This Tiny North Atlantic Island Is a Seaside Haven

There are plenty of fun ways to get your wellness fix in Bermuda.

I thought the “nice people” moments were just a fluke. First, there was the gracious cab driver who picked me up at the airport 
and made me forget about my long day of travel. Then there was the funny receptionist who checked me in at the hotel and sent me off to my room with a smile on my face.

But at breakfast the next day, the waiter made a point of asking — and using — my name. And the doorman stopped to make real conversation, not the usual “gonna be a hot one today” variety. Then it dawned on me: This wasn’t a fluke; this was a way of life.

Welcome to Bermuda

In a world that seems to grow more distant and competitive by the day, it’s refreshing to visit a place where folks take a genuine interest in connecting with you. If you’re looking for a model of healthy living, this idea of connection is a pretty good starting point. According to a Stanford University study, our social networks are key to our health, boosting our immune systems, extending our lives and helping us recover more quickly from diseases.

Connectivity wasn’t what I was expecting to write about when I travelled to this tiny North Atlantic island to explore healthy living. Since Bermuda is famous for its pink beaches, turquoise swimming coves and spectacular golf courses, I imagined that my wellness wins would come in the form of being active.

(Related: How Wellness Experts Cope With Coronavirus-Related Stress)

To be sure, there was plenty of activity (see my faves below), but this concept of conscious cordiality flew home with me. Now, in addition to tracking steps and sugar intake, I track sociability. Take it from me, it is the easiest of the three to manage and comes with a side of instant gratification. Turns out, smiles really are contagious.

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Stay here

A luxurious way to enjoy wellness, Rosewood Bermuda is a seaside haven. Guests can enjoy golf, tennis and water sports on more than 240 coastal acres without ever leaving the property. Rosewood even boasts its own beach club, set on the island’s largest private pink-sand beach. A spa, multiple pools and on-site dining complete the Rosewood experience. And if you never want to leave your suite, that’s cool, too. The rooms are spacious and well appointed (soaker tub, private balcony, minibar), and room service is available.

Eat here

Village Pantry

Driven by a vision of sustainability, this charming farm-to-table eatery has a menu that’s chock-full of fresh produce and seafood selections. Try Bermuda rockfish in the Grilled Rockfish Tacos, served with avocado salsa, pickled red cabbage and roasted garlic cream. Want something more substantial? Order the local lobster, which comes served several ways, including thermidor and baked.

(Related: 20 Produce Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making)

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The Pink Beach Club

Situated in The Loren Hotel at Pink Beach, this stunning dining room is perched on the ocean’s edge and bordered by dramatic rock cliffs. The lunch menu includes a section called Blue Mind, defined by vegetables, grains and seafood that are locally sourced whenever possible. The recipes change with the season, but one thing stays 
consistent — great taste.

Tempest Bistro

Stop here if you want to taste some of the best seafood dishes on the island. Fish chowders, rockfish, cod fishcakes, wahoo and black grouper are just some of the offerings you’ll find on the menu. The restaurant, originally a carriage house in the historic town of St. George’s, sits on the water’s edge and is a great place for people-watching. Fun fact: The resto takes its name from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, long believed to be about the Sea Venture wreck and one of the first references to the island in English literature.

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Foraging

If you like to multitask, even when you’re on 
holiday, check out the Wild Herbs ’n Plants 
Tasting Tour. You’ll enjoy a beautiful hike, see jaw-dropping vistas and learn about local edible plant life. Run by local Doreen Williams-James, this informative tour includes tidbits of oral history handed down from previous generations 
on the healing qualities of local flora. The tours 
culminate with a little bite created from your experience.

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Biking

Once the island’s train route, the Bermuda Railway Trail has been turned into a national park and boasts nearly 30 kilometres of seaside paths running the length of the island. It’s free to explore on your own, but one of the best ways to enjoy it is on a guided bike tour. Bermudians Dexter and Karen Swan, who operate Adventure Transport, offer 
a variety of riding experiences, from regular bikes to e-bikes, all of which can be custom created to your starting/finishing point. Don’t forget to bring your camera — the tours are filled with plenty of Instagram moments thanks to the gorgeous scenery along the way.

Walking

For an immersive island experience, join the 
local Walking Club of Bermuda. Every Sunday at 7 a.m., the group sets out on a leisurely three- to five-mile walk, always from a different starting point. The activity is free, and visitors are welcome. It’s truly one of the best ways to take some of the island’s joie de vivre home with you.

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Originally Published in Best Health Canada