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“Gallows Point in September”

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Gallows Point Resort
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Cruz Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed September 12, 2006

My husband and I just got back from a week long stay at Gallows Point. Because of the off-season we got a great deal through the resort's website, $180/night. The property was breath-taking and very well maintained. Our unit was 11B, a lower harbor view. The interior could use a little more maintenance. The kitchen was old and needed updating. We had a mosquito problem because the screens were old and did not sit on the windows properly. I suggest bringing a bug zapper and setting it outside.
During this time of year half the restaurants are closed for renovations and/or vacations. A trip to Starfish Market was very convenient. Just a quick drive up the hill. Prices of foods are very high compared to the States so I suggest packing non-perishable items. The resort has gas grills so buying steaks and hamburger meat was a quick dinner. We did manage to eat at several restaurants. Morgan's Mango was our favorite. We ate on Tuesday which was Caribbean Lobster night.
There's little to do on the island but relax and beach-hop which is what we were looking for. Unlike Caneel Bay and the Westin, the resort does not offer a courtesy shuttle so I suggest renting a jeep for groceries and beach-hopping. We rented our jeep from Hospitality Car Rental for $49/day. A round-trip taxi ride for two would have costed the same.
The weather was fairly decent during our stay. It did occassionally rain in the morning and afternoon. We are from Florida so we are use to this kind of weather. I would not say that I would come back during this time of year because of the rain and restaurants/shops being closed. But mainly because we merely missed a tropical storm which was heading towards Bermuda.

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank beckynho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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772 - 778 of 858 reviews

