by Stephen Jermanok
The only all-inclusive property on the island of Bermuda, Grotto Bay Beach Resort was created with the family in mind. A mere five-minute drive from the international airport, the resort has a gently sloping beach on the harbor ideally suited for children. If the kids want to go wild, a water slide is added in the summer months. Just above the beach sits a heated pool, shuffleboard, and a restaurant and lounge area. Off to the side, two underground caves are used as a swimming area and spa. The rooms are a short walk away, perched on a short hill, all with balconies and views of the boats sailing into the harbor.
Yet, for kids, the best part of the resort is the acclaimed summer camp offered in July and August only. Children get to spend the day building sand castles, learning about the native flora on scavenger hunts, feeding the neon-colored fish, finding seashells, dressing up as pirates on a treasure hunt, or venturing off-property with counselors to visit Bermuda’s aquarium, zoo, and historic Royal Naval Dockyard. With the kids entertained, mom and dad can recline on the resort’s Honeymoon Beach with a good thick book in hand and actually relax on vacation.
Our Editor Loves
- Only all-inclusive option in Bermuda
- Daily Kid's Program in summer (July and August)
- Beachfront locale, close to the airport
- All Inclusive Rates
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The 201 rooms are spread across 11 buildings. All room configurations are the same. The difference in price is due to whether you want to be closer to the ocean (ocean front versus ocean view) and how high up you prefer (superior rooms are located on the first floor while deluxe rooms are on the second and third floors). All rooms have a spacious sitting area and either one king-sized or two double beds. The rooms include a shower (no bathtub), large bathroom mirror, flat-screen television, good closet space, small refrigerator, coffeemaker, hairdryer, ironing board, safe and free Wi-Fi.
This is not meant to be a full review of this hotel, but, rather, I am just taking the opportunity to express my gratitude for the way this hotel handled most of the passengers of a full flight I was on when it was suddenly canceled at 7 p.m. More staff were called in to man the front desk and the restaurant, and so we hardly felt as if the hotel was dealing with anything out of the ordinary. I believe most, if not all of us, who were not local were given accommodation for the night and put on the meal plan, all at the expense of the airline. In the morning, at breakfast, I found waitstaff who were willing to come in even though they had been scheduled to be off on a Sunday.
In the past, I have only had meals there, but the property is beautifully situated on a hill overlooking the harbor and the airport in the distance. There is a pretty little beach and water sports rentals. I believe most, if not all, rooms have great views and patios. My bathroom was beautifully done over recently and the bed was very comfortable. Despite being a sizable hotel, the food was quite good, as was the service.
Especially considering how expensive Bermuda is, I think this is a good option to consider, especially for those looking for all-inclusive options.
Job well done!!
by Denise M
We feel like we had no support from desk staff and bar staff
The desk staff were very rude.
They acted like we were an annoyance
My sister hurt her knee while in Bermuda..
The desk could care less
No help whatsoever...
We took care of ourselves. They did not even know where the ice was...they sent me to a different floor during a storm
The bar staff was just as rude...
We ordered a pizza and they didnt want to deliver after we were told they deliver from 6-10.
They refused to bring us ice but did deliver the pizza after over an hour later and a complaint to office
We paid for services only received after complaints.
Will not return to the Grotto.
I do not recommend the Grotto.
The Kids' Program is available during the summer months of July and August for children ages 5 to 12, six days a week (not on Sunday) from 9:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. For an additional fee, Grotto Bay counselors can take the kids for evening entertainment on select nights so parents can have a night to themselves. Usually, a Bermuda storyteller will come in and tell the children stories about the island and there is a pizza or tennis party, too.
The Bay & Pool
Many children are content to whisk away their hours swimming in the bay, especially when the water slides are up in the summer months. Kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving are available at the watersports desk on the beach. Also inquire about their sunset sails on the catamaran. Water aerobics are offered in the heated pool each morning, in addition to yoga and tae bo on the beach or lawn. Don't miss the opportunity to go swimming in the large body of water found in the cave. Lights reflect off the stalactites to enhance the outerworldly experience.
The resort also features shuffleboard, volleyball, tennis, daily bingo games, fish feeding on the beach, a fitness center, spa treatments in the privacy of a second cave, nature walks, afternoon tea in the Palm Court Restaurant, nightly movies, salsa dancing, and the gluttonous surf and turf night outdoors with live music.
If you can somehow tear yourself away from the resort, walk five minutes up the road to the massive Crystal Caves. The 30-minute guided tour leads you onto a pontoon bridge as you stare in awe at the many stalactite and stalagmite formations. Included in your all-inclusive package are bus and ferry passes around the island. Take a short bus ride to the historic village of St. George and then jump on a 45-minute cruise to the Royal Naval Dockyard and the National Museum of Bermuda.
Start your day with the breakfast buffet in the Hibiscus Room. The selection of choices include fresh fruit, cereals, croissants, bagels, yogurt, an omelet chef cooking eggs any way you like them, thick British-style bacon and sausage, smoked salmon, and pastries. Sunday Brunch is not to be missed here either. A lunch buffet and dinner are available here as well, and kids' menus are provided.
Palm Court Restaurant
For teetotalers, tea and biscuits is served at the Palm Court Restaurant from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. daily. At night, Palm Court is the more casual of the two restaurants. Start with the fish chowder, a local specialty, then move on to the leg of lamb doused in a slightly spicy scotch bonnet sauce, or one of the local fish like mahi-mahi or tuna. Options for children include pasta, chicken, fish and chips, and burgers. In the high season, the resort has a Barbecue Night with salsa lessons around the pool. Friday nights feature a Surf and Turf dinner, with live Calypso music. Kids' menus are available.
If you wake up early, head on over to the coffee shop, Java City, for a cup. It is open from 6:30 to 11 a.m. in Palm Court.
The Bayside Grill
The Bayside Grill, next to the pool and close to the beach, is the place to go for lunch in the high season. They have a good selection of salads, sandwiches, fish and chips, and burgers, all washed down with Bermuda's ginger beer. Or perhaps you want to start happy hour with one of Bermuda's signature rum drinks, the rum swizzle or a dark and stormy. The Bayside Grill is open from about May through November from noon to 3:30 p.m.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Locally owned, this is a place people in the Bermuda hospitality world strive to work. Many of the employees have worked here for decades. What does this mean to the hotel guest? That the staff on property wants to be here and is happy to be of service. Every morning around 9 a.m., there is a line at June-Ann's desk as she gives an introductory talk about the island's many sites to first-time visitors. On Wednesday nights, there's a champagne party at the Hibiscus Room for the many returning guests who are now considered part of the Grotto Bay family.
Complimentary Wi-Fi access can be found throughout the resort.
The Art of Smart Timing
This is one resort which we would advise going during the high peak months of June, July, and August. Yes, the price is at its high mark, but the resort is in full swing with the Kid's Program, water slides, and dinner festivities around the pool. April break is another great time to head to Grotto Bay, with an Easter Egg Hunt and other fun-filled activities for the kids. Remember that Bermuda is off the coast of North Carolina and is not the Caribbean. It can be chilly over Christmas.
The international airport is only about a five-minute drive away.
The resort is easily walkable.
For Mom and Dad
It's hard to top the Couples Massage in the Cave. Talk about an intimate setting. The entire cave is yours as the two massage therapists work on those weary muscles. Also head to the Hisbiscus Room to have a quiet dinner when the Kid's Program takes the children out for the night.