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Note: I’m temporarily jumping out of my chronological Central America trip coverage to tell you about my very last stop en route back to New York: Bermuda! We’ll jump back into Guatemala soon.
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Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama…

I admit that until very recently, I knew next to nothing about Bermuda. I knew the Beach Boys featured it in one of their , I knew my parents vacationed there when I was a kid (and left me at home, if you can believe it), I knew it had a , I heard there were some pink sand beaches, and I thought (incorrectly) that it was kinda sorta in the Caribbean.

I had a lot to learn.

Hamilton Princess Bermuda

So when the , a Fairmont managed hotel, invited me to come check out their new facelift, I decided it was time to go get an education. The pink icon recently underwent a ninety million dollar renovation, and I was buzzing with excitement to check out the trendy, art-filled and eco-friendly resort in the heart of Hamilton.

Bermuda, it turns out, is having a moment. And it had plenty of surprises in store for me.

Surprise #1: Bermuda is crazy close.

Did you know Bermuda is less than a two hour flight from most East Coast cities? You could arrive there from New York before you could touch down in the Hamptons! So I can’t exactly say that I was travel fatigued when I landed from Miami, but checking into my room released a flurry of relaxing Bermuda vibes nonetheless.

Hamilton Princess Bermuda Renovated Rooms

Hamilton Princess Deluxe Queen

The Hamilton Princess and Beach Club

Standing out on the balcony, soaking it all in, I tried to suss out why a place I’d never been before felt so familiar. And then it hit me. “This is Martha’s Vineyard meets the Caribbean,” I said, a comparison I’d make many more times over the next four days. Though to be truly accurate, I’d have to throw an England destination into the mix — as one of the first and oldest British colonies, Bermuda maintains strong ties to its roots, evident in everything from left-side driving to a national obsession with cricket.

Hamilton Princess Bermuda Renovated Rooms

Surprise #2: Bermuda is insanely small.

Bermuda, I’d learn, is deceptively small. Though I’d pored over maps before arrival and knew that the island was less than 21 square miles, it wasn’t until I landed and tangibly felt the distances that I realized how charmingly sized this island really is. And its residents are fiercely protective of the natural resources in their little stretch of paradise.

I’m always happy when I see a big hotel — the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club has four hundred rooms — going green. A note in our room gently reminded us of the island’s limited resources and informed that unless requested, sheets would be changed every three days instead of every single day, and that towels would be replaced only when left on the floor. And I smiled when I heard all renovated rooms were designed to be energy efficient from the lighting to air conditioning to water systems. Even the trash bins in the room were divided into two compartments — recycling and trash.

Yet there was no sacrifice of style. Our small and stylish bathroom boasted a double-headed shower, a well-lit vanity and luxurious lineup of Rose 31 bath products.

Hamilton Princess Bermuda Renovated Bathrooms

Hamilton Princess Bermuda Renovated Bathrooms

Hamilton Princess Bath Products

Remember how I said Bermuda is less than two hours from most East Coast cities? It’s also a quick seven hour direct hop from the UK, I learned, when I was joined by my mystery man from Antigua. London Lawyer and I joked that technically, this trip was our third date — which will be a pretty tough one to top.

Hamilton Princess Deluxe Queen

Surprise #3: Hamilton is a happening city.

Tough to top indeed. Bermuda is so much more than just beaches. The Hamilton Princess, as you might guess from the name, is situated right in the heart of Hamilton, a ten minute walk to the best restaurants and bars on the island — the ones not on the property of the hotel, that is. And yet the grounds still feel like a relaxing retreat. Over our four days in Bermuda we raved about how happy we were to be staying in Hamilton. We loved the ability to be adventurous during the day, but come home and be exactly where we wanted to be at night without ever having to hop in a cab.

Hamilton Princess Remodel

Hamilton Princess Remodel

Not that you really need to go anywhere during the day. I mean, can we talk about this harbor-facing infinity pool?

