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“Disappointing!”

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Palm Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Union Island
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
48 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Disappointing!”
Reviewed May 17, 2006

Spent a week at Palm island before spending a week at Coral Reef in Barbados. I am glad we stayed there first! Arrived on Palm Island after a long journey from england, to be given a welcome rum punch. Our room was basic, a beachfront with an aircon unit that failed miserably, it could not be left on at night, as is was too noisy, so had to resort to leaving open the shutters, still remained quite warm. We had been told about a kitchen fire in March, but were assured that everything was 98% normal.........it wasn't. some of the meals were good, but very few, the food was unimaginative with very little choice. If we had been told how bad the situation was, we would have changed hotels & visited when back to normal.
On the upside, the island is beautiful with lots of isolated baeches & iguanas live there & wander around, which I found enchanting!
The sea is a beautiful turquoise , but does shelve quite quickly, but my husband enjoyed the excellent snorkelling.

We won't be visiting again.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Diane C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Massachusetts, USA
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2006

Having traveled throughout the Caribbean over the years, Palm Island was on our list to visit for sometime. We finally visited this past Nov/Dec for a pre-holiday, holiday.

The resort was pretty much as advertised with clean and well appointed rooms. No TV or phone (OK with Me) and in keeping with the original plans of the owner, no central air. The complaints about the AC are with merit as the portable units are unqualified for the job. Having louvered windows doesn't help the matter either.

Beyond that, only a few issues. The sand fleas.....yes they bite can be annoying. Be prepared to use the supplied spray before you sit on the beach and each time you get out of the water. I think you can get accustomed to it. The flight from Barbados was fine inbound but rough on the way out. No jet service to Union Island is available so get ready to "fly", with a few short strip stops prior to getting into Union Island. As in other posts, our bags made it the day after we did, but the hotel staff was on top of it and they were delivered when they said.

Being in the Industry, I am somewhat of a food snob. I would say though that the food met my expectation, with the key word being expectation, a 7 of 10 or B-Gourmet it wasn't but better than the few All Inclusive we have been to in our travels. Let's just say if I were at Cap J in Anguilla I would have had words with Mgt, but again I wasn't paying $1000K per night for a room + $300 for dinner either.

Being so remote, they utilize what they have locally (fish) and what they can get on neighboring islands (fish). Most other product is brought in via container and they don't get daily deliveries if you know what I mean. I didn't see anyone go hungry during our week there. The menu did change with daily specials, but as one previous poster mentioned, they did have run outs on the regular menu a few times. You can always find a beef or chicken dish along with a vege. option.

The beach bar and the staff served as your evening's meeting place and entertainment. Johnny and crew treat you well! The only complaint I had with them was the night they over-served the husband of one of the previous posters who was there during our stay. Late evening patrons had to sit through his marital complaints, obnoxious blubbering and his attempt to take a midnight stroll with one of the other guests whose fiancé didn't appreciate it. The security guard graciously escorted him back to his room in the knick of time.

Water sports (sailing/kayaking) were readily available and we opted for the day trip to Tobago Cays, aboard the hotel's own Pink Lady. There are a few options for the trip (power/sail-large charter or small) but however you get there, I would highly recommend this trip.

We had the Pink Lady to ourselves that day as the other guests booked were under the weather. The trip was great and the service provided including a beach side and a swim in a secluded lagoon.

All in all, I didn't go, and don't think others go to Palm Island looking for a 5 Star Hotel on par with Jumby Bay, Cap Jaluca, La Samana, or the Ritz, with all the glitz, glamour, bells, whistle and great A/C.

At Palm Island, you will find clean, unhurried, relaxed, friendly, and a picturesque small scale resort . It is a romantic spot (three weddings our week) to relax, recharge and swat flies.

