Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Arriving in Paradise on Palm Island.


After months of planning, waiting, and dreaming, the day had finally arrived. I set my out of office emails on at work, and headed home to finish packing. The next morning I got up early to head to Gatwick for my flight to Palm Island in St Vincent and the Grenadines with Virgin Holidays. 



Words can't even express how excited I was to not only be flying to this beautiful paradise island for some very much needed R&R, but also to see my best friend again after six months apart!

Mum and Dad dropped me off at Gatwick, and after a speedy check-in process I headed through security and to the Virgin Holidays V-Room lounge. The lounge is only for guests flying from Gatwick or Manchester on a Virgin Holidays holiday, and can be booked in advance for a bargain £24.50 each.



The lounge is very 'Virgin', with a cool contemporary interior, and a designated adult area complete with a bar, as well as a designated children's room with soft play. There's even a computer and TV room for all ages, with an X-Box and various other games. The view from the lounge is right over the runway, so you can see all of the planes taking off as you sip champagne and munch on your complimentary breaky!






Talking of breaky, it's pretty darn good! I mean it wasn't as good as the Emirates lounge in Dubai, but I was definitely impressed! There's a wide selection of drinks, pastries and cereals, as well as fruit and muffins. Then there's also a hot bar where you can order various dishes, or you can opt for the full English. All of it is included in the price, so it's definitely worth thinking about if you have a holiday booked with Virgin Holidays!





Finally it was time to board the flight, and I settled into my wide leather seat in Premium Economy ready for the 8 hour journey to Barbados. Virgin Atlantic's Premium Economy really reminded me of all of the traditional trans-Atlantic airline's business classes, again it wasn't a patch on the likes of Emirates business class with their lay-flat seats and huge widescreen TVs, but it felt far more special than economy and I noticed a big difference between the two.




The seats were huge and I had plenty of leg room to stretch my legs out. I didn't feel cramped at all. We were each given a glass of bubbles at the start of the flight as a welcome drink, as well as hot towels. We weren't given an amenity kit on the day flight, but on my return night-flight we were. The food was OK, I loved that it was served on white linen cloths with proper metal cutlery (it's the little things), and there was a decent selection of options on the menu to choose from. 



I spent the flight watching movies and it whizzed by - I always consider an 8 hour flight to be short haul as I'm so used to the 24+ hour London - Perth route, so I had to carefully plan my film-watching to make sure I saw all of the ones I really wanted to see! We landed at Barbados airport and myself and a couple on my flight were met by a Palm Island representative who took us through immigration and security and on to our connecting flight.

We had about an hour to kill in Barbados airport before our flight to Union Island, which is where I found this lovely lady!!! 



Lots of hugging and squealing ensued, much to the surprise of everyone else in the airport. Woops. We spent the hour catching up and then hopped onto our teeny tiny little 12-seater plane for the very warm 50 minute journey to Union Island. 



Flying over The Grenadines was incredible, they're so so beautiful and it just made us even more excited!



When we arrived at Union Island we were all taken by golf buggy to the bar on the dock for a drink before our boat arrived. James Lane Jr, who is the Manager at the sister resort, the Galley Bay in Antigua, came to greet us all and offer us cocktails while we waited. I loved how even in St Vincent and The Grenadines, Jam Jars are the in thing!





When the boat arrived the sun was just starting to dip behind the volcanic mountains of Union Island, and as we sped across the ocean to Palm Island the sunset quite literally took my breath away. I was stunned and utterly awe-struck by the beauty surrounding us, and Rach and I just looked at each other, grinning from ear to ear at how lucky we were.




Waiting on the Palm Island dock were members of staff, including Ed, the assistant manager (who quickly became one of our favourites!). We were each given a glass of rum punch, and after taking in the breathtaking surroundings Rachael and I were shown to our rooms. We were originally booked in to a twin room, but as it was low season and they had a spare room, they very kindly gave us a room each! Luckily they were next to each other, so we didn't have too far to walk to exchange suncream and nail polish (the essentials!). 

Ed showed us around our Beachfront rooms and left us to unpack and get sorted for dinner. I wandered around the room tired and elated, and I'm not ashamed to say I may have cried a little. Words can't express how much I needed that break, and how grateful I was to have been given such an incredible experience. Take a look at my little vlog below to see our adventurous journey to Palm Island!




