Sasha Arms, travel writer and editor of Carl Goes city guides for curious and creative people, checks out Bermuda for honeymooners and holidaymakers.

Moongate (Sasha Arms)

Moongate (Sasha Arms)

Have a Bermudiful day! This trusty saying – a favourite of many Bermudians – pretty much sums up the feeling found in this cluster of 181 islands only surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Homes in pastels and sun-inspired hues pock the tropically verdant localities, while turquoise and azure sea views are a way of life, with pink or white sand beaches finishing the paradisiacal picture. These factors alone make it an ideal destination for honeymooning couples, who enjoy the relaxation of stunning surroundings peppered with picture perfect moongates, where honeymooners are encouraged to walk through for good luck.

Bermuda – a British Overseas Territory – yet just 578 miles off the coast of North Carolina, has a unique combination of American and British cultures, with a hint of the Caribbean thrown in for good measure. (Although it’s nowhere near the Caribbean isles geographically, the weather and way of life share some similarities). The territory has a long and colourful history of shipwrecks and castaways, international settlers, ‘tribes’ and agricultural initiatives. Nowadays, the history and Britishness particularly come through in the presence of town criers, quaint traditions and an expectation of ‘proper’ behaviour: loitering, for example, is frowned upon, and most businesses are

Bermuda Shorts (Sasha Arms)

Bermuda Shorts (Sasha Arms)

closed on Sundays.

It’s also impossible to ignore the one-of-a-kind Bermudian fashion statement: Bermuda shorts. Managers and high fliers particularly favour pink or red shorts, with pulled-up socks, smart shoes, shirts, ties and blazers. Although it’s a look that couldn’t be gotten away with elsewhere in the world, it quickly becomes a normal sight to visitors.

The perfect destination for honeymooners and families, sun-lovers and thrill-seekers (the Americas Cup yacht race is being held in Bermuda in 2017), this is a destination that has something for everyone.

Bailey’s Bay

This neighbourhood just across the bridge from the airport is confusingly in Hamilton Parish, although Bermuda’s capital, Hamilton, is located elsewhere. This is the ideal base from which to reach the historic town of St George, a UNESCO world heritage site, which is a short bus journey away. It’s not possible to hire a car in Bermuda, as even Bermudians are only allowed to own one car per household to keep traffic down. Visitors must instead hire a moped or use the very reliable bus network (buy tokens from your hotel or a post office). Places particularly worth visiting in St George include the Bermuda National Trust Museum inside the old Globe Hotel, St Peter’s Church – the oldest Anglican church in the western hemisphere, and King’s Square – where historical re-enactments regularly take place. The town is the perfect place to stroll and make discoveries along the winding roads, although watersport fans can also embark on a jetskiing tour with K.S. Watersports.

Shipwreck Near St George (Sasha Arms)

Shipwreck Near St George (Sasha Arms)

For food in St George, try lunching at The White Horse, a traditional pub that serves a wide range of food. The sizzling shrimp, served with lemon garlic soy marinade, is a particular triumph, while the Island Burger is served with peppy Bermuda Jam Factory jalapeño jam and goat’s cheese. The huge cocktail menu and large decked area over the water make it a great spot for a rum swizzle at sunset too. Another excellent option is Wahoo’s, which also seems to be the life and soul of the party at the weekends. Austrian chef-owner Alfred Konrad crafts an inventive menu of seafood and European stalwarts. The shrimp harissa linguine cannot be missed, bursting with fresh, sweet shrimp singing of the sea. Daily specials include fish caught fresh that day in internationally-inspired concoctions. Wahoo’s also has a decked area at the back, ideal for romantic evening meals.

White Horse (Sasha Arms)

White Horse (Sasha Arms)

Back in Bailey’s Bay, Grotto Bay is a favourite spot for visitors to lay their heads for the night. Comfortable rooms enjoy fabulous views of the sea, while the resort’s private beach offers a relaxing place to kick back, and the poolside bar offers good value lunches. Although the Crystal Caves are nearby to the resort, Grotto Bay has its own pièce de résistance in its spa, found inside a moodily lit cave, with treatments taking place atop floating platforms on the water. A post-lunch treat can be found in the form of free cookies, cakes and tea at afternoon tea in the Palm Court Dining Room. Walking distance from the resort is Bermuda’s famous Swizzle Inn and Bailey’s Bay Ice Cream Parlour.

Further south, the ClearView Suites enjoy privacy and seclusion in colonial-style, typically pink Bermudian building facades. Peace and quiet is the order of the day here, with stunning views and generously equipped apartments with full self-catering facilities. Guests also have use of the on-site pool, while the Landfall Restaurant next door serves invigorating fresh pink lemonade.

Hamilton

The capital of Hamilton, surrounded by Devonshire and Pembroke Parishes, is top of the list for many travellers, and there’s often a huge cruise ship docked by Front Street. A hub of dining and shopping, it’s also worth taking a trip up the hill to Fort Hamilton, offering a slice of Bermuda’s military history, peaceful and lush gardens, and fantastic views. Every Wednesday during the summer months, Harbour Nights takes over Front Street, where the town crier encourages everyone to enjoy the food stands and artisan products for sale. The town crier also does a free foot tour of Hamilton at 10:30 most summertime weekdays from the City Hall.

