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“Palm Island Resort A+”

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Palm Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Union Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 19, 2012

Just returned from Palm Island Resort in the Grenadines! What a wonderful experience from beginning to end. My Husband and I got married on the island after being there for 5 days, while the paperwork part was a long process and a little frustrating, it was well worth it just to be in such an amazing place and our day was perfect. The staff was excellent, the accomodations were impeccable. If you plan a wedding there Monica is the greatest! She was very helpful and kept everything in line for a perfect experience. We cant say enough about this resort. We met some fantastic people and highly recommend this resort to everyone!

Room Tip: We stayed in the island loft on the beach and it was perfect because the wind blows constantly so th...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Karen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 16, 2012

My fellow guests UkSoulsister and Frank-O-PhileWales have both written very comprehensive reviews of our time there so I will not repeat them. It's enough to say that we agree with them - this is a truly beautiful island which looks just like the brochure pictures. But it is let down by inconsistent and sometimes surly service which, at times such as breakfast, was so bad you just had to laugh. The food was also inconsistent and often with poor choices and poor cooking. Our room was only cleaned before 4.30 pm twice in the space of a week. That said, our room (21), though tired, had a great bathroom with a double shower and loads of space and the room had two standard double beds so a family would fit in easily. It was easy to while away a day under a palm tree interspersed with dips in the sea and a trip on the Hobiecat. We loved it despite its significant faults. The new management team have got their work cut out in bringing everything up to a consistently good standard but I hope they do so. We would go back there once we read good reviews about the food and service regularly on Trip Advisor!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank LondonBarneys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2012

We stayed here for 2 weeks and had a thoroughly relaxing time, enjoying the superb beaches, crystal clear blue water, and totally laid back atmosphere.

On arrival by the hotel’s fast taxi boat from Union Island, we were met at their jetty with a welcome rum cocktail, and greeted by several of the management staff, including the new General Manager, Matthew Lawson; a nice touch, and appreciated. Matthew has been here nearly 2 months but still has an ongoing daunting task to bring this place up to the standard it can be. There are several real problems at the moment, but I am sure he will succeed in the near future.

The “Pros” far outweigh the “cons”, so please don’t think I am being deliberately critical when I mention some of the apparent problems they have at the moment:

The “cons” first then...

1. The hotel is “tired” and needs a bit of work done on it. For instance, paving is lifting in places, especially on the promenade in front of some of the beachfront rooms. Our beachfront room, whilst kept immaculately clean, showed real signs of wear and tear – the fridge door had been burned? (don’t know how) and wouldn’t close properly, resulting in a swift build up of ice inside. I suppose the general description of the decor/furnishings would be “rustic”!

2. Food was hit and miss. I am no Chef, but I have enjoyed good food all over the world in some top restaurants and hotels, so I can speak with some authority, albeit with my own taste in mind. Some meals were superb, presentation excellent and some meat and fish good quality. However, overall, we were a bit disappointed. We had magnificent beef, beautifully cooked from the carvery on one buffet night, but then two other lunchtimes, I was unable to consider eating all of the sirloin steak on my plate (which was called fillet incidentally – maybe that’s the local name, I don’t know)as it was so tough and only fit to sole boots. A fish salad dish another lunchtime was presented with shrimps which were still frozen solid (and here’s me thinking I was getting “fresh” food all the time!!). They soon thawed out on my plate in the 35degC ambience, but that’s not the point!! I also appreciate their difficulty in getting a steady supply of fresh vegetables, but we did get a bit fed up with christophine and lentils. The only “greens” we saw in any quantity during our stay were lettuce and cucumber. My other moan is that whilst I appreciate “al-dente” food, I also like it being a little cooked, and fried potatoes and the christophene were always almost inedible because of their hardness. I understand that the Exec. Chef and Sous Chef from their sister hotel have been on site for several weeks, training and building new menus, but it was probably too soon for us to really see the results. Service in the restaurants was also rather poor most of the time. Breakfast during the first week was a laugh – we waited 35 minutes for tea to be brought to the table, toast arrived but without the requested butter and marmalade, and the staff were running around like headless chickens trying to keep up with the orders. There were plenty of waiters, but no maitre d’hôtel or restaurant manager to organise things. This went on for over a week, but it sorted itself out somewhat after complaints from several of the guests to top management. I understand that a new maitre has been appointed, so I am sure things will be spot on the next time we visit. Having talked at length to the general manager, I am also certain all the problems mentioned will be overcome.

