View from the veranda of an Ocean View Junior Suite (#610) at Elbow Beach Resort.
Travel Agent is fresh off a visit to beautiful Bermuda, where we stayed at the luxury resort Elbow Beach and visited two other high-end options suitable for couples and families alike. While they may differ in personality, they share the key attributes of a beautiful beach and plenty of space.
Elbow Beach Resort
By utilizing its space well, Elbow Beach Resort offers a real sense of place. During our recent visit, the resort was nearly full capacity and home to both families and couples. Yet, we never once heard a child splashing recklessly in the pool, we never fought crowds for a lounge seat on the beach and we always had our table of choice at the restaurants.
Simply put, the resort spreads itself over 50 acres and thus creates an environment where anyone can find peace and quiet even if the property is full to the max. There’s always a place to escape to, whether it’s finding one of the hammocks that are tucked away among the resort’s gardens or watching the sun go down while sipping a local cocktail at the resort’s pool bar (between 5-6 p.m. is the best time for that).
The Beach: We toured other impressive luxury resorts on the island, all of which complement each other well. But what set Elbow Beach apart from the other resorts we visited was its easy access to the beach. Whereas other resorts require a shuttle or a golf cart to get to a beach, Elbow Beach was a short stroll from our room. (Speaking of golf carts, the staff will drive guests around the resort in one, or they can opt for free horse-and-buggy rides.)
The main building at Rosewood Tucker’s Point overlooks one of the resort’s four swimming pools.
Accommodations: There are 98 rooms and suites here. We stayed in room #610, an Ocean View Junior Suite that offers both ocean and garden views with a king-size bed and flat-screen LG TV. The room’s veranda practically offers guests their own backyard. The best feature of the room, like many at this resort, was its easy access to the beach and close proximity to the resort’s main swimming pool, spa and fitness center.
More Rooms Coming: During our stay, Travel Agent had the opportunity to sit down with Ed Burns, the owner’s representative of Elbow Beach, and learned of the hotel’s plans to add 35 new rooms that are expected to be its new highest room category. There are about 130 rooms in the main building of the hotel that have been closed off for some time, says Burns. There are 70 in the front of the building and 60 in the back. He says the plans call for wiping out the 60 in the back “because who wants to look at the back of a building” and then converting the 70 rooms in the front into 35, which would create huge, 800-square-foot rooms overlooking the ocean.
Spa and Fitness: The Spa at Elbow Beach is impressive. There are six private treatment suites, including four singles and two couples rooms. The couples treatment room is what truly made the experience. We were escorted to a large room in the back that received ample sunlight and had a soaking tub adorned with red rose petals; two treatment beds and a day bed to lounge on while sipping a glass of champagne.
We went with the Oasis treatment, which is a simple, basic massage. But if your clients are a bit more adventurous, the spa offers an array of unique offerings from its Aroma Stone treatment, which uses heated stones to generate energy and create a sense of balance and calm, to its Thai treatment, which does not use oils or lotions and requires the guest to remain clothed as there is constant body contact between the therapist and the guest.
The fitness center is modest but offers all the amenities one would expect from a gym including ample space, free weights, complimentary headphones, fluffy towels, a good sound system and plenty of TVs. Also, most of the treadmills and bikes offer views of the gardens and partial views of the ocean.
Restaurants: Classic island dining is infused with modern elegance at the resort’s four restaurants. From tender steaks and fresh seafood dishes at Cafe Lido to cocktails and Spanish tapas on the resort’s open-air terrace at Sea Breeze, the property has a great range of dishes.
Duplex suites at the Fairmont Southampton offer guests plenty of space in which to luxuriate.
Mickey’s Beach Bistro, the island’s only restaurant situated directly on the beach, was our favorite spot for lunch or simply an afternoon cocktail. We had a juicy burger and washed it down with a cold Heineken. For dinner, the best place we ate at on the property was Cafe Lido. The earlier clients get there, the better, because the restaurant is surrounded by large windows and offers sweeping ocean views, so it’s best to dine while it’s still light out. We would suggest any time before 8 p.m.
Contact: Agents looking to make special requests for clients should contact Rehanna Palumbo ([email protected]), director of sales and marketing for the property.
