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Crane, Crane Beach

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Barbados, Caribbean
Crane Beach , St. Philip
Tel: 246 423 6220's insider take:

Opened in 1887, the Crane gets points just for being the island's first resort hotel. It scores a bonus for having enjoyed the 1970s attentions of Oliver Messel, the set designer/architect who made Mustique beautiful—and further kudos for a 2006 redesign by Lane Pettigrew, which grew the property to its current, 146-room size. (More expansion is planned, with the construction of three new buildings and 350 more rooms due to be completed in 2009.) The new super-luxe units have all the bells and whistles; suites include full kitchens, and most have private plunge pools. The interiors, despite the blocky exterior architecture, do a good impression of great-house/gingerbread charm, with mahogany furniture crafted by local artisans. The original hotel's accommodations are now known as 1887 rooms and have been spruced up with antique repros and chintz. The resort is on the southeastern corner of the island, a bit isolated (you're a 30-minute drive to Bridgetown), but the payoff is the rocky and dramatic beaches: Crane Beach itself is a cliff-backed, pink-sand crescent, and there are other, nearly deserted stunners nearby.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.