bermuda-pocket-guide

The notion that everything in Bermuda is beautiful isn’t a myth, but what is somewhat untrue is the perception that the island is only for the rich. This mini beach paradise just a two-hour flight from the East Coast of North America offers charms which appeal to multiple budgets.

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Bermuda is a place where pink is commonplace and candy-coloured homes dot the hillsides. At no more than a mile and a half at its widest, the island is lapped by Tiffany blue seas that lick at rosy-hued shores, so there’s no need to jostle for space with other tourists. It’s got all the laid-back vibes to love, but with an urban sophistication that’s fostered a lively art scene and culinary options worth travelling for.

There’s an endearingly old-fashioned way of thinking in Bermuda, such as where driving cars is concerned; visitors aren’t allowed to rent cars because the island wants to curb the noise and traffic. That’s made for a lot of scooters zipping around, but now the Renault Twizy – a battery-powered, two-seat city car – has touched down as an option for the less scooter-inclined.

If you’re looking to disappear in the best way possible, this place has got you covered. In Bermuda, all that matters is finding a private cove along the beach to hide out in, staying fully stocked on dark ‘n’ stormy or rum swizzle cocktails and taking it really, really easy. Here’s a taste of what you can get up to.

TO STAY

Airbnb

Airbnbs are becoming increasingly popular in Bermuda for travellers who want to enjoy a more thrifty stay. If a local experience is what you’re after, you won’t get closer to it than a white-roofed cottage overlooking the island. You’ll have your pick of private houses with hammock-adorned pools like at Natalia Guest Room & Pool, contemporary ocean-front apartments and one-bedrooms with infinity pools facing the sea, all for far less than most hotels.

Aunt Nea’s Inn

Away from the more bustling drags that are the capital city of Hamilton and the historic Royal Naval Dockyard, there’s St George’s, Bermuda’s very first settlement and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which retains much of its 17th-century charm. Aunt Nea’s Inn provides a prime place to park for the night and explore the area. The Bermudian guesthouse, which was once home to Irish poet Thomas Moore in the early 1800s, has nine unique rooms overlooking the harbour and the gardens and is not far from Tobacco Bay beach.

Newstead Belmont Hills

A little more to the expensive end of the spectrum, you’ll find all the tranquility of a private holiday home at Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort & Spa, overlooking the colourful Hamilton Harbour. Complete with standard rooms and suites, many of which have private terraces with waterfront views, this boutique resort’s hardwood and high ceilings give the property an island feel without sacrificing modern luxuries – like a spa tub. If you can pull yourself away from the Instagram-worthy infinity pool, the property’s private water taxi can take you to Hamilton’s Front Street for shopping and dining, while the shuttle will take you to Coco Reef’s private pristine beach. Don’t be put off by mention of golf in the name.

  • +1 441 236 6060
  • Go to Website
  • 27 Harbour Road
    Mount Pleasant
    PG02
    Bermuda

TO EAT

Art Mel’s

This standing-only takeout spot is so well-loved that, if you mention it to locals, they’ll likely let out an audible “mmm”. At Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy, it’s all about the fish sandwich, which is so big you’ll need two hands to hold it and an ample appetite to conquer it.

  • +1 441 295 3965
  • Go to Website
  • St Monica's Road
    North Shore Village
    Bermuda

Windows on the Sound

For a traditional Bermudian breakfast feast you won’t forget, Windows on the Sound is where it’s at. Located in the Fairmont Southampton hotel, the daily spread covers everything you could want. You’ll find local staples like codfish and potatoes, Johnny bread and cassava (yuca) pie, plus a Belgian waffle station, made-to-order omelettes and every type of dough-based creation there is. Arrive hungry and leave with enough time to rest off the food coma before getting into your next activity.

  • +1 441 238 8000
  • Go to Website
  • 101 South Shore Road
    Southampton
    SN02
    Bermuda

TO DRINK + DANCE

The Loren

If there’s one drink Bermuda is known for, it’s the dark ‘n’ stormy, a beautiful mashup of Gosling’s Black Seal rum (the dark) and Barritt’s Bermuda Stone ginger beer (the stormy). One of the best places on the island to sip it is at The Loren on Pink Beach, a contemporary property perched on Bermuda’s southern shore. Bartenders at the property’s Marée restaurant will mix you up a cocktail, which is best enjoyed while watching the sun fall over the blush sand on the aptly named Pink Beach.

  • +1 441 293 1666
  • Go to Website
  • 116 South Road
    Tucker’s Town Smiths
    HS01
    Bermuda

Cosmopolitan Ultra Lounge & Nightclub

If you’re one for dancing, make your way to Front Street in Hamilton to hit Cosmo, Bermuda’s only indoor/outdoor nightclub. Don your glad rags and prepare to shake it, because this isn’t a crowd for wallflowers. Enjoy nightly sounds of top 40 hits, reggae, hip-hop and soca music spun out by both local and guest DJs.

TO DO

Admiralty House Park

This Bermuda gem somehow gets missed off many tourists’ radars. Cliffs and rocks enclose a cove with lagoon-like waters, and visitors are known to throw caution to the wind with a bit of cliff diving. Probably the biggest draw, however, is the fact that you can enter the various caves and coves, going underwater and resurfacing in crystal blue swimming holes. Those who prefer calmer water activity can float in the warm shallows near the shore. It’s also completely free.

  • +1 441 295 1291
  • Spanish Point Road
    Hamilton
    Bermuda

UberVida Yacht Cruise

Some people have yachts – and those who don’t can pretend they do for just $10. A sail on Bermuda’s UberVida Friday boat will take you around the string of isles that make up Bermuda while you sip cocktails from the cash bar, breeze blowing in your hair, soft calypso sounds wafting over the waves. The yacht leaves from Hamilton Harbour on Front Street at 8PM and will have you back on land by 9.30PM.

TO SHOP

Urban Cottage

If you’re the kind of person who needs a bit of retail therapy while on holiday, head to Front Street where one of the more unique boutiques among the fray of Bermuda shorts and sarong shops is Urban Cottage. Filled with a mix of island-style linen co-ords and homeware goods (both new and reclaimed) there’s always something to find here. The best among them might be the jewellery by local designer Rebecca Little, who makes contemporary pieces with a nod to the island, such as pendants following the pattern of Bermuda’s stepped roofs and hand-hammered Bermuda Triangle earrings.

Alexandra Mosher

You may have had an urge to bottle sand and take it home from a holiday, but this designer is taking it one step further by incorporating Bermuda’s beloved pink sand into jewellery pieces. Island-born Alexandra Mosher takes the grains – which get their blush tone from tiny red marine organisms called foraminifera – and fills rings, pendants and tie pins with it. Watch her at work at her flagship store on Front Street.

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