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:
- 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
- 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
- Electricity and Water
- Family-Oriented Travel
- Festivals, Tournaments, and Shows
- Useful Websites
- Recommended Reading
- Anticipated Costs
- Cutting Your Costs
- Passing U.S. Customs
- Getting to Know You
- Location and Geography
- Limestone Construction
- Wealthy Waters
- A Statistical Profile
- Bermuda’s Nine Parishes
- Bermuda’s Three Communities
- Shopping Smart
- Two Shopping Classes
- The Local Shopping Culture
- Where to Shop
- St. George
- The Royal Naval Dockyard
- Hotel/Resort Shopping Arcades
- Shopping Centers
- Cruise Ship Shoppers
- What to Buy
- Perfumes and Fragrances
- Clothing and Assessories
- China, Crystal, Tableware, and Glassware
- Paintings, Sculptures, and Photography
- Crafts, Gifts, and Bermudiana
- Antiques and Collectibles
- Luggage and Leather Goods
- Foods and Gourmet Products
- Liquor and Liqueurs
- 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
- Finding Your Best Place to Stay
- Costs and Bargains
- Selecting Your Best Location
- Different Types of Properties
- Best of the Best
- 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
- What More to See and Do
- 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
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.
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.
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:
- Fly to Bermuda from three U.S. gateway cities via USA3000 for under $200 round trip.
- Take a five-day cruise for as low at $499.
- Stay at guest houses, villas, cottages, or apartments for under $150 a night.
- Shop around for special package deals.
- Explore discounted accommodations on the Internet.
- Check special off-season rates at hotels and resorts.
- Take 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.
- Rent a motor scooter or moped for one week.
- Purchase a Heritage Pass ($25) to cut the expense of entrance fees to major sites.
- Book a hotel or resort that includes both breakfast and dinner in their rates.
- Skip lunch since you’ve probably had a heavy breakfast.
- Patronize the less expensive pubs or street vendors at the weekly Night and Heritage markets.
- Watch what you order for dinner, especially expensive wines.
- 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.