also an underwater sea turtle sanctuary. Several operators and the resort offer trips to the Cays and it's worth the trip. We always enjoy the trip on the Tornado, out of Union. They pick up at the resort. Make arrangements at the resort's reception area. You'll be provided with a list of other sightseeing/boating/resort opportunities.
The property is nicely landscaped and planted thanks to the hard work of Tash and his co-workers -- many palm trees and other exotic-looking plants. Consider taking his short tour of the island to see what's going on in his "botanical" world. The pretty pool is removed from the beach and is a nice respite and change from the beach for the occasional visit. Again, never crowded.
There's a lot to be said for a small resort besides not being "wall-to-wall" people. One of our favorite aspects of Palm is the great people we meet there. The round bar next to the restaurant is a favorite gathering place pre- and post-dinner and conducive to mingling and getting to know one another. Guests are mainly from the U.K., U.S. and Canada. Nothing ever seems crowded, and no waiting lines anywhere. Entertainment is provided most evenings, but low-key, not loud rock music. Great bartenders -- Kenneth and Kendol are great -- extremely good at their jobs, entertaining, and fun to be around. Get there early if you want a seat at the bar.
We always stay in one of the beachfront rooms along the walk, closest to the beach. All rooms are air-conditioned, but in these rooms, it's not really needed. Just open the windows, turn on the fans and fall asleep listening to the rather quiet sound of the surf (assuming no storms). Patios outside the rooms provide a great place to wind down after swimming, before or after dinner, etc.
We cannot say enough good things about the staff at Palm. Everyone is friendly, helpful, efficient, and do their best to please. Say "Hi" to Margaret in the restaurants and to Alex, who seems to be an endless source of information (ask about the weird-looking flag at the Sunset from the "Isle of Man"). And, try out the alternate restaurant -- the Sunset Grill -- where occasionally the "boat people" come ashore to eat. They serve lunch there every day and dinner on some evenings (make reservations for dinner). You'll see sailboats, cats, and the occasional small yacht anchored offshore during your visit, but they anchor farther out than the swimming area and are not intrusive. Boat people can use the beach, but not any facilities of the restaurant except for the Sunset Grill.
When traveling, be careful about times and connections. You must land at Union before dark since there are no lights on the runway. So far, we have managed to make it to Palm in one day (a long one) from the Washington, D.C. area, but many U.S. guests have to overnight on Barbados. It's worth it!!
Palm is the perfect get-away for sheer relaxation, good (not gourmet) food, great bar drinks and beauty. Any questions?!
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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