Escape to Barbados’s most breathtaking resort

With its secluded location on the island’s Atlantic east coast, clifftop views over the sherbet sands and indigo surf of the world’s best beach, the historic Crane Resort has been spoiling guests since 1887. We check in to discover why this iconic resort is still so popular more than a hundred years later


Old-world charm

As the oldest continually-run hotel on the island, The Crane is rich in historical details, like The Carriage House – the resort’s casual poolside bar and grill, set within the charming surrounds of the old stables. You’ll also catch glimpses of the hotel’s original stone construction in the all-encompassing Serenity Spa, where Caribbean-influenced treatments, such as a Calypso Cool massage, will leave you feeling fresh and invigorated. Finally, the rooms and suites, decorated in breezy colonial style with mahogany accents, four-poster beds and cool, white coral stone walls. If you can bring yourself to leave, there’s also plenty of local history to be found a short drive away at the lush Sunbury Plantation, looking fresh out of 1776.


Fine dining

You won’t find fresher flavours anywhere on the island than at the resort’s Zen restaurant, which serves authentic Japanese and Thai dishes against a background of dramatic sea views. Rated as the top restaurant in Barbados by Zagat, the green papaya salad and lobster kabayaki taste as good as they look. Taking inspiration from flavours a bit closer to home, L’Azure delivers Caribbean plates with sophisticated swagger. The pan-seared flying fish elevates a local staple to a fine-dining masterpiece, with mahi mahi mousse and a white wine butter sauce. Sticking to its something-for-everyone principles, there are more casual options, too. D’Onofrio’s Trattoria specialises in family-friendly southern Italian classics, such as build-your-own pizzas and risottos, while The Grove Beach Bar and Grill and The Carriage House – located a stone’s throw away from loungers on the beach or poolside – serve up some of the most delicious light fare available on island.


Scenic setting

The south east of the island is where you’ll find the real Barbados. Time-warp fishing villages dot a lush, windswept coastline, unblemished by the high-rise condos and jet-ski drone of more high-profile areas. That’s not to say it’s without its postcard beaches. Consistently ranked as one of the world’s best swathes of sand, the resort’s own Crane Beach is a talc-soft stunner, accessed either by stairs or a glass-fronted elevator. Its position on the Atlantic-facing east coast means you’ll find lively surf, perfect for a spot of body (or, as they call it around here ‘boogie’) boarding. Not the surfing type? Grab a complimentary lounger, umbrella and beach towel from the on-site Beach Hut and stretch out beneath the beaming Caribbean sun instead.


Family fun

With a kids club, extensive swimming pool complex and free activities such as tennis on offer, there’s plenty for families to love here, too. The Calypso Kids Club, complimentary to guests, keeps children between the ages of four and 12 busy with a weekly programme that includes arts and crafts, sand castle competitions and talent shows. Teens, meanwhile, can spend the afternoons splashing between the different sections of the one-and-a-half acre Cliff Pool Complex, which includes a children’s wading pool, a waterfall pool and alfresco Jacuzzi spa pool. And two floodlit tennis courts mean they continue burning off steam late into the day, while mum and dad take it easy with a yoga or zumba class.

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