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Caneel Bay or Gallows Point

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Boston
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Caneel Bay or Gallows Point

We are going to St. John's next month and are trying to decide between staying at Caneel Bay or Gallows Point. We know that they are totally different kinds of properties and both have their pros and cons. Since we have never been to the island before, we would really appreciate the input of others.

Thanks so much!

Ohio
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for Cruz Bay
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1. Re: Caneel Bay or Gallows Point

Have you checked to see if either has availability for your dates? Feb is high season. Staying at Gallows will give you beautiful views, more space, a kitchen and easy walk to town. Only con is the beach there is very small and mostly broken coral/rock. Caneel sits on seven beautiful beaches. Cons - there are no telephones or TV's in the rooms. You will have to take a taxi or rent a jeep to go to town.

If neither has availablity, check www.caribbeanvilla.com for last minute specials.

You should really rent a jeep to explore the island and the many beaches, IF you can find one available. Taxis charge per person, with the shortest ride $5pp.

Edited: 11:05 am, January 18, 2013
Corydon, Indiana
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2. Re: Caneel Bay or Gallows Point

I've been going to Caneel for 28 years and I absolutely love it. But I would be the first one to tell you that it's not for everyone. It's a very low key place and the major entertainments are the flowers and gardens and the beach. If you want TV and a phone in your room you are out of luck (I'm not sure I would go back if they put TVs and phones in the rooms) and there are complaints about that many times in the negative reviews. The property is over 50 years old but is very maintained and has a very island feel. Because it is actually part of the property of the National Park there are certain limits on what the management can do to enhance it. The beaches are absolutely incredible and in my opinion the best on the island, and there are many, many beautiful beaches on St. John. They are small and often you'll be almost the only one there. I find the service wonderful and anytime we have had a problem it has always been resolved. The resort hires many Virgin Islanders rather than expats so expect them to be more reserved which I believe is their culture.

A recent review mentioned that it took a long time to get around the property, and mentioned an hour to go from one end to the other. I can't imagine what that person was talking about. The shuttle buses run about every 10 minutes and you can be anywhere in less than 10 on those. Even if you walk, it takes just minutes to get anywhere.

I've never been to Gallows but there are many fans here on this board. Of course there is always the villa option, but I'm not sure if you could get one at this point.

If you have any specific questions about Caneel, I'll be glad to answer them....if I can.

CT
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for St. John
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3. Re: Caneel Bay or Gallows Point

That really all depends on how you want to spend your vacation.

Caneel is a resort

Gallows is a condo with housekeeping services.

They are both great but very different and it is just a matter of figuring out how you want to spend your time.

If you want adventure and exploring, stay at Gallows and rent a jeep (if you can find one at this late date)

if you want to lounge around and not do much then I would suggest Caneel

NY metro
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4. Re: Caneel Bay or Gallows Point

I will argue that you can explore and adventure at Caneel just as well as anywhere else on island. I just returned yesterday and Caneel (Varlack?) seemed to have plenty of brand new Wranglers available for rent to the guests for exploring other great spots on island.

The problem (yeah, right) with leaving the resort, as I see it; is that the resort (and the staff, to be sure) is so overwhelmingly comfortable and welcoming that it immediately wraps you in a cocoon-like insular sense of comfort that tends to preclude leaving the resort. Indeed, for this trip, I had a hard time dragging myself into Cruz for dinner and ended up there for only three nights out of the seven that I stayed. And I really like visiting Cruz Bay.

But I admit that for me, as Tink says, Caneel's strong suit is the overwhelming relaxation. I have been to most North shore park beaches and while it may be arguable that Caneel's beaches are the best on the island, they are for the most part beautiful, clean, uncrowded, well maintained and contain clean facilities for guests whose rooms are not directly on one of the beaches. Two or three of them have beverage service too.

People love Gallows, though. Every year I have it on my short list along with Little Dix and Petite St. Vincent. I think it says something (maybe to me only LOL) that I return to Caneel every year.

