Bermuda is more kid-friendly than any place we know in the Caribbean or The Bahamas. It's a safe, clean environment in a politically stable country. Nearly all Bermuda hotels go the extra mile to welcome families with children, but the following are our top choices.
- The Fairmont Southampton (Southampton Parish; tel. 866/540-4497 in the U.S. and Canada, or 441/238-8000; www.fairmont.com/southampton): From June through Labor Day, this hotel features the best children's program in Bermuda. Children 17 and under stay free; and if the parents choose the MAP (breakfast and dinner included in the rates), kids also get free meals. With its many sports facilities, including two freshwater pools and six tennis courts, the Fairmont is definitely for families who enjoy the sporting life. The former Touch Club has been redesigned as Lenny's Loft, a social center for children's activities. From Lenny's Loft, kids are taken on excursions around the island.
- Elbow Beach Hotel (Paget Parish; tel. 800/223-7434 or 441/236-3535; www.mandarinoriental.com/bermuda): This longtime family favorite, on one of the best beaches in Bermuda, allows children 17 and under to stay free when sharing a room with their parents (though be aware that only some rooms are really big enough for an extra person). It also offers a year-round "Family Value Package," which grants very low rates for four people (usually two children and two parents) and includes buffet breakfast, 4 hours of babysitting, 1 hour of paddle-boat rental, 2 hours of tennis, and free passes to the zoo and aquarium. Call the hotel or ask a travel agent for details.
- Grotto Bay Beach Resort (Hamilton Parish; tel. 800/582-3190 in the U.S., 800/463-0851 in Canada, or 441/293-8333; www.grottobay.com): With its excellent summer children's program, this hotel attracts many families. It sits on 8.5 tropically landscaped hectares (21 acres), so guests usually don't mind its relative isolation across from the airport. The pool has been blasted out of natural rock, and there are subterranean caves to explore. Beachside barbecues and other activities make this a lively place.
- Sandpiper Apartments (Warwick Parish; tel. 441/236-7093; www.sandpiperbda.com): This is a viable alternative to the big resort hotels and their high prices. This apartment complex, located a short walk from a beach, attracts self-sufficient families who like to buy their own groceries and cook in their rented apartment to cut down on the lethal dining costs of Bermuda. The accommodations are spacious and suitable for families, but they're far from luxurious.
- Rosemont (Pembroke Parish; tel. 800/367-0040 in the U.S., 800/267-0040 in Canada, or 441/292-1055; www.rosemont.bm): It's a 15-minute ride from Elbow Beach, but this complex of cottages is another good choice for families who like to rent units with kitchens to keep dining costs within reason. A tranquil spot, each cottage opens onto its own veranda. Management can open and lock doors to suit different family groups -- for example, as many as three rooms can be connected. A grocery store is close at hand, and there is also a coin-operated laundry on-site; babysitting can also be arranged.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.