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Bermuda's Southampton Parish

Exploring this county between Warwick and Sandys Parishes

line drawing

By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) at e-mail exclusively for Bermuda Online

To refer to this particular web file, please use "bermuda-online.org/seesouth.htm" as your Subject.

Accommodation

Southampton Parish

Part of Southampton Parish's crest, from the 3rd Earl of Southampton

Used with exclusive permission from the copyright owners. Do not copy.

The Bermuda Government appoints a Parish Council for each Parish. It has more information about the crest and Parish beyond that shown below.

About the Parish

Southampton Parish areaBasic map of the ParishSouthampton Parish, on Main Island, is one of the nine parishes each of 2.3055 (two point three zero five five) square miles. 

It was named after Henry Wriothesley, Third Earl of Southampton (1573-1624), an English aristocrat, one of the most colorful Elizabethans, the patron and friend of William Shakespeare

He served against the Spaniards in the Calais Expedition of 1596 but in 1599 was implicated in the Essex Plot and imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth 1. 

Set free by King James, he was made a Knight of the Garter. 

He died in the Low Countries where he had gone as a volunteer once more to fight the tyranny of Spain. Always interested in overseas exploration, he was a member of the Council of the Virginia Company in 1605, the North West Company of 1612. He was one of the gentlemen Adventurers who invested in the newly formed Bermuda Company of 1615. 

He was the largest shareholder in the original Southampton Tribe but never visited. The major British port of Southampton, in Hampshire, is also named after him and his family.

Early Bermuda settlers called it Port Royal, instead of Southampton. 

This Port Royal pre-dates Port Royal of Jamaica and is why there are several references to it. 

The bay on the north side became a shipping center before the City of Hamilton was established. 

This Parish is the second most western in direction and a good distance from the Bermuda International Airport, an expensive taxi ride. From 2001, it has a stop for Bermuda Government ferry boats. It is served by buses.

Constituencies in the Bermuda Parliament

Barnes Corner Parkwalking area

A Bermuda National Park. Added in the latter part of the year 2000. It is 1.74 hectares (4.39 acres). Also the sign on some buses, meaning this is as far as they go.

Bermuda Golf Academy and Driving Range

Off Middle Road, on Industrial Park Road. Telephone 238-8800. Not a golf course but a driving range.

Boat Bay

This is where the large Sonesta Beach Hotel, now gone, was situated. But the waters here have a much older claim to fame. The original name for this bay was Hunt's Bay, a grant of land that went north from what was then a cove all the way to the Little Sound. It was then owned by the Hunt family. In 1661, the ill fated sailing vessel Virginia Merchant became grounded. She was a total wreck and sank there with great loss of life. In 1741, the Spanish privateer Francisco Lopez landed a raiding party here. The Spaniards seized local fishing boats and towed them behind their ship. The local militia and two armed Bermudian sloops arrived too late to retrieve them. They were never heard of again.

Bus routes

Visitors and new residents who use the Bermuda Government pink and blue buses should obtain a free copy of the schedule, to know when the service operates, when it stops and what fares apply.

Chaplin Bay public buseswalking area

 4 star beach (The greater part). Another spectacular South Shore Park Beach situated mostly in this Parish but also partly on Warwick's western boundary adjacent to and east of Horseshoe Bay. Another favorite of Bermudians. Walking trail to Horseshoe Bay (less than one mile but may seem longer in Bermuda's June-September combination of heat and humidity) and other South Shore beaches. Bounded by cliffs on both sides. Bathrooms (toilets) but no other facilities (at Horseshoe Bay). Place for seasonal beach activities. Bus route 7. This beach almost disappears during storms and high tides, so should be sought only at low tide. The sea is not usually calm but fine for swimmers close to the shore. An unusual coral wall stretches above the water and across the beach, essentially splitting the beach in two. It gets the name not from the Charlie Chaplin family (which at one time did own some Bermuda real estate) but a much earlier person by that name. He was Edward Chaplin, Sr. He was a 20 year old colonist in 1635 aboard the ship Dorset. He later became prominent in island affairs, was a Lieutenant in the local militia and was one of those largely responsible in the 1650s for re-arming the island's British Army-built forts. As a reward he was given Share 24 of Warwick which included this bay which thereafter became (and is still known as) Chaplin Bay even though the family in Bermuda died out in the mid 1800s.

Chaplin Bay Bermuda 2011

Church Bay public buseswalking area

South Shore, off South Road. Small but beautiful public beach. Gets deep quite suddenly. A Bermuda National Park, ocean- side with rest area. Good for sunbathing, snorkeling and other water sports, with boiler and other reefs, no corals. Bathrooms (toilets) nearby. Also with picnic tables and parking areas. Ruined British Army-built fort nearby. Bus route 7. A summertime favorite of locals because of its beauty, with an old fort on the premises including a '1612' date marker. 

Church Bay beach

Church Bay beach

Death Valley Field & Playground

A recreational area. The name dates back to the late 1940s and 1950s when many motorists lost their lives on the stretch of the Middle Road in the area.

Evan's Bay Pondpublic buseswalking area

A nice, 7.5 acre  nature reserve at Scroggins Hill, formerly in private ownership. A charity, Buy Back Bermuda (BBB),  dedicated to preserving Bermuda's open spaces for future generations, has drawn up proposals to add footpaths, benches, illustrative signs and small bridges here and elsewhere

Fairmont Southampton Princess Resort 4 Starship viewDiningMeeting RoomDisabledPoolGolfTennisBusiness centerShopping  

Fairmont Southampton Princess Hotel

Fairmont Southampton Princess 1 593 rooms. South and Middle Roads, Southampton Parish. Or airmail at P. O. Box HM 1379, Hamilton HM FX, Bermuda. Reservations 1 ( 800) 223 1818 in the USA or ( 800) 268 7176 in Canada or (441) 238-8000 directly. Fax (441) 238-8968. E-mail southampton@fairmont.com. 593 rooms, 1500 guests, 853 staff. Newport Room 239-6964; Rib Room 239-6966; Tennis Club 239-6950; Waterlot Inn 239-6967; Whaler Inn 239-6868; Wickets Brasserie 239-6969; Windows On The Sound 239-6963. Taxi fare from/to airport from $35 per taxi for 1-4 passengers or $45 for 5-6 passengers. Near the 7 and 8 bus routes. 

Another Bermuda hotel in the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc. stable. Bermuda's largest hotel, it is on the second highest point of Bermuda. In 1972-74, when it was built, almost 100% of the construction materials came from Canada. It is a 100-acre estate facing the South Shore ocean and Great Sound on the north side. It is a luxury resort hotel.  Major improvements have included a new spa, pool and beach area. There are lovely gardens and its own challenging, executive golf course. It has sophisticated and flexible meeting facilities, a variety of restaurants and services. It was built in 1972 from scratch by its first owner, the American multi-millionaire Daniel Ludwig. Sixty percent of hotel guests are in conventions. It has received numerous Bermuda Government Tourism awards. The Princess-to-Princess (linking both the Fairmont Hamilton Princess and Fairmont Southampton Princess) ferry is very popular with guests. Nearest beach is the one belonging to this hotel, reachable by the hotel's beach shuttle. For other beaches, see beaches.

The last three-and-a-half decades have seen the hotel — originally called the Southampton Princess — play host to some of the world's best-known and wealthiest celebrities and dignitaries. It introduced Bermudian breakfasts to hotel guests more than a decade ago The traditional island fare quickly became hugely popular and hundreds of plates of codfish and potatoes are now served there to locals and hotel guests every Sunday. Guests have included the Saudi royal family's stay in the late 1970s, which saw fresh lamb's milk flown onto the Island every day for more than week; Bill Cosby and his wife; US presidents, including George Bush senior; Tony and Cherie Blair; The Queen and Prince Philip (though they always stayed at Government House); James Belushi. The four-star hotel opened with 600 rooms but now has 593 — the missing seven having been transformed into a lounge on the exclusive Fairmont Gold sixth floor, a "hotel within a hotel" for the richest clients. Millions of dollars have been spent on renovations over the years and the hotel now features a state-of-the-art spa, though the footprint of the site remains the same as in 1972, when then-Governor Lord Martonmere performed the official opening. The Southampton Princess was the brainchild of American businessman and shipping magnate Daniel K. Ludwig, who also owned its sister property, the Princess Hotel in Hamilton. Canadian Pacific Hotels bought both properties in 1998 and took over Fairmont Hotels and Resorts the following year. The hotels were then renamed the Fairmont Southampton and the Fairmont Hamilton Princess. In September 2003, the Fairmont Southampton was damaged by Hurricane Fabian and closed for renovations until April 2004.

