Cambridge Beaches lets itself go

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SOMERSET, Bermuda -- As the oldest cottage colony in Bermuda, Cambridge Beaches has its traditions. But as the island moves to update its image to attract more vacationers, the 100-year-old resort is embracing some eyebrow-raising changes of its own.

For example, jackets are off in the main dining room. Though still encouraged, they are no longer required. And a marketing effort is in the works offering offbeat packages, including one aimed at drawing travelers from the Northeast to the resort during the upcoming national political conventions.

Meanwhile, a romance expert on staff helps guests plan where to pop the question or how to rekindle the flame, and an innovative Australian is in the kitchen running the resorts food and beverage operations.

Were trying to enhance the guest experience, said Richard Quinn, the Bermuda native who manages Cambridge Beaches. We want our guests to have an extensive range of options, from our dining offerings to our activities.

The resorts food service has been shaken up by Jason Patterson, who joined Cambridge Beaches as director of food and beverage in January from Millenniums Abu Dhabi Hotel in the United Arab Emirates.

In the past few months, Patterson has introduced romantic dinners for two on a private island ($500 per couple plus 15% service fee), a six-course chefs table under the stars at the Star Dock on Wednesdays and Saturdays (prices vary from $160 to $215 per person) and a buffet of fresh seafood on Mondays at the Tamarisk restaurant.

Cambridge Beaches guests also are interested in romance. Thats why this summer the resort gave Guest Services Manager Nadja Talevi the additional title of proposal concierge.

Its Talevis job to create a romantic setting for couples who are courting as well as those looking for new ways to recharge their relationships. (About 50% of the resorts guests return, often to celebrate anniversaries.)

Talevi knows all of the best backdrops for a romantic marriage proposal, both on the property and around the island. She also can arrange a sunset yacht cruise or a more adventurous parasailing ride for two.

The dining and romance options are the latest innovations at Cambridge Beaches, located on a 30-acre peninsula at the western tip of the island near Somerset. In the past few years the resort has spent $10 million on renovations, including additions to the Ocean Spa.

The resort also added 18 rooms, bringing its total to 94 cottage rooms and suites.  

High-season rates (April 16 to Oct. 31) range from $475 per night, double, for a gardenview room to $1,480 for a two-bedroom cottage. Breakfast, English tea and dinner are included. Guests can also choose a plan that includes only breakfast and afternoon tea.

The resort offers traditional as well as offbeat packages. For example, the Escape the Convention package for those who want to skip the Republican hoopla is available Aug. 25 to Sept. 7 to anyone flying out of New York. It includes four nights accommodations, breakfast and dinner daily, afternoon tea and a $125 resort credit. Rates begin at $950 per person, double. Taxes and gratuities are extra.

Travel agent commission is 10%. For more information on Cambridge Beaches, call (800) 468-7300 or visit www.cambridgebeaches.com.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].

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