Bermuda: The Petite Pastel Paradise

With Martha Chapman

If you have a weakness for male knees, have we got the place for you.  

Bermuda, known for its semi-tropical climate and pastel-hued homes, is also, of course, the home of Bermuda shorts.  And yes, they really are worn by local gents (often with a blazer, always with knee socks).  So it’s a haven for knee-spotting.

Earlston Dill, Jr., Glenn Jones and Ishmael Kolthoff of the Bermuda Tourism Authority
sporting the national “uniform.”

Bermuda packs a lot of charm into its 21 square miles (to give you an idea of how small that is, Jamaica is over 4,000 square miles). 

The island has an enduring reputation for safety, warm welcomes, and vistas of ice-cream coloured houses dotted along coastlines of clearest turquoise sea. If you look closely, the beaches are actually pink, thanks to tiny grains of coral. 

A lovely touch was a bouquet of fresh flowers for each guest. Lorraine Rose of
Uniglobe Bon Voyage Travel with Ashley Drago of Damselfly Designs

Bermuda has six 18-hole golf courses, a reputation as a tennis haven, and watersports abound from deep-sea fishing to sailing to scuba diving – the water clarity is up to 175’. A new activity is touring with Wild Herbs N Plants, which take clients on local walks to harvest edible wild local plants such as fennel and prickly pear and also provide historic cooking classes.

The island is going through something of a tourism revitalization, enjoying double-digit growth in the past three years. A new, US$280 million air terminal is slated to open in July of next year. There are three new hotels, including the Bermudiana Beach Resort, the all-villa Azura and a new St Regis slated to open two years from now in the historic east end town of St. George’s. “There’s a lot that’s new in a place that’s this old,” smiles Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Victoria Isley, referencing the island’s discovery in 1505.

A video highlighted Bermuda’s vibrant farm-to-table food scene

Yet many of the old favourites remain. The long gracious sweep of Horseshoe Bay Beach, home to the island’s spectacular annual Good Friday kite-flying competition. The small but perfect aquarium, one of me the world’s oldest. Dining options which range from high-end to the friendly British-vibe pub scene. The sweet tang of a Dark’n’Stormy or Rum Swizzle, classic Bermudian rum-based drinks.

Important to note is that many clients mistakenly think Bermuda is in the Caribbean, when in fact it’s off the coast of North Carolina, giving it a pleasant climate with average winter temps of 21c. So it’s a mere 2.5 hours away from Toronto, and is served several times weekly by Air Canada and Westjet from Toronto, with service daily in high season (summer).  

Bermuda’s ice cream colours have inspired artists for generations

And if your clients are so intrigued by those Bermuda shorts they want to buy a pair for themselves? Earlston Dill of the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s office in NYC told me that their best bet is Tabs or the 100-year-old English Sport Shop, both with several locations throughout the island.  Expect to pay $50-$100 USD (the Bermudian dollar is on par with the US).  And don’t forget the knee socks!

Martha Chapman

Martha Chapman Columnist

An OJ columnist since 2006, Martha is responsible for the Biting Questions features as well as special seasonal series. A travel industry lifer known to all in the biz, she frequently covers industry events for Open Jaw.

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