Barbados: ‘Yes, everyone is that friendly’

Part of an article from the Toronto Star.

After two days at the Royal Westmoreland, I was off to the southeast coast of the island for the serene yet beautiful and historic Crane Resort.

It is the oldest continuously operating hotel in the Caribbean and marries old world charm with modern amenities. My one bedroom ocean view luxury condo includes a plunge pool on the balcony, mahogany furnishings, a full kitchen and a whirlpool tub. I am starting to feel spoiled again. I am also feeling hungry.

Fortunately, there are several restaurants right on site, my personal favorite being the Asian-inspired Zen which offers traditional Tatami rooms, a sushi bar and booths for private dining.

In the afternoon, I breathe in the fresh air and relax on the world famous Crane beach while listening to the roaring waves.

Feeling the need to explore the area beyond the resort, I eventually take a walk to a deli across the street called Cutters where they feature live music on Sundays courtesy of local entertainer Jerry Roberts.

Shortly after I arrive, people begin to show up, most coming from the Crane and all with stories to tell.

Fifteen years ago Geoff Munn gave his new bride Karen a unique wedding gift – a one-week ownership at the Crane.

They are back each year and this time excited about the plans they have made for the week.

“We love Barbados and the Crane so much we are renewing our vows here,” beams Karen Munn.

Whether it was the rum punch or the excitement of the moment, she insisted I come to the ceremony. Sadly, I would be on a plane by then.

The words “time share” have always made me grimace as I envision high-pressure sales people buzzing around but as I soon learned there are many options and new approaches that changed my thinking.

Irene and Robert Linder of Wales, who were also enjoying a Sunday afternoon beverage at Cutters, say they were drawn to Barbados because of the warmth of the locals. But it was the sales approach of the Crane that sealed the deal.

“There was no pressure – it was the easiest transaction we ever made. They just let us make our decision.”

More importantly, they add, is that the cost was so reasonable they saw it as a “no brainer.”

It’s hard to think of the Crane without thinking of the resort owner and developer Paul Doyle.

His hands on approach, passion and vision are hard to ignore. He doesn’t believe the resort needs an aggressive sales and marketing team chasing buyers. Instead, he prefers potential guests to walk in the door and see for themselves.

“We always give a fixed price, invite comparison shopping and never haggle,” he added.

He is building on his success with a new development about 10 minutes from the Crane. Right now, there is one model home but I was ready to move in. The Beach House is definitely remote but the kind of place you can imagine celebrities seeking out with its stunning views, floor to ceiling glass windows, contemporary architecture and ultra-privacy.

Most significantly, Doyle says you don’t have to be a celebrity to afford an ownership at the Crane or the Beach House.

via Barbados: ‘Yes, everyone is that friendly’ | Toronto Star.

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