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“Third time and still Charming!!”

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Palm Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Union Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 October 2012

We stayed at Palm Island for our third time from Sept. 20-27, 2012. This resort is one of the few places that we love to return! The extra effort to get to this wonderful island is definitely worth it! Most of the other reviews give you a pretty good idea about this all inclusive resort. Here are some thoughts from our experience.

We feel it is very important to go to Palm Island for the right reasons. A fellow guest described his stay as an "exercise in stillness." If you want to shop or party stay in Barbados or Jamaica! There were only about 50 guests (max is 100). Never fight for a beach chair or a beach (just walk to the other side of the island and there won't be a soul!) The snorkeling excursions on the Pink Lady or the Yannis are great day trips.

The food is good quality with a Caribbean flair. Chef Baka is wonderful. Do not miss his cooking demonstration on Wednesdays! Kenneth at the bar will keep the drinks flowing and you laughing! Chris, the current manager, has done a great job over the past three years with attention to detail and improvements to the property. Remember, this is the Caribbean not the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills so don't expect Egyptian cotton linens or Italian marble baths but the accomodations are just fine and within steps of the ocean.

IMPORTANT PACKING TIP: Pay close attention to the weight and baggage limits for your interisland flight. We have never had our luggage weighed on the way down. However, on your return flight, the Union Island staff are very strict about weight and will charge you a $50 overweight fee at the drop of a hat.

Also, be sure to pack a few clothes and swimsuit in your carry on bags as there were several guests who's checked bags did not make it from the main flight in time and arrived on the next day's flight.

We hope to return to Palm Island again!

Room Tip: There is not a bad room!
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank gh707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 October 2012

We stayed at this beautiful resort on Palm Island in September in celebration of my “big” birthday. The resort is a first class operation. My husband and I missed our flight from Miami to Barbados due to a late flight. We were not sure what to do as we couldn’t make our connecting flight to Union Island at the designated time. We were unsure as to what we would do upon our arrival at 9 p.m. in Barbados with no hotel reservations, etc. We contacted our travel agency, whom in turn contacted Palm Island, to let them know of our dilemma.
Palm Island sprang into action. By the time we left Miami (seven hours later), Palm Island had a solution for us. When we arrived in Barbados, there was a taxi waiting for us. The taxi took us to the other side of Barbados to a private hotel owned by Palm Island. We stayed overnight, and a taxi picked us up the next morning to take us back to the airport. We were met by a Palm Island representative who helped us with questions, etc. Palm Island chartered a private jet for my husband and me to fly from Barbados to Union Island as the other scheduled flights were full. Wow! We felt like royalty. Upon our arrival in Union Island, a nice gentleman drove us in his golf cart to the Palm Island boat. From there, we were on our way to Palm Island. When we arrived, the resort manager (Chris), and various department managers met us on the dock. Very nice!
We stayed in a beachfront cottage. It was quiet and clean, with a beautiful view! We put the quilt on the bed in the nightstand as a quilt isn’t needed in that climate. There was a refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, juices, and beer. Bottled water isn’t complimentary, but you can purchase it at the small boutique. The drinking water is safe. The bed was comfortable. The room stayed at a nice temperature which felt good as it was extremely hot and humid during our visit. We heard from Chris (the manager) that it was the hottest weather on record.
We spent our days sitting on the beach, kayaking, sailing, snorkeling, walking around the island, or sitting by the pool. Very delightful! You have to be willing to relax. There isn’t much to do other than eat, sleep, read, or participate in water sports. There is internet available in two places – lobby and tv room. We went on a beautiful sunset cruise on my birthday on the Pink Lady with Keith and Thaddeus.
The chef made a special effort to make sure that my meals were cooked to my preferences. He checked on me each day to make sure that I liked my meals. My husband enjoyed all of his meals. He especially liked the Osso Bucco. I loved the lobster. Madonna is an awesome waitress who cares about her guests. The housekeeping manager was a wonderful, caring person who made sure that each guest was treated well by her staff. She was always checking on us to make sure our vacation was superb. Very kind!
The only suggestion that I would have for the resort would be that there be evening entertainment available each evening. During our stay, there were two scheduled entertainments, but only one materialized.
Thank you, Palm Island, for such a memorable birthday vacation!