3. The journey here is not for the faint-hearted. For us it involved a 4 hour journey to Gatwick airport, an overnight hotel stay, and an 8.75 hour flight to Barbados the following morning, a transfer to SVG twin otter plane, and 1 hour flight to Union Island via a short stop at another island on the way, transfer by golf buggy to the Union Island jetty, and then a fast boat transfer to the Palm Island resort. Quite a tiring journey in all.

4. The swimming pool was some way away from the main hotel complex, and was a strange free-form shape, with a rather naff man-made water-fall at one end. We only used it once – it was clean, but not well patronised. My small complaint was the grazed knee I got from the pool side under the water. The wall all around the pool is covered in a very rough and abrasive surface – why I don’t know.

The “pros” :

1. A wonderful relaxing atmosphere everywhere on the tiny island – this makes the journey there and back well worth the effort.

2. I mentioned the logistics of the journey above, but to be fair, everything ran so smoothly – well almost everything! We were met off the BA flight at Barbados by a guy with a name board, who directed us to a smaller immigration unit in the airport, where we filled out the necessary documents and were guided through a security section to a smaller departure lounge. We didn’t have to wait long there and boarded the transfer plane and eventually landed at Union Island. Here we went through their security/immigration dept. and straight on to a golf buggy which took us a short ride to the Palm Island boat, and on to Palm Island itself, where we were greeted like royalty by the GM and several of his section managers, shaking hands along the line, and then presented with the very welcome iced Rum Punch”! We could not get over how smoothly everything went and how well the whole system was organised... except... we were the only ones not to have their luggage transferred from the BA flight to the local island hopper. We didn’t get our bags until late afternoon the following day. However, everyone is warned by the hotel and travel agents that this is a possibility – we were just the unlucky ones!!

3. I pointed out earlier the pristine cleanliness of the room we stayed in. The house-keeping staff were wonderful - we rated them very highly, especially Margaret, who looked after us so well. Someone has mentioned tatty towels etc. We had “fluffy” towels, in abundance, and sometimes, even if we didn’t need clean ones, they would be there the next day. Beach towels were also good quality, and facecloths were changed every day. Bed linen was also good, and changed regularly. The fridge was stocked with beer and soft drinks, not that we used it at all, and good quality shower gel, soap, shampoo and other bathroom paraphernalia was also readily available. There were also a couple of cans of bug spray for the room, and personal mozzy spray as well –all replaced as and when necessary. Well done house-keeping!!

4. All members of the staff were wonderful, so friendly, helpful and willing to go out of their way to make your holiday enjoyable. This is not always the case in some hotels, where the attitude is “I’ll be nice to you, but give us your bucks”!

5. I now must make particular mention of the bar-staff – they were all outstanding, prompt to serve, and well accomplished in mixing cocktails, whether on their menu or not. They also went out to entertain us in the evenings with their friendly banter, wicked senses of humour, and skilful juggling of trays, bottles and so on. Several of the bar-staff also got up and sang with the local instrumentalist during the bar-b-q night and other nights – quite spontaneously, although I suspect it’s done on a regular basis!

6. Drinks – well! Both bars were stocked with quality spirits, liqueurs, and other drinks – Hennessy cognac, The Glenlivet, Johnny Walker Black Label, to name but a few – all in the “All Inclusive” deal. The White wines were fairly “run of the mill” Chardonnay and Sauvignon but the reds included a cheeky Merlot, which complimented the warmth of the ambience, and the staff, (but not necessarily the food!)

7. There was also an abundance of entertainment available, including several hobie sail boats, a wi fi area, games room, table tennis, tennis, etc. etc. We didn’t bother – we were too busy not being busy!

