As you make your way to this seemingly remote part of the island, you begin to feel immediately disconnected, which becomes even more apparent once you enter the gates of The Crane Hotel & Resort. The moment you pull up to the property, the Bajan hosts are there to make you feel welcome. I was lucky enough to spend a few weeks in Barbados prior to my arrival, where life moves slowly but time moves fast. The genuine welcoming spirit of the locals never ceased to astonish me.
The Vibe at the Crane Hotel & Resort
Tucked away on the edge of a cliff, The Crane is the oldest standing resort hotel in Barbados. It combines historic architectural design with exceptional modern-day amenities. The property is quite stunning, and because of its size, it never feels overly crowded. It has one of the best beaches in the world, Crane Beach, set along a lush white-to-pink sand shoreline on the heel of the cliff. The Crane Hotel & Resort has some of the most striking views in all of Barbados, as it looks out over the vast, blue Atlantic Ocean.
What I particularly liked about The Crane is that it’s not an all-inclusive resort, so you don’t get that overly “touristy” vibe that you would normally get from other resorts on the island. You also have the flexibility to come and go as you please to explore the island’s many adventures and experiences. The property boasts plenty of space to roam, relax in private, or take photos with the endlessly serene backdrops. Here you can expect to mingle with vacationers, residents, and groups celebrating weddings.
All the rooms at The Crane Hotel are suites, which is quite rare, and what’s more unique is the endless options of rooms with your very own private pool. Ranging from rooftops to plunge pools, the options are vast. This is perfect for families and groups of people. I had the one-bedroom suite with a plunge pool, which made my mornings quite delightful, to say the least. They have traditional, more rustic designs as well as contemporary options if you want a more modern touch.
From what I gather, all rooms have full kitchens or kitchenettes, ideal for those who enjoy cooking their own meals. The balcony was oversized, with comfortable seating for six people (not including the plunge pool!).
The bathroom is quite spacious, equipped with a stand-alone shower and jet-powered bathtub. Another unique feature was the walk-in closets, conveniently located right inside the bathroom, which gives you a clear idea of just how big they are!
The Food & Drinks
The hotel has five different restaurants, including local Caribbean fare, Italian, and even Japanese. They’re scattered throughout the property, including a super chill beach bar and grill hidden among the trees of Crane Beach.
L’Azure was the highlight for me, with panoramic views of the ocean and Crane Beach, 50 feet below.
Zen, a more low-key spot, hit the spot for all my Japanese and Thai cravings, with an extensive menu and more of a subdued vibe.
After dinner, head to Bar 1887 to get your Rum Punch on at the resort’s quintessential hangout, adorned with a wraparound verandah and live entertainment on select nights that echoes throughout the village. The cocktail bar looks like a prehistoric home straight out of a movie.
The Property and Amenities
I could sit here and talk about the property for days. It truly is something to experience. The village-like resort almost makes you feel like you’re in a small town of your own, with local shops, restaurants, a café, and even a wedding chapel!
I know I’ve talked about this a lot in the article, but it deserves a whole section to itself. The waves here were absolutely wild—some of the craziest I’ve seen. There is no order, just water crashing down from every direction, tossing you around like a pinball. It was so much fun, but not for the faint of heart. From the waves to the pink sand to the beach bar nestled behind it, you can easily lose a day or two here.
When you arrive at the main pool area, it’s almost overwhelmingly exciting. Where to settle? There are levels of pools and seating for whatever your heart desires. And perched at the top of the pools is Carriage House, a casual restaurant and snack bar perfect for those poolside munchies. There’s even a pool right next to the tables, a fish pond, and a jacuzzi not far off.
If you want some serious peace and quiet, the Historic Pool, built in the 1970s, is an adults-only pool framed by a row of classic Doric columns right on the cliff’s edge, with spectacular views of Crane Beach. A perfect place to catch up on your reading or do your morning laps.
Amenities & Service
The Crane Hotel & Resort is also equipped with a full-service spa, fitness center, tennis courts, and a kids club. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to use these amenities, but I was told by guests and residents that they are excellent.
The service was more than optimal, with an abundance of hotel staff eager to assist with anything. I even had an issue with my door upon arrival, and within minutes, the technicians were there to fix it before I could get into my bathing suit.
The Crane Hotel & Resort Details
Today’s Crane Hotel is the result of Canadian entrepreneur Paul Doyle, who took over the property in 1988 and followed his passion the moment he laid eyes on it. The Crane Hotel was without a doubt my favorite place to stay in Barbados.
You can even purchase a residence here for living, long-term stays, or as an investment property. Whatever your flavour, I hope you experience it for yourself. I would love to hear about it if do you visit The Crane Hotel & Resort. Happy travels!
Photos: Ayman Hbeichi