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Like_T0_Travel02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2012

My husband and I just returned from our 20th Wedding Anniversary 2nd Honeymoon at Palm Island. It was perfection.

Starting with our arrival - we were met by a wonderful lady in Barbados to lead us to our flight, this is a small airport so the Palm Island Rep escorted us personally leaving us alone only to move through security. She stayed with us until our flight left. The island hopper flight on GAA went smoothly, it was a smaller plane seating only 10-12 passengers, we arrived at Union Island on time and with an exciting approach due to the wind direction, we had to move through hilly terrain to make that approach, needless to say everyone applauded when we landed:-D. A Palm Island rep was waiting for us again - we moved through security and was led to extended golf cart (sat 6 ppl) to take a 4 minute ride to the dock where we boarded the Palm Island boat. This boat was very clean and manned by very professional hotel personnel, they stored our luggage with care, provided us with chilled towels for our faces and cold bottled water. The ride is very quick - about 10-15 mins tops.

Upon arrival at the Palm Island dock we were greeted by the hotel manager Chris, a bartender with Rum Punches all around (although we noticed that couples with a honeymoon package got champagne - nice touch, we didn't select that package) and we were immediately escorted to our rooms by the reception staff members and told that we would register the next day after we were rested. The recommendation to carry a separate bag with sunscreen, bug spray and a change of clothes is a good one, however we found that our luggage was delivered within 20 mins and the room had complimentary bug spray, both room and body sprays, but more on that later.

The beach front room was exactly as pictured - we were in room 8 right up on the beach, we had our own private patio with a table two chairs with an umbrella and two chaise lounges. Immediately in front of our room on the beach were two more chaise lounges right under a palm tree. The room is definitely designed for couples, the bed and "kitchenette" are in the same room with a large bathroom adjacent. The kitchenette consisted of a bar type sink in a wooden cabinet, the same cabinet housed a mini-fridge stocked with beer, wine, sparkling water, soda (coke, coke light and some island fizzy fruit juice sodas). Bed was King size with pristine white sheets (I have seen some reviews that say the sheets were thread bare - our sheets were of high quality and very clean and crisp), the coverlet was unnecessary, as they are too heavy for the climate. While Palm Island averages in the low to mid 80's, it is very humid and a simple sheet is all that we needed to sleep comfortably. There is in-room air conditioning, controlled by remote control. There is a wardrobe available for your clothes and includes a standard hotel room safe. The bathroom is large and open in design, the toilet is not separate so if you are shy about sharing a bathroom where the toilet is visible this might be a concern for you. The shower is huge, two people could tango in there and not touch the sides, it also includes a tiled bench for shaving your legs and has high windows which adds natural light. The bathroom was stocked with shampoo, conditioner, lotion and other amenities, I liked that the bottles were larger, so they don't need to be restocked daily and you don't go through 7 bottles over 7 days.

As I mentioned before the room had a bottle of bug spray in it the first day, but definitely bring more - I accidentally packed one of my bottles in my carry on and had to throw it away at security so it was a relief to see a full size bottle of spray provided. Use bug spray at all times - this is a tiny desert island that naturally has mosquitoes and sand flies, if you use the spray you will not get any bites. In fact, I got more bites on our overnight return trip through Barbados then I did through the entire stay at Palm Island.

The bar was just a quick walk away and was always easy to stop by and get a cold drink, all of the service personnel were very friendly and very professional. Whatever you want - they will make it for you, whatever time of the day. The bar did close down eventually each night - but I am not sure of the actual hours - it was around midnight or so.

