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“Ok, but disappointing for the price”
Review of The Palms Resort

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The Palms Resort
Ranked #10 of 32 Hotels in South Padre Island
Certificate of Excellence
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Ok, but disappointing for the price”
Reviewed July 13, 2013

We visit South Padre Island about 3 times each year. Each visit includes a stop at the Palms Cafe. While the cafe is overpriced, the location and friendly service can't be beat. The place we usually stay wasn't available for the first night of this trip, so we thought that we would give the Palms Resort a try, expecting to have a positive experience similar to the Palms Cafe.

Checking in went smoothly enough. We were shocked to see that the cost for our two small dogs almost doubled the rate, but we blamed ourselves for not reading the pet policy more closely.

Our first impression of the room was positive. There was a nicely-sized living area with a sleeper sofa, an ottoman, a small kitchenette with a microwave and a refrigerator, and a small table and chairs. The bedroom was furnished with a queen bed, two nightstands, and a dresser. The bathroom had a spacious walk-in shower with the sink positioned outside the bathroom area. We chuckled that the resort had pinched pennies by mounting the small TV on the wall so that it could be shared between the living and bedroom areas. The room was hot, but we thought that was because the A/C had been set high in order to save money.

Once we settled in for the night, the disappointment set in. The layout of the room placed a wall between the A/C and the bedroom. Even with the A/C set low enough that the living room could serve as a refrigerator, the bedroom was still uncomfortably warm.

Once we took our shoes off, we noticed how filthy the floor was. Housekeeping apparently sweeps the floor but doesn't sufficiently clean it. We also noticed all the mildew in the shower. Finally, we realized that they hadn't stocked the room with enough soap and gave us conditioner but not shampoo.

Checking out was painless enough, but we witnessed the disturbing treatment of another potential guest. A young man was attempting to stay with his wife and two young children (ages 2 and 4). Although he tried to convince the clerk that the 2 year old child would sleep with he and his wife, they refused to allow him to stay. While we understand that hotels have occupancy policies, the way the clerk spoke to the young man really bothered us. Having worked directly with customers for many, many years, we know that there is a right and a wrong way to deliver bad news.

Could the staff use a refresher course in hospitality and attention to detail? Absolutely. Are these problems bad enough for us to rate our experience as 'poor'? No. Is this resort nice enough to deserve a premium price? Definitely not.

If the staff would polish their hospitality skills and bring their prices in line with the quality, it would be a reasonable place to stay. However, with the premium pricing, the experience was definitely out of line with our expectations.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Casual T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tmetty, Owner at The Palms Resort, responded to this review, August 2, 2013
We’re sorry we fell short of this guest’s expectations. Fortunately, we were able to speak with him following his Trip Advisor posting, so we gathered some additional information that aided us in our research. Let me address each of the concerns:

They reserved one of our most popular rooms (#216) during peak season at a rate of $185/night. They paid a pet fee of $75 for their two dogs – not even close to almost doubling the rate as their posting states. We charge a pet fee because everything in the rooms is sent out to be professionally cleaned before we can rent the room again. In addition to that expense, our housekeeping staff spends twice as much time cleaning those rooms to get them ready for the next guest. Most hotels no longer take pets, but we’re happy to offer this option to our guests and we make no apology for recovering the additional costs we incur associated with our 4-legged guests.

When a room is unoccupied, we set the a/c unit at 75 degrees to conserve energy. With an outside temperature of 85-95, most guests find this to be a comfortable temperature upon arrival. We will investigate removing a section of the wall area that divides the bedroom from the sitting area in some of our rooms. That, in addition to the large ceiling fan in all bedrooms, should allow for excellent circulation of air-conditioned air.

The tile floors are stripped, cleaned and resealed regularly. They are also thoroughly cleaned between guests. After speaking to this guest, we looked at the floor in that particular room. It had just been stripped and sealed a month earlier, but this particular floor has highly textured tile making it more challenging. We re-stripped and cleaned the floor again two weeks ago and it now sparkles! We also met with Housekeeping to review the process for cleaning these highly textured floors.

We stock all rooms with two bars of soap, a bottle of shampoo and a bottle of body lotion. That is sufficient for most of our guests, but we are always happy to provide more to any guest that asks.

We’re at a loss on the comment about how another potential guest was treated by our front desk associate. Our normal occupancy limit is 2 adults and 2 small children, so it is difficult to understand why we would turn a potential guest away that had 2 adults and 2 small children. Regardless, we have shown this posting to all front desk associates and discussed the importance of giving outstanding customer service when interacting with all guests…even if we have to deliver bad news.

