Palm Island and then ...?

Sep 11th, 2002, 07:15 AM
  #1  
Paige
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Palm Island and then ...?

We are booked for a week at Palm Island - can't find any travellers reviews anywhere so am just keeping my fingers crossed that it will be OK. Then we have two free days before our flight leaves from Barbados. Am trying to figure out whether to stay in Barbados for 2 nights - and if so where? or should we charter a boat (crewed) and try to see more of the Islands. It is a tentch anniversary trip so we want to stay somewhere really special. Any and all suggestions most welcome.
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 08:14 AM
  #2  
Ann
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Hi Paige, my husband and I have been to Palm Island 5 times over the past 10 years. We honeymooned there in 1990 and went back three times when the Caldwell's owned the Resort. Our last trip was in October of 2000 for our 10th (!) anniversary...the resort is now all inclusive under new ownership (Antigua Resorts, owned by Rob Barrett).

The trip there from New Hampshire is a long day but we enjoyed it. The flight from Barbados to Union Is is absolutely gorgeous on a tiny plane (LIAT) ...we were usually two of 4 to 6 passengers. The boat trip across Clifton Harbor is great...yachts and windjammers all around, a wonderful view of Palm Is.

Not to discourage you, but after our first 4 trips (2 weeks each) we were very sad and disappointed with the transformation to an all inclusive. The cost has risen considerably.

The former owners (Caldwells, John now deceased would chat each nite with the guests in the lounge & he and (ex-wife)Mary hosted a cocktail party at her home each week) - offered an intimate, secluded and totally private ambiance at the resort. Although the new owner has obviously spent $$$ to improve the infrastucture (and the food was exquisite under both owners) we would not return. We requested our honeymoon room (#19 now) and the A/C was a stand alone room-size version which was completely inadequate; even worse, the insect problem was the most unbearable we have experienced. (Caldwells sprayed and "fogged" regularly - although momentarily unpleasant, it kept the no-no's under control).

It was our first experience with an "all inclusive" and in hindsight we felt the service was poor. We waited and waited to be served at the bar whereas before the head bar man (Ricky) knew your drink and delivered without asking.

I guess the best way to put it is that after being at old Palm Island, being practically alone on the island, we were spoiled for life! On the positive, I'm sure you will never experience a more beautiful place on earth; this part of the world won't be left as undeveloped for long.

We have also stayed in Barbados and it is indeed a lovely island. If my husband didn't get sea sick just thinking about boats we would have sailed around the area too.

You may want to check out Salt Whistle Bay on Mayreau, the Firefly Hotel on Mustique, or Petit St. Vincent...every time we went there the concensus was that PSV was the 5-star resort and the best of all.

Please feel free to contact me if you have specific questions. I would be happy to e-mail photographs as well as we have hundreds.

Best wishes, Ann
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 08:14 AM
  #3  
Ann
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Hi Paige, my husband and I have been to Palm Island 5 times over the past 10 years. We honeymooned there in 1990 and went back three times when the Caldwell's owned the Resort. Our last trip was in October of 2000 for our 10th (!) anniversary...the resort is now all inclusive under new ownership (Antigua Resorts, owned by Rob Barrett).

The trip there from New Hampshire is a long day but we enjoyed it. The flight from Barbados to Union Is is absolutely gorgeous on a tiny plane (LIAT) ...we were usually two of 4 to 6 passengers. The boat trip across Clifton Harbor is great...yachts and windjammers all around, a wonderful view of Palm Is.

Not to discourage you, but after our first 4 trips (2 weeks each) we were very sad and disappointed with the transformation to an all inclusive. The cost has risen considerably.

The former owners (Caldwells, John now deceased would chat each nite with the guests in the lounge & he and (ex-wife)Mary hosted a cocktail party at her home each week) - offered an intimate, secluded and totally private ambiance at the resort. Although the new owner has obviously spent $$$ to improve the infrastucture (and the food was exquisite under both owners) we would not return. We requested our honeymoon room (#19 now) and the A/C was a stand alone room-size version which was completely inadequate; even worse, the insect problem was the most unbearable we have experienced. (Caldwells sprayed and "fogged" regularly - although momentarily unpleasant, it kept the no-no's under control).

It was our first experience with an "all inclusive" and in hindsight we felt the service was poor. We waited and waited to be served at the bar whereas before the head bar man (Ricky) knew your drink and delivered without asking.

I guess the best way to put it is that after being at old Palm Island, being practically alone on the island, we were spoiled for life! On the positive, I'm sure you will never experience a more beautiful place on earth; this part of the world won't be left as undeveloped for long.

We have also stayed in Barbados and it is indeed a lovely island. If my husband didn't get sea sick just thinking about boats we would have sailed around the area too.

You may want to check out Salt Whistle Bay on Mayreau, the Firefly Hotel on Mustique, or Petit St. Vincent...every time we went there the concensus was that PSV was the 5-star resort and the best of all.

Please feel free to contact me if you have specific questions. I would be happy to e-mail photographs as well as we have hundreds.

