Treasures and Pleasures of Bermuda

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Examines the best of Bermuda with special attention to shopping, accommodations, and restaurants in Hamilton, St. George, and the Royal Naval Dockyard.

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ISBN: 1-57023-231-8

By Ron and Caryl Krannich, Ph.Ds

“With this book, you’ll be able to cut costs by flying to Bermuda from three U.S. gateway cities at a low fare; take a five-day cruise for as low as $499; find guest houses, villas, cottages, or apartments for under $150 a night; find the special package deals; get in touch with discounted accommodations on the Internet; save money by taking buses and ferries using discounted one-, three-, four-, or seven-day passes; rent a taxi by the hour for sightseeing by sharing the costs with a group; advice on skipping the expensive ‘bottled water’ in restaurants, and much, much more.”–TravelWorldMagazine.com

Welcome to one of the world’s most beautiful, exclusive, and romantic places that often redefines the notions of “travel” and “vacation.” For travelers who love colorful, clean, lush green, sunny, friendly, sedate, efficient, civil, laid back, and service-oriented islands – centered around inviting pink sand beaches, iridescent turquoise water, lush gardens, lovely sunsets, distinctive architecture, upscale shopping, fine dining, and numerous outdoor activities – Bermuda is the perfect destination.

Located only two hours by air from Boston, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Baltimore/Washington, DC, this small island offers top quality travel experiences. It’s a popular travel destination that has few of the tourist trappings found on most other islands around the world. Here travelers can enjoy themselves in a hassle-free environment that exudes great service and sophisticated island ambience.

Focusing on enjoying the best of Bermuda, two seasoned travel-shoppers uncover the unique treasures and pleasures of this alluring island. They take travelers on a special adventure to discover fine jewelry, watches, china, linens, clothing, art, antiques, and handicrafts found in the many shops and studios of Bermuda’s three major shopping urban centers – Hamilton, St. George, and the Royal Naval Dockyard. As lifestyle shoppers, they also detail the island’s top restaurants, accommodations, sights, activities, and entertainment.

Special highlights include:

  • 14 special shopping experiences
  • 16 ways to cut travel costs
  • 17 shopping tips
  • 36 best restaurants
  • 84 featured shops
  • 112 special sightseeing adventures
  • 177 photographs
  • 207 recommended websites

Jam-packed with travel tips, shopping rules, and contact information, this rich and reliable resource is the perfect passport to enjoying the best treasures and pleasures of Bermuda. 231 pages, black and white photos, and 8 pages of color photos.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

  1. Welcome to Beautiful and Predictable Bermuda
      Tiny and Tidy Upscale Islands

     

      Far Beyond the Caribbean

     

      Seductive and Hassle-Free

     

      Not a Typical Tourist Destination

     

      A Very Special Upscale Place

     

      Exclusive and Predictable

     

      A Prosperous Economy

     

      Getting to Know You

     

      Primary Focus on Treasures

     

      Many Appealing Pleasures

     

      Selecting the Right Place to Stay

     

      Products and Prices

     

      Organize for Bermuda

     

      Beware of Recommended Shops

     

      Expect a Rewarding Adventure

     

  2. Know Before You Go
      A Short Story of Bermuda

     

      Climate and When to Go

     

      What to Pack and Wear

     

      Required Documents

     

      Arrival, Departure, and Customs

     

      Language and Culture

     

      Time and Business Hours

     

      Safety, Security, and Insurance

     

      Getting There

     

      Tour Groups and Packages

     

      Golf Holidays

     

      Weddings and Honeymoons

     

      Bermuda Tourist Offices Abroad

     

      Local Travel Assistance

     

      Local Transportation

     

      Touts, Hustlers, and Greedy Guides

     

      Money Matters

     

      Tipping

     

      Taxes

     

      Electricity and Water

     

      Family-Oriented Travel

     

      Festivals, Tournaments, and Shows

     

      Useful Websites

     

      Recommended Reading

     

      Anticipated Costs

     

      Cutting Your Costs

     

      Passing U.S. Customs

     

  3. Getting to Know You
      Location and Geography

     

      Limestone Construction

     

      Wealthy Waters

     

      A Statistical Profile

     

      Bermuda’s Nine Parishes

     

      Bermuda’s Three Communities

     

  4. Shopping Smart
      Two Shopping Classes

     

      The Local Shopping Culture

     

  5. Where to Shop
      Hamilton

     

      St. George

     

      The Royal Naval Dockyard

     

      Hotel/Resort Shopping Arcades

     

