A revival of classic Bermudian style
There’s a renaissance underway on the pink sands of Bermuda, and Elbow Beach Bermuda finds itself right in the thick of the resurgence.
A long-respected hotel that operated under the guidance of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group since 2000, the 98-room property elected to reopen as an independent resort in early 2014. And with that new outlook has come new life to the property. Sure, team members still burst with energy, but now their resort as a whole has a vibrancy to match.
Elbow Beach Bermuda’s campus is a 50-acre spread that starts at a main lobby atop a hill and gradually slopes down to the South Shore waves. In between those stops you’ll find lush lawns, hibiscus shrubs and clusters of rooms, suites and cottages.
You can call the Lanai rooms your standard offerings if you like, but there’s little about the 480-square-foot units’ panoramic garden views and flat-screen TVs that should be considered basic. The Oceanview rooms are a step up, in terms of their spectacular water vistas and added square footage.
Still, the property’s premier lodgings are suites and cottages nearly big enough for a class reunion. During our stay, in fact, we befriended a group of six adults having an informal get-together in the Bird of Paradise Cottage. The 1,200-square-foot unit had so much space that we could have easily doubled the number of people and not a soul would have noticed.
At first glance, it would appear as if adults were the only concern at the Bermuda hotel. The six-suite spa, which melds Asian and Bermudian techniques to the point of utter blissfulness, may lead you to think that way. And so might the Elbow Beach Tennis Facility, helmed by resident tennis pro David Lambert, that regularly organizes impromptu round-robin tournaments for guests.
But the tennis center holds classes specifically for young visitors as well. Also, when parents pay their daily resort fees, part of the cost goes to their child’s admission into the kids club, a place where those between the ages of 3 and 12 can do everything from join pirate-themed parties to throw weekly pajama jams.
The Dining and Drinking
Though executive chef Serge Bottelli and his team are probably too humble to boast, the barbecue chicken wings at Mickey’s Bar & Bistro could be the best on the island.
This marriage of tenderness and local flavors doesn’t stop with lunchtime appetizers, though. The culinary team’s dedication carries over to dinner selections at the boutique hotel’s Café Lido, where the kitchen prepares a grilled tuna and large prawn entrée that is so fresh, you’d think a fishmonger had just brought in the catch moments before you ordered. Thankfully, a similar gusto is applied by the team in charge of the sushi at Sea Breeze.
Of course, when you think about Bermuda, cocktails might come to mind before yellowtail sashimi. Sea Breeze caters to all of those indulgences and more, thanks to a roster of desserts (the coffee-based affogato is a sensation) and specialty drinks delivered in the most congenial setting possible. It’s no wonder why the open-air terrace serves as the Bermuda resort’s go-to spot for laughs and a light bite.