A renowned St. Croix hotel returns! Thirty-two years after Hurricane Hugo ravaged St. Croix, an iconic hotel has returned to its former space after its doors were shuttered due to the catastrophic 1989 storm. Grapetree Bay Hotel & Villas is located on St. Croix’s East End across the bay from the Divi Carina Bay Resort & Casino. Once heralded as the most sought out hotel in the late 1960s, the widespread 45-acre property was purchased by an investment group with the project being led by one of its members, Josh Sayre. Originally from California, Sayre is an established construction manager with extensive experience in remodeling dilapidated homes and buildings. His work on island includes low-income homes built for VI Housing Finance Authority as well as a few private homes for sale. He decided to take on the hotel rebuild but knew it would require his constant presence on island. He moved to St. Croix full time to spearhead the project.

This massive undertaking required Sayre and his team of local professionals to completely overhaul the damaged property with poured concrete walls, reinforcing the structure that was left. “There was too much concrete to completely tear down the building,” said Sayre. It took two years for the main building to be complete. It features 18 guest rooms, the hotel pool plus the property’s Sea Terrace Restaurant. After renovation is fully completed, there will be 56 rooms and another restaurant on the property. The restaurant and pool officially opened to the public on August 7, 2021. Head Chef Brittany Middleton is leading the way in the kitchen with a solid team preparing a diverse selection of appetizers and sandwiches featuring locally sourced produce, house made breads, croissants and desserts. Originally, Middleton was hired as a line chef and was later promoted to head chef. The restaurant is currently open for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays only from 11am to 3pm. A few brunch options will be added to the current menu in September with fine dining in the evenings slated to be added soon.

Sayre and his wife currently serve as general manager, restaurant manager, expediters, bartenders, wait staff and everything else in between as they ramp up their hiring efforts in anticipation of the hotel’s opening in late 2021. Guests can request reservations by emailing grapetreehotel@gmail.com for inquiries on current availability. For more information, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/grapetreebayhotel.

Article written by Anquanette Gaspard (agaspard@cruzanfoodie.com) for Coldwell Banker, St. Croix Realty

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