Reviewed September 2, 2006

We spent five nights in SJ from August 9-14, and thought Gallows Point was excellent in every respect.
Our main purpose in going to SJ (first time) was to relax and enjoy what we heard were gorgeous beaches.
ROOM-GP is not a hotel but are individually owned “condos”. The unit we stayed in was lovely, we had no problem (as another person below did) with the quality of anything. And beyond that, I though that the management and professionalism of the complex was top notch, and it reflected in the hospitality and attitude of everyone, who were all helpful, pleasant , accommodating and welcoming. The view from our room was magnificent; we were pretty much in the middle of the complex. And the grounds itself were lovely. While some refer to the sandy area in the complex as a “beach” , it is not that at least for purposes of swimming (rocky and small) but it is certainly lovely just for sitting and enjoying the ocean. The pool area is very nice. It is small, but that was fine as all we needed to do was take a dip to cool off from the sun and just enjoy the surroundings. There is snorkeling off the barge right by the complex which people said was very good; we never quite mastered the technique. The “general store” is located right on premises, under a different ownership than GP, was also excellent. They had a good assortment of food (cereal, breads, cold cuts) which made grabbing a quick something to eat on the patio while soaking up the view (for breakfast, lunch and even dinner) a nice and convenient alterative to eating out for every meal. And they also acted as a concierge, setting up whatever activity you would want to do. As others said, GP is a short walk to town, which is another feature that we wanted. On the other hand, if you are looking for a place to stay that is more of a traditional “resort” –that is, several restaurants on premises, expansive beaches, water sports right there –GP is not it. From what I learned, there are only two such places on SJ: the Westin (which we didn’t visit, but about which we heard many negative things), and Caneel Bay (which we did visit for the beach, and has beautiful grounds, but also has some negatives, including a whopping price tag). No matter, GP gets excellent marks from us on all counts; as indicated, while they can’t claim “credit” for the gorgeous views, they can for their management style, which made our stay truly a pleasure.
FOOD– with one notable, superior exception (and two minor ones), I was disappointed with the food on SJ. Generally, I was looking forward to some authentic native food and I had a difficult time finding out about that until the end. (Sago’s, near GP is supposed to be the best, but we didn’t make it there). Most of the other restaurants are basically what you would find in the US, but very, very expensive. Even in the US, I don’t like going to restaurants where a $15 entree is overpriced at $22, and in SJ, that same item would be $28-$32. But, that having been said, there certainly was no problem eating in SJ.
Plus, there was one place that was exceptional: Ten Tables, for which I have submitted a separate review. Please see that for details, but suffice it to say here that we had two of the best meals we ever had there (at any time, at any place), the owner/chef is committed to making his guests happy, the Roquefort cheesecake appetizer is as delicious as it is unique, the entrees we had were all superb, and the chocolate mouse was the best I ever had. Plus, the pricing was what I would expect to pay (more or less) in a restaurant of such quality in the US (entre range of $24-$38), and not overly inflated as most of the menus I looked at for other places on SJ.
Perhaps the best bargain on SJ is the BBQ place–Uncle Joe’s, I think, located in the center of town–just follow your nose. A portion of ribs or chicken and two side dishes was $10-12, and it was real good. The only other restaurant where we ate was Banana Deck for dinner. It is very close to GP and it’s menu is similar to what an Applebee’s or Chili’s would be (not necessarily in terms of precise offerings, but in terms of “style”), and we thought that was pretty good. (Applebee’s or Chili’s would not necessarily be my first choice in dining but when on the road, or in seeking a diverse menu for a family, I could be fine with it) I had a mahi platter for $19 (similar to what Chili’s would charge $12.50 for their salmon platter–an example of the inflated prices), and my wife had a chicken sandwich for $10 ($8 in the US) and that pricing is ok (for down there) and the food was more than satisfactory. Plus, they had a children’s menu, one of the few places that did. (We were not in SJ with our children, but I just mention it for those who may be).
We didn’t go to any of the places mentioned a lot on this site (Fish Trap, Mango’s, Zozo’s etc.), in large part because of the mixed reviews, the high prices and , after eating at Ten Tables, we didn’t think we could do better.
And having a bowl of cereal ( a buck from the general store) in the morning, or a sandwich in the afternoon, on our patio while overlooking the ocean was more than satisfactory.
BEACHES -As said above, the only “downside” of GP–and it’s not really that- was that we had to travel to go to the beaches. But after getting oriented, we wound up going to the beaches that were closer to GP, such as Hawksnest and the public beach at Caneel, both of which were beautiful. We went to Cinnamon Bay once, and that was not as pretty at all (others disagree) and had a horrible mosquitoes problem. (Note: if you take a ranger led tour that others speak about, that could also have a bug problem; we did not take it). We got to the beaches by taxi, and the general store will call a taxi for you. It was about a $ 16 fare to Hawksnest, for two, one way. So that’s a pretty good sized transportation cost to go to the beach for a day but, that’s just part of going to the beaches at SJ. (Still a bargain compared to staying on the beach at Caneel). You can take the beach chairs that are in the condo at GP. Some of the taxi drivers were good, but most were not–they drove very fast on the narrow, windy, hilly roads, Speaking of which, we rented a car for the day to explore and it was ok at first but, again, the drivers are so bad, and the roads so hilly and windy, with other drivers often driving in the middle of the road until taking last second evasive action–not all that much fun (and I am used to driving in Manhattan). Seriously, the SJ government should do something to improve the roads as well as the driving skills of its residents and taxi drivers. But once you got to the beaches, serene calm and pleasure set in!
Misc note: we arranged to take a sea kayak and snorkeling tour with Arawak, but they never showed up. That was annoying but we just went back to GP and relaxed by the ocean. But if doing that is high on your list, plan accordingly with Arawak.

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank Michael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2006

St. John is a beautiful, relaxing island with incredible beaches and Gallows is the place to stay there. My wife and I spent 7 nights in 3A and were impressed. Beautiful grounds and great location. Terrific views of sunsets and St. Thomas at night. Snorkeling right out front (rocky entrance so wear fins), the pool, hot tub, and hammocks by the ocean are all nice touches. The resort is definitely not crowded and they'll help you with all of your planned activities.

A very short walk into Cruz Bay provides you safe, easy access to the restaurants and shops. All of our meals were terrific. Best meal was at Stone Terrace. Also, recommend Paradiso and Panini Beach Trattoria. Zozo's at Gallows is very nice with incredible views.

We rented a jeep for a day and went to Caneel Bay, Hawksnest Beach, Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, Maho Bay (terrific), Francis Bay and Leinster Bay. Great snorkeling at these beaches. Bring bug repellant for after 4 pm. The sugar mills ruins at Leinster Bay are neat.

Would recommend hiking from Cruz Bay to the beautiful, quiet beaches of Salomon Bay and Honeymoon Beach (about a mile, bring water/bug spray).

