virtuoso global October 2019 The Official Bermuda Escape Plan

The Official Bermuda Escape Plan

Bermuda’s south-facing Horseshoe Bay is a popular destination for its iconic pink-sand beaches. 
Bermuda’s south-facing Horseshoe Bay is a popular destination for its iconic pink-sand beaches. 
From pink-sand beaches to teatime with a twist, the island invites travelers to rethink a fall getaway weekend.

Bermuda was uninhabited when Spanish explorer Juan de Bermúdez sailed past in 1505. Today, his namesake signals island grandeur – from dreamy pink-sand beaches to brightly hued Bermuda shorts – within weekending distance. Offering a blend of culture and nature, Bermuda lies less than 600 miles east of the North Carolina coastline, with direct flights from the U.S. East Coast averaging around two hours. Fall ushers in a spell of summerlike fair weather, spiny lobster season, and an influx of wild things during a seasonal bird migration. Convenience never looked so gorgeous. Here, a three-day itinerary that showcases the best of Bermuda.

Day 1

1 PM: Touch Down in Bermuda
After an aerial tour of the island – aka flight descent – check into the 92-room Rosewood Bermuda, one of five nearby Virtuoso hotels. To explore the resort’s 240 coastal acres, take a dip in either (or both) of its two pools, or try a full-body Marine Detox – including a body polish with aromatic sea salts, sea algae wrap, and seaweed soak – in the Sense spa.

The Palm Court Pool at the Rosewood Bermuda offers prime views of the Harrington Sound. 
The Palm Court Pool at the Rosewood Bermuda offers prime views of the Harrington Sound. 
2:30 PM: Dress Like a Local
Bermuda shorts remain a popular sartorial choice – one that dates to World War I, when British naval officers took to the garb worn by teahouse servers in the tropical climate. “The doormen at Rosewood’s Tucker’s Bar get the reward for the island’s most stylish outfits,” says Virtuoso travel advisor Michele Wise of the traditional attire, including Bermuda shorts. “They make quite the first impression when arriving on property.” Hit the capital of Hamilton to pick up a pair at TABS (an acronym for The Authentic Bermuda Shorts). The brand’s crisp cotton twills for men and women come in an array of soft pastels, bold brights, and island-evoking patterns of sails and sea.
 
5:30 PM: Spiny Lobster for Dinner
Fall means spiny-lobster season in Bermuda, and the fresh catch is fodder for everything from roadside-seafood-stand specialties to high-end dinners. Split the difference at Wahoo’s Waterside Bistro & Patio in the town of Saint George’s, where virtually every dish from tacos to pasta can be made with the seasonal delicacy. Go all in and order the crabmeat-stuffed half lobster – no regrets.
Sailing around the Great Sound, guests might pass the sheltered inlets of small islands such as Hawkins Island and Marshall Island. 
Sailing around the Great Sound, guests might pass the sheltered inlets of small islands such as Hawkins Island and Marshall Island. 
7 PM: Sunset Cruise
As much as islanders enjoy the shoreside diversions of their patch of paradise, they love sailing away too, especially at sunset. Bermuda’s Great Sound offers gentle waters, thanks to a coral reef that buffers strong waves. Lucky sailors might even catch the green flash on the horizon as the sun disappears, and the blush-colored sky that follows.

Day 2

9 AM: Take the Plunge
Bermuda’s legendary shipwrecks draw schools of scuba divers, and some of its best treasures are close enough to the surface for snorkelers to explore them. The Constellation, a four-mast schooner that sank off Bermuda in 1943, provided inspiration for Peter Benchley’s adventure novel The Deep. Whether viewing it from above through a snorkel mask or scuba diving near the ocean floor, thanks to the clear water visibility, both types of adventurers can enjoy the Constellation as it rests just 30 feet below the surface.
Coral reefs thrive in Bermuda’s warm waters, with temperatures typically in the 70s or 80s year-round. 
Coral reefs thrive in Bermuda’s warm waters, with temperatures typically in the 70s or 80s year-round. 
12 PM: Coffee Break  
In Flatts Village, an enclave of shops, restaurants, and the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo (don’t miss the harbor seals and green sea turtles), grab a bite at Village Pantry, a bustling café serving island-sourced foods and locally roasted coffee.
 
