11 April 2008
The Trad Hotel on the Trad Island
I fell in love with Bermuda on my first visit. It was England...but with sun. The taxi ride from the airport to my hotel in Hamilton was magical. It was a Friday afternoon and all of the traffic was coming toward us. Men on scooters in blue blazers, Bermuda shorts, kneesocks, Rep ties and sunglasses. Quick images of the ocean outside my taxi window framed by flowers and pink houses with electric blue shutters and bone white roofs. The humid breeze was soaked up by my dry, five below zero with the wind chill flesh. This place is so Trad and I haven't even discussed Dark and Stormies yet.
I stayed at the Hamilton Princess. I was on business and it was where everyone else was staying. A nice pool. Horrible food but only idiots and the lazy ate at the hotel. I was introduced to Dark and Stormies at the hotel bar. Barrits Ginger Beer and Goslings Black Seal Rum. With a lime. Somehow this drink manages to taste like Bermuda. I was invited to tea by some locals at Waterloo House. A charming little hotel between the Princess and downtown Hamilton pictured above.
I'm sitting in the courtyard drinking Lapsang Souchong and nibbling McVitties digestive biscuts and wondering why I'm staying at the Princess when I can be staying at Waterloo. I am on expenses. What do I care. And so I started staying at Waterloo when I could. It's small. Only 30 or so rooms and tends to fill up fast. And that's the reason it is to be closed.
"Not as good as it was but better than it will be." Remember that.
Bermuda, God bless her, has managed to keep most Yanks out of her knickers due to some serious employment and real estate laws. But Bermuda has gotten the whiff of money. Insurance money. Quiet and serious stuff. It seems the footprint of the Waterloo is too small for a 30 room hotel. As it is, this charmer sits between multi-storied midrises whose tenants count insurance company money. Waterloo will close this July based on information just passed to me by a good friend. She will be replaced with office space more in line with the value of the land.
I am in mourning. Maybe the best thing about getting older is knowing that everything wonderful will be shit canned by some ass hole with an accounting degree. By the time I'm my father's age nothing will be left. "Not as good as it was but better than it will be." I'm translating that into Latin and putting it on all my Polo shirts.