9 Beaches in a Nutshell:
Originally an eco-resort, 9 Beaches sprawls across 18 acres that really are surrounded by nine separate beaches, each more breathtaking than the last. This ultra-casual hideaway features private, individual cabanas on stilts, some over the water. Furnishings are simple to the point of being rustic. Swimming, snorkeling, boating, and other water sports are easily accessible. Also on site are a swimming pool, tennis court, casual outdoor eatery and higher-end restaurant that offers a first-rate view of the sunset.
Cabanas at 9 Beaches:
Accommodations at 9 Beaches consist of 84 separate one-room cabanas on stilts, some on land and some over the water. Cabanas are cooled by the sea breezes wafting in from the windows and doors on all four sides. (Air-conditioners are available, but not very effective.) The minimalist rooms contain a bed, a futon-couch, a table and chairs, a basic bathroom with only a shower and a private veranda that’s perfect for stargazing. Cabanas over the water have a Plexiglas floor panel that provides views of the water below. There are no phones or TVs, and guests are furnished with a cell phone upon check in.
Dining at 9 Beaches:
Dinner is served at Hi-Tide, with seating indoors amidst bright turquoise walls or poolside on a covered deck. Entrees include coconut mango curry chicken with roasted sesame rice and rock lobster tail with lemon risotto. Dark ‘N Stormy’s Beach Bar and Grill serves light fare and drinks in plastic cups. Drinks are also available at Um-Um’s, a bar off the lobby. Guests are entitled to the complimentary buffet breakfast that offers eggs, waffles, and pastries. “A La Cart” room service is an actual cart that drives around the property with snacks and beverages. Couples can arrange a private dinner on the beach.
Destination Weddings at 9 Beaches:
9 Beaches’ wedding coordinator can help plan events with up to 150 guests, making arrangements for the minister, marriage certificate, flowers and all other details. Ceremonies are usually held at sunset on one of the nine beaches. Most brides prefer going barefoot or wearing flip-flops. The resort has its own 60’ by 40’ tent for receptions with buffet dinners and a dance floor. Small groups of up to 20 can gather on the deck surrounding the pool, which overlooks a beach. 9 Beaches offers a Romance Package for Two, which includes two bathrobes, a 9 Beaches tote bag, and strawberries, chocolate and champagne.
Activities at 9 Beaches:
The focus of 9 Beaches, not surprisingly, is the beaches. Some are intimate coves while others are significant stretches of sand strewn with sun-worshippers. The snorkeling is first-rate, and kayaks, catamarans, and paddleboats are available. The resort also has a swimming pool and tennis court and offers bocce ball, foosball, table tennis, croquet and beach volleyball. A small lounge near the lobby has a television and two Internet-connected computers. An independent company onsite, Fantasea
, conducts glass-bottom boat rides, sunset cruises, and snorkeling, scuba, and snuba excursions.
Spa at 9 Beaches:
While there is no spa at 9 Beaches, guests can arrange for a massage therapist to come to their cabana. She offers several types of massage, including Swedish, therapeutic, and deep tissue. The resort also has an arrangement with other hotels nearby, including Cambridge Beaches and the Fairmont Southampton, which enables guests to have privileges at their spas.
Nearby 9 Beaches:
9 Beaches is a ten-minute ride to the Royal Navy Dockyard, once a military facility but today the site of shops, restaurants, a movie theater, a Maritime Museum and attractions like Dolphin Quest, a swimming-with-dolphins experience. A local bus company picks up guests every hour from nine until four. From the Dockyard, visitors can take a twenty-minute ferry ride to Hamilton, Bermuda’s largest town, for shopping and dining. Mondays through Fridays, there’s also a ferry to the historic town of St. George, a 45-minute trip.
What Could Be Better at 9 Beaches?:
In warm weather, 9 Beaches is hot, hot, hot — the grounds, the cabanas, the bar, and the restaurants. While the lobby building has a small air-conditioned lounge with a TV and computers, it’s a magnet for kids and has only one small couch. A quiet air-conditioned lounge without electronics would be a welcome addition for those seeking to escape the heat. Also note that the walls of the cabanas are made of a weather-proof fabric that flaps around at night, making a noise that might make it difficult for some guests to get a good night’s sleep.
Is 9 Beaches Right For You?:
Compared to Bermuda’s ultra-luxurious hotels, the simplicity of 9 Beaches makes for a completely different experience. Onsite dining options are limited, and there are few non-water-related activities. And those who need air-conditioning when the thermometer gets serious might find the constant exposure to heat draining. But if your priority is affordably enjoying Bermuda’s idyllic beaches, you’ll love immersing yourself in the resort’s natural surroundings. The pace is slow, and the emphasis is on being casual – for example, wearing flip-flops and shorts even in the resort’s “nice” restaurant.
9 Beaches Info and Reservations:
9 Beaches Resort & Spa
P.O. Box MA 238
Sandys, Bermuda MA BX
441-239-2999 or toll-free 866-841-9009
Official Hotel Web Site
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As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation and meals for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.