What if I told you that less than two hours away from most cities on the Northeast, there is an island so beautiful that at every turn it almost looks staged? Powdery pink sand and a culture rich in the arts are just a few of many things Bermuda has to offer. It is impossible not to be left breathless at the site of the water, its different hues of blue that even the best watercolor painting could fully capture. Bermudians are a proud people with a rich history that includes African, English and Portuguese influences. The infamous Bermuda shorts are still often worn out, but this fashion trend coupled with golf courses and retirees that many people think of when Bermuda comes to mind could not be further from the truth.
Bermuda is bustling with life, from late night reggae boat parties to the always-anticipated Cup Match for cricket lovers in the summer. One could easily spend a day in awe of the brightly colored pastel homes, drinking a rum swizzle and watching the sunset sink behind a symphony of colors. Next time you are choosing your future beach getaway, consider Bermuda. Here are 5 reasons you will not regret it:
1) The Fairmont Hamilton Princess, Bermuda : With its recent renovations and ideal location in the central town of Hamilton, the Fairmont Hamilton Princess is the perfect place to stay for a business trip or weekend getaway. The new Poinciana Wing suites provide ample room, as well as a bed so comfortable that it is nearly impossible to get out of, until you see the water below. Front St., Bermuda’s commercial center of shopping and nightlife, is right across the street from the Fairmont. On Friday evenings, Marina Nights brings hotel guests and locals alike to drink and mingle at 1609 Bar & Restaurant, which offers gorgeous harbor views. This summer, Fairmont Hamilton received an additional bonus with the opening of chef Marcus Samuelsson’s pop-up restaurant, Samuelsson at HP. The restaurant will be open until August 3, and is a sneak peak of the permanent restaurant that will be unveiled in May 2015. Be sure to try to the dark and stormy sorbet- a modern twist on a Bermudian classic.
2) Master Works Museum of Bermuda Art: “You can go to heaven if you want. I’d rather stay in Bermuda.” So said Mark Twain, one of many artists that pay homage to the island in the Master Works Museum of Bermuda Art. Artists around the world have contributed to this diverse museum, which is not to be missed for anyone looking to learn a bit more about Bermuda’s rich history.
3) Beaches: There are beaches in Bermuda that simply knock the wind out of you with their beauty. I have spent many times exploring small coves that lead to surreal turquoise water and sand that never gets too warm. Horseshoe Bay in Southampton parish is one of the most famous beaches and well worth a visit, but I encourage first time visitors to get lost on a trail that leads to quieter stretches of sand and water. For snorkel lovers, Church Bay offers an incredible opportunity to get up close and personal with the island’s sea life. At the north end of the island, Clearwater Beach is one of Bermuda’s gems with few tourists and excellent sunbathing. To get a view of every beach on the island, try the WildCat Powerboat Tour around the country. It just two hours, you’ll every stretch of the island.
4) Fish Sandwiches: Bermudian food is a mash up of global influences. Fish chowder, wahoo and codfish and potatoes are just a few local favorites. Another local favorite (which I hesitate to recommend for fear that the line will be come even longer) is the fried fish sandwich at Art Mels (9 St. Monica’s Road). The original location is about a ten-minute cab ride from downtown Hamilton. Trust me when I tell you that you will want to take that ride. Art Mels colossal fish sandwich contains fried snapper, tartar sauce and coleslaw. It can be served on deliciously soft raisin bread if you would like to take it up a notch. Please do not blame me for the withdrawal you are sure to feel days after you leave Bermuda and realize you experienced the best fish sandwich you will ever taste in your life. For those looking to mix a classic cocktail with a fish sandwich, try Swizzle Inn’s Back O’ Town sandwich and their signature Rum Swizzle, which contains black seal rum, orange, lemon and pineapple juices, falernum (local sweet syrup) and a few extra secret ingredients.
5) Bermudian People: Perhaps I have been tarnished by tough New York City living, but I am always in awe of the general hospitality and friendliness of Bermudians whenever I visit the island. People greet strangers with “good day” no matter where you are, and being invited to a barbeque or a boat party at some point during your visit is not out of the norm. It is this same community that makes the island feel like home almost immediately. My heart aches each time my plane departs knowing that I am leaving all the beautiful people who have made me feel like family, every single time I visit.