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Palm Island Resort & Spa
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Reviewed 23 August 2010

What lovely place to go !!! It was really great... the staff were very nice .... the rooms were comfy and clean ... we had everything we needed !!!!!! This is the ideal holiday for anyone who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life !!!! Just turn up and RELAX.... thats all you have to do .....bring a cpl of books..... catch a tan ..... meet some lovey people..... have a few drinks and coctails and enjoy the local food. PING is cool .. thanks to Chris and all the Staff we had a FAB time will will be coming back xxx Room 6 xxxx

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank nathippo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2010

We travelled to Palm for our honeymoon at the middle of July. We have travelled to a number of the other Elite Island Resort's over the last few years and discovered Palm Island on our trip to Galley Bay, Antigua last year. After hearing about the island we though this would be the perfect place to go on our honeymoon.
The journey is long so you have to be prepared for this when you start. We booked through Virgin Holidays and flew to Barbados where we were met by the Palm Rep. This was great as we were ushered through to the Transit area where we described our cases and waited for the long 3 hours before the next flight. This is frustrating because we were told our flight would take off at a certain time and it didnt, at this point you are tired and just anxious to get to your final destination. We were slightly unlucky in that it was pouring with rain for most of the journey which made the flight a little bumpy. We stopped at St Vincent after 45 mins which I believe they do every time now, pick up some passengers and then fly for a further 20 mins to Union Island. When we tried to land the rain was awful and the pilot missed the runway so had to go round again, which at the same was somewhat scary, although my husband loved it. Especially as some other travellers on the plane started shouting at the pilot. I think this was made worse because we were sat right behind the pilots and so could see every control possible. Once landed we were into the small customs building at Union where we were quizzed over what items we had in our bags. After convincing the customs officer that all we had was swimsuits and other similar clothes we were aloud to leave. Here we were met by the smallish golf cart that takes you on the 5 min ride to the boat. By this time the rain had stopped and on the boat over the water where we were met at the Palm dock by the Manager and a stiff drink.
We had a Palm View room which was large and seemed to have everything we needed, except of course for any good amount of light, agree 100% with the comment on the full length mirror. The bathroom was again large and had everyhting we needed, except the power of the hairdryer, rubbish!
We liked the fridge stocked with drinks which is filled up free of charge each day.
The restaurants and bars are fab, they have all the standard drinks you would expect and the staff will mix any cocktail you like, our fave was the Coco Cream Pie, and of course the champagne.
We were really impressed with the food, breakfast can be as big/little as you want, lunch - if you want a small salad/sandwich there is plenty to chose from, or if you want all 3 courses the choice is yours. We really enjoyed dinner, 5 courses if you can handle it, with a varied menu, didnt once see the same dish repeated which is very unusual indeed. Even the buffets had a good choice, and these werent too regular either as they can sometimes creep up every few days in other resorts.
We did the trip on the "Pink Lady" to the Tobago Cays and had a fantastic time. The boat holds a max of 6 people but we were lucky enough to have the boat to ourselves which made it even more special. Swimming with the turtles was an experience we will never forget, neither will pulling myself back onto the dingy each time, a good workout for sure.
We found the island sheer paradise. We tried to walk round the whole thing at least once a day. There was so much wildlife to see, you would literally see something everywhere you looked. The iguanas were just amazing to see striding around the island, apparently this is the only place where they are not hunted so they must enjoy the freedom.
The nature trail with Tash was fantastic and def worth the walk up to the top of Cactus Hill for the views you experience. I would also say the same for the Iguana Trail, a bit of a trek to the top but great for some pictures.
The staff were simply exceptional. I couldnt name everyone that we thought was great as the list would be just too long, but a mention has to go to Cleon, Grafton and Anthony. Johnny who worked the bar always had our drink ready before we even sat down which my husband loved and blamed a few hangovers on! The fact they know your names from day 1 really goes a long way.
The beaches are again lovely, but the drops into the ocean are a challenge. We sat round the pool occasionally which was nice, especially as we had it to ourselves a lot of the time.
We also did the "dinner on the heart" experience which I would say you have to do and the picnic lunch (even though it started to rain just as our picnic arrived!)
The entertainment is good when its available which isnt much and there are always plenty of people to talk to around the bar area.
We would love one day to go back to this island in the future, and I simply fell in love with the Grenadines. You really have to visit the island to sample the beauty it has.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank dannii_chelsea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2010

There are a lot of good things to say about this property (and I travel a lot, so lots to compare) but there are also some issues worth noting.