Hamilton Princess

Hamilton Princess Infinity Pool

Hamilton Princess Infinity Pool

While the ocean waters were still a bit chilly in early May, the pool — and the hot tub — were just right. There’s nothing like whiling away a morning watching the hustle and bustle of the Hamilton harbor from your perch on the edge of an infinity pool.

Hamilton Princess Infinity Pool

Hamilton Princess Infinity Pool

Hamilton Princess

Hamilton Princess Harbor

Surprise #4: The Hamilton Princess might as well double as an art museum.

I can tell you one thing I was not expecting from a historic hotel that served as a headquarters for Britain’s intelligence operations during the Second World War, and was beloved by authors like Mark Twain — to walk into the lobby and be greeted by the works of Andy Warhol, Banksy, and Damien Hirst. Bermudian artists are also well represented, with original works by local artist gracing each guest room. This art school graduate and design addict was positively swooning.

The hotel’s collection is so extensive — and constantly growing — that an art tour by the hotel’s curator is offered to guests each Saturday.

Hamilton Princess Lobby

Hamilton Princess Art Collection

One thing that wasn’t a surprise? How well we’d eat. As soon as I heard Marcus Samuelsson was opening a restaurant at the Hamilton Princess, I knew the food scene in Bermuda must be something special. I’ll dish more on my favorite Hamilton eateries in another post (dish on? restaurants? get it? please pretend you love my puns), but first — our home base hotspots.

Every morning we had breakfast at , which was the perfect place to start the day thanks to indoor and outdoor seating options and an indulgent buffet.

Crown and Anchor Hamilton Princess

Crown and Anchor Hamilton Princess

Crown and Anchor Hamilton Princess

Though we arrived before the May 27th opening of new Bermuda hotspot Marcus, we were able to sneak in for a behind-the-scenes tour that left me swooning. Last December I finally made it to Samuelsson’s Harlem hotspot Red Rooster, a meal that made me an official fan — I can’t wait to see what he does here.

Marcus Hamilton Princess

But Marcus isn’t the Hamilton Princess’s only brag-worthy worth restaurant. When I first walked into the harbor-side , I exclaimed that it was an infinity restaurant — the floor-to-ceiling walls made it feel like we were sitting down to dinner at a floating table.

Can you imagine a more inviting place to sit down to lunch or dinner?

Hamilton Princess Harbor

1609 Bermuda

1609 at the Hamilton Princess Bermuda

1609 Bermuda

1609 at the Hamilton Princess Bermuda

1609 at the Hamilton Princess Bermuda

As with any trip, the people were what made it special. Everyone we encountered at the hotel, from the doormen greeting us at the entrance to the cleaning staff we passed in the halls, was warm and hospitable in the more natural way. One night, when we clarified directions to a restaurant we were going to with a concierge, we arrived to find he’d called ahead for us to let them know we were coming. (And, just to show you how insanely small Bermuda really is, it turns out that the manager of that restaurant was the concierge’s wife!)

From modern rooms to hip dining experiences, from a beautiful art collection to fabulous concierges, from an infinity pool to harborside water sports, it was hard not to buzz about this hotel to everyone we met. It’s a place I could see myself coming back to over and over again. I want to come back with my family and relax by the pool, I want to come back with my friends and party it up in Hamilton, I want to come back by myself and write the days away from a harbor-view balcony.

1609 Bermuda

1609 Bermuda

The Hamilton Princess and Beach Club has the best of both worlds. Want a fantastic getaway hiding out for a week and never leaving the grounds of the hotel? You got it. Want to explore every gem Bermuda has to offer? You simply couldn’t ask for a better base.

Stay tuned for more on my adventures diving, beach hopping, taking a SUP yoga class, renting a scooter, and nightlife hopping in Hamilton!

Hamilton Princess Harbor

Have you ever been to Bermuda? If not, is it on your bucket list? (If not, it just might be by the time I’m done gushing!)

