Traveler: Stacy Armstrong
When: June 2018
I fell in love with the island of Bermuda, and can’t wait to plan another trip back! There is something special that sets Bermuda apart from other Caribbean islands I have visited. I really enjoyed that the shops and restaurants were locally owned and you won’t spot a fast-food chain or big box retail store anywhere in sight. The locals and everyone we met seemed genuinely happy and from what we gathered, between tourism and the “re-insurance” industry, most Bermudians make a good living.
There is a strong British influence from the way the locals speak to the side of the street the cars drive on. The Bermuda short is a compromise that arose from British conservatism and the fact that it is hot on the island. Bermuda shorts typical go down the knee and are often accompanied by knee-high socks; making for a unique wardrobe choice.
They do not have a University on the island so a lot of the locals venture to the US or Canada for an education and often times come back, because why wouldn’t you come back to paradise!
The water is more vivid and clear than I have ever seen anywhere else. The sandy beaches are soft, free of debris and have a slight hint of a pink tint (although not as pink as I had imagined). I can’t think of a better place to travel for a relaxing vacation in the sun, and it is only hours from the east coast of the U.S.A! This is a great destination to go to with friends or family.
Although we had some weather-related delays, we flew from Dulles (outside of Washington DC) through Atlanta, and straight to Bermuda (BDA) from there.
There are direct flights from: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Charlotte and Atlanta, all under 2.5 hours from Bermuda.
Keep in mind that tourists are not allowed to rent cars on Bermuda (only scooters). Make sure to put aside some money for taxis and water ferries to get around.
Hotels: I traveled to Bermuda with 7 others for a bachelorette trip. We stayed at the “Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort and Spa”. It worked really well for us; we were able to have our own 3-bed 3-bath suite that offered plenty of space for all of us. There isn’t much near the hotel to walk to, but the hotel offered a free water taxi to/from downtown Hamilton (just across the bay) and has free van shuttles to Elbow beach (which was my favorite part of the trip) and to/from the airport.
Currency: While they accept US dollars, Bermuda has its own currency called the Bermuda dollar (always valued 1 to 1 with US dollar).
One of my favorite activities was our private sail on a SailBermuda catamaran. We were able to sail around, see the luxurious Bermudian houses along the island and take in the scenery. The catamaran came equipped with paddleboards, snorkeling gear and more, so we chose to dock and enjoy those activities. The captain and our tour guide were great as well!
Elbow beach is a private beach that can only be accessed by those staying at the hotels on that beach or by those staying at partner hotels (like the Newstead). Spending time at this beach made us feel like VIPs! It was so beautiful and special; they set out chaise lounges and umbrellas on the beach and had a cute beachside bar. Of course the best part was having a gorgeous beach almost exclusively to ourselves.
Jobson’s cove is a must see! Located walking distance from Horseshoe Bay Beach, which is one of the most popular beaches in Bermuda. We went early in the morning and were lucky enough to have the whole place to ourselves! The water is crystal clear and you can see beautiful tropical fish swimming around. The rocks shelter from waves and it is one of the most stunning and serene places I have ever visited!
Where to Eat:
First thing first, Bermuda is very much on the expensive side of things, especially when it comes to wineing and dining, primarily because most of the food has to be exported onto the island. That being said, I think the service, experience and food at all of the places we ate at was consistent with the high prices. If you plan to dine with a large group, make sure to make reservations ahead of time.
We really enjoyed dining at the Crown and Anchor at the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club. We had a table outside near the water.
Another place we liked was Café Lido on Elbow beach. Great service and great selection!
If you want to try the local drink, it is called the “Rum Swizzle”; made with rum, pineapple juice, orange juice and grenadine. We definitely enjoyed a couple of these by the ocean!