Elbow Beach, Bermuda Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Paget Parish, Bermuda

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • A half mile of private beach
  • Nearby offshore shipwreck for snorkeling and diving
  • Luxurious rooms were renovated in 2010
  • Assorted dining and entertainment options with several restaurants and a nightclub
  • An exceptional Mandarin Oriental signature spa
  • All rooms have private patios with full or partial ocean views
  • Close to most of the island’s beaches and many of its greatest attractions
  • Beautiful gardens and lush grounds

Cons

  • Wi-Fi for a fee
  • Restaurants are overpriced, and two are closed for half the year
  • Does not live up to Mandarin Oriental brand name
  • Hilltop layout is not wheelchair accessible

Bottom Line

A tranquil Mandarin Oriental signature spa, several restaurants, a beautiful pool, a half mile of private beachfront, and recently renovated rooms are among the perks at this elegant 50-acre resort. But if you are coming solely for the Mandarin Oriental affiliation, you’ll likely be disappointed, as the hotel doesn’t quite live up to its parent company’s prestige. Still, based on its merits alone, this hilltop property is one of Bermuda’s best options, outdoing similarly priced resorts like The Reefs and Pompano Beach Club.

Oyster Awards

We investigate in person.
Like your mother-in-law.

Categories

, , , ,

Oyster Hotel Photos

View All 8 Albums

Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Stately and refined resort that may not live up to its chain name's prestige, but does provide ample amenities and service that make it one of the best on the island

A columned white-and-yellow portico entrance and sleek marble lobby filled with ornate rugs, crystal chandeliers and Bermudian bronze sculptures set a breezy-yet-understated tone at this upscale south shore resort. Accordingly, the vibe at Elbow Beach is calm and serene. In the adjacent mahogany library, for instance, a lively scene could easily ensue due to a massive flat-screen TV and pool billiards table; however, the setting remains more hushed than hectic. Children even fall in line, quietly helping themselves to tea or water before sinking into one of the library’s oversized leather couches or plodding down to the pool.

Spanning 50 acres and featuring just 98 units, perhaps it is simply the room-to-acre ratio that keeps this resort so charmingly relaxed. Following a 2010 renovation to the tune of $5.5 million, all of the rooms are set along the oceanfront hill below the resort’s main lobby. Inside, you’ll find some of Bermuda’s most spacious and modern rooms, with even the smallest units measuring roughly 500 square feet. Garden views are truly that -- luscious tropical garden settings with glimpses of the ocean just around the corner. And all units feature deep soaking tubs, massive marble showers, and a soothing, streamlined design.

Somewhat of a surprise is the fact that Elbow Beach is part of the prestigious Mandarin Oriental chain. This is a surprise not only because there are so few resort chains in Bermuda (two Fairmonts and the new Rosewood Tuckers Point are the island’s only big name options), but also because the resort, though nice, does not reflect the level of luxury that those familiar with the Mandarin brand would expect. As a result, some guests arriving with high expectations have left grumbling. However, when considered for its merits alone -- which include beautiful and spacious rooms, lush tropical grounds, an expansive beachfront, several restaurants, a signature spa, and a beautiful hilltop pool at cheaper-than-most-Mandarin-hotel prices -- Elbow Beaches truly is one of Bermuda’s gems.

 Location

On the south side of Paget parish, near all the beaches -- and all the tourists -- but a private resort-only beach keeps things relatively quiet.

Elbow Beach is one of those beaches that everyone who is not "in the know" will tell you to visit. As a result, it is crowded, as are many of the beaches located along the southern shores of the island. Luckily, Elbow Beach (the resort, that is) has its own half-mile private beachfront, and a dedicated staff does a stellar job of maintaining the peace and quiet you’ll find at the rest of the resort. This location is also ideal for those hoping to check out some of those lesser-known beaches, like Horseshoe Bay, as well as many of the best golf courses -- all of which are a 10-minute-or-less taxi ride away.

In an effort to permit as few vehicles as possible on the island, car rentals are strictly forbidden. Even locals are allowed only a single car per household -- something you’re likely to appreciate when you see the lush, winding roads that unobtrusively snake through the island. Taxis are reliable and metered according to state law, so there is no need to negotiate fares; however, rates are exceptionally high.