In August 2008 Fairmont Hotels and Resorts applied for planning permission to build 130 villas on the grounds of this hotel. Some units overlook the golf course but the fairway itself remains intact. The golf course remains as a par three 18-hole golf course.  The mixed-use development of fractional units, townhouses and villas only resulted in the relocation of the 14th green and tee, plus a new 18th tee and green. Since acquiring the hotel in 1998, the Fairmont group has invested $122 million in remediation work and facilities upgrades, following Hurricane Fabian. The consultants say fractional units for sale and rent are necessary to create additional product offerings for tourists.

There were eight proposed areas of development:

However, in January 2009, arising from the economic downturn that has so hugely affected Americans in particular, the hotel's best clients by far, the hotel announced 35 job losses, in the first signs of recession hitting Bermuda's tourism product. Plus, it closed half of its guest rooms until April 2009. In addition, restaurants were closed on a rotating basis based on hotel-occupancy rates, until the 2009 summer season.

In 2009 it realigned its operations to meet the shift in demand from high end to mid-range visitors as the economic crisis takes further effect. Previously, it focused mainly on the luxury tourist market, but the introduction of the new cost-conscious traveler in 2009 has seen the resort transform the way it does business.  

In 2011 The hotel has tried to adapt to match the change in clientele, lowered costs for guests and offered unprecedented room discounts to attract those looking for value for money in the current financial climate. 

Ferry Stop

Se under "Rockaway Ferry Stop" below, George's Bay Road. Built in 2002, now operating daily.

Gibb's Hill Lighthouse Diningpublic buseswalking area

Gibb's Hill Lighthouse

Gibb's Hill Lighthouse, Bermuda Tourism photo

Accessible via Gibb's Hill and Tribe Road # 2, South Road or Bermuda Railroad Trail. It and the park (with a total extended acreage of parkland now of 3.93 hectares or 9.75 acres since the year 2000) are open to the public daily from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. 

On August 14, 2013 the Bermuda Government announced repair work is set to begin on Gibbs Hill Lighthouse in the next few months, according to the Ministry of Public Works. While former Minister of Government Estates Michael Scott said a contract was signed last year to repair the site, Public Works Minister Trevor Moniz said earlier this year that Government was reconsidering decisions made by the previous administration. Since then, rust has continued to spread over the tourist attraction, with large cracks clearly visible on the lighthouses exterior. Work is to be done not immediately by November or thereabouts so as not to disrupt visitors to the lighthouse or  adjoining restaurant during the height of our visitor season. Prior to the December 17, 2012 general election, Mr Scott said the lighthouse was on the list for major upgrades by the Department of Public Lands and Buildings after members of the public expressed concern about the rusting exterior of the building. He announced that an exhaustive assessment was carried out and it was determined that around $500,000 of renovation work was required. The external painting of a structure as tall as the lighthouse requires the construction of scaffolding and the services of a highly specialized team. The government sought quotations from painters and construction companies with expertise and experience in painting and repairing tall steel structures. The work will include sand blasting all of the metal surfaces and the instillation of a new guardrail on the observation deck.

When re-opened, there will again be an admittance charge per adult, but no charge for children under 6. It re-opened in August 2006 after being closed for repairs for ten months. It had been closed to repair damage incurred by Hurricane Fabian in 2003. The repairs included replacement of the system that drives the rotating light, the exterior railing and repainting of both the interior and exterior of the lighthouse.

It towers 117 feet high from Gibb's Hill, 245 feet (35 meters) above the water, with the beacon 362 feet above sea level and the lighthouse itself 35 meters from the base to the lantern.  At first it was illuminated with kerosene and wound up to rotate. Today, electricity powers the mechanism. Its maritime light can be seen by ships 40 miles out to sea and by pilots of aircraft up to 120 miles away at 10,000 feet. There is no elevator, instead 185 very steep steps, in 8 flights. Photographs and drawings are displayed on the way up. From there, see how Bermuda is not just one island but many - and appreciate why the lighthouse was built on a high hill inland so its light could be seen by ships at sea to the south and north. In both light and radar surveillance, it plays a key role in safety of ships at sea. Its Swedish built radar system covers the entire western area of Bermuda. It is connected by a microwave link to Harbor Radio (located at Fort George in St. George's Parish), the central facility for ensuring that vessels of all sizes are guided to safety in local waters instead of running aground on any underwater reefs or other hazards. 

The most prominent local landmark, it was the second British cast iron lighthouse. After years of debate on whether this site or one on Wreck Hill in Sandys Parish was more suitable, this site won. Testing included flaming barrels of tar. A proposal to have it built went to London in the 1840's. The location of 39 wrecks was cited as what a structure like this might have prevented. Approval was granted.

Plates for the building were constructed in London at a cost of 5,500 pounds sterling, designed by engineer Mr. George Groves, working for the firm of Alexander S. Gordon which was awarded the contract. The plates were shipped to Bermuda, unloaded at Jew's Bay and hauled by British convicts transported to Bermuda and working in chain gangs overland and up the hill with considerable difficulty. The first was laid on December 12, 1844, with Mr. Groves superintending a team of British engineers. They were led by Lieutenant Colonel Philip Barry who was sent out from England in 1844 as Commanding Officer of the Royal Engineers based in Bermuda. The building was completed in 1845. The structure was officially opened on May 1, 1846 with Groves in attendance. (In later life, he achieved a knighthood and immortality as the editor of the "bible" of classical musicians, the Grove Dictionary, still published today). Legend has it that when the lighthouse first went into operation, residents of the area tossed aside their whale oil lanterns and candles in the belief the big lighthouse would light up their nights forever! Some folks still refer to it the way their mid 19th century forebears did, as the "Parish Lantern."

It was visited in May 1861 by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, second son of Queen Victoria, during his six-day Bermuda visit; and in 1880 by (another) Prince Albert, 16, and Prince George, 15, sons of the-then Prince of Wales, later, Edward VII), who arrived as midshipmen on HMS Bacchante.

In 1882, on December 6, a Transit of Venus occurred, clearly visible from Bermuda for several hours. A team of British scientists and astronomers from the Royal Greenwich Observatory were sent to Bermuda to witness it. They set up camp a few weeks before the event. They were led by well-known astronomer and meteorologist John Isaac Plummer and their viewing was conducted from this lighthouse. In the USA, from its sightings there, US composer John Phillip Sousa composed the march "The Transit of Venus" in its honor.

Sousa's Transit of Venus March

Sousa's Transit of Venus March

A good book is Bermuda Light - The Story of Gibb's Hill Lighthouse by Michael Dolding. He and his family once lived in the property below the lighthouse, now a restaurant.

Golf Golf courseDiningpublic buseswalking area

The above file gives details of all Bermuda golf courses.  This Parish has several good ones.

Great Sound

The beautiful, large, body of water which includes the northern part of this Parish, goes east, all the way to Pembroke Parish. If you take the ferry from the city of Hamilton you'll cross it and enjoy the fabulous seascapes. Or you can rent a sailboat and get closer to many small, fascinating islands. Alternatively, take one of the big cruise boat tours operated by several local companies, with optional extras such as cocktails, dinner cruises, shore parties on an island and more.

Horseshoe Bay

 4 star beach Horseshoe Bay (public, large (about 4 miles). superb. Horseshoe Road, off South Road and on bus route #7. Walk down the hill to the beach from the bus. With lifeguards on duty from May to September. Also a restaurant, changing facilities, bathrooms (toilets), parking. The best-known and one of the best Bermuda beaches. Every year it has a sand castle and sand creation competition. Best in early morning to avoid crowds. Wading pool, shallow waters for small children, good swimming and snorkeling for adults, swimmers should note swells. Many fish in waters. Beach chairs and snorkel equipment for rent. Also has nice walking trails with secluded coves nearby. Every August, with a Sand Sculpture Competition. Every Good Friday, an annual Bermuda Kite Festival is held here, with thousands of families and children participating in kite competition. Mostly locals plus some visitors bring Bermuda and other kites of all shapes, designs, sizes. Prizes are awarded by category. 

