Let me start by saying that Bermuda is one of my favorite places on Earth. I truly believe the beaches and water are unmatched ANYWHERE. Whether you enjoy snorkeling, sailing, or just lying on the beach, Bermuda is the perfect place. The coral sand and turquoise water are the perfect backdrop for your vacation!
I've stayed at the Fairmont in Southampton twice. Once in the month of May and once in the month of August. Here's what I'm going to tell you... May is a much quieter and a much more relaxed time to stay in Bermuda. August is just terrible. For one thing, it is extremely crowded in August and much to my surprise, the Fairmont doesn't really seem to increase their staffing during this crazy time. You will wait on long lines to check in, speak to the concierge, or to eat at a restaurant. The bars will be crazy busy and you'll die of thirst before you get so much as an ice cube in a glass. August is no bueno!
Unfortunately, my visit at the Fairmont in August left me with a less than loving feeling toward this property. As I stated before, we waited a considerable amount of time to check in. There were only 3 people working the front desk when we arrived and there were at least 15 people waiting on line. Not a good start! Because we are President Club members, we were given a great corner room with a wrap around balcony and access to free-wifi and a view of the harbour. Unfortunately,in the room above ours, it sounded as if there were a herd of toddlers running and jumping and banging around. This started early in the morning and well into the evening. Another reason to wait until school is in session to stay in Bermuda :)
During the summer months (late May into early September), every Wednesday in Hamilton is Harbour Night. Harbour Night is a street fair type event with food, entertainment and vendors selling jewlery, clothes, etc. We really cared nothing about attending Harbour Night because we've attended many times in the past, however, I love this particular bubble bath than I've only been able to find at Marks and Spencer. So, we were willing to make the trek into Hamilton so that I could get this precious commodity :) We waited to speak to the concierge to inquire if Marks and Spencer extends their hours during Harbour Nights. Some shops do, however others close at their regular times (around 5:00-5:30pm). The concierge was absolutely worthless. She flat out refused to call Marks and Spencer because she was so positively sure that they stayed open until 7pm. So, we wasted an hour going into Hamilton and guess what, Marks and Spencer was closed. I was so annoyed!
When we get back to the hotel, we advise the concierge that she is giving out bad information. She starts to argue with us and asks "Did you go to the main entrance on Front Street, because they are open." I told her I went to the main entrance (which is actually on Reid Street), and the back entrance on front street above Lusso and it was CLOSED. I further explained that I wanted her to call because I was there in May during Harbour Night and thought that it had been closed then, as well, but couldn't remember. She then begins to argue that there are no Harbour Nights in May. Good Lord! I was there, so I know!!!! She also started to argue that the entrance to M & S is above the English Shoppe (which it is NOT) I've just never encountered a concierge who knew so little! Boggles the mind!
I'm not sure if it was because the hotel was so busy or if housekeeping was just not on their game, but there were some things that could have been improved upon. We checked in on Wednesday and there was a used coffee cup sitting outside the door of the room next to ours, presumably left there to be picked up by room service. That same coffee cup was sitting there on Friday. Truly unacceptable. In addition, there were trays from room service that didn't get picked up from breakfast until well into the next day. And a used Q-tip sat in the middle of the hallway for 3 days. Yuck! There was a tag from a bathing suit (owner unknown) that was under a chair in my room. It stayed there for the duration of my visit (and could still be there for all I know). It's the little things, folks... makes you question how clean a place truly is. These are the bad things... On to the good...
The beach is down the hill a bit, but there is a trolley service that runs regularly to and from. For those looking for accommodations that sit directly on a beach, this isn't one of them. But, if you don't mind a short wait and an even shorter drive, then this isn't so bad. There's a great restaurant there and a pretty good bar. There's also snorkel rentals and paddle boards. There's decent gift shop that sells touristy odds and ends.
I've never had a bad meal at the Fairmont. Every single restaurant has something on the menu that you will enjoy. The food is really quite good. I recommend that you treat yourself to the breakfast buffet. It's pricey, but the selection isn't bad and they will make you an omelet and smoothie to order! The waffles are terrific too!
The spa is AMAZING! When you purchase a spa experience, it entitles you to the use of the spa amenities such as the pool, sauna, etc. It's truly phenomenal! Highly recommend. I had a body massage and it was very relaxing!
All in all, this property is fair. There are not many places to stay in Bermuda that's on the beach, unless you plan to rent a guest house. I think as long as you stay at the Fairmont during the "off" season, you're good to go, but God help you if go in August!