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“Location, Location, Location, but check the journey home!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Palm Island Resort & Spa

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Palm Island Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Palm Island | St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Union Island   |  
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Ranked #1 of 5 hotels in Union Island
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Location, Location, Location, but check the journey home!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013

This is a glorious place, offering complete tranquillity, fantastic views, good food; good company in an environment that is completely in keeping with the resort but in many cases cannot be called luxury.
Getting there for us was very seamless. Our Virgin flight from Gatwick arrived on time @ 14.00 in Barbados and the Palm Island rep was waiting for us in Barbados and seamlessly guided us through the whole process for our next flight to Union Island. You don’t collect your bags or anything so make your bags distinctive and take photos. There is little to do at Barbados airport but we only had 90 minutes to wait and we were soon walking out to our little plane. Now this flight was very different but we really enjoyed it and felt it was part of the holiday experience! Take your video camera for the flight as you get some great views of the islands (including Palm). We stopped at Bequia, on the way to Union but it only took 50 minutes and then we were landing at Union Island and then quickly through the “terminal” and being put on a golf cart to take us on the less than 5 minute journey to the waiting boat. There were quite a few arrivals so our bags followed shortly afterwards and in the meantime we were given a welcome cold towel and bottled of chilled water, which was a nice touch.
A few minutes journey and we were arriving at Palm, as the sun had started to set, which was very nice and pretty exciting. The boat pulls round to give you a view of the main beach and you get your first view of what looks like paradise. We were welcomed by a reception committee and a rum cocktail, and after a brief greeting taken to our room. After leaving home 17 hours earlier we were finally here!
The rooms were what we expected having read up on the resort. They are perfectly fine and fit in well with the whole resort “look and feel”. The fixtures and fittings are more rustic than luxury, but everything you need is there, apart from a power shower, the dribble of water did get annoying after a while! Most importantly the rooms are kept very clean, as is the whole resort.
We felt the food throughout our stay was really good; a lot of variety, nice tasting and the portions for us were ideal sizes. The speed of service was again what we expected and absolutely suited us, we like to sit down and take our time talking to each other. Grafton was very good, remembering our names from day 1 and Kevin was good when he remembered to smile!!
We had some Spa treatments and these were excellent, if you are having a massage make sure it is with Veronica.
We only did the Scaramouche day trip and had a good day going to Mayreau and seeing the turtles at Tobago Cays (not our last experience with turtles on this holiday I am pleased to say). There are various trips available on different boats but you should not miss this experience.
The pool was very nice, but as it is in the middle of the island it seemed a shame to be there as you are missing out on the spectacular views from the beach and it felt like being in your back garden! The views, the peace and the bike rides around the island, where you can stop off and walk along the other secluded beaches or up the hills, is what makes a holiday to Palm unforgettable.
And I guess at the end of the day that is what it is all about at Palm Island. The beach and setting is spectacular, the feeling of getting away from it all really does happen as soon as you arrive and continues until you eventually have to take the long journey home.
As always there are some things that could be improved. There is virtually no drink service offered on the beach, I think we had 4 or 5 drinks brought to us and as people commented, we were pretty much there all day every day!! There is no chilled bottled water and the tepid water from the taps gets warm very quickly.
Overall the staff were very good and very attentive, I have already mentioned Grafton and Kevin, but recently promoted Anthony is a real star for the future, but a terrible beach volleyball player! We also liked Modica and Sendrina (not sure on spelling but she started at the end of October and was a really nice girl). Last but not least was Kendol at the bar, what a great character. If only he had continued to be the main man behind the bar for our whole holiday. Unfortunately we felt that the whole resort and staff were let down by the poor service provided by one member of staff at the bar. A couple of days after we left Palm we heard that he no longer works there, so I will leave it there as it sounds like the problem has been resolved but a bit late for us unfortunately.
We met some lovely people at “our local” every night and I think the size of the resort really helps everyone get to know each other and makes the evenings work, without the need for loads of entertainment. Having said that Godfrey was always very entertaining on the nights that he performed and the crab racing was a bit of fun! Horace managed to clear the bar when he sang on a few nights (just joking but learn another song for a bit of variety Horace)!!
As I said earlier we had other experiences with turtles, which really added to the Palm experience. One night the bar was cleared with excited guests as Horace alerted us to hatching turtles at the top end of the island. A short walk and all the guests and management were collecting up these tiny little babies and then releasing them into the sea. On our last night the security guy came to the bar and showed us a turtle building a nest and laying her eggs just outside the bar on the beach. Both experiences were quite remarkable.
Horace and the management team are passionate about making Palm Island the top resort in the Caribbean. Vital to this is listening to your customers and while we were there some friends we met suggested keeping the Sunset Bar open in the evening and on our last day Horace had introduced the grand opening, a bit late for us again!!.
As I have said Palm listen to their customers, so now is the time to mention the 1 key area that from our experience needs attention, getting home! This made us feel that Palm were just happy to see you go and this was the only part of the whole experience that I felt was not to a very high standard.
So here is the issue …. I had previously e mailed the resort to clarify that we were on the later flight from Union, which leaves at 14.15, rather than the 10.45 flight. I received an e mail from the resort confirming this and giving me the actual flight number. Happy days, or so I thought! A couple of days after arriving I happened to check my tickets given to us in Barbados and noticed that we were on the earlier flight. I found James Lane (CEO) who, when he had greeted us, said if we had any problems to let him know. I told James about the e mail from the island and advised him of the change, which now meant that our last day would include over 6 hours at Barbados airport! The annoying thing for us was that neither James or Horace could give a definite reason why the flight home had changed, we were told the airline did not start their high season service until November 1, I pointed out that was the day we flew, then I was told it was mid-November and then I was told that the airline would just cancel the flight if there was not enough passengers. None of this explained why I had received an e mail from the resort that was no longer accurate. This aspect was very disappointing, especially as we alerted the friends we met at Palm to warn them and they managed to ensure they were on the later flight, lucky so and sos!!!
I guess the moral of that story is check the actual flight tickets when you are given these at Barbados and query it there! To be honest it felt as if Palm Island were just not interested in getting to the bottom of this and I never felt they tried to resolve the situation and get us on a later flight.
So come on Palm Island, you must have sufficient clout to be able to enforce a year round schedule that provides your clients with a better option than leaving the island at 09.15 for an 18.15 flight (or later) and spending a whole day travelling and at Barbados airport. You cannot leave your luggage until 4 hours before your flight so there is little choice other than hanging around an airport where there is little to do! This rather takes the gloss of an otherwise fantastic holiday.
We absolutely loved Palm. During the first couple of days we were slightly concerned about staying for 14 nights as it was so quiet but by the end of the holiday we just wanted to stay there for much longer. That is the spell that Palm puts on you!

