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“Unique location, personalised service, understated class”

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Palm Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Union Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 18, 2011

The glowing reviews are here for good reason! I look for consistency in reviews and evidently Palm Island Resort follows through. If you don't mind the extra hop in a cramped, twin-prop plane (45 minutes from Union Island), or even if you do, trust me, it will be worth the extra sweat (small airport, no a/c).

We flew with Air Canada to Barbadoes, and waited about 2.5 hours for the connecting flight. Everything was on time, but it is a long day travelling (5 hours from Toronto). A large golf cart picks everyone up at Union Island Airport and carts passengers to the dock (about 2 minutes) for the short water taxi ride. Staff handed us cool towels and bottled water to refresh our weary bodies. Upon arrival at Palm Island, Chris the general manager greets each guest personally right at the dock; then guests are offered a refreshing punch. We were then whisked away quickly to our rooms, as it was late, and we were happily spared the exhaustive routine of many resorts, where one must queue up, sign forms, wait for room keys, etc., before one is allowed to take refuge in the comfort of one's room, to freshen up or get ready for dinner. Check-in was so swift and painless.

The room itself is not huge, but a good size, but with a king bed, and large bathroom. A kettle, coffee maker, and mini bar, all stocked constantly with coffee, tea, soft drinks, and beer, made relaxing more comfortable. We don't like a/c but there was one in the room. We simply turned it off and let the trade winds blow through the windows which were screened. Coming from a closed-up, cold environment in the north, this was heavenly.

We also appreciated the fact that the resort is environmentally friendly, which I think is so important today. I have been in countless hotels where room service changes sheets and towels daily. Really, this is so wasteful! However, it was up to the individual guest to decide how much he/she wished the linens and towels changed. I quite enjoyed having a cotton bathrobe to wear, as it meant less packing. We pack very light in any case to avoid luggage problems; we pack carry-on bags only, and simply rinse out what we wear. The hotel does have laundry service though, so that could be a viable option.

The resort is a perfect antidote for those who want a unique location, a quiet "chill out", a glorious beach holiday, an opportunity to join sailing excursions to snorkel, swim or expolore: as for my husband and I, we were so happy to simply enjoy the myriad of bird songs, to languish on the beach soaking up the turquoise views, or leisurely working our way through fabulous meals. The grounds are as fabulous as the website portrays: not only palm trees, but a host of other flowering tropical delights such as frangipani and bouganvillea. Adorable creatures such as gekkos, lizards and iguanas roam freely. We became fond of our little neighbours and would watch out for them, climbing the trees near our windows, or scurying along the paths. Normally, I am somewhat squeamish of reptiles, but I was the least bit uncomfortable when I discovered how disarming and gentle they are!

Both the pool and the beach are very "swimable". The pool is long enough to do laps in and the ocean is calm and clear. The pool area is also stocked with a minifridge with soft drinks, and a water cooler. One can have drinks delivered at one's palapa on the beach.

What I wish to stress here is that this is truly a resort that is in a class by itself. It is neither large nor raucous, certainly not pretentious but meticulously managed. The staff is accommodating in absolutely every area, but one feels that they do so as if it were the most natural thing in the world. The General Manager, Chris, deserves to be noted. So many reviews have described Chris in such glowing terms, that frankly, I thought they were a bit overdone - but they are all true - Chris is exactly as he is described.
My husband and I took in too much sun one day, and we were so impressed with Chris's personal attention and care. He was right there, offering us assistance, and personallying delivering cool drinks, aloe, etc. In some resorts, you might be a lucky to have a staff who shows any concern, but to follow through, and so quickly, by the manager himself, is enough to make my husband and myself return.
We have been to many Caribbean islands, and have stayed in a variety of hotels and resorts, from self-catering boutique hotels to five-star luxury all inclusives.

What sets Palm Island apart is that it offers the amenities, service and privacy of a large, first-class resort, but with the service and personal attention of a small, private hotel. No one is "in your face" yet the atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed. One could be as private or as sociable as one wished. For us, it was the perfect holiday, and we are not easy to please. We are going back.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank MelvaOntario_Canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 12, 2011

Just back from Palm Island this morning after a wonderful fortnight, all lined up to write a glowing review while it was fresh in my jetlagged mind, but the last reviewer has said it all. So I can only add a few personal reactions.

The food was exceptional thanks to Chef Baka and team. I particularly enjoyed the soups, ranging from gazpacho to lentil, the home-made hash browns, and the variety of fish specials but I am sure every visitor will have his/her preferences.