All in all then, a tremendous holiday, enjoyed to the full, with the expectation that next time we go here, they will have sorted out all the niggling problems mentioned (hopefully without putting up their prices as a result!!!) I have to give this hotel 4 stars – it doesn’t deserve 5 in my opinion – at the moment it doesn’t really deserve 4 – if possible I would give it 3.5, but I know that with a bit more input from the new GM, things will change dramatically here – they need to!

Room Tip: Beachfront rooms are well worth the upgrade!
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank N R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2012

Recently stayed with my husband to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.
Picked to experience peace and quiet and a taste of luxury. Was a bit alarmed by some recent reviews so held our breath so to speak.
Flight from Uk with Virgin impeccable we were in upper deck on one of the refurbished planes.

Interconnecting flight Barbados to Union> efficient, the plane was an eyeopener maybe not for a nervous flier unless you are happy to keep eyes shut for 45 minutes!! We dropped off at Bequia Island first but it didn't take long at all.There is urgency to get you over to Union as there are no runway lights so must get there before dark > Snug is a good description of the plane.On arrival slick transfer by golf buggy to harbour a few minutes away.We were fortunate as our luggage arrived with us. British airways flight arrives in Barbados slightly later and although passengers got on interconnecting flight their luggage didn't so recommend as previous reviews that you take first nights clothes and following days swimwear/ shorts in hand luggage.. We did that anyway just in case!!
Palm island boat meets you at harbour and takes only about 8 minutes Its a refreshing journey with a bit of spray but most welcome!
Met at jetty by manager and assistant with a welcome drink. Appreciated that we didn't have to go through check in there and then , we were shown straight to room which was great after a long journey..
We had a Palm View room no 22. We found it functional and large albeit a bit more rustic than we had expected, Double showers and sinks Two Double Beds. Had well stocked daily refilled minibar, kettle/coffee maker usual stuff really full selection of teas and milk in fridge. Effective air con and room fans. Others commented on hearing hum of generators we didn't hear anything apart from the dawn chorus of the birds at about 05:45 am .We got used to it but it could irritate some. Hotel supplies repellant in the room for person and room we used theirs and unlike most holidays I was barely bitten. I noticed there are quite a few ants on sand which is what I suspect what gave me a nip. Sand flies only seem to come out after about 15:30
Main Beach is lovely . white sand and palm fringed as per pictures. Ample sun beds, But thought there should have been better quality sun beds . As you spend a lot of time lying on them would have appreciated mats for the beds!
We got into daily habit of taking the bikes around the Island on the trails. These are great fun. People kept saying they didn't have brakes but they did you just peddaled backwards. Opposite side of Island is wilder facing Atlantic. We stopped en route to swing on hammocks and stroll on the sand great start to day. We looked out daily for the goats perched on the hill side.Trails are obviously sandy and you do need to watch your speed and wheels skidded in sand a bit but, nearly came a cropper a few times!!
We took snorkelling gear but there is some available to use. Best spot we found was between the two piers where there were box fish, puffer & file fish and purple tangs. My husband saw an eel as well. Other parts to snorkel were rougher.My husband went sailing most days on Hobie cats with Cornelius who he had a great time with I watched!!
Our biggest issue was the intermittant service level in restaurant. Some staff were great,we could name a few but some we liked others didn't so its each to make their own assessment !!. The maitre d was not there most of the week and it did make a difference, when he was there service was much better. Food choice was fine and we didn't have a problem in finding enough to fill us however the food was invariably cool by service. Felt the organisation of the restaurants needs some work in order to reach the aspired standards of the resort.. Often lunch is accompanied by the Islands resident Iguanas who love a bit of lettuce, which I found charming.Groundsmen should ensure the Iguana poop is removed form paths as in the evening you can't see so well to avoid!!
Enjoyed the company of others in evening and during the day although we weren't up late some folk spent a lot of time at the bar chatting/ drinking.For a couple of nights there was a local steel band and a singer which passed the evening nicely.
We hired the Pink Lady privately for the day for $380 to go to Tobago Cays and other Islands to see the turtles. We had a smashing day and the guys cooked a great Bar-B-Q on the beach for us that was our holiday highlight.
We also booked the 'Heart' for our anniversary which was pleasant although when we arrived the table had not been set ready for us which was a pity as it seemed as though they didn't know we were expected.. We had choice of menu and opportunity to select what we wanted beforehand. Meal was very nice.
Overall when we were there there were quite a few rumblings from guests about levels of service and lack of visibility of management to address issues. We did see Manager/ Assistant but they didn'y say much to us and when we did see them they seemed a bit 'uncomfortable'. I think they recognise there are aspects that need improving.
Return flight from Union to Barbados is very laid back but note there is no scanner so lady will go through your case. We didn't expect that so better to know in advance. Once you have checked bags you can go back outside to the small bar but as usual you seem to be there an interminably long time before you get the plane!
I wouldn't go again to Palm Island as there are plenty of other places in the world to visit but I did enjoy my stay albeit there are a few issues that need addressing to make the Island better value and top quality.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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10  Thank UkSoulsister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2012

