A favourite haunt of celebs and billionaires looking for a brief respite from the paparazzi (Oprah, Solange Knowles, Michael Douglas, Michael Bloomberg), design-centric resorts, exotic manicured grounds, stunning pastel villages, pink sandy beaches, world-class sports events. Bermy, as the locals call it, is the jewel crown of the Atlantic ocean. Chock-full of culture & history, Bermuda also has loads of character. Here’s the quintessential guide to its most sought-after points of interest.

By Christine-Elizabeth Laprade

 

The archipelago is occasionally overshadowed by more high-profile or far-flung destinations when it comes for a tropical getaway. This fact alone is quite appreciable since Bermuda will appeal to those on the lookout for authentic local flavours and crème de la crème exclusive haunts.

The oldest British colony has plenty to offer: a chill yet distinguished vibe, picture-perfect old town villages, soft-hued oceanside mansions, historic forts, one of the most exclusive spas in the world along with some serious dining & solid local grub. No fast food chains here! The music, local delicacies, and drinks are distinctly Caribbean, although Bermuda is actually located North of the Caribbean sea (therefore, not part of the Caribbean region).

With plenty of tourist attractions and activities to keep you amused during your stay (more on that later), we must mention how fond we are of the locals.  Known for their social etiquette and legendary politeness, Bermudians like to dress up when dining out and will readily greet you with “Good Morning/Evening”.  Quite refreshing!

 

One of Hamilton’s numerous colourful alleyways, Photo Credit Christine Elizabeth Laprade

 

 

Instagram playgrounds extraordinaire

Here, clear azure and sky-blue waters overlap, cloudless skies reign supreme, and soft-hued pastel houses make for a sensational backdrop…  Arguably the most sensational beaches in the world, the iconic pink-sand shores constitute a major draw for honeymooners, billionaires, celebs and travel aficionados alike. With its unique light and out of this world coastline, Bermuda will delight any hashtag-obsessed visitor! No filters needed here, as the sultry beaches get their soft blush colour from the micro-organisms feeding on the nearby coral reefs. The colours are incredibly bright and pure. Mesmerizing.

Make sure to check out 2 of  Bermuda’s iconic, most beautiful coastal regions: Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay.

Gigantic inflatable gold swans, a private sheltered cove, heavenly hammocks (aka swinging daybeds) hanging in the middle of the azure water make for the best playground– and the dreamiest pictures. The Hamilton Princess Beach Club, a Fairmont-managed hotel, definitely takes the cake! Sumptuous lockers & showers to boot.

 

Playground extraordinaire at the Hamilton Princess beach club

If you’re lucky enough to make it to the members-only Coral Beach & Tennis Club, make sure not to miss out as the premises also boast the most splendid views, stretch of beach and restaurant in the area. Unparalleled at night, namely when it comes to live music. Did we mention bonfires on the beach?

 

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Hello, natural beauty & outdoor activities galore! Think boating, diving, horse riding, waterskiing or some plain and simple quality R&R, as many resorts are actually equipped with outlandish spas. Ride a scooter around and forget the hustle & bustle of daily life, or partake in one of the diverse festivals taking the island by storm throughout the year,  (the summer reggae festival is legendary).

Rent a swanky motorboat for a fun oceanside jaunt or to snorkel.  Bermuda holds a few legendary sports events such as the biggest worldwide yachting event, America’s Cup, but also the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, as the British Overseas Territory is known to possesses some of the most majestic golf courses in the entire world. East End Bicycle Tour is also a novel way of getting off the beaten path in St. George’s and acquainted with the cool little shops that dot its romantic streets.

St. George’s historic part constitutes a major draw for the visitors, namely because it remains virtually untouched by the passage of time. Think lush flowers and vegetation, quaint yellow and blue houses and a charming atmosphere, thanks in part to its Portuguese influence. An idyllic, picture postcard setting, complete with waving cedars and mangroves, packed with banana trees that punctuate the shores. Landmarks and history mixed with culture make St. Georges’ our top pick. No wonder the old capital is, in fact, a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Not only is it alluring, with its colourful island architecture, packed with reputable eateries and a magnificent harbour, but it also hosts the former Royal Naval Dockyard, an attraction comprised of an old fort and a maritime museum (Bermuda’s rich past includes a plethora of pirate-related tales). Sit comfortably under the white and blue awning of Wahoo’s Bistro (or on their waterside terrace) and people-watch as you sip on a Dark & Stormy, a refreshing rum and ginger beer concoction.

The historic town of St. George’s is as charming as can be, Photo Credit Christine Elizabeth Laprade

 

Simply put: the oldest English settlement in the New World is simply unrivalled when it comes to taking the most bermudaful shots. Saunter down the lovely streets and make sure to visit Somers Garden, the unfinished Church and Fort St. Catherine.

 

The elegant Unfinished Church is one of Bermuda’s top wedding venues and dates back from the 1870s, Photo Credit Christine Elizabeth Laprade

 

The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art is located in the Botanical Gardens and makes for a pleasant surprise.

Crystal Caveis one of the most mesmerizing caves we’ve ever visited and ranks high on the British overseas territories best attractions list. Magnificent passageways highlight the beauty of the underwater lakes, as the enchanting visit unfolds in shades of teal… Here, white & blue truly make for incredible pictures – bring your camera!