Rosewood Tucker’s Point
Travel Agent also had an opportunity to tour the very elegant Rosewood Tucker’s Point. Here are some highlights from that visit that agents can use to hook in some affluent families or couples looking to live it up in Bermuda.
Rooms: There are four categories of rooms here and five categories of suites. We were told one of the most popular of these—since the family market is very strong here—is the Two-Bedroom Villa Suite. Overlooking Castle Harbour, these suites occupy three independent buildings separated from the Manor House. Each consists of a living room and two connecting deluxe bedrooms. The living room has a wet bar, shower bath, dining table and a sitting area with fireplace.
The sofa converts into a comfortable queen bed for added sleeping capacity. The bedrooms feature teester beds and walk-in closets. The living room and bedrooms open onto expansive balconies furnished for al fresco dining and relaxing with waterfront view of Castle Harbour. Villa Suites are accessed via the 77 steps of the Castle Harbour Grand Staircase.
Although none of the suites were available for us to see, we did see and were quite impressed with room #11, a Poolside Deluxe Room. There are eight of these rooms at Rosewood Tucker’s Point and they each come with a private poolside cabana at one of the hotel’s four swimming pools. Two pools are located at the property’s main building and the other two are located at the hotel’s private Beach Club. Agents should note that the Beach Club’s Sur Mer restaurant is the only dining option at the hotel that is exclusively for guests.
Spa: The property’s Sense spa has eight treatment rooms including one couples room. It offers everything from massages and facials to manicures and pedicures. But perhaps the spa’s most interesting amenity is its TAG shower, a special shower with 18 shower heads hitting every inch of your body. Salon services are also available for advance bookings.
Dining: There are three restaurants here including The Point, which offers international cuisine made from fresh local ingredients and Sur Mer, simple al fresco dining overlooking the beach. We dined at the elegant Italian restaurant, Sul Verde, where we were attended by at least three servers and feasted on “Mare E Monti” (bacon wrapped angus tender-loin, grilled jumbo shrimps, Tuscan cabbage, garlic butter sauce). The ambience here is classic, complete with dimmed lights and a fireplace.
Contact: Agents looking to customize a trip for that special client, should reach out to Hotel Manager Paul Telford ([email protected], 441-298-4000).
The Fairmont Southampton
Boasting the largest guest rooms in Bermuda, The Fairmont Southampton complements the other two hotels we visited in that it has a good mix of business and leisure travelers.
Rooms: The Fairmont Southampton has 593 spacious accommodations, including 11 junior suites, 23 one- and two-bedroom suites, two split-level duplex suites, and two penthouse suites. In addition, there are 74 rooms on Fairmont Gold, an upscale lifestyle experience offering luxury accommodations, service and amenities, including private registration, a private concierge, plus an exclusive harbor-view lounge where clients can enjoy complimentary breakfast each morning, afternoon tea and canapés every evening.
Spa: The Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Southampton, frequently named “Best Spa in Bermuda” in readers’ polls, is perhaps one of the hotel’s strongest selling points. Clients can cleanse and rejuvenate their body with deep heat, hydrotherapy and massage. Even the most discerning spa enthusiasts will enjoy everything from a workout in the hotel’s fitness center, which offers views of the South Shore, to a round of sweat therapy in the hotel’s sauna and steam rooms, to a pampering in the property’s salon or simply relaxing amid the property’s well landscaped gardens.
Dining: There are eight restaurants at the resort including the very popular Waterlot Inn, which is housed in a large traditional Bermuda cottage and winner of the AAA Four Diamond award. This is perhaps the ritziest dinner clients can have on island and usually calls for the male to wear a jacket and tie and the woman to wear a formal dress. For more of a casual dining experience, there’s the beachfront Ocean Club. This is where we dined. The food was excellent (try the tuna tartare) but the views of the beach and water, especially if you’re lucky enough to catch a rainbow as we did, put this dining experience over the top.
Golf and Meetings: The resort is also home to Turtle Hill Golf Club, arguably the most popular course in Bermuda. Ranked one of the top-five par-3 courses in the world by Golf Magazine, Turtle Hill is suitable for golfers of all skill levels. For the business traveler, there are six meeting rooms located in the main lobby. Three of these can be turned into one big ballroom.
Contact: Agents should direct any queries about the hotel to Karen Corburn ([email protected]), director of travel industry sales.