I’d forgotten how lush Bermuda is. It’s been nine years since I’d last visited, but the opening of the first new resort on the island in 35 years was reason enough to drop in.
Tucker’s Point Hotel and Spa occupies a couple hundred acres of undulating greenery, with the water at its doorstep. Of entirely new construction and built on the site of one of Bermuda’s oldest resorts, the Castle Harbour Hotel, Tucker’s Point is a gracious, gorgeous, 88-room property that perfectly captures Bermuda’s British heritage while boasting all the modern amenities travelers expect these days, from marble showers and wi-fi to the obligatory flat-screen televisions with international cable.
Golf? Yeah, they got that—Travel + Leisure Golf awarded Tucker’s Point’s 70-par course its “Best Golf Course” designation. Even if you don’t play the sport, taking a golf cart and touring the course with its panoramic views of the azure water is reward enough.
Spa? Yeah, they got that, too, including serene treatment rooms with—at least in my case—a Thai masseuse who wrestled every ache out my muscles. If it’s more muscles you need, a complete workout area awaits.
Beach? Sure. Plenty of that sand that looks pink when the sun hits it a certain way. Take a hotel tram to the resort’s beachside dining club that overlooks a beach where waiters attend you as you lie about.
I thought when I last visited Bermuda that some of its major resorts were getting a bit frayed. The opening of Tucker’s Point had to deliver a jolt of energy to the tourism industry. Overseen by Ed Trippe—whose last name you may recognize because his father, Juan Trippe, founded Pan Am—the resort also has a home ownership and interval ownership component. If you were in on the ground floor of Apple’s stock offering, the prices will look affordable.
Which is one of the arguments for checking into the hotel—you can vacation like someone who owns one of the nearby $3 million homes at rates beginning at around $700, though specials can bring that price down. Through the end of May, for example, a “spring family fling” offer gets you a double room, a massage, a kids-under-12-eat-free menu and a second room at half price. Check “packages” on the hotel’s web site.
The dining room is just formal enough to remind you the British overseas Bermuda (though the hotel is in the very capable hands of a Canadian-about-to-turn-American general manager, Brian Young), but if they dim the lights at night, it’s quite romantic and the food is superb. Don’t miss the wall-sized paintings that look like wallpaper in the dining room. Except for one small section, it’s art that depicts destinations around the world rescued from the old Clipper Club in what used to be the Pan Am building (now the Met Life building) in midtown Manhattan.
I was only in Bermuda briefly to do a remote broadcast of my weekend radio travel show, so I can’t give you an overall-island report, but downtown seemed as buttoned down as ever. And Mother Nature’s incredible landscaping still sets this island—just a 90-minute flight away from most East Coast gateways--apart from rivals such as the Bahamas and most islands in the Caribbean. With the arrival of Tucker’s Point, Bermuda is back in a big way.