A Travel Advisor’s Take on Family Travel in 2021

I work in the travel industry as both a travel advisor and a travel writer. I’ve owned the travel blog, Fifi + Hop, for the past 6 years, and write mainly about family travel, as I have two kids. Between my conversations with other family travel bloggers and my colleagues in the travel agency world, there are certain trends that will no doubt play a part in family travel in 2021. We’ve seen them already, and they will continue for a while.

 

The first one is family vacations to national parks, such as Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Acadia and the Great Smoky Mountains. They offer wide open space in nature, and are much more easy to socially distance in than a city. The vaccine is encouraging news, but as it will take some time to distribute, people are still going to be more inclined to travel to places where they can be outdoors. The U.S. national parks have always been a favorite for family vacations—now more than ever.

Road trips, RV’s, and glamping were huge in the summer of 2020. They will continue to be big in 2021 as well. Families can be outdoors and socially distanced, and simply by themselves. It’s a great way for East Coasters to discover the west, and vice-versa. Speaking of “by themselves”, private home and small hotel rentals are going to continue to soar. With the onset of COVID-19, many hotel groups ramped up their villa and home offerings—simply by building more. There is a vast array of hotel homes to stay in, either with just your family or a group of families (or friends). A great example of a small hotel to rent out is Scarp Ridge Lodge in Crested Butte, CO. Want all the luxuries of staying in a 5-star hotel, but don’t want to be around a ton of people?  Lodges like this provide the perfect solution.

Scarp Ridge Lodge in Crested Butte, CO is a family ski vacation dream spot with all the amenities and Colorado style.

 

The bunk room at Scarp Ridge Lodge is like none other—perfect for kids.

As 2021 moves along, and so does the vaccine, international travel will undoubtedly pick up. It may be slow in the beginning as people adjust to the idea of long-distance travel, but one thing is for sure—once the vaccine is distributed and the country has “herd” immunity, international travel is going to come back with a vengeance—especially with those who like to travel a lot. Big trips will be a form of compensation for many, for the long hiatus.

 

As far as which places will be most popular first, that of course depends on the administration of the vaccine, and which countries open first. I don’t have a crystal ball, but it is generally considered that places such as Mexico, Costa Rica, the Caribbean and Bahamas will be hugely popular. Mexico and Costa Rica, for one, don’t require a COVID test to enter. That is appealing to some, and not appealing to others. While these countries may be easy to get into, they may also become more risky. But we are already seeing Mexico as a hugely desirable destination.

Grace Bay in the Turks and Caicos is another family friendly dream spot with tons of hotels at different price ranges.

Another trend that is and will be big—even for families—is wellness travel. People have been put through the ringer in 2020, and what they really want is to relax, recharge, and renew…get a treatment, get a massage, get their body in shape. People (parents included!) want serenity and tranquility. Places such as the Caribbean, Costa Rica and Mexico can provide them with a sense of total relaxation among white sand beaches and turquoise blue water. And the kids won’t complain.

 

Europe is a bit hard to predict at this point, but Greece will most likely be a hot spot. It did well with COVID, and opened in 2020, just not to Americans. Much like the Caribbean being a place of beauty and peacefulness, so are the Greek islands. The sea, beaches, healthy Mediterranean food are all tonics for the soul. The Greek islands provide a sense of adventure too – they are in Europe and you can hop around from one island to the next. And the Greek culture is extremely family-friendly.

Mykonos Island, Greece. The Greek isles should be a hot destination when international travel bounces back.

Another European country very much in a similar vain is Italy. Italy is the mother of family-friendly destinations, and I have written a lot about the country, as I have taken a few family vacations there with my kids. Yes, Italy did not do well with COVID, but once the vaccine is in full-effect, Italy will be huge for family travel. Simply put, it always has been, and always will be.

 

Rounding out Europe, I suspect that Portugal, Spain and Switzerland will be popular for family vacations as well. Portugal has the Algarve, with its dramatic coastline and beaches; Spain has its beaches and islands, such as Mallorca, Menorca and the Canary Islands; and Switzerland of course has its mountains and stunning scenery—a nature lover’s paradise.

