Bermuda - Escape to Another World
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The island features an exquisite shade of turquoise water highlighted by the
beautiful coral reefs that cast deep shadows, old fashioned hospitality and
gorgeous beaches with a pink tinge.
Built in 1947, before the era of large island hotels, accommodations at Pink
Beach Club consist of two and three-storey cottage buildings.
Tourists can rent a scooter, take a taxi, use transit or ride a bicycle to
explore the island. Ferry rides are also an affordable transit mode to
witness every inch of the world's oldest British colony, from Hamilton to Dockyard.

The flight into Bermuda is unlike any other window-seat experience. As the plane begins its descent, your eyes become fixated on the mesmerizing waters – an exquisite shade of turquoise highlighted by the beautiful coral reefs that cast deep shadows in the water. Regardless of how many visits back to this magnificent Island I make, the experience transfixes me every time. Once landed, the traveller is greeted by local musicians hard at work, pumping out the rhythmic, heart-thumping sounds of calypso music. The music, together with the scent of fresh air and vibrant sunshine, truly captures the essence of Bermuda and announces ‘paradise' to all your senses.
 Growing up on the Island, I actually thought that everyone must live in this type of paradise, with warm weather, friendly people and a slow pace.
It was not until I got older, and lived in the big cities of London,
New York, Sydney and Toronto that I came to realize Bermuda is as Hubert Smith's Bermuda Calypso says, “another world.” The type of world I herald to my friends and readers so that they too can enjoy the colourful history and contrasts that make up this fantastic island.
My ancestors first settled on the island in 1612 roughly 85 years after Bermuda was first discovered in 1505 by the renowned Spanish explorer Juan de Bermudez, an experienced seaman, who had been a crew member on the “Pinta” during Cristobel Colon's epic voyage of 1492 to the Americas. 2012 marks the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Bermuda. What better time to revisit the island I call home.
While nothing is known of his encounter with Bermuda in 1505, Bermudez returned again in 1515, accompanied by the chronicler Oviedo y Valdes. Oviedo's account of the second visit, published in 1526, records that they made no attempt to land because of the inclement weather at the time.
Bermuda remained uninhabited until 1609 when Sir George Somers on board the “Sea Venture” was shipwrecked by Bermuda's reefs. Somers managed to land all 150 crew and colonists on the uninhabited islands, without the loss of a single life.
The shipwrecked sailors were stranded on the islands for ten months while they built two new small ships to replace their wrecked ship. By 1610, Somers managed to construct the “Deliverance” and the “Patience” and set sail from Bermuda for Jamestown. Three men, however, elected to stay behind in Bermuda.
Those who sailed on to continue their journey to Virginia wrote such glowing reports about the island that in 1612 more permanent settlers arrived from England (including my great-great-great ... well, you get the idea).
The first settlers' account of the islands hailed the ‘pink' beaches created through the unsuspecting help of a tiny single-celled animal called Red Forams. Living under the coral reef, their red exoskeletons mix with the white sand and broken seashells, creating the dynamic pink tinge or hue found on every shore. Despite all my world travels, I have never laid eyes on beaches as beautiful as those in Bermuda.
My recent stay on the island afforded me the opportunity to stay at one of Bermuda's most prestigious hotels, the iconic Pink Beach Club.
Located in Tucker's Town (home to the likes of Ross Perot, Michael Bloomberg and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi), this phenomenal property is one of elegance and class. It is a rare case of old-world Bermudian hospitality, a radiance of charm not always found in today's cookie-cutter tourist destinations.
Pink Beach Club & Cottages boasts not one, but two of the pink coral sand beaches Bermuda is famous for. The main beach is a quick walk from guestrooms. That is, of course, if one is not tempted to first take a dip in the heated freshwater pool.
Built in 1947, before the era of large island hotels, accommodations at Pink Beach Club consist of two and three-storey cottage buildings containing a total of 94 suites and junior suites. All rooms have their own private balconies overlooking the ocean, where you can enjoy breakfast service every morning, served by your personal cottage housekeeper.
Tennis players have two courts, and equipment can be rented for an early morning match. Two championship golf courses – the private Mid Ocean Club and the new Tucker's Point – are nearby, and tee times can be arranged through the hotel.
And just in case you don't find the warm waters, sunny skies, and carefree days relaxing enough, two massage therapists are on staff to perform in-cottage massages on one or both
of you.
Couples who want to dress for dinner can savour a gourmet meal indoors at the Bermudiana, a formal dining room with a splendid view of the Atlantic.  An award-winning chef brings globally influenced cuisine to the restaurant, which is designed for healthy eating without sacrificing the art of good cooking.
Outside of the hotel, I still play tourist and rent a moped for excursions that take me around the island. Although a horse and carriage is still available, it's on the scooter that you can best appreciate the passing landscapes. The train that once ventured across the island is long gone, but its tracks have been converted into popular bicycle paths for a slower paced scenic route. For those of you not wanting to navigate yourselves, taxi tours and the more economical buses are readily available. Ferry rides are also an affordable transit mode to witness every inch of the world's oldest British colony, from Hamilton to Dockyard.
Most visitors are surprised to learn that Bermuda has world class shopping and restaurants appealing to the most discriminate of tastes (and taste buds). From designer clothes to diamond watches, the shops of Hamilton offer something for everyone. The Bermudian dollar is at par with the US, making it even more attractive for North Americans to make large purchases.
Bermudians are some of the friendliest people in the world and are always there to help out a tourist in need of advice or direction. It's not uncommon to have a Bermudian say “Morning!” to random strangers in the street.
I will continue to engage friends and family in stories of Bermuda, hopefully driving them to make the trip themselves down the line.
Bermuda is a place one must experience in person. It is not simply a beautiful island in the middle of the Atlantic, but rather a wondrous escape to another world.


For more information on the Pink Beach Club,
visit www.pinkbeach.com or
For more information on Bermuda,
www.gotobermuda.com

To travel with Bart call or email:
(905) 251-1258 or  bartcard@rogers.com

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