On August 7, 2012, Horseshoe Bay got WIFI. Bermuda beachgoers can now surf the web on their phone or tablet thanks to a new WIFI hotspot set up by Digicel and Transact. Customers wishing to enjoy high-speed internet as they soak up the sun are now able to do easily. The service is the first of its kind on a Bermuda beach, but unlike many WIFI hot spots on beaches in the US and around the world, it’s not free. Customers at the beach can log on by connecting to the internet and following the Digicel prompts and pay by credit card. Or they can buy a prepaid card at the concession stand at Horseshoe Bay. It’ll cost $2.95 for an hour, $8.95 for the whole day, or $11.95 for a full week.

Horseshoe Bay

Photo: Bermuda Tourism

Islands of the Parish

Bartlett's Two, just north of Middle Road, Great Sound.
Buck South of Little Sound, close to north coast of the parish.
Fish Hook South of East Whale Bay.
Five Star Also known as Wilson's, 2 acres, one-property residential, Great Sound. Owned and lived on by Curt Engelhorn, the German billionaire.
Haggis South of Riddell's.
Little Crumb Between Spectacle and Perot's.
Perot's

Perot's Island

Previously known as Crumb, and Brush or Crumb-Brush. So-called for its similarity to a small, curved table brush used to sweep crumbs from a Victorian-era table. 8.17 acres, one-property residential, Riddle's Bay area, Great Sound, Southampton Parish. Historically significant. Previous owners include the one-time Huguenot Perot family who emigrated to Bermuda in the late 18th century shortly after the French Revolution (William Perot later became Bermuda's first Postmaster General and his stamps earned Bermuda a unique place in philatelic history); Miss Claudia Darrell, owner and operator of Bermuda's Waterlot Inn, later bought by Daniel Ludwig and then the Southampton Princess Hotel; Mrs. David Van Buren of New York who occupied the property in the late 1940s; Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Orr. In 1937 Mr. Orr built Perot's Manor House on this island (The house has 27 rooms, seven of which are bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms; outbuildings, huge swimming pool  - at one time the largest in Bermuda - tennis court, boat house and small private beach) and from 1949, Stanhope Joell. The island was later owned for 14 years by billionaire Marion Cargill MacMillan. The property is valued at many US$ millions. 

Spectacle Next to Perot's, Great Sound.

Jew's Bay walking area

Jew's Bay, Bermuda

With a public wharf. A sea bay (inlet) on the Parish's northern shore. Scenic and serene, it is protected from the waters of the Great Sound by a number of islands. Worth a stop, especially if you're sightseeing by moped (it isn't easily accessible via public transport), for the fine views of the Great Sound. Access it via the main Middle Road. It's clearly sign posted, with its own little lane. The name may have been arranged as a religious counterpoint to Christian Bay, on the parish's southern coast, or a group of once-itinerant Jews who once dwelt nearby may have inspired it. The latter is more likely. Unfortunately, at that 1693 time in Bermuda's history, Jews had a harder time of it than so-called Christians, with a Jews-only trading tax plus a monthly tax for continued residency in the colony and an additional customs duty on goods they - but not others - imported. Only much later were these Bermuda censures against Jews relaxed. In 1844 the prefabricated iron parts of Gibb's Hill Lighthouse were imported into Jews Bay by the ship "John Renwick" which brought them from England. They were dragged up a hill and assembled by British convicts then undergoing hard manual labor in Bermuda, under the supervision of Royal Engineers of the British Army. The Southampton Princess Hotel's Waterlot restaurant, one of Bermuda's finest, overlooks the bay.

Little Sound

Part of the Great Sound.

Middle Roadpublic buses

The Parish section of this main road is worth exploring by bus (the #8 route) or moped in Monday to Friday non rush hours. Going east from Overplus Lane (the boundary of Sandys and Southampton Parishes), you'll parallel the Bermuda Railroad Trail (see separate mention) for quite a way, enjoy the same views, pass the entrance to the famous Port Royal Golf Course, more rural scenery, interesting side roads, the Southampton Princess Hotel on the hill to the right, and the Waterlot Inn to the left. After more great sea and land views, you'll reach the boundary with Warwick Parish at the Heron Bay Plaza and the road to Riddle's Bay.

Morgan's Point

Morgans and Tuckers Islands formed this base Once a collection of separate islands in the Great Sound all joined together at a cost entirely borne by US wartime taxpayers of over US$75 million at that time. 

Named after Morgan's Island located here until bulldozed to build the sprawling US Naval Annex during World War II, it covers 260 acres. 

Former US Navy facility  from 1941 to 1995, variously named from US Naval Operating Base to US Naval Air Station

Over more than 50 years of US Military occupation, thousands of US Navy personnel were stationed there, many with their wives and families.

Morgans Point former US Navy BaseUS Navy aircraft over Bermuda

Morgan's Point old US Navy base

Morgan's Point with top right US Navy aircraft from this base patrolling over Bermuda

Its roads were 

Morgan’s Point today is the largest piece of unutilized land in Bermuda. The former US Naval Annex remains a desolate out-of-bounds peninsula. Unfortunately, it has been off limits to all visitors and locals since May 30, 1995. Part of the legacy is the pollution caused during its previous use. The cost of cleaning up the site so that it can once more be safely used by the public is a matter of debate. It is the last remaining large development opportunity for an integrated resort and commercial complex in Bermuda. It has spectacular views across the Great Sound with 5,300 meters of waterfront. The mainland area is 190 acres, with 60 acres on the peninsular joined by a causeway. The peninsular projects into the Great Sound and is all flat land. 

Old US Navy base 1

Old US Navy base 3

Old US Navy base 4

Old US Navy Base 2

Remnants of old buildings and equipment at former US Navy Base

2013. August 19. A financial guarantee to the developers of the proposed $2 billion resort at Morgan’s Point will be limited to $125 million, Government said yesterday. Finance Minister Bob Richards announced last week that he was considering providing a sovereign guarantee for the project because the developers had indicated that the environmental remediation was making it difficult to raise financing. He said a non-binding “letter of comfort” had been issued to Morgan’s Point Limited to enable the company to begin financing negotiations for the first phase of the project. The news raised some eyebrows as private sector guarantees are rarely given, and some observers have noted that one of the key principals of MPL is SAGE Commission Chairman Brian Duperreault, an appointee of Mr Richards. Mr Richards was unable to give the value of the guarantee being considered but a Government spokesman said yesterday that it would not be more than $125 million. 

Morgan's Point hotel redevelopment plans

Morgan's Point plans

Morgan's Point planned development

Morgan's Point hotel development planned

2013. August 20.  Allowing gaming in Bermuda would make it easier for hotel developers to compete for investment funds, says one developer. But Craig Christensen who with Brian Dupperault, and Nelson Hunt, propose to build a $2 billion luxury resort at Morgan’s Point, indicated that gaming is not necessarily a panacea. “For the major development at Morgan’s Point, gaming would be extremely useful in expanding our potential market of investors,” Mr Christensen told The Royal Gazette. “In the absence of gaming, the playing field is tilted in favour of our Caribbean neighbours to our South to receive funding from investors and tourism dollars. Gaming would allow us to try and level the playing field. Without gaming, major developments in Bermuda are going to face an uphill battle. Gaming is not new, we would simply be catching up to other jurisdictions. Even with gaming, future developments will require far more vision and creativity to be successful and competitive.” Government is under pressure from the business community and developers to legislate gaming without a referendum. But, while there appears to be some division over the issue within the One Bermuda Alliance, Premier Craig Cannonier has said that his administration will stick to its election promise to have the people decide in a referendum. While Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell has said the referendum will take place by year’s end, Government is yet to pass the legislation which would set the stage for the poll. Nor has it launched any kind of awareness campaign to educate the public on what gaming would mean for Bermuda. But parliament reopens next month and a “full explanation” and update will be given then, said Mr Crockwell last night. A law would have to be passed to hold the gaming referendum and the Referendum Act 2012 requires that the Premier give notice of the poll within 90 days. The law also provides that the voter turnout must be at least 50 percent for a yes vote to prevail. Financing appears to be a major sticking point for at least three proposed developments. And Government has indicated a willingness to facilitate guarantees to help out. In the latest development, Finance Minister Bob Richards has announced that he is considering a guarantee so that the Morgan’s Point developers can engage in loan talks. Mr Richards said Government’s guarantee was necessary because the developers had told him that environmental remediation issues were making it harder to negotiate a loan for the first phase of the project. Yesterday, Mr Christensen clarified the position. “It is not the remediation process, but rather that many institutions will simply not finance any polluted site as part of their policy. Even though we have had a commitment from The Bermuda Government, this has not satisfied those lending institutions,” he said. Mr Christensen said whether gaming is legalized or not would not impact financing for the first phase of the project  The former Progressive Labour Party Government agreed to take responsibility for the clean-up after it gave the developer 80 acres of the 240-acre brownfield site in exchange for reserve land at Southlands in 2008. Government then spent three years in talks with the US Government in an attempt to persuade Washington to pay for the remediation work, but in March 2011 the then-Works & Engineering Minister Derrick Burgess confirmed that those talks had failed, and that the taxpayer would be hit with a cleaning bill in the region of $35-$38 million. The land swap agreement was legally finalized in June 2012 and clean-up work began shortly after.

