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“Disappointing” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Palm Island Resort & Spa

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Palm Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Union Island
Certificate of Excellence
Gravesend, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2014

Visited November'13. I had gone to the Grenadines in 2001 but not Palm Island. But from our boat it looked fantastic. I always promised myself I would go back. For my Partners 60th I booked the holiday to Palm Island. We stayed in Barbados the first night of our Holiday. It all started well being met on the Jetty by the Management was a nice touch. Our room was beautiful looking straight out to the beach/Sea with a lovely patio and Loungers. The resort is really let down by the food its 4.5 but the food isn't. The Chef was lovely but he can only cook what he is given. The BBCue we had on the second day consisted of pieces chicken in a sauce boiled veg, fish (one kind) three different salads and a Joint of beef that was sliced for you (cold although it was suppose to be hot) it had three different sweets but there wasn't much of them left when we had ours. The breakfast was tasteless we had a better breakfast at the 3* hotel in Barbados. The bread was horrible and there was so little butter I had to keep asking for more. It felt like we were being rationed. Afternoon tea must be the worse I have ever had anywhere. To cap it all off the birds at breakfast were such a nusance you couldn't sit down until staff had cleaned the seats. When we left we talked to other couples who felt the same and wouldn't go back. Such a shame because it has so much going for it. The final thing the fight back was really late picking us up from Union Island we were there from 10.30 till 3.30 in the afternoon which made it such a rush getting to our plane. Its not what I want from a Holiday.

Room Tip: Get a Beachfront room.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Elizabeth768
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, February 27, 2014
Dear Elizabeth768,

Thank you for your comments about your recent stay at Palm Island. We value our guests feedback as a way to continuously improve our guests' experience.

We are sorry you were disappointed with the dining experience. We do understand that dining is subjective which is why we have created menus that highlight both local and international favorties with something to please every palate.

Elite Island Resorts Corporate Chef Stan Baxter and Palm Island Executive Chef Ancil "Baka" Ellis have also enhanced the resort's overall culinary experience. Over the past year, all aspects of dining have been upgraded, including menu offerings, presentation and service, and sourcing local produce has become a strong priority. Locally grown ingredients not only provide health benefits to guests and employees but also help offset the resort's carbon footprint as less produce needs to be shipped to this remote private island.

Long-time Palm Island resident and medical doctor Dr. Patrick Chevalier has re-established the on-island greenhouse and herb garden, supplying the resort kitchen with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, callaloo, mint, cilantro, basil, dill and lemongrass. In addition to being incorporated in the resort's menu, which changes based on season and availability, the herbs and fresh produce are also used in new flavor-infused waters. This chilled, naturally flavored water is served during peak hours each day at the beach and along pool areas. In between the flavored water service, sun-worshipping guests can also enjoy a refreshing body mist from resort associates who use spritz bottles filled with chilled water that is scented with fresh lemongrass or mint from the on-property garden.

Another new local food and beverage initiative is the resort's coconut program. With more than 2,000 coconut-bearing trees spread across the 135-acre island, Palm Island naturally provides a seemingly endless supply of coconuts. This local, naturally beneficial product is now harvested and incorporated into the daily rotating menu. Sample breakfast items include coconut-flavored bread, waffles and pancakes. Lunch and dinner items include coconut rice and peas, coconut shrimp, coconut layer cake, coconut macaroons and more, all made with local Palm Island coconuts.

