What's doing in Bermuda this year?
There's lots of news on the accommodations front, plus events from culinary to cultural and a new airport terminal set to open later this year.
Victoria Isley, chief sales and marketing officer for the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said that the combination of new hotels coupled with an array of sports events and attractions "will help build Bermuda's brand reputation and boost visitor numbers into the future."
Final figures for 2019 haven't yet been tallied, but overall numbers through September totaled 605,003 leisure visitors. The country in 2018 calculated 770,683 visitors, with more than 25% of them from the U.S.
Here's a partial rundown of what awaits visitors this year:
The new airport terminal is projected to open in July. The terminal will feature covered passenger boarding bridges; improved concessions and duty-free outlets; and modernized security screening and immigration. The terminal is located further inland and at a higher elevation to be more resistant to hurricanes.
The Bermudiana Beach Resort, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, is 111-room, cliffside resort slated to open in June on the island's south shore.
The oceanfront project is comprised of 90 furnished, fully-managed hotel residences across nine buildings with five configurations ranging from studios to three-bedroom units. The residences are available to guests when not owner-occupied; room rates start at $300 per night for a studio. Facilities include a family-friendly pool and an infinity pool and bar; a restaurant; a spa and fitness center; and a secluded beach reached via two elevators.
Reservations have opened for the Azura Boutique Hotel & Residences, the former Surf Side Beach Club in Warwick next to the Blackburn Smith Nature Reserve on the south shore beach corridor. Work has started on the second phase of the project, and the Azura will start full occupancy for guests within the next two months.
Down the line, work is well underway at the St. Regis Hotel in St. George, which has a projected opening date of April 2021. The 122-room hotel will include an 18-hole golf course, among other amenities.
Restaurant Week runs through Feb. 2 and offers prix fixe menus for a two-course lunch ($22) or three-course dinner (from $32 to $52 per person) at a variety of restaurants on the island.
The Culture & Heritage dinner on Jan. 24 features a meal inspired by Bermuda's African diaspora, particularly the congregation of Cobbs Hill Methodist Church, a sanctuary built by enslaved and freed men in 1827. Overseen by chef Eric Adjepong, the menu will showcase local ingredients that tell the story of Bermuda's first people of African descent and their heritage that is reflected in the island's food culture today.
The Summer Fish Fry on Feb. 2 takes place in Bermuda's Transportation Museum in the Royal Naval Dockyard with fish preparers, local brewers and cocktail creators.
The Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, runs through March 14 with a lineup that includes Albanian violinist Alda Dizdari, a performance of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet and the Afro-Jazz gospel of Nobuntu from Zimbabwe.
February's Spa Month highlights hot stone massages, aloe vera body wraps and hydrating treatments for $99, a 50% discount at more than 10 resort and day spas.
The 2020 Carifta Games April 10 to 13 are track-and-field events for those under 17 and under 20 years of age. When Bermuda hosted the event in 2004, it saw the start of the rise of super sprinter Usain Bolt from Jamaica.
The MS Amlin World Triathlon returns to Bermuda on April 18 with a swim in the Atlantic, a bike race in the hills and a run through Hamilton.
The USTA Pro-Am event in conjunction with the U.S. Tennis Association and its foundation will offer kids' clinics and exhibitions by tennis legends and rising American players April 3 to 5.
The 2019-20 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will feature the GoToBermuda yacht, along with 11 other Clipper 70 ocean-racing vessels, in the 40,000-nautical-mile race that began in London on Sept. 1. For the first time, Bermuda will be a host port in July in what is considered the world's toughest amateur sailing race.