Debbie Fairvalley is a leisure travel advisor for Sterling Brownell. You can read about her summer trip to Bermuda below.
Having not stepped foot on the pink sands of Bermuda since 1993, I was in for a real surprise when I revisited this beautiful island destination. I had forgotten how beautiful the beaches are, how pristine blue the water is, how wonderful the golf courses are, and just how fantastic this piece of paradise really is.
We arrived after a short two hour flight from Atlanta in a very English friendly airport and within 10 minutes we were in our private transfer headed for our posh “estate” at Elbow Beach! The new beachfront suites are lovely, with breathtaking views of the grassy lawn and wide white sand beach. The view of the lighted beach at night and the feeling of sand on your toes – helps you unwind and appreciate where you are!
We arrived at the Fairmont Southampton and were met with the grandeur of days gone by. Driving up the tree lined drive-past the par 3 golf course-gives you a sense of the glory days of Bermuda. We heard the Beach Club calling our name below and headed down for a sunset stroll. The sand all around the Fairmont’s Beach Club is the color of a pink flamingo – and actually glows in the orange of the sunset. Breathtaking! There is a wonderful antique trolley that takes guests from the Beach Club to the resort (hiking down is actually kind of fun-but I definitely appreciated the trolley for the return trip)! The hotel has a very traditional charm that is felt both in the public spaces as well as the rooms. The harbor view shows a bustling yachting lifestyle that Bermuda is famous for. I enjoyed cocktails on my deck while watching the hoisting of the sails.
The Royal Naval Dockyard has been restored to its historic significance and now houses many shops and eateries. My favorite part was watching the glass blowing masters at work – now I understand why some of the pieces are so expensive! However if you want to experience a bit more privacy and old world charm, then you must visit Cambridge Beaches. This resort/spa has been around in Bermuda for quite a while and has a very strong repeat clientele because of their attention to details and service.
We made our way to the family owned Pompano Beach Club for lunch. If you are a fisherman, this is the property for you! The ocean outside this resort is so shallow you can walk almost a quarter mile before you are waist deep in the sea – a very unique experience! The owners are always on property to make sure you are well taken care of and to share wonderful stories.
If it’s Friday you must go to the Fairmont Hamilton Princess for their huge outdoor cocktail party! Everyone who is anyone turns out for this gala at the end of their busy work week. It’s fun to see all the men in their shorts and sports jackets enjoying cocktails. The party takes place on the huge open lawn facing the canal so you can watch the sunset as the boats in the harbor head for home. There is great music and a festive atmosphere –with a typical refined Bermuda accent! The hotel is fascinating – it houses a war room used by Winston Churchill in WWII (Bermuda was instrumental in WWII as a spot where mail was intercepted and decoded for the allied effort). There is lots of memorabilia throughout the hotel complete with photos of British royalty –this is definitely the grand dame of Bermuda!
Just across the canal from Hamilton is a wonderful Newstead Belmont Hills Resort & Spa. This newly renovated property has a very contemporary feel in a refined sort of way. Each suite features state of the art bathrooms and amenities and can accommodate up to 3 bedrooms. If you are a yachtsman, you can’t beat the views and the access to the golf club by water taxi! Speaking of golf, there are 7 fabulous courses on this small island! I adored the views from the ocean holes on the famed Port Royal Golf course. I don’t know how the PGA pros that play here are able to focus on their drives!
Tucker’s Point also has one of the most beautiful resorts on the island. This brand new Rosewood Hotel sets the bar for elegance and luxury in Bermuda! From the fabulous well-manicured grounds to the exquisite lounges and restaurants this is a true 5 star resort. Tucker’s Point has everything – tennis, golf, a fabulous spa, a pool that reminds me of the Italian Riviera and a Beach Club that must be raked 50 times a day. Between the beach club and restaurant/pool area you could easily spend a long weekend here and never stay in the same place!
Our final evening was spent watching a wedding take place at The Reefs. Their lovely beach grotto was the setting for the wedding dinner and reminded me of the Greek Isles. The Reefs have just completed the addition of their fabulous 1, 2, & 3 bedroom villas. Each villa has superb ocean views and is larger than many homes in Atlanta – perfect for families or groups traveling together!
A quick trip through the charming town of St. George’s to purchase a reminder of this wonderful trip and we must make our way back to the airport. I loved the shopping in St. George’s –the shops are boutique and original with small cobblestone streets and slight alleyways that make it all the more fun!
If you have never been –or if you haven’t been recently– you MUST put Bermuda back on your radar. The island has the best of British flair with the beauty and charm of island life. Also, NOW is definitely the time to visit Bermuda –the weather is great and the Bermuda tourist board is sponsoring a $400 air credit towards your trip!