Location - it's beautiful, beach is white, clean and pretty. The water is warm, clear and lovely. But it's hard to get to and very isolated. Once you are there, you are pretty much stuck. So if you are a traveler who likes a little shopping, a town, something cultural, various activities, this is NOT the place. If you truly just want to read and sit on the beach, it's perfect for you. Like any trip, know who you are when selecting a resort.

Nature -- lots of birds, iguanas, etc. But also important to note that the birds are a huge problem in the restaurant. We had many instances in a week where the back of the chairs have bird poop and of course you don't notice it until it's on your clothes. And the birds are very aggressive about stealing food, especially at breakfast. They will drink from your water glass, steal your toast, etc while you are still at the table. The biggest issue is there is NO air conditioned restaurant. So you are hot, bitten by mosquitos and swatting birds. Seriously - this is a daily ritual during meals. If the palm restaurant was glass enclosed and air conditioned, it would have made the visit so much better.

Speaking of mosquitos, the staff does a great job of reminding you when you arrive that bug spray is in your room, there are mosquitos, use the spray. After two days I quit using any perfume as everyone smells like bug spray all the time. I still left with over 100 bites after a one week stay. They do have netting on the beds, which is helpful but not 100%.

Rooms are nice, clean and useful. The tile floor is cool, the air conditioning is fine, bathroom is spacious. They are fine. But they are not luxury. If you want a 'heavenly' type bed, high thread count sheets, towels that match or are fluffy - again this is not the place. The sheets, towels, beds are fine, but they are not new and not luxury.

Staff - staff is outstanding. Chris the manager truly cares and does his best to ensure that everyone has a good experience. Madonna, Anthony, etc are all great. The staff will call you by name, smile, and truly be helpful. You couldn't ask for better staff service.

Food - is fine. It's not gourmet, though it really wants to be. The amuse bouche starters, the often nice presentation and the cleansing sorbet are nice. The menu is varied and there is something for everyone. It's fine. The food quality is not gourmet but then again, it's a long way from a city and hard to get really good supplies.

Overall - it's a great value if you match the style. The price is good for all included and it's very pretty. If you are truly no TV, no activities, just beach and room, this is a great choice.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank dottie dog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2010

Having read a couple of negative reviews before we travelled I had some concerns but did not share them with my wife and teenage son beforehand. I need not have worried! This despite the absence of any other "families" at the resort and the departure of Chris, the manager, on day 1 of our stay, for his own vacation.

We arrived at Barbados on time and were diverted from the main route to the terminal building to a transit area by a rep holding a Palm Island sign. It was explained that we didn't have to worry about our luggage; we were asked to describe it and it was duly identified and transferred to our onward flight. We then had 2 hours to kill at Barbados airport before the flight down to Union Island. These are scheduled flights though so it's just as well there is bit of leeway in case of delays. Having arrived at Union you are collected by a buggy that take you the short distance to the harbour. It's then just a 10-15 minute boat ride across to Palm. The staff really look after you well on this part of the trip which is just as well at around 5pm local time, 10 pm in the UK! On arrival at Palm we were met by Chris and some very attentive members of his team who gave us some welcome drinks and escorted us straight to our room. We stayed in one of the standard Palm View rooms which was about a minute's walk from the main restaurant and bar and also had a sea view!! Hadn't expected that. The room was spacious with a lovely bathroom and walk- in shower. Air conditioning was perfect; effective, not noisy, in our experience nothing to worry about. Past complaints about this would seem to have been addressed. One complaint about the room as previously noted by others; it was gloomy. Chris, who was returning from his holiday as we were leaving asked if there's anything that could be improved on. So Chris, my wife recommends a bright light or two and a mirror in the room!

There are two restaurants, the Royal Palm and the Sunset. Both have extensive set menus for lunch and also offer specials at lunchtime, typically a soup or other starter, a fish course and a local course, usually meat. The fixed menus offer plenty of choice and not just local fare. For example, the Sunset offers Tortellini and/or pizzas to die for. We noticed a lot of Italian couples at the resort so there is a discerning clientele! We got into a routine of eating lunch at the Sunset and evening meals at the Royal Palm, which apart from buffet/barbecue night on Saturdays offers a la carte dining. Five courses, have as much or as little as you like. On the a la carte we never saw the same menu or the same dish twice! We like our food and this was as good as anything we've experienced in the Caribbean on all of the main islands. We cannot compliment the chefs too highly. Against this high standard the buffets were a slight disappointment, but even then there was always some beautifully cooked fish or meat to enjoy. If you enjoy cooked breakfast it will be cooked for you in the kitchen. It was always impeccably cooked and served and in our experience, no hanging about.