I can't wait to take you on our adventures over the next week or so - do check back daily to see if there's a new post up - I have some really exciting ones, including swimming with turtles!

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I was a guest of Palm Island throughout my stay. You can find out more about staying at this incredibly special luxury private island on their website, and you can book the brilliant all-inclusive package which includes flights through Virgin Holidays here. As always all opinions (and accompanying emotions and cry-sessions) are my own.
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22 comments

  1. OMG the island is so beautiful!! But I have to say that what really struck me about your post and vlog is your incredible honesty. That's what I love about your blog and the fact it's your integrity and hard work that has led you to be able to work on such incredible collaborations. You're the sort of blogger that newbies should aspire to be :)
    Lots of love,
    Angie

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    1. Totally agree, Angie! You and Catherine are definitely blogging inspirations of mine and I'm so pleased to know you both!

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    2. Thanks you so much both of you! You have no idea how much that means to me! :') You've made me all emotional again haha!

      I'm so pleased to know both of you too!!

      C x

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  2. What an absolute dream of an island! Great that your arrival was so smooth - it always makes the start of a holiday wonderful. Already sounds like you experienced some fantastic service - can't wait to read more!

    Lauren xx | The Lifestyle Diaries

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  3. The Virgin Holidays lounge sounds amazing!!! I would love to go to Barbados. Hope you've had a great time!

    Lauren x | www.laurenapowers.blogspot.com

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  4. Wow, Palm Island really does look like Paradise! Even sounds like you enjoyed travelling, which is normally my most stressful part! Great post. x

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  5. I was looking forward to reading about this and it sounds like you had an amazing time! The sunset is beautiful and I can't wait to hear about you swimming with turtles

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

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  6. Aaaaah a sneak peek at paradise! I can't wait to see more! How could you leave, Luxy?! I'd stay there and never, ever, get off the island (except for the occasional Duck & Waffle session, naturally ;) x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

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  7. What a stunning holiday destination and your friend is so lucky to live in such a tranquil slice of paradise. How long are you out there for?

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    1. Ah no she doesn't live there! She lives in Australia, where I went to school :) we both flew to Barbados and met in the airport there, then travelled to Palm Island together from there.

      I got back on Sunday, we were there for a week :)

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  8. This sounds like a once in a life time holiday. The islands look gorgeous and I love the airport lounge, the flight seems really enjoyable too. I've not flown with Virgin before, but will definitely consider it now

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  9. I simply can not wait to enjoy the rest of your trip with you!

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  10. I love your vlog! I remember so clearly how magical it is to arrive at Palm and you've captured it so well. I'd love to know what you shoot with?! Enjoy the rest of your trip, can't wait to see more posts from Palm. J x

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    1. Thanks Jayne! For the vlog I just used my underwater Olympus TG-850 (hello selfie screen!), and for photos I use that, my Lumix GF5, and my Nikon D5200 :)

      C x

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  11. This is literally paradise! From start to finish it looks like you had such an amazing time.

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  12. Oh wow, how beautiful! This island looks amazing. Very similar to the Maldives, which I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago. That cocktail looks pretty good too :) Anything in a jam jar gets my vote!

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  13. Oh I love that lounge, wow! Really elevates the whole travel experience to a new level!

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  14. Some lucky woman you are. I'd love to go there some day but I'm happy enough to be flying to new York again for a few days next year.

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  15. What a holiday destination, wow! I love the Virgin holiday experience right from the very start of the holiday in the airport. Great pictures and your writing of your experience

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  16. Catherine this looks amazing! What a fantastic opportunity, you so deserve it! I am terrified of flying and so havent flown for years, but I've always been curious as to what a Virgin holiday would be like and they sound amazing! Enough to tempt even me to consider it which is saying something! xx

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  17. Oh my goodness you lucky lucky lady.
    We always fly with virgin but we have ever tried the lounge sounds amazing
    We're off to Barbados in February so we may as well try the lounge then
    Thanks so much for sharing Hun looks like you guys had an amazing time

    Charlotte x

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