There was a whole lot of hullabaloo when Elbow Beach Resort closed 60 percent of its 235 rooms last November for renovation. After all, the closures put an estimated 160 people out of work and shut down two popular local restaurants, the Seahorse Grill and the Veranda Rum Bar. And even though the luxurious resort was named one of the Top 500 Hotels in the World by Travel+Leisure in January 2009, the powers-that-be decided it needed some sprucing up—all in all a $10 million refurbishment that will return the hotel to its rightly place among the world’s best. There’s still plenty of work to be done, but in the meantime, Mandarin Oriental—the hotel’s parent company—is repositioning Elbow Beach as an intimate luxury resort, featuring 98 rooms and suites following the closure of the hotel’s main building rooms. As this press release attests, Elbow Beach is getting much more than a new coat of paint: Rooms will have brand new furnishings, iPod docking stations and personal espresso machines; the Veranda Bar will get internet stations, an HDTV and an antique pool table; and the beach (yes, that beach) will be enhanced with new lounge chairs and a beachside spa pavilion, among other notable upgrades. The hotel is still very much open for business and Mandarin Oriental says there'll be limited disruption to guests, but rest assured that when it’s all completed Bermuda will welcome yet another luxurious property back into the fray.
is a Bermuda-based travel writer and television correspondent. To read his work visit DavidLaHuta.com or to follow him on Twitter visit Twitter.com/DavidLaHuta. Visiting Bermuda? Read his story, 36 Hours in Bermuda, which appeared in the New York Times travel section in September 2009 (http://bit.ly/36HoursBermuda) and Jetsetter's The Many Faces of Bermuda, which ran in January 2011 (http://bit.ly/FacesOfBDA).