This Mandarin Oriental property trails behind its parent company's world-class finesse, but there are many highly appealing components that make Elbow Beach worth a stay. Foremost is its proximity to the beach, even if that means crossing a long series of lawns. In fact, these forced cross-campus walks give the property a breezier feel than that of the Fairmont Southampton, the island's other outsize upscale resort. Elbow Beach closed its main building at the end of 2009
and now markets itself as a "downsized, more intimate resort." All rooms are tucked away in cottages dotted through 50 acres of lush gardens. The resort's five restaurants have something for everyone, and there's pool-front service. The spa is the most superlative in Bermuda because of its pervasive sense of tranquillity—it's here that the Mandarin touch is fully realized.