Just my Zwei Pffenig. Have a great trip. I think you'll be fine wherever you stay.

Edited: 1:33 pm, January 18, 2013
Corydon, Indiana
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5. Re: Caneel Bay or Gallows Point

I agree with ngatti; Caneel is tremendously relaxing and fits my needs for our beach trips perfectly but those can be different for different people. You can be as active or as 'loungy' as you choose at Caneel or anywhere else on St. John.

Bit confused though. Caneel is a Rosewood Resorts property but really isn't your typical resort.... for example it's not anything like the Ritz on St. Thomas. However Gallows specifically bills itself as a resort, advertising that they have more amenities than anywhere else and if it's just a condo with housekeeping, perhaps there is something askew there.

kod
cherry hill
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6. Re: Caneel Bay or Gallows Point

I really enjoy Gallows and it will be my 5th consecutive visit in April. As stated there are more amenties in the units, a nice little pool and hot tub overlooking the ocean, ,and snorkeling outside your door. You can walk into town at night for dinner. I have never stayed at Caneel because of the expense. If money was not a concern, I would love to stay there in a unit right on Scott or one of the other beaches. Who cares about TV, phone when you can just go out your front door and be at a great beach? I'd still rent a jeep to explore other areas. Cruz Bay is only a short taxi drive away if you want to go to dinner/bars at night.

CT
Destination Expert
for St. John
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7. Re: Caneel Bay or Gallows Point

Maybe I did not elaborate enough.

Yes,Gallow's Point has a pool and hot tub and great snorkeling but it not a hotel resort. You can not walk up to the breakfast buffet or order lunch from the bar. The restaurant onsite is privately owned and only serves fine dining dinner

I like to point that out as I received a very pointed message from someone that returned from STJ and was royally P.O.'ed that I had recommended that they stay at a resort that had no service.

Of course you can leave Caneel but why would you? If you were a first time visitor and stayed at Caneel, I can not imagine thinking about leaving.

New Jersey
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8. Re: Caneel Bay or Gallows Point

Ok - if you want to just veg and be a sloth and do not care about food variety, go to Caneel. It is a wonderful property and the service is excellent. We did a wedding for 80 there and throughly had the best experience. That said, if you like going to different restaurants, walking in town and eat little breakfasts before you take the hike to Solomon, go to Gallows. We tend to stay in town at Gallows or Grande Bay. We like Woodies, Plancha del Mar, Zo Zos, Waterfront Bistro and many other restaurants. But if I just did not want to rent a car and tour the island, I would stay at Caneel. But I love WaterLemon Cay too much to not have a jeep.

North Carolina
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9. Re: Caneel Bay or Gallows Point

I would be surprised if you could get a reservation at Caneel this quickly. We are returning next month and made reservations months ago in order to secure a spot on Scott beach.

I agree with Hoosier that it was shocking

to read that post about it taking so long to get around the resort. The shuttle takes you everywhere within minutes and we walked almost all the time. I will note that drink service at the beach took forever and as my husband pointed out, by the time your drink arrived, the ice had melted ;)

I'll be sure to post an update when we return. We are having dinner at Zozos so hopefully I'll have more input on Gallows.

I hope you have a wonderful trip wherever you end up!

FWIW, we have been to lots of the Caribbeans finest and always have a soft spot for Caneel.

Bonaire
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for Bonaire
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10. Re: Caneel Bay or Gallows Point

I love both resorts, but after my last trip in September I have decided that Gallows is my preference. There are three main reasons why.

1- the proximity to town. It is a 5 minute walk down the hill to Cruz Bay. You don't have to drive to lunch or dinner.

2- large, condo accommodations with kitchen and ability to cook

3- ability to hop right in to snorkel and have a hot tub soak with gorgeous views immediately afterward

The major drawback is that it doesn't have those 7 amazing beaches.

You can't miss either way.