Over Labor Day weekend, we made our first trip to the island of Bermuda. The direct Delta flight from Boston was GREAT - only 1 hr. 40 mins. to paradise! Overall, the island is beautiful and very lush, even at the end of a scorching summer season. Poverty is almost non-existent, and the island's hillsides are dotted with multi-colored estates.
After much debate, we stayed at The Reefs hotel in in Southampton. The hotel is about 30 minutes from the airport and 15 minutes from the capital city of Hamilton. This lovely pink hotel is built into the cliffs and features a stunning pink-sand beach. The water is a beautiful turquoise blue, and the beach has striking coral and rock formations - making for some excellent snorkeling.
The staff at the hotel is friendly and accommodating. We enjoyed a complimentary rum swizzle upon our arrival, and received great drink service on the beach and in the hot tub. The concierge helped arrange much of our taxi transportation, as well as a day boat rental. Our only issue was when the guy manning the towel stand at the beach told us to only take one towel each due to "supply issues." With the amount we were paying per night, we should have been able to get two towels (not to mention more comfortable beach/pool chairs)!!
The infinity pool was slightly small but had beautiful sunset views of the beach and cliffs. The hot tub was right next to the pool and could be used at any hour. Our room overlooked the pool and hot tub with the ocean as a backdrop. We enjoyed the spacious patio off the room, although it didn't give us much privacy as it faced directly out to the pool. We were in room #305 (appropriately named "On the Rocks"). The bedroom was fine, but the bathroom was somewhat outdated. Also, our king-sized bed was actually two twin beds pushed together. Although certainly not ideal, it was still quite comfortable.
The hotel rate included breakfast and dinner. We had breakfast served on our patio most mornings, which was absolutely wonderful. For dinner, we dined twice at Ocean Echo, once at Coconuts, and once at the Pompano Beach Club. We were divided on whether Ocean Echo or Coconuts is better, but both of us agreed that the Pompano Beach Club was not worth the trip (although the sunset views are spectacular). Try the rockfish at Ocean Echo!
The Reefs is an interesting hotel to try to rate and review. On the one hand, it had one of the prettiest beaches and some of the most spectacular views of any hotel we've ever stayed in. The natural beauty and the friendly feeling of a boutique hotel couldn't be beat. On the other hand, it lacked some of the service and accoutrements that you would expect to find in a five-star hotel. With some basic improvements, it could be unparalleled.
We loved Bermuda for its convenience, cleanliness, and pristine beauty. However, be warned that it is very expensive! We hope to go back and check out some of the other hotels we'd considered such as Elbow Beach (a Mandarin Oriental property) or the Fairmont Princess Southampton.