 

It will be interesting to see—as the vaccine takes shape—how each country progresses. No one can predict what will happen, and things are ever-changing, but I believe these trends give us an idea of where things are headed.

—Corey Cook, Luxury Travel Advisor at Elli Travel and founder of Fifi+Hop Travel Blog

Poetry Inn—A Hidden Gem in Napa Valley

Not long ago Napa Valley had few luxury lodgings options. Auberge du Soleil pretty much had a monopoly on the market. Yet today, visitors looking to pamper themselves can choose between lux juggernauts such as Carneros Resort and Spa (formerly Carneros Inn), Calistoga Inn, Solage and Meadowood—to name a few. Continue reading

A Lofty Plan: The Story of Airbnb

It must have sounded like a crazy idea at the time but it’s since become the stuff of legend. Back in 2008, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were two ambitious entrepreneurs living in an expensive loft in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. Continue reading

pool at Baha Mar

Baha Marvelous

1,000 acres—3 Deluxe Hotels—2,300 rooms—100,000 square foot casino —8 Pools—30 Bars—42 Restaurants—$4 Billion in total cost. 

These are just some of the staggering statistics that accompany the newly opened, much ballyhooed, longtime-in-the-making mega resort Baha Mar in the Bahamas—which was famous long before it ever opened due to multiple bankruptcies, a revolving door of owners, and the now well documented, stutter-step fashion in which it was conceived and ultimately built. Continue reading

CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa

The moment you arrive at CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla, your body immediately begins to unwind as you bask in the sun, sand and sea. Boasting white stucco buildings and distinct, Mediterranean-influenced architecture, this beachfront property has it all, for families or a romantic get-away. Continue reading

Las Vegas Refresh

When gangster Bugsy Siegel opened the Flamingo in 1946, it was the first large-scale casino-hotel project on a quiet stretch of Nevada desert. Today, Las Vegas is anything but quiet, with massive casino-hotels stationed like giant soldiers on the world-famous Strip.

Continue reading

Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo, México, Opening 2021

Most of its 155 rooms will boast panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, enveloped by the surrounding jungle.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has announced a new luxury resort located in Tamarindo, Mexico. Opening in 2021 as Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo, México, the project will be located on a private peninsula along the Pacific Ocean. The area, known as “Costa Alegre” or “Joy Coast” is acclaimed for its picturesque beaches, lush landscape and unique topography.

“As we grow the Four Seasons portfolio in Mexico, this project in Tamarindo is the ideal opportunity to do so, offering our guests access to the natural wonder of the region, paired with Four Seasons renowned service and quality excellence,” says John Davison, President and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “

Rooms with a view

Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo will be located in a protected eco-reserve 25 miles north of the Manzanillo Airport. Most of its 155 rooms will boast panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, enveloped by the surrounding jungle and lush golf course. The contemporary architectural and interior design by the firms of Legorreta + Legorreta and Taller Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo will blend with the natural surroundings and showcase local materials and textures.

 

 

The Resort will be part of the 2,100 acre El Tamarindo master planned development featuring multiple beaches and private coves. The development will be built to take advantage of elevations ranging from sea level to approximately 120 metres (394 feet) above sea level, providing breath-taking views of the landscape, golf course and ocean. Accommodations are well suited to both adult travellers and those visiting with children.

Dining

The Resort will offer four dining and beverage venues, including an ocean view bar and restaurant, beach bar and grill and golf club restaurant. The grounds will also feature three pools, a full-service spa set amid a tropical forest and a fitness centre, young adults centre and lounge, water sports centre, tennis courts and 370 square metres (4,000 square feet) of meeting space. The highly acclaimed 18-hole, par 72, Robert Trent Jones Jr. and David Fleming designed links golf course will round out the amenities.

Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo will join a growing collection of Four Seasons properties located in Mexico, including Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, the recently opened Four Seasons Resort and Residences Los Cabos at Costa Palmas, and the recently announced Four Seasons Resort and Residences Cabo San Lucas at Cabo Del Sol.

Remote Learning at Four Resort Orlando

With millions of children going to school remotely this fall because of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is offering a “schoolcation” package.

“This new offering exclusively for our Resort guests will be both helpful to parents, as well as something really fun for kids to experience,” says Thomas Steinhauer, General Manager and Regional Vice President of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. “Many kids have been completing school work in their homes for a while now. A chance to mix up their learning environment, and combine school and playtime at the Resort, is sure to be a welcome treat and create a memory that will last a lifetime.”

Supervised schoolwork

The supervised schoolwork sessions will be held in small-group classroom settings, physically distanced with no more than six children per class. The spacious event rooms of Four Seasons Resort Orlando are the classroom setting, featuring airy and open rooms with a wall of windows for natural light, and a private terrace for outside break time.

Each student will have a dedicated desk area, physically distanced from the other students, and high-speed premium WiFi will be provided.

Supervisors oversee the study sessions, and they have experience working with children. With peace of mind, parents can then spend the day relaxing and vacationing on their own.

The supervised study sessions are available Monday through Friday beginning Sept. 14, 2020 for $50 USD per child for a half-day session or $100 USD per child for the full session including lunch. Reservations must be confirmed at least 48 hours in advance. The resort is also offering a special package through December 18, 2020, which includes a $200 USD nightly credit for stays in a guest room, or a $500 USD nightly credit for stays in a one or two-bedroom suite.

After school program

Once the schoolwork is done, children can take recess at the resort, which includes an island playground, a lazy river, waterslide and outdoor recreation activities and spots. Or, take a quick shuttle to experience the magic at Walt Disney World, which recently reopened.

For more information or to book your next “schoolcation,” visit the Four Seasons Resort Orlando website.

INSIDE PARK HYATT MALLORCA | 5 STAR LUXURY IN SPAIN

Perched on a hilltop overlooking the valley of Canyame, Park Hyatt Mallorca is a luxury hotel infused with local art and cultural heritage that offers amazing views, services and amenities. It features the splendid Serenitas spa, 3 swimming pools, 24-hour gym and several wonderful on-site restaurants.

 

 

The Park Hyatt Mallorca is on a quiet part of the east coast of the island — an hour from the airport – in the Cap Vermell estate overlooking Canyamel valley.

It is a five minutes’ drive from Canyamel beach with plenty more secluded coves and broad bays up and down the coast. Quint villages and historic towns such as Capdepera and Artà are a 10-minute drive away.

The hotel is an ideal base year round for all sorts of activities, including cycling, hiking, riding, fishing and watersport. Grab an electric scooter, offered by the hotel, and have a thrilling time exploring this exotic island.

The Rooms

The hotel’s 142 guest accommodations include 16 suites, ranging from 50 to 150 square meters, and feature upscale Majorcan style with furnished terraces. Spacious and elegant rooms and suites all include a large private balcony, free WiFi, and extra-large beds. The private bathroom comes with a rain shower and handcrafted soaps.

The Spa

Serenitas Spa offers a wide variety of treatments, which incorporate many natural elements from the island. The spa also features a sauna, sensory showers, vitality pool, and a hairdresser. It offers seven treatment rooms including couples’ rooms, sauna, sensory showers, vitality pool and an exclusive Quartz sand bed. Signature treatments are based on healing ingredients dating back thousands of years, and guests can select from a range of services incorporating the island’s minerals, herbs, fruits, salt and water including rosemary, pine, lavender, almonds, olive oil, citrus, and aloe vera. Guests can enjoy free access to Cap Vermell Country Club, located 750 feet from the property.

