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Hotel rooms still available for AC

America's Cup contestants seen practising in the Great Sound(Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Bermuda Tourism Authority has countered claims that hotel accommodation and rentals have already been snapped up by visitors who want to watch the America’s Cup.

And the authority has now released a number of tips for those who want to witness the sporting spectacle which takes place in May and June.

“Despite some reports and perceptions, bookings are still available at various island hotel properties and rentals,” said a statement.

“While it is peak season for travel to Bermuda and inventory becomes more precious during any major world sporting event such as the Super Bowl and America’s Cup, it’s not too late to make that reservation. The confirms there is still room in many of the island’s hotels to welcome visitors.”

Below are the BTA’s top 10 tips for potential visitors:

Tip 1 — Official spectator hotel packages

If you are interested in travelling specifically for America’s Cup racing, check out www.americascuptravel.com. Travellers can get personalised attention and recommendations for date patterns and race schedules from Travel Places, the official travel package provider for the America’s Cup. Representing just under 30 per cent of hotel inventory on the island, these packages include five and seven-night hotel stays, airport transfers and a spectator boat experiences starting at $1,747 per person for the Qualifier Races.

Tip 2 — Book with hotels directly

Go directly to Bermuda hotel websites and consider booking there. Many consumers use online travel agencies to do research and scope availability, but during major world events, many properties choose to sell their inventory direct to consumers via their own website and reservations systems. Because many of Bermuda’s hotel and guesthouse properties are independently owned, a good place to start with a comprehensive list of Bermuda’s properties is the official tourism website http://www.gotobermuda.com/places-to-stay.

Tip 3 — Look for open race day patterns

Bermuda has been named one of the top places to travel in 2017 by the likes of Travel & Leisure, Lonely Planet and Frommer’s, so the island may be on your “to do” list even if you aren’t into sailing. What to do? There are a number of dates throughout the months to experience Bermuda’s every day beauty, without official America’s Cup sailing on the schedule.

Here are a few to consider: Monday, June 12 to Friday, June 16: Superyacht Regatta and Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Qualifiers; Monday, June 19 to Friday June 23: J Class Regatta, Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals and free days.

Tip 4 — See all six teams in the first two weeks

Opt for the first two weeks of sailing — it’s the only time you will see all six America’s Cup teams in action on the Great Sound. It’s a great introduction to the world of America’s Cup racing and there will be plenty of excitement to go around. You may even be able to find room blocks for small groups during these dates.

Tip 5 – Stylish catamaran packages for on-water accommodations

Experience the America’s Cup and Bermuda on your own spacious and stylish catamaran with private skipper through Helm Events: America’s Cup official charter yacht supplier. Seven night packages start at $2,399 per person and include accommodations, breakfast, lunch and on-water access to race viewing. https://www.helmevents.com/the-experience.

Tip 6 — Check for minimum night stays

Be sure to check each hotel for minimum night stay requirements. You may need to alter your check-in and checkout dates slightly due to some stay restrictions or rate requirements.

Tip 7 — Vacation rental options

Long before the sharing economy, Bermudians have been opening their homes and renting out apartments to visitors to the island. Check vacation rental availability at bermudarentals.com, Airbnb.com, homeaway.com and other vacation rental sites.

Tip 8 — Watch for room blocks

During an event like this, media, sponsors and the event producers may hold “room blocks” for group reservations at participating hotels. As event dates approach, some late inventory may be released into the market. Take care to book early if you see availability, as room inventory on the island is limited, and there is very little to no inventory remaining for the finals weekend.

Tip 9 — Use a travel professional

Confer with your travel professional or travel agent for assistance. Bermuda is a preferred destination by Virtuoso and Signature travel networks. A travel advisor can help do a lot of the heavy lifting and research on your behalf and can provide additional services and recommendations as well.

Tip 10 — Lots to do

There are plenty of opportunities to soak up events and happenings across the island. Consider these other events taking place throughout May & June:

Antigua to Bermuda Race — May 12- 24; Bermuda Day and Bermuda Day Parade — May 24; Rendezvous Tall Ships Bermuda — June 1-4; Marion to Bermuda Race — June 12-17;

Bermuda Heroes Weekend and Carnival — June 16-19.