Those looking to save on cab fare might consider renting a moped at the hotel’s rental shop. While safety may be an issue for some, a local speed limit of just 35 km (about 21 mph) will likely assuage most fears. Consider the less expensive ferries and local pink-and-blue buses to cover longer distances between “the hook” (Bermuda’s westernmost island), the main city of Hamilton, and the beaches along the southern side of Warwick, Southampton, and Paget.

  • 30-minute drive to Bermuda International Airport
  • One-minute walk to Elbow Beach (the resort is located on a private portion of the beach)
  • Seven-minute drive to Salt Kettle Ferry to Hamilton
  • Seven-minute drive to Belmont Hills Golf Club
  • Eight-minute drive to Horseshoe Bay
  • Eight-minute drive to Botanical Gardens
  • 10-minute drive to downtown Hamilton
  • 10-minute drive to Fairmont Southampton Golf Club
  • 11-minute drive to Gibbs’ Hill Lighthouse
  • 15-minute drive to Port Royal Golf Course

 Rooms

All rooms were renovated in 2010, and even the smallest units are large by Bermuda standards.

Bermuda’s rich history as a hideaway for the British and American elite dates back to the days when “only two days by boat” would have been the equivalent of a quick jaunt. Today, the downside, of course, is that many of the island’s original resorts show more than a few signs of wear and tear. Not so at the 100-year-old Elbow Beach, whose 98 recently renovated rooms feature open floor plans with posh bedding, voluptuous soaking tubs, and enough space to hole up for a few days. The exteriors of the units, however, look a little less modern, with their turquoise, yellow, and pink walls needing a fresh coat of paint, perhaps. Still, even the garden view rooms boast exceptional views, not to mention patio furniture that’s a notch or two nicer than the usual plastic.

  • Sweet smelling toiletries from Red Flower
  • Coffeemakers and espresso machines with free coffee
  • 27-inch flat-screen TVs (or larger) with more than 200 high-definition channels and music stations
  • Mini-fridges available upon request
  • iHome iPod-enabled radio alarm clocks
  • Minibars stocked with beer, sodas, bottled water, champagne, wine, candies, and snacks
  • Soaking tubs with separate marble showers
  • Private furnished patios or balconies
  • Spacious walk-in closets
  • Signature Mandarin Oriental bedding and linens
  • 24-hour room service
  • Wi-Fi (for additional fee)
  • The majority of the units are the Premiere Ocean and Garden Views units. These are the cheapest, though still quite spacious at 500 square feet, and some feature open floor plans with cool sliding walls for privacy when needed.
  • Upgrade to one of the Premier Suites or Beachfront Suites for more space. Measuring approximately 1,400 square feet, these units include extra-large patios and separate bedrooms and living rooms. Some units have two bedrooms.
  • Three freestanding cottages are the resort’s most exceptional. The largest is the 2,500-square-foot Bird of Paradise cottage, which has its own private oceanfront terrace, private beach access, a vaulted-ceiling master suite bathroom with bidet and soaking tub, a powder room, and a fireplace.

 Features

A zen Mandarin Oriental spa, modern fitness center, large pool, and great on-site restaurants bring high-end amenities to an already luxurious setting.

  • A mahogany library with 42-inch flat-screen TV, billiards table, board games, and overstuffed leather sofas
  • An upscale (though somewhat deserted) lounge area with a grand piano and patio with hilltop views of the ocean
  • A spectacular Mandarin Oriental signature spa featuring Chinese, Ayurvedic, European, and Thai therapies, and specializing in local-inspired treatments. Six treatment rooms, including two couples rooms, feature private balconies with relaxation day beds.
  • 4,700 square feet of meeting rooms and function space, including an elegant meeting room just off the library
  • Five Plexi-paved tennis courts, three lit for night play
  • Membership access to any of Bermuda’s golf courses, with tee times arranged by the concierge
  • A dive shop with water sports rentals; those guests wanting to arrange for boating excursions, however, must go off-site to Somerset Bridge.
  • A half-mile private beachfront along Elbow Beach
  • A well-equipped fitness center with plenty of LifeFitness cardio equipment, weight machines, dumbbells, benches, and yoga balls
  • On-site moped and bicycle rental shop
  • Four full restaurants, a tapas and sushi bar, and a lounge/nightclub
  • A huge pool with tons of lounge chairs, amazing hilltop views of the resort grounds and ocean, a small pool bar, and a seasonal patio restaurant
  • Optional add-on plans include all meals at any of the resort’s eateries, as well as four off-site restaurants.
  • Wi-Fi available for an additional fee only, though Internet on a few computers in the library is available for free (restricted to one-hour intervals)
  • On-site babysitting services (for a fee)
  • The vertical layout requires stairs to get to most rooms and amenities.
  • View Full List of Amenities