 

Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa, Photo Credit Christine Elizabeth Laprade

 

Feast

Our fave nibbles include Wahoo’s conch fritters & pineapple salsa, Coral Beach Club’s craft cocktails (the presentation here is phenomenal), and also feature The Tempest Bistro’s novel twist on cheesecake and superb waterside terrace. The Swizzle Inn‘s fish sandwich is a hit with the local crowd and makes for Bermuda’s most famous pub! Home of the Swizzle, a widely popular concoction consisting ofGosling’s Black and Gold  Seal rum, pineapple and orange juice with a dash of grenadine. Seemingly unassuming yet packs a punch – you’ve been warned!

1609 Restaurant’s flavorful tomato-based chowder may be renown, but the unparalleled views of the marina and the swanky central bar make it extra worthy of a visit! Go to this hot spot right before the sun sets, order some bubbly, then make sure to sample their fish tacos, lobster rolls and the 1906 burger. Elegant ocean-inspired décor. Smashing!

The view from 1609 restaurant, Photo Credit Christine Elizabeth Laprade

 

Devil’s Islein Hamilton is our go-to brunch destination. Meticulous plating, jazz music in the background, wholesome organic ingredients and the best espresso around. A hidden gem.

For some serious grub, foodies will make sure to make a beeline for Marcus’ restaurant. Chef Marcus Samuelsson is the mastermind behind the much-hyped establishment, which some will remember from the tv series Top Chef. The world-acclaimed star chef brings to life local delicacies with his take on dishes such as chicken and waffles, jerk pot belly, crispy buttermilk cauliflower and honey rosemary glazed lamb. Chef Marcus’ elegant presentation and comforting fare are meant to be a social yet democratic experience for all to enjoy. A thoroughly fantastic dining experience at a reasonable price point.

 

Marcsu’s entrance, Photo Credit Hamilton Princess & Beach Club

 

Indulge

Our fave spa is no  other than the epitome of posh R&R: Natura Spa at The Grotto Bay Beach Resort. Imagine sipping on champagne before receiving a massage in a natural cave that can only host 5 clients at a time. Each of the small above-water pergolas are lit in a way that highlights the primitive aspect of the cave, along with the crystal clear water of the lagoon! An out of this world experience for a price tag that remains surprisingly affordable. Think dripping water sounds, soft music playing in the background and highly skilled therapists- the ultimate trifecta! We’re obsessed and still mesmerized by our experience. Needless to say, it’s also a celeb favorite.

Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa, Photo Credit Christine Elizabeth Laprade

 

Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa, Photo Credit Christine Elizabeth Laprade

 

Top shopping destination & street to scour: Hamilton’s Front Street. The capital city offers a different vibe and caters to retail therapy seekers and nighthawks alike, with its jazz bars and watering holes with live music. Front Street also hosts a slew of upmarket stores (Rolex, Max Mara) and restaurants, but also local handcrafts, cosmetics, and a ferry terminal. Bermudian designers are on display but also high-end designer brands.

What to bring back: the eponymous Bermuda shorts and a pair of colourful knee-high socks like many stylish and elegant gents rock. Paired with a tie and a blazer, it makes for the ultimate island flair. Incredibly becoming! This type of attire can be found at TABS (The Authentic Bermuda Shorts) on Reid Street.

Alexandra Mosheris the ultimate jewellery destination with its super stylish blushing pink sand & silver designs – make sure not to miss any of her statement pieces. Quaint display, luxury feel. Beautiful discovery.

 

Alexandra Mosher jewellery studio is quaint and equally stylish, Photo Credit Christine Elizabeth Laprade

 

Stay

Bermuda reportedly has some of the most hotels per capita in the world and with plenty of glitzy resorts to choose from, a select few managed to catch our eye.

The Hamilton Princess Bermuda is an upscale urban resort that exudes romance. Conveniently located a mere steps away from eclectic nightlife and cosmopolitan dining, in Hamilton. Home to one of the island’s best eateries, Marcus, the resort also offers panoramic views, is equipped with a refined spa, an infinity pool, offers a shuttle service to the hotel private beach club located nearby, is home to a few seriously trendy & chic boutiques and its sophisticated & well-appointed rooms come complete with Le Labo toiletries. Enough said! The Pink Palace’s modern amenities and stellar service ooze high luxury and will certainly appeal to elite travellers.

Regency terrace, Photo Credit Hamilton Princess

Views of the Hamilton harbour, Photo Credit Christine Elizabeth Laprade

 

The Loren at Pink Beach  is a design-savvy jet-setter’s dream come true. The 5-star outpost consists of a delightful luxury boutique hotel overlooking the Atlantic ocean, with plenty of opulent villas, rooms and suites to choose from. Sleek & understated aesthetic, floor to ceiling windows, in contemporary yet complete Bermuda style. The fashionable property is located in Tucker’s Town (an area famous for its gated community and Billionaire’s Row, nicknamed by the locals after a handful of wealthy & high-profile residents).  A great place to pause and be swept away by the views in a contemporary setting.

Hailed as the next Hamptons (an easy commute, lesser crowds, upscale and casual at the same time) Bermuda is quite impressive for a multifaceted destination lying just 3 hours flying time away from both Toronto and New York.

 

Bermuda has scenery like you have rarely seen elsewhere in the world, no really! Photo Credit Christine Elizabeth Laprade

 

 

 

 

 

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