Food and Wine

Set on a village square, the Park Hyatt Mallorca’s restaurants include Balearic with Majorcan cuisine crafted with locally sourced ingredients, the Tapas Bar featuring dishes by a Michelin star awarded chef, Café Sa Plaça providing a relaxed bistro café experience highlighted with Majorcan artwork and award-winning pastries, plus Asia, serving authentic dishes from South Asia in a private villa setting. There is also 24-hour in-room dining available.

Summary

Park Hyatt Mallorca is a wonderful luxury retreat that reflects the style of a traditional Majorcan hilltop village with a selection of restaurants on a village square offering authentic gastronomic experiences, together with treatments based on the island’s minerals, and elegant event spaces.

American Splendor: New England’s Fall Foliage Trail

Now that the summer heat has given way to cooler temperatures, we can all enjoy the great outdoors without sweltering. Fall is the perfect time to spend an afternoon at the cider mill, go pumpkin picking for Halloween or hike up mountains. It’s closing in on peak foliage time in the Northeastern United States, arguably the best place to see the changing leaf colors. Continue reading

The Road to Middle Earth

In 2012, director Peter Jackson returned to Middle Earth for a new trilogy based on the works of beloved author J.R.R. Tolkien. An Unexpected Journey, the first installment in The Hobbit series, received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike, with many quibbling over Jackson’s decision to release the film in a controversial high frame rate format. Nevertheless, it helped spark a renewed interest in the real-life locations used in the film. Continue reading

Spain’s Other Coast

Europe has always been a popular destination for American travelers in the summertime. While flights to France, Italy and the United Kingdom can be pricey this time of year, Spain tends to be a bit cheaper. But instead of heading to the overcrowded beaches of tony Marbella or touristy Barcelona, take a detour to the northwest Basque coast. Here are my top-three reasons to visit San Sebastian this summer.

You Gotta Have Art
Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa (Guggenheim.org)

San Sebastian is home to a thriving art and cultural scene, showcasing the region’s unique history—the Basques are an ancient culture and vehemently independent. Throughout the summer, the city hosts music and cultural festivals galore. The 54th Heinekin “Jazzaldia,” the city’s jazz festival, happens the last week of July and is the longest running festival of its kind in Europe. Classical music concerts are held throughout August at the Musika Hamabostaldia. Film lovers flock to the region in September for the world-renowned San Sebastian Film Festival. Basque culture is celebrated during Basque Week in early September. If you love art, head to one of the city’s many museums, but don’t forget to take a side trip to nearby Bilbao, home to the Guggenheim museum.

Dinner is Served
Arzak (Trip Advisor)

Most of us who have tried Spanish cuisine stateside have encountered regional fare from Sevilla and Madrid. Basque cuisine is entirely different. Fish and meat are grilled over large coals, and hearty stews and bean dishes are extremely popular. The area is home to a large proliferation of Michelin–starred restaurants—second only to Paris—including Arzak, Akelarre and Mugartiz. For less chichi dining, opt for a cider house, which can be found throughout the region.

The Great Outdoors
Surfers at Zurriola Beach (San Sebastian Tourism)

While most visitors to Spain don’t do anything more strenuous than climb a cobblestone street to visit a historic site, for more adventurous travelers, San Sebastian offers a wealth of great outdoor opportunities. You can hike to the top of Monte Urgull or one of the other peaks or bike the surrounding hills. Surfers head to Zurriola, Fuenterrabia and Hendaia beaches for their great waves and relative breathing room.

Where the Figawi?

The Story Behind the Annual Boat Race Between Hyannis and Nantucket

In 1972, a friendly conversation among friends at Baxter’s Boathouse in Hyannis, MA escalated to a challenge to see who could sail their boat to Nantucket the fastest over Memorial Day weekend. This was the inception of Figawi Race Weekend, a Nantucket and Cape Cod tradition that has grown considerably in popularity since it’s informal start in 1972 thanks to names like Kennedy and Koch joining the competition in the 80s and beyond.

