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“An illusion shattered!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Front Street

Front Street
Hamilton, Bermuda
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Top Rated
and up
Bermuda Rum Cruise
Ranked #9 of 30 Attractions in Hamilton
Type: Historic Walking Areas, Neighborhoods, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Cultural
Activities: Shopping, Dining, Drinking
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Attraction details
Owner description: Upscale shopping district, lined with posh department stores such as Triminghams.
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“An illusion shattered!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2006

My wife and I first visited Bermuda in the 1980s as a cruise stop; we were so taken by its beauty and serenity. Everyone was so well dressed, the shopping was excellent and the beaches were superb. We were so impressed that over a decade later when I retired in 1996 we had no hesitation in returning to Bermuda for a stay of 10 days and again we found it idyllic.

However, in December 2005 we crossed the Atlantic on Crystal Serenity, sailing from Lisbon. One of our two stops was to Bermuda and we couldn't wait to see it once again. Imagine our great disappointment when we arrived at Front Street to find both department stores, Triminghams and Smiths, had closed after over 150 years. Seemingly, so we were told, they had gone bankrupt as a result of competition from the Internet that had affected sales to both locals and visiting tourists. The economy has deteriorated and Bermuda has lost its sparkle. Whether that is equally true of its hotels we were unable to discover.

For us our recent experience has shattered an illusion and we are so sorry we returned.

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165 reviews from our community

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English first
Mission BC
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
“over rated”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2005

Visited in July 2005 for 2 weeks. We covered all the shops and a couple of restaurants on front street, our hotel was at one end. It wasn't exactly what we expected. The shopping is way over rated. The famous Trimminghams is out of business as of July 27, they were having there big closeout sale while we were there. A lot of stores selling expensive porcelain figurines, dinner services and various fragile ornaments and glassware. The prices are the same or more than in Canada so I assume the USA as well. I didn't see the point trying to carry any of this stuff back home in one piece and risking getting nailed for tax by customs. Lots of jewlery stores also. The expensive watch my wife bought me in Canada was exactly the same price when the exchange and canadian sales taxes were factored in. Rolex also appears to be the same price as in the USA. A lot of souvenir shops selling the usual cruise-ship-port style of made in china junk. It seemed like everything we picked up was made in china! U$6 for a mug, $4 for a fridge magnet etc. I wanted a nice Bermuda t-shirt or golf shirt but couldn't find one, piles of tacky tourist $9.95 poor quailty T-shirts are every where. We wanted a nice bright picture of bermuda with palm trees in it, but we couldn't find one, all the stores sell the same washed out water colors mostly by the same artist but even other artists work looked the same, I can't explain that, you have to see it. If you like the pastel water color look you are in luck, most unframed prints are $10-20. I watched a guy inquiring about buying a framed picture and having it shipped to the USA, the clerk said foget it, its to expensive and to much trouble to pack it! My wife wanted some Nike sandals that were U$50, but they only had 2 sizes in stock, this happened at 5 stores with several different styles of shoes. A good thing, she came home yesterday with the exact same pair she wanted for $42 Canadian dollars! We went to the much touted Irish linen shop. We had intended to buy new bedding after reading about it on line and in a magazine. When we walked in the staff were arguing about something petty and didn't stop due to us. The inventory was patchy and limited, only a couple of pieces of some styles and sizes etc. The merchanise is not displayed well either, boxes piled on the floor etc. If you are going to shell out U$580 for 2 bed sheets (I kid you not) the shopping experience had better be in order, we left without buying. We ate at the Onion pub/restaurant which was packed and a "happening place" particulary when the cruise ships are in, if you like loud busy pubs with lots of young people. Dinner was good but not worth U$90 for 2 compared to what we can get a home. If you are staying outside the Hamilton city try to visit town when there are no cruise ships, its much more enjoyable walking around with 3000 less people on the street. Note the shops close at 6pm but some stay open later for the ships, they are closed all day Sunday. The infamous "bird cage" is nothing unusual, its usually empty, we only saw uniformed officers in it a couple of times when the ships are in. Don't get me wrong, its well worth a half day or so browsing. Its very clean compared to most cities I've been to and it is very safe. There are no panhandlers or any body bothering you. If you have limited time and have to choose how you spend your day go to the beach for free instead! Luis Vuiton will survive with out you!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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