We have just returned from the Crane and cannot say enough good things about it. We have visited Barbados before, but have always stayed on the West Coast so I had concerns that the resort might be a little too out of the way. If you are looking for a hotel where you can walk to restaurants or see the town, this is not the place for you. We loved it's location and were constantly in awe of our surroundings. The East coast is beautiful and rugged and the Crane takes advantage of it's location.
Before we arrived at the hotel Juanita in guest services took care of booking surf lessons for my daughters and a catamaran cruise for our family. She was very helpful and offered suggestions as well. Upon our arrival, my daughters were delighted to be given cool facecloths and fruit punch and felt completely spoiled. Cheryl made our check in process seamless and in no time were were on the beach.
We ate at all of the restaurants and have few, if any complaints. Our first meal at L'Azure was a little disappointing, but as we had been travelling all day and were out of sorts, I cannot say whether it was actually the restaurant or ourselves to blame. We loved D'Onofrios and Zen and had lunch almost every day at the Carriage House. It's location is beautiful and the children loved being able to swim while we waited for our meal. My daughters also loved the ice cream shop.
The exercise room is adequate and I never had a problem finding a machine available, and the pools are lovely. The waves at the beach may be a little too rough for smaller children, but my girls loved body surfing every day. It was also a relief to not have to fight for beach chairs. There were plenty of chairs and umbrellas and the staff made sure everyone had somewhere to lounge. So many times you go to big resorts where people put their towels out first thing in the morning but never use their chairs. This was not the case at the Crane.
We were in a 2 bedroom garden villa with pool and it was perfect. I missed not having an ocean view, but the garden provided privacy that some of the ocean villa rooms do not get. The only oversight when constructing the garden units was that the second story rooms actually overlook the pool villas. We were fortunate in that the room above us was only occupied one evening, but it is slightly uncomfortable feeling that you are being watched while in your backyard.
Building 5 seems to have the best location in terms of rooms with pools. The other buildings have lovely big pools and ocean views, but everyone walking to the pool or the beach can see right into your room. If you are in building 5 you do not get the foot traffic in front so would have a little more privacy.
One thing that really stood out for us was the friendliness of everyone working at the Crane. Everyone we encountered, from the landscaper to our friendly waitress Suzanne at L'Azure made a point of saying hello. Not once did we encounter anyone who wasn't completely pleasant.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable holiday and we would definitely return.