I'm just back from a trip to visit resort spas in Bermuda, where the weather is a bit unpredictable this time of year (it is February, after all). But it's still a lot warmer than the Northeast, where most of Bermuda's visitors come from. The temperature was mostly in the 60s while I was there, sometimes gloriously sunny and warm, sometimes cloudy with a bit of rain, but always with the strange beauty unique to Bermuda.
Known for its pink sands (pinker in the summer, I'm told) and turquoise waters, Bermuda is sometimes confused with the Caribbean, but in fact it is much further north, all on its own in the Atlantic Ocean about 650 miles east of North Carolina. That's why it's such a quick trip from major cities on the East Coast. I was astounded when our captain announced a flight time of 1 hour and 34 minutes from Newark! (It took two hours coming back.)
I had four fabulous nights at Elbow Beach, which first opened in 1908 and now consists of 98-rooms spread amongst small cottages next to Bermuda's largest beach (that's it in the photo.) The Mandarin Oriental Spa there is currently undergoing a renovation, but they've set up temporarily in rooms by the swimming pool that have an astounding view of the ocean. Rosewood at Tucker's Point is the island's newest hotel, and its resort spa is the most luxurious on the island.
Bermuda held a few other surprises. An archipelago of 181 islands, islets and rocks, Bermuda sounds small at just 21 square miles. But that's still large enough for seven championship golf courses, including Port Royal PGA Grand Slam of Golf through 2012. (I got my very first lesson in golf there, and loved it!)
I was also surprised how much of an English flavor it possesses. The English colonized Bermuda in 1609 after a storm wrecked the Jamestown-bound Sea Venture off St. George's, one of Bermuda's eight main islands connected by bridges and one causeway. This accounts for the historical buildings (including the Royal Naval Dockyards) and carefully manicured gardens that make it such a unique destination. The historic town St. George itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and all of Bermuda is still a British dependency.
And while it's packed in high season, May-September, Bermuda off-season is a great place to come relax and chill-out, with walks on the beach, boat rides, and spa treatments. Expect fairly nice if unpredictable weather, and enjoy the lower prices.