Growing up, Bermuda was a fabled place that my mother had visited with her childhood friend when she graduated high school. She spoke of the beautiful pastel houses, turquoise water and pink sand beaches, and longed to return one day. It seemed so far away and I vowed that one day, I too would visit this exotic land. Little did I know, Bermuda was only a 1.5 hour flight from New York City and one of the easiest getaways I have ever been on.
After all these years, I finally got to see the beautiful island that captured my mother’s heart; and I can see why. Basically, it’s perfect. It has some of the most breathtaking beaches I have seen: with shallow crystal blue water, quaint little villages with architecturally interesting houses in pinks, blues and greens, lush landscaping, and some of the friendliest people I have met.
I was lucky enough to enjoy this tiny piece of heaven from the gorgeous grounds of the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, a Fairmont Resort. The historic hotel has recently changed ownership and undergone an extensive renovation with no detail left unturned. The first phase of renovation focused on the foyer of the hotel, including the Crown & Anchor restaurant and bar, with a chic, relaxed, and refined ambiance. The owners have brought in some pieces from their exquisite personal art collection to add a playful, modern spin to an age-old resort, formerly dubbed, the “Pink Palace.” From Yoshitomo Nara, Banksy, and Warhol, to name a few, you’ll be transfixed and inspired to go on a self-guided tour around the property to see what more you can find. The renovation also includes a new infinity pool overlooking the beautiful waters of the Hamilton harbor, steps from my walk-out suite.
The rooms are beautifully decorated and feature a separate living and bedroom, with a generous bathroom complete with giant tub that an entire family of four could easily soak in! I had my own private outdoor area with steps leading to the pool; a perfect place to hang out in the evenings if you travel with your children as you could still enjoy the surroundings as they slept in the next room. Each day the turn-down service brought little treats, the best being my very own freshly baked cinnamon bun in a tiny individual Le Creuset dutch oven (how did they know it was my favorite?).
If you love food, the hotel also just opened Bermuda’s first celebrity restaurant, Marcus’, from award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster Harlem fame. Marcus himself was on hand during my visit and spent time with his guests, including our table (!) He just exudes passion and excitement for this new project and recommended the fish of the day that he witnessed coming in off the boat. It was as fresh and flavorful as he promised. We sampled several dishes on the menu and also loved the deep fried whole chicken, macaroni and cheese, and homemade ice cream cones. The decor of the restaurant is casual yet elegant with nautical touches, and is situated in the hotel’s former Gazebo Room overlooking the hotel’s marina. The grand finale of our meal included incredible fireworks over the harbor, which ended by spelling out Marcus in lights across the night sky. I mean...
Bermuda is the perfect getaway for couples, families, girls trips, guys trips or solo escapes. The little island really has something for everyone. I had the pleasure of going on a beachside hike one day along several of the 34 beaches on the island. The highlight was Warwick Long Bay Beach where we spotted the famed pink sand, which seems to change color throughout the day and is made up of millions of particles of crushed coral. From there I took a little tour around the island with our friendly tour guide and ended at the Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse with breathtaking 360 degree views of the island.
The following day, I took a quick shuttle from the hotel over to the newly acquired Beach Club, owned and operated by Fairmont. The little oasis is on one of the calmest inlets and has an Instagram-worthy hammock hanging over the water . How can you not relax in that? The Beach Club itself is private and exclusive to hotel guests, making it a perfect little hideaway. There is a full service bar for beachside cocktails and an extensive menu prepared by Samuelsson. I was fortunate to witness the traditional Bermudian Roof Wetting ceremony where locals come together to celebrate the completion of the roof. The roof on a Bermudian house or building collects rain and provides water to the structure below through a filtration system and this ceremony involves pouring a bottle of black rum over it to bring good fortune to the owners.
I finished my day with a sunset catamaran ride around the island with a quick look at the Oracle training facility for the 2017 America’s Cup. This racing circuit featuring the best sailors in the world will be one to watch. Being out on the turquoise waters was the highlight of my trip and I felt positively giddy with the wind whipping through my hair and the sails flapping gently above. We spotted a sea turtle from the boat and had I had my bathing suit with me, I may have jumped in myself. It was perfect.
There really wasn’t anything that Bermuda didn’t offer and I will definitely be back. I loved what the hotel has done with their renovations and I even got to see a sneak peek of of the penthouse suite currently under construction and it’s bananas! It would be insane for a honeymoon or to share with several girlfriends. And next year, Exhale Spa will be opening in the hotel complete with full spa menu, yoga and barre classes. After all these years, who knew that Bermuda would be my quick and easy answer to a beachy weekend away.
Accommodations generously provided by the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club.