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Many thanks to the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club for generously hosting me in Bermuda. I was compensated for my time in writing this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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46 Comments...
  • Melanie Fontaine
    May 29 2015

    I would definitely love to visit Bermuda one day and I’m already excited to read more about your stay there! The blue of the water is just absolutely insane and I wouldn’t mind if I could chill out by that beautiful pool now! πŸ˜‰
    Melanie Fontaine recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      Today it was rainy and gray in Upstate New York… so I wouldn’t mind being by that beautiful pool again either!

  • Amy M
    May 29 2015

    It looks absolutely beautiful.
    Adore the giant map poster that’s framed on the wall xo
    Amy M recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      That was one of my favorite pieces as well! The Bermuda version in some of the guest rooms was swoon-worthy as well.

  • becky hutner
    May 29 2015

    I’m so glad you loved Bermuda!! Extremely random coincidence — my parents are headed to the Hamilton Princess next week, their first trip back to Bermuda in 20+ yrs! And yes, I moped about being left at home, even if my home is now 2500 miles from theirs.

    PS — I ADORE the floral prints in the stairwell.
    becky hutner recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      Oh my gosh they are going to be blown away! Please tell them to eat at Marcus and report back so I can live vicariously…

  • Ashley
    May 29 2015

    This hotel, and your photos, are seriously stunning! I love the artwork and decor in the lobby – I definitely wouldn’t expect to see Andy Warhol in this type of hotel!
    Ashley recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      He was one of many impressive artists on display. Seriously, who needs an art museum when you have a hotel collection like this!

  • Emma
    May 29 2015

    I’ve been falling in love with Bermuda ever since you started posting pictures! It looks absolutely stunning, I’m looking forward to reading what else it has to offer.

    And there are few things in this world that make me happier than bad puns πŸ˜‰
    Emma recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      Well then, Emma, I am happy to say that you’ll definitely feel at home here πŸ™‚

  • Caroline
    May 29 2015

    The hotel looks absolutely stunning! A few of the ships in the cruise line I work for stop in Bermuda so I’m interested to learn more about the island! πŸ™‚

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      Awesome! I was always intrigued by the New York to Bermuda cruises. Air travel is such a misery these days, I always thought that would be such a great way to vacation — from subway stop to cruise cabin to beautiful Bermuda!

  • Jessica
    May 29 2015

    I spent 10 days in Bermuda last year on my way across the Atlantic and instantly fell in love with it. We spent most of our time in St. George’s Harbor but did make it out to Hamilton for a day. The fort there and the garden growing inside the mote is like something out of Tomb Raider!
    Jessica recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      I’m sad I didn’t make it to St. George! But hey, I’ve always got to leave something for next time…

  • Camille
    May 29 2015

    I have to confess I didn’t know much about Bermuda either…but wow, have you put it on the map! Dreamlike pictures!
    Camille recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      That makes me happy to hear, Camille! Thank you!

  • Serendipity Tess
    May 29 2015

    I was just looking at a yoga retreat in Bermuda….VERY tempting after reading this!
    Serendipity Tess recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      Yoga and Bermuda, two of my favorite things! Tell me more…

  • Matt
    May 29 2015

    That’s a nice bright pink exterior. That place is really stunning.

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      I loved the pink! I’m glad they didn’t change that iconic hue with the overhaul. It’s so perfectly Bermuda.

  • Danielle
    May 29 2015

    Bermuda is definitely on my bucket list now! It’s so beautiful and I love that the hotel has a very fresh feel and doesn’t that tacky tropical dΓ©cor. And it’s really cool that they give art tours; that would be so much fun.

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      Not a hibiscus bedspread in sight πŸ™‚ It really was so sleek and chic — just my style.

  • Justine
    May 30 2015

    It’s so funny, I grew up hearing about Bermuda but until now I didn’t actually know it wasn’t in the Caribbean. I actually had to Google it to see where it was. Who knew it was so far north? It does look like paradise. And who wouldn’t want to chill for a week in that hotel? It looks like you had a fabulous time πŸ™‚
    Justine recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      I KNOW! I had no idea it was so darn far up there! Now I’m struggling with where to put it on my Destinations page… the Caribbean where I know people will look for it? Or North America where it really belongs?

