A look inside the 90 million dollar renovation of Bermuda’s only luxury urban resort, the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club.
Last month I was given the incredible opportunity to visit Bermuda for the first time to experience the newly renovated Hamilton Princess & Beach Club. Built over 150 years ago, the resort recently underwent a massive 90 million dollar facelift.
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Improvements were made to every aspect of the urban luxury resort including new modern guest rooms & suites, a state-of-the-art marina, infinity pool, private beach club and brand new restaurants including Marcus’ of celebrity chef Marcus Samuelson.
Having spent many years studying and working in the hospitality industry including the opportunity to open a luxury hotel here in Grand Rapids, I was so excited to learn more about Bermuda’s only downtown luxury waterfront resort. As a first time visitor to the island of Bermuda, I had a feeling the trip would be incredible but I had no idea how much my mind was about to be blown.
My friend Kristin joined me for the long weekend which was quite fitting since she has over 15 years experience working for hotels and resorts. The evening we arrived happened to coincide with Marina Nights, a happy hour right on the harbor that starts at 5PM every Friday throughout the summer. Locals and hotel guests alike all gathered outside for a fun evening of cocktails with a live DJ spinning hits. It was the perfect start to our stay at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club!
When we got back to our newly renovated one bedroom suite later that evening, I happened to capture this gorgeous photo of the sun setting over the harbor. Our balcony was a haven of peace and quiet every evening and early morning. I just couldn’t get enough of the beautiful view.
We stayed in a newly renovated one bedroom suite that had every amenity you could ask for. Beyond that, the cool tones and contemporary furniture made it feel more like an oasis than a standard hotel room. One of my favorite morning rituals was sitting outside on our private balcony to enjoy a freshly brewed cup of Green Mountain Coffee provided in the guest room. Heaven.
On Saturday morning we participated in the art tour throughout the hotel. Lead by a local Bermudian who studied art back in the states, this tour was a highlight of our trip. We learned about every piece in the hotel included pieces from contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Philippe Decrauzat. I have stayed in hundreds of hotels and have worked for some of the best properties in the country but I have never experienced an art program like the one housed inside the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club. We were completely blown away and incredibly inspired.
After the art tour, we took a quick taxi to grab lunch at the infamous Swizzle Inn. When planning our trip, this was the one restaurant that every single person insisted we visit. Famous for their rum swizzles, I expected the cocktail to be cloyingly sweet but to my surprise, it was the perfect balance of light and dark rum and fresh fruit juices.
To make sure I didn’t get too swizzled, I indulged in one of their classic fish sandwiches topped with a spicy slaw. It was out of this world and hit the spot on every level.
Located directly across the street from the Swizzle Inn is another landmark on the island of Bermuda: The Crystal Caves. The crystal clear blue water and incredible formations are a must-see when you visit.
Later that afternoon we relaxed on the brand new infinity pool right outside our hotel room. It was in the mid-80’s during our stay so the cool water was exactly what we needed.
The best part? The lounge chairs sit directly on top of the infinity pool so you can have your feet in the water while you soak up the sun. We felt so truly relaxed and calm. It can be so hard to truly unplug and recharge these days so this pool day hit the spot.
Another highlight of our trip was the long-awaited day at the Princess Beach Club. A brand new addition to the hotel that just opened in May 2015, this private beach is located on the South Shore and is exclusive to Hamilton Princess guests only. The hotel provides free shuttle service to the beach club which was not only easy but provided breath-taking views of the island and surrounding beaches along the drive.
From the minute we got off the shuttle we were greeted by warm, friendly smiles and chilled fruit smoothies. Our server was a summer intern from Canada enjoying his first summer off from college. Considering I spent my first hospitality internship working as a Night Auditor at a Holiday Inn, I would say the guy lucked out with job placement!
The Princess Beach Club is best described as heaven on earth. It was a magical paradise and we spent the entire day pinching ourselves. To get a little exercise, we went on a 20 minute walk to Horseshoe Bay, a neighboring beach famous for pink sand.
Kristin captured this photo of me taking in the view. I will never forget this moment of complete, pure bliss. I have never felt more at peace or relaxed as I did during our day at the beach. The fried chick pea hummus and grilled fish tacos served at the Princess Beach Club didn’t hurt either.
We saved the best for our last night on the island: dinner at the brand new Marcus’ Bermuda of the famed chef Marcus Samuelsson. With indoor/outdoor seating and impeccable views of the harbor, this restaurant is a must during your stay at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club.
No detail was left unturned – from unique, trendy furniture to handsome managers donning the classic Bermuda shorts, they thought of everything. Every dish we tasted transported our taste buds around the world. I have long admired Marcus for his international cuisine and spice profile but tasting it first hand was an experience I’ll never forget.
Friends, I beg you, URGE you to add Bermuda’s Hamilton Princess & Beach Club to your travel bucket list. Imagine a tropical island paradise full of turquoise waters, pink sandy beaches and swaying palm trees. Throw in an incredible fresh food scene, warm Bermudian hospitality and state-of-the-art accommodations and you’ve found heaven on earth.
Your passport is waiting.
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