What to Do in Bermuda

At the moment, traveling is, well, a lot. There are loads of (semi stressful) things to consider, like your destination’s COVID-19 transmission rate and the safety precautions being taken into account by that dreamy hotel you’d like to book. But after a year and change of going absolutely n-o-w-h-e-r-e new, it’s understandable if you’re itching to plan a trip.

Enter: Bermuda, the perfect place to visit right now AKA the most confusing phase* of the pandemic to date.

I was lucky enough to visit Bermuda in early August, and I wanna share my itinerary highlights with you before my tan totally fades. You ready?

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One thing before we dive in: You’ll notice that I don’t recommend where exactly you should stay, and that’s because I’ve never stayed in a Bermuda hotel. My husband’s parents are residents (my hubs spent his middle school years in Bermuda!) so although I’ve visited a ton, I can’t personally vouch for any hotels. My guess is that most of ’em are pretty damn wonderful, so you should book the one that best fits your budget (things can get pretty pricey in BDA!).


The Pandemic Protocols

Bermuda is taking COVID-19 very seriously. It has to—it’s a tiny island (only 20 square miles!) without the healthcare infrastructure to support a significant outbreak. Within three days of your arrival, you have to take a PCR test, and then once you land, you have to take another test (this happens in the airport—luckily they make it very easy!) and quarantine at wherever you’re staying until you get the results—which they say could take up to 48 hours, but mine came through in less than 12. Then you have to take a third test on the fourth day of your trip (and on the seventh and fourteenth days, if you’re staying that long).

This ^ plan assumes you’re vaccinated. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, you have to quarantine upon arrival at a designated “Quarantine Hotel” at your own expense for 14 days. You can read up on all of the island’s COVID-19 protocols here.

The reason I’m taking a sec to break down these logistics is because while, yes, getting your nose poked three times in less than a week is mildly inconvenient, it also makes your vacation feel extremely *safe.*

How You’re Getting Around

As a tourist of Bermuda, you aren’t allowed to rent a car (and fun fact: residents of the island are actually only allowed one car per household). If you’re a daredevil (not me), you can rent what locals call “a bike,” also known as a motor scooter/moped. The thing is, being a British territory and all, Bermuda traffic = driving on the left side of the road. Attempting to stay upright on a two-wheel vehicle while also remembering to “keep left” and contending with way too many roundabouts is not my personal idea of a good time. Which is why I’m a Twizy fangirl.

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Twizys are electric go-kart-esque cars with two cockpit-style seats and four wheels, and they are SO FUN TO DRIVE. There are charging stations all over the island, including at most of the big hotels, and Current Vehicles, a Bermuda-based Twizy rental company, has an easy-to-use app that helps you locate the nearest place to plug in. Current even offers an on-demand, contactless service via their app, which lets you locate the nearest vehicle (which will soon include their newest model, the Citroen Ami) and reserve it for as long as you need.

Download Current Bermuda

Our cute lil clown cars

Rosa Heyman

twizy

View from the backseat of the Twiz

Rosa Heyman

What You’re Eating

Yes, yes, of course the beaches are beyond beautiful in Bermuda (that pink sand rumor? It’s real) but the food is also top-notch. Bermuda is famous for a few specific concoctions—namely, the dark & stormy (Goslings black rum + ginger beer, which you must have at Swizzle Inn, the oldest pub on the island) and the fish sandwich, which features a huge hunk of fried fish (probably wahoo or snapper) with some kind of tartar sauce or coleslaw on a slab of cinnamon raison bread.

The best Bermuda fish sandwich I’ve ever had is from Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy, a takeout spot in North Shore Village. The sandwich is HUGE, but you’re gonna want to have the whole thing to yourself, trust.

art mel's fish sandwich

She’s beauty and she’s grace

Rosa Heyman

art mel's spicy dicy

Locals’ favorite lunch spot

Rosa Heyman

Another must-visit spot is the Lido Complex at Elbow Beach, home to three restaurants: Cafe Lido, Mickey’s (which is currently closed due to hurricane damage), and (my favorite) Sea Breeze.

