Bermuda’s Spas – The Best in the World?

Bermuda's Spas - The Spa at Elbow Beach Resort

The Spa at Elbow Beach Resort

You’ll be pleased to learn that Bermuda’s spas have come a long way over the last several years. It’s not so long ago that the spas in Bermuda were barely worth a visit, let alone the fees they charged. As I said, though, things have changed for the better. Today, many of Bermuda’s spas are ranked among the best in the world. And it’s not just those located at the high end resorts. Whether they are located in a luxurious resort hotel or one of the many independents scattered around the island, the decadent luxury, and the welcoming staff, creates an almost tropical atmosphere of well being and relaxation.

You can choose from treatment options that include hydrotherapy, facials, steam, sauna and inhalation. Luxurious suites cater to those in search of the ultimate spa experience, singles or couples. Just about everything you’ve come to expect in a world-class facility can be found among Bermuda’s spas. Here are in-depth reviews of the best of Bermuda’s spas.

Hiking in Bermuda

The Bermuda Railway Trail

Just a Small Section of the Bermuda Railway Trail

The opportunities for hiking in Bermuda are just about limitless.  The Bermuda Railway Trail offers a special hiking experience that will take you from one end of the island to the other. Aside from that, there’s nowhere on the islands that you can’t walk to. Most people take to the main roads – watch out for the traffic – and, of course, there are a great number of beaches and parks that are open to the public, especially on the south shore. In addition, many of the Tribe Roads provide access to parts of Bermuda that are rarely seen by visitors. The Bermuda for Visitors website has details of self-guided tours and walks to all the parishes, towns and, of course, the Bermuda Railway Trail.

One of the great things about visiting these islands is the opportunity to spend days on end touring Bermuda’s Parishes. Bermuda is divided into nine specific geographic areas known as parishes. Each one is aesthetically different, and each has unique and interesting attractions. In some cases it’s the beaches, in others it’s the shopping, in all of them sightseeing is a pleasant and rewarding pastime.

Play Golf in Bermuda

Port Royal Golf Club Bermuda

Port Royal Golf Club Bermuda

If you love to play golf, you should know that Bermuda offers some very nice places to play. Golf in Bermuda is something quite special, and not just because there are more golf courses in Bermuda than there are fast food restaurants. I never knew that, and I have to admit it’s not something I ever really thought about. And that’s probably because there are almost no fast food restaurants on Bermuda, and that includes the City of Hamilton.

So, what makes Bermuda an extraordinary destination for golfers? There are nine terrific golf courses scattered around the island of Bermuda, an area of not much more than 26 square miles, making for the highest concentration of golfing opportunities per square mile in the world. Cool! So that, and Bermuda being the home of the Grand Slam of Golf, makes Bermuda very attractive destination for a golf getaway or vacation.

Touring Bermuda’s Royal Naval Dockyard

Aerial View of Bermuda's Royal Naval Dockyard

Aerial View of Bermuda’s Royal Naval Dockyard – Photo Courtesy of Bermuda Tourism

Bermuda’s Royal Naval Dockyard – now a large complex housing shops, restaurants, a museum, a snorkeling park, a cruise ship dock, and it’s home to Bermuda’s Dolphin Quest – has had a long and often turbulent history. The American War of Independence caused the loss of English ports on the American mainland, but English interests in the area were far from finished. Pirates and privateers plied the waters, the French under Napoleon threatened English shipping routes to and from the West Indies, and then, of course, there were the Americans themselves. The British Navy needed a major port and a dockyard capable of handling repairs to their warships. Bermuda seemed to be the ideal location. Today, the Dockyard is one of Bermuda’s most popular attractions, a must see for visitors to the Island. For more information, listings of shops, restaurants and attractions, please read my full review of Touring Bermuda’s Royal Naval Dockyard.

Photo Gallery – Beautiful Bermuda

Beautiful Bermuda

Beautiful Bermuda

Bermuda is one of the most beautiful islands in the western hemisphere, as this photo gallery – Beautiful Bermuda – clearly shows.  Bermuda is a magical island I fell in love with more than 20 years ago. To fly in from the west and and gaze down at the great, fishhook-shaped atoll surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean is still the greatest thrill for me. The pastel-colored buildings with their snowy-white roofs stand out like coral beads; the turquoise shallows and pale pink beaches never change; and Hamilton, the islands’ tiny capital city on the shore of the Great Sound, is an oh-so-English anomaly unique in the Western Hemisphere. Please take a quick look through this Beautiful Bermuda photo gallery and you’ll see what I mean.

