Family Vacation BermudaWon't You Be My Neighbor?
And you thought that the closest isle to Manhattan was Staten Island. For those of you who have dreamed of transporting your family to paradise a simple hop, skip and jump away, we say no problem. Welcome to Bermuda, where you can sink your toes into the famous, pink sand a two hour flight away from NYC. Add in world history, culture, charm, modern amenities and elegant service as major family bonus points. Like good neighbors, everyone will bring you rum cake and wish you a Bermuda-ful day. Just smile and say thank you.
Good for: Families looking for an easy escape but wanting to feel light-years away. Yes, it can happen.
- Famous pink sand beaches (it never gets cliché)
- Zoos, aquariums and crystal caves (a la Fraggle Rock)
- Stroll historic streets, visit landmark sites and charming artisans and shops
- Championship golf.
Suggested stay: 3-7 days: While Bermuda is close enough to spend a mere long weekend to recharge, you can easily spend a full week enjoying the beautiful beaches and seeing all the adventurous and historic sites.
What to Know: There are no rental cars so reserve your car service or taxi and don’t be alarmed when you drive “British” on the “wrong side” of the road.
Pampered Pretty in Pink
Head to the exclusive Tucker’s Town for the most luxurious stay and a wealth of activities at the Rosewood Tucker’s Point. Prepare to be greeted by staff sporting traditional blazers, Bermuda shorts and knee high socks and ask them to escort you to your Manor House Poolside Deluxe Room. The room offers the space and comfort of Deluxe Rooms with the added bonus of your own private poolside alcove complete with canopied daybed and access to the Castle Harbor Pool. This setup allows the kiddos to nap in the poolside daybed (or inside for traditionalists) while Mom and Dad can enjoy the pool knowing their little loved ones are close by.
At the ravishing resort, parents will appreciate the sophisticated elegance but also kid friendly amenities. The resort restaurants and pools all offer stunning water views. There are two pools so you can enjoy one with your family as you sip virgin Miami Vices together but also one for adults-only to chill out solo with that mojito. Or head to the private beach club via the resort’s shuttle service where the quiet stretch of pink beach is what family dreams are made of. Complete the experience with beachside butler service, two additional pools with poolside dining, and full ocean view restaurant. If that’s not enough, you can take a quick turn to the boating and dive center to charter your own ride to sail along and snorkel like the locals.
Families will also love the Tiny the Tree Frog package (which won us all over) complete with a Tiny for your tiny one, the book of his Bermuda adventures, and a pass to the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo. It will make the sound of the tree frogs at night music to your ears. The outdoor aquarium and zoo is small enough to see everything but large enough for a big family adventure. Enjoy visiting with all sorts of land and water animals and get hands on in the Discovery Room. And before heading back to your perfectly pink room, be sure to visit the island’s most popular attraction the Crystal Caves. The crystal chandeliers and pristine underground pools were the real life inspiration for Fraggle Rock.
After a day full of island adventure, the kids will have worked up an appetite and there are some fantastic fine dining options that also accommodate families. On property, be sure to check out The Point where you can eat alfresco or dine inside the historic Pan Am room. For more casual island options at the resort head to Sul Verde or Sur Mer. Off property, venture to Tom Moore’s Tavern for traditional fare with tableside preparations and local staples like Bermuda fish chowder and local fresh catch. Leave the kids at the Rose Buds for children and stop by the infamous Swizzle Inn known for their namesake rum swizzles where you can swizzle in and stagger out as desired. But if swaggering out was not in the cards and you have the kids in tow, cross the street for a special treat at Bailey’s Ice Cream.
The Gold Standard
For a family-centric time with a flair of luxury, head straight to the Fairmont Southampton and take the elevator to the Gold Floor. Opt for the Family Getaway Package and splurge on the duplex suite complete with two stories of glass windows overlooking the ocean. Enjoy the breathtaking view while checking in with your private concierge who will also help you navigate your stay, offer you exclusive access to the Gold Floor amenities, and hook you up with private breakfast, tea time, happy hour, and more. The impeccable and friendly staff will greet your children by name and know their favorite things in no time.
At this expansive resort everything (literally) is kid friendly, even golf, the spa (offering junior packages and treatments starting at age 13), and dining at nearly a dozen restaurants (and all kids eat free on property). Be sure not to miss the action at the pool where the water slide is the main attraction for the kids and parents can get some beverages and R&R poolside. After a leisurely afternoon, try a fine dockside dining experience at the Waterlot Inn complete with a stunning setting and sumptuous steaks (try the trio if you can’t decide). The next day, experience the resort’s private beach club with full beach service and delectable dining at the Ocean Club. You’ll feel like your practically dining in the ocean with food just as fresh to match.
Want some quality time with your bad self? Drop the little ones at the Explorers Club complete with toys, activities and even nighttime star gazing, s'mores and limbo games and you can head off the resort. Off the resort, a bonus for beachgoers is the easy access to the famous Horseshoe Bay beach which is exactly ten steps away. After your beach bum day, head to The Reefs for a spectacular setting and decadent dinnerat Coconuts. This beachfront resort is “secluded, serene and spectacular” and the restaurant matches the vibe. Secure a table overlooking the ocean and reserve a private dining table and eat Caribbean-inspired fare at the water’s edge for a romantic evening and watch the turquoise ocean crash by your happy feet.
So Little Time and So Much To Do
This small island offers a large array of activities. Some not to miss are a visit to the Town of St George, the city of Hamilton and the Royal Dockyard. St. George is quaint with a rich old world history. From taking in the reenactment of the nagging wife to putting your significant other in stocks in the main square, there is also a lot to laugh and learn about. Don’t miss a horse and carriage ride to capture the full nostalgic feeling and a visit to St. Peter’s, the oldest church in western hemisphere. The city of Hamilton offers history, shopping and dining along Front Street and more. In season, celebrate the Harbor Nights with a dinner at the Pickled Onion overlooking the action and then head back down to the street to join the party with street music, food, dancing. Mingle with the local artisans and take home a special piece of Bermuda like the unique and distinct Alexandra Mosher pink sand jewelry. It will be a sure conversation starter. At the Royal Naval Dockyard, beware of the Bermuda Triangle and focus on the artisans, ranging from clay works to glass blowing and run cake making. Be sure not to miss the dolphin quest and maritime museum and a requisite visit to the Frog and Onion Pub.
Golfers are essentially in unanimous agreement that Mid Ocean Club and Port Royal are the two best courses in Bermuda but there is strong disagreement among players which course is the best. Mid Ocean Club is a private course located in the most exclusive part of Bermuda, Tucker's Town. The simplest way for guests to play the course is to stay at Tucker's Point; otherwise one will need to hope that Mid Ocean has a reciprocal membership with the local country club. Port Royal is a municipal course located on the opposite side of the island. The courses are both well maintained, offer spectacular ocean views and are challenging but playable. Mid Ocean offers more complex and challenging greens, and Port Royal is a better balanced course. Tucker's Point Golf Club is a very worthy third option. The course is a bit tricky when playing for the first time due to large elevation changes and many blind shots but fairways are pretty wide and level. The course is well maintained and the back nine has many holes with beautiful views of the surrounding harbors.
When you get the last bits of pink sand out of your shoes and pack your new Bermuda shorts, you will realize there is much more to do and see. There will be memories to last a while but the locals will tell you that people always come back. And you’ll return to visit your favorite neighbor who brings you rum cake, takes you to the pink sand beaches, and boasts the most Bermuda-ful days.