Front-of-house staff in the receptions, restaurants and bars combine warm personalities with organised efficiency. If I started quoting names I'd have to mention virtually all of them. And that also goes for security guards, gardeners, room cleaners, boatmen... all ready to talk and help.

We loved our Hobie trip (even if we were under the water as much as on it!) and our day on the Pink Lady snorkelling, swimming with turtles and lunching more than adequately under palm trees on a remote Tobago Cays island. Others took boats and planes to neighbouring islands and came back with positive experiences.

Palm Island's strength is its tranquillity, apart from the vocal seabirds. Its residents seem to disperse around the island, walking, cycling, playing tennis or in most cases lazing in shade or sun. At the same time it seems to encourage friendliness, and we met several entertaining and likeable people whom we are planning to meet again in the future, which is a first.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank JohnBEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2011

In summary, for rest and relaxation, this is the best resort I have ever visited! The food, service and cocktails were superb, far, far better than I expected from an all-inclusive resort. Chris, the General Manager is running an excellent facility, his staff are friendly, courteous and efficient. We were pleased with our room and the beach facilities. I am now wondering how soon I can plan a return trip!

We booked a week here, having researched a number of resort hotels in the area on Trip advisor. We had swum ashore for a drink some years ago, whilst sailing in the area but had hazy memories of the island. All the good things mentioned by previous reviewers were absolutely correct.

We had stayed over in Barbados after our flight from London as I was concerned about the tight connection time. At around 9.30 the following morning I received a call from Blair, the Palm Island representative in Barbados. She was extremely helpful, confirmed the time we needed to be at the airport and met us on our arrival to guide us through check-in on our SVG flight.

Our flight to Union Island took just under an hour as it was a direct flight. We were met as we came through customs and taken by golf buggy to the dock. There we got into the boat used to transport guests across to the island. On arrival at Palm Island, we were met on the dock by Chris, the GM, and a member of staff holding a tray with two rum punches, a wonderful welcome! Our luggage was taken to our room whilst we had one of the simplest-ever check-ins.

I must confess that I wasn't expecting the food to be superb, based on my one other experience of an all-inclusive. It was a delightful surprise therefore to be served such excellent meals. Breakfasts started with a buffet of cereals, fresh fruit and pastries, whilst orders were taken for cooked food, which was so good that I indulged every day. Lunches were served in both restaurants (different menus) and dinner was served every night in the main restaurant and twice a week in the Sunset Grill (when a buffet meal was served in the main restaurant). The food and service was excellent, especially the fish! Wine glasses were topped up so efficiently that it didn't matter that wine was served by the glass rather than the bottle.

The bar deserves a special mention. The cocktails were mixed to order and were very good and premium brand drinks were served. I recommend the Pina Coladas as being particularly good. The bar staff were friendly and efficient.

We took a Palm View room and were very happy with our choice. It was very spacious and had everything we needed. The minibar, which we used very little, was re-stocked every day.

The beach was superb, no sun beds were "cheek by jowl" and there were double hammocks scattered around the island. I recommend the garden tour, led by Ping the head gardener. It was very informative and interesting and we climbed the to the highest point on Cactus Hill for a superb 360 degree view of the surrounding area.

We did a day trip on the "Pink Lady" to the Tobago Cays. That was great fun. The boat only takes 6 guests so no overcrowding. It was a little wet from the spray when going upwind towards the Cays but that was quite welcome in the heat. There were 2 dinghy stops, one to swim among the fish over the coral and one to swim amongst the turtles. absolutely magical. We then enjoyed a simple barbecued lunch on one of the islands before heading back to the hotel. If you do this, don't forget to collect your fins and mask from reception beforehand. I did but there were spare masks on board so my enjoyment was not impaired.

A walk around the island could comfortably be done in half an hour, although allow a couple of hours for Ping's tour. The flora and fauna on the island were stunning. The flowering shrubs were absolutely beautiful and we were fascinated by the iguanas, the lizards and the birds on the island.

If I were looking to improve anything, it would be the fruit selection at breakfast, the white wine (which I suspect is a supplier storage issue) and the lighting in the bathroom. The red Merlot was very good. I suspect the resort is also responsible for a 5lb weight gain, but it was worth it! However, this is all mere quibbling in the overall context of a superb holiday.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank SPPHampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2011

My wife and I,along with our two college-aged sons and our 14 year-old daughter, arrived at Palm Island on 26 December 2010. We had booked two Sea Grape suites for Christmas week.

