Best Of Bermuda

août 21, 2012

 Addresses and To-Do's from a Bermudian resident 

Here you are, your small island guide for your next trip to Bermuda!!!
From St-Georges to Dockyard, here are Gladys' favorite places on this gorgeous island.

How would you describe Bermuda to someone who has never been there?

It's a welcoming, warm and colorful island for sure. Bermudian houses are painted in different colors and the whole island is a botanical garden in itself with lots of flowers and trees. It's really gorgeous. On top of that, people are really friendly. Everyone in the street are saying hello, even when driving... The rhythm of life is relaxing. You can't be stressed here, because the island has a calming effect on everyone. Of course, it's one of the best wedding destination and the island is well-known for that, thanks to the most gorgeous beaches in the world and the romantic atmosphere of Bermuda. From my point of view, what I like the most are the weather and the golf courses, because I'm an addicted golfer.

Where would you stay on the island?

It depends on your budget.

I would say if you can splurge, go to Rosewood Tucker's Point (in Tucker's town - the wealthiest part of the island). The hotel is classic, elegant and gorgeous.  Quiet though. The food is generally quite good. The best parts: the Beach Club with 2 swimming pools and the Golf Course... 

I've heard also good reviews about The Reefs in Southampton. I'm not going often there, so I can't tell you more about it.

If you have a lower budget and you prefer a little bit of fun, a variety of restaurants and more activities, then I would suggest The Fairmont Southampton Princess (in the south shore area, close to the most gorgeous beaches)...

And if you're on a budget, then there are a lot of small cottages and Bed and Breakfast to choose from. I don't know which one is the best, but I'm sure you can find that on!

What's the best way to get around the island - car, bike, bus, taxis?

You can't hire a car, but the best way is to hire and ride a bike. The speed limit is 35 kmph, but roads are narrow and winding, so be cautious, because I've seen a few accidents with tourists who didn't know how to drive a bike. You can find more infos on where to rent your bike, here! An alternative is buses, because they are cheap, practical and cover the whole island. You can also take a taxi, there are plenty of them and they are not that expensive.

What would you recommend doing in Bermuda?

Here are a few ideas... 

Go and see the pink beaches first!!! The South Shore ones are the most gorgeous! You can see a review about all of them, here!

A tour of the island by boat is brilliant! Going scuba diving or/and snorkeling are musts!!!

The historic town of St-Georges (UNESCO world heritage site) with a stop at the Lili Bermuda Perfumery for a visit and maybe a new perfume can be fun? And if you're there on Wednesday or Saturday, enjoy an afternoon High Tea (24 USD/pers., cash only and reservations recommended).

Fort St. Catherine, Crystal and Fantasy Caves, The Bermuda Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse (for one of the most gorgeous view on the island) and a visit to Dockyard (perfect for a rainy day) are always good choices!

Don't forget to go shopping in Hamilton in order to buy a few souvenirs from your trip!

I would also recommend to enjoy a Sunday brunch! You can often admire some old Bermudian ladies, who are enjoying a brunch after church. They are really gorgeous, well dressed-up with their amazing hats and so friendly as any Bermudian!

Of course, if you are in Bermuda around Cup Match (late July/early August), I would definitely go to watch the game and enjoy the atmosphere. It's really a lot of fun.

What would you suggest for those who are traveling with children?

Beaches are always a must with children. The best ones for them are Clearwater Beach in St. Davids Island (quiet, peaceful beach, away from the crowd with calm waters, free shade but you should rent a bike to go there, because it's far from everything. If you are in this area, stop for lunch at The Black Horse Tavern and go to see the St. Davids Lighthouse) and Shelly Bay in Hamilton Parish (long stretch of shallow waters). Dockyard can be fun too, because of the Snorkel Park and the ability to swim with dolphins at The Dolphin Quest. Of course, it's expensive, but it's a lifetime experience. And I would not forget The Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo in Flatts, my children used to love it when they were younger!!! And you can always have a pizza at Rustico while you are there (3 minutes walk from the aquarium)!

Best beaches from your point of view?

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Elbow Beach, Warwick Long Bay and the private one from the Tucker's Point.

And for snorkeling?

I would say Tobacco Bay in St-Georges, Church Bay and John Smith's Bay!

As you have told us that you are an addicted golfer, what are the best 3 golfs on the island?

The Mid Ocean Club, Port Royal Golf Course (with breathtaking ocean views and home of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf that will take place on 23rd and 24th October 2012) and Riddell's Bay Golf and Country Club.

And for the foodies, what are the local specialities?

I love fish cakes and fish chowders garnished with Sherry Peppers and local Black Rum. But Bermudian codfish and rum cakes are also delicious! 

What about restaurants, where are you going?

For a delicious grilled fish, fish and chips or fish sandwich deluxe (my favorite), I go to a small and casual place called The Black Horse Tavern in St. Davids where you can dine with the locals.

For a casual lunch or dinner (nothing fancy, but delicious lobster during the season - late September until March), I go to North Rock Brewing Company.

For drinks, I go, with my daughter, to The Swizzle Inn in Bailey's Bay. Enjoy a jug of Rum Swizzle!

Also as I am a member of the Coral Beach Club (unfortunately a private club, so only for locals and for those who know a local), I enjoy gorgeous evenings on the terrace with delicious food (the seafood buffet on Thursday is to die for)!

With children or without, Mickey's Beach Bistrot is fun. It's just on the beach...

Nice dinner near the beach and live music afterwards (from Thursday to Saturday during Summer months), go to Lido! Delicious seafood. And nice for cocktails in the evening for those who don't want to eat there.

I also love the brunch at the Fourways Inn. For me the best brunch on the island !

And for a special treat dinner, I go to The Point, The Waterlot Inn or The Fourways Inn. A bit expensive but the food really worth it.

Now regarding shopping, where do you go?

In Hamilton, I would recommend Calypso (for summer clothes and swimwear), Céline (for elegant clothes), A.S. Coopers and Gibbons Company (both department stores with a nice selection of clothes, cosmetics and perfumes!!!) and Crisson (for tax free jewelry)!

What would you suggest bringing back home?

Some pink beach sand in a bottle (from my daughter's point of view, the best quality and color she's ever seen on any island she traveled to). The typical Bermudian Rum Cake. Gosling's Rum and ginger beers in order to prepare some Dark'n Stormy to your friends back home. Honey Pepper Jam to eat with cheese. Outerbridge's Sherry Pepper & Rum to enjoy in any soups or with fishes. Perfumes and cosmetics are also cheaper on the island than abroad because they are tax free! And of course a bermuda short is a must!!! Because it's really the national attire for men! They go to work during the warm season with a bermuda short (no more than 3 inches above the knee), long socks (reaching just below the knee) and smart shoes. Topping the whole ensemble are a shirt, tie, and jacket or a blazer....beautiful.

You should not leave the island without...

Having tasted a Dark'n Stormy and/or a Rum Swizzle while enjoying a sunset on a beach!!!

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