Taking the Kids to Bermuda
The Fairmont Hotel, Hamilton, Bermuda
The iconic pink
The hotel -- celebrating its 125th anniversary with special events and packages -- has long been a fixture here. It is, in fact, the oldest hotel on the island. In the 1840s,
Enjoying an afternoon tea was the one desire of our 85-year-old birthday girl,
Most people there -- including several families with well-scrubbed kids -- lounged on couches and overstuffed chairs that overlooked the gardens, but we were a party of 11 and gathered instead at a long table where pots of various teas (BerryBerry,
A 3-foot-high tiered stands filled with sandwiches (minted, cucumber and chevre, asparagus and smoked salmon, grilled chicken and avocado, ham, roast beef, baby shrimp salad) and bite-sized pastries (pear-almondine tart, mint squares, spiced rum chocolate tarts, white rum chocolate mousse cups, vanilla cream, some with rum, some just sweet) were amazing. The best part? The apricot and fig scones with raspberry jam and clotted cream. We could barely push ourselves away from the table. Did I mention the grapefruit sorbet in a dark chocolate cup -- all for just
There is a special children's tea menu with homemade peanut butter and jelly, tuna salad and cheese sandwiches. It all makes me wish for the time when people had two hours to linger and talk, laugh and gossip over tea. Wouldn't it be nice if we could do that -- at least once in a while? That's what vacations are for, after all, to slow down, relax and remind ourselves what is important.
But whether you visit
Just 66,000 inhabit pristine
The main island (www.bermudatourism.com) is just 21 miles long -- and 2.5 miles wide, but because of narrow winding roads, it seems to take a long time to get anywhere. We're just 570 miles southeast of
The English accidentally discovered
We stop to feed the fish at historic
Our mission is to investigate two different types of
After lunch, overlooking the white-capped waves, we move on to 9 Beaches (http://www.9beaches.com), yes, it really does have nine, albeit small, beaches. All you need here are flip-flops, a bathing suit and a pair of shorts. And don't forget the snorkeling gear. (Nine Beaches boasts the largest water sports shop on the island.)
You stay here in 84 private cabanas -- some on stilts in the water -- that are simply furnished with canvas walls and solar panels, though there are air-conditioning and heating units. Mix your own drink on the deck, grab a snack from the fridge, or use the resort-provided cell phone to order a pizza. Kayak to a wreck or snorkel all afternoon, take out a Hobie Cat or a paddleboat. FYI: The resort is located on the furthermost western point of
Nine Beaches offers a Children's Cabana Special in which you receive
"People shouldn't come here just to get a cheap room," says the manager
There are no organized children's clubs here, but kids have the run of the place, and there is a playground.
"It's been great for all of us," reported
That's exactly what you want here. We wait out a rain shower at the Dark and Stormy bar drinking -- what else -- but
We linger over dinner on the veranda eating seafood chowder, grouper, and snapper and the best sundae I've ever had with flambeed banana, dark rum and chocolate sauce.
Listen to those frogs and crickets! Perfect dinner music.
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(c) 2010 Eileen Ogintz
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