1 PM: Bike the Railway Trail
Operating from 1931 to 1948, the railway nicknamed the “Old Rattle and Shake” connected Saint George’s in the east and Somerset Station in the west over 22 miles of track. Now 18 miles of the original route make up the Bermuda Railway Trail, a national park that stretches along the island’s green spine. Bike or hike all or part of it – nine sections are broken into one- to nearly-four-mile passages for bite-size sampling.
4 PM: Pinkies Up
For a twist on the island’s very British tradition, visit esteemed perfumer Lili Bermuda – which also offers afternoon tea in its eighteenth-century estate gardens. First, take in the scents of juicy local loquats, orange flowers, and more. “The only problem with Lili Bermuda is picking the scent you want,” says Virtuoso travel advisor Lauren Raps. “The salespeople are helpful and knowledgeable, and you can give you a whole lesson in perfumery. Their Petals scent has become my go-to fragrance.” With your shopping complete, continue outside for a cuppa and a finger sandwich, or three. Reservations are recommended.
Lili Bermuda’s unisex South Water fragrance exhibits notes of guava, mandarin, and sea salt. 
Lili Bermuda’s unisex South Water fragrance exhibits notes of guava, mandarin, and sea salt. 
6 PM: Cocktails on the Sand
Given its dramatic name, Bermuda’s unofficial drink, the rum-and-ginger-beer Dark ’n Stormy, warrants a cocktail quest. But don’t be afraid to branch out. “Bermuda has definitely experienced a cocktail renaissance,” Raps says. “Bartenders all over the island are putting new spins on old standbys, or creating amazing new concoctions that incorporate and celebrate local ingredients.” In time for a sunset toast, dig your toes in the sand while sipping a frosty drink and listening to live music in front of a bonfire.

Day 3

8 AM: Bring Your Binoculars
During the fall migration, birds from all over North America pause for a rest on Bermuda. At 64-acre Spittal Pond Nature Reserve, the island’s largest wetland preserve, scan for warblers, kingbirds, vireos, and other winged passersby. Between sightings, check out the Portuguese Rock, where it’s said humans first arrived on Bermuda in the sixteenth century, and The Checkerboard, a limestone slab with distinctive cracks that give it its name.
10 AM: Think Pink
Wave-ground seashells account for Bermuda’s signature pink sands, which run the spectrum from cotton candy to coral. “The pink-sand beaches take your breath away,” says Wise. “When the waves hit the shore and fall back to sea, the sand shines a luminous light pink and sparkles in the sun.” Beachcomb a half mile of rosy shore at Warwick Long Bay. Cool off with a dip and snorkel among the pink-tinged parrotfish that inhabit the reef just 20 feet from the shore.
Quiet Warwick Long Bay is ideal for snorkeling, sunbathing, and even horseback riding. 
Quiet Warwick Long Bay is ideal for snorkeling, sunbathing, and even horseback riding. 
12 PM: Go Fish
The subject of who makes Bermuda’s best fish sandwich draws national debate. Enter the fray by seeking out the island favorite, fried fish served on toasted raisin bread (trust us, it works) with tartar sauce, hot sauce, and sometimes coleslaw, at Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy, a take-out joint that counts chef Marcus Samuelsson among its fans. Samuelsson crafts his own seafood dishes at Marcus’ at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club.
 
2 PM: Art and Inspiration
Artists have long found inspiration on Bermuda, including Georgia O’Keeffe, who spent a restorative year on the island in the 1930s. Stroll through the Bermuda Botanical Gardens to reach the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. “It’s a hidden gem – a beautiful space with incredible works from iconic and local artists alike,” says Virtuoso advisor Elisabeth Brown. She calls it “a great get-out-of-the-sun activity” for even the most ardent outdoor enthusiasts. The museum is home to more than 1,500 pieces from artists such as O’Keeffe and Winslow Homer, who, like many visitors, left the island creatively renewed.

4 PM: Clear Customs
Consider bringing home something that will last longer than a suntan. Duty-free counters in the Bermuda L. F. Wade airport sell Cuban cigars and family-blended Goslings Rum, an essential ingredient to make more Dark ’n Stormy cocktails – at least until the return flight back. 

Popular Articles

You may also like...