Continue reading

Beyond Pebble Beach

If you’re heading to the Monterey Peninsula to play golf (or watch the pros play), why not stick around after it’s over? Monterey County has a plethora of pleasures to offer from world-renowned golf courses to interesting restaurants to craggy terrain. Continue reading

Brooklyn Boutiques

For visitors to New York, it’s always been basically unheard of to stay anywhere but Manhattan. And if you did want to come up with an alternative home base, it would have been hard to do, considering how few hotels there were in any other borough. Continue reading

5 Fall Festivals, Coast to Coast

The kids are back in school, the days are growing noticeably shorter and a certain crispness has invaded the air. Hang on a second while we check the calendar. Yes, autumn is right around the corner. And with the changing of the seasons comes a slew of festivals up and down the East and West Coast—and in between. Continue reading

The Road Not Taken

An Interview With Matthew Robertson, Founder, Momentum Adventure

Matthew Robertson is founder of Momentum Adventure, a high end, boutique company specializing in luxury adventure travel. He usually is on the road not taken, or rarely taken by others. Continue reading

The Virginia: Boutique Luxury On The Jersey Shore

Plush furniture, fine linens and access to not only beautiful beaches but some of the best farm-to-table cuisine on the East Coast. If this isn’t the Jersey Shore you’re acquainted with, then perhaps you’ve watched a bit too much television. When summer’s warmest weather arrives there is no better time to plan a weekend jaunt out of the sweltering city, and no better small resort to rest your head than The Virginia Hotel. Continue reading

Business or Pleasure in Charleston

While big cities like New York and Chicago remain the big hubs for business travel—and Las Vegas is still the king of conventions—smaller, trendier cities like Austin, Nashville and Scottsdale, Arizona are seeing more corporate travel events.

It should be no surprise then that Charleston, South Carolina—named best city in America for three years running by Travel+Leisure—has a new resort that is attracting corporate travel events. Across the harbor from Charleston in Mt. Pleasant, The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina opened its doors in 2016 and has received rave reviews from the travel press.

Pairing good ole hospitality and luxury amenities, The Beach Club is part of the Leading Hotels of the World collection and is located just over the bridge and minutes away from Charleston’s historic district. And thanks in part to its sheer size, The Beach Club is able to offer custom experiences that few hotels in the Charleston area can match. With this amount of wonderfully manicured space—especially in a city like Charleston where most of the hotels are smaller boutiques—it is no wonder that corporate America has taken notice.

Exterior Arch Overlooking Pool

When companies plan their business gatherings in Charleston, they expect to get a taste of the city’s rich history, charm and coastal ambiance. At “The Beach Club” however, they will also experience a level of service that caters to the culture of their organization with customized events and tailored itineraries. The hotel’s commitment to hosting only one corporate group at a time ensures attention to detail and to helping each business achieve their end goals. Innovative meeting venues and nautical infused interiors are a refreshing departure from the typical hotel conference room. In addition, outstanding views of downtown Charleston, combined with views of the harbor and marina, the Arthur Ravenel bridge and USS Yorktown provide a backdrop for creativity, inspiration and extraordinary experiences for groups of all sizes.

Yorktown from Bridge

The new luxury 92-room hotel opened its doors in late 2016 and has already been recognized as one of the Best New Hotels in the World by Fodor’s – only one of four hotels in the United States to be honored with this impressive distinction.

Beach Club King

The resort’s waterfront location and proximity to the largest marina in the Carolinas, lends itself to an array of teambuilding activities and unique meeting venues such as private yacht excursions, sailing lessons, fishing expeditions and even meetings set among vintage airplanes on the USS Yorktown, a WWII aircraft carrier. Kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) are available at nearby Sullivan Island’s Beach as well as on-property waterfront yoga classes on the sandy beach or pier. Indoors, the views are just as thought provoking with a 30-seat private movie theater featuring surround sound and leather recliners—presentations and theater style meetings can be scheduled for a unique experience—and a stunning, specially-commissioned 20-seat table in the Palmetto Executive Boardroom. Larger groups can be accommodated in a variety of spaces including The Yacht Club, overlooking the Charleston Harbor Marina, the Atlantic Ballroom and the Commodore Room, all contributing to more than 40,100 square feet of total indoor and outdoor meeting space. The 30,000 square foot pool area at The Beach Club overlooks the harbor and is just as awe-inspiring as the luxe interiors. A welcome reception at the poolside Tiki-Bar or under the grand porch creates a bold beginning to several days of brainstorming and eleven private cabanas become a great reward for incentive trips and outstanding performance within an organization.

