Tucker's Point Hotel & Spa, Bermuda
A dramtic Bermudian sunset sets the tone for a relaxed evening in the Tucker’s Point Clubhouse
- Family Vacations: a wide range of activities for parents and their youngsters: a nearby beach club, four swimming pools, tennis, biking, all manner of water sports and other outdoor pursuits, world class golf; sumptuous family lodgings; a choice of dining options.
- Romantic Breaks: Breathtaking scenery; a multitude of activities for couples; intimate dining; serene accommodations with sea views and a world-class spa.
NEW HOLIDAY PLEASURES AWAIT YOUR DISCOVERY ON THIS TIMELESS ISLAND IN THE SUN
Bermuda was the the holiday hideaway of the seriously wealthy long before the advent of mass civil aviation. In those days, it was known as the millionaire's playground and yachts were the preferred mode of arrival. One needed to be both well-keeled and well-heeled.
The clientèle, largely American, is rather more egalitarian these days but it remains an elite destination, one of compelling beauty: sapphire waters, unsullied beaches of pink sand, pastel-coloured buildings and a floral panoply that paints a rainbow, one end dipping into that dazzling harbour... There's a touch more traffic than in days of yore but the speed limit is still 20 mph, a fair indication of the pace of life.
"No problems," is the standard reply to any request, but there'll be no hurry, either. Bermudians are so laid back they're almost horizontal.
The climate is a major contributor here. The island is on a latitude with North Carolina and enjoys similar sub-tropical weather, which means that the usual holiday activities and sports, from big game fishing to tennis and golf, are possible year-round.
Crass commercialism, like fast food outlets, is anathema in the oldest self-governing British colony. Nothing is allowed to intrude on the gentle ambience so redolent of those heady pre-war days when the island was the holiday venue for much of Western society, most of whom had summer homes there.
Holiday accommodation these days ranges from svelte hotels and exclusive lodges to beach-side cottages and small guest houses and apartments, all overlooking the harbour or the ocean beaches. The scenery is totally hypnotic. They say of Bermuda that once is not enough. Go once and you'll return: make that the Tucker's Point Resort and you won't want to leave.
Bermuda, a collection of coral islands, is not in the Caribbean, a common misconception: it is mid-Atlantic and only 770 miles south east of New York City but on a latitude with North Carolina, which is 650 miles to the west. It is 80 minutes by air from New York city and about seven hours from Gatwick. It's been called the Crossroads of the Atlantic.
The Tucker's Point Club resort , which encompasses the hotel, golf club & spa, is about 20 minutes by road from Hamilton, the capital, and about 15 minutes from the airport at the eastern end of the island.
Click here to see a local map.
ABOUT THE GOLF
There are eight courses in Bermuda: three are government-owned pay-and-play and three are private, although they accept visitors by arrangement. One of the latter is the Mid Ocean Club, for many years numbered among the world's great courses and now the venue for the annual PGA Grand Slam which attracts the winners of the world's major championships. The other two courses are part of resort complexes, one of which is our recommended hideaway.
The golf club is part of the Tucker’s Point Club, a premier resort, private club and residential community located 15 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the capital city of Hamilton.
Formerly known as Castle Harbor, it changed hands about ten years ago and has had an expansive make-over with no expense spared. It has a new hotel and spa (see below) plus the re-vamped golf course now gaining rave reviews.
Sandwiched between Castle Harbour and Harrington Sound, the resort is a breathtaking waterfront property, its golf course heavily undulating with many elevated tees and greens that stretch the card and bring compelling views of the surrounding scenery. Concentration is hard won here! The course is a test for the average golfer but good fun and with rolling Tifeagle greens regarded as the finest in Bermuda and some way beyond.
Guests of Tucker’s Point receive playing privileges at the renowned Mid Ocean Club, which consistently ranks among the world’s top 100 courses. Tee times are offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and caddies are available. Mid Ocean was laid out in 1921 by Charles Blair Macdonald, the first great American architect, who was smitten by Scottish courses while at St Andrews University.
Naturally, then, his philosophy was minimalist; he preferred to let nature dictate matters, typified at Mid Ocean which may be the equal of his finest design, the National Links in New York.
Surrounded by the ocean, it is a stunning site enhanced by soaring pines and flowering shrubbery. Much of the course is laid over gentle hills and vales, with lakes featuring on several holes and traditional-style bunkering prominent.
Many greens are above head height, adding to the problems in judgement of distance and on the higher ground, around the course perimeter, the sea wind is a constant factor. Shot values here are of the highest order, even on the gentle holes.
A round at Mid Ocean has a lovely tempo, a series of crescendos finding counterpoints in more subdued passages, the mark of exemplary design. There's not a weak hole and most are memorable.
At 6,512 yards from the back tees, Mid Ocean falls short of the modern trends in length but the wind, the light but cloying rough and the rolling fairways serve to disguise this. So, better your handicap at Mid Ocean and you'll have holiday memories to savour in your dotage.
There is a tennis centre, a spa and fitness centre, a water sports centre offering scuba diving and various forms of boating, including sailing instruction. The resort also has four swimming pools, one inside and three out doors.
The Beach Club at Tucker's Point features Bermuda's largest private beach; two freshwater swimming pools; a restaurant overlooking the surf of the South Shore and the Atlantic Ocean; and a bar pavilion. These amenities are available from April to October. In the autumn and winter months the beach remains open from sunrise to sunset.