Room Tip: Don't worry they are all good!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (244)
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Kincaid, Il
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013

My wife and I had planned on traveling to Tahiti or Bora Bora for our 20th Anniversary, however we treated 2 of our children and their significant others to vacation in the Domincan Republic for graduation. That pretty well depleted our vacation funds. We contacted our travel agent and asked her for some alternatives. She turned us on to Palm Island. We read all the reviews and looked at the pictures on the internet over and over again. Well let me just say that the reviews and the pictures had our expectations at a pretty high level. We were amazed, it was more than we hoped for. The beaches were gorgeous and we spent most of our time there. The room was perfectly located. We were able to leave our windows open all the time and sleep each night to the waves. I have been trying to find an app on my phone that sounds the same and unfortunately, I have been unable to find it. Back to the island, the food was wonderful and there were numberous choices every night. The staff was very attentive, especially the bartenders, Kendol and Kenneth. Anthony, the assistant manager, was around most of the time and Horace, the General Manager, made sure he greeted us at least once every day. Was it a special place? Yes. My wife and I were able to unplug, relax and enjoy each other's company. Would we go back? In a heartbeat. We can't stop telling people about Palm Island and we know of several couples that are planning trips already. Thanks go out to our travel agent, Jennifer and also to the great staff at Palm Island. We hope to see you again, real soon.

