We arrive in beautiful Bermuda after a short, direct flight from Toronto. Our home for the long weekend is the Rosedon Hotel in central Hamilton, across the street from the Hamilton Princess. The Rosedon is a grande B&B with lovely gardens and a welcoming front porch that is perfect for breakfast and afternoon tea. The property also has a very nice pool tucked behind the main building in a garden setting – ideal for lounging or, once again, to enjoy breakfast. We were struck by the warm hospitality of the entire Rosedon staff – from the front office to the kitchen, everyone went out of their way to ensure that every need was met. While our room was a bit dated, for the price we feel the Rosedon cannot be beat and we highly recommend it. 4 1/2 *
The town of Hamilton has lots of shops and very good restaurants, all within easy walking distance of our inn. A port city, cruise ships used to stop here but today’s larger vessels dock at the Royal Naval Dockyard. This a mixed blessing for Hamilton, as tourist traffic is now enjoyably light but one can see signs of a need for economic revitalization in the downtown core.
World-famous Elbow Beach is a short taxi ride from the inn. One nice feature of the Rosedon is that they will arrange a round trip cab ride to/from the Elbow Beach Hotel, and prearrange the rented loungers and an umbrella for the day for $25. Once you arrive at Elbow Beach you are rewarded with a beautiful, tranquil, south-facing view on what is honestly one of the best beaches we have had the opportunity to experience. We couldn’t stay away and found ourselves there twice in four days. Truly a fabulous way to spend the day.
A couple of evenings we enjoyed cocktails on the waterfront and under the stars at the Hamilton Princess. Find yourselves to a couple of Adirondack chairs out back and they’ll happily deliver champagne to you. There is also a nice walk along the harbor which is filled with luxury yachts and mega sport fishing boats.
We spent one day on the water. At Somerset Bridge you can rent 18-foot Boston Whaler for a few hours and explore the many beaches and islands of Somerset Parish. One can also venture into Hamilton Sound to experience the futuristic catamarans training for America’s Cup – to be held in Bermuda in 2017. The turquoise water, isolated rocky beaches, and many coral reefs are gorgeous and readily experienced without need for an expensive charter. Turtles will occasionally pop their heads up to say hello as you are cruising along. A very chill way to spend an afternoon.
On our last day we played 18 holes at the Turtle Hill Golf Club at the Fairmont Southhampton. This par 3 course offers inspiring views of the Atlantic Ocean from almost every hole. It’s a tough, hilly little course.
A short distance from the Fairmont is another world-famous beautiful beach, Horseshoe Beach. Do yourself a favor and skip the crowds at Horseshoe. Instead, do what the locals do and head 1/2 mile east to Warwick Long Bay and enjoy the many small lovely coves and beaches there – you’ll literally have many of them to yourself. Walking west toward Horseshoe Beach, we decided to name of few of our favorite spots – Parrot Fish Beach, Paradise Cove Beach, Blue Crescent Beach, and Rocky Knoll Beach. I’m sure you get the idea – it is beautiful here! Enjoying the South side beaches was the highlight of the weekend for us.
Our restaurant recommendations:
Lunch at Mickeys on Elbow Beach – Doesn’t get much better than great food and service right on a world class beach. We would live there … if we could. 5*
Harry’s – A must dine in the center of the Reinsurance world, such a key driver of Bermuda’s economy. Terrific service. Very busy on Friday evenings. The Bermuda fish chowder was classically delicious. Reservations are a must. 4*
Mad Hatters – In central Hamilton. A limited fixed menu with numerous daily special offerings, ensuring that every dish is fresh and tasty. Fabulous fish entrees. 4*
Beluga – Also in central Hamilton. Odd location in the middle of a mall, we had our doubts on arrival but soon learned that the sushi is just plain great. Try the Sammy Roll. The menu says “it’s a must” – it is! 4*
Barracuda Grill – Again in central Hamilton, a compact restaurant that fills quickly because the word is out that the food is top notch. High quality seafood offerings. If you’re in the mood for dessert, no need to consider anything other than the bread pudding. Be sure to make reservations or you may be disappointed. 4*
N.B.: The local currency is either the Bermudian dollar or the U.S. dollar. Cars cannot be rented in Bermuda. We found taxis – which are abundant – to be the best mode of transportation but they are pricey. You can also rent a scooter as many visitors do, but this is not for the faint of heart or the risk adverse. Bus service is also available.
We have been to many islands in the Caribbean and found Bermuda to be far nicer than any of our favorites in the Caribbean. The island is very clean, the locals are happy and outgoing, and of course the abundance of flowers and cerulean blue water make it our new happy place. We highly recommend visiting Bermuda and we will absolutely return.
… Mark & Dana …