Bermuda Style Town In USA Ranks In Top Fifty

December 1, 2018 | 17 Comments

In an article that “ranks the nation’s most visually stunning locales” across the United States, Architectural Digest highlights the town of Alys Beach, Florida, likening its look to that of our own island in noting its “Bermuda-style architecture with courtyards, fountains, pools, and popped-out shutters.”

In naming the ’50 Most Beautiful Small Towns in America,’ the story says, “This design-centric, New Urbanism village along the Gulf of Mexico in Florida’s Panhandle region debuted in 2003, with whitewashed buildings and Bermuda-style architecture with courtyards, fountains, pools, and popped-out shutters.”

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The official Alys Beach website, which notes they use ‘Bermudian architecture, says, “From the moment one views the iconic butteries and towering palms lining the center of our beach town, there is an unrivaled sense of escape.

“Alys Beach is carefully crafted to celebrate the public realm of streets, parks, pedestrian paths, and great civic buildings in a manner reminiscent of the world’s most beloved seaside towns. In recognition of the strong draw of the sea, our streets orient to the beach, guaranteeing views to the Gulf and cooling sea breezes.

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A Palm Beach writer who toured the development was less than impressed, writing, “The Alys Beach marketing coordinator who gave me a tour said the inspiration for the community was Bermuda and Antigua, Guatemala.

“I guess it’s possible if you stripped Bermuda’s houses of their vibrant colors — pink, mint green, sky blue, lemon yellow — and their friendly balconies and shady terraces that make it easy to call out hellos to neighbors. Bermuda is cute and cuddly, Alys Beach is aloof and indifferent.”

Another writer was more enthused, saying, “The inspiration for the town’s ‘high-end, low-key’ style is Bermuda” and “while Bermuda is the main inspiration, it’s not the only foreign city to which it feels similar. The courtyards found in many of the homes evoke those of the houses in Antigua. As a result, Alys Beach is all-around exotic and vacation-y.”

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Like ‘real’ Bermuda houses, the Alys Beach properties are “designed to withstand the strongest hurricanes and last for generations,” with their website noting that “walls are solid concrete and masonry, roofs are grouted cement tile, and windows and doors exceed the requirements of the Florida Building Code for hurricane resistance.”

While the development lacks the pastel colours our houses are known for, they do bear a resemblance to Bermuda houses, and the surrounding roads often have Bermuda inspired names, such as Somerset Street, Spice Berry Alley, Hogpenny Alley, Camden Estate Alley, Moongate Court, Sea Venture Alley, Castle Harbour Drive, Longtail Road and Elbow Beach Road.

Another aspect the development — which is reported to have over 100 homes with more planned –  has in common with Bermuda is the high cost, with some of the properties listed for sale with prices in the millions, while vacation rentals are listed from $240 per night.

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Comments (17)

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  1. Rocky5 says:

    Been there. Its nice.

  2. sage says:

    I wonder if they use block or are they wooden construction? .Otherwise they do look really nice with all the best architectural features in one tight-knit area. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      *Like ‘real’ Bermuda houses, the Alys Beach properties are “designed to withstand the strongest hurricanes and last for generations,” with their website noting that “walls are solid concrete and masonry, roofs are grouted cement tile, and windows and doors exceed the requirements of the Florida Building Code for hurricane resistance.”*

  3. mixitup says:

    I think it gives that Bermuda feel. They really should paint them in mild/soft pastels though.

  4. Val Dickerson says:

    Wondering what the interiors look like? Do the rooms have tray cielings. Are the whitewashed stepped rooftops functional ie. used to catch water and store water in near the house in a large tank?

  5. KJ says:

    Florida finally building to withstand hurricanes? Good for them

  6. Real Deal says:

    well they could never have our sand

    • PBanks says:

      Just don’t let Becky Seaglass find out about this, she’ll want to get even more profit

  7. Sandgrownan says:

    Does the trash get collected and buses run? If yes, then it’s Not the full Bermuda experience

  8. PANGAEA says:

    It is often said that design and function have no common ground where the architects pen has no architectural artistic excuse for existing, as bread and butter 200 room concepts continue to deform our country side. All we can do is emplode them.

    Over the past 60 years I have seen the steady decline in the architectural presence in this country, the classic look; legacy and charm of our domestic buildings has been lost to a colection of rooms .

    The South road Grand Atlantic for example has to be one of the bigest architectural and engineering mistakes in poor judgement in Bermuda’s history, and that is not the only one financed by the national debt.

    Similarly, some the buildings the City of Hamilton take the form of over grown topsy turvy Bermuda cottages like the City hall as a classic example of lack of foresight, with no room for expansion or progress unless the Bermuda slate roof is remove.

    “When we build let us think that we build for ever not for present delight alone”.

    • Real Deal says:

      like the air port

    • Toodle-oo says:

      City Hall was designed by Will Onions , Bermuda’s own version of the iconic American architect Frank Lloyd Wright . Some of the most beautiful houses in Bermuda in terms of scale and unique Bermudian features were designed by Will Onions .
      Had Onions not done City Hall I dread to think what you’d be saying about it now . (If I interpret your comment correctly)

  9. The names there are far more Bermudian than say says:

    Caroline Bay which springs to mind.

    Honestly we couldn’t have found a name that captures the beauty and mystique of Bermuda?

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