I love Sea Breeze for its menu and also for its vibes. I’ll start with the ambiance. The terrace overlooks an expansive beach, so the panoramic views are beautiful, and they play live music several nights a week, meaning the whole place turns into a party after the sun sets. And now for the ::chef’s kiss:: food. There’s sushi ✔️ pizza ✔️ and tapas ✔️✔️✔️ (think: Focaccia, tuna tartar, that sort of thing).

sushi and pizza

Sushi!!! And pizza!!! 

Rosa Heyman

martini and hand roll

And martinis!!!

Rosa Heyman

If you want to ball out, then you need to make a reservation at The Loren, a luxury hotel at Pink Beach. As you can see, it is very ugly here. Ugh, what an eye sore:

the loren

Hawkins International PR

The Loren is home to two restaurants, the casual Pink Beach Club that offers poolside fare like burgers and crab cakes, and the more upscale Marée Lounge, where I was lucky enough to have an exquisite meal as part of their summer guest chef series.

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During my visit, chef Nina Compton (you might recognize her from Top Chef, NBD), the chef/owner of the James Beard Award-winning New Orleans restaurant Compère Lapin, served a multi-course pescatarian meal (with wine pairings, drool).

poached maine lobster, cassava gnocchi, turmeric broth

Poached Maine lobster, cassava gnocchi, turmeric broth

Rosa Heyman

soursop panna cotta with local mulberry preserves

SourSop panna cotta with local mulberry preserves

Rosa Heyman

Last spot you have to visit while in Bermuda: 1609 Bar & Restaurant at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club. I know I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but the sweeping views of the harbor at this restaurant are unparalleled. If your crew can never agree on what to eat, this is a good place for you as the menu has a little bit of everything: Fish tacos, veggie pad thai, Korean barbecue chicken wings, etc. Everyone will go home f-u-l-l.

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What You’re Doing and Seeing

Cliff jumping at Admiralty House Park! I take back what I said about not being a daredevil. This is literally the most fun I’ve had all summer (last slide):

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For all my lil history buffs, this park on Bermuda’s north shore was where the British Royal Navy used to hang out and launch cannons and whatnot. As a result, there are tons of secret passageways and caves that you can explore after jumping into the turquoise water. You’ll def feel like a local hanging out here.

Getting facetime with Yayoi Kusama and Picasso and Jeff Koons is probably not what you had in mind while on a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic, but plot twist: The Hamilton Princess Hotel has a *phenomenal* art collection. Seriously, the Met is shaking.

In just the 30 minutes I spent wandering around the lobby and through the halls, I encountered works by Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Ai Weiwei, Julian Opie, Andy Warhol, and Damien Hirst, to name only a few. And the coolest part is that very few pieces are behind any red tape. The owners of the hotel encourage guests to get up close and interact with their collection.

andy warhol

Ya boy Andy Warhol

Rosa Heyman

andre saraiva

Ya boy Andre Saraiva

Rosa Heyman

If you don’t book yourself a spa treatment at the Rosewood Bermuda, I will literally be mad at you. Yes, it’s definitely a splurge (facials start at $300, massages at $210, and manicures at $135) but you’re on vacation! And you’re worth it!

I booked a cedar warming massage—a treatment unique to the resort—and got so blissed out by the end of my 90-minute session that I nearly canceled my return flight to the states. Here’s where you chill out when you’re all slicked-up post-massage:

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Okay, and last but certainly not least, the beaches! Every beach in Bermuda is beautiful, full stop. The water is some of the clearest, softest, silkiest H2O you’ll ever experience in your life, and the sand truly is a delightful shade of pink. If you have time during your trip, you should absolutely go to more than one beach. Here are some of my faves:

  • Horseshoe Bay Beach
  • Elbow Beach
  • Coral Beach
  • Tucker’s Point
  • Shelly Bay
  • Tobacco Bay Beach
    horseshoe bay beach

    Horseshoe Bay Beach

    Rosa Heyman

    coral beach

    You can’t really go wrong visiting Bermuda at any point in the year, but according to U.S. News, the most popular time to head to the island is from May to October—and you should know that temps can drop down to the low 60s in the winter months, which is less than ideal for beach excursions, IMO. So book your trip ASAP and don’t forget that I’ll be mad at you if you don’t treat yourself to a massage. 😉


    Getting vaccinated is the most important step you can take right now to protect yourself from COVID-19. If you’ve gotten the vax but you’re waiting for your friend to get jabbed before booking a trip together, here’s a guide on how to talk to your vaccine-hesitant loved ones.

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