Rate these Bermuda hotels

Old Mar 2nd, 2004, 05:38 PM
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Rate these Bermuda hotels

My wife and I are traveling with our 15 month old daughter to Bermuda in April... how would you rank these hotels?

Ariel Sands
Elbow Beach Resort
Grotto Bay Beach Resort

We're looking for a place with nice open grounds, nice pool, a restaurant, and beach we can walk to. Because of our daughter's age we don't plan to travel around the island much (we did that a few years back), and just plan to stay put and relax.

Grotto Bay is the only one that shows up on the "Fodor's Choice" list. I haven't found much written on the other two.

nmarler is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2004, 04:51 AM
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Also check out the hotel and user reviews on frommers.com and tripadvisor.com. Both are great resources in addition to fodors. My top choices out of the ones you mentioned are Elbow Beach And Ariel Sands. It depends on what you're looking for. Elbow Beach is a lrge, full-service resort. You'll have everything you need on site, but larger resorts often lack the intimacy, charm and personalization of the smaller hotels. Elbow Beach is still a wonderful and popular hotel,is great for families and has a wonderful beach. Two things, though - check with the hotel to see if they will be doing renovations in April (due to Hurricane Fabian). Not sure if they're completed yet. Second, Bermuda in April is likely to be a bit brisk for swimming. June would be better. Ariel Sands is also a great resort - more of a cottage colony type. It has more of a unique Bermuda atmoshere and is more quaint and personal due to the small size. Also check about the renovations as it just reopened. Grotto Beach is a fine choice, but the beach is not the best (see Frommers review).
Old Mar 3rd, 2004, 06:13 AM
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Bosco said it all so well with very accurate descriptions! I would go with either Elbow or Ariel Sands, based on your personal choice. Years ago we tried The Grotto, I did not like the beach at all!
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 06:07 PM
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Stayed at Grotto Bay a couple of years ago. If you stay in an Oceanview or Oceanfront room you will be just steps away from the beach. We liked being able to quickly pop in our room, since there was a small fridge we were able to save on drinks and snacks. The beach is on a calm bay, which is obviously a plus with the baby. The pool is nice and there is a snack bar as well. We always enjoyed their restaurant (Palm Court), which is casual. The grounds are very, very pretty. The bus stop is at the entrance to the resort. Hamilton is a good 20 minutes away, but St. George's is only 10 minutes. I know you are planning on staying put, but if you feel like getting out a bit (which is one of the best things about Bermuda), it would be nice for a stroll and you could pop into the grocery store there and pick up a few things if you want while you're walking around. I haven't been to Ariel Sands or Elbow.
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 01:15 PM
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Elbow Beach has a great beach, excellent restaurants and a wide range of accomodations. They are on the bus line if you decide to tour.
Ariel Sands is a cottage colony and very posh. Excellent spa and lovely rooms, so so restaurant IMO. Big draw seems to be that Michael Douglas has an ownership interest in the property.
Grotto Bay is out near the airport. A short taxi ride into St. Georges, a very long haul into Hamilton.
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 02:25 PM
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Ariel Sands' restaurant has a new chef, and name Aqua! Its very very good! we had lunch and dinner there in July. Formally it was called Calabash ( I think).
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Old Mar 6th, 2004, 08:03 AM
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Grottobay was a lovely property. It's little beach on the sound was clean & sweet, but didn't have the grandeur of the South Shore oceanfront. If $ are a major consideration, Grottobay will do nicely. Easy walk to the Swizzle Inn. One of the major bus routes starts & ends there ---- pulls right up to the lobby door. Lots of blooms & palms. Very breezy.

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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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I have stayed at both Grotto Bay (2 years ago) and Ariel Sands(last year). Grotto Bay is more affordable but has a great little beach on very calm waters. Grotto is much larger, the buildings are 3 stories and about 6-8 rooms across, I think there are 8-10 buildings on site. Grotto's property is very nice, spread out and lots of roaming around room, including exploring the caves. Ariel is smaller, only 50 rooms or so, divided mostly into single story buildings of four units. The grounds are also nice with a great little beach and salt water pools as well as a fresh water pool closer to the main building. I thought Aqua (at Ariel) had great food with an asian fushion flare. I only ate breakfast at Grotto, which was great. I cannot comment on Grotto's dinner, but their menu looked more mainstream. The rooms are bigger and nicer at Ariel, hence the price, but both properties offer a nice view.
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