To reach a deal with the seller in the early 2018, Mr. Josh Sayre and I traveled to St. Croix from California for a three-day intensive due diligence. We hoped to cover every inch of the 45 acres. Our guide used a machete to cut paths through thick overgrown trees and shrubs to lead us to many of the abandoned and heavily damaged villas. We learnt that the concrete slabs and the exterior walls were intact and in decent shape. Everything else was pretty much a ruin. Hurricane Maria deposited huge rocks, debris, and coral from the ocean floor throughout our lower 6 guest rooms reaching a height of almost 5 ft. Just seeing what mother nature is capable of could have been daunting. The sandy beach front of the Hotel and Villas was also covered with rock and literally tons of rubble.
This did not deter us and in fact made us more determined as rugged coastal landscape and hillside above were breathtaking. We started to also uncover a number of treasures within the heavy impacted damage areas. For example, we could see faded wall murals and stone work by artists like Daniel Buren in 1965 that told a forgotten story of this place.
We knew the obstacles and the challenges were endless as even the wildlife had made their home for 30 years where there was once a bustling hotel full of families and kids. Working closely with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) and Coastal Zone Management (CZM), we made sure we didn’t disturb the wildlife such as the Turtles that nest on the Grapetree Bay beach from June- November.
Our Director of Construction and Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Josh Sayre, relocated to St. Croix, with his wife Amy and three children, in the summer of 2018 from Sacramento, CA. Amy is the Controller for Grapetree Capital LLC. This is certainly a family affair. The Grapetree Bay Hotel family started growing as Josh managed to locate and guide a stellar construction team composed entirely of St. Croix residents. Electricians, plumbers, carpenters, masons, tile setters, landscapers, security and housekeeping personnel, and many others dove into the immense rebuilding task at hand. The first phase to completely rebuild the 37,000 sq ft. main Hotel building including the 18 guest rooms, front desk, lobby, two restaurants, kitchen, pool and decking, bars, and a fitness center. Many walls and safety improvement were incorporated to try to protect the Hotel from future storm surges. Phase I is completed in just over two years despite the challenges that Covid-19 brought as we made sure that our #1 goal was to keep our teams safe. And, we did it!
We are doing our part to mitigate Climate Change by building an environmentally friendly location. One of the unique aspects of our property is that we take advantage of our 360-day island sun and harness it as solar energy that powers majority of the properties’ electrical usage during the day and powers the battery for night time use.
We buy local products and also recycle all our bottles and cans and are working on an onsite recycle plant. We will be sharing more information on that soon.
Thank you to all the Grapetree Bay Hotel employees, subcontractors, and the investors! A special thanks to Rev Solar LLC. for installing a system with three phase electricity powered by the sun with battery storage for our night usage. Also, special thanks to St. Croix artist Barbara Gelardi for her beautiful mural artwork, and signage.
After a thirty-year siesta, the Grapetree Bay Hotel is open and operating, all that is missing is your visit. We are family friendly hotel, all are welcome. Come spend a week (or more) in one of our luxurious 720 sq. ft rooms, each one thoughtfully furnished and a balcony with direct view of the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Be sure to enjoy the Sea Terrace Restaurant and Bar for breakfast, lunch and dinner as our chef & warm staff prepare exquisite cuisine with something for everyone. The entire resort is open air concept so whilst we go through Covid-19, there is no better place than to breathe the fresh air and be in open spaces.
When reviewing the original 1960’s layout, Josh said “this place was built to party”. We agree and look forward to sharing the best of the 1960’s – 1980’s nostalgia, and all of the modern conveniences, and amenities of 2021 during your next visit to The Grapetree Bay Hotel and Villas.
The Grapetree Hotel family wants to be the first to welcome you to enjoy a relaxing vacation and/or celebrate your special life event with us.
See you soon,
Grapetree Capital, LLC