Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort Review & Rating
Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort Overview:
Located just outside the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is one of the best RV Resorts in Texas - Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort. From the minute we entered the Park and the office, we knew we were in for a special treat. We were warmly greeted by some friendly and very helpful work campers who gave us an overview of the Park, a welcome packet loaded with good information, and then escorted us to our site. The site was fantastic, the Park is meticulously maintained and landscaped, the amenities are outstanding, the planned activities are numerous and fun, and all of the fellow RVers are friendly and outgoing.
We've camped for over 30 years and never stayed in a Park that has a Guest Services like you'll find at this Park. They are very helpful and can give you lots of ideas on things to see and do, sign you up for activities, and more.
Lots of little things like a free air compressor, free bikes and kayaks to use, two sewer hook ups, common areas for socializing or playing pool, fun activities, free firewood for the fire pits, free passes to the State Park, free long distance calls in the US and Canada, free internet and cable TV, stunning, landscaping, and more help make this an outstanding park.
Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort was founded on the belief that "natural beauty restores the soul" and as you drive through the Park you can't help but notice the stunning landscaping with a wide variety of colors from different plants, bushes, shrubs, and trees plus lots of palm trees gently swaying in the breeze - at times I felt like I was in Hawaii minus the sand and surf! In several sections of the Park the landscaping is labeled with a description. I'm, told that the colors are stunning in October and November when everything is blooming and the butterflies and birds are everywhere. In January, I was impressed with all the color blossoming from the landscaping - reds, whites, yellows, and more. In addition to all of the landscaping, there are several common areas and greenbelts that are grass and trees.
Turns out that Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort is designated by Texas Parks & Wildlife as a certified wildscape and the "largest wildscape in Texas." Texas Wildscapes is a habitat restoration and conservation plan for rural and urban areas. It enables Texans to contribute to wildlife conservation by developing wildlife habitats where they live, work and play. Congratulations to Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort and thanks for your commitment to such a great program.
This gated Park is conveniently located to McAllen's high end shopping centers, award-winning restaurants, the Rio Grande Premium Outlets, excellent health care facilities, some great golf courses, and the beaches of South Padre Island are about 80 minutes away
You can choose from over 240 RV sites that are a combination of back-in and pull thrus plus some fantastic Casitas and Park Models that are available for rent. The layout of Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort is truly unique - there are four RV site circles with 23 pull through sites that face the clubhouse or an open-sided dwelling with a thatched roof made of dried palm leaves (called Palapas). Other sites back up against the perimeter of the Park.
A large number of visitors from September to April are winter Texans from around the frozen north and Canada. They start arriving in September and stay for months and everyone we met was very friendly and fun and active. The Park is alive with bikers, walkers, and small get togethers for coffee, meals or drinks. When you stay here it's virtually impossible to get bored - there are lots of fun amenities within the park, plenty of nearby things to see and do, and everyday there is some fun activity from golf outings to socials to live entertainment to games like "minute to win it."
.It's no wonder that Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort has a 5-star rating by Woodall’s (Facilities and Recreation) and Trailer Life recently ranked them a 10 for Facilities, a 10 for Restrooms, and a 10 for Appeal. And they made Texas Outside's Top 25 Texas Parks List.
Amenities and Fun Things To Do:
Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort has 245 full hook-up RV sites that are a mixture of pull thru, back-in, and super sites. All of the sites have 20/30/50 AMP service, two sewer hookups (making it very easy to connect to the most convenient one), cable, and water. All of the sites are very well landscaped with a variety of plants, trees, and natural fauna.
The 100 large pull thrus are 80' by 40' and in one of four circles that face the clubhouse or a Palapa. Each of these sites have paved perfectly level parking pads and a concrete patio most of which are surrounded on three sides with landscaping which offers privacy. Unlike most RV Park sites, these site are long, very spacious, and extremely well landscaped. We picked the circle that faces the Palapa with two pool tables.
Some of the back-in sites are "Super Sites" which means the site is a "U" shape (with landscaping in the middle) with a 10' by 12' storage shed, a long RV parking pad with the all the hook-ups, a picnic table, and grill.
The other back-in sites back up against an organic garden, the dog run, or a small Palapa. Each of these sites has a long paved parking pad, patio, full hook-ups, and landscaping.
The only thing we found missing with the sites was a picnic table at each or at least some of the sites. However, each of the common areas and a couple of the Palapas have picnic tables.
If you don't have an RV or friends or relatives would like to join you, the Casitas or Cabins are perfect. We spent one night in one of the Casitas to check it out and it included:
- one bedroom with a double bed, bureau, TV, and ceiling fan
- bathroom with a shower and tub
- living area with a flat screen, comfy couch (or sleeper sofa), love seat, ceiling fan, and an ottoman that made into a coffee table
- dining table and four chairs
- fully equipped kitchen with everything you need to cook a gourmet meal plus a full size refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, toaster, coffee pot, all the pots and pans and lots more
The Casita was very well appointed and included slate tile floors. Step out your back door and there is a common area with a Palapas (shared with two other Casitas in a circle of three Casitas) with a table and chairs - all of which is surrounded by beautiful landscaping.