So go to "Be a traveler....not a tourist" a quote I borrowed from Chef Anthony Bourdain

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
25 Thank EAP64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dalton, GA
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2006

My husband and I spent a fabulous week on Palm Island. We were looking for a low-key island destination and Boy!, did we find it!! I'll be the fist to tell you that this is not the place to go if you want to be waited on hand-and-foot like a movie star. However, if the purpose of your vacation is to get away from the hectic schedules and wind down and enjoy some REAL rest and relaxation, then Palm Island is for you!! We set our own schedules and never even looked at our watches - except in the evening so that we could head back to the beach from the FABULOUS pool to watch the most amazing sunsets I've ever seen. The bartenders are great - they make the best banana coladas I've EVER had. They're a must!! One day the resident manager handed me a fresh coconut with the top lopped off and said, "Here, try this - coconut milk." Very different.....

The food was great, the staff was extremely friendly and eager to help with anything. I love the fact that folks gather at the bar before dinner and chat about the activities of the day. And yes, it's warm in the evenings, and the air conditoner isn't the best, but with the open windows and cool breeze, we slept great!

We'll be back as soon as we can!!!

  • Stayed November 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank AXR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
provence
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2006

We have just returned from spending Christmas on Palm Island.

Re-reading other reports it is difficult to add more as we can sympathise with all the points made to a greater or lesser extent. So these are some of our thoughts of how we found the Island.

Great place with a lovely setting. Yes we have been to other places in the world which we might prefer (eg the Maldives)but that is a personal choice.

This was one of the better all inclusive resorts we have visited. The staff were very helpful and friendly. There was no problem in getting served in both bars and restaurant (unlike some of the well known chain all inclusive resorts where we have found it imposible to book restaurants at reasonable times).

The food was alright, not great but there was always a choice when we were there. We have complained to each other in the past about the perpetual buffet you get in some all inclusive resorts. Here as it is mainly al a carte we did find ourselves looking forward to the weekly buffet(you just cannot please some people can you!)

The drinks were all branded, plentiful and well presented. You had to pay for bottled water ($5 US per litre) which still perplexes us but then the tap water produced from the Island's desalination plant we found was perfectly acceptable to drink.

Do take a change of clothes in your hand luggage! It is very common for bags to turn up sometimes days after you. Here the hotel are fantastic at locating the bags for you and keeping you up to date whever you are on the Island of its location (One of our bags had a merry little trip round the Grenadines and saw more of them than we did).

It is a really great place to get away and relax with absolutely nothing of any real consequence to do on the Island. There are a variety of off Island excursions ane we enjoyed the trip to the Tobago Cays - take Ginger the speed boat!

Moans - yes a few. The AC was very loud.
Depending on you room location there was a smell of cooking.
The room blocks looked a little like barrack huts but they were not that intrusive.
The beach is a public one so there were day visitors to the Island which on occassion made the beach busy.

To us the air conditioning was the major problem as it did keep us awake at night. Yes you can turn it off but it quickly became hot in the room.

Would we go back? No but only because there are other places waiting to be discovered.
Would we recommend it? Yes but with a warning on the air conditioning!

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
24 Thank boucheboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolton, Lancashire
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2005

My husband and I stayed on Paul Island for two weeks from 18 November.

We had a good holiday but were quite disappointed with certain aspects.

Our beachfront room was very dark and the 'air conditioning' is a complete waste of time. It simply noisly circulated hot air around the room. We didn't sleep very well for the whole two weeks.

The food was mostly average, sometimes good and occasionally poor. Don't go expecting the food to be as they show it in the brochures or you will be disappointed as we were. The full menu is never on offer. They had always 'run out' of a number of dishes.

The restaurant service was fine most of the time but not outstanding. Some of the staff are not really interested.

The drinks are excellent - both choice and quality, and the bar service was good.

Evenings are very low key. Occasionally there is a singer or a steel band, but nothing else. We were expecting this so we can't complain. My husband and I had a problem in that we had been expecting to be having great dinners each evening which we could take our time over. As the food was a let down, this made dinner a bit of a non event, and therefore the evenings a bit of a non event also. Thankfully the excellent drinks ensured that we still had a great time!

On the positive side, the main beach (Casuarina) is beautiful. Lovely for swimming and sunbathing and there is plenty of shade too. The pool area is also beautiful, and immaculately kept. The pool is very small but this doesn't matter as there are never more than a couple of people in there at any one time.

