About Time’s Guide to: Hamilton, BermudaBy Alicia Grimshaw
Known for its blend of global sophistication, vibrant nightlife and local flavour, Bermuda’s capital city, Hamilton, is a friendly harbour town teeming with culinary experiences, bespoke shops and quirky cocktail bars, inviting travellers to immerse in the island’s cosmopolitan culture. Boasting year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches and attractions to suit every traveller, Bermuda’s picturesque, pastel-coloured commercial heart is the perfect city escape.
Hamilton: What to Do
City of Hamilton Walking Tour
Take in the capital’s fascinating history, harbour views and pastel-coloured architecture during the Hamilton Walking Tour – the best way to explore the city and gain an appreciation for Bermuda’s local flavours. Start by visiting the City Hall & Arts Centre on Church Street, home to the Bermuda National Gallery which features both local and international art, before exploring the colourful lanes and hidden alleys off the iconic Front Street. Travellers can watch the street come alive with the irresistible rhythms of Bermuda’s beloved Gombey dancers during the island’s weekly summer street party, Harbour Nights. Visitors will also explore some of Bermuda’s oldest historic churches including the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, with the chance to climb the 143-foot tower for breathtaking views of the city below.
The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute
Explore deep-ocean environments without dipping a toe in the water at the Ocean Discovery Centre at The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute located in the city centre. Home to fascinating artefacts and interactive exhibits, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of our oceans and the mysterious marine life of the sea-bottom. Decipher the mysteries of the Bermuda triangle at the latest exhibit ‘Bermuda Triangle: Unlock the Secrets’, where families can analyse the coral-encrusted coins and shipwreck treasures or enter the simulated shark cage dive for an exhilarating life-like experience.
Photo credit: The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute
Jet Ski Tours
Explore Hamilton from Bermuda’s crystal-clear waters during a Jet Ski Tour with K.S. Watersports & Jet Ski Tours, located at the prestigious Hamilton Princess Hotel and Princess Marina. Travellers can enjoy a high-speed thrill skimming across the ocean whilst discovering hard-to-reach beaches, hidden coves and spooky shipwrecks. Suitable for all ages and skill levels, these epic tours offer an exhilarating and fun way to enjoy Hamilton from ashore.
Go Shopping for Iconic Bermuda Shorts
Whether out for lunch at one of Hamilton’s dreamy restaurants or lying with a cocktail in hand on Elbow Beach, the chances are you’ll encounter at least a few pairs of Bermuda shorts during your time on the island. Why not take a shopping trip and score your own pair of iconic Bermuda shorts from TABS (The Authentic Bermuda Shorts) located in the Walker Arcade in Hamilton to make the ultimate island statement. Available in a spectrum of island-inspired colours from Princess Pink to Parrotfish Turquoise, tropical prints and both men’s and women’s cuts, travellers can dress like a local with a pair of Bermuda shorts to suit every taste and colour palette.
Hamilton: Where to Eat
Culture & Cuisine’s Guided Walking Tour
Eat, drink and explore Bermuda one step and one bite at a time on the Culture & Cuisine guided walking tour around the island’s capital. Offering six to seven delicious food stops and passing Hamilton’s most interesting and inviting attractions, the walking tour is the perfect way to indulge in all of the flavours of Bermuda. Stopping at La Trattoria for flavourful freshly caught fish, Dangelini’s Cafe & Bakery, known as one of the most energetic coffee shops on the island and the Hog Penny Restaurant & Pub, the oldest pub in Bermuda’s capital, visitors can indulge in the cosmopolitan flavours of Bermuda during this delicious guided walking tour.
Afternoon High Tea at The Hamilton Princess & Beach Club
From the iconic red phone booths to the bobby-hatted policemen, Bermuda’s heritage is undeniably British and with these strong British cultural influences, it comes at no surprise that Bermudians observe high tea and The Hamilton Princess & Beach Club is the perfect place to go. The luxury hotel serves an exquisite afternoon tea in the Crown & Anchor restaurant, a traditional lounge offering breathtaking views of Hamilton’s harbour. Guests can choose from an array of herbal infused tea, along with sweet or savoury options including macaroons and melted brie and prosciutto crostinis.
Catch and Cook a Spiny Lobster
Long awaited by the Bermudian locals is the Spiny Lobster Season, beginning in September and running through till March. The delicacy is smaller than its Maine counterpart but is just as tender and flavourful. An exciting way to enjoy it is to catch it alongside a licensed local lobster diver and then cook it back on shore, learning the ropes of shelling and cooking all in one go – the ultimate skill to perfect and take home. Alternatively, those who are craving a cook-your-own experience but short on time can head to the fishermen’s stands near Burchall Cove in Hamilton Parish to purchase lobster fresh off the boat.
Hamilton: Where to Stay
Hamilton Princess & Beach Club
Known as the ‘Pink Palace’ due to its soft pink walls and luxurious Fairmont gold wing, The Hamilton Princess & Beach Club is a world-class luxury accommodation. The newly refurbished 400-room urban resort overlooks the lively harbour and is just a short five-minute walk into the lively city centre of Hamilton. Perfect for those looking to relax and unwind, the Exhale Spa offers an indulgent sanctuary of wellbeing designed to uplift and rejuvenate guests. Meanwhile, those wanting to sip cocktails beachside can head to the Princess Beach Club, situated in a private cove on Sinky Bay, just a 20-minute drive from the hotel.
Royal Palms Hotel
Situated on the west side of Hamilton among lush gardens of exotic fruit trees, frangipani and aloe vera sits the Royal Palms Hotel. The Victorian-era manor house turned classic boutique hotel has just 32 rooms and offers a blend of beautiful colonial and Bermudian architecture. Onsite is the award-winning Ascots Restaurant, a fine-dining experience that specialises in continental cuisine as well as its renowned voluminous wine cellar – perfect for every wine lover.
The Oxford House
Set in an elegant Bermuda-style townhouse located just a few minute’s walk from the world-famous Front Street, award-winning The Oxford House combines old-world charm with modern amenities. Built in 1938, the stately townhouse is decorated in the manner of a handsome private residence, offering 12 spacious rooms that cater to guests every need and desire. A beautiful garden sanctuary wraps around the hotel where guests can immerse themselves in the peace and quiet of Hamilton’s western end.
Hamilton: Inside Tip From a Local
Rebecca Hanson is the founder of Bermuda shorts company, TABS (The Authentic Bermuda Shorts). Rebecca is born and bred Bermudian, taking the island’s iconic article of clothing and giving them a colourful, contemporary makeover.
Rebecca’s favourite thing about the island is how natural it is to use the “no filter” hashtag on Instagram. “You just don’t need a filter” she says. “You wake up every morning and you say, I’ve gotta do something with these colours.”
In terms of her favourite things to do on the island, Rebecca recommends 1609 in Hamilton for cocktails – a gorgeous bar overlooking Hamilton Harbour. Her firm favourite is the Island Storm made with Bermuda’s famous Gosling Black Seal Rum. For sushi lovers, Rebecca recommends Pearl in Front Street, where the dining room has plasma televisions with a direct feed to the kitchen, so guests can watch the chefs prepare their meal!
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