Yacht Club Meeting Room
Movie Theater

Outside of the boardroom, teambuilding activities embrace the local, southern charm of Charleston as team members take to the streets of downtown in the Charleston Chase Scavenger Hunt or participate in a game of Charleston Feud, where contestants answer questions about their host city.

Teambuilding activities, which vary by season, have included opportunities to embrace nature via the water on a sailing competition in the Charleston Harbor; the Veggie 500 where teams create a four-wheel racing vehicle—out of vegetables; and a bicycle building experience where the team builds a bike from scratch that is then donated to a local child or charity in need. For groups wanting to apply a little zen to their meetings, wellness opportunities include Beach Yoga and Meditation classes which help attendees maintain focus and shift their thinking for optimal output. Southern charmer, Suzanne Pollak, Dean of the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits offers keynote and breakout sessions on topics ranging from Etiquette and Entertaining to Culture and Wellness. Her unique style of storytelling keeps attendees engaged and on the edge of their seats, and equipped with valuable tools that apply to life both in and out of the boardroom.

Pavilion at Night

“The charm of Charleston, South Carolina has drawn national acclaim as one of the country’s best cities by Southern Living, Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler, to name a few,” says Oliver Rooskens, Managing Director of The Beach Club. The Beach Club takes this allure a step further with corporate meetings and retreats—offering unique services for the business traveler—including events in our private in-house movie theater, parties on the grand porch, poolside, overlooking the Charleston Harbor or even taking your boardroom meeting to the water via a private charter at the Charleston Harbor Marina—the largest marina in the Carolinas. We can arrange keynote or breakout sessions with engaging wellness and business etiquette experts who can even teach you how to host a Southern Cocktail Party.”

Beach Club Pool

Of course, any good corporate outing should include some non-structured time—some good ole fashioned downtime. And The Beach Club has plenty of options. From the 30,000-square-foot Tropical Pool and Deck, to the Tranquility Pool with Whirlpool, to Private Poolside Cabanas, the pool scene is on par with even the grandest big city hotspots. Those not in the mood for lounging can indulge in a bit of seaside competition on the private bocce court or some lighthearted fun on a life-sized chessboard. Or, they can take a mental and physical break inside the resort’s Estuary Spa, where massages, body treatments and facials provide a healthy dose of relaxation. Once you’re ready to explore, be sure to take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary trolley service and bikes to see the city. Alternatively, the Water Taxi, while a small fee, is the best ride into downtown Charleston. At night, head back to the hotel to enjoy a sumptuous seafood dinner at the Fish House, one of Charleston Living Magazine’s “Top 25 Restaurants in Charleston.”

Where to Stay, Play and Eat Gourmet in Bermuda

Stay:

Rosewood Bermuda in St. George’s on the north end of the island is steeped in history. Formerly known as Rosewood Tucker’s Point (the adjacent Tucker’s Point Golf Club has been around since 1932) when Rosewood Resorts took over the management of the 88-room Tucker’s Point in 2011 the new resort sits atop one of the highest hills on the northeastern end of Bermuda, next to Castle Harbour and with ocean views from almost every room and window.

