Bermuda Department of Tourism
After you've exchanged the rings, danced the first dance, and cut the cake, all you want to do as newlyweds is relax. Get there faster with these nonstop-flight honeymoon spots so you can enjoy basking in the sun rather than waiting on a connection.
It's possible that it's the locals -- so friendly and helpful. Or the pink-sand beaches, the plentiful nightlife and dining options, and moderate temps. (Eighty degrees in October? Sign me up.) But what's more likely is that it's the two-hour flight that's the major draw in booking a honeymoon in Bermuda. Which means that instead of allotting two full days of travel for your honeymoon, you and your new spouse can enjoy that time on one of Bermuda's stunning beaches, on a tennis court or golf course, or at a spa. A seven-day honeymoon in Bermuda really is a full seven days, and what's not to like about that?
Before you book your flight, read our primer on where to stay, what to do, and when to go.
WHERE TO STAY
Bermuda is chock-full of fantastic accommodations. Beachside resorts, quaint cottages, and traditional hotels fill the easy-to-navigate twenty-one-square-mile island, so finding somewhere to stay that suits your honeymoon personality—active, casual, epicurean—and budget is painless.
Couples wanting to feel like they're experiencing Bermuda's rich culture, which is a perfect mix between island charm and British pomp and circumstance, will want to try Elbow Beach (mandarinoriental.com/bermuda), a Mandarin Oriental property. Situated centrally among downtown Hamilton (five minutes away), Horseshoe Bay, the Royal Naval Dockyard, and Bermuda International Airport, Elbow Beach is one of Bermuda's premier hotels. Lovingly known by Bermudians as "Elbow," the 235-room hotel (currently closed for a planned renovation) sits atop fifty acres and overlooks Elbow Beach (the actual beach), allowing a 180-degree view of the turquoise blue water. Elbow's traditional décor (large Oriental rugs, crystal chandeliers, dark mahogany paneling) feels comfortable yet sophisticated. You won't feel out of place wearing your hot pink Havianas or your new Trina Turk sundress here: Elbow is a mix of casual and classic refinement, making it a relaxing place for all types of travelers.
While the hotel itself is an institution on the island, you'll want to book one of the premier ocean-view rooms in the area of Bougainvillea, one of seventeen private cottage complexes (starting at $449 per double occupancy). There, your private patio looks out over a perfectly manicured lawn and the ocean, and allows for breathtaking sunrises and one-minute walks to the beach and alfresco dining. The rooms are well appointed, with sleek accessories and furniture, but with a touch of maritime décor that reminds you that you're not in modern South Beach but supertraditional Bermuda.
What's possibly the biggest draw to Elbow is its private beach. (The beach is also part public, but the property's chaises, umbrellas, towels, and amenities are for guests only.) The pink sand leads up to crisp blue water that even in late fall is warm enough for you to swim in and sway with the ocean waves.
If new, grand, and intimate is what you and your spouse crave, consider Tucker's Point Hotel & Spa (tuckerspoint.com), the only property to open in Bermuda in the past thirty-seven years. The capstone of Tucker's Point Club—Bermuda's premier resort, private club, and residential community—Tucker's Point Hotel & Spa boasts four lighted tennis courts, two freshwater infinity pools, and a private beach. Located in Tucker's Town, Tucker's Point epitomizes Bermudian and British sophistication and culture, so much so that when Queen Elizabeth II visited the island in November last year she stayed on the property and dined at the hotel's luxurious Point Restaurant & Terrace.
The eighty-eight guest rooms and suites (starting from $330 in the low season; $560 during the high season) represent a coupling of British décor and modern amenities (including one of the most luxurious and comfortable beds you'll ever sleep in). All rooms
offer an ocean view. But if you want one of the largest private balconies on property, opt for Southampton 17, which has a daybed that's perfect for an afternoon nap or for reading a book.
A tee time at the Roger Rulewich-designed, eighteen-hole championship golf course, which is adjacent to Harrington Sound and Castle Harbour, is one of the most sought after on the island. (And for good reason: the views of the sprawling green juxtaposed with the crystal blue water are simply breathtaking.) But what might be one of the property's most appealing traits is its privacy. You can spend an entire week there and not interact with another guest, making your visit to Bermuda all about you and your new spouse.
To really get a feel for the island, make like a local and rent a moped for a day or two. Taxis are pricey (a $40 round-trip cab ride into Hamilton isn't out of the ordinary), and a moped allows you to head off the main roads and explore the tiny neighborhoods and areas that you'd otherwise miss. Pricing varies, but expect to pay $100 to $150 per day plus gas.
Once on your moped, make your way to South Road, which runs parallel to the ocean, and head west to stop at Horseshoe Bay and its long, sweeping, pink-sand beach. Go for the sight rather than to spend the day, since here is where you'll find hundreds of cruise ship tourists sunbathing. Instead, pack your suit, towel, and sunblock and pull off at any of the bays and beaches before you reach Horseshoe (consider Warwick Long Bay and Jobson's Cove). They're much more private, so you won't compete for beach real estate.
Head farther east on South Road and you'll hit the Royal Naval Dockyard, which was once a strategic outpost for Britain's Royal Navy more than 200 years ago. Today, the historic area still exudes Victorian charm. There you'll find the British Maritime Museum, which allows you to explore old munitions warehouses and tour current and staple exhibits such as the Bermuda Slavery Exhibit, the Dockyard Glassworks (catch glassblowing and flameworking demos daily), and the Bermuda Rum Cake Company (a working microbakery).
Spend another day touring downtown Hamilton, where shopping, dining, and nightlife are the draws. With Louis Vuitton and MaxMara, home décor storefronts and jewelry boutiques, you'll find some of the best shopping on Front Street and the surrounding blocks.
Bermuda is a foodie's haven. And it's no secret that some of Bermuda's best dining is in Hamilton, so head to restaurant row on Bermudiana Road. Make a reservation at Portofino Restaurant, a casual Italian trattoria with alfresco seating and a killer veal saltimbocca. Spice it up a little on night two and head to Latin, one of Bermuda's newest eateries, where the house-made sangria (get the red) perfectly complements the savory paella.
Beachside dining is best at Mickey's Beach Bistro & Bar at Elbow. For a more elegant affair, make a reservation at Tucker's Point's Point Terrace & Restaurant, where one thing that's just as impressive as the food is the décor, which boasts the PanAm mural depicting the world's major ports circa 1880. (The mural was originally installed in 1966 in Pan American World Airways' Sky Club in the Pan Am building, where it stayed until the Club's 2005 closing.) Be sure to bring your formal attire, though: Point Terrace requires a jacket for the gents.
Cap off your night strolling Front Street in Hamilton, where pubs and clubs abound. If you'd rather stay close to "home," check out Elbow Beach's Veranda Bar & Terrace, an intimate rum bar where you can unwind with live music on Fridays and Saturdays or enjoy a cigar on the outdoor patio.
- Blake Miller