This was our very first visit to Bermuda, so we wanted a place that would allow us a central location to walk around and take in all that Hamilton...and the rest of Bermuda has to offer. Our visit was from Nov 1 -4th,2012.
We really got the best view in the hotel, room 220 at the very end of the "Poinciana" Wing.... magnificent waterfront suite , with THREE balconies and the waters of Hamilton Harbour a few feet away. It was great to leave the patio doors open and hear the gentle lapping of the waves against the seawall ...plus the strong winds of the water as well.
Location wise the hotel is right on the very edge of the busiest part of downtown, you can walk to everything ( which we did) and yet it still quiet enough and has the beautiful gardens to make you feel you are in the countryside. It's about a five to ten minute walk to great pubs like the "Hog Penny" ( our fav) , and all the other great shops and restaurants along Front St.
The hotel has 2 pools ( one fresh water and quiet warm ...could have even been heated...and one salt water which definitely was NOT heated!) The pools both have very deep ends 11 ft , so watch your kids while they swim. there is also a putting green , and some of the biggest coy fish in the gardens ponds.
The hotel DOES NOT have a beach ( nor does anyone else on Hamilton harbour) but guest do have free access to the private beach club at the Fairmont Southampton which is the Princess's sister hotel on the western end of the island. We took our rented mopeds there ( approx. 45 minutes leisurely ride) , showed our rooms keys to the attendants and received free beach towels and access to the private beach. We even charged our lunch there to our room back in Hamilton, staff were very friendly and glad to have us there. There is also a regularly scheduled free ferry service that leaves from the Princess and take you to the Southampton as well...great way to get some time on the water ( about 25 minutes ) Be sure to confirm the return time with the ferry captain...you miss the last opne at 6:30pm its a $45 cab ride back to Hamilton.
Room amenities are very nice for an older hotel ( the TV are still CRT 's with a decent choice of channels...but who goes to Bermuda to watch TV eh?) Complimentary Keurig coffee maker is a nice touch.
We dined out every meal so no reviews on the restaurants, but keep in mind that ALL restaurants and bars automatically add a 15%-17% gratuity to your bill. ( but there NO TAX so who can argue with that ) Things are generally about 20% more than in Canada, great deals on Goslings rum at Duty Free ...$13 a bottle!
Staff are always happy to see you. If you want to mail some postcards the Front Desk will not only post them for you, but they even include the postage stamp which is a very nice touch. The Gift Shop in the hotel surprisingly had the BEST prices for postcards (60 cents) and souvenir fridge magnets ( $3), snacks and sodas were about the same price as the local supermarkets we found, not the usual high prices you'd expect in the lobby gift shop.