We were happy to have the opportunity to speak directly with this guest about their experience, and about the steps we’ve taken to address their concerns. Naturally, we would have liked to have the opportunity to address his concerns while he was at our hotel. In the end, he was happy that we talked with him about his posting and he was pleased with the actions we took. The greatest compliment of all is that he said he would stay with us again if his travel plans bring him back to South Padre Island. We can't ask for more than that!

Thanks again for taking the time to give us your feedback.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
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English first
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed July 6, 2013

The rooms are definitely dated - kitchen and bath have been updated with granite counters, but the furniture is older with not many drawers for storage. For my husband and I it was fine, but if you have a family, more storage space would be appreciated. We found the food to be very good and the cafe is beautifully located right on the Gulf. All and all, we had a great experience and would definitely return since we liked the idea of being on the first floor, one turn to the pool and cafe and a short walk to the Gulf.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank yorkie093
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
155 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2013 via mobile

You can't beat the location and ease of getting to the beach. The hotel is small with 28 rooms and they face east and west so don't expect an amazing view of the beach. With that said, you don't need to worry about the view since you're on the beach and will get plenty of beach views. The rooms are ok, but do have some nice touches. The bed was comfortable and the room was quiet even though there was a lot of commotion in and around the hotel. There was an extra sink and a refrigerator in the room. There was also a pull out couch that slept our two kids. There's a small pool and an area to wash off after going to the beach which is convenient. One of the best things is the food at the Cafe on the property. The menu is extensive and delicious. We ate there several times and were always very pleased. The service was great and the drinks and food were great too. The only thing that was disappointing were the scrambled eggs which seemed to not be from fresh eggs but from pre-scrambled eggs. I may be wrong but I didn't like them much. Order fried eggs instead. Expect to pay more than usual for food here but its really good overall. I'd stay here again for sure.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Aron W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 3, 2013

We stayed at this motel for a week, I booked there because it was right off of the beach and pet friendly. Once I arrived and checked in they told me I couldn't leave my pets alone in the room, something they failed to tell me when I called and inquired. The rooms are very small and the couch is small and uncomfortable. I had booked a room with a queen size bed and at the last minute I brought along my niece to play with my son, they told me I would have to change to a king size bed. My niece and son would be sleeping on the sofa bed,I was told that the queen size bed rooms have a sofa sleeper that is a twin bed. I looked at some of the rooms that were not occupied and the couches looked the same size as what we had, don't know about that but was charged another $100. The cafe is a little expensive and the pool is right next to the cafe. I was at the pool with my son and niece and the cafe was busy so people were standing outside waiting for a table. Did not like that people were standing there watching people in the pool. We had gone out for a while and took my chances and left our pets in the room and just put the "do not disturb" sign, when we returned housekeeping was a few rooms down and I politely asked if they would clean my room they said they could not because I had my "do not disturb" sign on, I told them I had to leave for a while but could they please do it , I would take my dogs out for a walk, they refused. I could not believe it. When they did clean my room it was not a good clean, they swept, put fresh towels and sheets dumped the trash, the comforter still had a sand on it. There are no chairs to sit on outside your rooms and beach view is very limited and if are lucky to get the rooms at the end on the second floor you do not have chairs to sit and enjoy the view. I wish I would have gone with another place.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sylvia D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tmetty, Owner at The Palms Resort, responded to this review, July 13, 2013
Proposed response to Trip Advisor posting “Wished I would have booked elsewhere”

We’re so sorry that we disappointed this guest. We remember this family quite well because we needed to make special accommodations to park their jet skis while they were here. The reservation was made for two adults, one child, and two dogs. We were unaware of the additional child until they arrived. Had we known in advance, we would have reserved a Queen room with a full size sofa bed. We only have a few of those, but none were available when they checked in. Fortunately, we had a King room available with a full size sofa bed. We did charge an additional $25 per night for the upgraded King room, but we waived the $30 fee for the extra person in the room as a courtesy. Our rooms are larger than a standard hotel room….but I would have to agree that two adults, two pre-teen children and two dogs in one room would certainly make the room feel small.

I reviewed our confirmation email and, while it encourages our guests traveling with pets to contact us in advance, it does not specifically state that pets may not be left unattended in the room. As a result of this feedback, we will include that in our confirmation email. Most of our guests appreciate our policy regarding unattended pets. Imagine the chaos and noise of unattended dogs “communicating” with each other!

Our staff is not allowed to enter a guest room when the “Do Not Disturb” sign is on the door. In this case, the sign was on their door three out of the four days they were with us. We made several attempts to clean the room but either the dogs were loose and unattended in the room, or the “Do Not Disturb” sign was on the door. We were able to clean the room twice during their stay. The housekeeper that cleaned their room was new. She had been doing such a great job that we felt she was ready to clean unsupervised. We are sorry she didn’t clean the room as well as she should have. We know that she was concerned about being in the room with the two dogs, but that is no excuse for not doing a good job. We have discussed this with her and the other housekeepers.