2013. August 17. Government looks set to provide a financial guarantee to the Morgan's Point developers. Finance Minister Bob Richards announced yesterday that Government is looking at ways to help Morgan's Point Limited obtain financing for the $2 billion project, and has issued a letter of comfort so the developers can begin discussions with lenders. While the Ministry of Finance press release stressed that no commitment has as yet been made, it noted that environmental remediation issues at the site had been hindering the developers efforts to secure financing. Government is committed by way of various agreements to the remediation of lands conveyed to MPL for the construction and operation of a boutique style hotel, condominium residences, sewage treatment plant, and other facilities, it stated. MPL has advised Government that the environmental remediation issues at Morgan's Point are impeding its ability to secure satisfactory construction financing for Phase 1 of the project. In that regard, MPL has requested that the Government provide credit enhancement for the financing of Phase 1 of the project in the form of a limited financial guarantee. Mr Richards said that his Ministry does not, in general, issue guarantees to private sector projects save in matters of national importance. However, the Island has not seen a new hotel development for some time and the Government strongly supports this project and the economic benefits that it will bring to Bermuda.  "We must do more to attract foreign capital to our shores to develop our tourism product. At a recent Tourism Summit held in Bermuda it was noted that our competitors are doing a great deal to attract financing for hotel projects, some governments are going so far as to guarantee the debt in order to finalize the acquisition of the required financing for the project. I am confident that if satisfactory financing is obtained this development will turn a brown field site into a stunning new resort leading Bermuda back into the forefront of the hospitality industry. The project will create numerous jobs and generate significant revenue for Governments coffers. Although the nature and extent of the credit enhancement cannot be quantified at this time and will depend upon the particulars of the project and the construction loan, I can advise that I have recently provided a letter of comfort to the developers to confirm the Governments willingness to consider credit enhancement for the project. This letter is required so that MPL can begin discussions with potential lenders for the project finance. It is important to note that at this time the Government has made no firm commitment, therefore, this comfort letter is non-binding. Also this action should not be considered precedent setting and is only being considered because of the environmental remediation issues at the Morgan's Point site. The Government is eager for the project to proceed and succeed, and is looking forward to working with the developer to achieve that objective." In June, Craig Christensen, one of the three principals behind the scheme, was confident about the projects progress, saying he expected ground to be broken by the end of the year. Mr Christensen owns the 250-acre site with business partners Brian Duperreault and Nelson Hunt. The developers are hoping for the first phase of the resort to be open for business by the beginning of 2016. A boutique hotel of up to 140 rooms along with some residential units could be built within two years of construction work starting. But the developers are also planning a marina with its own hotel to accommodate mega yachts and their crews, and a third (500-room) hotel.

2013. June 24. The first phase of a $2 billion hotel, golf course and marina resort at Morgan’s Point could be open for business by the beginning of 2016, according to developers. And Craig Christensen is confident that the new hotel — and Bermuda as a whole — has the pulling power to bring about an upswing in the fortunes of the tourism industry. Speaking exclusively to The Royal Gazette, Mr Christensen explained that a Government clean-up of the 250-acre site — a former US naval annex — had been “going well”, and should enable his company to break ground by the end of this year. A boutique hotel of up to 140 rooms along with some residential units could be built within two years of construction work starting, with Mr Christensen hopeful that it will be open before the summer of 2016. And the developer believes work on more ambitious phases of the development — including a marina to surpass the famed Atlantis facility in the Bahamas, and a second hotel of around 500 rooms — could also get underway within two years. “The clean-up started last fall and has really continued in earnest. The remediation was taken over by Government’s procurement office who jumped on it to get it going because they were way behind time to get it moving. I think the new Government has kept that commitment because they recognize that Morgan’s Point is absolutely critical as a development to go forward to really spur the economic engine.” Mr Christensen, who owns the site with business partners Brian Duperreault and Nelson Hunt, said his company was now in discussions with numerous hotel operators to run the boutique hotel. “The first phase represents about ten percent of the development and we want to accelerate future phases so that we can proceed with other phases of the development as we complete phase one.” The development will feature a third hotel to accommodate crews from visiting yachts — including mega-yachts — berthed at a new marina. “The marina component is going to be critical for a new type of tourist,” Mr Christensen said. “We have done extensive studies of marine traffic flow of the mega-yachts that emanate out of the Caribbean during the spring and summer and move by Bermuda — but Bermuda is not recognised as a destination. We can make it become a recognised destination. The plans we have for the new marina are absolutely stunning — far better than Atlantis in Nassau. We will release these plans in due course but that’s where we’re heading. Atlantis is really good but this is going to be far better, both in terms of scale and as a safe harbour. We have had preliminary discussions and we would like to have that in place within five years.” Mr Christensen said that he was confident Bermuda could have a thriving tourism industry in the future, because its problems were easily “fixable.” He argued that Bermuda’s natural resources, such as its coastline, rivaled jurisdictions in the Caribbean, while the Island was also much cleaner and safer than many competitors. He added that those resources were not always fully utilized, and tourism chiefs needed to do more to sell the Island’s outstanding attributes and make both developers and visitors feel more welcome. But he praised the new Government for “turning red tape into red carpet. We were really pleased to see [Tourism Minister] Shawn Crockwell attend a conference in Miami last month where he got to see first-hand what we’ve been seeing for five years or so. He gets it now — he gets that we’re not on the radar. There's been a difference in the air since December. What Bermuda has lacked is a vision. What are we? Bermuda hasn’t said what it wants to be and that’s where we need to start. I think it should be the playground for the northeast US, for a younger crowd, which means we need to be more vibrant and more family-orientated. What needs to happen is we need to start using Bermuda’s assets appropriately. Furthermore, we just don’t promote ourselves well, but all of these fixes are really quite small in comparison to other destinations where you have to change the whole social fabric. For example, we forget that Bermuda is actually very safe. It’s an easy place to live, and you can walk down Front Street at night or go to Dockyard or St George’s. It’s not a compound or a gated community. But we need to get that message out there. With Morgan’s Point, we now have the product mix and a Government that is a lot more committed to the development and tourism, so we’re confident that this is not just another a false dawn or another platinum period. For the first time we have a product that is realistic. It can actually happen because it addresses everything that hasn’t been addressed before.”

2013. June 24. The bill for cleaning up pollutants left by the US Navy at Morgan’s Point could be lower than originally estimated according to site developer Craig Christensen. The former Progressive Labour Party Government agreed to take responsibility for the clean-up after it gave the developer 80 acres of the 240-acre brownfield site in exchange for reserve land at Southlands in 2008. Government then spent three years in talks with the US Government in an attempt to persuade Washington to pay for the remediation work, but in March 2011 the then-Works & Engineering Minister Derrick Burgess confirmed that those talks had failed, and that the taxpayer would be hit with a cleaning bill in the region of $35-$38 million. The land swap agreement was legally finalised in June 2012 and clean-up work began shortly after. Mr Christensen said he had been in regular contact with Government to discuss the clean-up — and that initial investigations of the site had resulted in “good news.” “We’ve been having a number of meetings with Government monitoring progress and that they’ve probably gone through 80 percent of the asbestos already,” Mr Christensen said. “I think the extent of pollution at Morgan’s Point may have been greatly exaggerated previously. It looks like a lot of the pipelines may have been cleaned prior to US departure, which is good news because trying to remediate soil is a time-consuming and expensive process so it’s likely there’s going to be some savings there. They’re still in the investigation stage but so far the investigation looks like it's a lot better than anyone anticipated and we were pleasantly surprised. There’s nothing out there that is really harmful. Where they thought there would be major issues have turned out to be either clean or almost clean so it’s looking a lot better for both us and the Government.” Mr Christensen pointed out that most of the pollutants have been found on Government-owned areas of the property rather than on the 80 acres owned by the developer. “There are very few issues relating to the Morgan’s Point development, so the site is a lot cleaner than what was expected. There isn’t any major remediation work left to be completed in the area that we wish to develop, so therefore it gives us a green light to move. And the areas where remediation work is necessary are not anywhere near any hotel or residential components, so we’re sufficiently buffered to ensure that we can start work." Mr Christensen said that, had Government not agreed to the clean-up, the development would probably not have gone ahead. And he also said he believed it unlikely that the US Government would ever agree to pay for the clean-up — because that would expose it to further claims for compensation from other jurisdictions where it had had a military presence. “We traded a greenfield site for a brownfield site and we needed that to be an equal exchange, clean for clean. Knowing what we know now, having talked to overseas financiers and developers, if we hadn’t had Government coming in to do the clean-up I think it would have been impossible to develop Morgan’s Point. It would have been impossible because, if you go to a financier and there on the first page of your proposal is a reference to any pollution, well, you’re shown the door. That’s why it was necessary for the Government to take responsibility. I know there was a move to get the US Government to take on that responsibility which it obviously didn’t. That was at the time in ‘08 when the US was just about to pop into that recessionary period and — Bermuda being one of 350 bases — that would open up a whole can of worms.”