Sunset at Hamilton (Sasha Arms)

Sunset at Hamilton (Sasha Arms)

Visitors are spoiled for choice for eating out in Hamilton. Mad Hatters is part of the Mariner’s Club and has walls and ceilings adorned with hats that diners are welcome to wear. The restaurant is much classier than it sounds, with a small,

Hamilton Town Crier (Sasha Arms)

Hamilton Town Crier (Sasha Arms)

carefully crafted menu and a swathe of daily specials. Restrooms are quirkily found through the ‘number 10’ door, a replica of the British Prime Minister’s home at number 10 Downing Street.

For one of the classiest meals available in Bermuda, head over to Ascots inside the Royal Palms Hotel. The grand dining room paves the way for an even more luxuriant meal – our appetiser platter alone consisted of snails, smoked salmon endive, beef foie gras, pâté and juicy chicken skewers. Mains of generous portion sizes include the likes of pan-seared snapper and slow cooked pork belly.

Those craving a good curry should head to House of India on the Hamilton outskirts, which has won numerous awards, particularly for its vegetarian fare. Poppadoms are served with freshly made chutneys, while the menu incorporates local ingredients into traditional Indian stalwarts, such as the methi mahi tikka with wahoo, the most popular fish on the islands.

There are plenty of accommodation options in the Hamilton area, and the gorgeous Hamilton Princess has been a firm favourite for decades. However, take the opportunity to live like the locals in a residential area in the Frognal Apartment. This secluded slice of Bermudian paradise has a private pool, peaceful patio and covered table perfect for intimate evening dining. With two bedrooms and a living room, the inside is spacious, but this is more than just a holiday let, with high quality and thoughtful facilities and furnishings adorning the property.

Beach at The Reefs

Beach at The Reefs

Southampton

This laidback, largely residential neighbourhood has a mellow vibe, making it ideal for those in search of relaxation. This feeling comes into its own at The Reefs, a family-run luxury resort where staff are committed to offering a faultless, personal service. Those celebrating a special occasion such as a honeymoon or anniversary are given an extra warm welcome as they check-in, while everyone is offered a rum swizzle or fruit punch. Tranquil rooms that cling to the cliffs offer outstanding views of the resort’s private beach and the rolling waves of the ocean below. On-site restaurants, a popular afternoon tea and

Bedroom at The Reefs

Bedroom at The Reefs

a spa allow guests to spend days soaking up the feeling of understated bliss at their own leisure.

Nearby, Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse is a fascinating place to explore, with visitors able to learn about the lighthouse’s history and the individuals responsible for running it. Those who dare can climb to the top for sensational views over Bermuda. Back at the bottom, The Dining Room is a popular restaurant offering a largely Italian-inspired menu. Those looking for a splash-out meal should head by taxi to Beau Rivage, where award-winning chef Jean Claude Garzia serves authentic French food, while views from the restaurant extend over the Hamilton Harbour.

Royal Naval Dockyard and Somerset

Occupying the furthest tip of Bermuda’s main island is Royal Naval Dockyard, the former principal base of the Royal Navy in the Western Atlantic. Nowadays, the military buildings have been converted into shops and the fascinating National Museum of Bermuda. The opulent Commissioner’s House is also open to explore, after being recently renovated following storm damage. Royal Naval Dockyard is also the place where two huge cruise liners can be seen docked most of the time, swelling the local population at certain times of year.

National Museum of Bermuda (Sasha Arms)

National Museum of Bermuda (Sasha Arms)

Nearby Somerset is a sleepy Bermudian community, also home to Cambridge Beaches Resort and Spa. The adults-only hotel has extensive grounds, with accommodation interspersed in locations offering peace and privacy throughout. Honeymooning couples looking to truly treat themselves should opt for one of the two heart-stirring properties with a private pool overlooking the ocean. Many-a-visitor must have wished this was real life when staying there. The resort also has a selection of beaches, including one where it’s possible to enjoy sunset dining to the backdrop of a local band’s vibrant music. The on-site H2O Sports makes it possible to hire out a private motorboat ripe for exploring surrounding desert islands.

Honeymooners and holidaymakers are spoiled for choice in Bermuda, but whatever you decide, every day looks set to be Bermudiful indeed.

Follow Sasha on Twitter: @sashaarms

Fort Hamilton Gardens (Sasha Arms)

Fort Hamilton Gardens (Sasha Arms)


Fly.com Expert Tips


How To Get There: The only airport serving Bermuda is L.F. Wade International Airport, located approximately 7 miles northeast of Hamilton. This airport is served by 7 airlines including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways.

Ass noted by the author, visitors aren’t allowed the rent a car in Bermuda and buses aren’t allowed pick up passengers with luggage, the only way to get to your hotel is either via a taxi or a hotel shuttle. A taxi ride to Hamilton will cost about $30 to $40. More information about area transportation for is available at here.

Best Time To Visit: If you’re looking for a deal, March and April are the most affordable travel months, when temperatures are cooler, ranging from the high-60s to low-70s. Because of Bermuda’s location that’s further north than the Caribbean, the weather during winter months are cooler (in the 60s), which may be too cold for most to take a dip in the ocean, but perfect if you’re a golfer. The popular beach season is May to October when the temperatures can climb up to the mid-80s, but this is when hotel and airfares are at their highest peak. Like much of the Caribbean, hurricane season is between June and November. However, because of Bermuda’s location, the islands are less likely to be hit by a storm.

Sample Fares: Calendars display lowest roundtrip fares over the next 90 days to Bermuda from:

* All fares are roundtrip including all taxes and are accurate at time of publication. For updated pricing, conduct a new search on Fly.com.


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Bermuda Beach (Sasha Arms)

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Featured Image: View from Lighthouse (Sasha Arms)

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