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Weekend in Bermuda June 27-30 #28025
07/09/2014 02:41 PM
07/09/2014 02:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 874
Mississauga, ON, Canada
Southshore Offline OP
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Southshore  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 874
Mississauga, ON, Canada
My sister and I decided to have a weekend in Bermuda this year. We have done this before and felt it was time to go again.

We first went to Bermuda together in 1966, when I was 16 and she was 20. We have been many times since then. The island has changed a lot over the years but it is still one of my favorite vacation spots.

We left Toronto on Friday, June 27th. The flight with Air Canada left on time. We had paid for “preferred seating”, something I don’t usually do, but it was worth it for the extra legroom.

Some fun on the plane: the little boy in the row in front of us and his sister were flying for the first time. He felt it was necessary to give her a running commentary on what was happening so as we taxied out to the runway, he shrieked at the top of his lungs: “We’re getting ready to fly! Maddie, we’re getting ready to fly! We’re getting ready to fly!” Maddie said nothing. As the plane gathered speed, he marveled aloud at how fast we were going. Then, as we got airborne, he shrieked again: “Maddie, we’re in the air. Maddie, we’re flying, we’re flying!” Maddie: still not impressed. But everyone around him had a good chuckle at his enthusiasm.

The flight was smooth; the cabin staff was extremely pleasant. We arrived just after noon local time. The immigration line moved quickly and we were out of there in mere minutes. Weather was great, warm, sunny, a nice breeze.

We took a taxi into Hamilton, where we were staying at Rosedon Hotel again. This is my third stay there and my sister’s 8th.

The staff at Rosedon are extremely nice and remembered us from previous visits. One fellow remembered that I had been there with my husband in 2010.

The room was recently renovated, new floors, new bathroom, new flat screen TV on the wall. Very comfortable beds. A bottle of champagne in the room to welcome us. (We later drank some of this with orange juice for breakfast but not all.) We had a patio looking out over the pool and gardens.

The gardens at Rosedon are fantastic, beautifully planted and maintained. The son of the owner, who lives on site, is extremely interested in botany and has brought in many interesting varieties of plants, many of which are labeled. It seemed that everything was in bloom, including the Royal Poincianas, which were just glorious.

Our accommodation included breakfast every day and afternoon tea. Rosedon also provides lunch and light dinners, on request, and has an honor bar.

We didn’t bother to unpack before heading out looking for lunch. And here I must make a comment: When my husband and I travel, we are not big “foodies”, usually eating whatever is offered for breakfast and having lunch wherever we happen to be. We don’t often eat dinner (away or a home – just a light snack usually). But my sister is very much a “foodie”, so much so that all our dinner reservations for the weekend had been made in advance via e-mail. Therefore, there will be a fair amount of commentary on food in this report.

We decided on the Hog Penny Pub, just off Front Street, for lunch. This place has a great atmosphere and good food. I had lobster cakes followed by a spinach salad. My sister had grouper seasoned with black rum and ginger, like the “Dark and Stormy” drink. I had one of those to go with my food, followed by a plain ginger beer. My sister had a beer. Everything was very tasty and the service was excellent.

After lunch we set out to find Digicel, one of the local cell phone carriers. I bought a chip for my phone so I would have a phone to use on the island and also to phone home. The chip cost $20.00 and came with $10.00 of air time. I bought some extra time as I figured I would have to call home a few times. (I left my husband home with his daughter and her two teenage daughters. I figured he might have some questions for me from time to time, like how do I turn on the oven?)

Next we walked over to the ferry stop and purchased passes for the ferry and buses for two days.

Then we went to Miles Market just down the street from Rosedon. I bought some ginger beer and water for the fridge in the room, my sister bought some beer.

After unpacking, we had a brief rest before getting dressed to go out for dinner. Our reservation that night was for the Barracuda, a restaurant just upstairs from the Hog Penny.

We walked to dinner along past the Bermuda Yacht Club. We had originally planned to come for my sister’s birthday on the 24th but could not get accommodations. The island, it seemed, was fully booked due to the timing of the Newport Bermuda yacht race. On the Friday night, Goslings, the liquor folks, were having a reception at Barr’s Bay Park, right on the waters edge, for the yachtsmen and others. It was a beautiful sight to see all the yachts moored there, with all flags flying.

The Barracuda Restaurant was very busy, very noisy. We had table in the same area as bar. I had fried calamari with blue cheese mayo, followed by gnocchi and lobster. It was delicious. My sister had the beef sampler - filet, ribs, and bone marrow. I drank manhattans, she had gin and tonic.