2013. January 29. Mariners are being asked to avoid the Morgan’s Point area as remediation works at the former Baselands continues. Government has issued notices, published in yesterday’s edition of The Royal Gazette, announcing the closure of Morgan’s Point Bay and George’s Bay. According the advertisement, both bays will be closed to the public because of demolition work to be done which could potentially be dangerous to vessels and crews. Along with signs on the shoreline and a flashing amber light in the middle of a series of red buoys, government vessels will be patrolling the mouths of both bays to prevent unlawful access to the areas. Cleanup work at the site began last April in advance of a proposed tourism development including multiple hotels along with condominiums, restaurants and a spa. Developers Craig Christensen, Brian Duperreault and Nelson Hunt formally acquired the land last year in a land swap arrangement organized to protect the Southlands estate in Warwick.

2012. June 26. Morgan’s Point developer Craig Christensen wants to attract younger tourists to Bermuda by building a luxury resort beyond our wildest dreams. "I believe the former base land on the Southampton and Sandys border could be turned into an attraction to compete with the Atlantis in the Bahamas, which features hotels, a spa, a casino, water park and a marina. I’ve been there [Atlantis] twice in recent months. I think what you can visualise is that what Atlantis did for the Bahamas, we’ve got to look at what Morgan’s Point can do for Bermuda. I’m not saying copy Atlantis but they have some concepts which are worthy to look at. The sizing and intensity of the development provides for the excitement of the resort. They do attract the age group that I think is significant, which is [the] 25 to 45-year-old market, who are spending money and use the facilities extensively.” He cited other overseas hotels he’d recently visited and been impressed with, including Palm Beach’s Breakers and Fontainebleau and Hard Rock in Miami. Of the latter, he said: “You go in there and it’s vibrant. The restaurants have got TVs in them, the bars are lit with lights, it’s reasonably loud, it’s visually stimulating. You’re creating a vision, you are creating things for the younger crowd who want that extra stimulation and that restaurant turns into a nightclub through the night. Same thing with the steak house etc. You can only create that vibrancy with the intensity of the development, with people there, rooftop bars, these types of things. They don’t cost a lot, we just need to figure out how to do it. That, to me, is the focus that Bermuda should be looking at: the up-and-coming vibrant crowd.” He and fellow Morgan’s Point directors Nelson Hunt and Brian Duperreault have already said they have a $2 billion vision for the former base land, which they formally swapped with Government for the Southlands estate in Warwick at a signing ceremony at Cabinet yesterday. “There’s interest in really trying to take Morgan’s Point and squarely put Bermuda on the map, beyond our wildest dreams,” said Mr Christensen. “Really to make Bermuda a focal point once again for tourism and put Bermuda back on the boil.” He said the scale of the development had expanded since the public was given a glimpse of the plans in June last year and that Morgan’s Point Ltd was “reviewing” its position with overseas development partners John Ryan and Egbert Perry. The ultimate development partners will be primarily dependent on the requirements of the lenders. I’ve got to look at things in the best interests of the project and in the best interests of Bermuda. In that regard, we’ve got some different visions for Morgan’s Point, in certain areas, that may be different than the original plan that we shared with Government. The point is really taking the development of Morgan’s Point from what we currently have, which is really good, to absolutely stunning.” In February 2010, Government said the developers had indicated the resort was likely to be a Ritz-Carlton, due to Mr Ryan’s relationship with the five-star brand. Mr Ryan said later that year that “deep negotiations” were ongoing with three major hotel chains. Mr Christensen said discussions continued with “hotel brands” though he wasn’t prepared to say which ones. “It is generally unwise and not cost-effective to do that,” he said. “Like giving somebody a blank cheque, in essence.” He said he and his partners were “absolutely” confident they could secure funding for the resort, despite the tough economic times. “There’s a major difference that Morgan’s Point has over most of the other developments,” he said. “First of all, we are not dealing with leased land and that’s really, really tough to fund. At least with freehold land, like we’ve got, we’ve got true security [so] that people can feel comfortable in terms of lending. “And, two, Morgan’s Point is really uniquely placed in Bermuda for a resort, which is distinctively different than your traditional resorts, which have been located primarily on beach lands in most places in the world.” The water surrounding Morgan’s Point was its best feature, he said, making it accessible by boat to Hamilton and providing the opportunity for a world-class marina and activities such as jet skiing, sailing, snorkelling and scuba diving. “We have the best scuba diving in the world [but] we’ve completely underutilised our water asset to our advantage from a tourism perspective. We’ve had interest in putting up capital. We have identified equity sources. We have equity in Morgan’s Point and we are very fortunate in that respect over, I think, other developments.” Mr Christensen said building was unlikely to start this year as detailed plans still needed to be completed and contracted bids invited. But he said other work could be done and he was keen to get the marina built “quickly” in order for boats to be able to dock there. One idea he’s considering could vastly extend the resort’s tourism season, he believes. He explained: “How do we deal with keeping people warmer at night [to] extend our seasons? Wind control is probably the most critical thing and that’s a design issue. We need to] harness it for protection, for people to enjoy outside, because it’s actually pretty comfortable outside in Bermuda if you find you can get out of the wind. How you design and get out of the wind is critical to the development of the future, in my opinion. I think you can go much longer [than May to November]. I had lunch in Montreal in zero degrees Celsius and was comfortable sitting outside. How do you do that without using a space heater and they didn’t use a space heater. What I’m saying is, it’s totally solvable for Bermuda. It’s not necessarily expensive. You’ve got to figure out: how do you reduce your electricity costs?” When the Morgan’s Point Act was passed in Parliament last year, the proposed development was described as including three hotels with more than 450 rooms, condominiums and residences, a par 71 golf course, a marina, retail shopping, a spa and restaurants. Mr Christensen said all of Bermuda would benefit from the five-star facility as guests would spend money outside the resort. “I think you have to create the intensity at the resort to begin with, without a doubt, so it can be self sufficient,” he said. “But the uniqueness of Bermuda is that when you come to Bermuda, Bermuda’s your playground, not just your resort. You have all-inclusive resorts but I just don’t see all-inclusive as something that we want to promote because people can get up and easily leave their resort to experience other parts of Bermuda in a relatively safe environment, unlike most places in the world. I think we’ve got a huge advantage there. You want to a) get it going in your resort first but b) you would love to see it get vibrant in other locations so that people can enjoy different experiences.”

2012. June 25. Government finally signed over the former base land at Morgan’s Point to three developers who plan to build a $2 billion luxury resort there. The deal, which has been in the pipeline since 2007, was completed and means the pristine Southlands estate in Warwick is now public property. Bermudian businessmen Craig Christensen, Nelson Hunt and Brian Duperreault agreed to swap 37 pristine acres at Southlands for 80 acres of brownfield land at Morgan’s Point on the Southampton/Sandys border.The trio plan to build three hotels, condominiums, restaurants and a spa, among other facilities, on their new plot, as well as lease another 140 acres from Government for a par 71 golf course. Then-Government Estates Minister Michael Scott told a press conference at Cabinet that the Morgan’s Point development was “one of the most ambitious” projects in the hotel and hospitality industry in Bermuda’s history. He said the “multifaceted” scheme would create “remarkable opportunities” for Bermudians. Mr Christensen said: “This land swap represents the beginning of a new chapter and a great deal of work lies ahead. We have a responsibility to deliver to Bermuda this significant development for the benefit of Bermuda and future generations of Bermudians. We look forward to meeting that challenge by working with the Government of Bermuda to deliver an outstanding development that all Bermudians can be proud of for many years to come.” He and Mr Hunt signed the final paperwork and exchanged documents with Mr Scott in front of the assembled media. Until the June 2012 deal, like the former Fort Bell/USAAF/Kindley AFB/USNAS complex, this former base had been owned by - and was the responsibility of - the Bermuda Land Development Company, a Bermuda Government-owned entity.

