This is going to be a photo overload post! But I hope you love the photos as much as I do; putting together this post makes me want to hop another flight out to Bermuda again.
Speaking of flights, it takes under two hours to get to Bermuda from New York City. It’s a shockingly short trip. It felt like I had snapped my fingers and went straight from JFK airport to the Hamilton Princess where I was staying. My flight took off around 9 am and I was at the hotel at 1 pm local time… three hours!!! (If you’ve ever traveled to the Carribean, you know that that journey can take all day with connecting flights and ferries and many, many hours.)
As I mentioned last week, it’s been two decades since I last visited Bermuda and it was so wonderful to see it with fresh eyes as an adult. I’ve never seen bluer water. Even when it was raining and cloudy, the water was as blue as could be. I went with my friend (and photographer!) Carter, and we both had our noses practically pressed to the windows every time we were in a taxi cab.
This is a photo taken from the window of the cab. The colorful buildings almost make the island feel like a fake town. It’s hard to believe it’s real.
I do want to start off with a huge thank you to the Hamilton Princess for inviting Carter and myself on the trip. We had the best time, and we were blown away by the entire hotel experience. And, just to throw this out there, this was not a case of a great experience just because we were bloggers. Every single person on the staff was amazing. It was not uncommon to hear housekeepers cheerfully singing in the hallways or to be greeted around every corner by a friendly face. Any expectation we had was exceeded.
As guests, we had access to the Gold Lounge. If you decide to stay there, Carter and I both wholeheartedly recommend. It’s 100% worth the upgrade. They serve a great breakfast, an afternoon tea (our favorite), a cocktail hour, and desserts every night. Not only did I feel quite spoiled, but it was also the perfect place to mingle with other guests.
The Hamilton Princess also has its own beach club which is the perfect touch. I shared more photos and my thoughts about how beautiful it was in last week’s post. I’m dying to go back to sit in one of those in-water hammocks!
The Hamilton Princess is also lovingly known as “The Pink Palace” because of its pink exterior. It’s the official host of America’s Cup, a huge yachting race, and would be the perfect place to book your trip.
Carter and I had the best taxi driver one day, and he pulled over the car now and then for some incredible views. After talking to a few people who have also visited, super nice taxi drivers is a very common thing. They’re so excited to show you the best if you’re up for it! Above is “The Queen’s View.” Bermuda is only 22 miles long and one mile wide, so it’s completely feasible to see the entire island during your trip.
Horseshoe Bay was at the top of my list of places I wanted to visit again. There are no words to describe the absolute beauty of this beach. It’s one of the top ten beaches in the world… and rightly so. The finest pink sand. The turquoise water. Natural rocks that frame the beach. We were chased off the beach by a looming rainshower, but Carter and I have vowed to return as soon as we can. I have an outfit post queued up for this week with more photos… but here’s a sneak peek. (Hint: it’s insane.)
On Sunday, it was unfortunately pretty cold and rainy. By cold, I mean it was the lowest temperature ever recorded in Bermuda. If we’re going to do cold, we’re going to do record breaking cold. Here’s the thing, though, even on THE coldest day EVER, it was still gorgeous, and we still had an incredible day. Now that’s saying something. The water was still blue, and the buildings were just as cute as could be.
We decided to make the most of the rainy day, and we went to visit the Crystal Caves. A few of my friends had recommended it and it didn’t disappoint. Actually it kind of blew me away. (Weird fun fact: Fraggle Rock was inspired by the caves.)
Where we ate:
I wouldn’t say that the food is a major draw of visiting Bermuda. We both loved everything we ate at the hotel and had pretty decent (expensive) meals around town.
– Devil’s Isle, in Hamilton, and Village Pantry, in Flatts Village, were both great options. We didn’t realize it until later, but they’re sister restaurants, which makes sense. If you’re going for the ‘gram, these would be at the top of the list. I had a vegetable harvest bowl at Devil’s Isle and a salmon poké bowl. Super delicious.
– Even though it’s not listed as one of the “best” restaurants, Carter and I both agreed that our favorite meal was at Hog Penny in Hamilton. We randomly decided on it and thought the fish we had was THE best. It had a very local pub kind of feel. It was trivia night when we ate, and the atmosphere was fun.
Some travel tips:
– Bring plenty of cash. One Bermudian dollar equivalent to one American dollar and everyone accepts both. If you end up going to an ATM in Bermuda, you’ll get Bermudian dollars out and would have to convert them back if you had any leftover.
– Taxis are the best mode of transportation. They only accept cash, so that’s why it’s important to have plenty on hand. The fares are a little steeper than what you’d be used to in NYC, but the price of gas there is over $7 a gallon, so it makes sense!
– You should be able to flag a taxi in many popular spots, but I’d recommend downloading the app “Hitch.” It’s their Uber. Our experience with our Hitch driver was amazing.
– There’s no threat of Zika (!!!), but I would pack sunscreen. Even though it was chilly while we were there, I definitely felt the sun on my skin.
– We didn’t have too much time to shop, but at the recommendation of a few readers, we popped into Lili Bermuda, a local perfumery. So many gorgeous scents; Carter and I both walked out with new perfumes!
That’s everything that we covered during our short trip, but I had a reader (Ashley! Thank you so much!) who sent over amazing recommendations. She’s lived in Bermuda for four years and was gracious enough to let me repost her suggestions. I want to follow all of them on my next visit:
– South Shore Beaches: Horseshoe Bay is consistently voted one of the best beaches in the world. If you start here, you can walk for an hour or so from one beach to the next (although note you do have to go on the little path up / behind them to get all the way to the end. And a tiny bit of the walk goes through a parking lot – you’re still going the right way!). My favorite little beach is on the other end called Jobson’s Cove (Google image it – it’s stunning!). To get straight to Jobson’s, you’d take a taxi to Warwick Long Bay Beach, and go to the right. It’s the next little cove.
– The Lighthouse: Pretty views of the island from above. There’s also a cute little Italian restaurant in the base of it – but it’s not always open.
– Front Street: The main street in Hamilton. For unique Bermuda things, head to The Island Shop where you can get hand painted ceramics, etc. Right now they have melamine trays with the America’s Cup on them.
– St. George’s: The original capital; old colonial town. This has a much different feel from Hamilton. The whole town will only take about an hour to get through as there isn’t much going on here, but it’s quaint and cute. My two favorite things are the Bermuda Perfumery (they make all their own scents there – the best is “Coral”!) and St. Peter’s Church (which is really old and beautiful). The church has some very old American flags that don’t have 50 stars, and in the back room some cool photos of Princess Diana in Bermuda when she was pregnant with William. The cemetery in the back is also really interesting; there are massive overgrown tree roots and unique headstones)
– Scuba Diving: If you’re feeling very ambitious on this cold weekend, I went with this company and explored two shipwrecks – highly recommend.