Bermuda was fabulous, relaxing, and just what I needed. Three days of beach and beauty, with no breakfast, lunch, or dinners to make or clean up. No laundry, cleaning, or errands to run with three kids in tow.
It was simply the perfect birthday present.
We arrived last Sunday, after a two hour flight, to rain. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed, but not surprised, since my I had been obsessively checking the weather online. From the airport, we took a (slightly nauseating) thirty minute cab ride to our hotel, The Reefs, which is situated on the water in Southampton Parish. The Reefs is a small, boutique-like hotel that overlooks the water. It is simply beautiful. The grounds are well kept and beautifully landscaped. The common areas and restaurants are clean and modern, and the staff was beyond accommodating.
We were greeted as weary travellers with drinks, complimentary dark and stormies, and an offer of a cold towels. We declined the towels but took the drinks, which were delicious and deceptive, easy going down, but strong. Our room was not ready and since we were starving we went to lunch at one of three restaurants on the property, Coconuts. It was a good choice.
After lunch, we went back to check in to our room. At check in, we were told that we had been upgraded. Since I had already paid more for a cliff side room, the nicer of the two standard rooms, I imagined that what I would be getting would be way better. In reality, what was much bigger, wasn’t necessarily better. We were upgraded to the Longtail Suite, a room that costs a little over nine hundred dollars a night. One would think that this would pretty much garuantee luxury, but it didn’t. Although clean and nicely appointed, it looked tired and worn and we even had a few maintenace issues during our stay. Here’s the only picture I have of the room, not the best picture (the walls were not neon green), but I enjoyed the turn down service, mints, and hotel newsletter. It was a nice touch!
Initially, we contemplated switching rooms, but frankly, I was a little worried. If this was the upgrade, what would my room look like? Check out day we had the opportunity to peek into one of the rooms and I’m sorry we didn’t switch. Although much smaller than our room, everything was modern.
The weather cleared enough the first day for us to put on our bathing suits and go down to the beach to commence relaxation. That night, we went into Hamilton and had a delicious dinner at the Frog and the Onion. It would have been nice to have been able to walk around Hamilton and shop, but the stores close at five almost everywhere on the island.
The next morning, after enjoying the complimentary breakfast buffet (it came with early Fall discount special) we walked across the street to rent scooters. Initially, I was eager to rent my own scooter, but I started having a change of heart after talking to the rental guy about his own scooter accident, which was obvious from the fresh wounds on his legs, arm, and shoulder. Still, having never scootered before, I took it for a test drive up and down a pretty steep hill. This is a requirement in order to rent it, sort of like a mini driver’s test. It was fun until I got to the top and had to turn around. I was advised to turn the scooter off at the top of the hill, get off, and turn it around. Taking the key out, my hand slightly loosened on the brake, which caused my scooter to start rolling backward. It was a little harrowing. Add to that the make up of the island, narrow, winding roads, busses and taxis, and the whole driving on the left side of the road thing, and I decided it was probably safer to be a passenger. This is what the shoulder looks like. They don’t believe in guardrails.
That morning we took a scenic and enjoyable twenty minute drive out to the Dockyards, the place where the cruise ships dock.
We walked through a few shops, considered taking the ferry ride to St. George, which is at the other end of the island, but in the end, the weather was so beautiful that we decided to head back to the beach. I’m so glad we did.
I had already booked a massage and pedicure at four, that afternoon, and was kind of sorry that I did. I really didn’t want to leave the beach, but I did, and while I enjoyed the services, I could have skipped them in favor of the beach.
That night, we had a sunset dinner at Coconuts. The food was good, but maybe not as good as it should have been for the price. Have I mentioned that Bermuda is expensive? If not, it is. But, still, we were happy. How could you not be with this view?
Which eventually turned into this view. It was wild to stare out at the pitch black Atlantic every night.
After dinner, we went up to the bar where a piano player was entertaining the crowd. It was a little too caberet-like for our taste, so after one drink, we retired for the night.
We had a twenty four hour rental and wanted to make the most of it. This was a mistake. Had we known that it would take us about an hour, on a scooter, to get there, we would have went into Hamilton, instead. But, we did not know, so we rode, and rode, and rode, and rode some more, until we arrived at St. George’s, only to realize that we if we wanted to get back in time to return our scooter, we only had about twenty minutes to sight see.
So, we did as much as we could (read not much), took in some history, and headed back on our scooter.
I was never so thankful to be back at a hotel. One day on the scooter, was good. Two days, not so good. What seemed like fun at first, felt downright dangerous, later. The second day, I couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen if we were in an accident. I didn’t even have long pants on. The cars, trucks, busses, and taxis were impatient. We pulled over more than once to let a line of cars go, but that didn’t stop them from tailgating us until we could find a place to pull over.
The rest of the day was spent at the beach, at our hotel, enjoying the great weather, warm, clear water and awesome view. We stayed on the beach until five thirty.
That night was our “fancy” dinner at a restaurant called Waterlots, jacket required.
It was very impressive and we enjoyed our meal. However, the price was a little outrageous at three hundred dollars! I mean it was good, but not that good. Just like the nine hundred dollar suite, a three hundred dollar dinner (for two), in my opinion, should be prepared by an Iron Chef. Still, it was our favorite meal of the trip.
When we returned to our hotel, later that night, there was a DJ on the terrace, but we were tired and ready for bed.
Our final day in Bermuda, we got up early, had breakfast, and headed down to the beach, to enjoy the last hour or two of our vacation.
Unfortunately, we had to check out at eleven but didn’t have to be at the airport until twelve thirty, so while we waited for our cab, we sat by the pool killing time.
By six, that night, we were home, again.
It was a whirlwind.
Bermuda is everything people love it for, beautiful, clean, peaceful, relaxing. The people are friendly, and my husband and I swear you cannot go anywhere, especially the airport, without realizing that almost everyone knows everyone else.
It’s not a place to go if you’re looking for night life. It’s a place to slow down.
I’m so glad we chose Bermuda, for our adult vacation, because I don’t think it’s a place I would bring my kids, though we saw quite a few people who did, including families at Waterlots, where there was no children’s menu. I don’t think there was an entree on the whole menu for less than twenty-five dollars and everything was a la carte. Sorry, but my kids do not need a twenty five dollar meal.
I think if you want to visit Bermuda to relax on the beach, like we did, three days is enough. If you want to relax and explore everything on the island, the caves, Hamilton, the light house, Horseshoe Bay, Dockyards, St. George’s, etc., you may need a little more time. I know I could have used one more day.
I would definitely like to go back to Bermuda, one day. If I didn’t live close to the beach, I could see making it an annual summer vacation (staying at a condo) if we were a much more reserved family. But, since we are not reserved or land locked, and we usually vacation during the winter (this has been an unusual summer-OCMD and Bermuda), off the coast of North Carolina, Bermuda just isn’t warm enough in the winter for my taste.
And despite our room, I would definitely recommend The Reefs. Just beware if you’re offered the “upgrade”!