News from "Our" Crane

Monday, May 25, 2009

This is from the Crane Blog at

Crane Recognized for Fractional Ownership…Village Happenings

Posted in: News on: May 12, 2009

Crane celebrated in “Top 10 of the Best Fractional Homes”

In the May 2009 issue of Homes Overseas, the UK’s leading international property magazine since 1965, The Crane was named in the Top 10 of the Best Fractional Homes worldwide by George Sell, a writer for the magazine who focuses on fractional ownership.

Village Happenings

The Crane recently celebrated the opening of two more shops in the retail Village with the opening of Barbados’ oldest retailer Cave Shepherd, along with our own mini-General Store – a preview of the larger General Store soon to come.

Local tour operators and ground handlers joined guests and managers for a cocktail party to celebrate the new Cave Shepherd store, which features the “On the Beach” brand of resort and surf wear, Pages bookstore offering books and magazines for the guests’ reading pleasure, and duty-free shopping featuring liquor, perfumes, and souvenirs.

Shortly thereafter the resort was pleased to open our very own mini corner store, where guests have been shopping for conveniences including wines, snacks, and digging into the ever-popular ice cream freezer!

In addition, The Village now features a lovely conference and event area called The Town Hall, ideal for meetings, banquets and wedding receptions.

Coming soon to the Village – opening in June - will be Dingolay, a casual wear boutique, and Tamarind Seed, a craft store featuring the best of Barbadian and Caribbean art and craft.

Throughout the summer and fall, additional openings will include Ozone Health and Fitness Centre, D’Onofrio’s Italian Restaurant and Pizza Terrace, The Village Café and Bar 1887.


Look out for our daytime Duty Manager, Carolyn Johnson, when you are next on property. A transplanted Canadian who has long called Barbados home, she is on hand walking the property and checking rooms and will be happy to have a chat with you during your visit to assist with any queries or concerns you may have.

Colombian Emeralds opens in new Crane Village

Steel Pan in the Crane Village

Steel Pan in the Crane Village

This week The Crane unveiled the first opening in the new Village retail shopping and dining area, with a celebratory cocktail party for members, in-house guests, and Barbados’ Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Richard Sealy.

The party truly sparkled, with live steel pan music complementing the shiny jewels on display in the brand-new Colombian Emeralds store. A live fish cake station completed the Bajan village street feel, as guests mingled against the backdrop of the heritage architecture of an 18th century Barbadian town.

Crane guests enjoying The Village celebration

Crane guests enjoying The Village celebration

With a phased opening over the next several months, the 55,000 square-foot Crane Village is expected to become the new heart of the resort community.

The next stage of opening, within a few weeks, will reveal a 3,000 sq. ft Duty Free shopping centre in partnership with Duty Free Caribbean (Cave Sheperd, Pages Bookstore, and Ganzee) followed closely by The Town Hall, a state-of-the-art conference facility.

The Town Hall meeting and function space will offer a spectacular venue for conferences, receptions and private functions, featuring a view of the iconic Crane pool. This area will accommodate up to 150 guests, banquet-style.

Along with duty-free shopping, the Village will also feature resort wear at Dingolay, Barbadian art and crafts at Tamarind Seed, resort keepsakes at the Crane Signature Shop and a selection of fresh food, wine and convenience items at The General Store.

Later in the year, guests will also benefit from the variety of dining and entertainment options, such as D’Onofrio’s for Southern Italian fare, Pizza Terrace with al fresco dining, The Village Café for fresh bread and coffee, and Bar 1887 featuring Rum Shop Happy Hour with authentic Bajan Tapas.

Guests strolling through the cobble stone streets will notice the grandeur of Barbadian design captured throughout The Village, featuring elements of historical architecture, steep gable roofs, wooden shutters and ornate fretwork integrated with fine mahogany features, distinctive lime stonewalls and typical breezy verandahs; all surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens.

