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“Book early ... and often. Grape Bay is amazing.”
Review of Grape Bay Cottages

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Grape Bay Cottages
Reviewed June 21, 2011

I happened upon Grape Bay Cottages through Trip Advisor and it proved to be the best vacation find yet. The website, although excellent, does not do justice to the beauty of the setting. If you want complete relaxation where you never feel compelled to leave the cottage or adjoining beach, Grape Bay Cottages is the place.
We (my wife, two daughters ages 18 and 15, and I) stayed in the Beach Home cottage during the first week of June. Getting there from the airport was a breeze, Maria Firth (owner along with her husband Doug) arranged for the taxi which was waiting for us when we exited from customs. It was a short 30 minute drive. We were all floored when we arrived by the view and the lovely cottage. The porch and master bedrooom overlook the beach and at night the only noise is the surf and tree frogs. The beach is almost private with only a few other homes along it's approximately 1 km length. I don't think there were more than ten other people on the beach at any time during our stay (except a wedding party having photographs one afternoon), and usually only one or two. The sand was wonderfully soft and clean, and the water an amazing blue. My daughter and I snorkled daily. There are coral formations within 10 meters of the beach going all the way to the main reef about 150 meters out. The variety of fish was great and large parrot fish could usually be seen in the shore break.
The local grocery is about a 15-20 minute walk along residential roads (I recommend the route around the currently closed Grape Bay Hotel ... it avoids the large hill on Grape Bay Road) and stocks pretty much anything you'll need. We ate all our meals at the cottage except for one dinner in Hamilton on Wharf Night (a block party on Wednesday night during the summer). Hamilton is about a 30-45 minute walk. Traffic can be a bit unnerving during the middle portion of the walk so I suggest doing it during non-rush hour periods and certainly not during the hours of darkness. Otherwise, a cab ride takes about 10 minutes and is around $10 plus tip. We used the bus and ferry system for island sightseeing. We purchased the tickets at the post office (about a 20 minute walk ... near the Modern Mart grocery) and had no problem using the system.
Maria and Doug are amazing hosts. Maria could not have been more helpful. Based on the availability calendar for summer 2012, the secret of Grape Bay is out so make sure you book early.
If you looking for a relaxing get away, romantic, family, or friends, this is the place.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank Eric77546
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 18, 2011

We booked a Christmas break in Bermuda after researching what was available via Trip Advisor. We were unsure as to whether an establishment could really have had 33 ‘excellent’ reviews but we need not have worried as, incredibly, they were all true! The level of service provided by Maria, the owner, was simply brilliant. At the end of our stay when Maria asked us if we could think of anything missing during our time at Beach Home, all we could think of was ‘egg cups’!

Here then is our experience of this accommodation:

Location
The cottages have a superb beach-side position and are at the end of a long and somewhat hilly and exclusive drive. This is the closest to the beach that we have ever stayed! Grape Bay is a beautiful stretch of white Bermudan sand. The beach is good for a stiff walk but not quite long enough for an extended morning run. There are mesmerising views out to the reef surrounding the island, just a little way off-shore. We experienced great surf due to a very windy and - for Bermuda - rather cool December. We went ‘boogie-boarding’ in the sea on a sunny Christmas Day which was truly special. The sea remained a lovely shade of turquoise blue even in cloudy weather.

Beach Home
The cottage was comfortable, homely and well equipped without being luxurious. There are views to die for from the front bedroom; sitting up in bed is a real attraction here. The cottages have wide American double beds plus reverse AC, i.e. central heating, which was needed as we were there in the coolest December on record! The living space is large, spacious and light; the kitchen well equipped with a large American fridge, a big cooker but a very small sink! There is a microwave, a coffee machine and a good teapot for UK visitors. Maria provides loads of towels including plenty of towels for the beach. The cottage was really quiet at night - apart from the sound of the wind and the surf - so sleeping was a pleasure.

Maria, the owner
Maria was so helpful and went out of her way (sometimes quite literally) for us; she arranged the airport pick-up, bought food for our first morning and collected us from the store after we’d bought our groceries locally. She also made reservations at a local restaurant for Christmas Day brunch (The Reefs) and arranged transport for us and the occupants of the other cottage. On Christmas Day, she dropped off the most delicious Bermudan rum cake we’d ever tasted – chock full of rum! Maria managed to achieve that delicate balance of good customer care and respect for our personal space and time. The booking was efficient and well handled, although sending the deposit via the USA proved to be expensive. She sent us maps, emails and even called us the week before to check on the heavy snow we were having in England!