Room Tip: Get a beachfront room. The waves at night are worth the price of admission.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestAmbassador01, Guest Relations Manager at Palm Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 23, 2013
Dear Brian P,

Thank you for your most wonderful review of your recent stay at Palm Island Resort & Spa.

We are thrilled that we could exceed expectations. Palm Island is a very special, on of a kind, Caribbean paradise which, for those that have visited, is a place they return to year after year.

We look forward to welcoming you back!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Albans, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013

Palm Island is a first class resort, with first class staff.

We flew into Barbados and were immediately greeted by staff who directed us to the internal flight desk. After passing through screening ( again) despite sitting on a plane for 8hrs and actually never leaving airside of the airport, we made our way to the departure gates. A 2 minute walk across the airplane standings and we were boarded onto a twin Otter for the 50 min flight to Union Island. If you have not flown on this type of plane before, they are quite noisy, but no ear defenders are available.

Landing at Union Island is not for the faint hearted, as you fly over and between high peaks. Baggage reclaim is basic, a hole in the wall, but it does arrive within seconds. A quick interrogation by the customs guys and we were on a golf cart making our way to the yacht club for the 5 mins boat transfer to Palm Island.

A quick warning.... If you arrive at Barbados too late for the connecting flight, you will need to stay overnight, as internal flights are daylight hours only. Also your baggage may not fly with you, especially if the flight is full.

On arrival at Palm Island we were met by the general manager, Horace and his team. Cooling drink were supplied and as we arrived late, check in was delayed until next morning.

We had requested an island loft and had been allocated Room 43. This was a large spacious wooden cabin situated on the beach. In the 9 days we were there, we saw 4 people walk by. It gave you the impression that you were alone on the island.

The beaches are bright white sand, which is quite sharp. Some of the beaches are quite rocky and the waves crash in on the open side of the islands. The best beach is located close to the restaurant and reception. This location is also the base for the water sports, which need to be pre booked at reception. There are also bicycles for travelling around the small island.

Away from the beaches the internal island is mostly boggy and left to nature. There is what is termed a 'golf course' but it us not really usable.

Walking around the island takes about 45 mins. There are a couple of trials, which climb up a couple of the higher points. You need to be mobile and fairly fit, but the views are worthwhile, especially at the top of the cactus trail.

The lack of children is a bonus, with a mix of middle class couples and younger honeymoon couples from UK, US, along with a smattering of other EU nations. Except at mealtimes, it is easy not to see any other people at all, especially if you venture to the other parts of the island.

The island is full of wildlife, none of which are dangerous. Iguana, lizard and gecko run around at will. Iguana's make an appearance at breakfast.

The only annoying wildlife are the birds at breakfast. As the restaurant is open, they are able to fly at will. Despite the. Best attempts if the staff, they do become annoying after a while.

However, if you are susceptible to mosquito or sand fly bites beware...... They really do munch you... Especially late in the evening.......

There are two restaurants and the food is first class, especially the evening A La Carte menu.

There is one bar attached to the restaurant. The staff are first class and will provide anything you ask for.

Whilst talking about the staff, they are all first class. The general manager, Horace, is a very enthusiastic leader and has his team working with the same ethos. He is a hands-on manager who is always seen and heard around the island.

All the staff and guests are given 'houses' based on owners and backers of the island. This is used for the staff/guests cricket matches, which take place and Sunday and Tuesday afternoons. This is Caribbean cricket at its best, although the cricket authorities may friends on a few if the bowling actions !!!!

He rooms are first class and cleaned everyday. The fridge is re-filled everyday and no matter what you use, this is part of the all inclusive price.

There are a number of trips which can be booked, including a visit to the nearby islands and Tobago Cays. Snorkelling from the boat and in the cays is first class, with turtles and rays over the reef. This was one of the locations where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed.

Camp fires songs and manager cocktail receptions also make the evening entertainment rock....

After 9 wonderful days, we had to leave.....

Back to Union Island. The worst part of the experience... Although entry was straightforward, leaving is not.... Passports are checked three or four times, often by the same person. There is a separate desk for immigration. It costs $19US to depart... Beware you don't get change for a $20 note !!

