Caribbean & Bermuda

Teeing Up in Bermuda

written by | Posted on May 1st, 2011

On an island renowned for its golf options, these upscale resorts and accompanying greens are par for the course.

st. georgesTHE PROPERTY: Grotto Bay Beach Resort may be a 210-room property, ranking it as one of the larger resorts in Bermuda, but with 11 cottages spread across 21 acres, it still offers clients an intimate, comfortable feel. The ambiance here is classic Caribbean, with brightly colored floral linens and dark wood furnishings. Meanwhile, high-end touches like marble bathrooms elevate the experience. If great views are of great importance, upgrade to an Ocean View Superior room, located high up on a ridge, offering the best ocean vistas.

THE GREENS: Grotto Bay can set up tee times at any golf course on the island, but the two nearest to the resort are Tucker’s Point, an 18-hole, par 70 course dating back to 1932 but redesigned by Roger Rulewich in 2002; and the Mid Ocean Club, an 18-hole, par 71 dating even further to 1921, but updated in the 1950s by Robert Trent Jones. Both historic courses are now private clubs, but guests of Grotto Bay are welcomed as temporary members. How to decide? The Mid Ocean Club is where you want to be if you want to say you’ve played a round in the footsteps of the likes of Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower; Tucker’s Point may not have quite as storied a history, but is known for its impeccably maintained grounds—so you won’t be able to blame that last shot on a bad patch of grass.

THE AMENITIES: Grotto Bay isn’t just a name; it’s a description of the resort’s grounds. Guests here can take a dip in either of two underground stone grottos, surrounded by stalactites—and that just happens to be a perfect beginning or end to an experience at the Nutra Spa, a full-service facility with golf-friendly treatments like a sports massage. At restaurants including the Hibiscus Dining Room or Palm Court dining room, clients can choose options from island cuisine to European fare. And for real island-style relaxation, there’s the private, pink sand beach, plus a pool and outdoor jacuzzi.

THE SCENE: Just a 10-minute drive away, the town of St. George’s is a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s said to be the oldest continuously inhabited English town in the New World. Visitors can still see buildings that date as far back as the 17th century, including historical sites like the State House, Bermuda’s first stone building; and St. Peter’s church, the oldest continuously inhabited Protestant church in the West. Guests also have the option to see Bermuda from the water aboard the Ana Luna, a 45-ft. catamaran that sails around the island, stopping for snorkeling and sightseeing.

THE RATES: Rates start at $195 per room per night.

southampton THE PROPERTY: Named the “#1 Resort in the Atlantic” by the Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards, The Reefs resort has all the ambiance of a colonial manor, set on limestone cliffs looking out to the pink sand beaches below. Each of its rooms, suites and cottages takes advantage of that view, with private patios and other outdoor spaces that let clients look out at the blue Atlantic horizon. Upgrade to a suite to enjoy spacious accommodations, some with rainwater showers, jacuzzi tubs in the bathrooms or private hot tubs on the patio. Cottages range from one to four bedrooms, with perks like wet bars and hot tubs.

THE GREENS: The golf industry seems to be in agreement: Port Royal is one of the Caribbean’s best. Accolades from Golf Digest and The New York Times have honored its Robert Trent Jones, Sr. design, with 18 championship holes spanning 6,842 yards—making it Bermuda’s longest course. As they play, clients will enjoy ocean views from nearly every hole, nicely offsetting the challenge of the sea breezes they’ll contend with as they take their aim. But not to worry if the Atlantic winds manage to undermine that perfect shot—golfers have the acclaimed seafood dishes at the club’s 64º restaurant, as well as cocktails and small plates at the bar.

THE AMENITIES: The La Serena Spa also tops many experts’ lists of the best in the region. Comprised of eight treatment rooms, a relaxation room with panoramic views of the Atlantic, and a full-service menu of massages, wraps, beauty treatments and more, this Elemis spa is perfect both for golfers and their companions. Guests can also take advantage of The Reefs’ bountiful drinking and dining destinations, including Royston’s, a supper club with a display kitchen and wine room; Coconuts, serving classic Caribbean dishes; and Ocean Echo, known for its Sunday brunch.