By Michelle Williams
My husband and I weren’t consciously looking for our own paradise, but it’s funny how paradise can find you!
We’ve always loved the Caribbean, with its warm, clear blue seas and the equally warm hearts of its friendly people. And we’ve always found Barbados to be one of the most attractive islands (legend has it that it’s the Queen’s favourite!).
And then on our last trip we discovered The Crane Resort’s upcoming new Private Residences project. The Crane in Barbados has an amazing history – from an 1800’s shipping hub (it got its name from a huge crane atop the cliff, used for lifting crates from ships at the shoreline) to a storied hotel, to today’s masterpiece of hospitality. And now it’s added a new dimension – The Crane Private Residences.
To top it all off, we had an exclusive hard-hat tour of Phase 1 of The Crane Private Residences, and we could see how well they were coming along for some new lucky residents. (You can book a viewing too.)
We drove in for a tour and were delighted from the moment we entered the gates, and into the comfortable eco-system that comprises The Crane’s 40 acre complex. “It’s funny, but I feel at home somehow,” I remarked to my husband. He nodded sagely, clearly feeling the same way.
Since the new Private Residences are presently under construction, we began with a tour of the existing residences for comparison. Walking in was a sublime experience. We were impressed at the feeling of space, the hardwood floors (stone is also available), the wonderful 12’ ceilings, authentic Barbadian furnishings and décor, and the private ocean view pools, which come in most cases.
“I really feel I could live here,” was my first thought, as the fresh Atlantic breeze filled my lungs. The breeze came from the master bedroom’s spacious patio which framed a stunning ocean view from high on the coral cliff. “I’d love to have a morning swim every day in that warm sea,” my husband commented. But when he saw the private swimming pool he began to narrow his wishes. “Or maybe right here at home. What a way to start the day.”
Artist impression of The Crane Private Residences
We love to entertain, and I loved the fully-equipped kitchens, perfect for dining in or for entertaining al fresco on spacious terraces. We began to imagine our life in this paradise, enjoying indoor-outdoor living all year round. “Our friends will be green with envy,” I laughed. And that was before we saw the master bedroom with its handcrafted king-size four poster bed, Cable TV and DVD player and writing desk. “Really, they’ve thought of everything.” I said.
The second bedroom was also a comfy stop, with lush gardens outside.
“Well” my husband summarised, “if the new residences are anywhere as good as this, we’re sold!” Truth is, they may even be better. And certainly a fantastic deal, for luxury resort living in the Caribbean.
Artist Impression of The Crane Private Residences Garden View.
Our agent had to drag us away to show us the rest of the resort! We could choose from 5 outdoor cascading swimming pools, 5 restaurants and a cafe, including the award-winning Zen, a Japanese and Thai restaurant. And in the centre was The Village, the hub of the Crane community for shopping, art and more. There was even a concierge, with access to full resort services and events around the island.
But the clincher was The Crane’s famous beach. Rated by USA Today as the “Best Caribbean Beach” it’s a half-mile of pink sand with gentle rolling swells and non-stop rejuvenating breezes.
All in all, we weren’t looking for Paradise, but it seemed that somehow Paradise found us!
How to get here. Barbados has a world-class international airport and it is the connection hub for many Caribbean islands. The island’s current roster of non-stop direct flights to and from the United Kingdom, North America, Central America and South America continues to expand with recent additions of a Thomas Cook service from Glasgow, Scotland and well as several new JetBlue flights: the new Mint service out of New York, and the new Boston, Newark and Fort Lauderdale direct services.
About Barbados. From outstanding healthcare to world-class telecommunications and utilities, Barbados checks all the boxes of solid infrastructure, but it is the island’s unique charm that continues to attract property investors. Barbados’ welcoming culture, rich history and of course, its endless beaches promise a truly relaxed and enjoyable lifestyle.
Other good stuff you need to know. Unlike most Barbados real estate which is typically purchased under a Freehold Agreement, ownership at The Crane Private Residences is an in-perpetuity Right to Use held in trust by First National Trustee Company Limited (FNTC). This structure allows the property to be willed, transferred or sold at any time – easily, quickly and without the additional expense of appointing an attorney-at-law as the Trustee ensures there is no debt, prior ownership or lien on the property.
The world-famous Crane Beach
The Trust structure also allows property investors to avoid costly taxes and legal fees applied in Barbados to a typical real estate sale, saving owners an average of 5-6% on the purchase price. The Crane Private Residences has also passed on significant cost savings to its owners through its unique vertically integrated approach to design, construction and operations resulting in pre-construction prices approximately half that of comparable luxury ocean front real estate in Barbados.
Phase 1 of The Crane Private Residences is fully sold out and scheduled to open in December 2016. Sales for Phase 2 are going extremely well, with almost half the residences already sold. For more information or to book a viewing, visit tour.thecraneprivateresidences.com.