Best wishes, Ann
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 08:40 AM
  #4  
Louis
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We have not been to Palm Island since it has changed ownership but we have flown over it. It would appear the the new owner has tried to make it something that does not suit the character of the island. All I can say is, if there is any way to make a change, switch to the Petit St. Vincent Resort just a few miles further on fron Union Island.
www.psvresort.com
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 08:52 AM
  #5  
Paige
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Thanks Ann, for all the info - I was afraid that the new ownership may have changed the "flavor" of the place and seems that has happened. We can't change our booking as it was the result of an aucion, so I will go with lower expectations and hope for the best. Sounds like PSV is the way to go in the Grenadines!!
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 09:35 AM
  #6  
curiousx
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You are perfectly positioned for some great sailing in the Grenadines. Palm Isladn can arrange this for you, I am sure. If not, two charter captains I really like are Bamo (Cyril Stowe) who skippers Pelangi, associated with the Frangipani Hotel on Bequia. Another is Quest (through carib-safari) skippered by Johnny Ollivierre. They can come to Palm Island, and pick you up, and drop you off at St. Vincent in time to catch a connection for your flight to Barbados. Both Bamo and Johnny are great cooks too !
 
Sep 11th, 2002, 01:54 PM
  #7  
Peggy
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We did basically the same trip but spent 3 days, after a week at PSV, on Barbados. We stayed in a 1-bedroom suite at Sandpiper Inn, next door to & sister hotel of Coral Reef, another great choice. It's on the west coast, quiet, upscale, good beach, great food, fantastic service, dining exchange with Coral reef but there are so many good restaurants I wouldn't get the meal plan. Had to see Bridgetown for an afternoon, most populated city in the Caribb so be prepared. We enjoyed our stay, 3 days was fine, not sure I would return to stay just on Barbados though.
 
Sep 12th, 2002, 06:39 AM
  #8  
Paige
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Thanks again - will look into Sandy Lane - like the sound of the West Coast - but I think the Coral Reef may be closed in October for renovations.
 
Sep 12th, 2002, 06:39 AM
  #9  
Paige
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correction - I meant Sandpiper!!
 
Sep 12th, 2002, 09:46 AM
  #10  
Louis
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Based on an auction price you no doubt have a very good rate. Since several of us have been sour grapes about Palm perhaps we should talk about the things we liked about the island. It is very small and first thing every morning we would walk completely around the island at the pretty time of the day. If you are in one of the single units facing Union Island, the sunsets are spectacular. It seems you have air conditioning which is a new amenity. We enjoyed afternoon tea in front of our unit with the birds begging for cream. While there is almost no snorkeling worth while on the side facing Union Island it is a pleasant place to swim as it is sandy and shallow. There is modest snorkeling on the other side of the island if it is not too rough. If you enjoy snorkling take a trip to the Tobago Cays but only if they let you snorkle outside the reef. You might enjoy a trip to Petit St. Vincent for lunch if they have a trip running. Palm really is a pleasant island to do nothing, read and relax. The local people tend be reserved in this area so don't expect to have them throw their arms around you. I'm sorry that I can't help you with Barbados. I think you both will enjoy the flight to Union Island. Union Island will give you a lot of local color of the Caribbean. Unless you love being at sea, I suggest that you stay in Barbados. Sailing in the Grenadines is more like open ocean cruising. It has the type of chop that causes many to become seasick.
 
Sep 12th, 2002, 10:12 AM
  #11  
anon
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Louis, since you've only seen the changes from the air should you really be telling someone to change their reservations? I find it hard to believe that you got a full and concise picture of the changes at the resort without actually being there.
 
Sep 12th, 2002, 12:32 PM
  #12  
Louis
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To Anon:

On the contrary we have spent a week on Palm island under the original ownership. The Island is very flat and small. You can see the changes from the air easily. The island has many limitations due to size, geography, lack of soil and water. We have seen it from the air before the improvements so the changes are obvious. What has been done is to add resort features which are out of keeping with the charm of the island which was its low key simplicity. The island and resort is not equivalent to places like Petit St. Vincent, Young Island, Peter Island, Guana Island, Little Dix, or Caneel Bay where we have spent time but the rates seem about the same. In other words you can't make a silk purse out of a straw bag as you are limited to what is there at the beginning. Anon, if you are from Palm Island management I am sorry if you don't agree with my comments and feel that they are not fair. I can only compare your island with PSV in the same price range.
 
Sep 12th, 2002, 01:22 PM
  #13  
anon
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No, I'm not from Palm Management or any other management. But thank you Louis for the explanation. Makes sense now and I can see your point.
 
Sep 12th, 2002, 02:15 PM
  #14  
Paige
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Louis, thanks for the positives - yes we won the auction at a very good rate so I will not be as critical as a full rate paying guest ... but I do hope for the best. We will make the most of what's there - but it does help to have a realistic description before we go - you know how disappointing a place can be when your image and the reality don't match up! Thanks for the input.
 
Sep 13th, 2002, 07:57 PM
  #15  
Louis
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What a nice group of people!
 
Apr 7th, 2003, 03:22 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Original poster: well, what did you think of Palm Island?
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