Best part of the vacation was booking a BVI day trip on the boat Breakaway (you can do this when you get there at Gallows). Goes to the baths at Virgin Gorda, snorkeling near Scrub Island, lunch at Marina Cay, then White Bay at Jost Van Dyke (Soggy Dollar Bar).

I strongly recommend St. John and Gallows 3A for vacation.

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank CincyBoiler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2006

stayed @ Gallows from August 3-7th - stayed here based on all the positive reviews. The reviews were mostly very accurate. Stayed in 7A, directly above the walk down to the beach (beach good snorkling, not much more). The room was very nice, large and everything we were looking for. Bed was made every day as well as dishes cleaned and overall appearance kept tidy. New towels daily. Provided was complimentary bottle of rum, and the hotel provides beach chairs and a cooler for your use. Staying @ Gallows is excellent for the location. Easy walk down to Cruz bay and Mongoose junction. No need to drive @ night going into town. Best thing about Gallows was out flight was delayed 8 hrs - Gallows let us stay in our room until 4 pm (5 hrs past check out) and did not charge. Very considerate on there part.
About St. Johns - nicest Carribean island my wife and I have been too. Rent a car (all set up by Gallows) and check out the different beaches.
Best snorkling (by far!) was @ Waterlemen Cay bay. About 20 minute drive to get to (drive to Annaberg ruins) then 1/2 mile trail walk to isolated area. Able to snorkle with Sea Turtles, sting rays, and saw amazingly large starfish.
Food - ate @ Fish trap (good, not great), Morgan's Mango (ok), and another Italian place on beach (good). Few posts talked about Joes for lunch - NOT recommended!
Bar - best bar was the beach bar - excellent frozen drinks and very close walk to Gallows.
Overall, we had an excellent time on St. Johns and would highly recommend Gallows to anyone deciding on going. Not only for hotel area itself but also for prime location

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank bauerdvm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2006

I just came back from a 3 night stay at Gallows Point resort. It was a last minute trip so I read up as much as I could on tripadvisor and narrowed my options down to GP and the Westin.

This was our first trip to St. John and so we weren't sure what to expect. With Caneel Bay and Westin on the island, we figured there was some luxury to be had, although in all honesty we were going down to St.John mainly for the beaches and snorkeling.

With Gallows point having very good reviews here with the occasional "it depends on the unit" I booked a harbor lower over the phone and was assured there were other types available so that we could choose when we got there. Very friendly on the phone, gave a AAA discount, everything good. My other choice was a studio with full kitchen at the Westin - which would have been a newly renovated/constructed room. My main hesitance with the Westin was the location (further from Cruz Bay) and the review comments about how the regular rooms were run down. So Gallows Point it was...

Got down to the ferry and was picked up by their complimentary shuttle. Checked in and was given unit 11B. Walked into the unit and found it dark, dank and there was a mildew smell throughout. Furniture was tired and the kitchen didn't look much better than a campground cabin (plywood, basic electric stove, etc.) - sheets had stains and the kicker was a pile of little bugs huddled on the pillow (yes alive). We could definitely hear the ferry pulling in from this unit as well. View was ok, of the harbor. Decor was from the late 80's.

We went back up to the reception and asked for another unit, possily an ocean lower. We were given 7A, which is just a unit down from the reception. This particular unit was cleaner and looked liked the furniture was only a couple years old with more netural colors. Kitchen however was the same condition - sticky feeling cheap plywood cabinets, a fridge that was on its last leg and an electric stove. Bathroom was a little cleaner but had an awful mildew smell. Bedroom was cleaner and sheets look a little better. After the trip to get there we were tired of hunting for rooms so we decided to take this unit. I never got to see an ocean upper to see if they were any better.

I think looks are deceiving with GP - the resort has an awesome location, great views, some snorkeling right off their point and very impressive grounds and buildings. However, inside the units are worn and tired. Their construction is definitely for those who like the great outdoors and don't mind sleeping with the windows and doors open. While I love a gentle breeze, the bugs and mosquitos are insane right now - apparently St John is suffering a pretty bad mosquito infestation due to the recent rains. The locals we talked to were all complaining and the restaurants all kept bug spray under the counter for their patrons. Some people seem immune to mosquitos - unfortunately I'm apparently a Vegas neon sign for mosquitos. We tried closing up all the doors and windows and running the A/C & fans all the time but there are gaps everywhere. We fed the mosquitos all night long...

