A Fine Resort in Cruz Bay
09.02.2011 - 14.02.2011 77 °F
After weeks of cold weather here on the Gulf Coast where most of us don't consider winter a real season, we caved to the cold and targeted St John, USVI as the destination of choice for a February trip. The decision on lodging was not nearly as easy as the choice of destination. We considered villas all over the island, several charming small inns or a quaint bed and breakfast, but every time we looked at Gallows Point, our heart knew that was the place we wanted to stay. So, we booked Harbor View Upper Unit 11D.
When we saw the resort from the ferry at sunset on the evening of our arrival, we suspected we had made a wise choice.
A short time later the guys on the ferry tossed lines to the guys on the dock and the "Caribe" came to a stop. We stepped off the boat and got our 2nd free rum sample of the day from a very nice lady while our suitcases were being unloaded from the ferry. Before we left the dock, we had sampled all 3 flavors of the Cruzan Rum that were being offered. By the time we began walking past the vividly colored buildings fronting Cruz Bay, the last rays of light were gone. Thankfully, at the bottom of a steep hill just outside The Beach Bar, the Gallows Point Open Taxi coasted by and the driver heard our screams for a ride up the hill. We boarded the taxi for the 500 foot ride up the hill.
There were minimal formalities at the front desk. A nice young man grabbed our two suitcases and lead us down the landscaped path to Unit 11D. Before the key entered the door handle and the door opened, we were quite sure we had selected the right resort for our 5 night stay on St John. Once the door opened, we were surprised and delighted at how nice the unit looked and how spacious it was. Even though it was dark by this point, I wanted to snap a handful of pics before the place got that lived in look. This is what we saw on the night of our arrival.
After the photo session, all four big doors in the living area were flung open to reveal a simply amazing view of the boats on the harbor, the activities at the bars & grills along the waterfront. The breezes filled the room and covered our bodies with that feeling of being on the waterfront in the tropics. It was very nice. An added bonus is the distant sound of music coming from several of these establishments. Twice per hour there was the distinctive sound of a ferry arriving or departing.
We opened the louvers on all the other windows and doors and had no problem whatsoever sleeping without A/C. We did shut the place down when we went to bed all the other nights just because it felt nice to sleep in the A/C after long days of sun, sand and saltwater enhanced by rum drinks.
We awakened fairly to the sound of ferry boats and bright rays of tropical sun. We stumbled down the stairs front the loft bedroom and became absolutely certain that we had made the right choice in booking a harbor view upper room at Gallows Point. We must have repeated several times each day: "This place is awesome" or "Look at that View". Here is the unit by day.
The second full day on St John, we were bound for the Lind Point Trail which is the trail that leads to Solomon and Honeymoon Beaches. The rental jeep
exited Cruz Bay and began to climb a steep hill and off to the left, Gallows Point appeared prominently on the point. These photos show just how excellent Gallows location is and just how nice it is sitting on this point.
On the third full day, we toured the entire grounds before setting out for another busy day. Hopefully all the building numbers that I quote in the text that follows are accurate. Suffice it to say that every single unit has a wonderful view of the water and that all the grounds are manicured to perfection.
The next few pictures were taken from the main path that runs in front of the all buildings. The resort is pretty compact actually. You can walk from the furthest spot on one end to the other end in about 3-5 minutes.
Left to right Building 12, 13, 14
Left to Right, Building 15, 10, 11
Left to Right, Buildings 9, 15, 10
Near the Pool, out on the point is a swing under a gazebo ... view is Cruz Bay to the right and St Thomas to the left.
From the same spot, looking back toward the pool, the buildings in the center of this photo are (L to R) building 9, 8, 7. Building 9 is closest to the pool and that is building 3 (I think) sticking out on the point in the distance in the far right of the photo.
This photo was taken in back (water side) of building 5 looking back toward the pool.
These two photos were taken in the back (water side) of building 3 looking back toward the pool.
This photo was taken in back (water side) of building 5 looking toward the big point where building 3 is perched.
The next two pictures are of the pool. We didn't even dip a toe in the water. Even worse than that, though, we did not return to the resort early enough any of the days to watch the incredible sunsets from the hot tub ... first thing on the list for next time.
A few steps below the pool is a large deck with quite a few lounge chairs for the sun worshipers in your group. Each morning there were a few people out here sipping coffee.
When we researched Gallows Point, we read several times that the snorkeling was excellent right from the rocky beach at the resort. Gallows Point has an excellent setup to get into the water for swimming and snorkeling. I sure do not have a good explanation for why we did not even attempt to snorkel right here. That is 2nd on the list for next time. The snorkeling put in area ...
The next two pictures show how nicely landscaped Gallows Point is. If this scene don't put you in the mood to head for St John, you better check for a heartbeat.
Honestly, this place was lacking nothing. This is the very tidy area for grilling. There were two very new looking high-end Weber grills ... full set of BBQ tools hanging from each grill, freshly painted and sturdy picnic table and a couple more tables under a gazebo nearby. This is the total setup for grilled meals or for picnicking in paradise.
All along the waterfront behind the oceanfront buildings, there are neat little areas carved into the lush vegetation where you can chill out while the waves lap at the shore just a few feet away.
More regrets ... we did not dine at ZoZo's on site nor did we have any cocktails at the bar on the upper floor. This establishment has what is probably one of the best views on the island. Every evening it was humming with activity. Next time, for sure we will eat and drink at Zo Zo's.
These 2 images show the open-air lobby. I loved the dark woods ... so quintessentially Caribbean.
For anyone that might be a little concerned about a place where you leave all the doors and windows open, the resident iguana keep the riff-raff out.
So, for anyone considering a trip to St John and a stay at Gallows Point, stop your research, pick up the phone and book your flight and your room. It is so awesome. It won't take long to recover from the dent in your pocketbook, but you won't soon forget your vacation. For us, it was difficult to board the ferry after 5 nights here and watch the place disappear from view as we crossed the channel bound for Red Hook.