Coco Reef Resort
3 Stonington Circle, off South Shore Rd., Paget, PG 04, Bermuda
In the prime location of the highly desirable Elbow Beach, this hotel may be outdated, but you'll probably be too busy admiring the gorgeous views to let it bother you. The panorama from the oceanside pool terrace is dazzling and many of the rooms are right on the beach. Coco Reef is quite a small and simple hotel, and you have to be prepared for the 1980s throwback decor, including a mirrored reception area, wicker furniture, and kitschy floral quilts. The two peach-color buildings, tucked away behind Bermuda College, don't look that inviting either, especially as one of them is uphill. But it's a good pick as long as you don't expect the height of luxury for the high price tag.
YOU SHOULD KNOW While the hotel is conveniently located between Hamilton and the South Shore beaches, it's a good 8-minute hike down to the main road to catch a bus. If you don't like walking, ask the front desk to arrange you a motorized scooter rental.
Bright, colorful, and distinctly island-themed, featuring matching floral bedding, cushions, drapery, and lamp shades.
Clean but old and slightly clinical, with fluorescent lighting and tiled floors. At least there's here's a hair dryer and plenty of lotions and soaps from Gilchrist & Soames.
Some might say ornate, others might say tacky--all would agree that this lobby is anything but subtle. Lit by an enormous sunroof, the circular room features marble and mirrors, statues and urns. There's even a fountain!
The pool is large, as is the pool deck, and the ocean views are absolutely spectacular. With the beach only a few steps away, guests have plenty of options for fun in the sun.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in the Café Coco dining room and out on the Mediterranean-style terrace. The food is a bit pricey for what you get and menu options are limited; luckily, the views make up for it.
The continental breakfast is expensive and ordinary. Stock your mini fridge with morning snacks from the nearby grocery store.
The La Vista Bar, which opens at noon, offers a selection of sharable appetizers to enjoy alongside island-inspired cocktails. You can also get service down at the beach or at your poolside lounge chair.
Buses run frequently from the nearby South Shore Road. You can also rent a scooter from Oleander Cycles, located less than 15 minutes away by foot.
One of Bermuda's only authentic diners, Paraquet Restaurant (11-minute walk) has been serving inexpensive, home-style staples for over 50 years. Check out their codfish and potatoes breakfast--offered on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday--and be sure to ask for a slice of their famous lemon meringue pie. Don't let its petite size and out-of-the-way location fool you--Bistro J (9-minute drive) offers an outstanding prix fixe dining experience. The menu changes daily and always features the freshest local produce and seafood.
Robin Hood Pub & Restaurant (13-minute drive) is a well-worn watering hole for sports, trivia, and drinking enthusiasts. Another favorite is Flanagan's Irish Pub (9-minute drive) on Front Street. The bird's eye balcony offers a great view of Hamilton Harbour and is the perfect place to indulge in an extra-large frozen cocktail.
WHY WE LIKE IT
This quiet hotel is perfect for low maintenance travelers who don't need all the amenities; if you're happy with swimming, sun, and solitude, this could be your spot. Everything feels a bit dated, but hey, who cares? It's located right on Elbow Beach, one of Bermuda's prettiest.
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