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Rather than opt for a minimal contemporary look, Tucker’s Point remains true to its location with rooms decorated in a Georgian colonial look, complete with canopy beds, wainscoting and freestanding tubs. The resort has an impressive four pools (considering its relatively small size), including a 25-meter lap pool and another reserved for adults. Not so much a complaint as a caveat: while the resort has an enviably large beach (unlike many Bermuda properties), it’s a five-minute shuttle ride away. On April 1, Rosewood Bermuda reopened after a four-month, $25 million makeover. Formerly known as Rosewood Tucker’s Point, the reimagined resort welcomes guests with an elegant lobby anchored by a new bar and lounge, plus an atrium courtyard. The 92 rooms and suites are now residential-style retreats that reflect the island’s English colonial heritage. Dining-wise, the resort’s signature restaurant reopens as the Island Brasserie; A refreshed Beach Club features a restaurant inspired by the island’s fish markets (plus an updated bar and new luxury cabanas). Wellness junkies will appreciate a modernized Sense, a Rosewood Spa.

 

If some laps in the pool or splashing in the surf don’t constitute sufficient exercise, guests at the resort also have access to the Tucker’s Point Club. This 18-hole course was originally laid out in 1932 and then redesigned in 2002 by Roger Rulewich, former chief designer for Robert Trent Jones.  Greens fees start at $205 through mid-September and $225 after. What’s more, guests of Tucker’s Point also receive playing privileges at the renowned Mid Ocean Club, which consistently ranks among the world’s top 100 courses. Originally designed in 1921 by Charles Blair Macdonald, the historic course was enhanced in 1953 by architect Robert Trent Jones

 

The Reefs, a villa only resort in Southampton is also a great stay if you can afford it. The beloved fixture on Bermuda’s South Shore since 1947—and which Conde Nast rated #1 in the region (including Bermuda, Bahamas and Turks & Caicos) not long ago—is family-owned and operated by the Dodwell family, native Bermudians whose passion for island living and gracious hospitality has delighted generations of loyal guests. Nestled in a pink sand cove surrounded by Bermuda’s wind-swept limestone cliffs, The Reefs echoes the island’s enduring elegance, blending it effortlessly with a youthful, make-our-own-rules spirit that charms friends old and new.

 

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A less expensive alternative to Tucker’s Point and The Reefs, The Fairmont Southampton, right down the street from The Reefs is a great deal with a great location. If you can get by the size and color—affectionately known as the “pink elephant” due to it’s size (400 rooms) and light pink facade—the Southampton has a ton to offer at a very reasonable rate. Fairmont’s Private Beach Club is situated on one of Bermuda’s finest beaches, a secluded private cove with Bermuda’s signature pink sand.  The cove is somewhat protected from rough water due to a large rock just a short swim out (you can walk to it during low tide). It also happens to be an easy and convenient location to put on your snorkel and mask and see some of Bermuda’s beautiful fish. If you want a larger beach, the world-famous Horseshoe Bay Beach, a curved stretch of pink sand that connects to other South Shore Beaches, is just steps away. The Southampton also has two pools including a kid’s pool with a slide.

 

Of course, the most talked about resort right now in Bermuda right now is the newly built (2017) The Loren at Pink Beach. The first hotel built on Bermuda in a decade, The Loren has raised the bar among the island’s resorts with posh yet minimalist rooms and suites which bring a new level of elegance and style to the destination. This seaside resort embraces the clean and modern aesthetic of an urban boutique hotel resulting in a set of sophisticated retreats with endless ocean views.

 

 

Play:

Wide shot from back of new Tee on 16th hole of Port Royal Golfcourse

 

If you’re not staying at Tucker’s Point (and you’re not a member or don’t know one) then Mid Ocean is not an option. But many will argue that the prestigious Port Royal Golf Course is just as good—and easily as beautiful. Originally designed by famed course architect Robert Trent Jones in 1970, the Port Royal Golf Course of Southampton Parish underwent a $14.5 million refurb back in 2009. It now features resewn fairways and tee boxes, a new irrigation system and a grandiose clubhouse.  Although the course has incredible ocean views, at 6,842 yards, it is also Bermuda’s longest and perhaps most challenging course so beginners beware. (Non-members can book a tee time at Port Royal Golf Course up to seven days in advance. The course is public and open to all players daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.). But be prepared to pay hefty greens fees and book well in advance.