Minister Sealy and The Crane's Paul Doyle check out Colombian Emeralds

Barbados' Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and The Crane's Paul Doyle check out Colombian Emeralds

Restoration of the Old Synagogue in Barbados

Sunday, May 24, 2009

We were there last summer.  Fascinating to see this work in progress!  Read the blog post about the Synagogue here.


The current edition of the Reform Judaism magazine includes a fascinating article about the history and restoration of the Nidhe Israel (the Scattered of Israel) synagogue in Bridgetown, Barbados. The synagogue was established in 1654 by Sephardic Jews fleeing the Inquisition. They were joined in the 1660s by a number of Jewish families fleeing Recife, Brazil, where they were being persecuted by the Dutch. Sold in 1929 by the last surviving member of the original founders, the synagogue has now been restored and is now a Barbados protected site and an active synagogue. It houses a new interactive Jewish museum and a recently excavated mikveh, the oldest known in the Western Hemisphere.

The article chronicles the painstaking restoration project, which began in the 1960s and is still ongoing, since recent excavations of the parking lot unearthed the mikveh. The restorations included the adjacent cemetery, which holds crucial information for the reconstruction of the synagogue’s history, and details the efforts made to trace and recover the various ornaments and sacred objects that once belonged to the congregation:

Paul Altman also struggled to recover the synagogue’s eight brass chandeliers, which he traced to the Winterthur Museum in Delaware, the site of the former estate of Henry Francis DuPont. When he appealed to DuPont’s Jewish chairman and CEO, Irving Shapiro reiterated the museum curator’s rationale for denying the request: “If we were to return all our exhibits, we wouldn’t have a museum.” As a consolation, Shapiro told Altman, “We will let you copy them.” Altman pleaded with him, “If we copy them, why don’t we put the copies in the museum with a sign saying, ‘Originals returned by DuPont to the Nidhe Israel synagogue in Barbados.’ How often do you get an offer like that?” Still, Altman says, “It was a no go. The originals remain in the Winterthur and the facsimiles hang in Nidhe Israel.”

Altman had greater success in retrieving the mahogany representation of the Ten Commandments which had hung over the Torah ark. Lady Stella St. John, wife of the Barbados prime minister, had displayed the tablets above the swimming pool of Ilaro Court, their official residence, and graciously donated them back to the synagogue. As the Torah ark and reader’s desk no longer existed, Altman commissioned “a brilliant woodworker” to refabricate them in Barbados mahogany.

The article can be found at

Caribbean: Rum, reggae and sun in Barbados


Ryan Parry checks in and chills out on one of the Caribbean’s most laid-back islands

Image 4 for 'night production may 23' gallery

Dazzling white beach, crystal clear water and a rum punch within reach – heaven on earth.

Most Caribbean islands evoke the usual cliches about “paradise”. But in Barbados the cliche becomes reality.

With its endless palm-lined beaches, luxury resorts and laid-back locals, it’s the dream destination for millions of Brits.

It’s also a firm favourite with celebrities such as Simon Cowell, Wayne Rooney and Sir Cliff Richard who has a house there.

It’s my fifth time on the island and I’m desperate to get back.

We stayed at the Almond Casuarina Beach resort on Dover Beach on the south coast.

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This 10-acre all-inclusive gem in its elegant but natural setting is as relaxing as it gets.

There are three pools to lounge by and a stunning section of beach feet away.

The only brief interruption to my tanning came when a handful of pesky kids ignored the “No Under 16s” notice by the pool and plunged in. Ah well.

Just four miles from the capital Bridgetown, and five miles from the airport, the resort is a  four-star, 267-room hotel offering snorkelling, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, a gym and tennis.

It also has three fantastic gourmet restaurants serving an a la carte menu.

One day we popped over to the adults-only Almond Beach Club  – literally a stone’s throw from the celeb haunt of Sandy Lane.

It’s also just spitting distance from St Lawrence Gap, a mile-long street teeming with clubs pumping out calypso, reggae, jazz and R&B.

Here you’ll find McBrides Pub which offers the perfect way to cool off after a hard day baking in the sun. With happy hour from 11pm to 1am every night and live reggae music, it’s a great way to unwind.

