A beautiful island boasting fantastic weather, a dazzling landscape and thriving cultural pride, Bermuda is nothing short of a meeting and vacation paradise. While known for its laid-back and relaxed approach to life, Bermuda enjoys a healthy economy and can really get down to business. Meeting participants from around the world come to Bermuda to make the most of its spectacular meeting venues while drawing inspiration and much-needed down time away from fast-paced mainland life.
Just a short two-hour flight from the U.S. East Coast, Bermuda is only 650 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, making travel to this island oasis highly convenient from the States. Travelers touch down at L.F. Wade International Airport, located just 10 miles east of Hamilton, Bermuda's capital city. L.F. Wade International offers service to and from the United States, Europe and Canada with several non-stop flights to major destinations.
Once in Bermuda, the government-run bus and ferry system provides daily service throughout the island, but the environmentally-conscious island nation does not allow rental cars. Instead, visitors can find taxis at the airport, outside of major hotels, and throughout the city of Hamilton and town of St. George, or can book from among the many charter transportation hubs.
Upon arrival in Bermuda, guests find no shortage of ways to get around. The government-run bus and ferry system provides daily service throughout the island, and visitors can find taxis at the airport, outside of major hotels, and throughout the City of Hamilton and Town of St. George, or they can book transportation from among the many charter shuttles.
Business travelers will find that meetings in Bermuda are anything but buttoned-up. Offering the most flexible meeting space in the country, The Fairmont Southampton, perched high above pristine pink sand beaches, boasts several indoor and outdoor venues. The 593-guest-room resort is home to a 15,000-square-foot beach club that can accommodate up to 1,500 people, as well as 14 indoor meeting rooms and a 12,000-square-foot ballroom. Meanwhile, just across the bay from The Fairmont Southampton, The Fairmont Hamilton Princess's iconic pink building offers 19,000 square feet of meeting space in its ballroom and 18 meeting rooms.
To add an island twist to events, Bermuda offers a wide variety stimulating venues. Mix and mingle in the glow of a 140,000-gallon replica of the island's coral reef at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo, which offers reception spaces for up to 150 people. Meanwhile, the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute has the facilities to accommodate events of all kinds. Host a luncheon for 300 people at its waterfront La Coquille restaurant, a lecture series at its 148-seat Tradewinds Auditorium, or a 30-person meeting at its Royal Caribbean Room.
An offshore financial center, Bermuda's economy centers heavily on international business. In fact, the Bermuda Stock Exchange is the world's largest fully electronic offshore securities market. Tourism also plays a key role in Bermuda, as the island attracts over half a million visitors every year.
Bermuda's stellar reputation is due to its unique island flavor, natural beauty, cultural sites and family-friendly activities. With a total area of just 21 square miles and a maximum width of 1.75 miles, Bermuda actually consists of about 180 islands and inlets that together resemble a fishhook. The islands are linked by bridges and divided into nine parishes, from the bustling Pembroke Parish, home of the island's capital Hamilton, to the serene Devonshire Parish, marked by lush, rolling hills and marshes.
What Bermuda lacks in size it makes up for in spectacular attractions and scenery. Whether sunning on its unique pink beaches or hitting the links at one of its seven championship golf courses, you'll find that the country's stunning landscape is home to a number of popular activities. Saddle up for a horseback ride at South Shore Park. Take a diving or snorkeling expedition among the more than 400 historic wrecks that have surrounded the islands for centuries, such as the nearly 500-foot Spanish luxury liner Cristobal Colon. Visit the 36-acre Bermuda Botanical Gardens, home to a wealth of native flora. Or, explore the islands from 120 feet below ground at the Crystal Caves, where stalactites and stalagmites glitter and gleam from years of nature's polishing.
Though Bermuda's natural surroundings can easily be the star of the show, the country's rich cultural scene is also well worth exploring. Embark on a tour of Bermuda's more than 785 historic homes, which range from Georgian-style Verdmont House Museum to the plantation-style Springfield building complex. See antique coins and Bermuda silver at the Bermuda Historical Society Museum, or over 1,200 pieces of Bermuda-inspired art at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. Guests can even take some of the island home at the Bermuda Craft Market, where over 60 local artists sell ceramics, jewelry, glassware and more.
