Choosing a prime southeast cliff-side location in Barbados, civil engineer Donald Simpson turned a palatial ocean villa into the Crane Beach Hotel in 1887—and it quickly became a hot spot for the world’s elite, including William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, who is said to have paid for his room with a pocket watch. The original 18-room building, with coral stone façade, floor-to-ceiling windows, and plantation shutters, is still in use; however, the resort has grown exponentially in its 130 years while serving its well-heeled guests.
Today, The Crane Resorts’ owner Paul Doyle takes island living to a new level. He has recently begun the first phase of the Beach Houses, a luxury gated residential community offering beautifully appointed villas. (At press time, the model home was complete with ongoing work on two additional villas.)
Photo by Will Doyle
The villas will offer panoramic vistas of the ocean and are surrounded by National Park lands—in fact, 99 percent of the East Coast of Barbados is National Park, thus offering a level of seclusion unparalleled on the island. “The location is the most sought-after on the island because the park lands will remain protected by conservation,” notes Doyle. “We will build eight houses during the first phase and have a total of 63 houses upon completion.”
Offered in spacious two-, three- and four-bedroom arrangements, each villa evokes a relaxed island vibe with its clean architectural lines and finishes. “We wanted the spaces to be serene and comfortable,” says ownership representative Mia Duguid. “The look is a contemporary beach house with environmentally sustainable materials used throughout.”
Photo Courtesy of The Crane
For instance, eco-friendly tile floors offer the look of white-washed wood but are durable and easy to maintain, while the island’s signature coral stone is used for the building envelope. Taking cues from nautical vessels, the architectural team also incorporated several built-in features for more floor space and a cleaner look.
All Beach Houses will include a large gourmet kitchen with granite island; natural travertine tile bathrooms and generous glass showers; and private patios with an infinity-edge pool, hot tub, outdoor shower, shaded outdoor dining area, and ample sun-lounging space.
“Green roofs have been installed for a more sustainable design, and much of the energy for the dwellings will be generated through solar panels,” notes Duguid. “We have really blurred the lines between the interior and exterior of the building as well. Floor-to-ceiling windows retract into the walls to open up the bath’s soaking tub to a private garden and the main living areas fully open to the patio for the ultimate in indoor/outdoor living.
Photo by Michael Grimm
“The houses will be turnkey,” continues Duguid, “with 24-hour security and an ample storage area.” The ultra-exclusive community will offer two restaurants featuring local and international cuisine, a lounge and bar overlooking the ocean, and a state-of-the-art wellness center.
Skeetes Bay Beach, a small fishing spot for islanders with a pier and fish market, is just a short distance from The Crane’s Beach House community and is safe for swimming. The rugged cliffs overlooking Skeetes Bay are perfect for a day hike. Just south of the beach is a view of Culpepper Island and, a bit farther south, you will come across Ragged Point Lighthouse, which offers a spectacular lookout point.
As part of purchasing a beach house, you will have access to all the amenities of the 40-acre Crane Resort, which is just a short drive away. Much of the resort’s design, including its plantation shutters and wood features, gives a nod to the original Chattel houses found on the island. The Crane is a luxurious resort with five-star cuisine in its five restaurants and café, a serene full-service spa, six outdoor pools—and Crane Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the world. And of course the resort’s bars serve some of the best rum punch to be had.
Pricing for the Beach Houses starts at U.S. $1,986,000.
Image Credits: Photo courtesy of The Crane.