Debbi Karpowicz Kickham writer
Though it’s just a two-hour plane trip from the East Coast, Bermuda is a world apart. The tiny 21-square-mile island is warmed year-round with fresh ocean breezes scented with gardenias and stephanotis, and the Atlantic Ocean is never more than a mile away. It’s the world’s oldest British colony, which maintains time-honored traditions such as afternoon tea, and even a white-wig-wearing Speaker of the House. Bermuda also boasts the world’s first environmental laws, dating from the 1600s, which have preserved its formidable natural beauty, and more golf courses per square mile than anyplace else in the world. Bobbies in Bermuda shorts, and cottages in Easter-egg hues of pink, yellow, blue and green, are also part of its charm.
Peter Baker photographer
Yet what’s most distinctive about this idyllic island of corals, blues and greens, is what it doesn’t have: neon signs, nor an abundance of cars. Bermuda’s locals are as mild-mannered as the weather, and are quick to exclaim “Have a Bermudiful Day!”
Don’t forget Bermuda’s national treasures: its distinctive cottage colonies which are luxury retreats that allow guests to have the option of complete privacy in their own hideaway.
Cathy and Christopher Milton of Wellesley have visited the island about six times. In June 2005, they purchased a three-day total buyout of the posh Ariel Sands cottage colony for their daughter Meredith’s wedding. The Miltons are still raving about the event at Ariel Sands, which is probably best-known as being owned by actor Michael Douglas’s family. “We didn’t want a big hotel,” says Cathy. “Ariel Sands is perfect; it’s located mid-island, and offers great snorkeling, and two saltwater pools – one’s shallow and just for kids. We dined at Restaurant Aqua, and our crew bought the last of the pink shorts at Trimingham’s, before it went out of business,” Cathy says with a laugh. “We love Bermuda.” The Miltons find that Bermuda caters to their hobbies, offering excellent golf, sailing and windsurfing.
Hilary and Bradford Allinson of Wellesley have visited Bermuda several times, and what they love about the destination is its easy access from the East Coast. “I love that you feel like you’re a million miles away, but it’s a quick flight,” says Hilary. (US Airways, Delta, American and Continental all fly to the island.) “It takes shorter time to get to than Florida.” Her husband Brad concurs: “Bermuda has a special meaning for me and my family. I’ve had the good fortune to visit Bermuda many times over my lifetime…and I can honestly say that Cambridge Beaches is really our favorite place to be.”
From February 16 through 20, 2006, Bermuda is also doing its part to make sure that couples enjoy the best it has to offer. That’s when the International Love Festival debuts, offering couples-oriented events such as ballroom dancing lessons, massage lessons and music from legendary performers.
My Husband and I Tied The Knot – Again
As travel writers, my husband Bill and I have had the good fortune of getting
married in Hawaii in 2000, and spending an entire month on our honeymoon. Since then, we’ve jumped at every chance to renew our wedding vows, in exotic destinations all over the world, including Bermuda. Why, you may ask, re-marry each other? The
Because you’ll both remember why you married in the first place. You’ll be inspired to be on your best behavior as soon as you make the decision to renew. You’ll re-kindle the joy of your attraction (and for one entire day, forget everyday worries and conflicts). And you’ll re-live your wedding day – one of the happiest days of your life.
Let’s face it – whose marriage couldn’t use a little sizzle, seduction, and cause for celebration? We’ve remarried on a Maui beach, aboard the cruise ship Paul Gauguin , in Moorea, and most recently, in May 2005 on the pink sands at Cambridge Beaches.
As the Allinsons and my husband and I discovered, Cambridge Beaches is one gorgeous getaway. It features 94 individually decorated rooms and suites, dotted on a 30-acre peninsula with panoramic water views. We stayed in a premium room named “Vanderpool” that featured a king-sized bed, living area, dressing room, and spacious bathroom. After a day of relaxation on the resort’s private beach, we dressed up and headed to the shore at sunset for our vow-renewal ceremony. There, waiting for us, was wedding coordinator Nadja Talevi and officiant Alan Pigott. Nadja presented me with a lovely bouquet of roses, and pinned a rose boutonniere on Bill’s shirt. With the Atlantic Ocean in the background, Alan (outfitted in Bermuda shorts, of course) performed a quick ceremony that stirred up all of the deep, heartfelt emotions we felt when we first married.
After the ceremony, we took a five-minute boat ride to the resort’s private, exclusive island of “TT,” where, on the sands, a lovely table set with crystal and fine china was waiting for us. We felt like coddled castaways, as a butler served us champagne and presented us with a special gourmet dinner as the moon and several tiki torches illuminated the night. Cambridge Beaches is the only resort in Bermuda to offer this memorable indulgence.
Cambridge Beaches offers complimentary vow-renewal ceremonies to guests who book a room for three nights and complete their visit during February. (The rest of the year, the charge for the ceremony is $250. The private-island dinner, offered May 1 through October 31, is $500 plus 15 percent gratuity.)
For an unparalleled escape, consider the property’s new North Rock cottage. Sitting on a bluff overlooking one of the best ocean views in Bermuda, North Rock is a luxury one-bedroom suite with the island’s only private plunge pool featuring an infinity edge. From its vantage point, couples can gaze directly out to sea and see inspiring vistas and beautiful sunsets.
The North Rock cottage also includes posh perks: a sitting area, spacious dressing room, state-of-the-art flat screen television and sound system, and a luxurious bathroom with a whirlpool tub under a picture window affording spectacular views, a shower with six separate showerheads and its own sound system. Rates are $1,150 per night (in high season May through October) for two persons, and include full breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner.
For investment advisor Stephen Hollingsworth of Wellesley, The Reefs property is the way to go. He took his wife Lucy to The Reefs recently, for their seventh wedding anniversary. “My wife Lucy is British, so we love British-run Bermuda,” says Stephen. “Our favorite thing to do is to go to the beach, read, and just relax and enjoy ourselves.” The advantage is that the Hollingsworths can travel and reach their destination quickly, whenever the spirit moves them. They’ve visited Bermuda several times, and “usually go for just three or four days,” says Stephen.
“Just remember to take it easy,” adds Cathy Milton. “You have to operate on Bermuda time, which is a slower pace.”
Who knows? After a day spent basking on the beach, playing golf, shopping, or just touring the island’s charms, you both might feel like you’re on your first date. Now that’s romance!
For more information, visit www.bermudatourism.com or call 1-800-BERMUDA.