Bermuda is such a compact and vibrant destination that you can experience a lot in a short space of time. While we’d all love to be able to spend a lazy couple of months relaxing on a sun-drenched beach, shopping up a storm or improving our golf handicap, the reality is that, most of the time, we don’t have the time or budget to do it. What that means is we have to be smarter with our leisure time – and I’ve had a lot of experience doing just that for my clients.
Here’s what a short city break in Bermuda could look like if you choose Hamilton City, the capital, as your base.
What to See and Do
This is not your usual capital city. Set around the picturesque harbour on the doorstep of the jewel-coloured sea, while everything’s at your fingertips you feel like you’re a million miles from the rest of the world. But that doesn’t mean a lack of attractions – far from it – and the beauty is that all the main historical and cultural attractions are within walking distance.
Front Street: All roads lead to Front Street and this precinct that runs along the harbour is the heart and soul of the city. As well as being the commercial centre, it’s lined with pretty pastel-coloured buildings housing restaurants, cafes and retail establishments. It’s pointless to say don’t miss it, because you actually can’t miss it!
City Hall and Arts Centre: Home to both the National Gallery and the Society of Arts, City Hall is a lovely building in itself. For art and culture lovers, a visit here is a must; the opportunity to enjoy the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European painting collections of the National Gallery and then the contemporary arts and crafts of the Society of Arts makes for an interesting comparison.
Cathedral of Most Holy Trinity: Hamilton’s cathedral is a wonderful example of early English architecture, crowned by a 143-foot tower. If you’re energetic enough to tackle the stairs to the top (155 of them) you’ll be rewarded with some fantastic views.
Get Out on the Water: Even on a short stay, it wouldn’t do not to get out and about on the water – you’re on an island, after all! A number of operators run boat tours out of the harbour and you can choose from glass bottom boat trips, snorkelling tours or relaxing, half-day tours out to explore shipwrecks, secret beaches and the coral reef sea garden.
Horse and Carriage Rides: This is a charmingly old fashioned way to explore the city and surrounds. You can take a horse and carriage from Front Street down at the cruise passenger terminal on a trot along Pitt’s Bay Road, up through Fairyland Lane and over to Point Shares and back again.
Bermuda Nights: This vibrant, fun-filled cultural programme includes music from some of the best local artists, dancing, food, wine and all the fun you’d expect from a tropical island destination. While the programme doesn’t run all year round (currently it’s June-October), the city has plenty of other nightlife options as well, with lots of pubs, bars, a cinema, nightclubs and live music venues.
Where to Stay
Because it’s my job to recommend the very best accommodation for my clients, I’ve spent a lot of time in Hamilton City experiencing the hospitality of some of the island’s best resorts. While they each have their own unique and distinctive character, I’d highly recommend any of the following for a city break in Bermuda.
• Rosedon: A magnificent colonial house, perfect for a romantic getaway.
• Royal Palms: A family-owned establishment with beautiful gardens and an elegant colonial ambience.
• Rosemount Guest Suites: Fabulous self-catering property right in the heart of Hamilton.
• Hamilton Princess and Beach Club: Right on the harbour with fabulous views and luxurious surrounds.
A Short Time’s a Good Time in Hamilton City
Hamilton City is the perfect destination for a short city break in Bermuda. Along with a host of local attractions, it has excellent transfer connections from the airport, superb luxury accommodation and virtually guaranteed sunshine – what more could you ask for?
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. If you're planning a city break in Bermuda John can help find your perfect accommodation. An expert in luxury accommodation in Bermuda, Croatia, Sicily and many other destinations around the globe for over 30 years, John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.