Welcome to my page everyone. My first post is a simple travel guide that will include everything you need to know if you ever think about taking a trip to see the beautiful island of Bermuda. Enjoy!
How long is the flight?
My boyfriend and I traveled with Delta leaving on a direct flight from NY (JFK) to Bermuda (BDA). The total flight time was 2 hours and Bermuda had a 1 hour time change, which was an hour ahead of NY.
Where did we stay?
We stood at The Reefs Hotel and Club, a 4 star hotel that is located on the beach in Southampton. It was about a 35-40 minute drive from the airport and the taxi cost was $45.00. I noticed that on their website it says they have an airport shuttle but when I called they said they did not and we had to get a taxi. This hotel is also a 20-25 minute taxi or moped drive from the capital of Bermuda, which is Hamilton, and is about a 10 minute drive to Horseshoe Bay which is named to be the No. 8 beach in the world.
What does the hotel include (amenities, etc.)? + Review
The hotel has beautiful ocean views, 2 pools (one on each side of the hotel), hot tub, a spa, golf and tennis court, fitness center, 3 restaurants; Coconuts Restaurant was closed for the season so I will not be able to comment on that one. The pool/ beach include towels, beach chairs, and water. There’s also kayaking on-site which was also nice. Our package included breakfast which is served from 7:30am-10:30am. For an extra $10, you can get room service which we did do every day; there’s nothing like having breakfast on your patio with an ocean view. The hotel also includes free Wi-Fi but I can’t say that it was very good in our room.
The customer service at this hotel was outstanding. You are greeted with a Rum Swizzle, the Bermudian drink which consists of Rum, Pineapple juice, Orange juice, Grenadine, and Angostura bitters. Unfortunately, I couldn’t drink because I’m pregnant (although realistically I took a sip for taste, judge me if you want) but my boyfriend was able to drink for the both of us. One thing I must say in general is that all the Bermuda people are very nice and always have a genuine willingness to help. I managed to lose my cellphone during this trip in the middle of the road and a taxi driver was kind enough to bring it back to our hotel ; speaking realistically, if this would have happened in NJ, NY, FL, etc. my iphone would be sold on Ebay already!
We stayed in room 350, which was a junior suite overlooking the ocean. It included a bathroom with a stand up shower and Jacuzzi, a king-sized bed, a living/sitting area, and a patio with 2 chairs. The room was beautiful and clean, the bed/pillows were actually very comfortable, and we turned off the air conditioning because leaving the patio door open was good enough for us (I love to hear the sound of the waves). I truly have no complaints about the room itself.
The pool/Jacuzzi area was very clean and there was towels and water available when needed at no cost. There’s only about 8 beach chairs surrounding the pool, so if your there during the high season, going out early to get a chair would probably be something you’d want to do. On the beach, there’s definitely more chairs (too many to count), but again I know during high season these chairs wouldn’t be enough. They had a waitress going around the pool and beach area if you wanted to have a drink and she was very kind and attentive. If you go on the hotel’s website, the pictures are a true depiction of the hotel.
The fitness center was located right next to our room; it was small and has about one machine of everything you’ll need. When I went, there was no one in there which was nice (I only went to look; I didn’t exercise since I was being lazy).
Unfortunately, I did want to visit the spa but because the prices were expensive I didn’t even bother. If you got it, go for it.
NOTE- Please see “Where to dine?” for a review on the hotel’s restaurants.
Where to dine?
During my stay in Bermuda, I noticed that they do not have a lot of fast food places; there was one place that stays open till 5am, called Ice Queen, which did consist of burgers, hotdogs, mozzarella sticks, tenders, etc. and a KFC that was open till 9pm. I’m not a fan of fast food at all but when you are visiting an expensive island like Bermuda, fast food comes in handy for money purposes. Otherwise, there were lots of restaurants where you’d be spending between $50-$80 for 2 people depending on how many drinks you ordered.
Restaurants we visited:
Ocean Echo: For breakfast, since it was included in our package we ordered room service every day we were there except for the day of our flight. The day we went to the breakfast buffet at the hotel we got to see how clean and elegant it was. The dining area had so much natural lighting and the décor was very nice. They sat us near the window where we had a beautiful ocean view. The breakfast selections were all very delicious, you could choose anything between a variety of fresh fruit, waffles, coconut French toast, eggs/omelets, sausage, bacon, yogurt, cereal, potatoes, and hash browns; please keep in mind that this was included in the buffet but they had a different menu if you wanted to pay for breakfast.
Aqua Terra: For the most part we dined in at our hotel in order to save money (even though the restaurant at the hotel was a bit pricey also). The restaurant is called Aqua Terra. They have another restaurant called Coconuts but it was closed for the season. At this restaurant we only ate pizza, wings, and salad to save a little money. The bill here was usually between $40-$50, and the pizza and wings were definitely worth having. I especially liked eating at the Aqua Terra because of the view; we usually sat out on the patio where you had a beautiful ocean view, as well as, a nice breeze. Please keep in mind that if you don’t like birds around you while you’re eating, you shouldn’t eat out on the patio because they definitely come to visit and will take your food if you’re not paying attention.
Portofino: This was the first restaurant where we had dinner the first night we stayed. The restaurant is located in Hamilton (main town with shopping, restaurants, and bars) a 20 minute moped ride. This was an Italian place that was a bit outdated in regards to decor, but otherwise good. I ordered Chicken Parmigiana w/ spaghetti and it was just OKAY, I’ve had better to say the least. Overall, it was a good bite but nothing special, the bill here was $70.00 for 2 people (which I definitely think was overpriced).