Trips and visits
We had five nights in Bermuda and we got around mostly by walking – which could be a problem in seasons of high humidity. We walked from the cottage to the Botanical Gardens and participated in their excellent daily 10.30am walking tour of the Gardens. The railway trail looked good for walking but we used it mainly to get back and forth to the food store. We used the buses (straightforward even during Christmas-time). Maria bought the bus tickets for us and we then reimbursed her. The bus stops are 20mins or so uphill from the cottages. Note - the stop for St George’s was further away; just outside Charities House on the hospital road. We visited both ends of the island by bus; West to the Royal Naval Dockyard complex (well worth visiting) and East to St George’s. This proved to be a mistake and most disappointing, we would certainly not return there. How can a World Heritage Site shut down completely over a Holiday period? Crazy! We should have gone to the capital, Hamilton instead but we ran out of time – so what a great reason to have to return!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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5  Thank GB01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2011

I was there with my wife and my two adult daughters and we had a wonderful stay. The personal care and attention of Maria and Doug makes a big positive difference. We had several questions after we arrived and Maria was very helpful in resolving all our issues. Maria and Doug came by one day and we had a lovely chat for about 45 minutes. We felt very welcome staying there. The ocean front cottage was already reserved by someone and so we stayed at the cottage immediately behind it. It is built at an elevation and so the view in is unimpeded. There is a spacious veranda and from there you step down to a bit of lawn with a nice big patio. So in terms of space this one is actually better. The cottage is very clean and well kept. All the windows are new and they all work. Both the bedrooms are large. The kitchen is well applianced. The living room has a TV with good reception and lots of sofas, and also a dining table. Beach towels, lots of chairs, umbrella, etc. are all there. Right by the telephone are information about taxi services, etc. I'd recommend Albert. He is very polite, well spoken, informative, and his taxi is always very clean. We had brought along our own snorkling gear and we went snorkling right off the beach. The parrot fish were amazing. The cottage is at a very quiet and peaceful location. Just the way we like it. We planned and bought enough groceries so that we did not have to go anywhere if we did not want to. And believe me we ventured out as little as possible. The intent of this vacation was to just relax. And that we did in an environment that was just perfect. We will certainly go back.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled on business
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2  Thank TravelOwlBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2010

We stayed at Beach Home from Sept 1-7, 2010. I keep putting off writing this review, because I wanted to make sure that it accurately conveyed what a gem it is!

I echo the comments from other guests:
-- Maria, Doug, and Andrew (and Cal, the taxi driver) were so warm and welcoming that we immediately felt at home in Bermuda. We were there for our 10th anniversary, along with friends, and everyone really went the extra mile to make our trip special.
-- The location of the cottages is fantastic. What an amazing view of the beautiful blue water. Literally steps from the ocean, and located in Paget which is in the central part of Bermuda so it's easy to get to other sights.
-- The layout of the cottage (2 bedrooms separated by a bathroom) was very comfortable for 2 couples, or I think would work well for a family.
-- The cottage has a grill and small kitchen, so it's a great option to cook at home and enjoy the view during dinner!

We were there during Tropical Storm Fiona, which meant that the south side of the island had rough surf and it was quite humid. The cottage itself is on a hill about 40 feet up from the water. Maria and Doug checked on us and the cottage - and we felt quite safe during the storm. I'm glad that we didn't cancel our trip, as the storm passed right by in the night!

We enjoyed our stay so much that we've already confirmed our stay for next September - and are counting the days until we return!

There are a few things that I might suggest you consider:
-- This is a beach cottage. The furnishings are clean and comfortable, but not luxurious. It has a water heater with plenty of hot water for one or two showers, but it's not unlimited. And, it doesn't come with the amenities of a hotel -- so if you'd be most comfortable at the Four Seasons, then you might want to consider whether a cottage is the right choice for you.
-- The free Wifi is a great service, but it's not the fastest connection. Great for quickly checking email or looking up something on the web...
-- I typically want to walk everywhere and we had planned to rent both scooters and pedalbikes - but I didn't count on how humid and hilly Bermuda is. (I think it may have been more humid because of the tropical storm.) We ended up renting scooters and taking taxis -- even the 15 minute walk to the bus was too far in the hot sun and humidity!
-- Maria arranged our taxi pickup with Cal from the airport - which I highly recommend. Fair price, great info about the island, and she'll stop at the grocery store on the way to the cottage. (Recommend, since it can be tough to balance groceries on the scooter.) We relied on Cal to drive us to dinners in the evenings, as we didn't feel comfortable on the scooters after dark. Great service!
-- We rented scooters from Oleander, after considering several other smaller companies on the island. This proved to be a smart choice when one of our scooters broke down in Dockyard -- we were able to get a new scooter dropped off in minutes, rather than the longer wait if they were bringing a scooter from farther down the island.
-- You need to buy bus passes in advance, as you can't buy them on the bus. Maria had a few that we borrowed and then replaced before we left.