The Tucker’s Point Tennis Centre features four Har-Tru clay tennis courts and locker rooms. Clinics for men, ladies and juniors are available weekly and private lessons may be arranged with the professional staff. The tennis courts are equipped with lights for evening play. Scooter and bicycle rental is also available.
ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN
There is a children's water park, including a water slide and trampoline as part of a playground. The Horizon Pool at the beach club is reserved for guests aged 13 and older, while the Fountain Pool is perfect for families with young children. Tennis and golf lessons for juniors are also available. Each July and August, children aged 5 to 12 years of age may sign up for Camp Seahorse which features a tennis lesson, a golf clinic and a cooking lesson at the Grille Room. There are daily swims at the Beach Club Fountain Pool and a day trip to the Tucker's Point Water Park.
WHERE TO STAY
The Tucker's Point hotel, known as the Manor House, is sumptuous in extremis: it has 88 guest rooms and suites, all with balconies/terraces giving sea views. The hotel has a library, concierge service and transportation to all points and attractions of the resort.
The Tucker's Point Club offers a variety of options. The principal dining room is the elegant Point Restaurant which offers fine linen, bone china and French cutlery complimenting classic cuisine and service. Gentlemen are required to wear a jacket or blazer in the evenings; a tie is optional. Candlelight creates a special atmosphere for dinner parties and a la carte dining and the wine cellar carries more than 3,000 labels. Breakfast is also served here.
The Beach Club Restaurant & Bar has a casual elegance and offers a simple yet sophisticated menu. Ocean views from a shaded pergola perched above a pink-sand beach creates a dramatic setting for lunch and dinner. The clubhouse is the social centre of the club where hotel guests are welcome. Lunch is served daily at the Grille Room & Bar, which is lavishly decorated and opens onto a verandah overlooking Castle Harbour. The Café offers casual al fresco dining, French bistro-style, for lunch and dinner.
WHEN TO GO
November to March is the best time for a golf vacation in Bermuda. Hotel rates are considerably cheaper, tee times are easier to obtain and the weather is cooler. However, golf is possible year-round and may be allied to a family holiday in summer.
Bermuda has a year-round mild semitropical climate with temperatures ranging from 68 to 84 degrees. Relative humidity 71 to 84 percent. Average annual rainfall is 57.6 inches. Summer water temperatures reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
TIPS TO ENHANCE YOUR HOLIDAY
Bermuda's airport is ten minutes away by road. The sea port, for yachts and cruise liners, is at Hamilton, the capital.
Motor scooters, bicycles, taxis, buses, harbour ferries and horse-drawn carriages are all common. There are no rental cars in Bermuda. Due to a strong environmental commitment, only one car is permitted per household. Everything in Bermuda is relatively close and once off the resort taxis are the safest form of transportation by road. For the adventurous, bikes and scooters (motorised bikes) are available on-site for exploring the island but US visitors should be aware that traffic drives on the left.
A ride on a harbour ferry is highly recommended. Regular services operate from Front Street in Hamilton to various points around the harbour on a circuitous route.
Packing Tips & Dress Code
Proper dress is considered good taste here. Bermuda smart casual for gentlemen is a collared shirt and slacks, or proper Bermuda shorts and knee-length socks. The question of a jacket or blazer depends on the formality of the restaurant, so pack at least one. The ladies' style is slacks, skirts, blouses and dresses.
Strict dress codes are enforced at all golf clubs. Shirts must have collars, and sleeveless varieties are prohibited. Shorts must be Bermuda length (to the knee) and jeans and cut-offs are absolutely not allowed.
The Bermuda Dollar (BD$). However, the US dollar is accepted by all merchants. Most hotels and stores accept major credit cards. For current rates of exchange, click here.
The country code for Bermuda is +441, then add the local number.
Other Local Insider Information
Most hotels and restaurants add a service charge to the bill; make sure this is not the case before leaving an additional tip. These kinds of charges are meant to be a convenience, replacing the need to tip individual concierges, valets, bellhops, waiters, maids, and servers. As a result, tip discreetly if you wish to leave an additional tip for exceptional service. Some establishments are strict about over-tipping. If a service charge is not a part of the bill, 15 percent is the standard for gratuities in restaurants, hotels, and bars. For taxi cabs, 10 to 15 percent, depending on circumstance, is the norm.
The Bermudian connection to its British heritage is among the strongest in the world. Remember this when getting dressed. While dress codes are not as strict as in other conservative countries (the local Bermuda shorts are considered suitable attire for nearly any occasion and are worn even on formal occasions with a jacket), beachwear is considered inappropriate anywhere except on the beach. In shops and on town streets, you should be fully dressed with a sun dress or shirt and shorts. For dinner, wear casual or formal clothing appropriate to the restaurant.
HOW TO BOOK YOUR VACATION
Request a Quotation or Use Our Recommended Golf Tour Operator
PGT can negotiate discounted rates and bonuses for our readers. Simply contact us giving details of preferred dates and your requirements and we will contact the resort on your behalf.
Alternatively you could
Book Through A Tour Operator
If you require a total holiday package including flights, transfers, accommodation and golf reservations PGT will recommend the tour operator who serves the resort or destination of your choice and negotiate any possible discount available.
To order US dollars from Travelex at the guaranteed best price availabe in the UK - at 0% commission, and with free airport pickup click here.
Insurance isn't fun but it is both important and a sensible investment when travelling overseas (particularly when transporting expensive golf equipment). We recommend American Express .