Bermudian culture is also celebrated at its numerous eateries. From roadside cafes to chic waterside restaurants, the island's traditional establishments offer diners favorites including Hoppin' John (peas and rice), Peas and Plenty (black-eyed peas with onions, salt pork and rice) and the popular Bermuda Fish Chowder. Thanks to its mid-ocean location, Bermuda diners can also enjoy fresh seafood, including angelfish, wahoo and rockfish at venues such as Black Horse Tavern, Lobster Pot and Boathouse Bar and Port O' Call. End any day in Bermuda on a high note by enjoying a cool tropical drink and some laid-back entertainment at bars such as Hammerheads Bar & Grill and the Pickled Onion.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Bermuda boasts a year-round mild, sub-tropical climate with average temperatures ranging from 68°F to 84°F. Bermuda's warmest month is August, with an average high of 86°F and average low of 76°F, while January, February and March are the island's coolest months, each with an average high of 70°F and average low of 58°F.
The average annual rainfall in Bermuda is 58 inches, with October and November being the island's wettest months. Bermuda summers can be quite humid, with an average humidity of 85 percent from July to October. Summer water temperatures can reach 85°F.
The best time to visit Bermuda is really anytime. The island's mild temperatures and warm waters can be enjoyed year-round, but visitors should just be aware of Bermuda's high summer humidity.
Fairmont Hamilton Princess
Nestled next to the harbor in Hamilton just 30 minutes from the L.F. Wade International Airport, the award-winning Fairmont Hamilton Princess has been a Bermuda favorite for over 125 years. Referred to as "The Pink Palace" for its distinctive color, the hotel has been a favorite of celebrities as well, attracting the likes of Mark Twain and Ian Fleming, who reportedly used its Gazebo Bar in his novel Dr. No.
Already celebrated for its mix of old world Victorian charm and state-of-the-art business capabilities, The Fairmont Hamilton Princess recently underwent a $1.5 million renovation, resulting in a new ballroom and meeting rooms. Today, The Fairmont Hamilton Princess offers a total of 19,000 square feet of meeting space. The new Harborview Ballroom can accommodate up to 1,000 people, while its 18 meeting rooms range in capacity from 20 to 300 people. Additionally, the hotel's lush gardens, terraces and patios offer exceptional outdoor space for up to 500 attendees.
Amenities at the 410-guestroom hotel include a spa, salon, fitness center and two outdoor swimming pools. Guests may dine al fresco at Harley's Restaurant and Harley's Terrace or enjoy the award-winning afternoon tea held at the new Heritage Court, located adjacent to the hotel lobby and Japanese koi pond. Business travelers can also enjoy high-speed Internet access and an on-site business center. The Fairmont Hamilton Princess offers complimentary ferry service to The Fairmont Southampton's golf, beach, spa and tennis facilities.
Boasting the largest convention and meeting facilities in Bermuda, The Fairmont Southampton is an exciting tropical resort perched high above Southampton's pristine pink sand beaches. Located just 30 minutes from the L.F. Wade International Airport, the award-winning resort features 593 guest rooms, an acclaimed golf course, a 31,000-square-foot luxury spa and six unique restaurants, including the historic AAA Four Diamond Waterlot Inn.
Meeting facilities at The Fairmont Southampton include several fantastic indoor and outdoor spaces. The 15,000-square-foot Fairmont Beach Club offers a private beach and cove, great snorkeling and several event and meeting venues for up to 1,500 people. The Beach Club's Cabana features a circular seating area overlooking the beach, a built-in bar and space for 60 people. Meanwhile, the Ocean Club restaurant can host up to 100 people from its perch on a coral cliff overlooking the ocean.
The Fairmont Southampton has 14 indoor meeting rooms ranging in size from 310 square feet to 4,437 square feet. Banquets and receptions can also take advantage of the 11,890-square-foot Poinciana Ballroom and 7,800-square-foot Mid-Ocean Ampitheatre, which accommodates up to 700 people.