We do hope that when considering another Caribbean vacation that Palm Island may host you for a relaxing and unique vacation experience.
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1,322 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (480)
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English first
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2014

Not the easiest place to get to but after all Paradise isn't supposed to be!
The place totally beautiful.
The people can't do enough for you.
The facilities, food and drink fantastic.
Loved it.
(there are mosquitos so take bite cream and antii-histamines)

Room Tip: All good from our experience
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Josie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Braintree MA
Level Contributor
69 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2014

Visited Palm Island 2/10-2/20 2014. Long travel day from Boston involving three flights and a boat. Left home at 3AM, arrived 6PM. Fights and boat service have to be co-ordinated. Palm Island is easily one of the topmost scenic spots in the Caribbean. Surrounded by other Grenadine Islands, the beaches and hills offer postcard views. The small island has a circle road that can be traveled in twenty minutes using one of the bikes from the resort. The beaches at the resort are very nice but are steep in places, producing an undertow from waves coming back down the incline. The undertow action can make exiting the water difficult for those of limited ability. Such people would do well to seek a flat area. Rays are seen occasionally and people should shuffle to avoid unpleasantness. Plenty of chairs and shade were available.
Staff and service we would rate excellent. Obviously the staff has received training to be outgoing, friendly and helpful. Just a mention of a problem was seen to be reported across the resort quickly and resolved if possible. Management personnel spoke with us daily to ask if everything was OK.
Our room was adequate, with a patio out front with tables, chars and lounges. AC was fine, the bed comfortable. the fridge was restocked daily. A room safe is included, as well as a flashlight without which you wouldn't see much in the closet. We had a small ocean view. We noticed some rooms, especially the ones facing inland or the pool were not as desirable. Having been built in the late 90's, a rehab in the near future seems likely. The resort includes suites and villas also. Only one key was provided, with another stored in the office. this was problematical if a couple wanted to split up for a while. What would it cost to cut an extra set of keys?
The hair color when we visited was predominately gray, and British. This is not the place for people who expect to party. Its quiet, and any small entertainment is usually wrapped up by 10PM. I believe there were about ninety people in the resort when we stayed and at times we felt like we were alone. Many days the only footprints to the water were ours only. Sometimes the bar was not staffed because of this, but if you sat down, someone would come over and help you. There is a leisure center with a spa, small gym, pool table, ping pong, a TV room with a computer and a huge library of donated books. Reading is big here, obviously. I myself read three books on this trip.There is a pool in back of the resort, facing a field. Its not that attractive, no bar, music or restrooms, so we didn't use it at all, the beach being so good.
We thought the food, except for an infrequent miss, was very good. It's mostly a la carte, served freshly prepared and hot. Occasionally a small buffet. At first the portions seemed small, but eating three meals a day, we were never hungry. Dining service was tops. All meals are leisurely, on island time. Always a nice view, watching the yachts go by, etc. The big problem here is the birds, who flew through in flocks, eating everything they could grab. They are bold and would take a piece of bread out of your hand. It was not only what they took, but also what they left. Savvy diners checked seats first. The management is aware of this problem and I assume are thinking of solutions. I suggested a couple of cats. I will say the dinner bread is usually stale, so we used it to feed the fish off the dock at night which was fun. The wines seem to be generic but not a problem as we are not afficionados. We did like the top shelf liquors, Glenlivet, Jack Daniels, Crown Royal, etc.
Insects are another problem here. Lots of ants, small flies, particularly on the beach when the sun starts going down. We found moving to an area that has full sun during the day helped at that time. Mosquitoes were mentioned but we saw very few. The resort fogs and sprays regularly for this problem. One late afternoon we were in our room when we heard something outdoors. Turns out they were fogging, but the amount of fog was much greater than any I had seen previously. The rooms have a front door, screened and with louvers and not airtight. If you have ever seen a vehicle on the highway burning oil, that's what it looked like. In a minute, we were breathing this in the room. Nasty oil going up your nose. I believe the fogging was done improperly and mentioned it to the management. It never happened again. Off and insect spray is provided in the room, and I usually took the Off to the beach.
Excursions are available for cruises, snorkeling, diving, visits to other islands, etc. but we just relaxed on the beach since many of the trips we had done before or similar.We did snorkel on the island, the best spot being the rocks near the dock. We took a horticultural walk also, which was helpful locating the paths to the lookouts.
Bottom line we had a great vacation, the few glitches mentioned here notwithstanding. You travelers out there know its not a perfect world I'm sure. Palm Island comes very close, though.