Our daughter had been feeling progressively worse as we flew from Tulsa to Dallas to Barbados to Union to Palm and, upon our arrival, she gingerly went to bed. The following morning she was in terrible shape - pale, sword-like pain in her side, exhausted. Andrea and her team guided me to the island home of Patrick "Doc" Chevailler, the island's world-famous painter of ocean life, and Doc (who is a real-life French doctor) made the initial diagnosis of a ruptured appendix and the need for immediate surgery. Only problem, the nearest quality surgical hospitals are in Martinique and Barbabos - both are 200 mile plane rides from Union Island. We trusted Doc and his wife who insisted we head for French Martinique. The Chevailler family and the island staff (particularly Andrea!) flew into high gear to find a private plane that could fly us off Union Island before dark, arranged for surgeons to meet us at the hospital at Fort du France, Martinique, loaned us Euros and European power adaptor plugs, found a hotel we could stay at on Martinique (during the Christmas season!) and hustled us off the island. Our daughter spent the next week in Clinique St. Paul for emergency surgery and the painful, slow recovery, plus another recovery week at Hotel Batallier on Martinique.

Meanwhile, we left our sons on Palm Island and the staff and the Chevaillers made them feel at home and treasured. They helped our sons return to the US on New Year's Eve.

Two weeks after leaving, my wife, daughter and I returned to Palm Island for one more week of recuperation until the doctors would allow our daughter to fly in pressurized aircraft back to the US. Chris, Andrea and the rest of the staff gave us our original Sea Grape room (which we recommend), treated us like royalty, and even hosted a private party in honor of Doc and his wife Virginie for all the help they have been to us and the island.

My wife and I have spent many a week in the Caribbean (Antigua, Necker, Guana, Palm). Each have something special to offer, but Palm Island won our hearts and saved our daughter's life.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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4  Thank Omrwiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2011

My wife and I returned a week ago from a stay at Palm Island.
We are already making plans for a return trip next Spring.
The only bad thing about this vacation is that we had to return.

The weather was good all but one day of our trip - and on that day, we used the break to recover from a bit too much sun.

What we liked the most:
Location and tranquility - we selected a remote cottage.
Listening to the waves
GREAT staff (especially Kevin, who seems to be everywhere all of the time)
Meeting new friends from England, Canada, Texas, Pa, and the Carolinas
Flora and Fauna - we actually found the birds at breakfast to be amusing!
Two separate trips on the "Pink Lady" to Tobago Keys
Snorkeling at Tobago
All in all - very relaxing - and although we love children, it was great NOT to have 'em around on this trip!

Nothing is ever perfect in the Carib - despite our experience, we managed to get sunburned the very first day.
And, where's there's sand and salt water, there are what we call "No see-um's". These little insects appear when the temperature is just cooling down in the evening - and just warming up about mid-morning.
Deep-Woods off helps.

G&G - Downingtown, Pa

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank grbuss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2011

Ever see the movie Shangri-La? It is the most perfect place on earth where everyone is happy, and you live forever. That is just about how we felt when we stepped off the boat onto Palm Island!! Read Moose's review (March 2011) if you want a detailed description of the flight, the Island, activities etc.
My husband and I purchased a Caribbean Vacation at a benefit auction and Palm Island was one of the choices. We chose it because of the nature trails, multiple beaches and because we'd never been there before :-)
By far, this is one of the best vacation spots we have ever been in (Europe and Caribbean). One of the couples we met rated it one of the best spots in the world (including their travels to Pacific locations).
The beaches were fabulous, the Pink Lady (Silas, Richie, Albert) was a memorable ride (twice!!), the sunsets were beautiful the food was FIVE-STAR!!! Chef Baka's BBQ as well as Caribbean buffet were both great. But the everyday meals were scrumptous as well.
And the staff....what can I say about the staff? They do not have the word "no" in their vocabulary! They were very attentive, they were there for every beck and call (even if we didn't beck or call, they were there, but never intrusive). We were well pampered and well-fed. We met some terrific people, at the bar, at mealtime, on the beach and on the boats!
It was a truly relaxing vacation. The toughest choices were which beach to go to, or do we go for a walk or what time do we eat (or go to the bar!).
We will be back for sure. It was a fortunate find for us!!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank CapeSharon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2011

We just returned from a magnificient week at Palm Island Resort. The resort accommodates only 80 to 90 guests, and with your own island to explore, you would never know it except when everyone gathers at dinner.

