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Caneel Bay or Gallows Point??

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Caneel Bay or Gallows Point??

Postby genas » Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:26 pm

I am planning a surprise trip for my husband in December and would like to get some feedback from anyone who has been to these resorts...Some reviews of Caneel Bay have been kind of alarming i.e. run down, bad service, etc. Candid opininons anyone? We will be renting a car and traveling to beaches ...
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Postby waterguy » Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:04 pm

If you are going before the 15th of Dec. you might want to get a small villa for the 2 of you.
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Postby Steve S » Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:12 pm

waterguy wrote:If you are going before the 15th of Dec. you might want to get a small villa for the 2 of you.

I agree with H2Oguy, there is much to be said for a private pool... :wink:

Of the 2 though, I'd take the convienience of Gallows over Caneel if you plan on Jeeping around the island anyway for the beaches.
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Postby Diana2 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:47 pm

There is always debate over this question. We always rent a villa so I'm biased I guess. I've never stayed at Gallows Point but I understand it's kind of a crap shoot where you get a nicely maintained and decorated unit (since they are privatley owned) but the location is great. I guess if money was not an option I'd like to try Caneel Bay but you are only getting a room there compared with a whole house if you go for a villa. Another good alterative is Estate Lindholm. We usually stay there a couple days before we get into our villa.

Is this your first trip to STJ? Do you prefer a resort environment?
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Gallows vs. Caneel

Postby petepie » Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:50 pm

I second the recommendation for Gallows Point. Great location, within easy walking distance of all the restaurants in Cruz Bay. It's nice when it's just two of you to be able to go out and have a glass of wine, beer, etc. without worrying about driving home on the (wrong) side of the (dark, narrow, and twisty) road! Gallows also gives you an advantage of having your own kitchen, which we used for making breakfast, snacks, and running the blender with pina coladas every night. Also, I don't think Caneel has a pool, and Gallows does, so if you're interested in having a pool and spa option, you'll have to go with Gallows. We stayed years ago in an oceanfront loft unit at Gallows and the view was really nice, it was great to have a balcony right out on the water from which you could watch the sunsets, the ferry and other boat traffic.

Caneel has Gallows beat hands down on the on-site beaches, but if you rent a jeep, you can drive around the island and try all the other beaches. I think that's one of the best parts about St. John to go try a new beach every day.
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Postby sea-nile » Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:45 pm

We liked Gallows a lot in 2005. I have heard that all units are different though and it seems the prices went way up. We did like walking to town and having the sunsets and the water right there.
I, myself would like to try a lot of other places on STJ but my husband would like to go to Gallows again if he ever goes back (and he'd better :D ).
I am looking forward to trying a new villa in November with the women. :D
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Postby CruzBayB » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:08 pm

I'm a Gallow's fan for it's walking distance to dinner in Cruz Bay each night among other things... Do some research on several websites to locate the best units. We were very pleased with both 15D and 1C for different reasons. 15D is right by the pool and perfect for after dinner hot tub before bed, while 1C was closer to the entrance so less walking to your unit when you arrive each day from the beaches. The on site convenience store rented fins for the week and had necessities for a reasonable price. Everyone on staff was extremely helpful during our stay. I'll definitely go back.
"By the time we hit Miami, the cell phones will ring and life as we know it will draw us back in, so tonight we will just continue to soak in the sounds, the sights, the tastes and the feelings of St. John."
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Postby PA Girl » Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:52 am

We stayed at Caneel a few times and rented a villa a few more times. We went back and forth for a long time over choosing between the two for our next trip.

What is your first desire/priority for this trip?

If it is beaches, stay at Caneel as the access can’t be beat. After 12 years of going to STJ, I want to spend more time on the beach and less time deciding which beach, packing for the beach, and driving back and forth to the beach. (Can you tell I am still not over the extreme amount of time we spent commuting last year?)

If it is all around exploring, going out, cooking-in some of the time (coffee, breakfast, etc.) then Gallows or another type of condo or villa rental might be a better choice as it would likely be less expensive.
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Postby ScottB » Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:40 pm

Another Gallows fan here. We loved the access to Cruz Bay via a 3 minute walk.....this was great after too many drinks which seems to happen a lot on vacation!! The units are nice, the pool is usually deserted, and the staff is very friendly. We'd love to be on a beach, but exploring new ones everyday is the deal on STJ!!
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Postby lpowmacback » Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:13 pm

Another Gallows fan here! :lol:

We LOVE being able to walk into town!
We LOVE daily maid service -coming back to your home away from home with sand that's been vacuumed, beds made, shiny, cleaned up bathrooms & replenished toiletries, etc!
We LOVE as many fresh, clean towels as we want - DAILY!
We LOVE having a kitchen to make some breakfasts & snacks!
We LOVE fantastic snorkeling right there!
We LOVE the little conveinece store (Every Ting)- right there!
We LOVE chatting with the few people we meet at the pool - although - sometimes - there is no one around!
We LOVE being able to SEE, HEAR & SMELL the water FEET AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For us - it is the best of all worlds!

