Recently unveiled after a $100m restoration, Bermuda’s iconic Hamilton Princess & Beach Club is primed and ready to be the official home of the 35th America’s Cup in 2017. Marina visited to find out more…
A trip to Bermuda is never going to be a dull experience, but the sight of the infamous brightly coloured walls of Hamilton’s ‘Pink Palace’ is something that instantly lifts your spirits. First opened in 1885, this grand hotel is one of the largest in Bermuda and was popular with over-wintering Victorians, who came to enjoy the island’s tranquillity and fabulous weather.
Nowadays, the weather is obviously still fabulous (Hamilton has a warm, subtropical climate that averages between about 16°C and 30°C year round) and your holiday can be astranquil – or raucous – as you like! The Princess’s facilities have been completely transformed in the restoration, and guests who prefer the quiet life will fall instantly in love with the newly renovated negative-edge infinity pool, which overlooks the shimmering harbour on the quiet western shore of the resort. Sun loungers shaded by two towering palm trees are perched on island-like pavilions that float just above the pool’s water, with decks made of Syrian limestone and azure blue-glazed tiles. The exclusive Princess Beach Club, which opened during the summer of 2015, is just a short ride from the hotel by private jitney, where it is located on the South Shore along a sheltered turquoise swimming cove that meets a crescent-shaped stretch of soft white-sand shoreline.
Wandering from our room to the stunning restaurant, Marcus’ – led by internationally acclaimed Chef Marcus Samuelsson – we take in the tropical planted gardens and immaculate lawns. The focal point of this open-air restaurant is a colourful subway-tiled 30-seat bar lined with teal high-backed stools, surrounded by leather banquettes and a private dining alcove decorated with Warhol portraits of Mick Jagger. Custom hanging pendant lamps and drawings by Nelson Mandela vie with distinctively Bermudian decorative touches such as nautical canvas sail cloths and vintage ephemera above the open-air kitchen. An eclectic menu created by Samuelsson celebrates the island’s vibrant flavours, freshly-caught fish, and locally-sourced seasonal ingredients.
A less formal dining experience awaits at the new 1609 Bar & Restaurant, a harbour-side cocktail bar and grill situated on the hotel’s new marina. An open-air space with stunning waterfront views, it features a sleek marine-inspired interior with clean, simple lines. Named after the year the survivors of the Sea Venture shipwreck arrived in Bermuda as the island’s first settlers, the open-air dining structure offers a laid-back social atmosphere and a menu that includes charcuterie and flatbread pizza as well as classic Bermudian cocktails such as the Rum Swizzle and Dark & Stormy.
In search of relaxation, we take treatments in the bright and peaceful 5,400-square foot spa and fitness centre, Exhale Bermuda, which overlooks Hamilton’s harbour. It boasts nine therapy rooms, four manicure stations and two pedicure thrones with an adjoining Zen lounge and wellbeing boutique. A state-of-the-art Mind Body Gym and fitness Studio offers expertly created Barre, Yoga and Cardio classes. The spa experience extends outside into a new spa pool and poolside yoga pavilion, while an adjacent 2,150-square-foot fitness centre spans two stories with state-of-the-art equipment by Technogym.
Having explored the hotel and grounds, we set off to the private Princess Beach Club, at one of the island’s most picturesque and prestigious spots, South Beaches. We spent a blissful day snorkelling in the clear blue sea, watching shoals of brightly coloured tropical fish, and lazing under the tropical Bermudan sun. It’s easy to see why this stretch of sand is some of the island’s hottest real estate.
But the Hamilton Princess isn’t just about chilled out luxury. The official home of the 35th America’s Cup, it is the first and only full-service marina in Bermuda and houses up to 60 berths, ranging in size to accommodate vessels, pleasure craft, tournament fishing boats, as well as super yachts. A watersports facility outfits guests to tour the island on Jet Ski tours, pontoon rentals, Boston whaler boat rentals, kayaks, Hobie cats, paddle boards, private boat charters, and snorkelling tours. In fact, it’s the perfect spot from which to enjoy the thrills and spills of the America’s Cup next year. We’ll see you there!
Find out more
For more information on Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, please call +1 800 441 4141 or visit thehamiltonprincess.com