Beautiful Bermuda: A picturesque island framed by coral beaches and turquoise sea
The first piece of land you reach when crossing the Atlantic is the tiny island of Bermuda, which is located adjacent to The Carolinas. The British Airways flight to this little portion of paradise takes approximately seven hours from London Gatwick and you won’t be disappointed on arrival. Bermuda boasts unspoiled coral beaches, bright turquoise sea, beautiful architecture, interesting culture and a welcoming atmosphere.
Although the island is small, there is a population of 65,000 and a strong expatriate culture. The latter is encouraged by tax benefits that are offered by global financial firms based on the island. However, the Bermudian people still maintain a strong presence and certain residency restrictions are intended to preserve the original culture of the island.
Elbow Beach is an ideal destination for the luxury traveller and offers beautiful stretches of sand and sea, luxurious accommodation and all the required amenities. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel at Elbow Beach is currently focusing on giving guests the opportunity to enjoy the resort by staying in a number of luxury guesthouses, many of which offer a sea view and immediate beach access.
Whether or not you choose to stay at the resort, the spa is certainly worth a visit. It boasts state-of-the-art treatment rooms that provide guests with privacy as well as breathtaking views of the sea. Rather than feeling restricted to one treatment, a ‘Time Ritual’ may be a favourable option. A two hour ritual is sufficient for a wonderful full body massage, as well as a mini facial. Premium products are used and you will be able to hear the soothing sound of lapping waves from your treatment room. This is an ideal way to unwind after stepping off the plane and will set you up for your impending holiday.
Tourists are not allowed to hire cars on the island and the best method of transportation is by scooter. Elbow Beach Cycles has a fleet of mopeds and motorised bicycles that are easy to drive and they also provide a 30 minute lesson before they let you loose on the roads. The friendly owners are more than happy to give you hints of the top places to visit on the island.
The island only contains three main roads: North Road; Middle Road and South Road. These stretch the length of the land and allow easy access to the major tourist attractions and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the charming scenery. Elbow Beach is located on South Road, with Warwick Long Bay and Horse Shoe Beach a short scooter ride away. These beaches are natural and quiet, with endless stretches of pink sand, bright blue sea and a spattering of rocks.
The housing on the island is condensed but the New England style of architecture is truly stunning and every building is a different shade of pastel. The roads wind around hillside and as you encounter the sharp bends and dips, you are regularly presented with views of pretty harbours, where boats sit quietly on the water.
It is certainly worth visiting the lighthouse and a climb to the top is rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the island. A visit to each tip of the island is also a must. On the East side is the pretty village of St George’s, which hosts a tearoom, shops and harbour side bars. Meanwhile Dockyard offers you the chance to sample Bermuda Rum Cake, swim with dolphins at Dolphin Quest and visit the snorkel park. The Crystal Caves provide an escape from the warm sunshine and contain a spectacular display of stalactites and stalagmites, which surround deeps pools of clear seawater.
Hamilton is the capital city and consists of a small street with shops and bars that run parallel to a harbour. The local cuisine is American influenced with Burgers and Natchos a common favourite. However, the lobster is often divine and Hamilton also boasts a number of sushi bars, such as Pearl Restaurant. Although the capital city is definitely worth a visit for dinner one evening, the island boasts a number of beach-side restaurants and St George’s provides a prettier town setting. Dining at Coco Reef should be a priority as the terrace restaurant offers spectacular views.
The peak season for those seeking to bask in hot sunshine begins in mid-April with August and September bringing an increased risk of hurricanes. However, the current temperature is certainly more appealing that the snowy forecast for the British Isles and will average the low 20s. Whilst there may be some overcast days that provide a good excuse to tour the island on your moped, the weather changes rapidly and you are likely to also enjoy several sunbathing sessions on the beach.
So, if you fancy the idea of escaping to a beautiful island to enjoy some warmer weather whilst sipping the local rum-based cocktail ‘Swizzle’, Bermuda is the ideal retreat.
Bermuda Best Bits
Best Transport: Scooters at Elbow Beach Cycles
Best Spa: Mandarin Oriental Spa at Elbow Beach
Best Dinner: Coco Reef Resort
Best Lunch/Bar: Swizzle Inn
Best Hotel: Mandarin Oriental
Best Beach: Warwick Long Bay
Best Tourist Attractions: The Crystal Caves and the Lighthouse
Best Town: St. George’s
Best Present: Bermuda Banana Rum Cake
Best Special Experience: Swimming with dolphins at Dolphin Quest
The Sloaney travelled with British Airways from London Gatwick to Bermuda and enjoyed the No.1 Luxury Lounge prior to boarding. We stayed at Elbow Beach and for more information about the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Spa at Elbow Beach, please visit the website. To book your scooter for the week, visit Elbow Beach Cycles.