Want to get away from the hustle and bustle and truly relax on your vacation? Welcome to The Crane Resort in Barbados, where stunningly lovely old-world charm meets utter tranquility.
Unlike many other Caribbean resorts that boast pulsing nightlife, daily excursions and pressure to fill every moment with planned activities, The Crane offers an old-fashioned family vacation atmosphere where you set your own pace. Whether you are a couple looking for one-on-one time or hosting a family reunion, you can find what you’re looking for at the resort. No hurries, no worries.
The Blue Atlantic
Enjoy world-famous Crane Beach and the sparkling blue Atlantic ocean your way, on your own time. Lounge on the pristine white sand beach and sip exotic drinks from coconut shells. Read a book, take a nap or just enjoy watching and listening to the calming rhythm of the waves.
The courteous Crane staff will set up chairs and umbrellas and deliver your favorite beverages to make your relaxation complete.
Build sandcastles with the kids, collect shells, play frisbee or beach volleyball.
Want to enjoy the ocean? Bring your gear, and snorkle the reef out past the breakers. Swim, surf and boogie board to your heart’s content. And, if you’re really adventurous, climb up the cliffs and dive into the swirling crystal waters below.
Stroll and explore the craggy cliffs overlooking the azure sea. If you’re brave enough to venture down Crane Beach and climb the rocky shoreline you will find all sorts of fascinating sea life lurking in hidden pools and secret holes.
Stand on the rocks and let the waves crash around you in their watery fury. Discover lost coves and mysterious caves carved from the cliff walls.
The Crane was Barbados’ first resort.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t named for the sandhill cranes that are featured in the statuary around the resort grounds. The site was first a commercial shipping port where cargo was brought on and off the island. A crane was built to hoist that cargo up the cliffs, and the resort and beach retained the name.
The original hotel opened in 1898, and the carriage house that was part of the complex still stands on the property. It has since been renovated and houses a restaurant adjacent to the resort’s infinity pool.
Over the years, Crane Beach has been named one of the top beaches in the world by several publications and travel sites.
Lap of Luxury
The Crane may be easy going, but it’s all accomplished with pampered luxury. The rooms and suites have every amenity, including your own personal pool. Some suites have sunny larger pools located off the back. And others offer covered plunge pools for a quick dip on a hot day. If you want to spend some alone time with your sweetie or just have a family-only swim, your own little pool allows you to cool off without joining the crowd.
Bathrooms feature large showers and jacuzzi jet tubs to work out the kinks after a long day on the beach. Each suite has a full kitchen with all the appliances you need to prepare your own meals. Regular hotel rooms don’t include a kitchen, but do have a mini-fridge. And, all the rooms are beautifully appointed with elegant dark wood and stone to match the historical design of the entire resort.
Don’t worry about cleaning. The staff comes in daily to take care of that for you. Just show your appreciation at the end of your stay with a generous tip!
The resort does offer wireless internet. However, it’s better in some places than in others. But, you came to Crane Beach to UNplug, right?
Dining and Shopping
The Crane Resort offers several dining options on site, including:
- D’Onofrio’s Trattoria
- The Carriage House
- The Grove Bar and Grill
- Bar 1887
The resort is tucked away on the southeast side of the island, but there are a few local establishments that are within walking distance. I’d recommend Cutters. Their food is top-notch and the prices are reasonable. But the real reason to visit Cutters is the out-of-this-world rum punch!
There are also several small shops located within the resort. Cave Shepherd sells the average beach fare, like bathing suits, towels, beachwear, hats, sunscreen and souvenirs. It also has a small duty-free shop where you can purchase spirits for your frosty beverages.
You also may purchase high-end jewelry in Columbian Emeralds. And local merchants often showcase their wares in The Village Fare.
The tiny General Store features some local fare with fresh fruits, vegetables and spices. Grab all the staples you need to stock your kitchen. It’s adequate but limited and a bit expensive, so if you want a better selection and the experience of shopping like the Bajans do, the resort can order a car to drive you to a local supermarket.
Other Amenities and Information
Pools are plentiful at The Crane. Not only do you have your personal pool, but there are five large outdoor pool facilities on the grounds where you can swim, hang out with friends or just soak in the sun. Each pool comes with its own breathtaking view of the Atlantic.
Island wildlife is also abundant on the grounds. You will see a wide variety of birds, including the unique-looking scaly-neck pigeon. And, if you’re lucky you’ll catch a glimpse of a green monkey.
Your kids can enjoy the Kids Club while you spend some adult time in the spa or fitness center. The resort also boasts zumba and yoga classes and other special events, and you can check with the front desk to find out when those are offered.
The resort has very few cons, but some might consider the air conditioning situation to be a downside. Your stay does not include air conditioning unless you pay for it. However, the rooms are built so that the air flows through, keeping you cool and comfortable most of the time.
While The Crane is a secluded oasis, you may find that you want a little more adventure off the grounds. You have some options. You may rent a car (at the airport) and explore the island on your own, or you can hire a service to drive you to various destinations or provide you with a tour. The resort staff can help you find a car or tour service that works for your budget.
Here are some Barbados sights and events that you might find interesting:
Oistin’s Friday Night Fish Fry
Carlisle Bay — Bridgetown
If you like to keep up with celebrities, you can also get a tour guide to show you where Rihanna used to live before she was famous and her current residence when she visits her home country.
Overall, The Crane Resort is a delightful destination if you are looking for a quiet, secluded vacation spot. If you’re looking for nightlife and unending parties, it’s not the resort for you.
— Photos by Leona Perry