So - to cover the typical guest. My husband and I are in our mid forties, we met many couples - about half were newly weds and in their 20s, the other half were older married couples in their 40s and 50's, there were two families with teenage kids, and a handful of senior couples. We met a couple from Italy who had been married for 40 yrs! While the booze is free flowing from morning til close - this is not a huge night life kind of place. Two nights a DJ was brought in for dancing and some impromptu singing from a few of the staff, another night a steel drum band was the guest, but the other nights it was just the guests hanging at the bar and getting to know each other. Speaking of which, our first night we noticed that a lot of the guests seemed to know each other, were talking about what they had experienced together that day, we thought wow, there must be a large group here together this week! But it turns out that in a place like Palm Island - it is so cozy and comfortable that you end up knowing the other guests and talking with them like old friends within just a few hours. So this place very social - we met two couples that we ended up on the same excursions with over the week. It was nice to have other folks to talk to, hear about what they had done already and get tips on what to do next.

The restaurant is just a few more yards down the path - the food was good. First I have to say that I read a lot of comments about the quantity of food provided. Let me just say this - I am not known for being afraid of a knife and fork, far from it. I was never hungry and never felt like I didn't get enough food. First, there is breakfast, before you know it it is time for lunch, then there is afternoon tea, then there are appetizers in the bar, then it is dinner time. Each meal is served al a carte, so you can select as much or as little as you want from the menu. For breakfast there is a breakfast bar which consists of fresh fruit, breads, pastries, cold cuts and cheeses and usually a hot item like oatmeal or fried plantains. You can also order hot breakfast items like eggs and breakfast meats from the menu. I really liked the Palm Island Eggs Benedict - it was amazing and HUGE. For lunch there was usually green salad and marinated vegetable or rice/pasta salads in the self serve bar and then many choices from fish tacos to sandwiches on the menu. The tea was exactly as you expect - finger sandwiches, biscotti, cookies, crackers and cheeses and coffee and tea. The appetizers in the bar were self serve as well, wings one night, sausage balls the next, it changed every night. For dinner - I recommend that you order an appetizer(really an "amuse-bouche" - a one or two biter), a salad and/or soup, an entree and the dessert. Breads with butter and palate cleansers are served throughout the meal. Like I said before, I can't imagine how anyone would go hungry at Palm Island. The servers are locals - they are very professional and respectful during service. I have eaten in many 4 or 5 star restaurants and not received as polite or as friendly service as I did at Palm Island. The food is based upon many local fruits, vegetables and seafood. It was all very tasty! One of the activities that you can sign up for is the Cooking Class with Chef Baka - I highly recommend it! Chef Baka is a big guy with a big heart - he is a little soft spoken but once you start calling him out during the days and talking to him about the food - he is all smiles and a good contact. Chef Baka even cooked a fish that one of the teenage boys caught off the dock! Very cool.

Regarding the dress code - they do this to keep dinner a nice affair - it was not difficult to dress for dinner. My husband wore bermuda type shorts, sandals and collared "hawaiian" shirts, I wore dress capris or a gauzy skirt, heeled sandals and dressy tops, some with sleeves, some without. They just don't want you showing up in sandy flip flops and wet bathing suits for dinner - you could say "who would do that?" but in that perfect balmy weather - you really are on the beach swimming or in the pool all day. If they didn't ask for a dress code I know I would have been tempted to not change before dinner! Breakfast and lunch are open season for coverups and flip flops so go crazy!

The Fauna - The island has a huge population of Iguanas, a few of which know exactly what time lunch is, we spent several lunches tossing veggies and bread crusts to George the Iguana. While walking across the property you will see or sometimes just hear many iguanas scampering across the lawns. One of the hiking trails is called Iguana Trail - we saw several iguanas in the trees but we also saw tons of Hermit crabs - from every size from a pencil eraser to a grapefruit. the floor of the forest was teeming with them - the guys were a having a field day picking them up and checking out their varied colors and shell types! there is also a Tortoise sanctuary and tons of birds - we had to download a Birds of the West Indies book (gotta love my Kindle!) to identify the birds - the "Scaley Naped Pigeon" was our favorite - it looked more like a dusky Ring Necked Pheasant then a pigeon!

