We (one adult and 4 teen kids) stayed at the Palm resort from July 13th to July 27th and we enjoyed our staying very much.
Lets start with the one weak point to get it over with: the food is indeed as many point out not their strongest. It is never bad but generally it is average and unimaginative. But every now and then there is something really good. Talking to the chef (friendly) helps a lot. For instance they are used to carbonize the meat and fish because we (the tourists) all read in safety instructions that this is the safest for bacterial infections. Well I do not eat carbonized food and if you ask for lightly cooked meat you can get "medium" which is still safe. I also have seen some Indian guests requesting special things directly to the chef and getting it. So although this is surely not a top notch restaurant it is not all that bad either.
I went without a tour operator like Neckermann or Thomas Cook and frankly I recommend everyone to do the same. It is much cheaper and you get exactly the same, for me this was a saving for almost 2.500 euro !!
I booked a taxi from Mombasa airport to the hotel via the hotel for 45€, a bit pricey but you take no risk on this kind of trips especially since we arrived in the night you do not want to be stranded at Mombasa airport, which by the way is a very small and fast airport (out in 15 minutes :-) ). Taxi was there on time and brought us to the hotel in little over one hour including the Mombasa ferry we could take immediately. Over day you might consider going around north, the road is terrible but there is no ferry to take and the time is also 1.15 h, if not you can easily loose one additional hour at the ferry.
Arrived at the hotel at 7.00 AM just witnessed day brake. Reception was friendly and ready, breakfast was waiting for us but the rooms were not available yet. That is not a real problem they looked after our luggage and gave us the blue "all in" Palm bracelets to go about in the resort.
As a Palm guest you can go to the 2 other adjacent hotels , Village and Paradise the latter being closed because of low season, but guest from Village were not allowed in Palm.
This gives a really quiet hotel with 60 rooms, for people wanting a break from a stressed live.
We were allowed around 10 AM in our rooms. They are beautiful and clean but above all huge even if you stay with 3 in it. The beds are on the hard side but I had an extra bed for me which was much better (for my poor back).
The air conditioning is massive and cools the room in no time (mind it was winter when we were there). Everything is in good shape and looks fine just the showers need some practicing to get water at a good temperature.
Overall the Palm resort is really beautiful and quiet. The apes are strolling around everywhere and with a bit of patience you can have them touch you. Big swimming pool good for recreation but also for some real swimming which can not be said of many hotels.
What strikes you most in the first few days is the people are extremely friendly and will jump to help you with whatever you need . Their English is excellent so communication is easy. Most of the staff do not earn in a month what you earn in a day so please be very friendly to them, they will greatly appreciate it. Personally I did not found one thing they could not arrange for me but for some things you need to be patient, this is Africa, never forget this, if you want to have a enjoyable holiday.
At arrival you receive water and wine in your room , mind this is a one time offer. Towels and shower products are refilled whenever needed. The "all inclusive" is only for local drinks, expensive European liquor is to be paid, which is like in any other hotel in the same pricing class. You can also go the Village bar same drinks more fun.
If you need some fun go to Village and participate to the activities. With my 4 kids I had a lot of fun there, water polo or water volley, cocktail game, stretching, Thai boxing, African dancing beach volley, Swahili language , Swahili cocking, something for everyone. Kids disco every day at 8.30 PM. Evening show at 9 PM, some are just OK others are really good. I want to point out the absolute excellence of the animation team who made this for me and the kids a really extraordinary holiday. So family with kids I strongly recommend to go there, the entertainment is 5 star level.
Last word on the beach. It is not private but public like all other hotels by the way. There are a lot of local people trying to literally live from their little business. No one was aggressive but all are constantly approaching you. Usually there is a "chief", go talk to him arrange 1 or 2 things via him (negotiate very well because the prices start ridiculously high, times 3 or even 4). For me he arranged a trip to Swanini island, one to the local reef, and a session with jet ski. Buy some local stuff (not at the hotel of course) even if you think it is ugly as hell and you'll find that suddenly people are not harassing you so much anymore. Foresee to give a little money (usually 100 or 200 shillings , which is 2 euro) to them that reduces the pressure a lot. Me and my kids we could stroll on the beach without problems, but I saw other people feeling really bugged about this and running back to the hotel walls.
In short: definitely a hotel I d recommend. If you have kids you can book the cheaper adjacent "Village" hotel and you will be better of.