Places to stay for under $200 a night in Bermuda are usually independently-owned and operated properties. Summer’s rates (high season, Apr.-Oct.) are higher than winter’s (Nov.-Mar.). There has been a constant demand over the years for more affordable places to stay in Bermuda, and that call is now increasingly being met by local residents who are renting out rooms, attached apartments, or separate cottages on their properties for far more reasonable rates than those charged by the hotel industry. Some of these are in beautiful homes or historic landmark properties, including several owned by the Bermuda National Trust, perfect for visitors who seek something more private or unusual than a standard hotel.
Tucked into a residential lane off Pitts Bay, Kingston House Bed & Breakfast (5 Turnstile Ln. off Pitts Bay Rd., tel. 441/295-6597, $145-180 s, $170-220 d) has won glowing reviews for Bermudian hosts Harry and Marlie Powell, who converted their 1921 two-story homestead into a B&B in 1999. The house, which boasts an Endless-brand pool and is surrounded by mature gardens, has three rentals. The elegant Palmetto Suite is the largest, with a queen bed, en suite bathroom, and sitting room with fireplace and balcony. The Bird of Paradise Room has twin beds that can be converted into a king, an en suite bathroom, and a balcony, while the Jacaranda Room has a queen bed and en suite bathroom. A light breakfast is served in the dining room or on the outside patio. The property’s convenient location on the edge of Hamilton allows easy access to ferries, bus stops, shopping, and city dining.
For 50 years, Bermuda’s Ashton family has run Greenbank Guest House & Cottages (17 Salt Kettle Rd., tel. 441/236-3615, fax 441/236-2427, $190-275 d), a historic and picturesque property located on the water’s edge at Salt Kettle, conveniently just a minute or so from the ferry dock. Basically furnished cottages and apartments all have kitchenettes, private entrances, and free WiFi. Most can sleep up to three people; larger units with two bathrooms can sleep up to four. A pretty garden, serene neighborhood, access to public transport, and a prime vantage point for soaking up sunsets make it a favorite with repeat visitors.
Guests return again and again to Granaway (1 Longford Rd., tel. 441/236-3747, fax 441/236-3749, rooms $190-230 high season with continental breakfast), the elegant 1734 manor-turned-guesthouse that offers lush mature gardens, a large pool surrounded by shady palms, and eye-popping views of the Great Sound from its five main house guest rooms. While it fronts busy Harbour Road, serenity can be had in the English-style gardens. All rooms have private bathrooms and air-conditioning, and breakfast is provided in the mornings. A separate cottage on the property (formerly a slave quarters) has a well-equipped kitchen, bathroom, and private garden and patio with views of the sound; the cottage is $300-325, with breakfast, during high season. Granaway is about a 10-minute walk from the nearest ferry stop (Belmont) on Harbour Road or the bus stop over the hill on Middle Road.
Plunge into the inviting lap pool at Tim and Christine Patton’s hilltop home (Windy Ridge Rd. off Harbour Rd., tel. 441/505-5206, bookings for C47 via www.bermudarentals.com, $140 in high season for two adults, five-night minimum), where a warmly furnished rental apartment offers a taste of Bermuda life the way Bermudians experience it. Guests can be utterly independent in the unit, which has a separate entrance, two single beds (that can make a king) in the bedroom, plus a double Murphy bed and a single sofa bed in the living room, accommodating up to four adults. There is one bathroom and an eating area with table and chairs. The small, well-equipped kitchen has a refrigerator (with freezer), stove, microwave, and toaster, and guests can use an outdoor barbecue. Cable TV, wireless Internet, and air-conditioning are included. The quiet property is ringed by palms, cedars, frangipani, and a mulberry tree. The ferry stop (Darrell’s Wharf) is just down Harbour Road, and the Middle Road bus stop is a seven-minute walk.
Clairfont Apartments (6 Warwickshire Rd., tel. 441/238-3577 or 441/334-8649, fax 441/238-3503, $150-175) is spared the noisy main-road location of several of its competitors. Instead, the peachy complex, run as guest quarters for 30 years, sits high on a hill along a residential lane, a short walk from Warwick Long Bay, Jobson’s Cove, and Warwick Playground. Eight self-contained units (six one-bedroom, two studios) include mounted hair dryers, voicemail, Internet connections, security locks and lights, credit-card safes, first-aid kits, and kitchen appliances. Spotlessly clean, modern, and airy, Clairfont offers an attractive alternative to pricier establishments that may have fewer amenities. Welcome letters, air-conditioning, maid service (except Sundays), cable TV, and a pool make guests feel pampered.