The beach is outstanding; it shelves quite steeply so not ideal for young children but the swimming pool doesn't exceed 4 feet in depth at any point. We preferred the beach and there is plenty of space. The bar staff bring cold drinks onto the beach but it's not far to walk if you can't wait. The bar area is a delight at any time, but especially if you enjoy a pre- lunch/dinner aperitif!

If this doesn't sound good enough, final praise is reserved for the staff. Although Chris was away, his role was taken on by Marsha (phonetic!) from St. James's Club, Antigua, an experienced manager with previous management experience at Palm Island. The staff, without exception, fall over backwards for you. Management in the restaurants ( Grafton and Noreen while we were there) was first rate. Service in the restaurants and bars was friendly, prompt and nothing was too much trouble. It would be invidious to name names for fear of leaving somebody out.

Don't go to Palm for great entertainment; a singer and a steel band come in on separate nights once a week but you can hear better in other parts of the West Indies. This said, some of the staff are very talented singers! But these were one off occasions which didn't get in the way of their main role.

If you are into water sports it could be a bit disappointing. The water sports staff are not high profile; this didn't bother us greatly but our son would have appreciated some more. Another point for improvement Chris.

Excursions; if you've come this far Tobago Cays is a must and of course is more cost effective travelling from Palm than St. Lucia, Grenada (both of which we'd done before) or Barbados..talking to someone on the flight back he said that a family of four had been quoted $1500 for the trip from Barbados. Scaramouche is good; we went on Yannis this time . wouldn't put you off either but do the trip - just one of those don't miss experiences, great value for $95 for 5+ hours with a nice lunch included.

Our son enjoyed the holiday but as said earlier there were no other families there when we stayed and it seems an ideal place for couples/ honeymooners or weddings. But he enjoyed the swimming and the food, the excellent pool room and there is plenty of scope for exploring the island, a well worth it complimentary tour with "Tash" the resident groundsman, gardener and environmentalist. Cycles are available for the more energetic!

We would recommend Palm Island to anyone who enjoys their food and drink, relaxation, good service and idyllic surroundings. Would we go again, no question. And we met some lovely people. Shame about the few who seem to think the dress code does not apply to them -" hey, I forgot the pants! " Say no more. Enjoy!!!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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6  Thank Plymothian46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2010

Our apologies to Chris for not posting this review earlier but we finally have a few moments to record our thank to Chris and his team for making our extended stay as a result of the volcanic ash a truly memorable experience.
It was our fifth visit to Palm and we return because the setting is idyllic and the accommodation spacious. We prefer the Palm View rooms as they are larger than the beachfront and the bathroom is much more spacious with a bathtub as well as the large walk in shower.
We have always found Palm idiosyncratic and that is part of its charm. However, with the most recent change in management there has been a marked improvement in the Palm experience. The most noteable improvement is in the quality of the food. During our 16 day stay (8 as a result of being stranded by the Icelandic ash) we experienced fine dining, with well balanced and imaginative menus and good quality fresh produce. It is clear that there is an extensive programme of staff training as well as improvements to the facilities. The staff are attentive and the service is personal. Chris has introduced a drinks service on the beach which is excellent - full credit to Monique who delivered our G&T's on the dot each morning!
Chris is determined to respond positively to any suggestion for improvements and any request we made was acted upon immediately.
The bar area is a great meeting place before dinner in the evening and guests are made to feel welcome and comfortable. Premium brand drinks are served as part of the all inclusive option which is superb - it is becoming a rare in the Caribbean so it is great that Palm continues to realise that this is important despite the economic downturn.
The treatment we received from Chris and his staff as a result of the Ash situation was exceptional. Every effort was made to accommodate us both literally and metaphorically. We stayed in our original room and Curlene handled all the negotiations with Virgin Holidays to ensure that our situation did not become stressful. When we eventually left for home we found other holidaymakers from different resorts in the Caribbean had not had such good fortune.
The mark of a good hotel can often be seen in how they deal with the unexpected/tricky situation. Palm Island's handling of our situation was exemplary in every way and we cannot thank them enough. We have stayed in Antigua, St Lucia, Tobago, Grenada, the Maldives, French Polynesia, Bali, to name but a few. Palm Island is without doubt one of our most favourite holiday destinations and we shall, of course, be returning there again.

  • Stayed: April 2010
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1  Thank Caribrus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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