I went on a spur of the moment trip with a good friend down to Bermuda to celebrate my 40th birthday girls weekend style. We were so happy that the Fairmont was clearly going to be a real "get away from it all" sort of location. 4 days and 3 nights of mostly relaxation, taking advantage of a lot of the amenities and really just taking it easy.
Day 1 - arrived at the hotel at 5pm. Not much to do besides check in, unpack, and head to dinner. We went to the GastroPub - the lamb merguez burger was to die for. We wanted to just linger, the place was pretty empty as it was off-season and they didn't give us a hard time about sitting after the bill.
Day 2 - went for breakfast at Windows on the Water but there was a sign that it was moved to the downstairs restaurant, Crickets. No problem. They push the $29 buffet, but happily hand you the a la carte menu. I did not read it carefully enough and the math seemed to work out better for the buffet if I was going to have both coffee and juice. I figured out the next day from reading the fine print that there were breakfast "plans" that included the beverages and didn't entice me to overindulge in food. Then we decided to visit Hamilton via the free ferry shuttle. There are only 3 times available each way every day. We chose the 12:30pm shuttle over the 9am shuttle. Hopped on the free trolley to the ferry - that ride took about 1 minute. The ferry was quick (about 25 minutes) and gave a nice view of the waterfront en route. Best of all it's free and beats the estimated $50 roundtrip cab fare. You exit and walk through the sister property, Fairmont Hamilton. When you exit the hotel, it takes a couple of blocks to hit the main drag on Front Street but there are plenty of stores to choose from for your shopping pleasure. We didn't spend long shopping as we also had a tea reservation at the "Court" at the Hamilton Fairmont. Tea was delightful, despite being $32. Our server was lovely and just a delight to converse with. She even gave my friend a brand new pot of coffee when it got cold (she opted for coffee instead of tea at no extra charge). We tried both versions of the tea selections, one for each of us. Oh my - was THAT a lot of food after having the breakfast buffet! After we rolled ourselves outside, we grabbed the 6:30 ferry back to Southampton. The ride back was less delightful only because many nocturnal bugs made an appearance in, on, all around the open garbage container in the middle of the interior seating area. Definitely creeped us out. When you exit the ferry by Waterlot restaurant at night, the hotel has someone standing on the street with a large red light to stop traffic at the intersection so guests can cross to the waiting trolley. That is VERY nice. And unbelievable for this Native New Yorker! Once we got back to the hotel we decided to explore a little. The outdoor pool is quite nicely heated - I dipped my toes in. It was reassuring to see someone walking around to check the chemical levels in the pool and hot tub. Checked out the spa - nice but crazy high prices - over $50 for a mani? I don't think so! We realized there was an upper level of little shops, including a Longchamp store! (I looked online, the prices were the same as in the US - no bargains to be had other than saving sales tax) And then we wandered over to the indoor pool. We immediately decided to go back to the room and change into bathing suits. The indoor pool room and pool were so wonderfully warm! And relaxing! There's also another hot tub just immediately outside the pool area! We took advantage of that too. Then we just wanted a casual laid back light dinner, so we headed to Jasmine where we had some awesome homemade guacomole and I had a great salad. Our server was so much fun too! And the fireplace was lit which warmed us nicely.
Day 3 - had breakfast a la carte only. Much better deal financially. Made a reservation for a nice upscale dinner at Lido since Waterlot was booked solid. In fact, practically every restaurant you'd want to make a reservation at was booked, in Southampton and in Hamilton. The concierge was beyond helpful and patient as we perused the menus she had in a binder. She called every restaurant until we got one that worked for us. Then we hopped on the free trolley to the hotel's private beach. It's a small beach and I wouldn't want to be there in high season, but in off-season it was a good place to walk along the water and relax in the sun on a lounge chair for an hour or so. Dinner that night at Lido was simply marvelous and they included a birthday dessert gratis when my friend mentioned it was my birthday to the server. It was easy enough to catch a cab back to our hotel (approx $15-16 each way before tip) even though the Lido's hotel (Mandarin Oriental) was mostly closed for renovations.
Day 4 - Sunday Traditional Bermudan Breakfast Buffet at the hotel. My oh my!!! Scrumdeliocious! So many local flavors to choose from - cassava pie, turned cornmeal with okra, roti station, Portuguese donuts, Johnnycake, curry chicken, etc, yum yum yum. I ate until I couldn't anymore since we were leaving that afternoon and I knew the airline would starve us. I'm so glad I did as the offerings at the airport were subpar.
All in all we had such a delightful stay at the Fairmont Southampton. They do a gorgeous decorating job for Christmas. The only negative I can find about the stay is that as someone who pays attention to these things, I could see where they took shortcuts with their renovations in the early 2000s. But otherwise, the staff, the hotel, I can't say enough good things about them. They all have a commitment to the finest quality. Yes, the prices are outrageous. Yes, they tack on fees etc when you check out. But forewarned is forearmed. I'd stay here again for sure!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Fairmont Southampton, Bermuda is a luxury resort perched on Bermuda's stunning south shore with miles of pink sand beaches. Conveniently located in the mid-Atlantic, less than a two-hour flight from most east coast gateways, this hotel is perfect for getaways year-round. Sitting on nearly 100 gorgeous acres dotted with lush bougainvillea and towering coconut palms, The Fairmont Southampton is Bermuda's largest full-service luxury beach resort boasting 593 rooms and 6 floors with amazing views of ocean and sound. Unparalleled amenities are offered throughout the property. Spend your days relaxing at the resort pool, or pull up a chaise lounge at the sprawling private oceanfront beach club with Dive Centre, 11 tennis courts, jet ski rentals, and more. Unwind in the luxurious Willow Stream Spa with indoor spa pool & fitness facility, or tee off at the Turtle Hill Golf Club, an award-winning 18-hole par-three championship golf course. The Fairmont Southampton has dining covered for even the most discerning palates with an impressive range of restaurant options. Family-friendly, the hotel offers a kids camp for day & evening. Free round-trip ferry service is available to the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, located in the island's downtown district. Guest rooms feature AC, 42" flat screen TV with multimedia panel, spacious work desk, 2 telephones with voicemail, dataport, Keurig coffeemaker, tea kettle, mini bar, large walk-in closet, iron & ironing board, personal digital safe, private bathroom, hairdryer & bathrobes, and WiFi Internet access is available (fee). The Fairmont Southampton is a AAA Four-Diamond award-winning resort. The Turtle Hill Golf Club was named one of the top 5 par-3 courses in the world by Golf Magazine. The Willow Stream Spa won the 2012 Conde Nast Readers Choice Award for best hotel spa in the Caribbean. In 2012, Conde Nast called The Fairmont Southampton one of the top hotels in the Atlantic & one of the best golf hotels in the world. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Fairmont Southampton Hotel Southampton
- Fairmont Southampton Bermuda
- Southampton Princess Bermuda
- Southampton Fairmont
- The Fairmont Southampton Bermuda/Southampton Parish