Some of the excursions/activities - we did the catamaran snorkeling tour to Tabago Bay with Capt Yannis and had a wonderful time swimming with the sea turtles, it is a catered tour with lunch and drinks provided. Lots of fun! We also ate under the "Heart" which is a lighted fiddle fig shrub (see the pictures) you get a private dinner with your own server and champagne. It was very nice - but a little close to the bar...I recommend bring your own snorkel gear - we didn't have anything so I ordered two $25 sets off of Amazon before the trip - the exact same set was available in the gift shop for $70 USD. They also have a few bikes if you would prefer to tour the island on bikes - we walked everywhere. It only takes about 10-15mins to walk across the island, so bikes would have made it too fast. There is a library filled with books - I think this has grown from other guests forgetting books - I had finished own on the way down so left it and took a book I was delighted to find. There are also some magazines and board games in addition to pool tables, table tennis, real tennis courts, a shuffle board and just plain relaxing on the beach, snorkeling in front of our room, pina coladas and rum punches galore! Basically paradise.

Listen - if you are a GO GO GO kind of vacationer (you know who you are), looking for the next thing to race off to - barely noticing the scenery or the people - this place is not for you. But if you would love to swim in crystal clear water and wiggle your toes in white sands and just plain enjoy not knowing what time it is - then Palm Island is perfect. I hope you go and say hi to the great folks there and have a wonderful peaceful blissful beach holiday.

Room Tip: definitely go for the beach front room
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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18  Thank SnohoGal98296
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2012

Probably the most relaxing holiday we've had. Sunshine, white sand, crystal clear turquoise waters and not too crowded as only 49 apartments on the resort. Clean, comfortable and spacious rooms with all that you need for a lovely stay. The food was excellent and the staff really helpful and friendly. If you like wildlife the resort has lots of birds and beautiful iguanas to see. Bicycles are available for exploring the island and several hobbycats if you like to sail. We took a trip on the schooner 'Pink Lady' to Tobago Cays to snorkle with the turtles - had an amazing time. Other trips available.

Mostly honeymooners and older couples when we were there but would recommend to anyone, unless you want lots of nightlife - be warned, this is a chill out holiday. The bar is open early till late and well patronised so both drinks and good company on tap. All in all a lovely holiday.

Room Tip: We had the basic Palm View room which was lovely. The Ocean View rooms are the same standard but obv...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank AnnEGrigg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2012

We just got back from Palm Island, we went for our 20th anniversary 9/13-9/20. We had never been here before, and never known anyone who had. We booked it based on the weather for this time of year, and also from the photos on their website.

Here's what you need to know if you are considering a vacation here: It's quiet. If you are by nature a picky person, don't bother. If you would like to completely disconnect from your life and reconnect with the one you love, it's perfect. You will meet people and actually have interesting conversations with them.

It's quiet - The loudest sound is the laughter at the bar at night. There are no cars, so you don't hear motors. The boat motors and the twice daily arrival of the plane at Union are about the loudest noises around. When I came home to DC, I really noticed for the first time how much noise we live with on a continual basis.

If you're picky, don't bother - This resort is wonderful. The food is a blend of island, european, and american styles. I ate goat meat for the first time here, and it was delicious. They had several offerings at every meal with a variety of tastes, and the Chef Bakka clearly loves his work and personally interacts with many of the guests. However, the meals are moderately proportioned - you can ask for as many servings as you'd like if you have a bigger appetite. We ate 3 meals a day, no snacking, and we were perfectly satisfied. The drinks are also what you would expect from an all-inclusive. If you can only drink one brand of this or that, then they may not have it. Beer was local, Vodka was Absolut, and Scotch was Johnny Walker. We were never disappointed at the bar- Kevin is a friendly, fun bartender who works hard to keep everyone happy. We stayed in a beach front room. It was air conditioned, the bed was comfortable and there was enough room for the 2 of us. The bathroom is separated by louvered doors, so don't expect too much privacy between the bath and bedroom, We always had fresh towels, and while the furnishings weren't over-the-top, they were comfortable and clean every day. They provided spray for mosquitos in the room and also OFF to spray on yourself as needed. Windows have wooden blinds that provide almost complete darkness, which is good because the sun rises early. Every night, the turn down service provides a note card with a printed quote from literature or poetry - a very nice touch.

