We arrive late and happily The Crane staff has anticipated our nighttime check-in. A picnic is waiting in the fridge. We recline on the chaises on our private deck, enjoy the night air, and take in the surf in the moonlight, the vibrant green of the private pool, and the distant lights on the other side of the island.
There’s so much to do: a leisurely breakfast, a swim in the pool, a massage, a rum punch on the beach as we wade in the crystal clear blue water or body surf the afternoon away. All is quiet, all is restful.
The hotel offers a wide variety of rooms with amenities to fit every taste. All rooms are suites with full kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms. Some have ocean views with a private pool on the terrace, or a terrace up high with an expansive vista of ocean and sky.
At The Crane, old and new are merged and immaculately maintained. Some buildings are more than 100 years old and some are under construction. The hotel opened in 1887, and it’s said that the first building was used as an inn a hundred years before. On the grounds of the resort, the Village Hall has shops which show different periods of Barbados architecture.
The spa is currently tucked away, but the new spa being built will overlook the ocean with an incredible view and a large grassy lea high above the sea for outdoor massages. The beach is set below the entire complex, and you can walk there or take the three-story elevator. The long strip of white sand is quiet most of the time, with the ocean sometimes crashing against the cliffs, and sometimes as gentle as a pool.
When the waves rise, the surfers come for the best waves on Barbados. The staff is cordial, polite, and always seemingly busy, as the hotel is maintained and improved continually.
The restaurants are to be commended for their ambiance, views, service, and cuisine. Menus vary, from Zen, the exquisitely designed modern Japanese venue, to fine dining at L’Azure, the continental restaurant to D’Onofrio, the pizza and pasta house. The Carriage House, an alternative to eating on the beach, is located in the original carriage house from 1887.
Breakfast on the veranda high above the sea is a wonderful way to start each day. If you don’t want to spend time at the beach, The Crane has four different pools, each with a story and an amazing view. The Crane staff will help you set up a catamaran cruise that lets you snorkel with turtles, swim over a coral reef with multi-colored fish, and enjoy lunch on board, or coordinate any of the other diversions offered in Barbados.
By: Stan Cohen
Photos: Patricia Foerster