The Crane keeps ’em flying back: Barbados gem since 1887

We’ve all seen pictures of a beautiful resort perched atop a cliff above an idyllic beach and it just may be The Crane (www.thecrane.com), the oldest continually-operating resort in the Caribbean, on the Atlantic coast of Barbados. And just as it has done to travellers since opening in 1887, The Crane held me under its spell, writes Aaron Saunders in this article for Calgary’s Herald.

Just eight minutes from the airport and 30 minutes from Bridgetown, it offered a complimentary rum or fruit punch while we waited to check in.

There are 23 types of accommodation at The Crane, ranging from rooms in the historic 1887 hotel to spacious Ocean View Suites that clock in at over 2,000 square feet. Our one-bedroom ocean view suite was extra-spacious at 1,176 square feet and looked out over the resort and the Atlantic Ocean. With a separate kitchen, living area, sleeping area, two bathrooms and a private patio, it was difficult to convince myself to actually leave the room and go exploring.

Each room also contains a map of the grounds as well as a full program listing the activities at the resort and on the island. We happened to stay at The Crane on a Wednesday, the date that a Village Street Fair is held in the resort’s main square.

Vendors from all around the island came to showcase their wares, ranging from hand-painted art to handcrafted shoes and sandals. There’s even a movie theatre, a general store, and an ice-cream shop on site (try the ginger mint ice cream in the homemade waffle cone – it’s delicious!)

There are two features about The Crane that I think are well worth mentioning: One is the free wireless Internet access, which still remains shockingly missing from many properties.

The other: Free international calling. No, that’s not a typo or the result of one too many trips to the Rum Shack – the Crane features IP (Internet Protocol) telephones, meaning you can call any number you’d like, free of charge. We’d love to see other properties follow in The Crane’s footsteps.

If there’s one thing I always have to do when I travel, it is to dip my foot in the ocean. The Crane makes this remarkably easy, given its location along one of the most pristine stretches of beach on Barbados.

You can take the stairs down or even a glass elevator to the beach level, where the fresh warmth of the Atlantic Ocean awaits you.

The pink-tinted sand here is so fine it feels like chalk powder beneath your feet. It’s postcard-perfect, and I had to pinch myself several times and ask, is this real?

It is – and those who don’t like their water salted will enjoy The Crane’s six pools, including special ones set aside for kids and families.

Beyond the amazing pools and the alluringly restful accommodations, it was the sense of community at The Crane that left the greatest impression on me.

We had drinks on the veranda of the 1887 Bar, looking out onto Crane Village square and the resort’s guests as they mingled and browsed through the Street Fair.

The day was fading, street lamps popped on, illuminating the square in soft, soothing light.

As The Crane’s director of marketing Joanna Robinson explained to us, many guests return here year after year to visit with friends made during previous trips. Some guests even book years ahead, staying for months at a time. And I can fully understand why.

At night, I kept the glass windows of my room open and closed the shutters, letting the warmth and the sound of the thundering Atlantic lull me to sleep – the same thing that has been bringing travellers here for over a century

For the original report go to http://www.calgaryherald.com/travel/Crane+keeps+flying+back/6672772/story.html

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