Sandpiper Guest Apartments (103 South Shore Rd., tel. 441/236-7093, fax 441/236-3898, studio $155 d, one-bedroom $195) suffers from its proximity to the noisy main road, but with simple, airy rooms, and a garden, pool, and hot tub, it’s a good option for families, students, and anyone looking for affordable quarters near the beaches (it sits just a few minutes’ walk from Astwood Cove). Fourteen rooms include five one-bedroom suites (with extra futons for additional guests) and studios with full kitchens. Barbecues are provided for poolside use.
Greenes’ Guesthouse (71 Middle Rd., tel. 441/238-0834 or 441/238-2532, fax 441/238- 8980, $150 d, including full breakfast) is a family-run bed-and-breakfast in a panoramic property overlooking Jennings Bay and the Great Sound. Jane Greene and her son David have turned their very large house into comfortable, modern guest accommodations complete with ample lounges, a home theater area, and a large dining room for guests to enjoy the full breakfast Jane cooks up every morning (she also bakes gingerbread for afternoon tea). The six spacious rooms, each with a private bathroom, have air-conditioning, heating, telephones, refrigerators, and cable TV. The main kitchen is open for use by guests; Jane just asks that they clean up afterwards. While the sprawling property sits just a few yards off busy Middle Road, its rear side is serene with quiet lawns, patios, and a 40-foot pool overlooking the ocean. A public bus stop is just down the main road, though Jean often transports guests to nearby shops or the Rockaway ferry dock in her car. Notably, she hasn’t raised her rates in many years.
The Old Town of St. George
St. Georgian Susan Oatley has been providing travelers with a comfortable, cost-effective place to stay in the old town for quite a few seasons now. A studio apartment attached to her home, Gobblers Corner (1 Turkey Hill, tel. 441/297-2519 or 441/335-3429, firstname.lastname@example.org, $110 s, $130 d) has a queen bed, a large bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, cable TV, free WiFi, washer and dryer, and a kitchen with refrigerator, stove, and microwave. A private backyard has a barbecue for self-catering. Located just two minutes away from the town center, in the picturesque backstreets, the apartment makes a handy little pied-à-terre for travelers who don’t seek resort-style amenities.
Architectural technologist Philip Seaman restored a 200-year-old carriage house owned by his family into a guest property he called The Loft (7 Duke of Clarence St., tel. 441/232-2243 or 441/537-7337, $165 d summer, $135 d winter). The labor of love not only energized his passion for Bermuda’s tourism industry, but has also won praise from the steady stream of guests who have adored the quaint structure that boasts modern amenities such as a full kitchen with stainless appliances, a modern bathroom, and a sleeping loft with double/full bed. Seaman won an award from the Bermuda National Trust for his careful transformation of the building.
It’s worth staying at Crooked Elbow (5 Shinbone Alley, tel. 441/297-0898, $150 d) for the address alone. Resident Anne Rowe rents out the lower apartment of her historic home, which has a private entrance. Included are an air-conditioned bedoom with queen bed, living room, full kitchen, bathroom, and dining room, plus free WiFi.
St. George’s Parish
Mike and Debi Montgomery’s Le Roux inn (14 Secretary Ln., tel. 441/292-9212 or 441/338-2952, email@example.com, $120 d) was, indeed, a ruin when they bought their property, hence the play on words. But today, guests will find utter home-style comfort in the refurbished, cute-as-a-button cottage, where almost every need has been thought of. Games, linens, a library of Bermuda books, and even staples have been provided by the couple, who have been renting out the inn to travelers since 2001. The studio-style cottage, which sits apart from the main house, has a high open-beamed ceiling; Mexican-tile floors; air-conditioning (and heat for the winter); a kitchenette with small fridge, toaster oven, hot plate, and microwave; a queen bed; a bathroom with shower; an eating area; and a grill. Only cash and travelers checks are accepted.
Born-and-bred St. Georgian Bernard Oatley and his wife, Lily, rent out a well-equipped studio, Brae Apartment (2 Secretary Ln., tel. 441/297-0629, $120 d), attached to their hilltop home on the North Shore side of the old town of St. George. The apartment, with private entrance, has a double bed plus a double sofabed; a kitchen area with stove, fridge, microwave, and washer and dryer; a bathroom with tub and shower; and cable TV, a VCR, a fan, and air-conditioning. Sliding glass doors open onto a patio with views of the sea. Dishes, sheets, towels, and WiFi are all provided.