Bermuda Trip Report

Sep 7th, 2007, 08:29 PM
  #1  
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Bermuda Trip Report

Took a quick 3 day 4 night trip to Bermuda for our 10 year anniversary. Primarily picked Bermuda because we could not take more time off and the flight from Newark gets you there in a couple hours. Let me preface this by saying that I did not have very high expectations because we generally like off the beaten track kind of places such as Eleuthera/Virgin Gorda etc. I was quite pleasantly surprised.

The fligt from Newark was a bit delayed taking off but got us there by 11am. We had booked our stay at Pompano based on research on this site and trip advisor. I guess my first choice was Reefs but they were completely booked as it was high season. We would have prefered to reserve a deluxe oceanfront room but could not cause a four night stay is required in high season. They gave us a superior room. The description on the website states that the rooms are on the hillside with ocean views. Pompano sent a taxi driver to pick us up at the airport. He was very informative and gave us a mini tour of the island on the way to Pompano.

The drive to the hotel was Very scenic. I was not expecting such beauty. The houses are Gorgeous. The colors so pretty and the towns so cute and well maintained. Bermuda is unlike any other island we have visited. The locals take great care of their houses/lawns and have a very decent standard of living. I saw no signs of poverty. The poeple (including our taxi driver) seemed to have deep pride in his country. My understanding is that most folks have two jobs, are very busy and there is very little crime in Bermuda. The roads are vey well maintained. Did I mention the scenic drive. We passed the town of Hamilton and then the South Shore beaches. You can see most of the beaches from the main road and what a sight it is. More on that later.

The drive to Pompano was about 40 minutes and with the tip cost about $50. We were greeted by Fahmy at Pompano. She was extremely friendly. Gave us a brief tour of the hotel/pool/lobby/restaurants etc and requested that we have lunch while our room was being cleaned. First the views, when you look out you will be amazed. The lobby/pool/restaurant area are up on the hillside and the views are spectacular. The beach was smallish/cove like but the water is sooo blue and clear. The water is very shallow and calm (no waves - perfect for young kids). The lunch was not impressive (limited selection) and tasted ok. By the time we were done our room was ready and the manager took us up to room 55. Its on the hillside and the view is really nice. The walk up is a bit steep and there are several steps but views from everywhere you turn. Laying in bed we could view the ocean unobstructed. The point being, Superior rooms have great views. We were on the lower floor and were quite happy and my guess is that the upper floor views are probably even better. Let me mention a little about the staff here. Tripadvisor has many folks raving about the staff. I completely concur. Everyone from the reception staff to the bartenders at the pool side bar and the restaurant staff were very very friendly/accomodating etc. Always smiling and ready to help. I have never experienced such great service from every staff member of a hotel in the past.

The first day we decided to enjoy Pompano. Decided to go down to the beach and eat dinner at Cedar room. When we went down to the pool they were out of towels. The bartender gave us a free drink for the inconvinience. Once the towels arrived we went down to the beach. It was empty except for us. A few drinks and we decided to go back to the room. After a quick nap it was dinner time. Our room rates included a full dinner and breakfast. For dinner the hotel has an exchange program with Cambridge Beaches and the Reefs. The dinner was a 5 course dinner at Pompano (salad/soup/appetizer/main course/dessert. The food was pretty good and the selection was decent. (5-6 main course items to choose from lamb/fish/steak/pasta etc). I thought the main course was good but not great. Presentation of the food was very good. Dessert excellent. We enjoyed our dinner. They had a dj for nightly entertainment but we decided to hang out in one of the many outdoor patios. Great first night.

The second day we decided to explore horseshoe bay and some of the other beaches. Breakfast was excellent overlooking the water. The hotel drives you to the bus stop and you take the number 7 bus. You tell the driver and he will let you know where to get off. Very efficient transportation system in my opinion. The 7 bus generally comes every 15 minutes or so. Horseshoe bay was packed with the cruiseship folks. Not our thing at all. Way way too many people. I was told that the cruise ships depart on Friday and so Fri/Sat are the best days to go to Horseshoe Bay. There is a little cove on the right of the main beach where you can just stand in the water and see fish swim by. Cool but crowded. We walked left past the main beach and there are several smaller beaches (Chaplin and Stonehall Baybeach). Very scenic and not crowded. More our thing. The sand was pink. There are lots of huge boulders scattered in the water and on the beach. Reminded me of the Baths in Virgin Gorda. The waves were a bit strong but we had a fabulous time. Great photo opportunity so make sure to take your camera. After a few hours we hiked back up to the main road and took a bus to Hamilton for some shopping. Again did not think I would want to shop on vacation but there are some nice jewelry stores in town. E B Aubrey had some nice items at reasonable prices. Many designer stores such as fendi etc. My husband found a watch that he could not get his hands on in the US at Crissons in Hamilton. He was smiling the rest of the trip. Back at the hotel, few drinks (our preferred drink for this trip was the rum swizzler) and more beach time at Pompano. The water at Pompano was sooo calm. Great to just relax in after a tiring morning. We had requested reservations at Cambridge Beaches through the exchange program and they were able to accomodate us. Cambridge Beaches was a 10 minute taxi ride from Pompano. The hotel looked ok from the outside. Its not up on a hill and does not have the views of Pompano. The food however was really good. Better than our dinner at Pompano in our opinion. Service was also very attentive.

