Westin, Gallows Point or Villa?

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Apr 13th, 2005, 08:16 PM
  #1
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Westin, Gallows Point or Villa?

My husband and I will be staying on St. John for 4 nights at the end of May and are trying to decide where to book our accomodations. I'm 5 months pregnant so I'm hoping for a relaxing location. Top priorities are nice beach, location that wouldn't require a car rental to get places and VERY CLEAN (the newer the better). The problem I'm finding with villas is that they require a 5 night minimum. My problem with the Westin and Gallows Point is the lack of a beach. Caneel is booked. Any suggestions on what would best fit my needs and desires? Thanks in advance.
AmandaF is offline  
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Apr 13th, 2005, 10:08 PM
  #2
J62
 
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Most people will advise you that on St. John you're going to want to have a car, at least for several of the days. It's a small island - you can drive from one end to the other and back in about 30min, unless you stop at any of the beautiful overlooks or beaches along the way (North shore). If you know where you're headed you can take open air (aka gypsy) taxis for a couple of $ per person each way.

The beauty and lure of St John is the compact size, lack of crowds (except cruise ship day traffic at Trunk bay) and the choice of numerous bays and beaches to explore.

If you stay at Gallows point you are right next to Cruz bay with numerous restaurants, small shops, etc.
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Apr 13th, 2005, 10:15 PM
  #3
J62
 
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ps,

You will also find that any private residence/villas are all on the interior of the island and aren't located ON any beach, so you'll need transportation (car or taxi) anyway.

If you're not familiar with them, the open air taxis are all big, pretty new US pickup trucks (Ford F350 or F450). The bed of the pickup is removed and replaced with 4 or 5 rows of bench seats with a canopy top. There are no 'normal' taxis on the island - this is what you get. If leaving from Cruz bay they usually wait till they have a full load before heading out on their route.

The drivers zip up and down the hills and around corners pretty quickly, so the first time you ride one it can be exciting.
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Apr 14th, 2005, 04:58 AM
  #4
 
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I've never read a bad review on Estate Lindholm ( http://www.estatelindholm.com/ ) and you should be able to reserve 5 days if available.

I would rent the 'jeep' for all five days and drive to some of the beaches that are near the road such as Jumbie, Mahoe, and if you can tolerate the road there, Little Lameshur. These beaches are amazingly close to where you would park.
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Apr 14th, 2005, 06:01 AM
  #5
 
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I just posted a reply on your other post, but thought I'd put it here, too. First of all, good to see that you've increased your stay. It's hard to switch islands/hotels with only 3 nights. But have you considered the island of Vieques just off Puerto Rico? Passports wouldn't be an issue for you, and it's a quiet island known for the beauty of its beaches. There have been several recent trip reports on Vieques and to me it just sounds magical--the beaches, the bioluminescent bay, the Paso Fino horses, with plenty of small inns and B&Bs to choose from, most if not all of which are in your price range.

If you have your heart set on St. John, just know that unless you want to settle for the beach at the Westin that you'll have to drive around for beach time. There are the more rustic places such as Mahoe Bay with tent-like cottages, but they may not offer enough creature comforts for a pregnant woman. I'm surprised that Caneel is fully booked for the time you want. Gallows Point seems to have the best location within an easy walk to Cruz Bay for dining and entertainment options, but that doesn't help much when you're looking for a beach.
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Apr 14th, 2005, 07:17 AM
  #6
 
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We ran into this problem as well. I really wanted to be right on a beach, but it just didnt seem possible. Caneel was too expensive for us.

I've heard mixed reviews about the Westin. Some people really liked it, some people really didnt. I'd say about 99% of the reviews I've read about Gallows have been great. Everyone seems pleased with it.

With Gallows you are definitely close to Cruz Bay. And all the suites have views...if thats important to you. I dont know about the Westin.

It seems you will have to drive to beaches anyways regardless of where you stay.
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Apr 20th, 2005, 12:01 PM
  #7
 
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Gallows Point is very clean and very relaxing. While there is only a rocky beach, the pool is generally quiet and you can sit out on the hammock down by the beach. The Westin beach is not really worth it.....there are kids everywhere (which from the sounds of it, will be coming soon enough for you!). They have lots of loud activities for children like huge water trampolines. Gallows doesn't really even like to have young children stay there, so you are pretty much assured that it will be quiet. It is also convenient that it has a great restaurant (ZoZo's) and little convenient store right there!
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Apr 20th, 2005, 06:32 PM
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Gallows doesn't allow any children under the age of 5 and "discourages" any under the age of 12. You can't even bring anyone under 5 into ZoZo's. So, if you're looking for a child-free zone, that's the place. Gallows is also great in that it is walking distance to the restaurants in Cruz Bay and has great views over the water. The other posters are right--you really will miss out on St. John if you don't have a rental car, and there are hardly any places right on the beach. Only ones I know of are Caneel Bay and a couple of villas (Rainbow Beach in Coral Bay), Gibney cottages on the north shore, and Pebble Beach at the East End.
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Apr 20th, 2005, 06:41 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Forgot to add that if price is really a big consideration, check out Concordia's studios out near Coral Bay. I would advise you to stay near Cruz Bay if it's you first time to St. John, and you will need a rental car to stay out at Concordia, but it's another condo option that might give you less than 5 nights. Other condo right in Cruz Bay (right across the street from Gallows) is Lavender Hill.
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Apr 20th, 2005, 07:07 PM
  #10
 
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Concordia's Studios are a good budget option. We've stayed in the eco-tents there and loved it. However, there are very many steep sets of steps as the location is cliffside though, maybe not the best choice if you're pregnant.

The studios & tents are located just above Salt Pond Bay which is also a short hike down a ruddy dirt road to the beach. But you'd still have to drive to the parking area for the beach.

IMO, Gallows Point is still your best option.
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