Elbow Beach Resort, Bermuda
60 Southshore Road
Travel dates: July 17-21, 2014
I am writing this review on the flight back home from Bermuda, while every scent, site, and memory is fresh in my mind. This was a last minute get away for my 19-year-old daughter and I (literally booked it the night before our 10am departure). After doing a quick bit of research, I decided on The Elbow Beach Hotel. I was a little wary at first as they had recently gone thru some management changes (they had previously been part of Mandarin Oriental). The main part of the hotel's rooms are currently closed and in the process of being renovated. Right now, the hotel is operating with 98 rooms. We were fortunate enough to be upgraded to an ocean front king lanai room which there are only 5 of. Our room was beautiful, comfortable and did not lack a single thing. We especially loved the bathtub and luxurious amenities.
The resort is spread out over a large piece of property and has a lot of elevation/steps with the main hotel and lobby being at the top of the property. As you stroll down the hill, you will see the pool, spa, gym, tennis courts, hammocks, the, cycle shop and small pastel colored buildings with garden and ocean view rooms. The flowers and vegetation are beautiful as well as the incredible blue ocean in the background. It is a lovely walk around the property.
The property has great options for dining, and we covered them all. Mickeys is their ocean front restaurant for lunch and dinner. Sea Breeze is their oceanfront fine dining, and then there are Lidos, which is an outdoor bar serving tapas and sushi with an amazing view. I really enjoyed the Friday evening "Big Chill" at Lidos where I enjoyed great company, fabulous sushi, nice music and once again, fabulous views. I was fortunate enough to meet some of the hotel staff while there, and they could not have been nicer or more welcoming. It was fun to catch up with hospitality people and compare stories and experiences. They were a very fun group and educated me on Bermuda as well. I ordered room service for breakfast and found it wonderful (great food and extremely prompt service) Breakfast was set up on the patio so I could enjoy the beautiful ocean view. Heaven....
Mr. Ed Burns is the new GM and has recently arrived from New York. He seems to have very big plans for the place and is extremely well liked. He seems to bring a lot of energy and excitement to the property through his enthusiasm and fun character. He reminded me of my former GM Dale Garvin from Grand Hyatt New York. He has charisma, direction, and personality plus. I can see why the staff is excited to have him! While I enjoyed EVERY minute of my stay here, I cannot wait to return to see what improvements Mr. Burns will have made and how the renovation turns out.
What I found that make Elbow Beach Hotel such a rare gem are the staff. Everyone I encountered during my 4 day stay there was cheerful, helpful and extremely personable. There are too many to mention in all but I definitely need to bring attention to Winton at the Front Desk, George who greets you at the entrance, and our housekeeper Fredrina. Each one of them added something special to our stay.
We also met Mrs. T and her son Shawn who own the cycle shop that is on property. They could not have been kinder or more helpful. I was definitely a little worried about riding a scooter around the island but Shawn made me extremely comfortable and was incredibly patient. The best thing about the both of them is that they would NOT let you leave on a scooter if they did not feel that you were truly capable. I will admit, it is a little scary and I am not sure I would recommend it as they do drive very fast. It is an island of hills and numerous bends, and of course, they drive on the left side of the road. This was though my thrill seeking daughter's favorite experience in Bermuda. I, on the other hand was thrilled to turn in the scooters after two days with scooter in tact and my body in one piece, minus any bumps, bruises, or worse. I am hoping that Bermuda will bring golf carts to the island by the next time I am there.
I also treated myself to a massage at the spa and was not disappointed. My therapist was Sumadan who was amazing. The spa facility was lovely and quiet. The treatment room was fabulous and had its own shower, bathtub, restroom and locker, which I found very nice, private and convenient. The only thing I would say is missing is a steam room. That would be a welcome addition. (I toured Rosewood Tucker's Resort and Spa whole on the island, and their spa did not have a steam room either so maybe it is island wide)
So I mentioned the great restaurants, staff, spa, and room, but I must not forget the exquisite ½ mile beach that Elbow Beach Hotel is located on- crystal clear blue water and fine white sand! You can see it from almost anywhere you stand on the property.
The last highlight of our trip was a half-day spent on board MY Venetian, a 100 ft Benetti yacht
that is located in the Hamilton Harbor. We had an incredible lunch and tour around the island. The yacht is owned by a group called Dining Bermuda who owns several of the outstanding restaurants on the island. I will be posting a more comprehensive review of the Venetian under our yacht page. It was an experience that will NOT soon be forgotten.
As I finish up with this review, I am wondering why it has taken me 15 years to return to this beautiful little island. I can assure you, I will be back much sooner. There are several things I still want to do (visit the Crystal Caves, spend some more time at the Naval Dockyard, do high tea at the South Hampton Hotel, visit the shops in Hamilton...) But it will be the sound of tree frogs at night, the fragrant floral scent of the island, the blue ocean, and the charming Bermudians that will bring me back to this beautiful and colorful little island! And of course, I will want to see what Mr. Ed Burns and his fabulous staff will do to make The Elbow Beach Hotel even more special!