Our last full day we decided to visit Elbow Beach in the morning (we were torn between Warwick long bay and elbow but decided on elbow since warwick seemed more like the beaches we had visited the day before). The same bus #7 took us to Elbow. Make sure you take the public entrance to the beach. There are several hotels on Elbow beach. Elbow was nice. The area around the public entrance was not crowded. The hotel areas to the far left and right seemed more busy. The water was beautiful and the beach very wide but did not have the scenic rocks we saw at Chaplin. We then decided to go over to St Georges Parish. We checked the ferry schedule. There is a ferry from hamilton that stops at the naval dockyard and then goes on to St Georges. We took a quick cab ride to hamilton and then walked over to the ferry. These ferries are first class. Huge with large picture windows/AC and a snack bar. Nothing like the ferries we took in the BVI or bahamas. The cost is a few dollars very reasonable. Again the views from the ferry were memorable. The ride to St Georges is about an hour or so but well worth it. The town is soo quaint. The alleys so cool. There are many quiant galleries/shops/cafes etc. Felt like we were in some gorgeous european village. We spent some time walking through town, hiked to the unfinished church (pretty) and then walked past to Tabacco Bay. The views were nice. Some more walking and we were at Fort St Catherine. Doing all this in an afternoon was hectic but so worth it. My husband kept raving about the golf course. An 1 1/2 later we were back on the ferry to Hamilton. Later that afternoon a bit more beach time at Pompano. Tonight we went to the Reefs for dinner. The Reefs is a spectacular hotel. Similar to Pompano with the lobby area high up on the hillside and I think the views even more gorgeous. However I felt the atmosphere to be a bit stuffy. Not our style. The food was really good (better than both cambridge and pompano in my opinion but my husband disagrees, he thought Cambridge beaches had the best food) but I think the service was a bit lacking. Maybe we were just spoilt being at Pompano. If you eat at Coconuts (we could not as we were on the exchange program) they can set your table on the beach. Seemed very romantic. Much later we decided to walk down to the beach, enjoy our cigars, listen to the waves.... Really memorable evening. The taxi took forever to come but we did not care since the patio/lounge area overlooking the water is so spectacular.

The last morning we packed and took a hobbie cat out on to the water. Saw lots of kids enjoying the water toys at Pompano. I think we will be back when our daughter is a bit older.

In summary a great trip. Perfect place to celebrate an anniversary. Very romantic (I think its the combination of great views, friendly people, really good restaurants, variety of things to do, and efficient transportation that make Bermuda so special in my opinion). I am so glad we decided on Bermuda.
mnag is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 08:46 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,246
Thanks for the great trip report! We love Bermuda and haven't been in a few years. We last stayed at the Reefs and agree that the food/atmosphere there is great!

glad you discovered bermuda!
girlonthego is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 04:33 AM
  #3  
 
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What a wonderful report, thank you so much for posting it. I am headed to Pompano in a few months and this just further whets my appetite. Happy anniversary.
cmcfong is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 05:39 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 729
What a wonderful trip report. Bermuda
is like no other "caribbean" island--its
a sophisticated little gem. We stopped in
to see Pompano in July--the water colors
are stunning in that area. Horseshoe is
a zoo on cruise ship days for sure!!!!
Thanks for posting.
penny is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 05:53 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Thank you so much for the interesting report. We'd considered Bermuda about seven years ago, and ended up going to Sanibel. I'm always looking for convenient flights from EWR, and I think we'll reconsider Bermuda. Sounds wonderful!
IRabbit is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 10:01 AM
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Hi mnag. I was so pleased to see that this report was from you. Believe it or not, I've been looking into Pompano for a couple of years now (I even bought a guide book last year). Pompano just looks lovely and I was so glad to read your raves. I also love the convenience of leaving out of Newark and I've always found the airline prices to Bermuda on the cheap side. We'll make it there some day. Thanks for posting and I'm glad it was such a great trip for you.

caribtraveler is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 04:34 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Thanks for such a nice trip report. My sister lives in Bermuda and my brother in law is a taxi driver. It is great when we go because we get to go to many places that the tourists don't know about. I enjoy getting to see my Bermudian friends and family each time I go. So glad you had such a nice time.
bhonoreh is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 06:13 PM
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I love when you get better than expected-so glad that happened to you!

I haven't been to Bermuda in 15 years-I'm wondering how much has changed. In those days, we had Horseshoe Bay all to ourselves-but 1/2 the fun for me are the little hidden coves.

so glad you had a nice anniversary-makes me want to go back there!
blamona is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 07:55 PM
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So glad you had a nice time. Don't you just love mini getaways like that? It's always hard to leave after just 3 nights, but it always seems to do wonders for my mental health to be down there, however briefly. Thanks for posting!
ejcrowe is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 03:46 AM
  #10  
 
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bhonoreh, are you willing to share some of those secret places with your pals here?
cmcfong is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 02:19 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,330
Wow - What a wonderful trip report! You seemed to be able to relax and also squeeze a lot into a few days. I have not been there yet, but it's definately on my short list... I am so close to it being from NC, but there are no direct flights!! Reading your TR definately makes me want to go soon.
bankbabe is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Bankbabe, I think USAIR does a seasonal service direct from CLT to BDA.
cmcfong is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 04:56 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,594
Thanks for the informative trip report.

Bermuda has never been on my go to list, but after reading this report (and it sounds like your similar view on the island pre-trip) I am considering it for the future. Thanks!
mah1980 is offline  
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