Far too often I find myself flying for hours upon hours, switching planes to get to a hidden slice of heaven. Often times that pristine clear water, empty pink beaches and island time kind of life comes at a price for me. However, I’d been told multiple times that I needed to give Bermuda a shot. I truthfully didn’t understand the appeal, it seemed too close to NYC to be as good as so many folks had told me. Plus there has always been thatsmall “triangle” issue (kidding of course but some people do consider that little tale to be true!)
Sure there are bright cheery houses lining the streets with cotton candy sunsets nightly creating nothing less than an idyllic beachy setting but I somehow managed to shy away from going to Bermuda for my 10+ years of living in NYC … that is until this July.
Consider me a convert.
You’ll find me now taking an annual trip to Bermuda if not a monthly one for that matter. In less time than it takes to get from NYC to Miami you too can be perched up on a pretty pink beach surrounded by poppy pink houses and palm trees looking at crystal clear waters.
I have now seen the light. I now understand the appeal of this piece of paradise. And thanks to a Sperry event I attended recently I was informed that the US men’s sailing team actually lives and practices in Bermuda. So ladies as if you needed a reason to visit there’s one more “reason” to go.
Where to stay:
We set out to find a perfect spot for a relaxing beach escape, somewhere calm and tranquil with activities and easy access to restaurants and bars. We found just that during our stay at Cambridge Beaches. What I’d like to call my kind of paradise: four private light pink sandy beaches, pristine gardens, friendly staff and adults-only.
We opted to steer clear of properties in Hamilton (this is where the cruise ships come in) and wanted to go further out from Southampton as not all of those properties sit right on the beach. Cambridge Beacheswas heaven. I’m partial to boutique hotels so it’s no surprise that I fell in love with the charming 300 year old Cambridge Beaches– it is relatively small in size compared to some of the massive resorts on the island. This Bermudian family owned property occupies a 30 acre peninsular completed with 87 rooms or villas – all of which have an ocean view.
Our room was the private pool cottages complete with its own private pool, perfect for a post beach swim! In the mornings I’d have coffee out there on the terrace, watch the deep sea fishing boats head out and catch the sea turtles swimming around. There honestly could not be a more lovely way to start a day!
Cambridge Beaches has three restaurants and two bars, make sure to check in with Karen at the front to find out when live music is happening! The guys playing on the deck were great! Breezes on the beach was our favorite. We snacked on lunch beachside daily and did dining outside here twice during our stay. The food was exceptional and the ambiance wonderful.
Other on site activities at Cambridge Beaches?
Clearly the Bermudians know how to have a good time given ample activities on property from paddle boarding and kayaking to the H20 Bermuda Water Sports(more details below!), to channeling your inner Serena Williams at their tennis facility or bocce ball on property to a nearby nature reserve and a PGA-caliber golf courses all in close proximity.
H20 Bermuda Sports was a favorite on this trip! We rented a small boat for the day, easily done through Cambridge Beaches. This recommendation by the team was simply put perfect. The small boat was easy to drive (hallelujah! Because I admittedly had never driven a boat before!)
Before we hopped onboard the boat we stopped by the front desk and retrieved a fully packed lunch with delicious sandwiches, fruit and sweet treats. We’d scooped up some bottled water and wine the night prior at a local grocery store but this made for a sweet addition to the day.
We got a tutorial on maneuvering the boat, which I will say was far easier than initially expected, and off we went to explore the waters. Less than a 10 minute ride on the water we were cruising by one of the hundreds of shipwrecks off the coast of Bermuda. The HMS Vixen, a ship that sank in 1865 sits just a quick ride from the bay. From there we boated around, living on island time, in no hurry but just to explore. We bounced around to a few different snorkeling spots – this was some of the clearest water I’ve ever experienced. The sheer number of sea turtles we had a chance to see while snorkeling was unreal. A day on the beach is always good but a day on a boat is just good for the soul.
