by Alex Palmer | May 01, 2018
Bermuda had a spectacular 2017. Thanks in part to its hosting the 35th America's Cup last June, the island had a record number of visitors for the year, who altogether spent $431 million on the island. Hotel occupancy was up 9.2 percent. Now the challenge is how this easy-to-reach destination can top itself. It is giving that goal a serious shot.

It helps that so much is happening here as far as new hotels and meetings space. One of the biggest projects is the Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club, a 400-room Fairmont-managed hotel, which last year completed a more than $100 million renovation. It offers 22,000 square feet of meeting space, including an 8,400-square-foot ballroom and 10 function rooms, as well as Marcus', a Bermuda-inspired restaurant from celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.

This historic "Pink Palace" also offers an 8,200-square-foot Exhale Spa, 2,150-square-foot fitness center, and a poolside pavilion for outdoor yoga or all varieties of other group activities. Guests staying at the property also can enjoy access to the Princess Beach Club. A 20-minute Beach Jitney drive from the property, it offers sun loungers, beach amenities, kayaks, and more in a place that will feel like guests' own private beach.

This year will see plenty of other Bermuda properties raising their game. The luxurious Rosewood Bermuda (formerly Rosewood Tucker's Point) last month reopened following a $25 million "reimagination" that made substantial improvements to the guest rooms, the Beach Club, Golf Clubhouse, and Sense, A Rosewood Spa -- as well as meeting space and F&B outlets.  

On the western end of the island, Willowbank Resort also reopened after a full renovation. It offers 50 rooms set on two pristine beaches, as well as a refurbished pool and tennis court, and a conference center that can seat up to 200 attendees.

Further on the horizon, the Azura Boutique Hotel and Residences (formerly the Surf Side Beach Club) will become available to hotel guests early next year, when 46 hotel beds will open as part of the first phase of the project (an additional 23 hotel beds are planned as part of the second phase). The St. Regis Hotel in historic St. George, which broke ground in May 2017, is expected to open in 2020. It will boast 122 rooms and suites, an 18-hole golf course, and casino.

Visitors will also be able to experience the culture and beauty of Bermuda this year through a number of new group-friendly tours and experiences. These include Sip & Savor Bermuda Food Tours, offering attendees an insider's appreciation of the local culinary scene; The Bermuda Triangle Beach Experience at Clearwater Beach, a bus tour of the island's bustling East End; and a "five senses experience" via the Wild Herbs 'N Plants of Bermuda tour, which incorporates a destination tour and cooking demo.


Questions or comments?  Email apalmer@ntmllc.com

This article appears in the May 2018 issue of Successful Meetings.