According to historians on the island paradise of Bermuda—celebrating its 400th birthday this year—visitors have been showing up at Cambridge Beaches since the days when traveling to the ever-popular retreat was only by water. Later came seaplane service, then propeller-driven planes. The reward at the end of a sometimes arduous journey was not only an impossibly beautiful setting but a blissful escape from everyday pressures and stress.
Now that guests can easily hop a direct flight from many cities, the reward is happily the same. And they’re just as likely to leave refreshed and recharged. Maybe even transformed.
Then and now, new arrivals tend to catch their collective breath at the first sight of storied sands pink-tinted as a sunset, crystalline waters layered turquoise to sapphire to indigo, and tangled tropical gardens ablaze with blossoms. In their numbers are dignitaries and celebrities who quietly come and go, secure in the staff’s discretion.
Sprawled across a 30-acre peninsula in Somerset on Bermuda’s west coast, Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa is a 94-room cottage colony, each cottage boasting a private patio that looks out toward a garden or the Atlantic. Like the rest of Bermuda, Cambridge Beaches is in the pink, its cottages and spa pretty in pink with white trim, wrapped in rich foliage and riotous flower beds.
While each cottage shows off individual decor, a typical scenario is a spacious bedroom/sitting room accented with tropical print fabrics against cool white walls. Furnishings are ample and attractive, including a plush king bed and a coffee table large enough to accommodate a meal for two. (No matter how distant you may be from the kitchen, room service orders arrive promptly for white-cloth setup indoors or on the patio.) Within handy reach: a refrigerator and coffee maker, radio and CD player, telephone and Internet access.
A large walk-in closet/dressing room is adjacent to an equally generous marble bathroom with double sinks, deep-soaking tub and separate shower.
A trio of new hillside suites sport even more luxury…with a noticeably sensuous vibe. Picture a spa bath with whirlpool tub, and a private terrace with its own plunge pool.
Inviting as the accommodations are, no one remains indoors long in fair weather when they can be stretched out on a choice of four perfect, private beaches tucked into palm-fringed coves, or splashing in the bayfront infinity pool with its own tumbling waterfall and secluded tiered decks ideal for sunning.
Cambridge Beaches, in fact, is up to its oleanders in outdoor fun, from snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, kayaking and fishing, to play venues—tennis courts, a croquet lawn, a putting green—scattered across the resort’s rolling landscape. Bicycle and moped rentals aid getting around.
Perhaps nowhere is the luxury component more sumptuous than in the restorative environs of the Ocean Spa and the Aquarian Baths. Housed in a 2-level, 10,000-sq.-ft. facility, the spa treatment suites stretch across the lower level, a serene oasis where guests relax in the European-trained hands of resident pros. Twosomes will relish the lengthy list of treatments designed for the spa’s couples’ suite, right up to a 6-hour program that features a deluxe picnic.
All this is assuming that guests can tear themselves away from the upper level, home of the Aquarian Baths. Its centerpiece—a seductive pool wrapped in lush plants with pristine white pillars supporting a retractable sunroof—could easily serve as a set for an ancient Rome epic starring Sophia Loren.
Equally enticing: the array of dining options. Star of this show is the Tamarisk Room, with indoor and terrace seating overlooking Mangrove Bay. Recognized as one of Bermuda’s best, the Tamarisk Room serves savory breakfasts and dinners in elegant but informal style, with evening music.
In fine-weather afternoons and evenings, Breezes—an alfresco seafood market restaurant—serves up fresh-from-the-waters wonders along with stunning sunsets. A typical day’s options from the market: salmon, Bermudian rockfish, jumbo tiger shrimp.
Not to be overlooked for lunch and dinner is the casual spot called Shutters, stretched alongside the resort’s eye-popping, multi-level infinity pool and backdropped by sailboats skimming across Mangrove Bay.
While the top-rated charms and coddling staff may tempt guests to remain on the premises, the appealing and accessible lures of Bermuda—a mere 22 miles long and scarcely a mile wide—beckon visitors to explore. Advise clients to check in with the concierge for details on the various tours available as well as the complimentary shuttle to the bustling capital of Hamilton, action central for sophisticated shopping, dining, and bar-hopping. Also on tap is a minibus ride to the Royal Naval Dockyard ($5).