A short walk away you’ll find The Ship Inn, another favourite with Brits. Both are rammed at weekends so go midweek.

And after a few drinks you can’t miss Barnacle Bill’s BBQ which starts at 10.30pm for late-night munchies.

Food is a real treat in Barbados. With plenty of local fresh fish, shellfish and tropical fruit, it’s also good value for money.

But if you fancy a special treat, try the open-air Cliff restaurant in St James. It’s situated on top of a high coral cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea and has the food and service to match the scenery.

At night the tiny beach below is illuminated to add to the romance of the setting. But you’ll have to book early during peak season.

There’s more to Barbados than beaches and booze though.

This former British colony is obsessed with horse racing, polo and of course cricket. Then there are the plantation houses, botanical gardens and military forts.

The capital, Bridgetown, is one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean and offers decent restaurants and nightlife.

You can even combine culture with booze.

We stopped by the 250-year-old Four Square Rum Factory which sits amid fields of sugar cane.

Our guided tour was followed by a tasting session – although the owner’s son was less than impressed when we necked six test tubes of his finest rum and then stumbled around making inappropriate jokes.

Luckily, for shaking off a hangover, a visit to Silver Rock on the east coast is ideal. Here you will meet windsurfing legend Brian “Action Man” Talma.

He will teach you to surf, windsurf, kite-surf and just about anything else in the water. Always smiling, he bounces around his beach using the word “action” more times than strictly necessary, but he cooks a mean BBQ on the porch of his De Action Shop.

The east coast beaches have the biggest waves and are popular with surfies. But they also have dangerous currents, so swim at your peril.

Barbados is also known for its snorkelling and dive sites. I went out to Carlisle Bay with the guys from Dive Barbados Blue. There are four shipwrecks here teeming with aquatic life and near by sea turtles hang out looking for food.

Because the east coast is less built up, it’s easy to find a secluded beach.

A day out I’d definitely recommend here is Sunday Gospel Brunch at The Crane. You help yourself from a fantastic buffet while being serenaded by gospel singers.

After that you can stroll down to the stunning beach – voted one of the top five in the world.

On Friday or Saturday nights you have to get over to Oistins, a tiny fishing village in the parish of Christ Church. Hundreds of locals and visitors flock here for Fish-Fry. A ramshackle gathering of sidewalk stalls combine to make up dozens of tiny restaurants . Local arts and craftsmen display their wares while a reggae band keeps the party going into the night.

Our evening was interrupted when a power-cut swept across the island leaving Oistins in darkness except for the glow of the barbecues. Time to hit the generator-powered hotel bar. Mine’s a pina colada – with a sparkler please.

My top five..

1 Oistins fishing village – Fish-Fry Friday and Saturday night when every kind of fish is BBQd, fried or grilled.

2 The Crane hotel beach –  breathtaking must-visit spot on the east coast.

3 The Ship Inn – guaranteed good night out in the St Lawrence Gap, pick a night with live reggae music.

4 Four Square Rum Factory – interesting distillery tour with rum tasting session at the end.

5 The Cliff – expensive special treat but worth every penny.


Seven nights at the four-star premium Almond Casuarina Beach starts from £1,059pp all-inclusive. Price includes return flights with Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick direct to Barbados and return transfers. Price also includes taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. Prices are based on two adults sharing a standard room.

To book visit or call 0844 5573 859.

For more information about the hotel visit or call 0871 871 2828.

For more information on Barbados visit the Tourism Authority at

Virgin Atlantic flies from London Gatwick to Barbados daily. Fares start from £449 inclusive of taxes and can be booked at or by calling 08705 747 747. Premium economy fares start from £759.

For kiting, windsurfing, surfing, fishing or just learning how to blow the conch shell visit De Action Beach Shop at Silver Sands.

For diving visit or call (246) 434 5764

Websites for walking tours: (020 8732 1220),

(01707 331133) or

Seven nights at the four-star premium Almond Casuarina Beach starts from £1,059pp all-inclusive. Price includes return flights with Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick direct to Barbados and return transfers. Price also includes taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. Prices are based on two adults sharing a standard room.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

I just love reading news articles about Barbados.