Now, if anyone can tell me if there is something similar to Gallows in Poipu on Kauai - I'd be thrilled! :lol:

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Postby St. John Lover » Thu Aug 30, 2007 1:06 am

Hard choice. We've stayed at both. Totally different experiences.

Gallows is more like a condo. IMHO, unit #1 is the best unit there because it's right by the water with beautiful peaceful views & it doesn't get the Harbor or Town noise like the units on the other end.

It's nice that you can snorkel & swim right off the property (not much of a beach to speak of though). It is roughly 1/2 the price of Caneel & because it's walkable to town, probably one of the few choices on St. John that you really wouldn't have to rent a car because being able to walk to town means you can also easily pick up a taxi to take you to pretty much all of the National Park Beaches.

On the other hand, again IMHO, Caneel, while twice as much is an outstandingly beautiful unique property that probably is worth twice as much. It has SEVEN incredible National Park beaches on it's property. We stayed right on Scott Beach & it was wonderful. Nice little patio terraces that you can sit on in the shade and view the incredible water & yet be seconds from a cold beverage or snack in your room.

Walking out just a few steps to some of the best beaching, swimming, & snorkeling in the world. Seeing wild donkeys graze or deer jump just a few feet from you. We definitely felt pampered while we were there. But, we could only afford a couple days.

For about as much money as Gallows (frequently less), you can rent a whole villa with your own private pool so that is usually what we do. Caneel was a 3-night splurge because we had to leave the villa we were renting & wanted to spend a few more days on St. John.

As others have said, it really depends on what your personal preferences are and your budget.
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Postby BPT » Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:25 am

There is a pretty extensive discussion of this on another board and the interesting thing is that Caneel is the clear choice there and Gallows is the clear choice here. To me, having stayed at both, it's apples and oranges for about the same price. The least expensive room at Caneel in December is $425 and anything Ocean View at Gallows is $395 to $475. Because of the diesel engine ferry noise (6am-12a) even on the OV side, I wouldn't even consider staying Harbor View. I'm a light sleeper. We also did not care for the beach at Gallows as much because it's a rocky entry. Neither factor is the end of the world though because you are afterall on St John! But when the price is so close, we found Caneel with it's beaches and grounds to be more suited to our taste. Breakfast was included in our rate and because there are so many wonderful restaurants on St John we don't like to cook at home. We took a taxi into to town (5 minutes/$5 each way - NBD) and had lunch, shopped or had dinner. That's all the "night life" we're interested in. Having primarily stayed at the Westin or a villa over the past 20 years we're used to the short treks into town. If the food were better at Caneel (did not think it was bad but)we might have been tempted to never leave the property and we are on the go type travelers.
Do want to say that ZoZo's is our favorite bar & restaurant. The sunsets & evening views across the water are incredible (which is what your condo view is) and love the food.
Just another point of view for your consideration. I hope your husband is wonderfully surprised and happy with your trip to paradise!
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Postby SusanNJ » Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:53 am

Another Caneel Bay fan here! Never stayed at Gallow's but we have stayed several times at the Westin. If the accessibility to beaches w/o driving, I would recommend Caneel. If you are going to be away from where you're staying for the majority of each day, then I would opt for Gallows. I really don't think you can go wrong with either. Another option is stay at both? 8)
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Postby liamsaunt » Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:31 am

SusanNJ wrote:Another option is stay at both? 8)

The best suggestion yet! :D

I've stayed at both and like them both--they are so different I really can't compare them. The beaches and snorkeling are great at Caneel, but there's good snorkeling at Gallows too...I still think the best option of all is to stay at a villa. We are doing a week at Gallows in October, maybe adding on three nights at Caneel too, and I am already a little antsy about it. I really like having the privacy and space of a villa.
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Postby RickG » Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:53 am

BPT wrote:There is a pretty extensive discussion of this on another board and the interesting thing is that Caneel is the clear choice there and Gallows is the clear choice here.

BPT has a good point that I agree with. You're going to get less of a resort focus from the group here. The group here tends to the experienced villa roll-your-own vacation repeat visitor. You can do it yourself cheaper, if you know how. Caneel is all about being on the beach. Gallows is all about being close to town.

Caneel gets knocked by the folks who expect that Cruise Ship/Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa treatment. Caneel has a different mission that sometimes leaves an expectation gap.

RickG sez: With a car, I would stay at Caneel Bay.

Cheers, RickG
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