The Crane has the potential to be one of the best hotels on the island, but someone is sooooo missing a few small tricks!?
If it wasn't for the excellent stay at Colony Club (West Coast) and now at Ocean Two (South Coast) I would have rated this place higher, as I would have sadly assumed this is the typical 'rude' Caribbean standard fuelled by noisy and abrupt Americans and Canadian. Low expectations that were exceeded at the Colony Club and Ocean2... but not here!
After reading other reviews of the Crane I can only assume those people have not been to the Far East / Middle East where not only are the hotels a proper five star, but also the staff pride themselves on excelling on meeting your every requirement to make your stay special in every possible way. My boyfriend and I (mid-30s Polish/English couple) travel quite a lot staying in 5(6)* Emirates Palace, but also in Ibis, depending on the purpose of our trip, so I know the difference and what I should expect!
I must agree the settings, the beach, the area are beautiful… perfect for sunrise run. Far from everything else on the island though, but that’s why we stayed in different parts of the island to experience it all. The rooms with kitchenette and massive Jacuzzi are lovely…. however, other aspects of our stay were far from satisfactory. We stayed 5 nights at the Crane (out of 18 in Barbados), just before Christmas and thank God we didn’t stay there for this festive period as from what I’ve seen it was just getting worse:
- staff - very random - some very nice and polite, such as in the Italian and L'azure restaurant, but the majority sadly not. On the last night there we waited 20 min for our plates to be removed and another 15 min to have the desert menu with no even ‘sorry’. Also, was planning to 'bark' back at the lady in the coffee village shop - how rude and ignorant she was!!! At Colony Club and other resorts in UAE, Thailand, and Malaysia staff smile to you, welcome you, wishing you a good day. It's the first time I stopped looking at staff here, as I always smile to people ready to say 'hi' - here I was met with 'avoidance' only - thanks (not)!
Beach boys (my highlight!?!... not :-) – paid by Canadians who reserve about 20 sunbeds by the sea with… flip-flop (one, yes), book, (wait for it…) ‘toothbrush’ and not being there whilst others like me just wanted an umbrella (not the front row bed even) for an hour before the check out. We met residents on our Calabaza cruise (BTW… AMAZING catamaran adventure) and we know from them the managers are failing to acknowledge this issue for years. Ignorance? The people we met are likely to ignore the crane next year…
- food - please don't go to breakfast! The buffet is lukewarm, awful eggs and soggy bacon with 'boiled' mushrooms and once soggy hash browns were gone they replaced them with... beans. Great, depending on the time you are there you can have one or the other ?! On the 1st morning we were a'la carte (we took meal plan for HB 3 days – good we didn’t do it for all 5). As stated in the menu: “2 eggs of your choice” so I ordered egg Benedict's and egg Royale. 45 min later I got: two nice black toasts with eggs at the top, but what was between... chopped ham and mushrooms?! I actually thought they were perhaps googl-ing the recipe when I was waiting for so long. We also specified crispy bacon (which we received – very good!) that day so even at the buffet the following day we requested the same to be brought to the table as didn't fancy the soggy stuff.
The Gospel breakfast was fun, but the food equally disappointing - exactly the same poor buffet, just with fried bananas. Omelets saved our breakfasts! Don't be fooled that this is Caribbean standard! Go to the Colony Club to have juices' selection not just orange juice, chicken in Bajan style, salmon, spinach pancakes, warm muesli and granola bars (warm-amazing!), egg Benedict's just waiting for you, bagels, muffins to toast (not just dried square toast bread here). Similar at Ocean2 we now have panini station, fish and chicken goujons in coconut etc, 3 eggs/omelet stations for five time fewer rooms (only two pans at the Crane for this massive hotel?! – the queue at the gospel breakfast for not-entertaining; I was first but I could see other guests frustration).
IMPORTANT FOR PARENTS WITH CHILDREN - one lady checked every single box of small Kellogg's cornflakes etc and they were all OUT OF DATE!!! She talked to staff as rightly so she refused to give it to her children.
- water in the room, well, I'm not mentioning hot one that you had to wait for under the shower for 10 min, but that a little girl from 5th floor was walking with her dad to a pool in the morning to have a wash as there was no water… sorry.
- shade - both by the pool and on the beach - have you really forgotten about it? Tables near sun beds - are we asking for too much? I love booth – pool and the beach, but whilst there were no umbrellas by the pool (about 16 beds were… out of how many guests!!?? – not enough, sorry), there was never enough umbrellas on the beach so staff were prompted (paid) by the ‘(in)famous’ Canadians to steal umbrellas from people who went to the sea (nice one!).
- late check out – it made me laugh. The room extension for 5 hours was 150$... are you joking, despite telling me about ‘high occupancy’ I could check that you had free rooms going for 141£ a night (that’s embarrassingly cheap, much less that we paid, when Fairmont was going for £800 between 19-24 December; I checked). You may want to ask yourself why your hotel was only 60% full (as mentioned to us by residents there and we overheard someone saying it at the hotel as well). We saw people checking out at the reception and when asked about ‘how was your stay?’ they answered “so, so”… well, we’ve not been even asked, but now you are reading my review so work out what our answer would have been and it would have saved me writing all the details here.
- little touches - at Colony Club we had cold towels and cucumber slices, then frozen grapes, ice creams, salmon/tuna canaps for FREE whilst by the pool, now at Ocean 2 we get ice creams etc. Water with ice and drinks brought to you table.... nothing like this here! Just towels, ridiculously small and no one around to put it on your bed. The adult pool, what a great location + no shade, no tables = no chance for my white skin!
Summarising, fabulous location, very well designed areas, but everything else could be so much better! And you know you are not on your own into this fairly negative feeling about this place and their lack of attention to customers’ needs. I’m not fussy, but expect to get the good value for my money at least and the basics to be right. All the other treats I mentioned with ocean view amazing rooms at booth other locations (see my other reviews and pictures soon) are just the lovely treats that don’t cost the hotels much, but I will remember them and write about them here (well done Colony Club and Ocean Two)!
Would I come back – for maximum two days, to enjoy the views and the beach. Sadly will have to bring my own towels, umbrella, pre-booked breakfast or buy stuff to cook (I'm on holiday, why should I?) and lots of patience to wait/constantly ask for basics.
Still in Barbados now, and I’m quite sad to write this ‘constructive feedback’, but I would like to come back, so I hope the managers will make some improvements.
PS It was our anniversary so the flowers and wine were lovely, thank you.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Orbitz, Expedia, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Booking.com, Cheap Tickets, BookIt.com, getaroom.com, Despegar.com, Hotels.com, Odigeo, Tingo and Jetsetter so you can book your The Crane Residential Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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