2012. February 21. The Arthur Morris Group yesterday announced longtime partner Craig Christensen was retiring from the firm as a partner to focus on the proposed Morgan’s Point development. In a statement from the firm, Mr Christensen said: “I am sad to be leaving Arthur Morris, Christensen & Co, which I have seen grow into Bermuda’s largest independent audit firm employing a large number of Bermudians. I’m very proud of the reputation the firm has in the local and international community. My retirement from the firm will allow me to concentrate fully on the Morgan’s Point project and the promotion of Bermuda to overseas investors which is hugely important to our country in today’s economic environment. I wish my fellow partners the best in their future endeavors with the Arthur Morris Group of Companies.” Mr Christensen’s Southlands Ltd plans a $1.8 billion Morgan’s Point resort. He and partner Nelson Hunt say the resort will include an 80-room boutique hotel, a harbour surrounded by shops and restaurants and a 365-room, five-star hotel.

2011. December. It was revealed by the Bermuda Government that around $35m of taxpayers money is expected to be used to clean up the former US military base, starting in April 2012. The early phases should be accomplished within 24 months of the date and completed within five years. The estimated cost of the works, including provisional items, is likely to be near US$35,595,195 with the worst case cost of US$36,140,026. MPs from both opposition parties offered effusive praise for the Morgan’s Point Resort Act 2011 and the three Bermudian developers who plan to build the luxury resort: Craig Christensen, Nelson Hunt and Brian Duperreault. Mr Burgess told the House: “It was the Government’s view that the United States Government should take responsibility for the clean-up, but all of the appeals in that regard failed, including visits to the US Navy at the Pentagon, representation to Congressional and Senate leaders on Capitol Hill and enlisting the support of the United Kingdom Government. In the absence of the hoped for assistance of the United States Government, the Government of Bermuda accepts unequivocally its responsibility to hand over to any developer land that is environmentally suitable for development and has been taking steps in that regard. Government has made clear to all concerned that it retains oversight responsibility for the clean-up.” The Act passed finalizes a land swap deal between Government and the developers, which sees them hand over the 37-acre pristine Southlands estate to the public in exchange for 80 acres of brownfield land at Morgan’s Point and a lease on another 128 acres. Mr Burgess presented the bill, telling MPs the exchange would be a “win-win” for both Government and the developers, whose company was Southlands Ltd, but has been renamed Morgan’s Point Ltd. He said the proposed development would include three hotels with a total of 465 rooms, condominiums and residences for single families. There would also be a “magnificent” par 71 golf course at 6,785 yards to be designed by Canadian firm Carrick, as well as a marina, retail shopping, a spa, water sport activities and restaurants. Mr Burgess reaffirmed the Government’s view that the proposed creation of a five-star hotel, a championship golf course and related facilities at Morgan’s Point, Southampton, is a critically important opportunity for Bermuda, one that will not only provide a glittering jewel in tourism’s crown, but one that will result in myriad benefits for our Island as a whole.

2011. Late March. Bermuda's House of Assembly was told a fresh era in tourism was being ushered in as a bill allowing a “critically important” $2 billion resort to be built at Morgan’s Point was approved by the Bermuda Government. Deputy Premier Derrick Burgess declared the development on the former US Naval Annex would become “a glittering jewel in tourism’s crown”, providing vast numbers of jobs for Bermudians and first-class facilities for visitors and locals. But he admitted Government didn’t have the $30 to $40 million needed to clean up the pollution left on the peninsula by the US military and said the developers were “considering a methodology” whereby they would carry out the work “in lieu of the Government.” The Bermuda Government claimed the US Navy had pumped raw sewage into the system of caves underneath the entire base, including Bassett's Cave; allowed old oil to leak from storage tanks; and left tons of hazardous heavy metals like mercury, lead and cadmium. Cleaning up the mess and pollution left behind after the military base closed, plus the huge potential contingent liability afterwards, is one reason why the area has not been developed yet. 

In February 2010, Government said the clean-up was delayed while alternative funding sources were sought. In February 2011 it was announced that the clean-up of pollution at Morgan's Point will not go ahead in the coming financial year. Public Works Minister Derrick Burgess told MPs there was no government money available in 2011-12. The Morgan's Point project is expected to cost $35 million and will need to take place in order for a proposed $2 billion luxury resort to be developed on the peninsula. He said about $540,000 of the total allocated funding by Government of $35 million had been spent. Bales of waste stored by Government at Morgan's Point since 2010, while work was done at Tynes Bay, would be returned to Tynes Bay to be incinerated in spring 2011.

The project involves the removal and burying of all asbestos-containing materials from the existing buildings; the demolition of all buildings on the site; the removal of a number of underground fuel storage tanks. It also involves the removal of several miles of underground fuel pipeline; the remediation of areas of split and leaked fuel; the cleaning up of Bassett's Cave, contaminated with various petrochemical and sewage deposits; and the capping of two landfill sites, including constructing new seawalls where they are adjacent to the sea.

Earlier, there had been at least three failed bids to redevelop the area on a leasehold basis. The first was from British based Renaissance Resorts International Ltd. It won the bid but failed to act. The second was from Morgan's Harbour Investment Ltd. It too won the bid but also failed to act in 1999. The third was from BEAM Ltd. The $250-$300 million project was expected to create 220 jobs in the first two years of development and 350 more thereafter. It was to have included a PGA championship 18 hole golf course - for which two plans were drawn up by famous golfers; a community village; cottage colony; housing, with a range of medium and high priced homes; and marina in two phases, to include coastal protection works; an environmental cleanup; installation of electricity, water, telecommunications and sewage treatment facilities and public parks.  But nothing happened. Announced on October 24, 2003 was the news that the Bermuda Government, instead of all previous projects, intended to turn Morgan's Point into Bermuda's fourth residential hub, after Hamilton, St. George's and Southside in St. David's. But that too stalled. Environmental clean-up costs at the massive former Base are often cited as the reason for lack of interest in the property. In 2002 it was estimated that cleaning up the former US Naval Annex would cost $30 million. 

Munro Beach Cottages

Closed in July 2007 after having been one of the very best small hostelries in Bermuda. A lovely 4-acre estate with beach frontage. The premises were bought by an American property investor who hopes one day, when conditions are once again right in Bermuda, to redevelop the property. Potential investors should ask if they can see the property. Before July 2007 it was the much-liked, private, exclusive, romantic but also family-friendly Munro Beach Cottages, nestled between the world-famous Port Royal Golf Course and it's own lovely private beach, Munro Beach, at Whitney Bay. They were sold by the Munro family to American real estate investor Sam Byrne who hopes to develop them. The investment firm Mr Byrne founded, CrossHarbor Capital Partners, specializes in real estate investment and distressed loans. It manages $5.5 billion in assets for its own account and on behalf of pension funds, and institutions. The 5-acre premises looked out westerly on the Atlantic Ocean guaranteeing spectacular sunset views. There were various types of accommodation, all with ocean views, air conditioning fan, TV, radio and safe. The units consisted of a bedroom/living/dining room with separate kitchen and bathroom with shower and tub. The kitchens were fully equipped with refrigerator, microwave, stove, oven, coffee percolator and toaster. Barbecues and a daily maid service were also provided. Munro Beach Cottages were quite secluded, but that was one of their main selling points. It was a 1km walk to the bus stops on Middle Road, but guests received a complimentary lift to Oleander Cycles where they could hire a scooter or moped. If they did not fancy their own cooking every night inside or using the barbeque facilities provided  then one of Bermuda’s finest restaurants, the Cedar Room at Pompano Beach Club was very close by as was Greg’s Steakhouse (now closed) at the Port Royal Golf Course. Munro Beach Cottages welcomed children. Families could rent out one or two or more units, as required. A unique feature of the beach was that at low tide it was possible to wade out 300 feet to the reef line. Tennis courts and water sports were not far away, at both at the Port Royal Golf Course and the Pompano Beach Club Watersports Centre.