Here's part of an article from


DOUG SWANSON/Special to the DMN

DOUG SWANSON/Special to the DMN

The view from the Blue Orchids Hotel in Worthing, Barbados.

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You won't find a warmer welcome than here. Toss in miles of white sand beaches, a flourishing restaurant scene, museums and sightseeing, and Barbados is revealed as one of the region's most well-rounded objectives.

Strategies: While posh berths like Sandy Lane get ink for the name-drop crowd, Barbados reaches out to visitors of all budgets, with affordable lodgings along the south coast, east of Bridgetown, the capital. Good beaches, watersports, moderately priced dining and night life are found along the two-mile stretch surrounding pedestrian-friendly St. Lawrence Gap.

The island also has extensive bus transportation (75 cents a trip), particularly along the south and west coasts, so you needn't rent a car.

In low season, use the free Barbados Gourmet Card for a 25 percent discount at more than 20 restaurants (

Sensible option: Across the street from one of the island's most popular beaches, Southern Surf Beach Apartments is a four-story, 12-room property facing busy Rockley Beach (246-435-6672; The apartments will be closed June 21 through July 16 for renovations. The rooms have air conditioning and sea-facing balconies. For a few dollars more, deluxe units add floor space, but note there's no elevator. There's a pool in back but no other facilities. Doubles are $120 to $130, including tax and service ($140 to $150 in winter).

Splurge option: A short walk from St. Lawrence Gap in the Worthing neighborhood, Blue Orchids Hotel is a three-story building hugging the sand (246-435-8057; Its 31 rooms range from studios with kitchens to one- and two-bedroom apartments. Every room boasts an ocean-view balcony, some large enough for dining. There's a small pool, a gym and a restaurant. Many dining options are within walking distance. Doubles start at $123 plus 17.5 percent tax and service ($170 in winter). Check the hotel Web site for specials.

Tourism: 1-800-221-9831;

Interesting Idea

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I don't think you'll ever collect, though!

Barbados will be sunny and warm or your money back

Are you whacking your desk repeatedly with a pen because of anxiety over Memorial Day travel plans? Good; it's nice to know we're not the only ones. To relieve the stress of finding a great spring getaway for a long weekend, which will also have amazing weather during your visit, Barbados has introduced a "Perfect Weather Guarantee."

Say you book the $549 airfare + hotel + breakfast deal on, only to arrive to Barbados during an unexpected rainstorm. If that rain accumulates to over a quarter of an inch, and the temperature falls below 78 degrees, you'll be entitled to a $100 per bad weather day rebate.

It's free to enroll on the Perfect Weather Guarantee website, just be sure to do so before June 7 for travel between May 28th and December 18th, 2009. This might not include Memorial Day Weekend, but booking through CheapCaribbean comes with the very same deal valid now, just that they call it "SPF100 Protection." It'll be nice to let someone else worry about the weather for once.

Posted by MaryO at 9:33 PM 0 comments  

Barbados Gospel Festival

Monday, May 11, 2009

Barbados GospelFest
May 16th to May 24th 2009

The Barbados Gospel Festival is celebrating it's 17th year, and has established itself as one of the leading festivals on the Barbados Events Calendar and for the Caribbean region.

The world class event features international, regional and local Gospel Artists, including; Alvin Slaughter from the USA, Ian Pitter from the UK, Kay Morris from Canada, Mel Holder from the USA, Prodigal Son from Jamaica, Rod Z from the USA and many more local and Caribbean artists.

Farley Hill Finale!

The Festival will be held at venues island wide from the St. Michael's Cathedral to the Finale named "One Awesome Day" at Farley Hill.

A selection of concerts throughout the event are free admission. Check out the Gospel Festival Event Calendar to find out more.

Tickets for Barbados GospelFest 2009 can be purchased from Box Offices across the Island.

Posted by MaryO at 7:07 PM 0 comments