Bermuda has one tennis court for every 600 residents, a ratio that even the most tennis-crazed countries would find difficult to match. Many are private, but the public has access to more than 70 courts in 20 locations. Courts are inexpensive and seldom full. Hourly rates for nonguests are about $15 to $20. You might want to consider bringing along a few fresh cans of balls, because balls in Bermuda cost $6 to $8 per can—two to three times the rate in the United States. Among the surfaces used in Bermuda are Har-Tru, clay, cork, and hard composites, of which the relatively slow Plexipave composite is the most prevalent. Despite Bermuda's British roots, the island has no grass court.
Wind, heat (in summer), and humidity are the most distinct characteristics of Bermudian tennis. From October through March, when daytime temperatures rarely exceed 80°F, play is comfortable throughout the day. But in summer the heat radiating from the court (especially hard courts) can make play uncomfortable between 11 am and 3 pm, so some clubs take a midday break. Most tennis facilities offer lessons, ranging from $30 to $60 for 30 minutes of instruction, and racket rentals for $4 to $10 per hour.
Coral Beach & Tennis Club. Introduction by a member is required to play at this exclusive club, which was once the site of the USTA-sanctioned XL Capital Bermuda Open tournament. Coral Beach has eight clay courts, three of which are floodlighted. Resident pros are on hand to arrange private lessons. The club also hosts several well-attended senior and junior tournaments throughout the year. Tennis whites are required. 34 South Shore Rd., Paget Parish, PG04. 441/236–2233; www.coralbeachclub.com. Introduced guests $50 per person per day; private lessons from $100 per hour.
Elbow Beach Tennis Facility. The facility is fortunate to have as its director of tennis David Lambert, a former president of the Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association. There are five Plexipave courts, three with lights, and daily play. Lessons and match play can be arranged for hotel guests or other visitors. Dedicated tennis fans may consider Elbow's tennis package, which includes time on the court, equipment, continental breakfast, and a luxury room. This facility also rents and repairs rackets. Elbow Beach Resort, 60 South Shore Rd., Paget Parish, PG04. 441/236–8737. Courts $12 per hour for Elbow Beach guests, $15 per hour for public; lessons from $50 for 30 min.
Fairmont Southampton Tennis Club. Despite their position at the water's edge, the Plexipave hard courts at the Fairmont are reasonably shielded from the wind, although the breeze can be swirling and difficult. Six courts are at hand, open daily. Racket rentals and balls are available, and you can book time with a pro. You can also book a complete tennis package, which includes luxury Fairmont accommodations, breakfast, and lessons. Fairmont Southampton, 101 South Shore Rd., Southampton Parish, SN02. 441/236–6950; www.fairmont.com/southampton-bermuda. $19 per nonguest per day; lesson $115 per hour for up to 2 players.
Grotto Bay Tennis Club. A little more than a stone's throw from the L. F. Wade International Airport, Grotto Bay has four Plexipave cork-based courts, two of which are equipped with lights for nighttime play. Resident tennis pros offer lessons (individual and small group) for adults and juniors. Tennis attire is required. 11 Blue Hole Hill, Bailey's Bay, Flatt’s Village, Hamilton Parish, CR04. 441/293–3420; www.grottobaytennis.com. From $10 for hourly bookings; lessons from $30 per half hour.
Pomander Gate Tennis Club. There are five hard courts available (four with lighting) at this scenic club located off Hamilton Harbour. Temporary membership is available on a weekly basis, or you can can rent a court for a session (one hour of play time during the day or 45 minutes at night). 21 Pomander Rd., Paget Parish, PG05. 441/236–5400; www.pgtc.bm. $6 per 1-hour session; $7 charge to run lights for night play.
W. E. R. Joell Tennis Stadium. This government-run facility is the busiest of Bermuda's tennis courts, the inland location ideal for combating strong winds and hosting year-round tournaments. It's only about a 10-minute walk from Front Street. Of the eight all-weather courts available, five are Plexi-Cushion and three are Har-Tru; three courts in the main stadium have floodlights. Small discounts are available for seniors and young adults. Tennis attire is required, and lessons are available from on-site pros on request. 2 Marsh Folly Rd., Pembroke Parish, HM13. 441/292–0105. $12 per hour.
Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association. Established in 1964, the association is the governing body for tennis in Bermuda and hosts all the important tennis events on the island. The BLTA headquarters are at the popular W. E. R. Joell Tennis Stadium, a short taxi ride from the city of Hamilton. Visit the website for an up-to-date calendar of tournaments and events. W. E. R. Joell Tennis Stadium, 2 Marsh Folly Rd., Pembroke Parish, HM 13. 441/296–0834; www.blta.bm.