To get to Palm Island, we flew to Barbados and as soon as you arrive, you are in the hands of the fine staff of Palm Island Resort. We were met by a representative of the resort who handled our baggage and customs and immigration. We boarded a small (18 seat) plane for the 45 minute ride to Union Island. Customs and Immigration are a simple process and once cleared, you and your bags are taken on a 5 minute golf cart ride from the airport to the boat dock. A quick 10 minute boat ride across the channel to Palm Island and you are met with cocktails on the dock. No need to check in – you are taken right to your room. You can do a little paperwork later.

Dinner at the Royal Palm Restaurant is menu-based five nights a week. Two nights are devoted to a beach barbeque night and Caribbean night. On those two nights, if you don't want to partake in the local cuisine, the menu is made available at the Sunset Grill Restaurant. The dinner menu changes nightly and consists of an amuse, a choice of appetizers, soup, salad, and 6 or 7 entrees from which to choose. In a week, we never saw anything repeated. There are 3 to 5 dessert choices as well. Breakfast is also at the Palm Island Restaurant and in addition to a buffet, you can order eggs, French toast, banana pancakes, or hot cereal. As mentioned by other reviews this is the one area that service could be improved. Lunch is available at both the Royal Palm Restaurant and the Sunset Grill and is menu-based. If that isn't enough, don't forget tea at 4 PM. We never made it to that. The food is very, very good. There is a full bar and we were impressed by the labels of the spirits which are offered in this all-inclusive resort. They also offer an eclectic and somewhat deep wine list with what we thought were very reasonable prices for the Caribbean.

Our island loft was comfortable and airy with functional shutters and screens in addition to air conditioning. The bathroom was a very generous size, with double sinks, large shower and a soaking tub. A large private terrace with lounge chairs to enjoy the ocean views. The interiors are decorated with beautiful paintings of the local sea life. A mini fridge is stocked daily with local beer and soft drinks. Coffee and tea are in-room too.

One note – you are sharing the island with a fairly large number of iguanas. Once you understand that they are vegetarians, they are a little less intimidating. Don't worry, they won't let you get too close without scampering up a tree. Including the tree you may be napping under on the beach.

The island is yours to explore. It consists of five beaches, each with their own character. There are three hills you can climb with marked trails, each affording an impressive vista at the top. Bring something other than flip-flops to make exploring more comfortable. There are also bicycles available for exploring, too. Several of the beaches have a covered hammock and picnic table and for a modest charge, you can pre-arrange to have lunch delivered to you at the beach. The center of the island has a nine hole executive golf course laid out in true island golf style. Don't bring your clubs – it's not that kind of golf. Real golf would be much too stressful for such a peaceful place. In the leisure complex, located near the pool (very large, well-appointed, and never crowded), there is the spa which we didn't try out. We were already relaxed enough. There is also ping-pong, billiards, a fitness center with 2 Cybex treadmills and assorted other equipment, and a borrow and leave-behind library which was quite sizable. A nice horseshoe pit and shuffleboard are nearby. A big screen TV and a computer are also located here if you need to connect. If you absolutely must connect to the outside world, around the leisure complex, you can pick up the resort's wifi signal with your own device.

You may not want to leave the island, but if you do, there are a variety of excursions available. Snorkeling trips to nearby Mayreau and the Tobago Cays are very rewarding. Near the Cays, you'll spot sea turtles. Put on you gear (provided) and jump in to swim with them. Deep sea fishing and diving trips are available also. Go out on your own with the complimentary Hobiecats and sea kayaks. You can book a pink champagne sunset cruise on the Pink Lady (maximum six guests) and watch for the famous green flash as the sun sets.

As with any resort, the staff is what makes it successful and Palm Island doesn't disappoint. Led by Chris, the charismatic and dynamic manager, the staff is pleasant and there to grant your every wish. Just because it is an all-inclusive, doesn't mean they are stingy with the alcohol. If you have a drink before or after dinner and sneak away to an outer table, the staff will find you and refill it. Likewise at dinner, the house wine flows freely and I didn't meet anyone who had only one beer at lunch. Take the complimentary flora tour with Ping, the groundskeeper. It's designed to be a one hour tour of the island. We spent two hours and I wasn't ready to quit. Ping is full of knowledge and loves to share it. If you think you've already seen the whole island, I guarantee that Ping will show you something you didn't find.

If you are looking for an active vacation with a lot of revelry, Palm Island is not for you. After all, the bar closes at 10:30. If you are looking for natural beauty, great food, complete relaxation and a staff fully devoted to you, this is it.

We will definitely be returning!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Moose26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palm Island Resort & Spa

Address: Palm Island, 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Union Island
Price Range: $562 - $1,931 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Palm Island Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 43
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

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