Gulfstream: We visited this restaurant for dinner on the last night of our stay. This place is about 10 minutes away on moped from our hotel and it was delicious! I ordered Lobster Ravioli and the ravioli had the perfect amount of Lobster in it with a tasty pink sauce. The quality of the food was much better at this restaurant and the total bill was $90 for 2 people.
Popular Restaurants Mentioned by locals: Lobster Pot, Bermuda Bistro, Docksider, Hog Penny, Flannigan’s, HenryVII, and Swizzle Inn.
*Please note: The restaurants in Bermuda close between 9-10pm so don’t wait till too late to have dinner. I was caught off guard by this because the time difference was one hour ahead and normally I get hungry around 8pm my time (and so it was already 9pm in Bermuda).
How to get around?
There are 3 ways which you can get around the island. Please note, as per the website of Bermuda, there are no car rental services and I also didn’t see any when we got there.
Option 1: Taxi. The hotel can arrange a taxi to come to the hotel at any time but taxis cost an arm and a leg on this island. Roundtrip to town is $50.00 so if you go anywhere further out, it’s definitely going to be costly. From the airport to the hotel was $45.00. The taxi fare starts at $5.15.
Option 2: Bus. There is a bus that goes throughout the town and across the island but I’m unaware of the cost because we did not use this form of transportation.
Option 3: “The Bermudian way of transportation” AKA Mopeds. For me, this was the best option and the option that we chose after we were traumatized by the taxi costs. We rented 1 moped that fits 2 people for 4 days, we paid $190 and only had to fill the tank 1 time (we were able to travel the entire island back and forth without having to fill the tank at all) and this was the most cost-effective option. The only downfall is that it’s not ideal to drive a moped in the rain, so hopefully you get all sunny daysJ. There are moped rental stores everywhere; we rented from the place right across the street from the hotel called, “Oleander-Cycles.” The greatest thing about the mopeds was that we really got to see the island and we were able to make stops wherever we wanted without being charged to wait.
What are some activities I can do?
- Beaches: Obviously if you’re going to Bermuda, you have to visit Horseshoe Bay Beach, it is named to be the No. 8 beach in the world and it surely was beautiful. The best part is that it was only a 10-12 minute ride on moped from our hotel. The sand was pink/white and the water was a beautiful turquoise color (although all the beaches in Bermuda are breathtaking). If you want romantic scenery, just come here during the sunset and you’ll have a magnificent viewing.
- Gibbs Hill Lighthouse: This lighthouse is located about 5 minutes away from the hotel by moped. If you’re going by foot, it’s probably a 10-12 minute walk from the hotel. The lighthouse consists of 185 steps and it was recommended to us by a local who said it was best to visit this place on a sunny day to see the beautiful views. We were unable to walk up the lighthouse because we did not make time for it but we passed by it on moped and it looked like something worth doing.
- Bermuda Aquarium, Museum, and Zoo: We came here the second day of our trip, and again, we traveled by moped to come here; it was about a 20-25 minute ride. We were able to walk around the aquarium and the zoo in about 1 hour, it wasn’t too big but we had a good time seeing the fish and animals; this is definitely a nice activity to do if you have children. The entrance fee is $10.00 per person.
- Theatre: I know this isn’t a great attraction but on the one rainy day we had, we took our moped down to town (Hamilton), a 20 minute moped ride, and watched “Get Out,” which I would highly recommend to anyone by the way. Hamilton has 2 theatres, Liberty Theatre, and Specialty Cinema & Grill (which is the one we went to). The theatre is very small and only has 2 showings at a time. I believe the entrance was $12.00.
- Get Lost!- So one of the best things my boyfriend and I did was rent a moped and travel across the island. I truly felt like I got to see the living circumstances and culture of Bermuda. It was so much fun getting lost, not knowing where we were, and just doing something out of the norm (although we carried a map just in case). The people in Bermuda are also very willing to help with directions just in case. Please note that the stores in Bermuda close at 5pm so get an early start!
- Nightlife: So, we didn’t go out to any bars or clubs while we were in Bermuda since I was pregnant but the locals said it’s good to go to Hamilton on Friday and Saturday nights. I’ve been a grandma recently (actually I’m a grandma in general when it comes to clubs/bars) but since I’ve been pregnant I’ve really had no interest in going, so I really don’t have any good input on this topic, sorry.
- Horseback Riding, snorkeling, parasailing, scuba diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, etc.: These are all things you could sign up for, some at the hotel and some outside of the hotel but we didn’t really do any of these things since the water was still cold when we went although it’s something you can definitely get into if you go during the hot season.
How long did we stay?
We went during off season for 4 days, 3 nights. We went from February 23, 2017- February 27, 2017. Check in is at 3pm but we requested early check-in which they accommodated and check out is at 11am.
How was the weather?
During the season that we went, there was about 3 sunny days that were in the low 70’s and 1 rainy day. We were able to get into the beach but the water felt a little cold at first, nonetheless, I wasn’t leaving Bermuda without getting into that beautiful water.
What kind of money does Bermuda use?
The good thing about Bermuda is that you can use either American money (US dollar) or the Bermudian dollar which is equivalent to the US dollar.
What was the cost of this trip?
I went during off season so keep this in mind when booking a hotel, usually during the high season prices are much higher.
The hotel was $273.00 per night and the flight was $262.00 per person so the total trip cost for us was about $1600, obviously excluding food and activities.
Hope this guide will help you if you ever want to take a trip to Bermuda! Any feedback is appreciated!