Andrew Forbes selects some of the best places to check-in for a great stay in Bermuda – from exclusive resorts; old-school private clubs; charming boutique hotels; to well-appointed homestays.
Bermuda may have been discovered in the early 16th century, but it wasn’t until a century later in 1609 that settlement began. The story goes that Admiral Sir George Somers and his vessel Sea Venture, on their way from the UK to America, ran aground on Bermuda’s island reefs – caught in a storm that was said to inspire Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. Once safely on land the crew built new ships, but some stayed behind to make Bermuda their home.
Jump forward a few centuries and it would seem that the island’s powers of attraction are no less enchanting. Yet these day’s it doesn’t take a storm to compel people to stay, but instead Bermuda’s glorious coral-coloured beaches, comfortable sub-tropical climate, varied cuisine and of course the excellent choice of accommodation. And thanks to the regular British Airways service from London’s Gatwick, it is totally feasible to be castaways on Bermuda for a long weekend.
Rosedon Boutique Hotel
I arrived on the regular BA service from London’s Gatwick, so it was the end of day by the time I arrived at the quintessential Bermuda property of The Rosedon. The white plaster walls of this striking 19h century house were tinted a warm pink by the sunset. The evening air was filled with the ‘whistling’ sound of the tiny yet ubiquitous tree frogs, a soundtrack that would become characteristic of my evenings at this charming hotel, which was my boutique bolthole during my stay on the island.
Rooms are within the original family home built in the early 1900s, and within two storey poolside buildings. Expect the warmth of vintage imported woods, restored original features and contemporary additions like free Wi-Fi, large flatscreen TVs, A/C and plush bathrooms with Italian amenities.
My suite had a classical style hardwood four poster bed, and veranda terrace where I could sit and sip wine, listening to the exotic sub tropical sounds of the surrounding gardens. House-keeping was standout; the room was always flawlessly presently and pristinely clean. Expect bathrobe, slippers, thick new towels, great linens, and amenities like trouser press, iron and board, safe and USB loudspeaker.
The breakfast is something to relish – so don’t rush. In fact, embrace the relaxed Bermudan lifestyle, and choose a table on the veranda and start the day right with dishes made to order by chef Lucy Collins and her team. My favourite was the Eggs Benedict, made with morsels of lobster, with Cajun seasoning.
In the evening, the Huckleberry Restaurant becomes a destination for cocktails and home-cooked dishes inspired by the American south, the Mediterranean and of course Bermuda. The local Bermuda Grilled Fish Tacos were superb, as were the Southern style fish cakes.
The hotel is bookable direct on its website or as part of a package with flights and private airport transfers from Prestige Holidays in the UK.
This hotel has genuine personality, thanks to the personalised service from the established family-like team, the authentic island architecture, and its secluded garden location. Yet its within walking distance of the centre of Hamilton, the capital. What’s more, on the other side of the street one finds the location for Current Vehicles where you can pick up an electric Twizy. Read about my Twizy Bermuda adventures here.
Coral Beach & Tennis Club
Sometimes in life, it’s not what-you-know, but more a case of who-you-know. Bermuda’s members-only Coral Beach & Tennis Club is part of the island’s rich heritage, a place that captures an era of glamour and exclusivity – and its all there for you to enjoy as a member.
I must admit that I enjoyed a sneak peek of the club and a relaxing lunch in the Longtail Terrace restaurant overlooking Coral Beach.
It was enough to tempt me to apply for membership; which I am told affords one not only access to this splendid location, but also through reciprocal arrangements, benefits at clubs in London, Dublin, Madrid, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Boston and Toronto.
Found on Bermuda’s privileged South Shore, The Coral Beach members club offers chic yet homey accommodation across more than two dozen rooms, suites as well as 9 cottages. There is of course an exceptional tennis club (said to be the means buy which lawn tennis reached the US from the UK); restaurants; a bar; and exclusive access to the beach.
General Manager Nik Bhola, dressed impeccably in coral pink Bermudan shorts, dress shirt and navy blazer were my host and showed wat a friendly a relaxed place this really is – what’s more there’s even chargers for your Twizy electric car!
This is one of the latest additions to Bermuda’s portfolio of upscale hotels. I visited The Loren for an evening’s exclusive art benefit and was seduced by the property’s sleek architecture, smart design aesthetic and wonderful location on Pink Beach. It’s already the fashion crowd’s go-to property on Bermuda.
So, if you want to feel fabulous then I think this is the place to stay.
Just opened in 2017, this sparkling new resort promises elegant and luxurious rooms, suites and private villas. Each space makes the most of the stunning Atlantic views with ocean-front terraces or balconies. Expect premium styling, furnishings and amenities, with a muted palate with a few tropical splashes – and all complemented by 5-star service.
Chef Tim Sullivan heads a kitchen creating cuisine that ranges from elegant breakfasts; informal beach club bites to fine-dining Marée. Go on; you know you’re worth it!
For a genuine sensation of an island hideaway, why not rent one of the exclusive homestays on Bermuda? The island is mixing things up for the new season’s accommodation with a wider range of private properties for rent than ever before.
For genuine privacy and flexibility, a holiday rental can make sense for some visitors. Over recent years the choice of registered properties on Bermuda has increased significantly, with properties for different tastes and budgets. I visited a collection of charming properties in the heart of the old town of St. George. Here one finds ‘The Loft’ (reference E14), an intimate duplex cottage perfect for a couple.
‘The Ruin’ (reference E19) is a restored 1760s cottage; and, the two-bedroomed ‘Bedford Cottage’ (reference E23). All are recently renovated, with well-appointed kitchens and bathrooms. Select the reference on the Bermuda Rental’s website for more information.
Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa
Bermuda’s all-inclusive properties include the Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa.
Rates can include casual as well as fine-dining; an English style afternoon tea; Theme Night buffets – and all drinks. For the active, there’s tennis courts and water sports, but if you prefer indulgent pampering then visit the amazing Natura cave spa, open to non-residents.
Here you can enjoy a massage in a private cabana, floating above crystal clear lagoon within a cave!
Rosewood have created some of the world’s most exceptional properties, and Rosewood Bermuda is no exception. Offering the sophistication and elegance one expects from Rosewood, this resort promises to avoid the formality of old school hotels.
The fabulous beach club opens to Bermuda’s largest private beach; whilst for golfers, the hilltop Tucker’s Point Golf Club is part of the Rosewood experience.
A flavour of the accommodation available on Bermuda
This is just a small selection of Bermuda’s accommodation options. It’s enough to tempt one to enjoy a little hotel hopping, experiencing different styles of this historic and beautiful island.
Oh, and that storm that caused the Brits to run a ground in the 17th century – well it would seem it was quite a rarity. In fact, Bermuda despite stories of its infamous Triangle, is a sheltered group of islands, thanks to their more northerly position and the surrounding reefs that usually protect against seasonal storms that sometimes affect the Caribbean some 1,500 kilometres to the south.
For further inspiration for Bermuda travel planning, check out the island’s official travel & tourism website, Go To Bermuda