Sunshine, shopping, and swizzles in the North Atlantic.
A two-hour flight from many East Coast U.S. cities, Bermuda makes weekend getaway dreams come true, but the island has enough shops, restaurants, pink-sand beaches, and championship golf to please travelers for longer.
Virtuoso’s Terrie Hansen, senior vice president of marketing, recently returned from the island with a list of favorite places.
Shop on Front Street, the main thoroughfare in Hamilton, where you’ll find local boutiques like Alexandra Mosher Studio Jewellery and department stores like A.S. Cooper’s & Sons mixed in with popular retailers like Britain’s Marks & Spencer and the American brand Vineyard Vines, filled with official America’s Cup apparel.
In the capital of Hamilton, pastel-colored, British colonial-style buildings house custom-designed shoes at Della Valle Sandals. The Italian owner and cobbler is originally from Capri and you can choose the heel height, colors, straps, and bling.
Local artist Barbara Finsness arrived in Bermuda 1981 – find her designs (such as hand-embroidered towels and pillows, plus tableware and ceramics) at The Island Shop. There are three locations in Bermuda, but I shopped at the main location at 3 Queen Street in Hamilton.
The best store on the island for affordable T-shirts and souvenirs is Flying Colours. Family-owned since 1937, this charming two-story shop flies 12 flags from around the world in their front window – you can’t miss it.
Eat & Drink
For sustenance beyond the hotel, Portofino’s ambience (and pizza) channels northern Italy, with shuttered windows, brick walls, and hanging lamps. We loved it so much that we ate there twice! Laid-back Swizzle Inn is the place to go for a rum swizzle, one of Bermuda’s unofficial national drinks. Try Hog Penny in Hamilton, one of the oldest pubs on the island, for casual British and Bermudian favorites.
See & Do
Ranked among the world’s best public golf courses by Golf Digest and named Bermuda’s finest course by the New York Times, Port Royal Golf Course features 18 championship holes over 6,842 yards. It is the longest and most picturesque course in all of Bermuda.
Take a scenic ferry ride from Hamilton to the Royal Navy Dockyard for fun shopping, dining, and historical sites. Finish the day, like we did, with a round of mini-golf at Bermuda Fun Golf, which has a great open-air bar for the adults.
Located in the heart of Hamilton, the 400-room Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club has beautiful views of the harbor and a private beach club – with kayaks, lounge chairs and an open-air restaurant – just a short drive away. It is a five-minute walk to Hamilton’s vibrant shops and restaurants. The hotel’s modern art collection features pieces from Jeff Koons, Banksy, Andy Warhol, and more. See it all on the hotel’s guided art tour, held every Saturday at 10 am.
Don’t miss chef Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant, Marcus, at the hotel. It’s one of Bermuda’s best restaurants, with gourmet food and spectacular views. There is live music several nights a week, making it a lively after-dinner spot.
Top photo: Getty Images/Sarah8000.