Munro Beach

Munro Beach, Whitney Bay

Pompano Beach Club 4-starDiningMeeting RoomPoolGolfFitnessTennispublic bus

Pompano Beach Club

Pompano Beach Road, Southampton Parish. Reached from Middle Road. Located west of and not far from the Port Royal Golf Course, in an area once named the Overplus. Phone (800) 343-4155 in the USA or Canada or (441) 234 0222 directly. E-mail info@pompano.bm. Offers all-inclusive rates on application. 74-room hotel, family-owned since 1956, originally as Bermuda's first fishing club, named after the pompano game fish prolific in these parts. It has expanded appreciably since. It celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2011. Has many repeat guests and long-serving staff. Taxi fare from/to airport from $38 per taxi for 1-4 passengers or from $48 for 5-6 passengers. Managing Director Tom Lamb III and his brother Larry are owners  Offers dramatic ocean views from the main clubhouse and all guest rooms. With two fine restaurants, pool, its own private South Shore beach, fitness center, bar and much more. A spectacular location, in gorgeous turquoise waters, for the non-disabled. The two tennis courts are clay. It is on its own private road well away from all the noise of traffic, so it offers peace and tranquility. The 8 bus route is on the main Middle Road a mile away and if you stay here a courtesy shuttle bus from the hotel will take you there or collect you to and from the bus stop at the junction of Middle Road and Pompano Beach Road.

 4 star beach Pompano Beach. Private. Spectacular reef swimming in beautiful waters for guests. All references to "Pompano" point to a tasty game fish, the Pompano (Trachinotus glaucos) common in or near Bermuda coastal waters in the summer months, especially in this area. These game fish put up a mighty fight before being caught. They are shiny white when hooked and are often almost invisible when viewed in strong sunlight against the sandy seabed of inshore waters.

Pompano Beach

Pompano Beach

Port Royal Golf Course

Port Royal Golf Course

Photo: Bermuda Tourism

Government-owned. 18 holes. 5 Middle Road, Southampton Parish, SB 02. Mailing address is P. O. Box SN 189, Southampton, Bermuda SN BX. E-mail prgc@bermudagolf.bm. It opened in 1970 as a Robert Trent Jones-designed 18 hole, 6,561 yards par 71 public course. Re-opened in January 2009 after a $14 million renovation of the 37 years old course including increase of the course yardage by 281 yards to 6,842 yards. Phones: Office 234 -0974 (fax) 234-3562. Pro Shop 234-0972; Tee Times 234-4653; Golf Pro (fax) 234-3630; Maintenance 234-1182; Restaurant/Bar 234-5037; Tennis Courts 238-9430 or 238-9070.  In June 2006, the Bermuda Government's House of Assembly passed an Act that switched responsibility for the Government golf courses from the Ministry of Works & Engineering to Tourism. It hosts many tournaments and has been the home of the Bermuda Open. Sunset golf is from 4:00 pm with a reservation.

For visitors who arrive on one of the cruise ships, the closest cruise ship berth is Dockyard, about 8 miles away. 

Buses go to nearest stop about 600 yards away. If you bring your own clubs, you won't be able to go by public transportation (bus). Instead, take a taxi. Check rates with course depending on time of day and time of year. 

This is the highest-rated by far of Bermuda's two government-owned and run courses, considered one of the best - and most expensive - of world public courses. More rounds are played here than on any other Bermuda course. The signature hole has been the 176-yard, par 3 16th, the small green of which, perched on the edge of the coastal cliffs, has become notorious. Drive too far left and the ball ends up in the ocean.

Site of the October 2009, 2010 and 2011  PGA Grand Slam venues. With these in mind, all the greens were rebuilt, A huge amount of earth was moved by bulldozers, new sand put into trickier bunkers, cart paths repaved and a landscaping project completed.  The reverse osmosis plant produces 250,000 gallons of water per day on 1,200 new sprinkler heads. There is now a fully computerized irrigation system from tee to green. There are  significant increases on membership and greens.

Port Royal Tennis Clubpublic busesTennisDining

Phone 238-9070. At Port Royal Golf Course.  there are 4 plexi-pave courts, 2 night lit. Fee-paying.

Princess Parkwalking area

A small but scenic park nestled in the grounds of the Southampton Princess Hotel, with superb views of the Great Sound.

Queen's View

A panoramic view of the Great Sound from this spot close to Riddell's Bay, at the northern end of Tribe Road # 2. Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh were here in 1995 and she unveiled the plaque shown.

Railway Trailwalking area

Part of it passes through this Parish.

The Reefs 4 StarDiningMeeting RoomPoolFitnessTennispublic bus

The ReefsSouth Road, Southampton Parish. Phone (800) 742-2008 in the USA or Canada or directly at (441) 238-0222. Fax (441) 238 8372. E-mail reefsbda@ibl.bm. Taxi fare from/to airport from $35 per taxi for 1-4 passengers or from $45 for 5-6 passengers. 

A beach resort nestled into coral cliffs above a private pink beach with good diving and snorkel facilities. Each guest room has Bermuda-inspired colors. Each private lanai is situated to give maximum privacy. 

With three gourmet restaurants, bar and fitness center. The 2 tennis courts are plexi-pave. On the 7 bus route. Owned by David Dodwell, a former Minister of Tourism for the United Bermuda Party. (He also owns a hotel on the island of Nevis, Caribbean). 

It applied for and got major renovations under the Hotels Concessions Act and has invested US$5 million on renovations and additions. It has new suites, entrance area, landscaping and first "infinity" hotel swimming pool in Bermuda. The USA's Travel & Leisure magazine voted this hotel as best in in the Caribbean region for the standard of its rooms, facilities, service, food, restaurant and value - and 23rd best in the world. in June 2007 work started on a $40 million dollar new development, The Reefs Club. It is a Private Residence Club (PRC) with 19 two-and-three bedroom residences all with unobstructed ocean views and will feature a spa on the patio of every unit.  

Residents also have access to an infinity pool, whirlpool, club lounge and state-of-the-art fitness centre.  

The Reefs Beach

The Reefs beach

The PRC is located immediately west of The Reefs property. The PRC units are fractionally owned, meaning there will be ten owners per unit. When a unit is purchased the owners get to select the dates they will be residing there, but also have the right to use the unit whenever it is free. Owning at a luxury fractional development such as this is essentially the only feasible way for foreigners to own real estate in Bermuda, due to a government policy that restricts the amount of real estate that can be sold to non-Bermudians. Because of their affiliations with hotel properties, private residence clubs are not affected by these regulations.

Restaurants in the ParishDining

See under Bermuda Cuisine and Restaurants.

Rockaway Ferry Dockpublic ferries

Rockaway ferry stop

Tribe Road No. 5, Southampton. The site of Bermuda's new fast ferry stop, completed in March 2002. It cost US$3 million and is just before the entrance to the former (and closed to the public) United States Naval Annex. The ferry stop was built to take the front-loading ferries from April 2002. They cut the journey time from Rockaway and Dockyard to between 17 and 20 minutes in the rush hours, 35 minutes on Saturdays. Contractors built a road to the site through Tribe Road Number 5. The site has 87 parking places for cars, a security officer and a toilet with disabled access.

Seymour Farm Nature Reserve

Operated by the Bermuda Audubon Society. Has an interesting pond.

St. Anne's Churchpublic buses

On South Road and Church Road, a sightseeing attraction and historic Parish Anglican (Episcopalian) church. It claims the oldest baptismal and marriage records in Bermuda, with its first baptism in 1619. It owns a silver chalice marked 1603/4 and inscribed Port Royal Church (as then known).  The church has its own graveyard.

Sharon Wilson Gallerypublic busesShopping

At 2 Turtle Place off the South Road and clearly sign posted. Telephone 238-2583 for opening and closing hours. 

South Beaches 

Prime beaches and hotel site, awaiting development. On its own 33-acre peninsula of picturesque landscaped grounds in Southampton Parish, with 13 acres along the South Shore bordered by three  private pink sand beaches on three natural bays, via a very steep hill from the main South Road. Acquired in 2013 by the Green family of Bermuda, who own the Hamilton Princess Hotel and Waterloo House. Ocean-front 32-acre site. It includes three South Shore beaches and is zoned for mixed tourism and residential use. Current entitlements allow for the construction of a hotel plus 88 residential units of which 47 could be sold to non-Bermudians. No asking price has been attached to the site. With wonderful topography, and beautiful water views from all levels, overlooking the three beaches. 

