How to Spend a Perfect Weekend in Bermuda

a tropical island with yachts and houses in bermuda
A Design Lover's Guide to BermudaCavan Images - Getty Images

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Though it resides only 650 miles off the North Carolina coastal town of Cape Hatteras, Bermuda feels like a magical, faraway destination that transports you to a unique locale reflective of its spectacular tropical landscape and centuries of African, British, Canadian, Caribbean, and Continental European influences. The island was founded as a permanent British settlement in 1609 and quickly became a central hub for transatlantic commerce, which sparked a movement of furniture making that still holds strong to this day. Savvy design aficionados have long been flocking to this island gem to find stunning British colonial antiques, oil paintings by local artists, and striking artifacts from a range of periods and styles.

We enlisted the help of Sarah Bray-West, founder of Sarah Bray Bermuda (and a former VERANDA editor!), to guide us in our quest for the best spots to stay, shop, sip, and savor the best that the island has to offer.

Where to Stay in Bermuda

st regis bermuda
The lobby at St. Regis Bermuda offers picturesque views of St. Catherine’s Beach.Courtesy of St. Regis Bermuda

For those looking to stay away from the busy harborfront of Hamilton, there's no better place than the St. Regis Bermuda in St. George's. It's the most relaxing home away from home where hotel staff welcome you with a drink in hand as you take in the views of azure water seen right from the lobby. Each of the 120 rooms comes with a private balcony offering either views of the ocean or of the neighboring forts, as well as a full bathtub and luxury toiletries.

Enjoy rum swizzles on St. Catherine’s Beach or while lounging by one of the property's two infinity pools before heading off for a collagen face mask or full body massage in the spa. Golf enthusiasts will marvel at the views from the resort's golf course, which is surrounded by the five neighboring forts, including the largest and most celebrated in Bermuda, Fort St. Catherine. For loyalists of the St. Regis, you'll find familiar rituals such as the brand's signature afternoon tea, nightly sabrage, and a signature Bloody Mary made with local Goslings Black Seal Rum.

Where to Shop in Bermuda

bermuda enchanting architecture
Lucas Stoffel - Getty Images

You'll want to divide and conquer during your stay in order to explore all of the best shopping the island has to offer. St. George's, home of Bermuda's original settlement and the first capital city of the island, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to some excellent shops. A visit to the Lili Bermuda Perfumery is a must, and Bray-West suggests booking a tour that includes afternoon tea in the perfumery's gardens for the ultimate experience. You can even book a workshop at the perfumery, where you make your signature fragrance that will always remind you of this one-of-a-kind island destination.

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Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone, the perfumer of Lili Bermuda Perfumery.Sarah DiMarco

When visiting St. George's, be sure to visit Long Story Short, which specializes in gifts and books that showcase the works of Black and female authors, artisans, and entrepreneurs. The owner, Kristin White, is a well-known historian and offers exclusive tours of St. George's, sharing the town's 400-year-old history.

The colorful neighborhood of Southampton is home to Tuck Shop, which Bray-West deems "the most thoughtful general store on the island." Here, you'll find not only exceptional womenswear and children's clothes but also a charming bakery and coffee shop that uses local produce and goods.

The capital city of Hamilton is a must-visit for enthusiasts of all kinds. Book lovers will enjoy perusing the nearly century-old Bermuda Bookstore that stocks the best authors from the U.S., U.K., and Bermuda. The Island Shop is just the ticket for handmade home goods and gifts while Hilgroves is Bray-West's favorite stop for "truly unique antique treasures." And don't forget to stop into Della Valle for custom leather sandals made with Italian craft traditions that'll feel like a trip to Florence.

Where to Eat and Drink in Bermuda

st regis bermuda
The bar at St. Regis Bermuda.Courtesy of St. Regis Bermuda

You'll want to savor the culinary experiences offered by the St. Regis. For breakfast and lunch, you can enjoy fresh dishes made from local ingredients at the resort's Latin-inspired restaurant, Lina. At night, the restaurant transforms into BLT Steak NY, which offers a variety of decadent steak dishes as well as lighter seafood options. If you're in the mood for a nightcap, head up to the St. Regis Bar for a dark and stormy or an old-fashioned. The bar also serves sushi for those looking for a lighter option.

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Sul Verde at Tucker’s Point Golf Club.Ken Hayden Resort Photography

Sul Verde is located at the Tucker's Point Golf Club and its cuisine is inspired by the culinary traditions of Southern Italy. You'll find the best pizza on the island as well as fresh pastas and a fabulous cocktail list.

If you're looking to venture out, Bray-West's favorite restaurant on the island is Huckleberry. Located in a grand historic home in Pembroke, the restaurant offers an exemplary take on Bermudian fine dining, showcasing the best local ingredients that the island has to offer. Plus, literary aficionados will love that its namesake is a tribute Mark Twain, who famously visited the island eight times and helped expand its reputation as a travel destination in the late 19th century.

huckleberry bermuda
Huckleberry is located in a historic house in Pembroke.Sarah Bray-West

1609, located at the Bermudian pink Hamilton Princess hotel at the center of town, offers a fantastic dining experience inspired by Central and South American cuisines (and boasts incredible panoramic ocean views). It's the perfect place to celebrate a successful day of antiques hunting—just be sure to make a reservation.

A new addition to the St. George's area, Achilles blends Mediterranean and Asian flavors in their seasonal seafood dishes and full bar menu. Plus, the restaurant offers sunset views of the picturesque Achilles Bay and Fort St. Catherine.

Bray-West says the best way to enjoy Bermuda is by boat and says Bermuda Electric Boat Company offers precious pastel pink boats that are very user-friendly and a great way to explore the island. She advises stopping by Miles Market to pick up all the provisions you'll need for a fabulous picnic lunch before navigating the waters until you find your ideal private beach paradise. Her pick for a perfect picnic spot is Cooper's Beach for its beauty and remoteness.

Other Places to Get Inspired

ornate building with green lawn
Daniel Allan - Getty Images

If you haven't had enough cultural and creative stimulation, Bermuda is an excellent place for art and architecture enthusiasts. Your first stop should be the Bermuda National Gallery, which will help give more context to the island's unique culture as well. What was once a small gallery of 18 European paintings gifted to the people of Bermuda has blossomed into a spectacular hub of pieces from around the globe, including the island's most talented creatives. The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art is another excellent destination, overlooking the Bermuda Botanical Gardens, and makes for a perfect afternoon itinerary, according to Bray-West.

If it's more modern art you're looking for, the Hamilton Princess offers art tours each Saturday morning, hosted by Lisa Howie, the former director of the Bermuda National Gallery. The Green family, who owns the hotel, has a stunning range of original pieces thoughtfully peppered throughout the hotel, from Andy Warhol's Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in the lobby to sculptures by KAWS and Yayoi Kusama in the courtyard, not to mention pieces by David Hockney, Rene Magritte, and even Banksy.

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