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“A bit disappointing”

Palmilla Restaurant
Ranked #45 of 191 Restaurants in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Reviewed December 27, 2013

We booked a 7:30PM table on Christmas night at the restaurant at the Victoria House (VH) as recommended by our hotel, The Phoenix Resort. Now the Phoenix staff would never mislead you, so I have to assume that our experience was an aberration but the fact is that it wasn't impressive at all.

As planned, the VH sent the "stretch golf cart" to pick us up promptly at 7:15 and we took off through the streets of San Pedro, dressed to the nines for our Christmas dinner. We arrived and were lead to the dining room where we were greeted by a snarky manager that told us that we didn't have a reservation and that, given that we weren't resident at the hotel, he didn't have a table to seat us at! Wow, really? Reservations were made and confirmed on July 20! Might want to buy a computer for your manager - and maybe a smile as well. He resolved to send us over to the bar for a while during which he added a table because we showed him the confirmation!

It was a nice menu with some seafood and some traditional holiday specialties like duck and beef wellington. Between the four of us, we ordered virtually one of everything on the menu. Of the appetizers, the stone crab and the almond, truffle, mushroom soup were excellent. Pass on the tuna tartare. It's mostly "other" stuff, very little tuna and just sort of bland overall.

Next I had the duck and I must say that this was just bad. The puree on which the duck sat was drenched in oil and cold to the touch...nasty. The brussel sprouts were ok but bitter because the kitchen probably hadn't blanched them prior to roasting. The duck itself was tough and seemed to have been sitting under a heat lamp for a while.

The Wellington was tasty but nothing special and certainly pre-cooked (think banquet food). My youngest son enjoyed his Seafood "soup" - again, not much that was special but good enough. The desserts followed the same suit - ok but nothing special.

What I thought was most unpleasant was that our waiter had NO information about the menu or more details about preparation. He was a very nice person and we enjoyed talking with him; however, he couldn't answer the most simple questions that I had before making my order. What's more, he didn't offer to find an answer or someone that could answer them. He actually told me that he couldn't remember what kind of sauce was used on the entree. I offered him the menu to jar his memory! Sadly, that didn't help.

We finished what could have only been labeled an average meal and asked for the restaurant to call for our "complimentary" return to the hotel. The VH is pretty far from the action in San Pedro and with 6" heels on, I wasn't planning to walk. They couldn't find anyone to take us so we had to stand, in the rain, for more than 30 minutes waiting for someone to agree to take us. All kinds of excuses were made. My favorite? Our ride was waiting but another family got in and left at no fault of theirs.

Other issues included families that were dining but allowing their tween-aged boys to run around the restaurant playing tag - slamming doors and yelling to each other as they rounded the restaurant. I realize that this is a problem with the clientele, not the restauranteur but if you want patrons to enjoy a quiet dinner, you really must insist that parents mind their children. If they cannot, offer to seat them in the outside accommodations where they can enjoy their dinner but not interfere with the tranquility that others expect.

I wouldn't return. It wasn't "bad," it just wasn't good. Life's too short to eat mediocre food and sit through poor service....too short!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank annette f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BrentKirkman, Manager at Palmilla Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded December 30, 2013

Dear annette f,

We’re sorry to hear your dinner at Victoria House didn’t meet your expectations.

As restrauteurs and hosts, we take pride and pleasure in “restoring” our guest’s sense of well-being by providing extraordinary service and great food, whether or not they’re staying with us.

I understand perfectly your disappointment at not being seated immediately upon arrival.

Your reservation for four called for a 7:15 pickup at your hotel, and you arrived right on time. Unfortunately, this was rather busy night and some of our patrons were enjoying a postprandial digestif or lingering over their desserts and coffee, and as a result, your table wasn’t available right away.

I apologize for the fact that our driver wasn’t waiting for you when you were ready to depart. He actually had taken other guests back to their hotel so of course, a taxi was called to take you home, compliments of Victoria House. As you note, Victoria House isn’t located in the center of town and given that (despite appearances to the contrary) there are a finite number of taxis in San Pedro and it was an extremely busy evening, he responded as quickly as he could.

We welcome constructive criticism as it allows us to continuously improve our product and services, and I’ve discussed your observations with our dining room manager, server, chef and front desk staff, with a view to addressing your concerns.

I trust that the rest of your vacation in Belize was enjoyable, and wish you a Happy New Year.

Brent Kirkman GM

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (340)
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187 - 191 of 340 reviews

Reviewed December 11, 2013

Was here in Jan 2012 but reviewing now. Great location, good for a couple for a romantic dinner. We were outside on the patio and had a nice meal. No complaints.

1  Thank PeterOlson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We ate in the bar, and loved it. The food was delicious, and we took a glass of wine out to the pool and talked and admired the property. Quite a beautiful place.

1  Thank Cami B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2013 via mobile

For us, the trip to VH was 12 hours, 2 jets and a nifty little island hopper plane. The town of San Pedro is charming with all the normal tourist incentives to spend money. The people are freindly laid back and clean. Upon arrival to V.H. you will see the lawns are meticulously kept. The service thru out our stay was as fantastic from the first minute to the last. Rooms were quaint clean and as to be expected. The restaurant and the bar; Good Lord that was some AMAZING food! There is no disappointing choice from either menu. The waters were beautiful, but do to ell grass beach swimming was not overly pleasant. In the small roped off swimming aera I did get pictures of some spotted rays. The dive shop handled our excursions with top notch experience and recommendations. Tips, room service, and all the little what not did add up to $1100.oo when we checked out, so be warned. The fishing the diving the chocolate and the local rum make a vist worthwhile in itsself, staying some where as beautiful as Victoria House makes it just that much better.

Thank John Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2013

Our family really enjoyed our dinner at the Victoria House restaurant. We initially were seated inside, which was very nice, but we asked to move outside where the view of the landscaped grounds, pool and ocean was special. If there is a steady ocean breeze, which we had, there is no biting bugs. We started with the aforementioned lobster ceviche which was wonderful. The rest of our dinner was very good. Our only complaint was it was slow having our drinks refilled but we would definitely go back.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
1  Thank polebender
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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