Arrival Experience: Driving down the winding path to the front door of this Mandarin Oriental-operated palace is the first indication that this resort is grandiose in scale and service. Before you know it, friendly bellmen are swinging open the car door and ushering you inside the chandelier-bedecked lobby. Regal furnishings, colorful floral arrangements, and cool air conditioning lure guests to the reception desk in the back of the room where staffers are eager to assist. Vans whisk guests to their rooms, which are set in groupings of less than a dozen in separate buildings surrounded by shrubbery and blossoming flowers.
Dining: Mickey’s serves casual lunch and dinner menus where guests can put their feet in the sand as they enjoy fresh sandwiches, salads, and sorbets. Sea Breeze is located on a terrace overlooking the water and is the site of breakfast and evening sushi and tapas. The conservatory overlooks the ocean and pool through a glass wall where complimentary coffee and tea are available from a fancy Keurig coffee machine. For a more formal experience, Lido serves a Mediterranean menu in an air conditioned dining room overlooking the beach. A pool bar and café is also an option as is delivery service on the beach care of the friendly staff.
Accommodations: Guest rooms are large enough to be classified as junior suites with spacious seating areas and outdoor terraces. The beds are topped with duvets and the largest and most comfortable pillows around, and desks (positioned by the windows) feature high-tech phones and high speed Internet. Special amenities include espresso machines, iPod docking stations, well-stocked minibars, safes, robes, and slippers are a pleasant surprise. Marble surrounds the bathrooms where the powerful shower and deep soaking tub are the perfect ending to a day of relaxation. Automatic lighting here helps to save energy, but a wave of the hand rectifies and in-the-dark bathing in a second. Full-length mirrors and aromatherapy toiletries are also in place.
Conclusion: The full-service spa is a true treat offering specialties like the Bermuda Pink Sand Massage or the Rum Swizzle spa ritual. Individual treatment rooms create a unique and pleasant relaxation experience with private tubs and dressing areas overlooking the water. Wireless high speed Internet is available throughout the hotel grounds including on the terrace overlooking the beach. As one of the most exclusive lodgings on the island, this Mandarin Oriental property offers bargain rates during the off season. But, it is busiest during the summer months. For a real deal, come during the sweet spot months of September and October when rates drop, but the weather stays warm and humidity-free.
US Airways offers weekend flights between Charlotte and Bermuda; connecting flights are available on Air Tran, American, Continental, Delta, and jetBlue.