26 lime October - December 2008 LIMELITE The months of October and November see a host of colourful celebrations across the Caribbean as a number of islands commemorate their independence. Barbados achieved independence from Britain on 30 November 1966, after over 300 years of life as a colony. Every year Barbados Independence Day features an elaborate parade and ceremony at Bridgetown's Garrison Savannah, and festivities throughout the month. The inaugural Independence Day was celebrated with the raising of the Barbados National Flag and the first airing of the National Anthem. Sports competitions, fairs, community events and religious services now take over the island on the public holiday every year. After a long and turbulent history, St Vincent & The Grenadines finally became an independent nation in 1979. Today this event is celebrated with a parade through Independence day the streets of Kingstown on October 27. The day before Antigua's Independence Day on 1st November is traditionally the country's National Dress Day, marking the culmination of two weeks of preparations. On 3rd November 2008 Dominica celebrates 30 years as an independent nation. Throughout 2008 a series of events have been taking place on the island under the banner of ' Reunion 2008' and these will culminate in the island's biggest celebrations on Independence Day itself. Dominica's cultural heritage will be proudly displayed through music and dance performances, markets, national food and the wearing of national dress. Top for the flocks The whole of the West Indies is rich in birdlife, but nowhere more so than The Dominican Republic, where more than 300 bird species have been recorded, including more endemic species than any other Caribbean island – an amazing 27. The southwestern part of the island has the best birding, especially the Sierra de Bahoruco, which contains one of the highest bird densities in the Caribbean. A visit to the botanical gardens in Santo Domingo provides a chance to see many of the low land endemics such as the Hispaniolan woodpecker, Palm chats, Broad- billed todies, Stolid flycatchers, Black- whiskered vireo, Palm swifts and some aquatic specialties including limpkin, West Indian whistling duck and Least grebe. West of the capital are the wetlands of Las Salinas de Bani, a great place for waders and shorebirds. Salinas region has salt mines, mangroves, sand dunes, and thorn scrub, a good place for winter migrants. Parque del Este is the place to see Antillean piculets, parrots, Flat-billed vireos, Black- whiskered vireos, pelicans, gulls and terns. LiMEnews did you know? William Thornton, architect of the United States Capitol building, and John C. Lettsome, founder of the Royal Society of Medicine, both hail from Jost Van Dyke, the smallest of the four main islands of the British Virgin Islands. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ll Broad- billed tody doug wechsler/ VIREO R UM AT THE TOP Martinique's Neisson Rhum, one of the island's few remaining family- owned distilleries, has been recognised for producing one of the world's finest leisure spirits. The influential Robb Report listed the Reserve Special in its 20th annual " Best of the Best" special issue. The Reserve Special is the only rum featured on the prestigious list, joining the likes of Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V Edition Malt Whisky, Clase Azul Tequila Ultra and Le Voyage de Delamain Cognac. The Special Reserve is a blend of rums aged up to ten years. The Robb Report described it as " a deep, gorgeous reserve… medium amber in colour, it shows glorious spice on the nose, and long, complex flavours with sweet treacle notes." Martinique is home to 12 distilleries, each of which employs an exclusive rhum agricole technique to produce the island's distinctive blends.
T he Crane, with its unique clifftop setting on one of the most beautiful pieces of beachfront in the world, evokes feelings of grandeur. Sparkling, pristine azure waters and soft pink sand that stretches for a quarter mile give Crane Beach the distinction of being named one of the ' Top Ten Beaches in the World' by Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. This truly special resort is also the oldest operating hotel in the Caribbean. Now transformed from an 18- room historic property on the southeast coast of Barbados to a premier luxury resort with 202 rooms, The Crane has nevertheless maintained its distinctive historic and intimate feel. The essence of ' The Crane Experience' is a combination of spectacular natural beauty, a casually elegant atmosphere and warm, friendly service that is reminiscent of The Crane's earliest history of hospitality. Guests that are lucky enough to have discovered The Crane enjoy a vacation that is a true retreat from everyday life. Taking advantage of the natural landscape, The Crane occupies a tranquil 40- acre space that seamlessly blends old and new, but still maintains the environs that inspired travellers a century ago. The newly developed buildings have been strategically positioned to capture the best of the Easterly trade winds that constantly cool the area. Crane suites also feature key elements taken from the original resort, including coral stone walls, 11- foot- high timber tray ceilings, and local hand- carved mahogany furniture, including traditionally high, king size four- poster beds. While The Crane remains steeped in Barbadian history, the property also offers numerous 21st century conveniences and amenities. Ground floor suites feature 28- foot ' infinity edge' private pools, while many upper floor suites feature plunge pools set in open turrets with spectacular ocean views. The well- appointed accommodations also feature oversized whirlpool baths, spa showers with multiple showerheads, DVD players and complimentary in- room internet access. The historic Crane pool, framed by two classic Doric columns, is renowned for its breathtaking views overlooking the pink sands of Crane Beach. Today, the resort also offers a fabulous 1 .5 acre Cliff Pool complex – four swimming pools with infinity edges interconnected by cascading waterfalls and meandering landscaping. In this area, the resort's guests also enjoy an alfresco whirlpool set into a restored historic ruin, softly lit at night to add to the romantic ambiance. Two floodlit tennis courts are also available for the tennis enthusiast. The Crane currently offers three restaurants, two of which are highly rated by Zagat: L'Azure, which features classic Caribbean cuisine; and Zen, serving authentic Japanese and Thai cuisine. The recently opened Carriage House, a restored historic stable, offers up light fare and tropical cocktails poolside. In development now with an anticipated opening in early 2009, is The Crane Village, which on completion will offer a new Italian restaurant, a coffee shop with bakery, general store, artisan boutique, resort wear boutique, a jazz bar, fitness centre, new concierge and reception, a full- service conference centre and a 3,000- square- foot duty free environ featuring jewellery, souvenirs, liquor and tobacco. The Crane A world apart SPONSORED PROMOTION y www. thecrane. com y reservations@ thecrane. com y Tel: ( 246) 423 6220 y Fax: ( 246) 423 5343