 

horseshoe_2

 

For a less highfalutin activity, and one that is completely free, the beaches in Bermuda are a top-of-the-list activity. Whether your beach time is of the more active nature (walks, swimming, frisbee) or the less active (sunbathing) there is no place on Bermuda more pristine to waste the day away than Horseshoe Bay Beach. Always ranked among the top beaches in the world, it is easily on par with the best stretches of sand in the Bahamas and Caribbean.  

 

Eat

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To say Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelson’s namesake restaurant Marcus’ in the Hamilton Princess Hotel is breathtaking would be an understatement. Arrayed with modern art from the hotel’s owners, including original pieces by Andy Warhol, Liu Ye and Nelson Mandela amongst others, the space is visually striking, The signature restaurant occupies the former Gazebo Room, once a grand ballroom, offering a central bar and views of the ocean. An open kitchen creates a show all in its own, with chefs creating Samuelsson’s specialty including Jerk Pork Belly, and tantalizing Fried Chicken & Waffles. Additional dishes pay tribute to Bermudian culture, such as Grilled Bermuda Onion and Fish Chowder Bites among others. The restaurant features a full beverage menu with signature and classic cocktails, a well-rounded selection of wine and beer, and a new spin on a local favorite, ginger beer-based Darker and Stormier.

 

mickey's

 

The only true beach bar and bistro on the island, Mickey’s Beach Bistro—or just “Mickey’s”—on Elbow Beach is loved by locals and visitors alike. Sip an island cocktail prepared by Bermuda’s best bartenders while listening to the waves break and gazing at the wide open Atlantic. Their eclectic menu and versatile wine list rounds out a great overall experience—a must stop while on the Island.

 

For cheaper eats, head to Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy (in Hamilton and in St. George’s) for what many—including Marcus Samuelson himself—believe to be the best fish sandwich on the island. The traditional Bermudian fish sandwich — deep-fried and served on raisin bread with lettuce, tomato, tartar sauce, coleslaw, and perhaps a touch of hot sauce and some sauteed onions — is one of the best fish sandwich anywhere.

 

Drink

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Bermuda is a unique island in that it has many of the characteristics of the tropical islands in the Bahamas and Caribbean but it is undoubtedly subtropical—it is on approximately the same latitude as the Carolinas. So while the peak season in August and September may feel balmy and lend itself to island (rum) drinks, much of the year is more temperate. This, combined with the fact that Bermuda is a British territory, steeped in British culture and cuisine, results in food and drink options that are just as much pub fair-oriented as they are beach bar.

 

A less formal option than Mickey’s, Sea Breeze, also located at Elbow Beach Resort and positioned just above the famous stretch of sand, is an open-air terrace, with stunning, panoramic views of Elbow Beach’s pink sand and the wide open, blue atlantic waters. It’s a wonderful spot in which to enjoy cocktails from the bar, an aperitif before dinner or drinks under the stars.

 

Over in the more bustling Hamilton Parish lies The Swizzle Inn, a landmark known as Bermuda’s oldest pub and favored by both locals and visitors. It also happens to be the birthplace of Bermuda’s original Rum Swizzle, the deliciously potent national drink made with Goslings Black Seal Rum, Barbados Rum, Triple Sec, pineapple juice, orange juice, Bermuda Falernum, and Angostura Bitters.

 

For more British style pub fair, head to the The Frog and Onion Pub which calls an old barrel making building home and is also attached to the Dockyard Brewing Company. This authentic British-style pub was created in 1992 by a Frenchman (Frog) and Bermudian (Onion), hence the name. The historic Cooperage, completed in 1853, was converted to five storehouses in the 1940s. With the pub serving great comfort food, it pairs perfectly with an ale from Dockyard Brewing Co., Bermuda’s only microbrewery. Featuring 5 different types of beers and ales, it is a favourite destination of locals and tourists alike who wish to sample artisanal beverages of exceptional quality.

 

 

 

 

 

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