The Crane is a perfectly nice resort, in terms of the quality of the rooms and the beach. But the management completely ruins it, and renders the overall experience disappointing and frustrating. If you are looking for a luxury resort with top-notch service and amenities, keep looking. (We stayed there for five days from Dec. 23-28, 2012).
Staying at the Crane is like death by a thousand paper cuts. No one blow is lethal, but put together, it is deeply unpleasant. Here’s what I mean: (1) At check-in, you get two towel cards for the beach, and a threat that failure to return the cards will result in a $50 per card fine. And they mean it – it’s impossible to get more than two towels (for two of us), which really makes no sense at the beach. You put one on the chair and use one to dry off, right? Not at the Crane, where they are more concerned that you will walk off with the threadbare 100 count towels than about their guests’ comfort. (2) Speaking of towels, we also only got two in the room. I think Hampton Inn gives you four. It’s just odd. We asked for more, got one extra for two more days and then it was back to two. And, almost as a punishment, they also stopped giving us washcloths. One evening, we called four times over four hours before finally having a couple delivered. (3) Staying on the theme of housekeeping, we had a king bed. But we had full size sheets with an exposed mattress. I don’t think I need to expand further on that point. (4) The resort bathrooms repeatedly ran out of toilet paper. (5) The spa, which we used and was just ok, didn’t have soap or a light in the bathroom and had mold all over the bathtub. (6) The pathlights were out all over the place, making walk in the dark difficult. (7) There is a severe lack of chairs and umbrellas at the beach, even though there is room for another row of chairs. It leads to actual shouting matches among guests that we witnessed. (8) Two shutters in our room never closed, so we couldn’t get the room to stay dark in the morning. We called several times and they never fixed it, even though they said they would.
That’s the maintenance/physical part of the plant. The guest services staff is in a category all by itself – their indifference and rudeness and inability to actually help was mindboggling. We walked in one day to arrange an island tour. No one greeted us; they were more interested in just talking to each other. We finally sat down in front of one of them, who looked really unhappy to be the one who got picked to help. She was singularly unhelpful, not really offering any advice and acting put upon every time we asked a question (you know, absurd things like, is that place open this week?). She arranged a tour for us and, of course, when we arrived on the appointed day at the appointed hour, there was no record of it and no driver in sight. The bellman called the driver and he came in, thirty minutes later. When I went in to ask guest services, they said that the person who helped me wasn’t there and that they couldn’t help me further. No apology, no attempt to do anything. (It was a good tour, though; we’ll post reviews of our favorite spots, like Hunte’s Garden and St. Nicholas Abbey as well). The guest services staff was also very unhelpful about dinner reservations (which are a must). They were so annoyed about making reservations that we chose to wait for reservations for the last two nights until we had tried the restaurants. Big mistake. We couldn’t get into any on one night, and we were also told that takeout is only available until 5:30 at the restaurant we wanted to go to. We were told that at 6, after asking at 2 what our options were and expressing a desire to eat there that night. This attitude goes beyond the guest services staff – they must have a rule that no one ever says “sorry” about anything. No one ever smiles and says hello when you walk by. It’s astonishing, having been all over the Caribbean, and having been around Barbados, to find such a singularly unfriendly place.
A final note of warning – this place is frequented by time share guests, which presumably contributes to the poor service, since those people are locked in to whatever service they get, as opposed to folks who are just looking for a nice resort. This is not a nice resort, and if you are accustomed to places like the Four Seasons or St. Regis, or even just like places that are run by friendly, helpful staff, I urge you to stay elsewhere.