One way to explore and enjoy Bermuda on a budget is to stay at a private home instead of the rather expensive resorts and hotels, and we certainly hit the jackpot with Wendy and her lovely Blue Diamond property. This was our first time traveling to the island and our group included four adults, one teenager, and two babies. The house is big with two floors and multiple rental units that can accommodate single travelers or large groups such as ours. We were placed in the two-bedroom apartment on the first floor which is accessed through the center archway and includes the big window to the right on the property picture. Every morning, we awoke to the beautiful sunrise and amazing views out to the ocean from the perfectly manicured lawn on the first floor terrace. The neighborhood is exceptionally quiet and safe and although it is close to the main road (third or fourth line of houses up on the hill), the only noises you hear during the night are those of the tree frogs whistling in the nearby vegetation. Being close to South Road is one of the main advantages of the property's location as it provides you with easy access to the rest of the island. Car rentals to tourists are not permitted on the island, so we made extensive use of the convenient public bus system to move around. The bus stops are only a quick two-minute walk down the hill from the house. We bought weekly passes at $62.50/person and rode on the buses to nearby beaches, grocery stores, sites of interest, and of course the city of Hamilton and the ferry terminal. The passes are valid on the ferry as well and you can use the ferries for fast access to the Royal Navy Dockyard and St. George's island. Rubis gas station and the Swizzle Inn restaurant are also within walking distance from the house. For a family of our size, we cooked our own meals so having the gas station nearby was a big convenience. There is a small grocery store inside the gas station where you can buy all the essentials and they also have a hot bar with pizzas, Indian, Italian, and Chinese food if you are not in the mood to cook. Right behind the gas station is what I thought was one of the most breathtaking beaches on the island. You walk down the cliff on a staircase of 107 steps (yes I counted them), and you end up on a beautiful white sand clear blue water beach that you can claim as your own personal slice of heaven as there is rarely anyone else there during the day. We visited to the other iconic beaches on the islands as well such as Warwick Long Bay, Jobson's Cove, Horseshoe Bay, etc., and although they were just as picturesque and memorable, we found them to be too crowded for our taste. Overall, we had a great week in Bermuda and are counting the days until we can return and enjoy this beautiful island one more time.
The greatest asset of the Blue Diamond property is the property manager Wendy. We owe much of the success of our trip directly to her. She started making us feel welcome and as part of her family even before we arrived. Her communication was impeccable and always timely. Her tips and advice were always on target. She helped us book a ride from the airport and asked the driver to make a couple of stops on the way so we could buy bus passes and load up the trunk with groceries that sustained us for the next four days. When we arrived, Wendy was there to greet us and let us into our apartment. She took time to explain where everything was and how everything worked and gave us her WhatsApp account so we could stay in direct contact with her 24/7 if we had any questions or concerns. It felt comforting and reassuring to know that she was within reach if we needed assistance with anything. She was warm and inviting and very quickly made us feel like a part of her extended family. She invited my dad into her apartment to watch a soccer game, helped us do laundry on the last day of our trip, and even took time out of her busy schedule to show our rebellious teenage daughter around the island to make her feel included and part of the family. I don't have enough words to express my sincere gratitude for everything she did for us and the big role she played in making our vacation truly unforgettable.
To those of you wondering if Blue Diamond is the right choice, you would say take that risk and you will be pleasantly surprised.