Baby, it's cold outside. So when my husband suggested we escape to somewhere warm for my birthday, I said "YAS PLEASE!" before he could even finish asking. Not only am I the kind of girl who's convinced the cold affects her ten times more than the average person, but I'm also the kind of girl who prefers an amazing life experience over material goods. On top of that, I'm the type of mom who wants to bring her kid along. So we decided to go to the beautiful island of Bermuda.
Simply because it's an exotic island that's roughly a 2-hour flight from NYC, making it the perfect distance for a long weekend trip and completely bearable for a fussy 3 year-old.
And above all, it's a freaking paradise! Seriously.
Crystal blue waters, pristine beaches with pink sand, idyllic pastel-colored homes with white roofs, manicured streets, low crime rates, and the friendliest most inviting locals ever, all make Bermuda a stress-free destination for visiting families. Because mama ain't got time to stress! She's here to get her R&R on.
Sounds too good to be true, right? It kind of is. To be honest, Bermuda is NOT cheap. Everything is ridiculously overpriced. But, so is that soy latte I've been drinking every morning for the past 10 years. Yup, that's a whole lot of...soy lattes. But that's why the word "splurge" was invented, right?
Where We Stayed
So we "splurged" (and by splurge I mean during off-season) and checked in at The Loren on Pink Beach located on the southeast side of the island, near wealthy Tucker's Town. Definitely got a double-take from the staff when we walked in with our high tops, beanies, and jogger pants. But overall, they were extremely sweet and super helpful.
It's boutique-like feel is perfect for those, like us, who prefer to avoid large, overrun resorts. Perched on a cliff with panoramic ocean views from every room, The Loren will instantly take your breath away and put you at ease. It was so calming that we even left our terrace door open every night and slept to the sounds of the ocean. H-e-a-v-e-n.
And the place has fantastic amenities including, a marble bathroom with a free-standing tub, two fantastic restaurants with delicious food and wine (one of which is fine-dining), an infinity pool, a separate heated kiddie pool, direct access to a private beach, 24-hour gym, on-site spa service, free wifi throughout the entire premise, and they even setup a pack n' play in our room for our daughter.
Yeah, pretty sweet. You could technically spend the entire time on-location. But we're explorers! And Bermuda is small enough to explore in 3 days. So that's just what we did.
Took a taxi to Hamilton, the center of Bermuda, and quickly learned that relying on taxis would add up since there are no car rentals on the island. So we purchased a booklet of Zone 14 bus tickets which are good for any bus and ferry rides on the island (bonus, kids under 5 ride free).
Took the ferry to the Royal Naval Dockyard where one can easily spend the entire day. Got to visit the National Museum of Bermuda, which houses actual shipwrecked artifacts found along the reefs of Bermuda. Even my 3 year-old was amazed by this! On premise, there was a cute museum playground and playhouse which was perfect for my daughter to let off some steam. And because it was literally on the same premise, we stopped to watch the dolphins get fed at Dolphin Quest. Not a highlight, but certainly interesting for a kid. Then we lunched across the way from the museum at The Frog and Onion Pub, a kid-friendly restaurant with a large arcade room in the back. After lunch, attempted some shopping at the Bermuda Craft Market but instead stumbled upon yet another playground which we had to visit. Had it been a nicer day, we might have even explored the crystal-clear lagoon at Snorkel Park Beach.
We decided to take the bus back because we thought it'd be a great way to see western side of the island. A long, scenic ride on an airy, clean bus was the perfect recipe for a toddler nap after a long day!
Weather was gorgeous which meant pool time after breakfast! After finally managing to get my daughter out of the pool with a little bribe, we set off to explore one of the island's natural wonders, the Crystal Caves of Bermuda. This was so cool and awe-inspiring. You have to climb down 150+ steps and walk over a water bridge to see the natural limestone formations but it's well worth the 30-minute tour and totally fascinating to a kid. Just make sure you hold on to your kid when they turn out the lights!
After the caves, we took the bus to Bermuda's oldest capital and historic Town of St. George, a quaint UNESCO World Heritage site lined with colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. Again, the bus ride knocked my kid out so we ended up wandering the streets for a bit and even did a little shopping. Had a late lunch at White Horse Pub & Restaurant where we got to enjoy the view of old ships and quacking ducks on the water. And if it were in-season, we would've stopped by St. George's Tobacco Bay to enjoy some drinks and snorkeling in it's calm, kid-friendly waters.
Of course when we got back, we jumped right back into the pool and even stayed there until the sun went down.
Today was a beach day for us and we decided to explore the southwest shore at Horseshoe Bay Beach. Took a taxi for this journey because a bus would've meant riding into Hamilton for a transfer. But the taxi ride turned out to be a delight because our driver was keen on giving us a personal guided tour of the island, filled with fun facts (see below).
A quick walk down the hill from the main road gets you to the wide, crescent-shaped beach where swimmers and surfers enjoy the waters. And just to the right, you'll find a small cove with calm, crystal-clear waters which is perfect for little ones. We even climbed a few rocks and explored a teeny cave. And trails nearby take you on an ocean-view walk towards neighboring beaches and parks.
At the end of the day, we caught the bus to Hamilton for a late lunch before heading back to the hotel for some pool time. And because the tide was low when we got back, we got to see the gorgeous and incredibly colorful Rainbow Parrotfish feeding on the reefs near the shore. Amazing!
1. Bermuda's iconic white stepped roofs are designed to collect fresh rain water since there are no reservoirs on the island, and therefore are kept immaculately clean.
2. Michael Douglas' mother is Bermudian and has many relatives on the island. He also has a home on the island which he often visits and is rumored to be redeveloping the beachfront property into a hotel.
3. There are over 300 shipwrecks surrounding the island of Bermuda most of which were caused by navigators being unable to detect and avoid the large coral reefs beneath the waters.