So let’s start from the top or bottom as the case may be …
The rooms are run down and are definitely showing wear and tear. Examples of these were the safe that was antiquated, the rusting appliances, the hot tub panels that would keep falling off and the need to wait for 10 minutes for hot water to build sufficiently. You have to be an early riser as there are no black out drapes of any sort so sunrise means a fully lit room but ironically the rooms are very dark at night as lighting in the rooms are very poor. Any calls we made to the front desk inquiring about faulty items required follow up as they were not attended to and no apology was offered.
The pools are another issue. None are heated. From the plunge pool in our room to the main pools, all are very cold and the surf temp at the beach is significantly warmer. My wife and I would not go in the pools and even our daughter who is a competitive swimmer and used to cold pools found them less than inviting. Shade at the pool is a premium as there are no umbrellas. As a result the two tented structures that are there are premium space and coveted by all. There is no food or beverage service at the pool unless initiated (walk up, order it and have it delivered to your chair) which was a first for us. Towels are sporadically available and guests have to keep checking back for clean towels, if staff member is even there. “Back in 10” seems to be a constant and became the ongoing jokes amongst a bunch of the guests.
The beach was by far the best part of the resort.
Now the food. Room service is very, very limited in offering and ordering periods. Normally, we use the service repeatedly, especially at breakfast which we love in our room but found it completely useless in this case. Not that the breakfast at Azure is much better. It is a very standard buffet with the same exact offering every day. For approximately $20 PP, we had little choice but to endure it. My daughter ate very expensive toast everyday as there was little else she would eat as most items were pretty tasteless. The Italian restaurant was actually quite good, Azure was typical hotel, and Zen was good but leads us to the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was raining heavily xmas day and the dress code for Zen was casual elegant. We called down to the front desk and inquired if there were any umbrellas at the resort for the guests as we the rain was so heavy we could not walk from one end to the resort to the other without being completely soaked. We were told there was no umbrellas available. I responded that I would have bought one but not one store was open at the resort all day which was ridiculous considering that you were trapped there due to its isolated location. What kind of hotel closes for the holidays when it has guests? They basically said tough. They offered no solutions like possibly sending a gold cart by to give us a quick lift or sending a staff member to at least walk us over. Again, with limited options we ran to Zen and were thoroughly soaked by the time we arrived. The restaurant was air conditioned so the girls were shivering soon as we walked in. We couldn’t stay as we were soaked and cold so we asked if we could take out. The staff at the front were very nice and rushed some food while I waited. The girls went by the Italian restaurant and purchased a bottle of wine from the lovely hostess we dealt with the night before. All were very sympathetic as we looked like drowned rats at this point. As we made our way back in the downpour we saw a staff member walking a couple holding an umbrella for them. At that point I became so angry but kept it quiet due to my daughter. Pathetic.
The fitness facility is limited. Towels are rarely available so sweat is on everything. The equipment is in disrepair and often out of commission. The weight section looks like it was bought at a garage sale. I have been to business traveller hotels with better facilities and at one fifth the price point.
As I said before, the resort is not a four star and has the feeling of a cheap all-inclusive, less the all-inclusive part. It lacks to many elements due to, in my opinion, poor management. They seem to be completely unresponsive to guest issues and maybe that’s due to a lack of training or general incompetence. I have stayed in Barbados at Sandy Lane before and found the service impeccable thus our desire to return to the island. This stay at the Crane was completely to the contrary. We had to follow up on any request several times, when we tried to confirm things there was always a sense of confusion from the staff. The fact that it took to three days to respond to our original issue from the first day is pretty pathetic. As you said in your text,” too little too late”.
The incident with moving rooms was handled so poorly that it really was the final nail in the Cranes coffin. Upon check in there was no mention of the move. The night before there was no message, nor the day we supposedly moving. We were not asked to come by to find out what room we were being moved to, nor did they offer to send a bell staff to move our luggage. We left that morning to enjoy being away from resort on an offsite activity. We arrived back at the resort, went to the pool to relax. It was only by luck that Randie had to stop the room that we became aware that our key no longer worked. They basically locked us out. The cleaning staff informed us that they were waiting to clean the room for the next guests and we had to pack. I had to run to the front desk and get a key so we could get back in the room where we proceeded to waste the remainder of our day packing so we could move to the adjacent building. If we were told we would have packed the night before, rather than waste our time when we could be outside in the sun. We moved to a room exactly the same as ours, actually in slightly better condition. It made us ask the question, why completely inconvenience a guest for one night if a room was available for the other guest to stay in. It made no sense and seemed confuse the staff as well (housekeeping and bell) who were doing their best to deal with our frustration. Debra our housekeeper in the first room was lovely and did her job very well was very sympathetic to our plight. We took out a few items to spend our last evening and half day at the Crane but were glad our stay was coming to an end. I requested a later check out so we could recoup some of our lost sun time. The desk staff said they could extend to 1:45pm from 1:00pm “at no charge” but our keys would stop working at 12:00pm so we would have to come by and get new ones. If check out is at 1:00pm why do the keys stop working at 12:00pm? And again, it took 15 minutes of staff trying to figure out how to do such a simple task and confirming they could do so. As we were grabbing our bags at 1:30pm we had the cleaning staff pushing their way in as they were not informed that we had a late checkout.. Another example of poor communication in the resort.
We are not “complainers” by any means as you know. We travel enough to understand what our expectations should be when a resort or property places itself at a level that is considered 4 stars or higher. The Crane does not come close and its value proposition does not meet the cost of the room. It was disappointing experience and one we will warn others not to make. We will make a point of posting a review on as many travel sites as possible to inform others so they do not waste their time and money at the Crane.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear David R,
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We were sorry to learn that your stay fell short of expectations. Please be assured that your experience in no way reflects the experience of the majority of our guests and a thorough investigation has been launched into the circumstances highlighted in your review.
Our cliff-top location certainly poses property maintenance challenges but we are confident that our rigorous maintenance programme will continue to address the shortfall. We have also addressed the towel situation you experienced and expect no recurrences.
In light of your unfortunate experiences, we do understand your reluctance to return to or recommend The Crane. However, The Crane remains committed to ensuring that each guest has a wonderful experience with us and we will ensure that there are no future repetitions of your experience.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.