Destination spotlight: Bermuda
In so many ways, Bermuda stands alone. Geographically speaking, it’s by itself in the Atlantic, well to the north of the Caribbean islands it’s normally lumped in with. This position on the same latitude as the Carolinas means it’s not a year-round beach destination, but from May-November it’s right in the Goldilocks zone with high temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees. While it’s certainly not immune from hurricane season, Bermuda typically sees less action than the Caribbean or U.S. mainland.
That geography also makes it an easy getaway, within a couple hours’ flight time from the Northeast corridor. Leave in the morning and by afternoon find yourself stretched out a long white or a signature Bermudian pink sand beach. Hit the links at one of the main island’s — there are a total of 181 — many top-flight golf courses. Try your hand at sailing in the waters that have hosted America’s Cup races and last weekend’s Bermuda Sail Grand Prix. Fish for all manner of species in the clear waters off the beach, over the reefs or out in the deep sea. Or just get an eyeful of the colorful aquatic life by diving or snorkeling around the more than 350 shipwrecks offshore.
At around 75,000 residents, it’s the most populous of the British Overseas Territories, and its strategic position served as a launch point for British attacks during the War of 1812. Visitors can navigate the interesting history through ghost tours in St. George’s and exploring the Royal Naval Dockyard, which hosts historic buildings alongside shops, dining and entertainment.
Bermuda’s position makes it culinarily unique as well. The subtropical waters teem with wahoo and spiny lobster, and depending on the season you can find tart loquats, hearty broccoli, pumpkin and a Bermudian favorite, the onion. With so many sailors calling over the centuries, a mix of European, African and New World flavors have made their mark on the cuisine. Fish chowder with rum and sherry peppers is a staple and creole spices jazz up traditional English dishes. Luckily the Portuguese visited, bringing the fried doughy malasada with them. To whet your whistle, the quintessential Bermudian cocktail is the Rum Swizzle. There are standard ingredients, but each Bermudian you encounter will have a unique take on it. It’s a bold and complex way to savor the unique variety of Bermuda.
COVID entry protocol
One to three days before departure, complete the Bermuda Travel Authorisation process online which gathers important information for the island’s health and immigration officials; a $75 fee per traveller is required, which includes the cost of all COVID-19 testing in Bermuda. Only MasterCard and Visa are accepted. Each passenger must have a form completed regardless of age. NOTE: Children 9 and younger do not have to be tested at any point, and their Travel Authorisation fee is $30.
Visitors must take a PCR COVID-19 test and obtain a negative result no more than five days before arrival. The day of testing is day 0. This applies to adults and children aged 10 and up. Children who are 9 years old and younger are exempt and are subject to their adult travel companion’s quarantine. Children 10-17 must receive parental consent to be tested. If consent is denied, the young traveller must quarantine for 14 days on arrival. Test results must be entered as part of the online travel authorization process and be presented upon arrival in Bermuda.
Visitors without a pre-departure test will not be able to obtain Travel Authorisation and enter Bermuda.
Upon arrival, all travelers must undergo PCR COVID-19 testing at the Bermuda L.F. Wade International Airport. This applies to adults and children ages 10 and up. Children less than 10 years old are exempt from the PCR COVID-19 test.
Immunised Travellers from the United States and Canada must test upon arrival and head straight to their accommodation. Once arriving at their accommodation, they are invited to enjoy all amenities while awaiting a negative PCR COVID-19 result (typically, 24 hours or less). After arrival test, no restrictions on movement throughout the island and Day 4, 8 and 14 testing are still required.
Non-immunised Travellers are required to wear a Traveller Wristband for the first 14 days of their stay. Traveller Wristbands will be distributed during testing upon arrival. Travellers who do not wish to wear the wristband will be required to quarantine at their accommodation for 14 days.
Where to stay
Recently renovated, Rosewood Bermuda is the centerpiece of Tucker’s Point Club, Bermuda’s premier resort, golf club, and residential community. Gracing 240 beautiful coastal acres on the island, the award-winning tropical hideaway neighbors the estates of Tucker’s Town and offers breathtaking vistas of the ocean and sound. With 88 rooms and suites, guests feel they are part of an elite club, with access to private pink-sand beaches, as well as the island’s finest amenities. They can golf, sail the ocean blue, dive to shipwrecks, play a friendly game of tennis, or “spa” to their heart’s delight within this well-appointed setting.
The St. Regis Bermuda Resort
With its grand opening set for May 2021, The St. Regis Bermuda Resort is ready to stake its claim as the most exclusive and lavish development on the island. Indulge in signature body scrubs and facials at Iridium Spa. Satisfy your craving for steakhouse favorites at the renowned BLT Restaurant. And tee off on the 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed golf course surrounded by lush greens, turquoise waters, and sweeping views.
Hamilton Princess & Beach Club
Hamilton Princess, fondly known as the “Pink Palace,” has been transformed into a modern, urban resort. Updated features include an exclusive private beach club; three brand-new restaurants, including celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s signature venue, Marcus’ Bermuda; reimagined rooms, suites, and public spaces; and an extensive marina that accommodates any size of boat or yacht – all located within walking distance of downtown Hamilton. New as of 2016 is Exhale, the mind-body spa and fitness facility; fabulous retail space; and updated Gold Rooms and lounge.