We spent last week at The Crane with our two young sons, and had a marvelous time! Crane Beach is absolutely fabulous with white sand, a steady breeze, and rolling waves. We rented a boogie board each day which made body surfing fun! The beach staff and even the local guys who rented the boards and offered coconut drinks were really nice. No one hassles you. In general, we find the people of Barbados to be really nice, and we also thought the Crane staff was super nice.
The resort is well maintained with great pools and landscaping. We saw the landscapers working each day planting, weeding, and keeping everything in top shape. To that end, the landscaping around the pool is really impressive with cactus plants, palm trees, and more. We preferred the beach, but the kids liked the pools better. I say pools because there are several shallow pools in the main area (up to 5 ft deep) which is great for kids who are somewhat small! There is one deeper 8ft. pool in another area that attracts more adults and is very appealing.
The resort is set up like a small village with 3 restaurants and another one open only for lunch. We ate at them all and thought they had great food. Our favorite was Zen for Asian – Zen and L’Azure have a fabulous view of the beach and are upscale. The Italian one is not on the beach, and can be a little hot so this was not our favorite. The “village” has everything you need – a small grocery, an ice cream shop, bar/ lounge, a beach clothing store, etc. The kids loved the ice cream cones with hand-made cones.
We booked a two bedroom garden apartment with a plunge pool, and we couldn't have been happier with the accommodation. The room was well appointed with very nice furniture, 2 marble baths, a kitchen with granite counters and a generous living room. We were in building 3, which is near the entrance, which didn't matter at all. The patio area with the pool was fabulous, and the kids enjoyed swimming in it at the end of the day and one day when it rained quite a bit. The first couple of nights were a little rough because the room was missing a few small items like a kitchen drain insert, a waste basket, and most importantly – MOSQUITO NETS!! We got very bitten the first two nights while sleeping before we had the good sense to tell housekeeping, whereupon they promptly installed the nets and also furnished the other missing items. I think the resort should offer the nets at check-in because we didn't even know that A) they would be needed, and B) they even had nets. The AC in the kids bedroom didn't work so well, but it was okay and we didn't make a big deal about it -- the AC worked fine in the other rooms and the ceiling fan kept them comfortable. We were REALLY happy they had their own room and that the apartment was really nice with a kitchen and all the amenities we wanted.
The one drawback about the Crane is that it is set off on its own, not very close to other restaurants. We rented a car for a few days to give us flexibility and to see the island. We drove over to the West Coast, past Bridgetown and it is far more settled and crowded. We decided we liked the Crane setting better overall and plan to return! If you go to the St. Laurence Gap, you must go to PISCES which has amazing fish (tuna and snapper). Yum! We also went to a Greek restaurant called OPA! In the gap which we would NOT recommend. The service was surly and the food was two thumbs down. We also liked The Waterside, and Mexican at Café Sol too.