Room Tip: Most direct ocean front have the view but no beach (100 yd. walk). Garden views facing the ocean are...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank pvalen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Courtice, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2014

My husband and I visited Palm Island for our honeymoon in early July 2013. We had a hard time deciding where to go considering we wanted something special,secluded and romantic. And Palm Island delivered. We stayed in an ocean front room, #15. It is so close to the water, the waves drifted us into the most amazing and restful of sleeps. It was quite interesting not having a TV in our room but looking back I am so happy we didn't. We wouldn't have absorbed the calmness of the ocean. Although it is attached to another unit, we never heard our neighbor.

What we loved was the small capacity. At this time of year they were only about 50% full, which was about 25 people. It was perfect! We never had to fight for beach chairs or felt like our space was violated (which you get at larger resorts). It is small and intimate and you will for sure have your own privacy. It is the opposite of crowded.

The food was amazing! We were pleasantly surprised by the a-la-carte menu for breakfast and lunch and the new menu that was presented every evening for dinner. For breakfast I would highly recommend the eggs benedict Palm island style! Any everything on the lunch menu was great, I would recommend trying everything!

The island itself has much to offer. It was fascinating learning about the history of the island. I would highly recommend exploring the island and all the beaches and trails it has to offer. The bikes they provide are a sufficient way to get around the island. There was something so relaxing, calming and enjoyable about riding a bike on a beautiful island down a beaten path while the sun was setting-wishing to be no where else. My only regret is not exploring the island on a daily basis. We also had a great time playing pool, ping-pong and shuffle board.

We also took the catamaran trip on the Yannis. This was a great snorkeling trip. We saw sea turtles and even a sting ray! It was also great to see the island where Captains of the Caribbean was filmed. We now know where the rum was buried!!

We also spent our last dinner on the island sitting right on the beach infront of the heart shaped palm trees that were lit up. We were on the fence about doing it considering it is an extra fee but I am very happy we did it. It was very romantic and a great way to wrap up the trip. And really, where else can you do that?

If you are looking for a calm, relaxing trip where you can spend quality time with a loved one this is the place to go. I would not expect any "crazy" adventures or "party nights". This resort is the best place to relax as a couple and soak in all the unique things such a unique place has to offer.

Room Tip: #15 Ocean Front, worth the upgrade
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Katherine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Mills, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2014

My wife and I traveled to Palm Island Resort on January 27th, 2014 and stayed through February 4th. We found out about this resort after searching for a quiet, Caribbean, all inclusive, beach get-away. We arrived a day earlier to avoid a missed flight due to airline delays and stayed at The Club Barbados overnight. The inter island flight was a thrill ride in itself as the wind was gusting up to 36 mph. The resort was postcard beautiful . We stayed in the Southern Cross Villa and really enjoyed the feeling of being by ourselves on a deserted island. The villa was very nice and the infinity pool was fantastic. We enjoyed eating at the restaurants and even though my wife has several food allergies and is on a pretty limited diet the chefs were very accommodating and made sure she always had something wonderful to eat. We even got a behind the scenes tour of the power ,water and waste plants.This really makes you appreciate all of the hard work that goes on out of sight. We plan on returning next year. If you like a quiet vacation without crowds and lazy days lounging then this resort is for you. There are excursions available if you choose to do them but we stayed on the island the whole time and relaxed.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ray a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2014

In February 2014, we spent a week on Palm Island as our 18th holiday to the Caribbean. Having been to sister resorts Galley Bay (twice) and Saint James' Club we thought we knew what to expect.

The Palm Island representatives at Barbados airport were enthusiastic and helpful, guiding us through the busy airport in each direction, which could prove stressful for some.

Without doubt, the beach is gorgeous and spacious, and the views are stunning. The staff are attentive, enthusiastic and friendly, the resort is of intimate size and other guests are a delight. We met some on their umpteenth return visit.

