Set on the world-famous Crane Beach, overlooking a perfect azure blue sea, is the Caribbean’s first resort hotel, The Crane. Built in 1887 and fully restored and expanded in the 20th century, this truly unique property combines elegance, old-world charm and incredible natural beauty with a romantic sense of seclusion.
The Crane offers three main types of accommodations: the Historic Hotel Apartments, Private Residences and Penthouse Villas.
The Historic Hotel: The Crane has preserved the historical flair of the lavish 18th century mansion that is the original centerpiece of the present resort. All 18 of The Crane’s original historic hotel part boast charming, spacious oceanfront apartments with hardwood floors, 12′ ceilings and exquisite antique furniture. Many rooms in this unique building also feature fully equipped kitchens and wrap-around balconies with spectacular ocean views.
The Private Residences combine 19th century grandeur and furnishings with twenty-first century luxuries, conveniences and world-class amenities. The furniture includes hand-crafted Barbadian mahogany furniture, objects d’art, mahogany four-poster king size beds, spa showers with multiple shower heads, private Jacuzzis, oriental carpets, cable TVs, and DVD players, modern kitchen facilities and central air-conditioning. The setting, however, provides the true feel of the property: old-world coral stone walls, 10′ high timber tray ceilings, floor-to-ceiling marble bathrooms, and amazing ocean views. The residences range from spacious junior suites to 3-bedroom apartments. Each ground floor residence at The Crane carries a full-sized pool with a “disappearing edge,” while all upstairs two-bedroom residences feature private plunge pools.
Penthouse Villas: Located within the extensive grounds of The Crane Resort, each villa ranges in size from 2,900 to 4,000 sq. ft. of luxurious space, featuring three- bedroom and four- bathroom suites which open up to the expansive yet private balcony and plunge pool with spectacular ocean views. They are centrally air-conditioned throughout, some Penthouse Villas offering roof terraces for private sunbathing and outdoor grilling. The Penthouse Villas’ unique setting within a resort offers discerning guests the best of both worlds- the space and comfort of an exclusive villa and the services of a first class resort.
The Beach & the Pools: Crane Beach Resort is recognized by its stunning beauty – it was named “one of the Ten Best Beaches in the World” by Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Protected by a natural coral reef, Crane Beach boasts one of the best swimming venues on the island of Barbados. Besides being safe and having a gentle descent from shallow to deep, the pink, powder-soft sand is also wonderful on your feet as there are no sea urchins, stones or coral underneath. The only surprise you might have is the occasional turtle swimming along the outer perimeters.
Besides the beach, The Crane is also world-famous for it’s pools… The main cliff top pool with Doric columns has fascinated many photographers and artists. It overlooks the scenic beach and the wild beauty of the Atlantic ocean. It has a maximum depth of ten feet. Professional photography sessions featuring our stunning cliff edge pool are routinely requested, but are severely limited to protect the guests’ privacy.
The resort has recently opened a new 1.5 acre multi-cascading pool complex, with a spectacular setting against the rugged cliff face of the Atlantic. The new pools, designed by renowned Venezuelan landscape architect John Stoddard, encompass 300,000 gallons of swimmable water. Offering fabulous views from several different pool decks, three free-form lagoon pools are now set into the cliff side, connected by a series of three waterfalls, one falling 15 feet over a rubble wall with a seating area under the waterfall. At the top of the area, a fourth infinity edge pool sits between two restored ruins and features spectacular views of both the resort and the sea. This infinity pool is backed by a fish pond and cascading waterfall.
One thing worth mentioning is the rich HISTORIC HERITAGE of the place…
Two centuries ago, the formation of Crane Beach’s protective coral reef was different, permitting small trading ships to sail in and out safely and a small commercial port to develop. On the cliff where the present Crane House now stands was a crane used for raising and lowering cargo. This crane provided the district’s name.
1769, The “Horse”: In the 18th century it was considered improper for ladies to be seen bathing in public. Sea-bathing, however had become so popular that by 1769 at least one discreet bathing place had been constructed near The Crane. It was referred to as the “Horse” and was approached by steps cut into the sea cliff. The stairs to the “horse” can still be seen descending from the far side of the south of The Crane, much as it was in 1769.
1790, Marine Villa: From the mid-18th century, southeastern Barbados was frequented by the island’s plantation owners and prosperous merchants. They were attracted by the cool breezes, stimulating climate and beneficial sea-bathing, which toward the end of the 1700’s was recognized for its recuperative qualities. The area’s main building was the mansion known as Marine Villa, which exists almost in its original state and forms the east section of the Crane Hotel. The style of its windows and casements suggests it was built about 1790.
1887, Barbados First Resort: In 1886, civil engineer Donald Simpson bought Marine Villa with an idea of expanding the house and opening it as a hotel. Simpson’s hotel venture was encouraged by development of the railway in 1881 to Sunbury, St. Philip from Bridgetown. Simpson completed the first addition to Marine Villa with the addition of four coral stone apartments that comprise the south wing of the hotel (Rooms 1,2,8 and 9). Among The Crane’s early twentieth century innovations was replacing its oil lamps with electrical lamps powered from The Crane’s own dynamo. (A windmill like structure behind the hotel can be seen in the old photos hanging by the entrance to the hotel.) By 1922 The Crane had 18 bedrooms and was noted to be growingly popular among honeymooners – and of course a favorite hideaway for some of the world’s “rich and famous”. One of the first celebrities to stay at The Crane was the famous American cowboy, “Wild Bill” Hickock who after staying at The Crane in the 1890’s left his gold chain as payment for his room charges. Hickock’s gold chain is still in the possession of the Simpson family in Barbados.
The guests at The Crane can enjoy a truly fabulous dining experience at its two restaurants.
L’Azure Restaurant has achieved several distinctions including two silver awards at the Barbados Hotel and Dining Festival and À La Carte Magazine’s prestigious Gold Award for Light Cuisine. The atmosphere speaks of elegance and beauty as patrons sit inside or on the balcony where they can view spectacular Crane Beach in all its splendor while they dine. There is a wonderful Sunday brunch with live Caribbean gospel music in the morning and a traditional Barbadian Sunday buffet lunch. The 2009 Zagat review describes the gospel breakfast as “Heaven on Earth” and praises the “simply breathtaking views of gorgeous Crane Beach.”
The Crane’s renowned Zen Restaurant features classic Thai and Japanese cuisine in a stunning setting overlooking Crane Beach. Zen features traditional Tatami rooms, an exquisite sushi bar and the option for guests to enjoy private dining. The 2009 Zagat Guide to the Best of Barbados rated Zen restaurant “Barbados’ No. 1 for Food.”
The Carriage House was once the official stable of the historic “Crane Beach Hotel” over 100 years ago. From the menu, one can expect to be served up a variety of light and delectable food items and tropical cocktails throughout the day. This area is suitable for cocktail events and can be transformed from a casual atmosphere to one of elegance and extravagance.
Click to see a short video of The Crane
And now to the good part…
Until the end of January The Crane offers an amazing deal:
30% off all room rates plus $100 USD food and beverage credit per room!
Booking Dates: January 1st thru to February 28th, 2009.
Travel Dates: January 1st thru to October 31st, 2009.
Minimum Stay: 3 nights.
Not combinable with any other existing offers and applicable to new bookings only.
This offer can be booked through some Canadian tour operators – contact us for details!
To read more about the island: Barbados: Yellow for the Sand, Blue for the Sky and the Sea