There is the Ocean Spa, a beautiful relaxing haven situated in the middle of the property – easily missed as it blends in with the rest of the little pink cottages but houses an indoor pool in addition to a laundry list of spa services being done in relaxing rooms. I did the Destress Muscle Release massage and felt like a new person afterwards!
Keep in mind:
There is a drive from the airport that is about 45 minutes, however, it was a lovely drive and we got to see a bit of the island we may not have otherwise! Plus it gave me a chance to scout out spots that I just knew I needed to get back to (Church Bay being one of them!)
How to get there:
Non-stop flights daily from NYC and most of the east coast (plus London too on British Airways for my UK guys and gals!) Pro-tip: Sign up for JetBlue’s emails, they run deals quite often down to the land of pink sandy beaches.
Prior to going I recommend to call or email Claudette to arrange a pick up, while you can most certainly get a taxi from the airport, booking her (or her daughter Carol) directly and prior to arrival just means that you will be beachside much sooner! Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org call 441-707-6681. During our drive from the airport to Cambridge Beaches Claudette pointed out historical sites, gave us the run down on where to get the best Rum Swizzles.
Bermuda is practically an island lover’s playground, there is so much to do! I may be reprimanded for saying this but there are far more enjoyable spots to visit than Horseshoe Bay. We had the unfortunate timing of being at Horseshoe Bay on the day a cruise ship docked, bringing hundreds of tourists to the beach. So many that you could not see the sand because it was just covered with beach goers. Instead pop over to Church Bay.
As mentioned, there are a slew of shipwrecks and coral reefs that are close to shore. The diving, snorkeling, and beach hiking in Bermuda is some of the best you’ll find anywhere in this part of the world. With its crystal clear waters there is ample opportunity to catch a sight of some pretty incredible creatures.
The lovely, jolliness of British heritage is embodied at the Swizzle Inn – the oldest pub in Bermuda, and a historic spot to order a Rum Swizzle.
For the history buffs, there are ample spots to visit! Since Bermuda has been involved in many of the UK’s major events dating back as far as the English Civil War of the mid 1600s. There are also ruins dating back to both World Wars.
We did dine one night off of the property at Mickey’s on the beach, a spot that came so highly recommended by a few friends we knew we needed to visit. Give me a fun spot on a beach any day.
How to get around?
We only left Cambridge’s twice during our stay, which says a lot as we like to explore!
Bermuda doesn’t offer full sized rental cars (slow clap for carless travel!) so we opted for a mini Twizy as the locals call it, which we picked up on property at Olyeander Cycles– it was incredibly easy and convenient. You can also rent a scooter or a moped, but the Twizy was great for us with windows that rolled up since afternoon showers were happening each day! The Twizy experience was quite the adventure (highlights of our drive can be found on Instagram!)– especially given that these tiny electric cars don’t hold their charge too long and since they’re still new to the island there aren’t charging stations at every corner. Still recommend giving it a go though!
Best time to visit?
More important question to pose … is there ever a bad time to visit? I’d say not, while Bermuda does sit close to North Carolina and the East Coast there is not a time that would be considered “bad.” As with any destination in this general area, hurricane season can pose issues but those are also the times for best last minute deals!
Plus did you know that winter temperatures hover around 70 degrees? I’ll take 70, beach walks and no snow anytime come January and February! Hello long winter weekend away!
What to pack?
Bermuda shorts of course! Luckily for all of us those are very much back in style but you’ll find men still wearing the blazer, tie, Bermuda shorts, and knee socks combo. It’s downright chic. While this may seem unlikely to become the fad in the states I am all about any man who does not wear flip flops, cargo shorts and t-shirts so take not boys, dressing with a bit of care, class and taste will get you so much further in life.
Ladies, proceed as usual with your packing business or head back next week for my Bermuda Packing Guide!
Need to know:
Do ask about the cruise ship schedule when you’re determining when to head into Hamilton, visit Horseshoe Bay0