I am a little late with this - we stayed from Oct 27 to Nov 3 - bought the deal on Living Social and we are SOOO glad we did! I have a hard time understanding some of the comments - humid during the day, yes, but when the sun set, it was pleasant. The dining room was not "unbearable" at all. Yes, there were bugs - no surprise since we read the reviews - they sprayed and at night, they were no issue at all - they supply bug spray in your room and use it I say! Sure did not make a dent in our enjoyment. Yes, some of the food was hit and miss but folks, you must remember, you are on an island that relies on supplies weekly from Union Island and elsewhere so if you want chicken, (why the heck would you), remember, it has to come from somewhere else right? Eat fish and lobster - they were excellent as was the steak. The staff were so great - we got to know them and they us - we met and made friends and it was just an amazing week! If you can afford it, go - you won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: Ocean front is the best if you can afford it - you can hear the surf all night even with the windows...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank lakerlynne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2012

Spent a week here with my husband in November. The island is pristine and I recommend exploring the beaches and trails. The beach front cottage was cozy, clean, and I loved that I could wake up to see the ocean a few feet away. We thought the trip would be a "do-nothing" trip but we had so much fun playing and snorkeling in the water. Definitely go sailing with Thaddeus and go on the Pink Lady to Tobago. The staff really is amazing, so warm and friendly. My only criticism is the food. The portions were plenty but the quality was hit or miss. I feel like if I am going to pay this much to stay, I should be able to order the fresh catch medium rare, for example. There was ample fresh fruit and veggies (other reviews said they were missing) and because we were there during lobster season, we got our fill (yum!). I also appreciated that for our last night, they offered us lobster one more time even though it was not on the menu.
Overall, it is a truly magical place and I know the new managers are working to make improvements. Thanks to all the staff for your loving care.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Sailoranne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2012

I can only find praise to describe our experience at Palm Island. Here we found a tranquil place in which to have an exclusive holiday experience and feel special. The level of service is absolutely amazing, and compares very well with the best hotels I have ever stayed in. Totally non intrusive, but always ready to serve your every need. For example, we had forgotten to bring contact lense solution. They were super accomodating in having a bottle ferried over from St Vincent for us in record time!
The food is absolutely amazing. Always very good quality and in extremely good quantities.
And drinks are absolutely great, with staff going the extra legth to make the most amazing cocktails.
And what to say of the surroundings: a whole island to experience, with 5 beaches all for you. You can choose to be on the main beach, with maybe another 5/6 couples or so stretched over half a mile, or you can go to one of the other more secluded places and have a mile long beach for yourself.
Some of the waiters will simply make your day. I cannot start to explain what people like Margaret, Madonna or Kevin are like: simply top quality world-class service personnel who will make you feel at home and add a note of humour to your holiday. Amazing people.
Congratulations to Matthew and David for their superbly run operation at Palm Island!

Room Tip: It makes sense to spend a bit more and stay at an Island Loft if you can get hold of one. The beach...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Spanishwanderer
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: $566 - $1,565 (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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