 Food

Several restaurants, plus a tapas and sushi bar and a nightclub, all of which are overpriced considering other area options

When it comes to restaurants, Lido is the resort’s "pièce de résistance" with a fairly well-respected reputation. It’s definitely not the life-changing Waterlot Inn at the Fairmont Southampton, but it takes a stab at a few acceptably gastronomic options, placing the emphasis on local seafood. However, the choice to prepare most plates with tinges of Mediterranean flavors seems like a misguided attempt at an international menu -- something that doesn’t really jive with Bermuda’s local cuisine.

Mickey’s Bistro is your typical beachfront café, though the menu does go beyond the usual wraps and salads with a few interesting options -- for instance, the ocean crêpe filled with brandy-scented seafood ragout and tarragon béchamel. At Blue Point, however, the menu is strictly dull -- just pizzas and sandwiches here.

On the patio outside of Lido, there are still a few more light fare and cocktail options, including Sea Breeze, which features tapas, sushi, and jazzy mellow lounge music; and DEEP, which is only available for private functions and special events.

Unfortunately, this large variety of eateries dissipates with the arrival of winter, as both Blue Point and Mickey’s Bistro are seasonal options. Even more unfortunate are the prices at all of these restaurants, which seem overtly high when compared with the island’s best dining spots.

 Bottom Line

A tranquil Mandarin Oriental signature spa, several restaurants, a beautiful pool, a half mile of private beachfront, and recently renovated rooms are among the perks at this elegant 50-acre resort. But if you are coming solely for the Mandarin Oriental affiliation, you’ll likely be disappointed, as the hotel doesn’t quite live up to its parent company’s prestige. Still, based on its merits alone, this hilltop property is one of Bermuda’s best options, outdoing similarly priced resorts like The Reefs and Pompano Beach Club.

Things You Should Know About Elbow Beach, Bermuda

Address

  • 60 South Shore Road, Bermuda, PG04

Room Types

  • Beachfront Lanai
  • Bird of Paradise Cottage
  • Caprice Cottage
  • Geranium Cottage
  • One Bedroom Beachfront Suite
  • One Bedroom Premier Suite
  • Premier Garden View Room
  • Premier Ocean View Room

Enter dates for best prices

Check-in
Check-out
Guests
 AVG/NIGHT 
Hotels.com  
Expedia.com  
Tingo.com  
Booking.com  
Travelocity  
Otel.com  
Priceline.com  
CheapTickets.com  

All About Oyster

You Can't Return a Bad Vacation.

Our special investigators visit, photograph, review and rate each hotel. We uncover the truth, before it's "uh-oh" time.

Go undercover with an Oyster Investigator The Today Show
Go Undercover with an Oyster Investigator
See 56 Videos of Oyster on TV

Nearby Hotels to Consider

Grotto Bay Beach Resort
Grotto Bay Beach Resort
Hamilton Parish, Bermuda
Rating: 35 Pearls

Distance: 2.5 mi
Rosewood Tucker's Point Hotel & Spa
Rosewood Tucker's Point Hotel & Spa
Hamilton Parish, Bermuda
Rating: 45 Pearls

Distance: 3.4 mi
Royal Palms Hotel
Royal Palms Hotel
City of Hamilton, Bermuda
Rating: 40 Pearls

Distance: 3.6 mi
The Fairmont Hamilton Princess
The Fairmont Hamilton Princess
City of Hamilton, Bermuda
Rating: 40 Pearls

Distance: 3.8 mi

Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 98
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
Jacuzzi: Yes
View All

Hotel Information

Location: Paget Parish, Bermuda
Address: 60 South Shore Road, Bermuda, PG04
(See Map)
Loading Live Rates
Loading...
multiple hotels like on roundups