I just returned from an 8 night vacation with my wife and 2 young kids (aged 7 and 9) and really enjoyed myself. The Crane is a newer time share so the rooms are spacious and very well annoited with washer/dryers and all the modern amenities of home. It also means you can try and find owners directly and save on listed rates. We booked a 1 bedroom suite with a Plunge pool and were upgraded to a room with a larger swimming pool in Building 8 - which is closer to the beach and we preferred. The issue that a lot of other reviewers mention concerning the location is valid - The Crane is somewhat isolated but to me that is the point! There isn't the hustle and bustle of staying right outside Bridgetown and you feel like you are truly away. Most things - sights, activities, and dining is within a 30 minute drive and even those are along island roads soaked with picturesque lanscapes and towns. The resort has 3 restaurants (Italian, Asain, and Continental) which are all good so it is easy to stay "home". The rooms also have kitchens so you can cook if you want and the general store in the mock "Crane village" has groceries and sells fresh meats and fish as well. There also the bar 1887 which has surprisingly good local live music almost every night; from reggae and jazz to 70's covers and blues. The beach is one of the prettiest in the world - it reminded me of a mix of Cabo and the Amalfi coast because of the deep blue water surrounded by wind strewn cliffs. There are 3 cliff pools that flow into one another and a more "adults only" pool off of the spa.
The package that we booked with a 3rd party provider included breakfast each morning for the adults and also allowed kids under 12 to eat free throughout our stay. This is where we had a few issues. At first they said only children under 4 eat for free but I had my contract and they honored it. There is also only 1 restaurant with a dedicated children's menu so we had to go through the entire vacations bill the night before check-out and figure out who ate what and when. Lastly, they stated that the asian rasuarant, Zen, wasn't included but they told this on day 8! Again, after 2 wasted hours, they made good on the contract and made everything right but it would have been much easier to have things explained, and stated clearly, upon check in.
We took 2 day trips that I highly recommend. The 1st is to Harrison's Cave which is amazing and worth the trip even if you think you may not enjoy it. You go over 200 feet below ground level in a tram and it is an experience to remember. for the more adventurous type there is a 3 hours hike into the caves that you literally crawl on your hands and knees. We combined caves with a drive to the wildlife preserve where there are wild monkeys that come right up to you - the kids loved it. We then had the cab driver take us to Bathsheba (visually stunning coast) and down the east coast of the island that is peppered with sugar cane fields and rolling hills. The 2nd trip we booked was snorkeling on a catamaran on the western/Carribean side of the island. this is where the majority of hotels are and the water is crystal clear and very calm. The reef and wreck snorkeling was great and the kids had a blast. visability was perfect and the depth approx 30 feet. We then swam with 4 sea turtles that was another fantastic memory and finally anchored off the shore and had a decent local lunch aboard our boat, The Silver Star, followed by jumping and swimming around the ship. We chose the Silver Star because thye limit the capacity and we didnt want a boat with 65 people on it. Another must trip is to Oistin Fish Fry on Friday nights where there is local fresh food, music, and crafts.
All in all, this is a really great resort. The location and landscape is visually astounding and the cliff pools and village that they have created really "work" well. The gym needs updating for a place of this caliber and there are no kid's activities either - both really easy fixes and a great return on inventment for the management. I have no problem paying premium rates for 5 star resorts and the Crane has this potential but should try and avoid nickel and diming guests on the smaller issues. Like the Four Seasons model, charge people a ton for a room but give them a free breakfast and they are happy - perceived value! They did have free wifi! The Crane is certainly trying and I believe they will get there - in the meantime, I will certainly go back and am so happy that I didn't stay on the west coast of the island or Sandy Lane.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perched dramatically on the cliffs of Barbados' pristine south-east coast, The Crane Residential Resort, established since 1887, is the island's oldest operating hotel. Transformed into a world-class luxury resort, The Crane features ultra-spacious, fully appointed ocean-view one & two bedroom suites and three bedroom Penthouses, many with their own private plunge-pool. Facilities include the acclaimed Zen Restaurant serving classic Thai and Japanese cuisine and the consistently popular L'Azure Restaurant. The casual Carriage House Pool Side restaurant is another favourite along with D'Onofrio's Trattoria located in 'The Village' which offers duty free shopping, a General Store, Bar 1887 (with nightly live entertainment) and The Village Cafe. Last but not least is Crane Beach voted by Lifestyle's of The Rich and Famous as one of the Top Ten most beautiful beaches in the world, now with a fabulous Beach Grill! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Crane Residential Hotel Saint Philip
- Crane Hotel Saint Philip
- Crane Saint Philip
- Crane Barbados
- The Crane Barbados
- Crane Hotel Barbados
- Crane Resort Barbados
- The Crane Residential Resort Barbados/Saint Philip Parish