Another absolute problem - the mattress was dead. It was way beyond its useful life and had more pits than the surface of the moon. These were cheap mattresses to begin with and now the coils have given up. We both woke up with back aches every morning. I recall the mattress in 11B being no better either.

Now the few good points: everyone at GP provided excellent service and were very friendly, although some of the maid staff have some trouble with English. Location is excellent - 5 minute walk to Cruz Bay and good views. Free shuttle to the ferry. We never used the pool but it seemed good sized and relatively clean. ZoZo's is right upstairs and offers what little gourmet food this island has to offer. No kids so fairly peaceful, although be careful about restaurant noise on Thurs/Fri/Sat nights with units near the, duh, restaurant.

Summary? Gallows Point was probably a very impressive resort when first built. I think most of the units need new kitchenettes and baths, mattresses (and some units need furniture). In talking with Linda at the convenience store the owners congregate here twice a year for association meetings. I really wonder if they sleep in these units and use them or are they just raking in the bucks and refusing to spend any more than they absolutely have to? In our opinion GP is not a good value at all until they decide to renovate. We just spent twice as much on a room in Mexico the week prior and had no qualms about the value.

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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17  Thank devm635csi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2006

We stayed at Gallows Point for four days in 2A. The resort is set up in four unit buildings, with many units privately owned and run by Gallows Point. I can't speak for the other units but 2A was pretty run down. The coffee pot, toaster and blender were all broken in the kitchenette. There's no view to speak of because there's a big hedge planted right outside of the deck area which blocks the view of the ocean. The place was not as clean as it could have been and the hide-a-bed was also broken. On the up side, the location of G.P. is great for wandering into the town, very convenient to restaurants and bars. The pool area is nice, with plenty of lounge chairs, a couple of hammocks right on the beach and a hot tub. The landscaping is beautiful. The gift shop/concierge folks were very helpful with car rental, snorkels, etc. If you stay here, pick an upper unit (better view and fewer mosquitoes) and higher number (15 is right by the pool if you like that). No kids were at this resort so it was pretty quiet in August. DON'T rent a car in St. Thomas and drive over - the drive is CRAZY on the left side of the road with left handed steering and cars are easily obtained on St. John.

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank travelin'_mack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2006

We stayed two nights in 10C before we got our rental car and we moved on to our villa rental. We loved the location. It is within a short walk to all goings on in Cruz Bay. The grounds are nicely maintained. The "beach" and deck area out back was a great place to hang out, read and watch the sunset. The snorkeling, while not anywhere near as good as other locations on the island, was good.

The room was an upstairs unit with loft. It overlooked the harbor. While the room was large, with a comfortable bed, it was a bit long-in-the-tooth. One of the dining room chairs was broken, and the other furniture had a "tired" look. Not terrible, but for $335 a night, I was expecting better. I'm not a clean freak, but the unit was not cleaned very thoroughly, with crumpled up tissues left on the tile floors and sand being left on the sofa cushions.

The service here is excellent. The front desk people we very helpful and friendly, in a reserved and understated way.

All in all, it is a nice place, probably the nicest in Cruz Bay. The excellent reviews do have me a little baffled though. It probably depends upon which unit you stay in I guess. If we were going to be there for any longer than 2 days, I would have asked for another unit. Would I stay here again? Yes, but not in 10C.

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank iamq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gallows Point Resort

Address: 3 AAA Gallows Point Rd | P.O. Box 58, Cruz Bay 00831, St. John
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. John > Cruz Bay
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Cruz Bay
Price Range: $334 - $871 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gallows Point Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on a 5 acre peninsula in Cruz Bay. Our spacious 1 & 2 story units have fully equipped kitchens with dining area, King size bed, Satellite TV, Central A/C. in room wireless internet, full living room and private balconies all with ocean views. The resort offers full maid service, pool with hot tub, concierge service and a small gourmet grocery. Eat at our fine dining restaurant or take a 5 minute stroll to town. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gallows Point Hotel Cruz Bay
Gallows Point Cruz Bay
Gallows Point Resort St. John/Cruz Bay

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