Perched atop a dramatic cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, The Crane Resort is one of the best on the island of Barbados. The resort has a plethora of recreational amenities from beautiful swimming pools to manicured gardens and historic architecture. Its accommodations range from traditional hotel suites to larger, residential units that can be purchased or rented for shorter periods.
When it comes to luxury, this resort offers a laid-back approach to island elegance. There isn’t an ounce of pretension here despite offering high-end shopping and dining, and the views from this vantage point on the island are simply stunning. This was actually the first hotel to ever open on the island dating back to 1887 when it was known then as the Crane Beach Hotel. Here are five of the best reasons to plan an island vacation to The Crane Resort on Barbados.
For starters, there are no standard rooms here. The accommodations are all suites. In fact, there are 21 different types of them. Among the many amenities in each are residential-style living areas, huge bathrooms with glass shower stalls and whirlpool tubs, and kitchen facilities. Families will love the units with laundry facilities that make it easier to pack for vacation. Others have fully furnished terraces or patios with beautiful views of the ocean or grounds.
The most prized suites are those with private pools either on the ground level or rooftop options with the best water panoramas. The suites range from one to three bedrooms, which means families have plenty of options or can reserve a connecting set of suites for even more bedrooms.
In the accommodations are majestic four-poster beds with plush duvets and pillows, excellent air conditioning and ceiling fans, and beautiful mahogany window shutters and furnishings.
Some of the most historic rooms in the hotel’s original building are favorites of repeat guests with their original stone walls, old-fashioned wooden shutters and antique furnishings. The panoramic terrace overlooking the ocean is breathtaking.
For those that like to stay put when they travel, The Crane has a diverse range of dining options. You can’t go wrong at Zen, the Thai-Japanese fusion restaurant that is a favorite of locals. The sushi chef is a master at his craft preparing everything from traditional maki rolls to the infamous sushi pizza with rice crust and a variety of toppings. In addition to private booths, there is also a large tatami room with recessed floor.
The Thai menu is as authentic as it gets and does not just cover the typical curry dishes, but goes beyond to include delectable soups, wok-friend entrees and fresh salads.
At L’Azure, the menu focuses on Caribbean fare with island-fresh seafood. The terrace dining area has incredible views of the ocean, but there is also indoor dining where the ceiling fans are whirling to keep everyone cool. This is also where a beautiful breakfast selection is offered each morning with island flavors taking centerstage. There are friend plantains, curried chickpeas and ground provision (a local dish with various root vegetables) in addition to more familiar omelets, pancakes and tropical fruits. Don’t miss the Bajan hot sauce, which adds a nice kick to any meal.
The resort’s dining and shopping scene is set up like a small village with small plazas where guests can gather over a cocktail or meander through to visit the shops. Bar 1887, referencing the year that the hotel opened, serves craft cocktails and tasty tapas, often to the tune of live jazz music.
At The Carriage House, casual fare is the highlight serving barbecued meats and fish, fresh salads and other grilled treats poolside. There’s also a beach bar and grill, gelato shop and bakery, and Italian restaurant serving traditional southern Italian pizzas and fresh pasta. It’s a favorite of families, too.
From this vantage point, the views from the cliff are incredible. The sound of the waves hitting the cliffs is hypnotizing. The elevation of the hotel gives guests a wonderful view, but there’s also the option to wander down to the beach for some toes-in-the-sand time. The Crane sets out chairs and towels for guests, but many visitors love to wade in the crashing waves or even swim the shoreline.
The resort’s location on a cliff in the southeastern part of the island means that there are always strong, refreshing breezes. Sleeping with your window open at night is especially enjoyable as a result.
The resort features five pools where guests can take a break from the sun. Lounge chairs ring the pool, and the sound of crashing waterfalls and swaying palm trees add to the lovely effect. Staffers wander the pool area to serve drinks and snacks.
The pools are located on varying levels offering their own beautiful views of the ocean and beach while also giving guests a pleasant place to relax in paradise. Interestingly, the original historic pool is now only reserved for adults. And the 1.5-acre cascading pool complex has its own area for families with a children’s wading pool, whirlpool and waterfall pool. Who can’t enjoy the ocean breeze and a piña colada while the sounds of a waterfall lull you into total relaxation just feet away?
Of course, the accommodations that come with their own private pools are especially inviting.
The recreational amenities
Families will find plenty to keep everyone busy. While parents are indulging in a treatment at Serenity Spa (try the jet lag massage the day you arrive to truly unwind), their offspring can frolic under the watchful eyes of the friendly kids club staff.
The 3,000 square foot fitness center is stocked with the latest workout equipment, and lighted tennis courts draw athletic types to the resort. A personal trainer can provide guidance, and regular yoga classes are a nice perk. Golfing on Barbados is a huge draw, and there are plenty of options including preferred tee times for guests at Barbados Golf Club.
At The Crane Resort Barbados, the island experience and historic surroundings create the ideal mix of fun in the sun.