      Shopping Centers

     

      Markets

     

      Cruise Ship Shoppers

     

  6. What to Buy
      Jewelry

     

      Watches

     

      Perfumes and Fragrances

     

      Clothing and Assessories

     

      China, Crystal, Tableware, and Glassware

     

      Paintings, Sculptures, and Photography

     

      Crafts, Gifts, and Bermudiana

     

      Antiques and Collectibles

     

      Linens

     

      Luggage and Leather Goods

     

      Foods and Gourmet Products

     

      Liquor and Liqueurs

     

  7. Best Quality Shopping
      Hamilton’s Best Shops

     

      St. George’s Best Shops

     

      Royal Naval Dockyard’s Best Shops

     

      Beyond the Towns

     

      14 Special Shopping Experiences

     

  8. Finding Your Best Place to Stay
      Costs and Bargains

     

      Selecting Your Best Location

     

      Different Types of Properties

     

      Best of the Best

     

  9. Dining Right
      A Changing Dining Scene

     

      Local Cuisine and Best Choices

     

      Dining Tips, Customs, and Issues

     

      Unique Dining Experiences

     

      Bermuda’s 36 Best Restaurants

     

      The Quick Restaurant Directory

     

      Pubs, Bars, and Nightly Entertainment

     

  10. What More to See and Do
      Sightseeing

     

      Hiking and Birding

     

      Exploring Coves, Bays, and Beaches

     

      Playing Golf and Tennis

     

      Participating in Water Sports

     

      Riding Trails and Beaches by Horse

     

      Being Rejuvenated at Spas

     

      Enjoying Entertainment

 

EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 1: Welcome to Beautiful and Predictable Bermuda
PRIMARY FOCUS ON TREASURES

The Treasures and Pleasures of Bermuda is a different kind of travel book for a very special type of traveler – lifestyle travel-shoppers. It doesn’t present the typical smorgasbord of history, culture, popular sites, and sightseeing tours, nor does it promote cheap travel or the latest travel fads.

Like we did, we want you to experience the best of the best Bermuda has to offer discriminating travelers. Accordingly, we uncover a different slice of travel reality – shopping for local treasures and experiencing the best in local pleasures.

When, for example, most tourists spend four hours sightseeing, we may spend only one hour sightseeing and three hours sleuthing through Bermuda’s many quality shops. We leave with lots of photos of both the sights and the vendors, a few choice purchases, and a wider range of experiences than the other sightseers. We mine destinations for both treasures and pleasures.

The book is designed to provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to enjoy Bermuda’s many wonderful treasures and pleasures. Going beyond the typical tourist attractions, we focus in Part II on how you can acquire Bermuda’s many treasures by becoming a savvy shopper. We especially designed the book with three major considerations in mind:

  • Learn a great deal about Bermuda’s society and culture by meeting its many talented artists, craftspeople, and shopkeepers and exploring major studios, shops, and shopping centers.
  • Do quality shopping for items having a good value.
  • Discover unique items that can be integrated into your home and/or wardrobe.

As you will quickly discover, this is not a book on how to find great bargains in Bermuda, although we do show you how to find good deals in Chapter 4. Nor are we preoccupied with shopping for expensive brand-name luxury goods which appear in many shops of Hamilton.

Rather than purchase an inexpensive piece of jewelry or art, we prefer finding the best of what there is available and selectively choosing those items we both enjoy and can afford. If, for example, you buy a single piece of exquisite jewelry or a special work of art that fits nicely into your wardrobe or home, chances are these purchases will last much longer, and you will appreciate them for many more years to come than if you purchased several cheap pieces of jewelry or tourist kitsch that quickly lose their value and your interest.

Our general shopping rule is this: A “good buy” is one that results in acquiring something that has good value; when in doubt, go for quality because quality items will hold their value and you will enjoy them much more in the long run.

Indeed, some of our most prized possessions from our shopping sojourns around the world are those we felt we could not afford at the time, but we purchased them nonetheless because we knew they represented excellent quality and thus we would continue to value them In retrospect our decision to buy quality items was a wise one because we still love these items today.

We have learned one other important lesson from shopping abroad: good craftsmanship everywhere in the world is declining due to the increased labor costs, lack of interest among young people in pursuing traditional craft skills, and erosion of traditional cultures.

Therefore, any items requiring extensive hand labor and traditional craft skills – such as woodcarvings, textiles, silve and bronze work, ceramics, furniture, basketry, and handcrafted jewelry – are outstanding values today, because many of these items are disappearing as fewer craftspeople are trained in producing quality products.

