Bermuda: where to stay, spa, chill and eat
The Fairmont Southampton is a grande dame of a 1970s hotel, like a majestic pink cruise ship docked on the grass. It has waddling ducks to greet you alongside the bellboys, and breathtaking ocean views from the newly refurbished family suites (featuring interconnecting rooms, buckets and spades, and cookies and milk). There’s a handy shuttle to the perfect beach cove, with easy snorkelling, kayaking and paddleboarding. The Explorers Camp Kids’ Club caters for kids five and over, and there’s a games room for older ones next to an impressive array of shops. With eight restaurants to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice. Don’t miss a family dinner at The Newport and the live music and tapas at the alfresco Dock at the Waterlot. Rooms cost from £200.
Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort & Spa
Newstead Belmont Hills is a 45-suite boutique resort overlooking Hamilton Harbour that is a great one for families with teens. From its infinity pool to its Asian-inspired spa, and access to an 18-hole golf course, all the family will be happy. Oversized rooms have handy kitchen facilities, too. Two-bed suites cost from £345.
Rosewood Tucker’s Point
This east-end delight screams well-to-do luxury, from the doorman in his Bermuda shorts and pink hat, to every deliciously old-school suite. At the Rosewood kids will find a copy of Tiny The Tree Frog Tours Bermuda book and CD by their bed, along with a tiny fluffy frog. The private pink beach is a short shuttle ride through rolling green golf fairways, and there’s a kids’ pool by the seafront restaurant. Back up the hill, the kids’ club is in a pretty clapboard house next door to the junior tennis club, with its cute low nets. Rooms cost from £320 for two queen beds.
Grotto Bay Beach Resort
Centrally located along the water’s edge in Bailey’s Bay – with three private beaches and handily close to the airport and St George’s, a World Unesco Site and Bermuda’s original capital – Grotto Bay Beach Resort is Bermuda’s only all-inclusive, and a great choice for families. Kids love the easy access to the beach and the fun inflatables, including a water trampoline, and there is access to incredible caves, home to a unique floating spa. A children’s programme operates in the summer holidays, with trips to the aquarium and fun activities that stretch into the evening. Rooms cost from £145. Book a second room for children and save 50%. Kids 16 and under stay free when sharing room with parents.
Located on the famous South Shore Road, Elbow Beach is a family favourite with its colonial architecture, ocean views and gardens right next to the beach. It’s on the bus route and is an easy ferry hop to Royal Naval Dockyard. Rooms are modern and spacious and there are four restaurants to choose from, a pool and plenty of watersports, from kayaking to snorkelling. The Kids’ Camp caters for three- to 12-year-olds with fun activities including beachercise, swimming, sandcastle-building and local Gombey arts and
Bermuda is a foodies’ paradise. From yummy fresh fish sandwiches at Art Mels in St George to innovative kids’ menus at The Newport, a gastropub at the Fairmont Southampton, wahoo bites at Bone Fish at the Royal Naval Dockyard, and Sunday brunch of cod fish and potatoes with avocado and banana at Henry VIII on the South Road, you can’t go wrong. And if you’re after ice cream, head to Bailey’s Ice Cream Parlour near the Crystal and Fantasy Caves.
Self-catering is becoming increasingly popular on the island, with cottages, houses and even catamarans listed on airbnb.co.uk
Chilling out: spas
Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Southampton will rejuvenate any tired parent with everything from hydrotherapy to indulgent facials. Book a couple’s massage or any two treatments and get three hours’ complimentary kids’ camp for up to three kids.
Sense spa at the Rosewood Tucker’s Point has a beautiful walled garden and Zen pool to relax around. As well as sublime adult treatments, there’s both a Rose Buds junior spa menu for kids 13 and under and a Bermuda Lilies spa menu for 14-16-year olds, with a deep cleansing facial, light massage and a light make-up and hairstyling treatment.
For something different, head to the new Natura Spa at Grotto Bay Beach Resort. The hotel is built on top of an impressive cave system and the spa is inside one of the immense natural caves. Treatment cabanas float on the cave water and the whole effect is one of deep relaxation.
By Jane Anderson, Family Traveller Editor