Bermuda: Pink-Sanded ParadiseWords by Victoria Abbott Riccardi
Having gotten engaged on Bermuda, I always knew this sub-tropical paradise of coral pink beaches, warm turquoise waters and candy-colored cottages exuded romance. After a recent visit, I was reminded what a perfect place Bermuda is for getting married or celebrating a honeymoon.
For starters, this 181-island archipelago in the Atlantic offers easy access from the U.S. – less than two hours by air from most East Coast cities and approximately six hours from Los Angeles. Numerous historic sites, museums, shops and restaurants dot the island, along with stunning golf courses and beaches with reefs for swimming and snorkeling. You can use U.S. dollars to get around and the gracious locals speak English (Bermuda is a British Commonwealth). Plus, the island has several stunning resorts, including The Reefs Resort & Club and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s, Elbow Beach.
“Compared to the Caribbean, Bermuda has an entirely different feel,” says The Reefs’ Resort Manager David Dodwell Jr., whose family owns this 62-room retreat on a private pink-sand beach in Southampton Parish. “There is this old-world British influence here that you see in dress (men wear shorts and knee socks) and traditions, like cricket matches and afternoon tea. We have gorgeous natural scenery and then there is Hamilton, which is very cosmopolitan, thus offering high-end shopping, restaurants and pubs.”
For destination weddings, it’s hard to rival The Reefs’ circular deck at Caso’s Point, which extends out over the azure waters making you feel like you’re floating over the ocean as you exchange vows. Purple-rose sunsets and fragrant rosemary and lavender bushes add to the romance, which honeymooners can experience dining on the small seaside deck at Coconuts, famous for its ruddy Bermuda Fish Chowder, fresh-caught grouper and a Dark and Stormy cocktail made with spicy ginger beer and local Goslings rum. For other dining options at The Reefs Resort, Ocean Echo offers white-cloth dining and Royston’s features burgers and pizza.
The best place for pre and post-nuptial pampering is the resort’s La Serena Spa, a tranquil oasis with luxurious body treatments and seaside views. Relax in one of the Point Suites, complete with spa-like bathrooms leading to outdoor patios.
For couples eager to spread out, Elbow Beach is an ideal venue with 98 rooms set on 50-acres of lush gardens in Paget Parish. “We do weddings from two-to-250 people and we can do larger, but always want an indoor back-up space in the event of rain,” says Sophie Dier, Director of Communications. “We have done amazing weddings on the beach with a feast table for 40,” she adds, noting the prime months to visit Bermuda are May through October, which tend to be dry and sunny. Regarding accommodations at Elbow Beach, book Bird of Paradise, a private cottage with its own beach access. For those looking for some alone time, the Spa at Elbow Beach offers exquisite couples treatments in a private suite with a soaking tub for two.
After you’ve been pampered, Lido offers fine dining with temptations like lobster Champagne bisque, chilled seafood, steaks and chops. Mickey’s Beach Bistro & Bar is also delectable and specializes in casual, candlelit suppers on the beach.
While it’s tempting to stay at the resort, head to the old Railway Trail for coastal strolls, the highest point on the island, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, for superb island views, and Crystal Caves, where an average of two couples get engaged each week among the azure pools, stalactites and stalagmites. Then there is the chic town of Hamilton and the cobble-stoned streets of historic St. George, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For terrific steaks and local seafood in a historic, waterfront setting, don’t miss Waterlot Inn in Southampton. Finally, don’t leave Bermuda without visiting an arched stone moongate, a unique architectural element found all over the island (and at both resorts) that newlyweds traditionally walk through for good luck.
When it comes to tying the knot or celebrating your new union as a couple, Bermuda offers the perfect setting. Brimming with natural beauty, posh resorts, friendly locals and petal pink beaches, this island is one of the most romantic spots in the world. It will leave you more in love than when you came and send you off with a lifetime of special memories.
Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): The Reefs Resort & Club (1st & 2nd) & Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (3rd & 4th).
This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2014 issue. You can order a copy here.
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