Location Nestled in a beautiful cove just a few minutes drive from L.F. Wade International Airport, the Grotto Bay Beach Resort is situated in Hamilton Parish in-between Bermuda’s two main towns, Hamilton and St. George. Both of which are wonderful spots to amble and take in the Bermudian lifestyle. Bermudians seem to have a friendly way about them and greeting people you don’t know is commonplace. It’s the old English ideal of courtesy and good manners that seems to have survived there.
A few minutes walk away, the Swizzle Inn is a casual restaurant and pub with a patio. Bailey’s Ice Cream Parlour is nearby, too. Bikes, or push bikes as they are still called, scooters, and motorbikes are popular modes of transport on the island’s narrow winding roads. Bikes and scooters are available for rental to tourists, but they come with very little tuition. It can be a stressful if not dangerous way to travel. Bermudians drive on the left hand side. Buses to St. George and Hamilton stop right by the Grotto’s front gate. Tokens and passes are available at the front desk. Unlike the West Indies far to the south, Bermuda is quiet and with a more temperate climate. The high season is June through August, though the island has a lot of charm in fall and winter too.
The Hotel Set back on a gentle cliff overlooking a picture perfect cove etched with white sand and azure sea, the Grotto Bay has a tropical Colonial design. Coral and pink colored guest lodges sit in semi-circle in front of the main hotel building, overlooking the sea. Guest rooms are spacious with cooling tile floor and wooden dressers. All rooms have small balconies, some offering great shade.
The airport might be nearby and planes do pass within view, but for some reason they aren’t heard. Palms and colorful fauna dot the rolling lawns. Shady patios provide perfect viewpoints. Cockerels and happy looking hens roam the grounds, as do some cats. Kiskadees – a lemon and black colored bird the size of a starling – call out, but they’re no match for the cockerel’s cock-a-doodle-doo!
One thing not to miss is an on-site natural cave filled with stalactite and stalagmite formations. It was at one time used as a bar. It’s open for guests to explore and even swim in its natural pool. Supposedly, it can be booked for private use, or spa treatments
Restaurants and Bars The Bayside Grill offers poolside dining and drinking. The delightful Palm Court restaurant serves (complimentary) afternoon tea with cakes and cookies, and a good variety of teas. It also serves as a coffee shop in the morning, and a more casual restaurant with family appeal – pasta, pizza, burgers — and the adjacent bar is a-buzz in the evening serving the island’s signature Swizzle and Dark and Stormy. The capacious Hibiscus Room is open for breakfast and dinner. Breakfast is buffet style and covers all the main bases from cereal and fruit to omelets and pancakes. Dinner is a smart affair, but there is no dress code. Because of Bermuda’s unique situation of importing pretty much everything, locavore cuisine isn’t extensive, but the menu includes a salad of organic locally grown greens and local Wahoo fish, basted with butter and roasted, and served with green lentils spiced with chorizo. A panna cotta with a strawberry coulis is a perfect silken pudding with just the right amount of sweetness – and unmissable.
Fitness rooms, pools, and spas There is a pool near the beach, by the Bayside Grill. A jacuzzi is open day and night, too. There are four tennis courts, though a fee may be charged. A dive shop is to the right side of the beach. The Natura spa (untried) offers spa treatments
Tech WiFi is available for a fee. There is cable TV.
Highs For easy access to the airport, St. George and Hamilton, the Grotto can’t be beat.
Lows For some, that cockerel might be an unwelcome wake up call! Not for us though!
11 Blue Hole Hill, Bailey’s Bay, Bermuda 441-293-8333/1-800-582-3190. grottobay.com