The Oxford House (20 Woodbourne Ave., tel. 441/295-0503, fax 441/295-0250, www.oxfordhouse.bm, $235 d including breakfast) has seen its city-side neighborhood drastically change over the past few decades. The Bermudiana Hotel once stood opposite, until its site was transformed into insurance towers for the ACE and XL companies in the 1990s. But the quaint, British-style, two-story guesthouse has proudly stood its ground against the corporate invasion—and benefited hugely, thanks to the influx of business travelers. Oxford’s small, elegant rooms offer exactly what’s demanded by anyone attending meetings within a few blocks, or visitors who plan to spend most of their time in Hamilton or want a central location that’s not on a beach. Twelve guest rooms are furnished like private residences, almost dollhouse-like with dressers and curtains and floral bedspreads. Each has a private bath, coffeemaker, air-conditioning, and cable TV. Continental breakfast is served in the lounge every morning.
Five-time winner of the Tourism Department’s Longtail Merit Award, Royal Palms (24 Rosemont Ave., tel. 441/292-1854, toll-free 800/678-0783 United States or 800/799-0824 Canada, fax 441/292-1946, www.royalpalms.bm, $266–377 d, including breakfast) is a former manor house on the edge of Hamilton, set in a gorgeous English-style garden overflowing with birdsong, bougainvillea, and citrus trees. The sophisticated little hotel offers impeccable rooms, professional service, and relaxing surroundings that make you wish you were permanently on holiday. With its hallmark white shutters and wraparound veranda, the turn-of-the-20th-century property’s other big draw is its standout restaurant, Ascot’s. A total of 32 rooms—including seven new ones added in 2006—are decorated in European florals with high ceilings, classic moldings and window seats overlooking the lawns. All have cable TV, air-conditioning, and high-speed Internet access. There’s also a small but very private pool. Not surprisingly, Royal Palms is usually fully booked by business visitors on weekdays, but makes a perfect weekend escape for couples. A few mini-suites have kitchenettes. Owned and operated by the Bermudian Smith family, it remains one of the island’s best small hotels.
Edgehill Manor (36 Rosemont Ave., tel. 441/295-7124, fax 441/295-3850, edgehill [at] bermuda [dot] com, www.bermuda.com/edgehill, $230–240 d) is a completely refurbished, Colonial-style mansion-turned-bed-and-breakfast. Seven large rooms—four upstairs with private balconies and splendid views—have air-conditioning, ceiling fans, private bathrooms, cable TV, Internet access, small refrigerators, microwaves, safes, and clock radios. The property also has a large freshwater pool in the quiet neighborhood garden. It’s located in a pretty neighborhood that’s just a seven-minute walk from central Hamilton.
Elegant Rosedon (61 Pitts Bay Rd., tel. 441/295-1640, fax 441/295-5904, www.rosedonbermuda.com, starting at $260 d) stands opposite the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel, and is one of Pitts Bay’s grand old mansions, built in 1906. Decorated like an English manor home, with rooms boasting oak, mahogany, cherry, and redwood, the small bed-and-breakfast hotel is highly popular with business travelers, given its amenities and short walk from Hamilton. Rosedon’s 44 rooms have cable TV, air-conditioning, private baths, phones, refrigerators, coffeemakers, and Internet access. “Royal Rooms” are a step up, with CD players, and whirlpool tubs. Same-day laundry service is available. Guests have a choice of picnic lunches or poolside è la carte service, and at 4 p.m. every day, staff members serve a grand afternoon tea. The hotel also offers wedding and honeymoon packages.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition