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Palm Island Resort & Spa
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Reviewed 7 January 2014

After reading thousand of reviews about a hundred different places we finally selected Palm Island as a place for our Wedding Ceremony and honeymoon. As Palm Island is the First Class place, of course, we expected the good service, but everything exceeded our high expectations: island is quite, very clean, perfect climate, excellent food, fabulous service and much more. What we really liked a lot comparing to another high-quality places is high attention to details (even some minor things): good wine/champagne from France, natural quality soap in the bath, room was cleaned really well twice a day and etc... Everybody is always very friendly, you always receive nice smiles. Probably smiles - it is not exact description. We had a feeling like everybody loves us :) Our wedding ceremony was organized ideally (again with attention even to small details) and whole honeymoon was perfect.
Also I want to add, that there is a beverage service on the beach. Base on other reviews we didn't expect that. A couple of times per day somebody from staff asked everybody on the beach what do they want to drink and brought that.
We will definitely come back. Thank you for such perfect vacation and keep doing a great job. Special thanks to Cecelia, Anthony, Cordelia and Horace.

Room Tip: Any room is good
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Victor M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2014

My husband and I were there for 16 fabulous days! We could have stayed a month! Cordelia, thank you for getting us the loft we requested. It was perfect!
Not enough can be said about the staff and management. I think that many resorts could learn from this group about the definition of team work....from the restaurant and kitchen staff to the bar staff, housekeeping staff, grounds crew, engineers, etc, everyone worked as a unit, covering for each other if need be, said good morning or waved and asked about our day even though they worked so hard in that heat and with the long working day. Thank you all so much for making our stay such that we are already checking our calendar for a return trip next year.We have traveled extensively and we are constantly on a perpetual search for the perfect getaway, small and private and so welcoming. This is Palm Island!
The weekly cricket match is ingenious in that it gave us a chance to meet and mingle with other guests and most importantly, employees that worked behind the scenes (kitchen, groundskeepers, engineers, housekeeping staff etc. ) that we did not necessarily come into contact with often. What a wonderful way to connect and What fun to watch the staff interact with each other and joust, not to mention what athletic skill they had. We got a kick out of listening to the staff speak to each other in their respective dialects as they come from different islands in some cases.
My husband pulled a hamstring at the beginning of the game and for the remaining 5 days of our stay, the staff could not do enough for him. We have to thank Kendall for getting ice and a chair and Anthony for running to his room to get his personal heat rub (Which he gave us )and he took it upon himself to massage my husband's leg, then he and Jean-Pierre carried him to our loft. Such care! Then Sandrina who chauffeured us to and fro for meals and any other place we needed to be. The resort also offered a daily complimentary massage to the affected area which made my husband's recovery so much better. Thanks to Veronica, the massage therapist on staff. Veronica even got us some crutches within the first hour of the incident. Cecilia, a special thank you for contacting her doctor in St-Vincent to get some pain killers and muscle relaxers the very next day so that my husband could function until Monica and Veronica could set up an appointment with a doctor on Union Island a couple of days later. Everyone worked tirelessly to make it happen.
Then, came the time to change our flights etc. as my husband was in too much pain to travel. Monica to the rescue! She contacted our travel agent and made it easy to get all the changes made.More thanks to Sandrina for ordering a cane from a contact in St-Vincent and ensuring that we got it just moment before leaving for Union.
Now, back to the fun we had! Daily morning walk and hikes on the 3 trails that lead to incredible views. Bring a camera at all times! Iguanas greeted us wherever we went as they were basking in the sun. Quite majestic! Hermit crabs to be seen, especially on the Lookout Trail. Went on a bike tour with Horace, general manager, where we learnt quite a bit about the history of the island and the inner workings of the resort. We would definitely recommend this. Thanks Horace!
Swimming in this idyllic spot was like being in heaven. Then, we were fortunate enough to partake in the release of over a hundred baby turtles! We missed the hatching, but how thrilling it was to see them run down the beach and swim to the sea. Probably a once in a lifetime event for us. The following day, we went on an excursion to the Tobago Cays to snorkel and swim with the turtles at the turtle sanctuary. Don't forget your underwater camera.....what an experience!
Not a dull moment on this island. We had a difficult time staying up (but Johnny and Kendall, bartenders helped with some good drinks )to watch the crab races which began at 9:30pm, but it was well worth it! What a hoot!
One of the evenings, we were entertained by Grafton and Kevin singing. Bravo! We'll be asking for an encore next year.
All in all, we cannot thank you enough, especially Anthony who seemed to be everywhere at anytime to make everything special and fun!

Denise and Neil Tilmont

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank denise T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2014

The Palm Island Resort may not be for everyone but it certainly exceeded all of our expectations.
We visit the Caribbean often and seldom stay in the same place twice (we enjoy exploring new places) but we will make an exception for the Palm Island Resort. We enjoy small intimate places where we can relax and enjoy the sun, sand and ocean. Palm Island Resort sits on its own tiny Island (135 acres) and only has 40 rooms so even when it is full it seems very private.

Getting there – Traveling to Palm Island is not for people in a hurry. We flew from JFK to Barbados where we caught a flight to Union Island and then a short boat trip to Palm Island. This is the typical journey to the resort. We were delayed for a day in Barbados due to a horrific storm on Christmas Eve that flooded the airport in Union Island. We were greeted in Barbados by a representative from Palm Island (Janice) who could not have been more helpful. She booked into the Barbados Club for the evening (at their cost) and called us with the next day’s flight arrangements.

The rooms – Many are oceanfront (ours was) but very few have any beachfront. That said it was only about a 3-minute walk along the ocean to the beach. The rooms are large and well appointed with a very large bathroom with a walk-in shower. Our room had a patio with lounge chairs and a table in front of the unit. Our “front yard” was sand and palm trees with 2 lounges to sit on. The rooms have refrigerators stocked with cold beverages (alcoholic and non alcoholic) replenished daily and complimentary. Also a coffee maker in room with ample supplies.

The main beach – The sand is white and pristine with no seaweed anywhere. The staff takes care to rake and sweep every day. The water is very blue and warm. We arrived just after a storm so the water was churned up a bit. Snorkeling on the main beach was average at best. Beach towels are plentiful and the chairs at the beach are arranged under thatched umbrellas. The staff will move chairs for you and they will offer drinks on the beach and since it is all-inclusive they don’t have their hand out each and every time they help you.

The other beaches – There are a few private residences on the Island in addition to the resort but you can still explore all of the other beaches on the Island. The other beaches are virtually private since we never saw anyone else on them. The snorkeling was not great on the other beaches (due to the storm and the churn) and the water is rougher than the main beach due to the exposure. There is plenty of snorkel gear available for use.

Water sports – The Resort provides complimentary HobieCat boats that you have to reserve ahead of time. You can make unlimited use of stand up paddleboards, kayaks and snorkeling equipment. Cornelius was the person manning the water sports desk and he was very helpful. There are plenty of sailing and snorkeling excursions to choose (extra cost) from and Palm Island’s dock makes it easy for pick up right at the front of the resort. We took a sunset cruise on a large catamaran ($90pp) and we had a wonderful 2-hour cruise with 2 other guests. The champagne and appetizers were quite good.

The food – The Resort is all-inclusive and the food was generally very good and the ala carte options are the best for the breakfast lunch and dinner. We prefer meals that are not buffets. That said the Grilled lobster and BBQ buffet one evening was excellent while the Caribbean buffet was not that inspiring. There is always the option for ala cart dining for dinner at the Sunset Grill on buffet nights that is a welcome alternative and not always available at other resorts.

Staff and Service - Like most places in the Caribbean service at the Palm Island Resort tended to be on “island time” (meaning you can wait a fair amount of time at the restaurant before being served). This was certainly the case at the Royal Palm Restaurant especially for breakfast. The Sunset Grill for lunch was much more efficient. The Sunset Grill is a smaller venue and the varied menu makes it a very nice alternative to the larger Royal Palm.

The staff couldn’t be nicer or more helpful. This was true throughout the resort. We find most places in the Caribbean have an 80 - 20 rule regarding staff. 80% of the staff tends to be very outgoing and friendly and the other 20% tend to be less so. The staff at the Palm Island Resort was universally outgoing and friendly. This is probably the one feature that sets if apart from some of the other resorts. Everyone we came in contact with was helpful and pleasant. The first person we spoke with after Janice was Cecelia (the front of the house manager) who worked very hard to make sure that our stay was not affected by the storm delay. Upon arrival many of the staff including Horace (the new General Manager) were at the dock to greet us. Of note were the bartenders Luke (ask for the Luke special), Johnny and the Doctor (people call him the doctor because you always feel better after spending some time with him). Also Margaret, Madonna, Elcene, Kevin (who also sings – sort of), Cordelia and the very tall assistant manager Anthony were all very warm and friendly. Anthony is a true superstar. There isn’t anything he can’t do at the resort. On New Year’s Eve the staff at the Sunset Grill got over whelmed because everyone showed up at once. Anthony was there in a heartbeat – taking orders, delivering drinks and cleaning tables. Shortly afterward Horace, Cecelia and the Doctor showed up from the pool party to get the situation under control. Each of them went out of their way to learn our names and make sure that our stay was excellent.

The Leisure Complex – It is made up of the Spa, the room they call a gym, a TV/Internet room and a library.

The Spa – The Spa is small with only 1-2 therapists on duty while were there. That said they do have a fairly extensive menu of treatments. We recommend that you book your reservations as early as you can. You can do this prior to arriving at the resort. We had a couples massage and later in the week my wife had a second massage. Both were excellent.

The TV /Internet room –This is the best place to get on to a wireless network. They have a computer for the guests use but it is very slow. A flat screen TV is available in the same location and there is also a mini bar and coffee maker it the room. There is an extensive library of books that guests have left and a pool table and outdoor ping-pong table to pass the time when the weather is not so nice or you just want to get out of the sun. The only odd thing about the leisure complex is that is away from the rest of the resort and there is no bathroom anywhere around it or the pool.

The gym (ok a room with scant, very old mismatched and missing equipment they call a gym) – This is easily the worst feature of the resort. The cardio machines are adequate at best but some of the dumbbells are missing. There is a bench press but many of the weights don’t fit on the bar. There is nothing else in the “gym”. They should either use the room for something else (maybe expand the spa or a bathroom!) or invest in better equipment. They really should not advertise that they have a gym at all. The tennis court is very nice but the availability of equipment is limited. There is a nice looking shuffleboard court but no one seems to know why there isn’t any equipment for it.

The 3 areas that we think could be improved are: the gym (or the room they call the gym), a bathroom facility close to the leisure complex and the swimming pool and they should have someone man the front desk full time. Too often there were people looking for someone to ask a question or to make a reservation with no one there. Sometimes they have the person in the boutique working the front desk at the same time they are managing the boutique. Like all islands in the Caribbean there are misquotes and small flies. The resort provides lots of spray but if you are partial to your one brand be sure to bring some. We also bring small flashlights to guide us at night. The Palm Island Resort provides a large flashlight in the room but we prefer something that is pocket size

While no resort can be all things to everyone, we found the Palm Island Resort overall to be a wonderful experience. We enjoyed it more than their sister resort Galley Bay on Antigua (especially regarding the friendliness of the staff), which is also very good. If you are considering a small all-inclusive resort with a wonderful staff, white beaches and warm blue water the Palm Island Resort certainly fits the bill. We think we will break with tradition and make reservations for next year.

Room Tip: If you want and ocean front room close to the beach room 7 is the closest oceanfront closest to the beach. As the numbers go up it is farther from the beach but more secluded. We were in room 15 and it was only about a 3 minute walk to the main beach
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Brianccc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2013

We stayed at Palm Island in early December. We stayed in a Palm View room.

On arrival at Barbados airport we were met by a Palm Island representative and she directed us to through the process for the flight to union Island and the team there collected our cases and we saw them again at Union Island. Recommend you take a photo of your cases to help them retrieve them. Remember to take an overnight bag with essentials for the first night and swimwear for the first day just in case your cases don’t make the Union Island flight as they have to leave on time so they can land before dark at Union Island.

Location
The Island is privately owned by the Hotel group with beautiful beaches and grounds. All the beaches, grounds and buildings were very well kept. All beaches had sun loungers, tables/benches and hammocks and it was easy to find your own private spot if that is what you wanted.

Staff
On arrival at the island you are greeted by the Manager and some of the staff with a cocktail and taken to your room, all the staff were courteous, friendly and very professional. Some of the best staff we have ever come across on our holidays.

Food and Drink
Very nice food, every meal we had we thoroughly enjoyed. The drinks were great and our favourite was the Banana Colada made with fresh bananas.

Rooms
The rooms are spacious, comfortable and kept very clean. Very large and comfortable bed, we stayed in a Palm view room which was fine, wished we had booked a beachfront room and will do next time.

Summary
A great place to chill out, enjoy the peace and quiet. Entertainment is very low key and we met some great couples during our stay. One of the best holidays we have ever had and are now looking to book for next year. Horace the General Manager and his fantastic team make your holiday special.

Room Tip: All rooms are good, when we go back again we will book a beach front room.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank LYNDA1502
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2013

Palm Island as good as ever. This was our second trip and it was just like going home. We were greeted on arrival by the welcome party with a cool refreshing drink and shown to our room. The room was on the beach, was clean and very comfortable. There was a bottle of champagne and fresh fruit waiting for us, which was a lovely gesture.
The staff are fantastic, they seem to know each guest individually by name and are always very helpful and friendly. Especially Grafton the restaurant manager, Keith the barman-who was always more than happy to keep the bar open until we retired for the night and the girls in th office Cordelia, Madonna and Keisha,who managed to change our flight arrangements at the last minute.
On Palm you can do as little or as much as you like, take the opportunity to take a bike ride around the island for some beautiful views, a swim in the pool, at times we were the only people by the pool. We particulary enjoyed the inaugral Palm Island cricket match, which took place between the guest and staff, the atmosphere was something else and it did help that we were on the winning team 'The Royals'. If you just want to relax and unwind this is the place to be.
The food was amazing, lots of fresh fish, lobster,steak, something for everyone. The Sunset beachfront restaurant was brilliant for casual lunches and the food was fab and the view terrific.
I could go on forever, singing the praises of Palm Island but I guess the best way to find out is to take a trip there yourself!
Palm Island a little piece of heaven on earth. Thank you everyone for making our holiday so special.

Room Tip: Beach front rooms fantastic view of the beach and over to Union Island
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Sandra H
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 reviewResponded 30 December 2013

Dear Sandra H,

Thank you so very much for your wonderful comments about your recent Stay at Palm Island. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing our guests had a fun-filled memorable vacation at the resort.

We are glad we could we could welcome you for your second visit and hope to host you very soon once again for many more visits!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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