  • Melissa
    May 30 2015

    Your post inspired me to set up flight alerts from NYC! Love that it’s a short flight away and that the island’s so small. Had no idea; hope to visit soon! Your photos are fantastic.

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      Just ninety minutes from NYC! Crazy right?! Hope you nab a great deal on flights!

  • Rachel
    May 30 2015

    Before I went to Bermuda I had no idea that it was about the same latitude as South Carolina. Did you see all the shorts with high socks? Is that still a thing there? And so many little hidden beaches!
    Rachel recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      It is indeed still a thing! It was still pre-Bermuda Day when I was there (the official kick off day for summer, in late May) so locals reported there weren’t QUITE as many Bermuda shorts abound as usual. Still, there were quite a few! I wish I hadn’t been too shy to take a picture…

  • Regan
    May 30 2015

    I love this! I was actually choosing between going to Bermuda or Spain for an internship. I chose Spain in the end, and am still in Spain now, but after reading this, I’m realizing either would have been an amazing choice.
    Regan recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      Indeed you would have! And Bermuda will be a great place for a vacation now someday πŸ™‚

  • Kristin
    May 30 2015

    I had no idea Bermuda was so easy to get to – or that Marcus Samuelsson had opened a restaurant! It’s always been in an “eventually we’ll get there” spot on my bucket list, but it just moved way up!
    Kristin recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      The restaurant just opened this past weekend — can’t wait to start reading reviews. I’ve been working on Samuelsson’s memoir and it makes me want to go even more badly!

  • Leah
    May 30 2015

    Looks like such a beautiful place. Annnnd can we talk about that breakfast buffet?! Thanks for enlightening me about Bermuda…I knew as little as you did before this post!
    Leah recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      Breakfast buffets: literally one of my favorite parts of travel (and I’m not ashamed.)

  • Camels & Chocolate
    May 30 2015

    BRB researching flights to Bermuda…
    Camels & Chocolate recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      May 31 2015

      Take me? After all we are BARELY SEEING EACH OTHER in the upcoming future.

  • Francesca
    June 1 2015

    Oh haiiiii sexy British lawyer… πŸ˜‰
    Francesca recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 2 2015

      You know, I just really needed an advisor on British culture for this trip… πŸ˜‰

  • Kacy
    June 1 2015

    Wow, I had no idea Bermuda was so close to the East Coast. I’m always looking for easy beach getaways for those winter blues. Everything sounds amazing!
    Kacy recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 2 2015

      I know, right?! It’s a world apart, just ninety minutes away!

  • Larissa
    June 3 2015

    Beautiful hotel! Was loving your Instagram posts from this trip – Bermuda is one island that seems right up my alley and a place I’d like to spend some time should I ever make it back to the Carib…ATLANTIC.

    • Meihoukai
      June 5 2015

      Ha, the end of your comment made me laugh out loud. I was in Insta-bliss while I was on this trip. It’s an insanely picturesque island!

  • Amanda
    June 6 2015

    My boyfriend and I have been tossing around ideas of where we want to go for our birthday trip this October. We’ve been talking about Iceland and California… but we may need to throw Bermuda into the mix now!
    Amanda recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 8 2015

      I mean, you pretty much can’t go wrong with any of those! But Bermuda is the freshest in my mind and therefore the biggest in my heart, at the moment πŸ™‚

  • Love this post! This is a beautiful destination, and I am so happy to hear about the local hotels going green! Lowered energy usage and washing the sheets and towels less frequently are such small differences that could mean a world of change! Thanks so much for sharing.
    Emme @ Green Global Travel recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 29 2015

      It always makes me smile to see that too, Emme. I don’t wash my towels every day at home and certainly don’t feel the need to have it done when I’m at a hotel either! You’re right — little changes add up.