More than 600 miles north of the tropics, Bermuda is not where you go for guaranteed hot weather in January, but it more than makes up for that in so many ways. For starters, it’s beautiful, with pink beaches, dramatic seascapes, and a pastel-hued capital (Hamilton) that could not be more charming. The island is remarkably British, too, when you consider that it’s farther from London than Maine. It follows, then, that of all the islands in the Caribbean region, this is the one where you’d most likely dress for dinner. Gentlemen, consider a blazer and a neatly creased pair of, yes, Bermuda shorts.
Golf is huge here, with nine courses designed by the likes of Robert Trent Jones and George Blair McDonald. No wonder the annual finale to the PGA season, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, takes place in Bermuda. These courses are so popular that golfers are advised to book up to 60 days in advance.
Tennis is big in Bermuda, too. Many visitors use the eight courts at the Government Tennis Stadium in Pembroke Parish because the facilities are protected from the wind. (Players are obliged to wear proper tennis attire here; this is, after all, Bermuda.) Three of the five courts at Elbow Beach—whose spa, 98 rooms and suites, and other facilities have just been renovated—are lit for night play. The Fairmont Southampton has six spiffy Plexigrave courts; parents can play or take lessons while the kids—who stay and eat free—are tended to in the Lenny’s Loft program. Speaking of Fairmont, The Fairmont Hamilton Princess’ Bermudiana House features 113 handsome, newly designed guestrooms.
Many honeymooners and couples who are courting without racquets stay at Tucker’s Point Resort and Spa. (Although Tucker’s Point has just 88 rooms, it also has a championship golf course.) The Grotto Bay Beach Club, another favorite with couples, offers midnight swims, romantic dinners, and the remarkable new Spa in Prospero’s Cave. Inevitably, you’ll rent a moped to zip around this lovely island, and you’ll end up walking around the shops in historic Hamilton. What to buy? Fine British wool and cashmere garments at The English Sports Shop.
BEST TIME TO GO: November, December, and April through July
FUN FACT: Bermudians observe Good Friday by flying kites getting there:
GETTING THERE: Delta flies from Atlanta, Boston and New York (LGA) to Bermuda
ENTRY DOCUMENTS: Valid passport and roundtrip airline tickets
CURRENCY: Bermudian dollar
MUST-TRY LOCAL FOOD: Bermudian fish chowder at Freeport restaurant, near King’s Wharf
BEST BUYS: Shops on Front Street in Hamilton sell high-quality British wool garments
INFORMATION PLEASE: Bermuda Department of Tourism—bermudatourism.com