My wife and I stayed here for 9 nights (November 7-16) on holiday after searching for somewhere with a maximum of a seven hour flight from the UK, we never thought that we could have afforded Bermuda so were surprised when we saw the many good offers around and the fact that we could use our air miles at last!
We read various TripAdvisor reviews and I have to say, please ignore any of those that have a whinge - they are surely from those sorts of people who can never be satisfied. Yes, it's near the airport, but there are very few movements and you can barely hear the aircraft. Yes, some reviews say the place is a little run down, but they are tidying those areas up with a lick of paint and it just means that this hotel has some character - and it's all the better for it. And yes, there are some steps down to the pool or a small slope up or down to your rooms so if you have movement problems then you may need to think of that.
But to the positives, of which there are so many - the rooms were lovely with the most fantastic views - personally I think the deluxe rooms with ocean views are better than the sea front ones as the former are higher up and give breathtaking views of the bay. They are lovely and clean and have all the mod cons. The food is amazing and please, please go for the all- inclusive option - it's such a good deal. There's no buffet type dinners, you can eat off proper menus in one of two great restaurants, in fact you can eat yourself silly. The drinks are pretty much all included, which also covers cocktails too! The staff are so friendly and helpful, they will always try and help and the Bermudan people are the friendliest we have ever met. They sound American with their accent but actually mean it when they say "have a nice day". If you go all-inclusive you also get a bus and ferry pass which is worth it's weight in gold if you have a few rainy days and want to explore these stunningly beautiful islands. We were unlucky with our weather, we had five days of rain out of the nine and the bus trips just made our day. Where else will you get a lovely lady driving a bus asking a youth "heh, do you want to ride my bus? Well if you do, then pull up your pants" - what a refreshing change - and we're a young-ish couple too.
So onto the bad points - and these are few. During the off season most of the guests are over fifty so we felt a little young (is that not a good thing....). The weather can be a bit hit and miss, in November, it's about 73 degrees F and you can have some fresh northerly winds, if so, get on the bus and head down to one of the many beautiful beaches on the south coast out of the wind. The sea is cold but OK at about the same temperature but the pool is kept heated, a little too hot for me... Oh, and when the weather is looking dodgy the hotel is far too quick to close the pool side bar - which means there's a bit of a walk up the hill back to the main bar to get a drink. The kayaks and wind surfers are free if you're AI but the diving is, in my opinion, ludicrously pricey - especially if you're used to diving in the Maldives or Red Sea when it's actually worth it.
As to Bermuda, what a beautiful set of islands. There's lots to do, even when it's raining - the city of Hamilton is beautiful with lots of shops and St George's is the old little town with a fort, a beautiful bay and more craft based shops. On the downside, this is a very expensive island, so I'd suggest leaving shopping for somewhere else.
If you're into rugby then come in early November for the World Rugby Classic. It's a great tournament with lots of well known x- internationals and we even had the Ozzie team staying in our hotel. The Swizzle Inn pub, just 200yds from the hotel was also the hosts for the Canadian team so we had a great night with them in their 'muppet' fancy dress.
Some tips - if you want to snorkel (it's not the best place but OK for it) from Nov to March, then take a wet suit. Make use of the bus pass and just ride from one end of the islands to the other on the more scenic routes, on numbers 1 and 7. Try a dark and stormy or swizzle cocktail, I prefer the latter. Go for rooms in the 500 or 600 series. Oh, and don't plan to use the Internet WiFi unless you have more money than sense - it's 30 dollars for a week! And bring an appetite, you can eat for England - so expect to come back with a few extra pounds.
Overall, a wonderful hotel on a stunning island inhabited by the friendliest people on earth. Whether it rains or shines you'll have an amazing time with memories for a lifetime. If we can get a great deal again so that we can afford it we will definitely come back - and to this hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- Grotto Bay Beach Hotel Hamilton Parish
- Grotto Bay Bermuda
- Hotel Grotto Bay Beach
- Grotto Bay Beach Resort Bermuda/Hamilton Parish