For dessert we both had sticky toffee pudding with ginger ice cream. Amazing. The two men at the table next to us were working their way through the appetizer menu. While we were there, they had the foie gras, the scallops and then figs wrapped in bacon. It sounded like all were delicious. They then had the beef sampler with lobster and ordered extra marrow. The marrow must have been good but my sister did not eat hers.

After dinner, we walked back along Front Street to Rosedon. There were lots of people around, the island seemed to be quite busy.

Back at the hotel, tired after getting up at 4:00 a.m. to get to airport, we went to bed.

Saturday morning, we woke up to cloudy skies and pouring rain. We were not worried, however, as the weather changes quickly there. We ordered breakfast and ate it on our patio. You can call room service and order breakfast to be eaten in your room, on the front porch or by the pool. It arrives in about 5 minutes, “Breakfast of the Day”. You don’t get a choice but it was good every day we were there. French toast one day, fried eggs and bacon the next, scrambled eggs and bacon the third morning, along with tea, juice, toast, jam, warm muffins, etc. and the local newspaper. For me, any breakfast that someone else cooks is fine.

After breakfast, we took the ferry to the Dockyards. By this time, the clouds had cleared and the sun was shining brightly. On the ferry ride, we passed a lot of the Newport Bermuda yachts, a gorgeous sight. We also saw “Spirit of Bermuda”. We were told she is a replica of a Royal Navy sloop- of -war, from the 1800’s. She is 3- masted, Bermuda rigged. Her masts seem to slant towards the stern. Someone said this was a rake mast??? Not sure.

At Dockyards, we headed for Fun Golf. My sister said this was a fun course to play. I said O.K so long as it is not “goofy golf” with clown mouths and windmills. No, it’s not. It’s 18 holes, miniature reproductions of 6 holes on Bermuda courses, 6 holes on U.S. courses and 6 holes on English/Scottish courses. Really well put together. All made of artificial turf but different types to show greens, fairways, first cut, rough, etc. The sand traps are also made of turf but sand-colored. The replica of a Pebble Beach hole is right on the edge of the cliff, overlooking the ocean. One of the Scottish holes has that deep, deep bunker. There are water hazards with fish in them.

After each 6 holes, you find yourself back at the bar. Yeah! I made the mistake of having a can of Dark and Stormy before I started. Consequently my playing was bad and giggly. Thank heavens I bought a hat on the way there. The sun was really hot!

We stopped for a break after 12 holes; I had a soft drink, my sister stuck to beer. Seriously, she knows more kinds of beer than I’ve ever heard of.

After golf, we headed for the bus and rode along the south shore to Swizzle Inn for lunch. This is the newer Swizzle Inn, not the original out by the airport. It’s a nice place, however, nice atmosphere, very pleasant service.

My sister wanted a full pitcher of swizzles but I talked her into a half pitcher. I had Portuguese red been soup and Voodoo shrimp from the appetizer menu for lunch. Both were very good and not too filling, as I knew we had reservations for Lobster Pot for dinner. My sister had the fish sandwich with salad.

After lunch, we took the bus into town and did some shopping for my husband, step-daughter and the two granddaughters.

We had some time to rest before getting ready for dinner. I sat outside with ginger beer and my book. I swear I could go to Rosedon for a week and be happy just sitting by that pool with a pile of books to read. Heaven!

We briefly considered afternoon tea but really didn’t need anything extra to eat.

We went to the Lobster Pot for Dinner. This was another very busy place. We skipped the appetizer as I intended to have dessert here. I had a glass of prosecco; my sister had some kind of fancy beer. I had the mahi-mahi for dinner – not local but very good. My sister had the Bermuda Triangle – three kinds of seafood: fish, shrimps and scallops. Dessert was Bread Pudding. We had enjoyed this last time and it did not fail to please again this time around.

The service is good, the staff is pleasant and a lot of locals eat here. Usually a good sign

Afterwards, we walked back to Rosedon via the back streets and marveled at some of the new buildings that have been built in Hamilton.

Next morning, the skies were cloudy again and rain was coming down. We had our fingers crossed that it would clear up as, after breakfast on the patio, we had made plans to go to the beach. As I mentioned, we had planned to come for my sister’s birthday but couldn’t get reservations. My birthday gift to her was to be a day on Elbow Beach, with lunch on the beach and dinner at the Lido dining room in the evening.

