I have to admit my first glimpse of Barbados was Tiger Woods’ wedding footages on tv. He had this very lavish sunset beach wedding at Sandy Lane Resort that caused media frenzy and while people were being curious about that wedding, I was more interested about the island. Barbados is a British colonized country in the Caribbean with pristine sugary white beaches from coast to coast. It’s also home to one of the top 10 best beaches in the world according to the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and The Travel Channel. The Crane Beach. Famous for its powder soft pink sand and endless ocean views, it’s called by many as “the most beautiful spot on earth”. This is one of the reasons it made my top caribbean beach destination list this year.
I booked our flight 4 months ahead. You always get better deals when you book in advance. Only a few major airlines fly direct to Barbados. American Airlines, JetBlue and US Airways offer nonstop flights. JetBlue was the cheapest($450 roundtrip) at the time which worked to my advantage. I always want to fly Jetblue when it’s a longer flight(Barbados is a 5 1/2 hour flight from New York) because they offer individual tv monitors for each traveler. Flying makes me nervous and watching tv or channel surfing can be a good distraction for me.
Next, was accommodations. I struggled a little bit on this one because the best places in Barbados are scattered all around the island and the one resort that I had set my heart on is nowhere near the happenings and goings on. I’m talking about The Crane Resort. The Crane is located at St. Phillips. It sits on top of a hill overlooking the caribbean sea and right next to it is the Crane Beach. The Crane Beach was named one of the 10 best beaches in the world and the resort is really a stand-out. The only downside is it’s far from everything. After deliberating for a few days I decided that rest and relaxation is more important to us than partying so I booked The Crane.
On May 27, 2011, we got our passports ready and started our journey. We had an early flight out of JFK so we were up early. Btw, you don’t need a visa to enter Barbados if you’re an American citizen. For green card holders you do. You can get it at the Barbados embassy in your city. There’s a small fee and you have to apply no later than a month before your departure. Our flight landed at around noon in Barbados and as soon as you walk out of the plane, you can feel the Caribbean breeze right away. It was hot but with a nice breeze. We took a taxi to the hotel. No reservations needed. Like any other airport there’s a taxi stand right outside the arrival area.
The Crane is only 3 miles away from the airport. We were greeted by the staff when we arrived and offered us a welcome drink. We had our first Bajan rum punch of the day and it was good! We had to wait a little bit for our room because it wasn’t ready but we didn’t mind. They kept the rum punch coming anyway:-) By the time we got to our room we were already a bit woozy:-). The room was beautiful! It definitely exceeded my expectations. I booked a one bedroom oceanfront suite with a private pool and it was huge. It would be perfect for honeymooners. There was a lot of privacy and the view was great.
We went to Oistin’s Fish Fry on our first night. It’s one of Barbados’ most popular attraction every Friday night. A lot of tourists go there to taste the very best local food. The fried flying fish is very popular. It’s the national dish of Barbados so we just had to try it. It’s open seating and you eat at communal tables so if you don’t dig that kind of thing then you can skip it. For us though, it was well worth it. It was a good way to interact with the locals too. The Crane has a van that shuttles you to the area.
On our second day we wanted to tour the island so we rented a car. They have guided tours that you can take but we wanted to go around at our own pace so we decided to drive. Driving in Barbados is done on the left side of the road so it needs some getting used to. The steering wheel is on the right. The roads are so narrow with no shoulders and drivers tend to travel at high speeds. So, I have to say driving there may not always be for the faint of heart. It’s easy to get lost too because the street signs are not always visible so a GPS is highly recommended.
We went to Bathsheba which is the rugged east coast of Barbados. The view of the beach with these huge rock formations was breathtaking. It’s also where the surfers go to catch a wave. The water is rough on this side of the island so swimming is not highly recommended. The best beaches for swimming would be on the west coast. Payne’s Bay is one of them if not the best. The water here is so calm and safe for swimming. It’s also where most of the upscale resorts are located. We had lunch at The House. An oceanfront boutique hotel on Payne’s Bay. It was kind of pricey but the beachfront setting was elegant and beautiful and our server was very nice. He gave us very detailed directions on how to get back to our hotel. Sandy Lane Resort is also situated on the northern tip of Payne’s Bay.
We spent an entire day touring the island and was back at our hotel before sundown. We stayed at The Crane the rest of our vacation and just took advantage of all the great things it had to offer. The room, the view, the beach, our own private pool, the breakfast buffet, the rum punches, the restaurants, and the tropical breeze. Crane Beach was spectacular! I just loved sinking my toes on pink sand. It really was pink on certain lights. Overall, we had a great time at The Crane. My only complaint was the sound of crickets and frogs at night. Yes…frogs too! Don’t get me wrong though. I love the sound of crickets but not by the hundreds chirping all together at night. It was the most annoying sound if you’re not used to it. It literally kept me up the first night. Other than that, we had an awesome time.