Bermuda is experiencing a rebirth. The chain of islands, just a two-hour flight off the U.S. east coast, is typically considered to be a retreat for an older, well-heeled crowd. Tourism officials, recognizing a limited resource, have reached out to a more youthful market and are already getting results -- tourism has increased thirty percent over the course of a year. It's shedding its image as a stuffy British outpost and becoming a place to let one's hair down. New air service from Jet Blue, a huge increase in spending to renovate existing hotels and build new ones, and smarter travel deals are all contributors to the resurgence of Bermuda.
Available through Bermuda Tourism (tel. 800/BER-MUDA; www.bermudatourism.com), the "Endless Summer" promotion allows travelers who book a minimum four-night stay before October 27, 2006, to receive a $300 Visa gift card. The $300 dollars can be used anywhere that accepts Visa on Bermuda only. To book this special savings offer, call a participating hotel and mention the promotion by name or book through the tourism site. Travel is good on this offer now through October 31, 2006.
JetBlue (tel. 800/JET-BLUE; www.jetblue.com) added Bermuda to its route menu in May this year offering daily non-stop flights from its JFK terminal starting at $129 each way. If you can't get to New York for departures, United Airlines (tel. 800/241-6522; www.united.com) has service out of Washington, D.C. leaving the capital on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Through March 2007, fares start at $298 round-trip before taxes and fees.
Bermuda also offers packages in conjunction with several upcoming events. Out of Baltimore, TNT Vacations (tel. 888/468-6846; www.tntvacations.com) has a four-nighter to the Bermuda Music Festival departing October 5, 2006, that includes airfare and accommodations at your choice of hotels starting from $1,049 per person based on two people traveling together. Tickets to the Bermuda Music Festival (tel. 866/468-7619), which takes place October 4 to 7, cost $60 for general admission seating. The event is hosted by Steve Harvey; headliners include Gladys Knight and India.Arie. The Tourism Bermuda website at also has "Special Offers" to the festival departing out of New York that include airfare, hotel, round-trip transfers for the festival and three-days' general admission seating. Four-day/three-night packages start at $1,058 before taxes and fees.
Another great Bermuda event is the "Bermuda Gourmet Getaway," a culinary weekend taking place October 26-30, 2006, hosted by Food Network star chef Bobby Flay who's joined by other well-known gourmands. TNT Vacations also has packages to this event starting from $1,498 for a four-day/three-night combo including airfare, a standard room at the Harmony Club (tel. 888/427-6664; www.harmonyclub.com) and tickets to the each day of the event. Seminars, cocktail parties, food tastings, plenty of eating and face-to-face time with well-known star chefs is what this programis all about.
If you choose to do it yourself and sample the islands' 23 miles of coastline, pink sand and clear waters, Bermuda has lodging options from beachfront resorts to small guest cottages. An example of the typical charm of a Bermuda guest house, The Munro Beach Guest Cottages (tel. 441/234-1175; www.munrobeach.com) have ocean view cottages starting at $140 per night per couple with a $40 additional fee for an extra person above 16 years old and $75 per night for an extra person below 16. The peaceful cottages are duplexes, meaning one is attached to another, and come with full kitchens. The hotel is located in Southampton Parrish along five acres of the South Shore overlooking Whitney Bay. Next door to the hotel you'll find the Port Royal Golf Course that also has tennis facilities. Fishing, diving, and snorkeling are available through the hotel or the many established local providers specializing in water activities.
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers on our Bermuda Message Boards today.