The resort offers a full suite of on-site business services, including catering and video production services. It even has an in-house destination management company, Discover Bermuda. The Fairmont Southampton runs complimentary resort shuttles daily from 7:30 AM to 11:30 PM, as well as complimentary ferry service to The Fairmount Hamilton Princess.
L.F. Wade International Airport (BDA)
Approximate taxi fare: $35 BMD
Located just 10 miles east of Hamilton, the L.F. Wade International Airport is the island's sole airport. Offering service to and from the United States, Europe and Canada, L.F. Wade International sees non-stop flights from Atlanta, Boston, Miami, Newark, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Halifax, London and Toronto. The one-terminal airport serves approximately one million passengers per year.
Airport amenities include free wireless Internet service, a number of restaurants, lounges and shops, and a public bus service that runs every 15 minutes during peak travel times. All passengers departing from L.F. Wade International to the United States receive pre-clearance for US Customs.
Airline carriers serving L.F. Wade International Airport
Travelers opting for the government-run bus and ferry systems may wish to purchase an Island Transportation Pass, good for unlimited use on both systems. A one-day pass costs $12, a two-day pass costs $20, a three-day pass costs $28, a four-day pass costs $35 and a seven-day pass costs $45. Passes can be bought at the Central Terminal, the Visitors' Service Bureau in Hamilton and other authorized outlets.
Bermuda's government-run bus system consists of 11 routes and 14 zones, each covering about two miles of the 21.6-mile island. Most buses leave from the Central Terminal, next to City Hall in Hamilton, and provide frequent, quick service to most major areas of interest. Passengers may look for station poles with pink tops to symbolize rides inbound to Hamilton, while station poles with blue tops symbolize rides outbound of Hamilton.
Buses run daily, with most lines starting around 7 AM and closing around 11 PM. The L.F. Wade International Airport is accessible via routes 1, 3, 10 and 11.
Bus fares are set on a three-zone or 14-zone system, meaning a bus journey can cover up to three zones or between four and 14 zones. Three-zone cash fare is $3, while 14-zone cash fare is $4.50.
Bermuda's government-run ferry system consists of four daily ferry routes, each departing from the Ferry Terminal on Front Street in Hamilton. The Blue Route runs along the western end of the island, stopping at the Royal Naval Dockyard, Watford Bridge and Cavello Bay. The Pink Route stops in Paget and Warwich parishes. The Green Route stops at Rockaway in Southampton Parish and Somerset Bridge in Sandys Parish. Finally, the summer-only Orange Route stops at the Royal Naval Dockyard and St. George.
Ferries accept tokens or transportation passes, but no cash. One-way token fare for the Blue and Green routes is $2 for youths ages 5-16 and $4 for adults. One-way token fare for the Pink Route is $2 for youths and $2.50 for adults. Orange Route fares range from $4 to $8 depending on length of trip. Children under age 5 ride free.
Rental cars are not available on the island of Bermuda. However, a number of companies providing airport transfers and ground transportation management services are available. Bee Line Transportation, Ltd. and Bermuda Hosts, Ltd. are among the reputable agencies.
Taxis in Bermuda can be found outside of larger hotels and at the L.F. Wade International Airport, as well as on the streets of the city of Hamilton and town of St. George. All taxis run on a meter rate. Taxis carrying one to four passengers charge $6.40 for the first mile and $2 for each additional mile Monday through Saturday from 6 AM to midnight. Taxis carrying five to six passengers charge $8 for the first mile and $2.50 each additional mile Monday through Saturday from 6 AM to midnight.
Taxi fares are 25 percent higher Monday through Saturday from midnight to 6 AM, all day Sunday and public holidays. Hourly taxi sightseeing rates are $40 per hour for one- to four-passenger taxis and $55.50 for five- to six-passenger "taxis".
A one-way trip from the L.F. Wade International Airport to the Hamilton city center costs $35.
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