Bermuda: A Miracle “Isle of Blue”
I recently visited Bermuda on a quick weekend getaway and was able to do some hotel inspections and explore this miracle “Isle of Blue” as I call it. My last visit was back in 1996 and since then, Bermuda has always had a special place in my heart. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to finally bounce back.
Its brightly colored houses, shades of indescribable blue water, pink glistening beaches, architectural gems and friendly faces are sure to make any Bermuda vacation a memorable one. Bermuda was one of Mark Twain’s most visited islands — after 8 visits, it held a special spot in his heart too. His first impression was one of arriving in paradise, and that is exactly how I felt and what visitors will say when that plane soars in over the sparkling blue water and freshly painted white roofs of the local homes as they touch down. “It was like being in heaven.” – Mark Twain.
Often we get lost in the sea of all inclusives and we do not mention or include Bermuda. If you are looking for a more unique experience, this island should be on the list of special vacation spots. It’s for the person who seeks adventure, history, great food and activities. It is not for someone who is on a very strict budget.
Nine unique parishes add up to one amazing Bermuda. They each boast rare and interesting sites, must see hotspots and iconic landmarks, from the oldest city of St George’s in St. George’s Parish (founded in 1612) to the smallest lift bridge in the world found in Sandys Parish, to the famous pub Swizzle Inn in the Hamilton Parish, home to the Rum Squizzle, the island’s signature drink. Not to forget: the crystal caves, Bermuda’s oldest living treasure in Hamilton Parish… and much, much more.
Getting Around Bermuda:
Renting scooters to explore the island is a wonderful and fun way to get around Bermuda. The cost is approximately $85.00 USD for a 24-hour period and each additional day $40 dollars. Taking the bus around Bermuda is also very easy and frequent so guests can easily get around by purchasing tokens in advance from the hotel concierge. There is also a ferry system that runs from the Royal Naval Dockyard to the Hamilton Harbour and to Evans Bay and a few other stops.
Things to Do:
Bermuda has ongoing events like historical events, walking tours, art galleries, museums, and so many activities: the America’s Cup sailing, challenging golf courses, off shore activities. Divers can delve into paradise at over nine ship wreck dive sites around the island. We were able to witness a well-executed (no pun intended) re-enactment of public punishment in Kings Square, daily, in the town of St.George’s. On the other end of the Island at the Royal Dockyards, we watched the Dockyard demonstration: a walk-in-my-shoes story of the life and time of a dockyard worker. They sang traditional songs and re-created day’s work experience by ancestral members of the community.
We decided to go on a picnic one afternoon so I popped into the local market, picked up some lunch and stopped at Somerset Long Bay, one of the many spectacular beaches on the island. It was our deserted paradise, there were only two locals there on a two-mile stretch of beach. They told us about the history of the island and told stories of days gone by. We swam with sea turtles and colorful parrot fish. It was awesome! It is these great moments that make me want to visit Bermuda to explore, enjoy and make memories.
Food and Drink:
There is no shortage of amazing 5-star restaurants, upscale dining, casual eateries, British style pubs and little eateries around the Island. We grabbed lunch at local place called Woodys near Sandys Parish, a road side fish/burger place. The special, wahoo (it’s a fish), was very tasty. It embodies a local flare and was reasonably priced. The locals were all watching Saturday afternoon cricket so I knew it was the place to eat.
We had dinner on the patio downtown at The Pickled Onion, it was a nice spot. We sampled local brew at the Dockyard Brewing Co., Bermuda’s only brewery and had lunch at The Frog and Onion Pub down by the Royal Naval dockyard. Prices can vary at each establishment. Keep in mind that Bermuda is a higher priced island so visiting the local market or finding small local eateries would be advantageous. Guests can enjoy the silver spoon and wine and dine like kings and queens with a variety of amazing venues.
All the Bermuda hotels have amazing maintenance and are well managed, regardless of if they are privately owned or managed. The Bermudian charm and friendly service and style shine through.
Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort and Spa:
Quaint boutique hotel (60 rooms) for the avid golfer. 1 round per day included. Choose this for an active person who wants to get up, hit the gym, play some tennis then get out and explore the island. Not a lot of facilities, more of just a hotel feel for a good night’s rest then be on the move. Not located on a beach but close to the airport and near the town of St. George’s.
Smaller hotel (90 rooms). More of a resort feel with a kids club and some watersports ($). A nice small family resort with a casual laid back atmosphere.
Hamilton Princess and Beach Club:
Fairmont managed hotel. It’s all about service. This hotel is located in the town of Hamilton, at the end of town. You can purchase an optional breakfast plan. Connected by ferry (included selected times) that travels between the sister property Fairmont Southampton. Well-appointed hotel, spa, fitness center, and use of the private beach club about 10 minutes away (shuttle runs every hour), restaurant ($) at the beach club and use of chairs, umbrellas and towels. Guests staying here can also ferry over to the Fairmont Southampton resort and enjoy a day at the sea side beach club there.
Fairmont Southampton Princess:
Deluxe hotel with 9 amazing restaurants with 5 star cuisine and service. Nightly entertainment in the lounge. Pick up some one of a kind pieces in the shops. Games room with ping pong and a nice hang out spot for kids or the young at heart. Golf course on property. This hotel is set on a hilltop on 100 acres overlooking the ocean. Shuttle down to the beach club runs from 7am until midnight daily. Restaurant and bar at the beach club ($) plus use of chairs, umbrellas and towels. The staff are amazing and the service level really does make this hotel a premier luxury resort.
Grotto Bay Beach Resort:
This would be the only hotel that offers all-inclusive in Bermuda. It’s not very popular because there is such an abundance of versatile restaurants on the island to try BUT there are people who crave the convenience of an all-inclusive vacation – and, considering the price of meals in Bermuda, it’s actually not a bad idea if you don’t want to keep reaching into your pocket and if you like to enjoy cocktails by the pool/beach daily – salute!!! This lush property was very welcoming. I walked about I found it very comfortable and again not very big, just 200 rooms with lovely views and surrounded by lush gardens. They have crystal caves on site and the resort hosts a woodland preserve. It was nice to feed the fish and feel and see nature all around, all the while providing spectacular views of Bailey’s Bay.
I think Bermuda will always be one of my favorite spots to visit. I surely won’t be waiting another 20 years to get back to the little picturesque island with English aristocrat attitude that has something for everyone and will inspire and entertain!
Thanks for reading and if you every want to visit this picture-perfect island, you know who to call! Chingas, bye! (A saying used by Bermudians which is an expression of delight, similar to “wow!” If you say it to a local they will embrace you as a friend!)