I don’t understand the comment about no chairs for sitting outside. There are 4 chairs in every guest room. Many of our guests like to bring one or two chairs out on the balcony to enjoy the spectacular Gulf of Mexico view.

I’m so sorry that we disappointed this guest. We honestly made every effort to accommodate their unanticipated needs, but clearly our efforts were not good enough. But we have learned from this and will improve as a result. For that, we do appreciate this posting and we appreciate that Trip Advisor allows us to respond to this very important feedback.

Thank you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin,Tx
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2013

I've been staying at the Palms for years, overlooked the dated small rooms and thought the staff was always pleasant, and loved the place.As time went by we considered upgrading but the Palms seemed so "real" But this trip we had noise problems and an A/C that went out. The manager was so argumentative and combative I was taken aback. These problems would have been easy to remedy, She just made us feel unwelcome and a bother. I could never stay in this place again after that. The management has been in the hospitality business too long and needs a new perspective.

Room Tip: You want have much of an ocean view so it doesn't matter much
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AJOJH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tmetty, Owner at The Palms Resort, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
We work very hard to delight every guest each time they stay with us. We deeply appreciate all of our guests, and love it when they come back year after year. But every innkeeper knows that every once in a while, no matter how hard we try, we just can’t please certain guests. Such was the case with this guest. They have stayed with us several times in the past, and always request the same premium guest room – which has one of the best views of the water and is near our Cafe. We accommodated several “reschedules” by this guest, but because they have stayed with us before, we agreed to honor the discounted off-season rate, even though they would now be staying with us during our peak season.

They checked in on Wednesday for a four-night stay. On Saturday morning, they called the front desk to report that their a/c unit wasn’t working. The guest said he had “played around with it and reset the breaker” but it still wasn’t cooling. We immediately sent maintenance to the room. The guest had actually set the a/c unit to “Heat”. We reset the a/c unit and it immediately started cooling. Our Manager called to confirm it was working, and let them know if they had any more trouble with the unit we would replace it (which takes just a few minutes). About an hour later they called and said it had stopped working again. They demanded to be moved to another room. We repeated our offer to replace the unit instead of them having to pack and move their things, but they insisted on moving. We accommodated their request.

With regard to the noise, we run a quiet, laid back place on the beach. No live music and we close at 10pm every night. This guest always requests the same room…which is very close to the Café. It is one of our most popular rooms because it is on the top floor, giving one of the best beach views. We’ve never had a complaint about noise in that room, and they didn’t call the front desk to report noise…so I can’t figure out what “noise problems” they had.

I’m always sorry when things aren’t perfect for our guests. In this case, we tried very hard to please this guest as soon as we knew there was a problem. We have a 24 hour emergency telephone number posted in all guest rooms, but they never called that number. Regardless, as a courtesy, we did not charge them for the night they had trouble with the a/c unit. Clearly, one free night, the deeply discounted off-peak room rate, and the offer to replace the a/c unit wasn’t enough to delight this particular guest. We’re sorry for that, but you can bet that we’ll keep trying to delight our guests!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Island, Nebraska, United States
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2013

What a great experience for a vacation resort. On the beach, great food and the staff was AWESOME. We did not even get in the car to go anywhere. Stayed on the beach or the pool. Room rate was a good price and the view of the ocean was once again AWESOME!!!! Great resuarants were within walking distance.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Sue S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2013

I have not stayed at this hotel. But after being on the island a week and going to a different cafe each morning, this cafe was my favorite. Every cafe met my needs, and every one had courteous staff and good food. But this little waterfront cafe has outside seating, with a nice view and I loved sitting there. I would call it casual dining. I stayed for 2 hours as I write while I eat and have coffee and the staff was polite and kept bringing me fresh tasty brew. I may try and stay here next visit as the rooms look pretty nice, and it has a great location on the beach.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank paca1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Palms Resort

Property: The Palms Resort
Address: 3616 Gulf Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597-7006
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > Texas Gulf Coast > South Padre Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 On the Beach Hotel in South Padre Island
Hotel Class:1.5 star — The Palms Resort 1.5*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally located on the white sand beaches of South Padre Island, The Palms Resort is a relaxing oasis boasting beach front access, stylish, comfortable accommodations, and friendly, attentive service. Our resort offers guests the personal service of an intimate boutique hotel with the modern amenities of larger business hotels. Our award winning beachside retaurant (The Cafe on the Beach) is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Start your day with Eggs Benedict and a mimosa. End your day with steak and lobster and a fine wine. Enjoy mojitos poolside from our full service bar! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Palms Hotel South Padre Island
Palms Hotel South Padre Island
Palms South Padre Island

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