Former Sonesta Hotel site

Former hotel site, Royal Gazette photo

The site is exceptional in that it comes freehold, without a requirement. as is the case for all other hotels in Bermuda owned by non-Bermudians for a buyer to take on a long-term lease with the Government. Scout Real Estate, the US developer which bought the 32-acre spread in 2007 had planned to build a five-star resort there. But after demolishing the former hotel which was known as the Sonesta and later the Wyndham Bermuda Resort and Spa, plans were scuppered. Lehman Brothers, the US investment bank which filed for bankruptcy protection during the financial crisis of 2008, had been the main financier of the approximately $200 million project. It had been expected to open in 2011 as a US$300 million investment, with 150-rooms, with individual beach villas around three beach coves, a luxury spa and fitness center, several pools and restaurants and shopping venues.

South Roadpublic buses

A bus (the # 7 route) or moped tour along this scenic road offers seascapes much of the way. From east to west the Parish part of this main road starts just past Warwick Camp, where it overlooks Chaplin Bay. Continuing west, the road gives you magnificent views - and lookout points to get off the road and park, briefly - over Horseshoe Bay on the seaward side and all the other beach areas of the Parish comprising the South Shore Park and Parklands. Further on, you'll see the Southampton Princess Hotel and Golf Course on the right, the Sonesta Beach Hotel and Spa on its private peninsula on the left, the Reefs also on the left, and much more. Just past Church Bay, the road turns inland, gives you clear views over the Great Sound, then terminates at the junction with the Middle Road.

Southampton Parish Council

Appointed under the Parish Councils Act 1971. See under "Parish Councils" in Bermuda Government Boards. Appointees are political and meetings are not open to the public, unlike in the United Kingdom, Canada and USA where parish or community councils always are.

Southampton Princess Resort

See under "Fairmont Southampton Princess Resort in " http://www.bermuda-online.org/accomm2.htm 

South Shore Park beachespublic buses

See Beaches.

In order of appearance, they are Port Royal, Horseshoe Bay, Peel Bay, Butt's, Middle, Wafer Rocks, Angle, Hidden, Chaplin Bay and Jobson's Cove. South of the Lighthouse, off the South Shore, Horseshoe Bay has a quarter mile of curved pink sand fringed by limestone cliffs and a park setting north of it. There is a life guard. Get there by bus (number 7 stops on the main road) and then via a walk or a moped or taxi or car, up and down a steep hill. Peel Bay is just east of and may be accessed via Horseshoe Bay. It is its equal in many respects of its bigger adjacent brother but without the same facilities. Chaplain Bay got the name from the fact that some chaplains, conducting beach side weddings in this perfect spot for such solemn ceremonies, have been known to cast their eyes upward to their Maker and intone with great reverence that this is the part of Heaven they trust will be reserved for them.

Supermarket public busesShopping

Fresh fruit

Market Place, Heron Bay, Middle Road. Bus route 8 will drop you nearby - but not nearly as frequently on a Sunday as a weekday. It sells liquor except on Sunday. But budget in advance for expensive Bermuda prices.

Turtle Hill

Where the Southampton Princess Hotel was built. Before that, it was once owned by Sir Nathaniel Rich, one of the original directors and shareholders of the Bermuda Company, from 1615 until his death in 1636.  On 7th April 1941, the American Army took it over. The American leader, Captain (later Admiral) Jules James USN received commendations for his careful and diplomatic handling of the Bermuda Government and the people of the island, unlike the-then Governor of Bermuda. In another connection with Bermuda, Capt. James was a cousin of Nancy Astor, the first woman elected to the Parliament in London; she was married to a relative of one of the richest men in the world, Vincent Astor, who built a great home on Ferry Reach. (Astor erected the house with his first wife, Helen Huntington, but both likely lost interest in it when the pristine Castle Harbour, their main vista, was destroyed to make Kindley Field). One of the Americans who came to Bermuda at that time was a Captain Charles Beaudry USA, who spent most of the war in Bermuda. He made friends with many Bermudians, and made many pictures of the island, the new military works and Bermuda scenes of the time. Captain F. W. Clipper was another US Army officer in Bermuda and often at this location at that time. He too stayed in Bermuda, married into a local family and subsequently contributed hugely to the social benefit of Bermuda. Colonel Beaudry later donated his photographic collection to the Bermuda Maritime Museum which has an archive of American activity on the island during the war. By 1939, the several hundred British guns at Bermuda had been reduced to two 6-inch Breech Loaders manned by the Bermuda Militia Artillery at St. David's Battery. Two more such guns were installed that year at Warwick Camp, but with only four weapons island-wide, the Americans willingly assume the coastal defence of Bermuda and brought in some big guns. Captain Beaudry was in charge of installing some, two of which were at Turtle Hill, where a camp was soon installed amidst the rolling cedar strewn landscape. On the highest part of the hill, two circular Panama Mounts were built in concrete to take 155mm GPF guns. Similar guns were placed at Cooper's Island, while massive railway guns, mounted on a set of tracks, were installed at Scaur Hill and between Forts Victoria and Albert on St. George's Island. A year later, fixed installations replaced the latter and two others were built at Tudor Hill near the Naval Operating Base, where Captain Jules James set up camp at the first American station in Bermuda.  At the American Army encampment at Turtle Hill, the facilities included an open-air mess hall. See the surviving Panama Mount gun emplacement which once had a 155mm GPF gun.

Turtle Hill Golf Club

Fairmont Southampton Princess Golf Course

Photo: Bermuda Tourism

Part of, owned and operated by and adjacent to the Southampton Princess Resort complex, South Road, Southampton Parish SN 02. For reservations call (441) 238-0446. An 18 hole par 54 course over 2,684 yards. Carts are mandatory and included in the green fees. There's a pro shop, tennis courts, bar and restaurant. For visitors who arrive on one of the cruise ships, the closest cruise ship berth used to be (until 2007) the City of Hamilton, about 5 miles away to the east, but is now Dockyard, about 8 miles away. If you bring your own clubs, you won't be able to go by public transportation (bus). Instead, take a taxi. Buses (# 7 or 8) go only to nearest stop about half a mile away below the hill. Check rates directly with course depending on time of day and time of year. 

Private but will accept off-the-street golfers by prior appointment.

Vesey Nature Reserve

Off Middle Road, between Evan’s Bay Road and Rockaway. It includes part of the valley containing Evan’s Pond and a ridgeline extending all the way to the Little Sound. The eight-acre Nature Reserve has been saved from future development thanks to the generosity of Sharon Vesey, who donated the site to the Buy Back Bermuda group. The organization — a joint initiative of the Bermuda National Trust and the Bermuda Audubon Society — has renovated the area, which includes two quarries, a natural limestone sink hole and a variety of habitats, including mangroves, a lush woodland valley, an exposed hilltop and rocky shoreline. A great deal of work has gone into its restoration, making it a wonderful place for a family day out. Amenities include walking trails, interpretive signs, a quarry exhibit, plenty of places to picnic and for children to play, benches to relax on and an observation platform with a fabulous view of the Sound. Much of the reserve restoration was carried out by teams of volunteers from HSBC, Butterfield Bank, Lancashire Re and Bermuda Audubon Society, under the direction of David Outerbridge of the National Trust and David Wingate of the Audubon Society. The volunteers culled thousands of invasive plants, planted many native and endemics and helped to clear pathways. The reserve features a number of interpretive signs and a quarry exhibit with an authentic five foot quarry saw. This is the second nature reserve opened to the public through the Buy Back Bermuda campaign. Six years ago, it opened the Somerset Long Bay East Nature Reserve. And a third project is in the pipeline after the group bought up another piece of open space, Eva’s Pond, in Hamilton Parish.

West Whale Bay Battery, Beach, Fort, Park

See Forts and Beaches.

A Bermuda National Park. (Number 8 on your Bermuda National Parks and Reserves map). One of the Forts of Bermuda.

Other Bermuda geographic areas

City of Hamilton Hamilton Parish Paget Parish Pembroke Parish Sandys Parish
Smith's Parish Southampton Parish St. George's Parish Town of St. George Warwick Parish

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Last Updated: October 16, 2014.
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