If you're looking for a cottage in Bermuda - the Grape Bay Cottages are an incredible value! Enjoy your stay - we can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Cweis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GrapeBayCottages, Owner at Grape Bay Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2011

We appreciate the suggestions for potential guests to consider. We can't do much about the hills and humidity in Bermuda but you will be pleased to know that we have increased the internet speed. While it may still not be the 'fastest connection' we have doubled the speed and the difference is noticeable. This was a great suggestion as most guests these days bring a laptop or use a smart phone on WiFi mode to avoid high data roaming charges. Thanks for the feedback.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2010

We spent Sept 15 - 18, 2010, at Beach Home, Maria and Doug Frith's lovely cottage on Bermuda's beautiful south shore. We were supposed to stay until the 23rd, but Hurricane Igor chased us away. We loved Beach Home although Beach Crest is equally as nice, just above with a wider, more ocean, less shore view.

Beach Home is a quaint cottage with this fabulous porch which is literally overlooking the most gorgeous sights: ocean, sand, palm trees, just lovely. We ate breakfast and lunch on the porch and tried to simply take it all in. It is the best porch we have ever had the pleasure to enjoy.... even if it was for just for acouple of days. I will think of it many times in the coming winter.

When we first arrived, the sand was plentiful and the rocks minimal. The pools of calm water to the left were not there as many people wrote about here. The ocean was rough as Igor approach, and more and more rocks appeared. Doug told us that the sand will return and is probably back by now.

The cottage is well equiped and comfortable, the Frith's are welcoming and available if you need anything, and the location is fabulous. We left early and reluctantly due to Jim Cantore's showing up on Elbow Beach which is the next beach down, although Doug and Maria would have moved us to the Grotto Beach hotel if we had decided to stay. Both Doug and Maria were very concerned about our well-being, and they did everything they could to make us comfortable. They also refunded all of our money without being asked.

You really should rent a scooter to stay conveniently at these cottages, unless you want to contact taxi drivers to take you everywhere. Maria arranged for Calvetta to pick us up at the airport,and she showed us marvelous gardens and numerous beautiful sights on the way to the grocery store and to pick up our scooter before she took us to Beach Home. Cal also took us on a tour of St George's before we flew out on Saturday. She is an excellent tour guide as she knows history and interesting aspects of so many of Bermuda's sights. Maria will set up the airport pickup, then you can call her from the cottage. Maria has Cal's number and other drivers' numbers posted, along with any other number you might want. FYI, Cal's phone number is 1-441-504-1591.

Calvetta recommended The Speciality Inn, a local restaurant that isn't fancy, but the food is delicious. We had a wonderful meal there for less than 40 dollars.... in Bermuda!!

So, I definitely recommend Beach Home and Beach Crest. The only problem is getting a reservation. Curses to Igor...we lost five nights in paradise. Email me if you need more info, but definitely book and do it NOW!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank SueLovesTheBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2010

A special spot of peaceful beauty, colorful landscape and characters. Highly recommend a vacation at the Frith family cottage. It's a bit off the beaten trail, which adds to its charm. Our family felt completely at home and instantly felt like we were part of an extended family. Maria is so hospitable, charming, funny and sweet. You won't regret your time at Grape Bay Cottages. The beach is beautiful, the surf is mesmerizing and the island is gorgoeus.

Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
1  Thank Frolic4Fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2010

Our first visit to Beach Home is unlikely to be our last. Unsurpassed hospitality from Maria who was particularly helpful and flexible with our booking. Cottage was just as described with superb access to a wonderfully quiet beach. A selection of over 100 DVDs kept our teenage son content at quiet times. The walk to the supermarket and bus stops got shorter as the week progressed and are typical Bermuda walks, picturesque but with some up and down. We found that a taxi (list provided) into Hamilton ($10) to pick up the ferries etc worked well for us on sightseeing days.

Our stay was all too short on a wonderful island, superb weather, stunning scenery and hospitable residents. When asked to summarise his Bermuda impressions after his first visit our son hit the button with one word - 'colour'

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank Ensee0233
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grape Bay Cottages

Address: Grape Bay Drive, Bermuda
Location: Caribbean > Bermuda > Paget Parish
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Paget Parish
Price Range: $140 - $175 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Centrally located in Paget, these two, two-bedroom beach cottages are a great escape for anyone looking to enjoy a relaxing holiday. Both have a fully equipped kitchen, TV and wireless internet. A 10-15 minute walk from main bus routes and grocery store or 10 minute taxi ride into the City of Hamilton. Each cottage sleeps 4 adults comfortably. Monthly winter rates available. We respect our guests privacy, therefore, viewing is by appointment only. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Grape Bay Cottages Hotel Paget
Grape Bay Cottages Bermuda/Paget Parish

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