Throughout this book we attempt to identify the best quality shopping in Bermuda. This does not mean we have discovered the cheapest shopping nor the best bargains. Our search for unique shopping and quality items that retain their value in the long run means many of our recommended shops may initially appear expensive. But they offer top value or unique items that you may not find in other shops.

MANY APPEALING PLEASURES

The second half of our travel equation consists of Bermuda’s pleasures, which are outlined in Part IV. And Bermuda has many unforgettable pleasures that will remind you of this delightful place for many years to come.

The number one pleasure is the Bermudian people themselves, an exceptionally friendly, cultured, well mannered, and accommodating people. Bermuda’s other pleasures include its many lovely beaches, landscapes, sightseeing, attractions, sunsets, golf courses, water sports (snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, parasailing, sailing, water-skiing), hiking, biking, hotels, and restaurants. If you are a golfer, Bermuda will not disappoint you with its many fine golf courses. Indeed, it boasts the world’s largest number of golf courses per square mile!

Perhaps you just want to come to Bermuda and take it easy – do nothing other than be pampered at a lovely resort or spa, or spend part of your day golfing or sport fishing. You could get bored here if you don’t plan to sample enough of Bermuda’s travel pleasures. Indeed, there’s plenty to see and do in Bermuda to occupy at least four to six days.

Bermuda has several fine properties to sample, from the two huge Fairmont Princess resort hotels (the Fairmont Hamilton Princess on the edge of downtown Hamilton and the Fairmont Southampton in Southampton Parish) to Elbow Beach Bermuda in Paget Parish and the Pink Beach Club and Cottages in Smith’s Parish.

If you judge a place by its food, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the many good restaurants serving everything from local seafood to fine French, Italian, Mediterranean, and international cuisine.

In the absence of many nightclubs, discos, and casinos, Bermuda’s evening entertainment tends to center on dining – picking a good restaurant and lingering for two or three hours. Some of Bermuda’s best restaurants are also found in its best hotels. If where you stay and what you eat are major travel concerns, then you should enjoy our many “best of the best” hotel and restaurant recommendations in chapters 8 and 9.

# # # #
EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 2: Know Before You Go
THE NEW AFFORDABLE BERMUDA
15 Ways to Cut the High Costs of Travel to Paradise

While it’s not as expensive as London, Paris, or Monaco, this beautiful, exclusive, and romantic island paradise has a well-deserved reputation for quickly emptying your wallet. Indeed, Bermuda has long been the playground for North America’s rich and famous, who are well accommodated through the island’s many high-end resorts, spas, restaurants, shops, and sports activities. In a class of its own, Bermuda neither encourages nor accommodates backpackers and budget travelers.

But today a new and more affordable Bermuda has emerged, attracting a new group of travelers. For example, the days when major airlines could monopolize flights from North America to Bermuda at an exorbitant round-trip airfare of $800+ are over, as one of the bright stars in the budget airline business, USA3000, has revolutionized air travel by charging only $168.00 (plus taxes) for the same flight. Air travel to Bermuda will never be the same again!

While Bermuda can be a very expensive destination, budget-conscious travelers can easily cut costs by doing the following:

  1. Fly to Bermuda from three U.S. gateway cities via USA3000 for under $200 round trip.
  2. Take a five-day cruise for as low at $499.
  3. Stay at guest houses, villas, cottages, or apartments for under $150 a night.
  4. Shop around for special package deals.
  5. Explore discounted accommodations on the Internet.
  6. Check special off-season rates at hotels and resorts.
  7. Take buses and ferries using discounted one-, three-, four-, or seven-day passes.
  8. Rent a taxi by the hour for sightseeing by sharing the costs with a group.
  9. Rent a motor scooter or moped for one week.
  10. Purchase a Heritage Pass ($25) to cut the expense of entrance fees to major sites.
  11. Book a hotel or resort that includes both breakfast and dinner in their rates.
  12. Skip lunch since you’ve probably had a heavy breakfast.
  13. Patronize the less expensive pubs or street vendors at the weekly Night and Heritage markets.
  14. Watch what you order for dinner, especially expensive wines.
  15. Skip the expensive “bottled water” in restaurants.

These and many other tips for enjoying the many treasures and pleasures of Bermuda are outlined in this unique guide to Bermuda!

# # # #

THE AUTHORS: Ron and Caryl Krannich are two of America’s leading travel and career writers and authors of more than 100 books.

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