Nineteenth-Century Oceanside Resort Surrounded by Lavish Pools
In the late 18th century, merchants and trading ships staked out southeastern Barbados as a key trading post, using a crane at the top of a cliff to raise and lower cargo. No doubt they gazed out from the same vantage point where The Crane—a AAA Four Diamond Caribbean hideaway—perches upon today, reveling at the Atlantic's teal waves as they lapped at the soft sands of Crane Beach. Nowadays, intricately cut stone walls rise up between the grounds from the ocean, and The Crane's original pool fills a precipice above the ocean with only stately Doric columns breaking up the line where sky meets sea. The recent addition of a collection of 1.5 acres of cascading pools boasts three connecting waterfalls and an infinity-edge pool nestled between two restored ruins.
With all surfaces swathed in marble or dark wood, the private residences at The Crane emanate the cool charm of a Swiss villa while delivering picturesque views of either gardens or the ocean via window-lined walls. Relaxation comes with a flop onto the four-poster bed or a soak in the tub accompanied by the soft whirr of jacuzzi jets. Residences come equipped with mini kitchenettes in the Junior Garden View suite and full kitchens in the one-bedroom Ocean View suite as well as a washer and dryer in the Ocean View suite to un-sully sandy beach clothes or a mounting coconut collection.
At the resort's center of activity, known as Crane Village, a shopping center and Serenity Spa share space with four restaurants. Travelers pop into Carriage House for cocktails, Atlantic views, and a casual ambiance or D'Onofrio's for traditional Italian cuisine. L'Azure Restaurant's chefs dish out chic seafood dishes, and diners enjoy live gospel and steel-pan music during Sunday breakfast and brunch. Rated No. 1 restaurant in all of Barbados by Zagat in 2009 and 2010, Zen serves up Thai and Japanese fare, including a wide selection of sushi.
Barbados: Caribbean Getaway near Colonial Capital City
An island located just above Venezuela and Guyana, Barbados attracts thousands of visitors each year with equal parts liveliness and sheer Caribbean calm. Saint Philip—the southeast parish where The Crane is located—holds a modicum of quiet townships with low-key attractions as well as sprawling beaches. The resort's free shuttle to Bridgetown lets sojourners experience Bajan urbanity in the capital city, where the Barbados Garrison, established in 1780, echoes colonial days past.