Barefoot Luxury in Barbados, The Crane Residential Resort

Luxury Travel Mavens
By Lisa TE Sonne

Ahhh, barefoot luxury in Barbados!

The footwear I wore longest my first day in Barbados was fins. I spent enchanted hours in the morning, scuba diving through the coral gardens in 88 degree water with schools of neon blue fish for company, off the western resort lined-and-designed Caribbean side of the island.

But the rest of the day, I was indulging in “barefoot luxury in Barbados” – The Crane Resort way – on the eastern, more private Atlantic side of the multi-faceted vacation mecca.

I woke barefoot in a big hand-carved four-poster bed with the rhythmic sounds of the Atlantic surf. The bed, authentic Barbadian furniture, was similar to those used in the resort since it first opened as a hotel in 1887, triggering more than a century of legacy. Locals say that in the late 19th century, the visiting celebrity “Buffalo Bill” Cody paid for his stay by leaving a watch and the gold chain to his timepiece. In the 21st century, 252 accommodations offer golden refuge for travelers from timezones around the world.

I padded across the marble floor to open the tall shuttered doors to my spacious balcony, part of my 1,200 square foot residential suite at The Crane Residential Resort. My refrigerator was already full of fruits and eggs and the makings for great coffee were on the counter. A five-jet shower awaited too. I was well fortified for a drive across island, and relaxing diving.


When i returned to my Crnae “home” from easy diving with Hightide Water Sports, my swimsuit was still wet, so I headed barefoot to the Atlantic Ocean that looked so beguiling from my balcony. My toes were tickled as I waled a small part of The Crane’s 40 acres of landscaping (tended by over 20 landscapers) to the cliff’s edge for sweeping views.

Both a glass-fronted elevator and steps descend three flights from the cliff perch to powdery sand that massaged my toes. In certain lights, the sand shimmers pinks.

Barbados is the eastern most inhabited Caribbean island and the Atlantic waters on the island’s eastern side can be boisterous for body surfing and bogey boarding.


My next barefoot foray on this deliciously naked toe day was the Serenity Spa, one of The Crane’s nurturing niches. I received the “Travelers Paradise Express”, which weaves together Swedish, Lomi-Lomi (Hawaiian) and Deep Tissue very effectively with talented Lashawn also hydrating my dry post-airplane skin with almond lotion. I particularly liked – of course – the foot rub part!

It’s enjoyable to try massages that are signature for their geographic and cultural context like a Mayan themed treatment in Cancun, Mexico, or an amber massage in the Baltics, so I had been hoping for some kind of Barbados rum massage or pink sand defoliation (I made those up), but the actual eclectic Serenity blend of massage techniques worked wonderfully and does suggest Barbados’ international legacy. For centuries, Barbados was a key portal for the trade of goods, people and ideas between the Americas, and Africa and Europe.

My feet were quite glad to receive three kinds of massage blended.


How could this barefoot day get any better?

Answer: Dinner inn the Tatami room of the fantastic Zen restaurant on The Crane grounds, a Zagat’s favorite for Barbados. Shoes were parked outside the private room as new friends – travel writers and tourism experts – bared soles and souls with stellar sushi, sashimi and lots of laughs.

After a day of Caribbean diving, Atlantic ocean play, pools, foot massage and Zen repose, I returned to my suite with its own Jacuzzi bathtub, lounge chairs for star gazing and tradewinds on the balcony, and the luscious four poster bed. What a welcoming sequence to enjoy barefoot luxury in Barbados – the Crane way!