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Where to Stay in Bermuda?

The Fairmont Southampton Resort Bermuda

The Fairmont Southampton Resort Bermuda

Where to stay in Bermuda? This is perhaps the most important question you’ll ask when you begin planning your vacation. But Bermuda is a very small destination and while there is a great diversity of options, the number of resorts, hotels, guest houses, etc., is really quite small.

We can provide the information you need to make an informed decision about where to stay in Bermuda. The photo shows on of Bermuda’s finest resorts: the Fairmont Southampton, which would make a great choice.

First, let’s speak about meal plans: In-house dining options, when not a part of a plan, can be costly with lunch running anywhere from $20 to $35 a pop, and dinner rarely less than $50. And talking of food, if you’ve never had a “full “English breakfast,” it’s an experience you won’t want to miss.

If you want to save on the spending, try to take your vacation in the off-season during the months of November to April; if you can do that, you’ll save around 35% on your hotel room. A vacation during these months will offer some very real advantages. While the majority of the tourist-related services – the helicopter trips, charter motorboats, dive operators, etc. – close during winter, and the water might be a little cooler than you’d normally like, the weather is made for hiking,  golf, sightseeing and, of course, shopping. Oh yeah, and be sure to check out your choices for Self-Catering Cottages – including Apartments – it’s a really great way to vacation in Bermuda, especially if you’re on a budget.

A lot of the islands’ lodgings are located along the South Shore (along with the best beach locations, in Paget, Warwick, Southampton Parishes), and many more are located around the Key-side and close to the inner coast line of the Great Sound, all served by the regularly scheduled buses along with the ferry service into Hamilton. It matters little where your hotel is located. The island is small and nowhere is far from anywhere. All of the hotels and resorts in all of the parishes are well served by public transportation. Find out more about where to stay in Bermuda, and read reviews of all the resorts, hotels and self-catering opportunities in Bermuda.

Shopping in Bermuda

The Colorful Shops and Stores on Front Street in the City of Hamilton, Bermuda

The Colorful Shops and Stores on Front Street in the City of Hamilton, Bermuda

Shopping in Bermuda is always an enjoyable experience. The main attraction/draw is, of course the lack of sales tax. Most Bermuda shopping opportunities are to be found in the island’s four main shopping areas: the City of Hamilton, the city of St. George, Somerset Village and the Royal Naval Dockyard.

Despite the small size of the island, you won’t be disappointed. There are more than just a few sophisticated, multi-story department stores, specialty shops, gift stores, jewelry outlets and perfumeries on the main streets and waterfronts of all four areas, not to mention all of the little shops and outlets tucked away in secluded spots all around the island.

The best bargains in Bermuda are goods imported from Europe. such items as Italian, German, English and French knitwear can often be purchased at prices far below those in the United States. Watches (Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe), jewelry, French perfumes, Icelandic woolen goods, and fine china can be 50% cheaper than at home.

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Take Advantage of Bermuda’s Off Season

Tobacco Bay and Beach with Fort St. Catherine

Tobacco Bay and Beach with Fort St. Catherine

Bermuda’s slow season is a great time to visit Bermuda. From November through February, tourism slows down, and that brings a whole range of advantages for visitors to the island. Although the climate is always inviting, it is cooler and more comfortable in the off-season. The beaches, shops and hotels are less crowded, and there are package deals that, along with special offers at many restaurants, that can save you money. The swimming, diving, hiking and fishing are just as good as they are in the peak season – perhaps even more enjoyable because of the lack of crowds. Be aware, though, that many popular attractions, restaurants, museums and hotels close, or at least operate on reduced hours during this slow period. On the plus side, a number of golf tournaments, special events and walking tours are organized especially with winter visitors in mind.

Book your Bermuda vacation during the winter months and you’re likely to get a good deal. Bermuda’s hotels – those that remain open – usually reduce rates as much as 40% to fill some of the empty space. Package rates on the public transport system are also lower. The cooler weather makes golf and tennis that much more enjoyable.

If you like solitude – windswept beaches, cool sea breezes, quiet streets and shops – the slow season may be just the right time for you to visit. I’ve made several visits in the off-season and I always have a good time. Daytime temperatures are in the high 60s to low 70s most of the time, and there’s more than enough to see and do to keep you busy.

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