The Elbow Beach Hotel
Bermuda, way out to the east of Florida at the most-distant
point of the infamous ‘Bermuda Triangle’, lies in the area of the western
mid-Atlantic known as the Sargasso Sea. The Sargasso is famously calm and
current-free, although it is surrounded by some of the strongest ocean currents
in the world. Hundreds of years ago, sailing ships could be becalmed for weeks
on end in the Sargasso. Bermuda is just about the only inhabited point in the
whole sector of ocean.
A lot of people seem to think that Bermuda is a Caribbean
destination. The island isn’t even remotely part of the Caribbean – check on a
map and you’ll find it stuck out almost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. In
world terms it’s about halfway between Spain and California.
So – a remote haven of calm and tranquility in the center of a
raging and unpredictable ocean. How does that sound for a
vacation destination? And while you’re there, why not make the most of
your stay by checking into the Elbow Beach Hotel – one of the finest resort
hotels in the western hemisphere?
The resort is large, but not so large as to feel impersonal. Only five minutes
from the center of Hamilton, the island’s capital, it nevertheless has half a
mile of its own private beach and more than fifty acres of beautifully
landscaped grounds. Guests have a choice of over 235 luxury rooms. The Elbow
Beach Hotel offers a very wide range of activities and pastimes for family
members of all ages. In fact, if mom and dad feel like some quiet time by
themselves, or maybe a game of golf, there is a very well-run,
professionally-staffed kids clubs, offering all kinds
of fun, games, and adventures to keep youngsters happy – the club has
everything from DVD players and PlayStations to organized treasure hunts and
arts and craft events. Every kid staying in the hotel is entitled to three
hours’ time in the kids’ club every day, with extra time being charged at the
extremely reasonable rate of $5 per hour.
(It’s worth noting that Bermuda is another of those small
countries that exists in a financial netherworld between the US and the UK.
Although the island is a British Overseas Territory, it has its own currency –
the Bermudian Dollar – which is pegged at a rate of exactly 1:1 with the US
Dollar. This is to facilitate the island’s role as a major financial center as
well as the local tourist trade.)
While the kids are having fun, parents can enjoy themselves on the beach, by
the pool, on the golf course, or shopping in downtown Hamilton. Bermuda, like
many other Atlantic and Caribbean islands, is a duty-free haven, where goods
that might be very expensive back home can be acquired at knock-down prices.
Just make sure that you’re not over your duty-free limit when you head back to
If you want to delve into Bermuda’s rich history, you can take a
trip out to the Royal Naval Dockyard, or the Bermuda Maritime Museum. Equally,
a journey into historic St George’s Town can be a treat. St George’s town –
with it’s old world atmosphere and quaint cobbled streets – has been designated
a World Heritage Site. The town is the oldest European settlement on Bermuda.
It was founded in 1609 by a group of English colonists sailing from southern
England to Jamestown, Virginia – which was back then one of the major centers
of the American colonies. One of the colonists’ ships was wrecked on Bermuda,
and the people who struggled ashore were the first settlers. The commander of
the flotilla, Admiral Sir George Somers, named the original settlement after
England’s patron saint – St. George. To this day St George’s Town is twinned
with Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, which was Somers’ home town. This story seems
to have been adapted – very, very heavily – by William Shakespeare to form the
basis of his play, The Tempest.
A couple of hours strolling around St George’s Town – which is easily reached
from the Elbow Beach Hotel by taxi – should have you in the mood for something
to eat. Well, you’re in luck: the Elbow Beach boasts no fewer than seven
restaurants and bars on-site you can dine in luxury in the Lido Restaurant or
the Seahorse Grill, then dance the night away at Deep, the hotel’s
As for the Bermuda Triangle: don’t let it put you off. The
stories are hype, and the region (between Bermuda, Miami and Puerto Rico) has
no more unexplained disappearances than any other comparable area of ocean. The
only hazard it presents is that the Barry Manilow song of the same name gets
played over restaurant stereo systems rather a lot…