We took two trips with the hotel - Tobago Cays and Petit St Vincent. Both were excellent. Petit St Vincent is amazing, but go towards the end of your holiday or you will be envious that you are not staying there. We also visited Union Island for a day which was good fun. Have lunch at Bougainvilla - it is excellent.

I had a manicure and massage at the Spa. The massage was wonderful.

Housekeeping and ground maintenance staff were excellent. You never saw them but they did a fantastic job.

If you have booked Palm Island already, don't be too put off by this review. Just be prepared that it may not be quite as good as you are expecting.

If you are only thinking of booking, I would mention that we stayed at the sister hotel last year - Galley Bay in Antigua. At the moment I would say that Palm Island is not nearly as good.

All that said, we still had a fantastic holiday, but won't be going back unless we hear that the food has improved dramatically and that air conditioning has been installed in the bedrooms.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank michelehughes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed December 8, 2005

Just back from 2 weeks on palm. Previous reviewers spot on about relaxing island paradise. Turquoise waters and palm trees. Plenty of loungers on beach and around nice if a little small pool. Resort area well maintained but island 'trails' not well marked and a bit of a waste of time. Bicycles a bit of a comedy experience!. Staff very helpful to any request - but they don't offer you've got to ask. Just ask reception for some aloe plant for sunburn. Upstairs plantation suites much cooler than downstairs. Some palm view rooms very near kitchens which have noisy fans - others have good position and probably are best value for money of room categories. Food plentiful and good with plenty of choice. Premium liquor on all inclusive heaven for single malt drinkers!. Go Glenlivet. Wine a personal thing but room temp red wine at 90 degrees is nasty! All inc Sauvignon Blanc better (less tonsil grabbing) than the Chardonnay by the glass - but its exactly the same gear if you want to buy it by the bottle. Tap water fine for drinking. Crazy but bottled water isnt on the all inc!. Daily milk jug in fridge for tea but it tastes a bit funny. Downsides - absolutely nothing available on snorkelling around the island - just rocks and some dead coral. Take swim shoes to max swim opportunities as only 1 beach is sand all the way, others have a layer of rocks to negotiate to get in sea. Need to go to Tobago Cays to see any fish/coral. Air con is useless with screened slat windows and very uncomfortably hot nights. Double shower stalls in plantation suite excellent and got plenty of use! We got together with 3 others and chartered a Capt Yannis catarmaran for a day for $500 which is cheaper than excursions. Good big catamaran with 4 staff, bar, lunch for a whole day. Saw same boat with 30+ people on doing day trips at $60+ a pop. Suggest not going off island on a Mon to avoid cruise ship traffic at Cays. Glenroy at Grenadines Dive excellent for both exp and learner divers. Guests mainly Brit middle aged + and a few newly weds. Nothing at all for kids who are a bit frowned upon. Library good. Oh and no need to take a travel kettle or iron as in room. On bug front - tons of sandflies (not just on beach) which are real little biters despite repellant which is plentifully supplied. Didnt catch too many mozzies. Barbados airport currently undergoing major refurb very hot, not enough seating and a nightmare to navigate on return journey. Outward we got to Palm same day but luggage didnt make it for 24 hrs as transfer time from BA flight to little plane tight. Have a biro handy to prod the dodgy air con vents on the little plane to get some air. If you're tall or overweight expect an uncomfortable trip without seat belt but its an experience!. All in all OK value for money - probably wouldnt go back mainly due to lack of proper aircon.

Helpful?
16 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2005

If you want relaxation, peace, freedom to roam, no crowds, good food, fantastic friendly staff, quality rooms, great snorkelling, warm waters, iguanas, turtles, humming birds, cool breezes, walking, jogging, cycling,great trips to tobago keys, great guests and all on your own privately owned island in the Caribbean, then Palm Island is the place for you!If you do decided to go, do me a huge favour and say hello to Gerry the Pool man, he's a star! The livelier side, are the Frid night BBQ's on the beach, with steel band and 2 nights a week live music played in the bar. I would go again tomorrow if I had the time.

Helpful?
17 Thank Spangledog1
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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