Can't wait to get to Bermuda

Trip Start Apr 11, 2008
Trip End Apr 15, 2008

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Happy birthday, Michael! We are on our way to Bermuda. Everytime we get ready for another trip, Cleo gets sad. Somehow she knows we are about to leave her behind again. So on our way to the airport, we drop off Cleo for boarding and somehow find ourselves helping a woman capture her unleashed dog, who has gotten away from her (good deeds and kindness to others go a long way), before leaving Cleo presented Michael with some flowers, with a surprise look on his face, she assured him these were not peed on before picked and besides she found a basket at a neighbor's houose to place them in.....nice gift michael thought...... then off to the airport we go.

We arrive in plenty of time to enjoy a beverage from Starbuck's before boarding our 2 -hour flight to Bermuda. The L.F. Wade International Airport is colorful, bright, and clean and we're greeted by a trio of "musicians" singing and playing instruments along to pre-recorded music featuring oldies, but goodies. Easy going through customs, then out to our awaiting shuttle van, which we arranged days earlier. Our driver, Herman, takes us on the 45-minute drive to 9 Beaches Resort.

The drive through the island reveals some beautiful scenery, reminiscent of the Bahamas or Jamaica, with lovely views of the beaches along the highway, colorful houses of aqua blue, lime green, lemon yellow, lavender, peach and orange. I'm checking my watch to ensure we get to our destination by 5:30 p.m. because unbeknownst to Michael, I've scheduled a very special surprise for his birthday and timing is critical.

As we drive onto the grounds of 9 Beaches, our first impression is that it looks kind of rustic and park-like. The individual tented cabanas are all raised on wooden stilts, each one facing a different direction, all with a lovely view of the ocean and the resort grounds.

At the reservations area, we are greeted by Keret, who offers us a Bermuda rum swizzle drink as we check in. She gives us our personal cell phone, one of the unique items at 9 Beaches. All of the necessary numbers are programmed into the phone-front desk, concierge, mini bus, water sports, emergency, etc. All calls on the island are free of charge and we can get free incoming calls from anywhere. We debate on whether to email our families to let them know about this. We think not!

Soon we meet up with Willy, the concierge, whom I've been emailing for about a week and a half to schedule Michael's special birthday surprise, which is scheduled to begin promptly at 6:30. Willy and I speak in "code" so as to not give away the surprise in Michael's presence, and to make certain we have all the details straight. Michael surprised me so well for my birthday, with a cruise to Central America, that I had to find some way to surprise him for his birthday. With just about an hour before "show time" I'm on pins and needles hoping everything turns out okay.

The friendly bellman, Khomeini, loads our bags onto a golf cart and we climb aboard for the short drive to our cabana #18. When we walk in the door of the cabana, we are blown away. The place is gorgeous! With soft-sided vinyl exterior walls and canvas interior walls, the cabana features all the comforts of a customary hotel room, except for a television and radio (and I must say that I am pleased with that; a break from the daily news grind will be a welcome reprieve). There is a small closet, a mini-refrigerator, a hair dryer and a portable air conditioning unit for those hot and humid times of the year. There's no iron or ironing board, however; and who needs it? This place is the ultimate in casual.

The bathroom is small-slightly larger than on a cruise ship-and has a tiny shower and all of the usual amenities. The canvas ceiling inside the cabana droops lightly to resemble the puffiness of a down comforter. The windows and the doors leading onto the deck allow the natural light into the quaint cabana, and the colorful bedspread, furnishings and window coverings add to the brightness of the room. We are loving this place!

Right away, our cell phone rings. I take the call outside on the deck because I know it is regarding the big surprise. Meanwhile, Michael discovers a lovely fruit basket on the coffee table with a note wishing him a happy birthday from the staff at 9 Beaches. He is surprised, but little does he know this is only the beginning. We unpack a few things and Michael is ready to explore the grounds, but we can't leave now. I'm awaiting further instructions from my co-conspirators.

Finally, there is a knock at the door and we find Khomeini ready to whisk us away to enjoy the birthday secret. The key word here is SECRET. "So, I understand you folks are going to enjoy a private dinner on the beach tonight," he says. Oh no, he wasn't supposed to say anything! It's a surprise, didn't they tell him that! Suddenly, I hear Michael yell, then laugh and there you have it; the cat is out of the bag. Thanks, Khomeini for spoiling the surprise five minutes before the big reveal! Actually, it was pretty funny for Michael to find out this way. Khomeini actually thought I was the one being surprised and I could tell he felt really badly about revealing the surprise.

Nonetheless, we arrive at Snuggler's Cove on the other side of the resort and are greeted by Paul and Anna Maria, then escorted down the steps to a table for two on the secluded beach. Michael is speechless, totally surprised and absolutely ecstatic. I love this. Our dinner is delightful, the service is top notch, and to top it all off, Chef Joseph comes out to greet the birthday boy and presents a signed, customized menu. This moment has gone down in the books as one of the most memorable experiences Michael and I have enjoyed together. Check out our photos and videos for more on the dinner menu and the experience.

With tiki torches lighted, the sun completely gone and no sign of Paul or Anna Maria (it's been about an hour since we last saw those two), we decide to head up the steps to let them know we're done for the night so they can show us the way back to our cabana. Much to our surprise, our friendly wait staff has gone away. We have no idea how to get back, but luckily we come upon another couple and they kindly lead us in the direction of the reception area, from which we make our way back to cabana #18 in the dark. What a day; what a surprise. We are definitely looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.
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eugeniathomas on

Only for the Down to Earth People
I have been reading so many mixed reviews on 9Beaches Resort in Bermuda so after reading once again another great review I know now that 9Beaches is totally for the down to earth guest. Anyhow
I see the mention of #18 (after research I was advised that this is a Coco Coral category).
I thought cabanas from the numbers of 1-24 where no good?! However this happy couple seemed quite please with the cabana location,layout etc... Based on previous reviews it seems cabanas in the low numbers 1 through 24 have a issue with a near by dairy farm, 'dear not to book those cabanas!' a negative review will warn. This near by farm must not be an everyday issue. Having said that I'm sure the guest must have at least stayed for 3 or more nights...and yet there is no mentioning of the dairy farm?
Oh well, I am not complaining however I am now even more excited because this particular cabana #18 is one of the least expensive categories to book.
Now look at that, I can stick to my very tight budget and still enjoy a vacation at the 9Beaches Resort Bermuda!! Yeh!!

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