Rosedon used to offer a free taxi to the public beach at Elbow. Now, they have a shuttle that goes to the beach at 11:00 a.m. and comes back at 3:00 p.m. They will also sell you a chit to get beds and umbrellas on the beach. I had seen these beds the last time there and was not impressed so we took a taxi early to Elbow Beach proper. I had been told it was $65.00 per person for two beds and an umbrella on the hotel beach. Not so, any more. For $50.00 ($60.00 if you need towels) you get two beds and a huge umbrella, exactly the same at the equipment on the hotel beach but just west of there, just past Mickey’s restaurant. You also get beach service – the waiters from Mickey’s who take orders from hotel guests will come and take your drink orders and bring lunch menus and food. It was really nice, much better that the previous arrangements that Rosedon had. You also get 10% off your bill if you eat at Mickey’s. Also, you can use the washrooms, showers, change rooms.

When we got there, the skies were still gray and we could see rain at the eastern end of the island. It drizzled a bit and then the dark clouds moved out to sea. By about 11:00 a.m. it was sunny and bright. Perfect beach weather.

We sat and reminisced about the times we had stayed at Elbow when we were much younger. We ordered drinks (ginger beer for me – beer for sis) then went to Mickey’s for lunch.

Again, great service, a beautiful spot to eat outside with views of the ocean. We both had chicken mango salad. No dessert, though, as we were trying to save room for dinner at the Lido.

After lunch, we got some more sun, had a swim then headed back to Rosedon. We skipped afternoon tea again.

After a rest (Boy, I’m getting old and lazy!) we did some packing as we were leaving next day, then got ready for dinner.

We took a taxi to Elbow again, down to the Lido. This is a gorgeous, gorgeous dining room. We had a table by the window, with lots of attentive staff, which, as I recall, was always the case at Elbow. I ordered a Manhattan, sis had gin and tonic, said she didn’t think this was a “beer” kind of place. I had caramelized scallops for an appetizer, sis had shrimp cocktail. I have avoided including prices so far (not sure if I should include them -maybe later), but for the shrimp cocktail, you ordered the number of shrimp you want at $7.50 a piece. They were enormous. We both had veal Oscar scallopine for the entrée, with prosecco to drink.

Dessert was crème brule. Everything was excellent. I really enjoyed it. We arrived there while it was still light but watched as it got darker with a great view of the beach and sea.

After dinner, we caught a taxi back to Rosedon. We briefly considered a drink at the Hamilton Princess but decided against it.

The next morning, we had our final breakfast on the patio. It promised to be a lovely day, sunny but with some of the humidity gone. Our taxi to airport arrived early, so he took the scenic route, a very pleasant fellow.

My sister had bought a Bermuda umbrella and it did not fit in her suitcase. When we got to the airport, a lady who worked for Air Canada, sitting outside when we got there, questioned whether the umbrella could be taken on board or whether it might be considered a weapon. She took it from us to look for box in case it had to be checked. She was gone a while, then came back with it wrapped in plastic. She said she had gone to check with security and that they would let it on board. She was a very, very helpful and pleasant lady, a local, and what I have come to think of as a true Bermudian.

After checking in and going through security, we did a bit of last minute shopping. Then it was time to fly home.

I love Bermuda, have from the first time I went there. It has changed, though. Tourism is no longer the most important item on Bermuda’s agenda and in many aspects of the island now, the big RI firms seem to have called a lot of the shots. My biggest fear is that one day the real, friendly, civilized Bermuda will get totally overtaken by the new, business-like Bermuda. I hope not.

A few comments:
The roads are generally clean, but I did see more litter along the roads this time than last.

The buses are still clean and on time and the drivers still have their names on a “shingle” at the front of the bus. However, fewer people getting on the bus say “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” and fewer still say “Thank you” as they get off.

People are generally friendly and greet you as they pass, including a young guy at the ferry stop who said “Morning, girls!” to my sister and I as he passed by. We laughed – we are hardly “girls” anymore, both of us old enough to be his grandmother.

Waterloo House, an old guest house on the harbor has gone, replaced by WATERLOO HOUSE, a combination office space and residence with 7 penthouses on the top floor. Just one more building that totally blocks the view of the harbor (And I thought the Waterfront Planning Board in Toronto was bad!)

The flowers at this time of year are spectacular. Oleander, bougainvillea, hibiscus, trumpet tree and Royal Poinciana. Everywhere.

