Let me begin by stating that my husband and I were married 20 years ago in Barbados, and this was our return trip to celebrate our anniversary. We came down with our children and rented a villa in St James Parish for a week. We sent the kids home, then went to The Crane for 3 nights on our own. What a beautiful hotel. I love the way the old and new blend together. Keeping the historic areas of this property and incorporating them into the resort was a very good choice. The views are breathtaking, the flowers and foliage are beautiful, grounds nicely kept. The room we had was an ocean view in building 9 and it was very comfy and huge. Great jacuzzi tub, comfy bed, full kitchen and well decorated. The beach was clean, waves were good and the service was friendly. We were never approached by anyone, but it wouldn't have bothered us if we had. We love the Bajan people. If you don't want to buy what they sell, say no thanks and have a great day! The elevator down to the beach didn't always work, so you must be ready to climb a few stairs.
The Crane is in a wonderfully quiet and secluded part of the island. It was so nice to get away from the noisy street in Fitts Village. It really depends on what type of vacation you're looking for. If you want night life, lots of restaurants and shops, you probably want to stay somewhere closer to The Gap. If you want to spend a fortune, there's always Sandy Lane. I felt we had everything we needed right at the hotel. I stopped at the supermarket in Emerald City for a few things, and we did have cutters at Cutter's Deli one day which was quite good and just a quick right outside of the hotel.
The pools were spread out nicely and there is also a hot tub (which thankfully isn't hot). I liked the little infinity pool by the Carriage House, especially nice if you're having lunch with children.
We attended the Sunday gospel brunch. Superb buffet with even better singing! Very enjoyable. We also attended the cocktail hour on Monday night which was a very nice touch to our stay as well...rum punch, wine and appetizers were flowing, as well as a nice atmosphere to meet other guests.
L'Azure and Zen were beautiful inside with amazing views of the ocean. The food in both restaurants was delicious. I had Phad Khing from the Thai menu at Zen one night, and the grilled, marinated salmon at L'Azure another night, both absolutely delicious. We had a great pizza at D'Onofrio's, and the lunch served at the Carriage House was always good. We ate there several times...my favorite being the chicken wrap.
I loved the cool, fresh smelling washcloths they provided at check in. The staff were always friendly and helpful, and like most locals, always ready to engage in conversation. Some reviews have suggested otherwise, but I have to disagree. All of the staff were wonderful in my opinion.
The whistling frogs (or tweedlebugs as I like to call them) are loud everywhere on the island, but they add a kind of ambiance to the night and are very relaxing. Enjoy them!
The only thing I feel the need to suggest...PLEASE take American Express. A hotel of this caliber really should. We had to do a wire transfer as we don't carry Visa or Mastercard (other than a debit card, which I luckily had just enough to cover the room). Other than that, everything was absolutely PERFECT! Thank you all at The Crane for taking such good care of us and helping to make our 20th anniversary as memorable as our wedding day was in beautiful Barbados! You will always be my first recommendation for a hotel on the island.