We have become used to padded sun loungers, and they would make a great improvement on the beach.

The food was not up to the expected standard - far from “Gourmet” but to be fair it was never advertised as such (except by Conde Nast Johansens). Low points include processed fishcakes, hard bread bullets and a nasty arrangement of sweaty salmon with pickled cucumber and pesto sauce. The Thai curry is best avoided. Orange juice was only available on some days and the selection of fresh fruit at breakfast was poor.

Every evening we studied the menu with anticipation but each meal was an anticlimax, usually bland or tasteless. Where were the herbs and spices? An upturned cup of rice and a spoonful of cauliflower and carrots served with several meals was uninspired to say the least. If either of the
restaurants were in our home town, we wouldn't revisit, nor would we recommend to our friends. If there had been a convenient restaurant outside the property, it would have received our custom.

I have read the many reviews describing Palm Island as “ paradise”. It's an undeniably beautiful
place, with enjoyable easy hiking and very pretty spots around the island. However, we cannot understand how it shares its 4.5 Trip Advisor rating with such places as The Bodyholiday, Calabash Cove and Sugar Beach (Saint Lucia), Calabash (Grenada), Carlisle Bay, The Inn at English Harbour and Hermitage Bay (Antigua) etc.

Unbelievably, and for the first time ever in the Caribbean, we were happy to come home. Currently there appears to be changes or deficiencies in management. Unlike an earlier review, we did not see the resort as “freewheeling” but more “rudderless”. Someone needs to sort things out, if only for the many repeaters. We will not be amongst them.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
14 Thank Whenever
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, February 18, 2014
Dear Whenever,

Thank you very much for your recent visit to Palm Island. We greatly appreciate your comments, and your business, and we were happy to have you as our guest. Palm Island enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the Caribbean’s best and most romantic resorts. Much of our success can be attributed to our very loyal repeat guests.

While we greatly appreciate the many very positive comments you provided about your stay, we are sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the food. We pride ourselves on providing guests with an excellent Caribbean holiday experience, which includes offering excellent food choices and a variety.

The majority of our guests greatly enjoy the dining experience at Palm Island. We focus on quality, presentation, and flavor in an effort to provide the delicious and sophisticated cuisine that our guests love and expect. We have reviewed our guest comment cards and customer service reports, and we received very high marks for our dining and bar service this year. We understand that dining is subjective, and everyone has their preferences, which is why we work so hard to provide excellent menu selections, varied dining venues, and terrific service.

Please take the time to read the other very positive reviews left by recent guests, and know that we are always working to maintain our usual high levels of guest satisfaction. This includes constantly improving and monitoring all aspects of the Palm Island experience for consistent quality assurance.

Again, we greatly appreciate your business, and the fact that you took the time to provide us with your thoughts. We look forward to having you as our guest in the near future, and to meeting and exceeding all of your expectations going forward.
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wokingham
Level Contributor
29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2014

We travelled on to Palm Island after 2 nights in Barbados and had an absolutely fantastic time. We stayed in one of the palm view rooms which was large and airy with front access close to the beach and rear access to our sun loungers on a large patio overlooking the gardens and swimming pool.
We took the trip to Tobago Keys on the 'Pink Lady', snorkelled with the turtles in the protected area and then enjoyed some very good snorkelling off the beach where we stopped for a beach bbq Our return back to Palm Island was just wonderful as they used only the sails which we have never experienced before. Our trip was made even more special as not only was it our wedding anniversary but we were the only two on the trip.
As has already been mentioned the only downside to paradise was the food was not always the best and I have to agree the wine was touch and go ... but for us it wasn't a show stopper and at the end of the holiday we had both managed to put on more than a few pounds!
We have decided we will return one day and wouldn't hesitate to book one of the palm view rooms again.

Room Tip: Palm View Rooms are airy and large - no rooms are far from the beach!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank conwok
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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