The Cabins (Park Models) are one bedroom with a queen or two bedroom with a queen in one bedroom with two bunk beds in the other one. Each cabin has a bathroom and shower, well equipped full kitchen, and living area.
In addition to the some great sites, we loved the amenities some of which include:
- three Palapas set under the trees one of which includes two high quality pool tables (free), great pool sticks, and stools; and two that include some combination of picnic tables, a double hammock, and/or a fire pit
- a large pool and a hot tub
- two laundry rooms with quality equipment
- a fitness center
- very clean restrooms and showers
- free use of bikes and over 5 miles of trails
- free access to the Bentsen- Rio Grande Valley State Park
- ladder golf, horseshoe pits, and a bocci ball and croquet area
- craft room
- free use of kayaks
- mail service and a staffed Guest Services office
If you like woodworking, you'll love the fully equipped woodworking shop which has every tool you would need to build a wood vase, kids toys, or a complete entertainment center. There are lathes, band saws, routers, sanders, table saws, joiners, planers, and more. Plus experienced monitors for safety reasons as well as advice and help; a whole work shed of hand tools; and an excellent dust collection system.
Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort owns 200 acres along the Rio Grande River and has a pontoon boat that they use to take you on birding tours or just a relaxing scenic cruise on the river for a small fee. They also have a Palapas right on the water for picnics and they rent ATVs that you can take on some of the trails along the river and through the natural areas.
The Clubhouse is a hub of activity each and everyday - for example, during our stay there was an ice cream social, a free current movie, a margarita and appetizer social, and a hilarious "minute to win it" game - and the clubhouse was packed.
If you have a dog, they are going to love this dog friendly park. There is a huge dog run area with a Palapas and it was always lively and hard to tell who was having more fun, the dogs or their owners. Adjacent to the dog run is a comprehensive dog agility area with tunnels, hoops to jump thru, teter-toters, ramps, and more - everything that you would need to train your dog to compete in the Nationals.
We couldn't go anywhere without passing a biker, couples or groups walking together, runners, a dog walker, or a small party at the campsite - and everyone you pass has a smile on their face and a warm greeting or wave.
To see more pictures of Bentsen Palm Village RV Park, some of the amenities, our ATV tour, and more, click on this link.
A Typical Texas Outsider Day:
Like I mentioned earlier, you can't get bored when you stay here. Some of what we did during our stay included:
- rode bikes around the park, along the levies, and over to the State Park to check out the birds
- rented the ATV to ride over to the Rio Grande River and some of the trails
- played pool and horseshoes
- enjoyed the margarita social and laughed a lot at the 'minute to win it" game
- hung around the woodworking shop wishing I had the tools or time to build something
- played 36 holes of golf
- enjoyed a fantastic meal at Republic of the Rio Grande
- socialized with some neighbors
- visited the nearby Butterfly Center
Cool Nearby Activities:
Just outside the Park is Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park which is very well known as a hot spot for birding and it's home to the World Birding Center network. It has hiking trails, lots of bird viewing areas, a hawk tower that's two stories tall, a nature center, and more.
If you like golf, within 5 minutes to 45 minutes you have lots of choices and some very good courses. The Park has tee times at various nearby golf courses each week for guests who get together for a competitive or fun round of golf. Check out our golf course reviews of the Best of the Rio Grande Valley.
The North American Butterfly Association Center is a mile or so from the Park and it is the premier location in the US to experience the beauty, drama, and emotion of wild butterflies.
If you're looking for sun, surf, sand, beach bars, parasailing, waverunners, sunset cruises, fishing trips, and more, then zip on down to South Padre Island for a few hours. Read our South Padre Island Vacation to find some fun things to see and do.
Or you can zip across the border to Mexico or enjoy all that the Rio Grande Valley has to offer which includes zoos, museums, theater, shopping, and lots more. Talk to the helpful staff in Guest Services to get some ideas.
- Overall Rating:
- Scenic Beauty:
- Things To Do:
Additional Pictures of Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort
Texas Outside uses a tough rating scale and it’s difficult for a campground to get a “10”. Each park is rated on:
- Scenic Beauty: a campground that is flat with no trees or character gets a “1” and hills, lots of trees, beautiful lake site, and lush ground cover gets a “10”
- Park Condition: the cleaner, well kept, and maintained campgrounds receive high scores
- Amenities: we are looking for lots of amenities like restrooms, dump stations, playgrounds, boat ramps, shelters, concession stand, rental toys, and more.
- Campsites: low scores are given for sites that are right next to each other (good for getting to know your neighbors, but not what we’re looking for when we’re camping); have no lantern holder, no water or electricity, no fire pit, no grill, or no picnic table (or it’s rotten wood); have no trees and no view; the ground cover is crushed rock (my bare feet hate that stuff!); and they require a lot of work to get your rig level.
- Things To Do: Bonus points are given for campgrounds that offer lots of fun things to do at the park or very nearby – this includes: biking, hiking, climbing, boating, entertainment, golf, swimming, fishing, volleyball, horseshoes, and more