The Rebirth of Grapetree Bay Hotel

March 13, 2024
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Nestled on the serene shores of Saint Croix, the Grapetree Bay Hotel once stood as a symbol of opulence, until the devastating Hurricane Hugo struck in 1989. This natural disaster left the hotel in ruins, with rocks filling its spaces right up to the roof. Despite the destruction, the structural integrity endured, leaving a shell of what was once a luxurious retreat. For the next 30 years, the hotel sat in silence, a stark reminder of the storm’s wrath.

A New Chapter

In 2019, a glimmer of hope emerged as Grapetree Capital acquired the dormant property. The ambitious rebuilding process began, marking the first steps towards the resurrection of this Caribbean paradise. One of the first signs of renewal was the reconstruction of the hotel’s pool, a symbolic gesture representing the resurgence of life within its walls. Remarkably, amidst the rubble, one thing remained untouched by the hurricane’s fury – a mural from 1965, crafted by the award-winning French artist Daniel Buren. This artistic treasure became a cornerstone in the hotel’s restoration, providing a link to its storied past. The commitment to recreating the essence of Grapetree Bay Hotel’s history became a guiding principle in the rebuilding process.

Fresco Grapetree Bay Hotel

A Blend of Nostalgia and Sustainability

Fast forward to 2021, and Grapetree Bay Hotel opened its doors once again. The team behind the rebirth had successfully blended nostalgia with modernity, creating a 1960s retro boutique experience that paid homage to its roots while giving guests a new twist on Caribbean luxury. In tune with contemporary times, Grapetree Bay Hotel embraced sustainability during its resurrection. The hotel runs on a combination of solar and diesel, ensuring a reliance on renewable energy sources. Rainfall cisterns were installed to collect water, making the hotel self- sufficient and off-grid, detached from the main power grid.

Rediscovering Paradise

The rebuilding journey was not without its challenges. The materials and labor needed were scarce, exacerbated by the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lingering effects of Hurricane Maria. Despite these hurdles, Grapetree Bay Hotel persevered, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to its vision of rebirth. Situated on 45 acres of lush landscape, Grapetree Bay Hotel has emerged as a beacon of sustainable luxury. The open-air design—a nod to its Caribbean roots—invites guests to immerse themselves in the natural beauty that surrounds the property. The hotel stands as a testament to the resilience of both nature and the human spirit, a paradise reborn from the ashes of adversity. Grapetree Bay Hotel is not just a place to stay; it’s a living testament to the power of renewal and the enduring allure of paradise rediscovered.