There are no baggage scanners, so all luggage is manually checked - thoroughly !!! It is wise not to lock your case until you have passed this rather 1960's system. A walk of 10 paces into departure lounge... This does have a scanner and is manned by the same person who has already checked the passports twice, but needed to see it again, despite never being out of her sight.... and there is a final manual search of hand luggage....

Back at Barbados you will pass thoroughly immigration and customs. Remember to have your forms complete.... I'm not sure if the staff are mute or not, but none of them spoke or even acknowledged your presence. If you are connecting to another flight, you will need to leave arrivals and walk 100 metres to departures.... Another long queue and yet another typical horrid airport experience....

This last part was a really painful experience, and as a 'hub' for the other islands, really is not worthy of a point of entry location.

All in all.... First class in most aspects. Location, staff, accommodation and food. Certainly worth the money.

With general manager Horace in charge... They will always be pushing for number one resort.

To use Horace's own words. Wonderful, excellent, amazing..........

Room Tip: The island lofts ..... Room 43 and 44 are remote and right on the beach.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gulfport, Mississippi, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

I can't say enough good things about Palm Island. Great staff. Great food. Beautiful location. I would recommend Palm Island to anyone and want to go back. I can honestly say it was the best vacation I've ever been on.

Room Tip: Beach view rooms are smaller, but the view is glorious.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

Just returned from a week on Palm Island. If you're looking for a quite, relaxing vacation, this is just the place to do it. There are a number of actvities such as crab racing and the staff/clients cricket matches which are highly entertaining. The rules take some getting used to but that was to be expected as the pitch had at least 10 palm trees growing on it. The all inclusive aspect is very good and the staff attentive as well as being friendly. You will not be dissappointed!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, TX
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013

We made a (too quick) trip to Palm Island this year. It's every bit as beautiful as the website shows! Breathtaking views around each corner.

We give it 4 stars because the quality of food wasn't commensurate with the price we paid. We also felt the food service was extremely slow and we spent large chunk of our day just dining.

We came from central US and weren't told by Elite Islands (the booking agent) that we could overnight in Miami. We were told Barbados was the only option and didn't have a great experience there at one of the two places the Elite agent recommended.

Travel to/from the island was cumbersome but Palm Island is forthcoming about it and even notes it on the website.

That said, the accommodations are top notch. The staff is very helpful. We would not return due to how hard it was to get there but would still recommend!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunedin, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013 via mobile

I spent 10 days on Palm island for my honeymoon and both of our birthdays and couldn't have asked for a better location. The staff is so attentive to your wants and needs, is amazing. I

want to mention a few employees who made the trip so much better. Grafton, Margaret, Kashionta (Kashi), and Kevin are all associated with the restaurants and bar, and Claudel from cleaning were amazing! They remembered my name from the first day we arrived and would go out of their way to help.

The rooms are beautiful and designed to fit the environment of the island. (There are no tv's, phones, or microwaves in the rooms). I found that the microwave was not needed and for a night snack, I would get cheese and crackers "to go" and have that after dinner. We had a laptop, which we would use to watch a movie late at night.

If you go to the island next door (union) I would suggest going to Romeos boutique. Yasmine is the owner and makes her own jewelry and also is the daughter of Margaret and Claudel's cousin. There are a bunch of little shops to visit and I recommend bringing cash, just in case the vendor card machines are down at union island.

One of the greatest experiences I saw on the island happened two separate nights. One night, a sea turtle came ashore and laid her eggs... right next to the bar. Then, a few days later, we find a nest of baby titles trying to go to the oven. Horras, the hotel manager, had us collect the baby titles and bring them to the beach, so they can make it to the ocean.

Overall, I have no complaints regarding this resort and highly recommend. You can ride around the island, find a beautiful beach with a hammock and lay there for hours without seeing a single person. Beautiful location, great staff, and an amazing experience is what Palm island offers.

Thank you so much for making my vacation one to remember!

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Palm Island Resort & Spa

Address: Palm Island | St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Union Island
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Vincent and the Grenadines > Union Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 hotels in Union Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Palm Island Resort & Spa 3.5*
Reservation Options:
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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

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