We both agreed that it was a great weekend. Not sure when we’ll get to do this again. My sister is already planning her annual October visit with a friend, though.

My husband and I went there for our 30th wedding anniversary. Next year is our 35th wedding anniversary. Maybe I’ll start angling now for a trip to Bermuda.

Thought about this and figured maybe I’d put in some prices, just FYI:

Taxi from the airport to Rosedon: $35.00 plus tip
Taxi from Rosedon to Elbow Beach: $19.00 plus tip
Two day pass for the bus and ferry per person: $12.00
Lunch at Hog Penny for 2: $75.00 including 15% service charge
Lunch at Swizzle Inn for 2: $80.00 including tip - Note: They do not add on 15% service charge – just about everyone else does.
Lunch at Mickey’s on Elbow Beach for 2: $130.00 including 15% service charge
Dinner at Barracuda for 2: $200.00 including 15% service charge
(The bill for the two guys sitting next to us was $600.00 but they ordered a $240.00 bottle of wine.)
Dinner at Lobster Pot for 2: $200.00 including 15% service charge
Dinner at Lido for 2: $300.00 including 17% service charge.
Drinks on the beach at Elbow – 1 beer and 1 soft drink: $15.50 including s/c
Lido had a bottle of wine on the dessert menu for $2,220.00

What am I saying here? Well, I’m not complaining. Bermuda has never been a cheap holiday, I know that. Just wanted to give people some idea of what to expect if they go for the first time.

Cheers!

Sponsors
Re: Weekend in Bermuda June 27-30 [Re: Southshore] #28026
07/09/2014 03:18 PM
07/09/2014 03:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,124
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,124
Central Florida!
Thanks very much for the report! I've never been to Bermuda but one of these days, I will convince Eric to go. Any pictures??


Carol Hill
Re: Weekend in Bermuda June 27-30 [Re: Southshore] #28027
07/09/2014 03:22 PM
07/09/2014 03:22 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 7,460
Yonkers, NY
fabila Offline
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fabila  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 7,460
Yonkers, NY
Thanks for sharing. My husband and I spent our 10th anniversary on the island and visited several of the same restaurants you did. Lovely island.

Re: Weekend in Bermuda June 27-30 [Re: Carol_Hill] #28028
07/09/2014 05:05 PM
07/09/2014 05:05 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 874
Mississauga, ON, Canada
Southshore Offline OP
Traveler
Southshore  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 874
Mississauga, ON, Canada
I have quite a few pictures, from this trip and previous ones. Not very tech savvy, though, so I'll have to figure out how to post them......

Re: Weekend in Bermuda June 27-30 [Re: Southshore] #28029
07/09/2014 06:36 PM
07/09/2014 06:36 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,124
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,124
Central Florida!
You have to put them somewhere on the net, but once you do, easy to post a link or post images within a post.


Carol Hill
Re: Weekend in Bermuda June 27-30 [Re: Southshore] #28030
07/24/2014 10:53 PM
07/24/2014 10:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,149
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
Traveler
islandgem  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 13,149
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
That was a wonderful report and very accurate in all respects. We honeymooned in Bermuda 45 years ago and loved it then and still do! We have always felt it was a very "polite" island and upscale. Hope that doesn't change. It is interesting to note that there are NO CAR RENTALS on this island so busses and cabs are very prominent everywhere. Our last visit was two years ago so it is almost time to spend some time there again. Thanks again for your report; it brings back lots of good memories!




Re: Weekend in Bermuda June 27-30 [Re: Southshore] #28031
07/25/2014 09:28 AM
07/25/2014 09:28 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 327
swg Offline
Traveler
swg  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 327
I really enjoyed your trip report. It was nice to see one on Bermuda which doesn't seem to come up very often.

We were there on a cruise and have often said we'd like to go back and stay there for a week.

Sue

Re: Weekend in Bermuda June 27-30 [Re: Southshore] #28032
08/27/2014 11:32 AM
08/27/2014 11:32 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,614
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Offline
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RickinAtlanta  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,614
Woodstock, GA
Belinda and I are staying at Elbow Beach Sept. 15 - 19th! First time back in about 8 years but our 6th time overall. Definite places to re-visit are Swizzle Inn (thank god for taxis!), the Lobster Pot, downtown Hamilton, and of course Lido's on property. We'll use TripAdvisor to dine at one new place for dinner as well. That's how we found the Lobster Pot years ago. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/dine.gif" alt="" />


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