Disconnect and reconnect - Wifi is available in two places, the reception area and the library. It is not available at the beach, the restaurants, your room, or the bar. In this world, everyone seems to be staring at the phone in their hands, and this does not happen here. Each morning and evening, we would go to the wi-fi areas, do a quick check in on our email and the internet, then put our phones back in our room and carry on with vacationing. Not using phones meant that everyone actually meets each other, gets to know each other a bit, and engages in interesting and fun conversation. By the end of our trip, we had gotten to know people from all over Europe and the US, as well as those that work there. Also, without the constant distractions from back home, we were able to reconnect and enjoy each others' company.

Let me finish by saying our daily lives at home are full of activity, we live at a very fast pace, and we usually vacation with a lot of activity as well. This was a refreshing break from the world. The scenery is stunning, the weather is perfect, and the people who live and work there are genuinely kind and welcoming. I felt like I was invited into their world and truly welcomed. The employees are all naturally friendly, and treat each guest on a personal level. I'm amazed at their ability to remember the names of a constantly changing guest list. We will return to Palm Island in the future. It's 15 hours of travel for us, but the destination is completely worth the travel day.

Room Tip: beach front rooms are worth the upgrade.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank shocktraumanurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2012

lovely island but !!! we stayed here from the 6th june for 2wks left writing the review on purpose as we did have problems on the last day so did not want that episode clouding my view of the island, yes the island is lovely and quiet and the sea warm not too good for snorkling but nice, the sand flies were awful and we were covered in bites every day that we lay on the beach,the bar service good but you never got a slice of lime or lemon in your drinks they just did not have any the food was good some days nots so good others along with the service one meal you could wait 1/2 hour next meal you were served your meal before you had finished your starter, the rooms all have great locations but they are getting a bit shabby the sheets and towels were so threadbare they were like netting the bed was comfy thou maintinence needs loking at as one of the windows was broke and the lock on the door was dodgy the rooms were in need of a good spring clean including windows and shutters my husband and I wrote our names and date on the 1st day we got there in the dust, they were still there when we came home, now on the last day they decided to change our flight from union island to an earlier flight we were not happy about this as it meant 8 plus hours waiting in Barbados then they sent a smaller plane and our luggage did not fit on but we were promised they would follow on the next flight well you can guess we got to barbados airport and they would only let us check in 2 hours before boarding when I told that we had checked on line they agreed to let us in ( be warned check in on line before going to the airport) other wise you will be left standing in the street, when we got to gatwick a life time later to try and sort out our bags coming on an other flight that again is challenging and you do get the runaround 3 hours after landing and a very large taxi bill as he was kept waiting at the airport we left for home, bags turned up 8 days later battered and bruised after a lot of phone calls, would I go back to the Palm island resort no I dont think so as lovely as it is its only a over priced 3 star resort may be if they charged 3 star prices I might be tempted

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank lynn m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2012

The most relaxing place we have ever stayed. This resort has all that we could ever want. The staff were by helpful and friendly; the surroundings were superb; the rooms were very spacious; the food was great; the swimming pool was lovely; the beach quiet and welcoming and the palm covered island a wonderful haven. We never tired of seeing the iguanas wandering the grounds. We also saw land turtles and, the highlight of the holiday, we helped release turtle hatchlings into the sea.
The only slight drawback you might find is that there seemed to be plenty of 'mozzies' about. Having said that, the rooms had very effective mosquito deterrent for you to use so they didn't cause us a problem.
If you want an action packed holiday full of bright lights and action - then don't go here, leave it to those of us who enjoy a quiet week of luxury with lazy days and perhaps a few watersports .

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Judith R
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:
Region: Caribbean > St. Vincent and the Grenadines > Union Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: £406 - £1,404 (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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