First off, I have to say that Bermuda was one of the most beautiful places I have visited recently. I was shocked at how gorgeous the water was and how peaceful the experience was. Upon arrival, the valet staff quickly greeted us and offered to handle our bags. I was really impressed with the valet staff throughout our entire stay; they were always very friendly and engaging, making jokes. It was a pleasure seeing them each morning upon departure and each evening upon arrival back at the hotel.
I loved the design of the hotel. It certainly is not for everyone and modern purists would absolutely hate it, but I found it to be very charming and kitschy. The style definitely recalls the colonial British past with splashes of bright colors to bring in the tropics. I thought each area of the hotel, from the lobby to the restaurants to the hallways, was very well-kept. Some have complained about the hotel needing renovations, but I thought everything looked quite clean and fresh, other than the second room we were placed in (more about that later).
Check-in was very quick and friendly. The clerk had a huge smile and made us feel very welcome. Upon arrival in the room, I was floored. I was worried that the harbor view would not be very spectacular, but boy was I wrong. It was gorgeous. Much like my comments on the common area design, the room was also a Caribbean-kitsch chic. Bright colors and maybe not to everyone's taste, but I thought it was lovely. Our view, however, was what kept me drawn in. You could see the beautiful villas and the cruise ships coming and going. Each sunrise and sunset was more spectacular than the last. There were minor things wrong with the room, but it was nothing that I got worked up over; for example, the room was missing a room service menu and a pen. There were also some minor housekeeping inconsistencies. Granted, I noticed these things, but I was not bothered until the third night...
On our third night, upon retiring to bed, I noticed that my bed was soaking wet. It appeared as though the housekeepers had dumped an entire bucket of water on the bed or something because it was completely soaked, all the way through into the mattress. This was no spilled drink, etc. It had to have been a massive amount of water. It was all very curious. Of course, I inquired if a new mattress could be sent up, but they said it would not be possible and offered to move us to a new room. I accepted the offer and was greeted shortly by a man I thought was a bellhop because he had a cart for moving our luggage and escorted us to our new room. Upon viewing the new room, I was pretty upset. It looked very, very dated and smelled quite musty. It also had a door which adjoined to another room. You could hear every footstep above you, in the halls and through the walls. We had the pleasure of being in a room next to a screaming baby. It was awful. The bathtub was full of long hairs. And the view was also absolutely disappointing. On the right side, you could see into the rooms/balconies of what seemed like a third of the hotel. Below, was the unkempt roof to the breakfast area. If you craned your neck to the left, you could make out a bit of the harbor. Our balcony also had tons of spiderwebs, which made you question housekeeping's competence.
Needless to say, this room was unacceptable. We went downstairs to ask to be moved, and the clerk kept going back to ask the manager questions, the answers to which she would repeat to us. I asked if we could speak directly to the manager because she clearly did not have the ability to change our situation and was not handling herself very professionally. She then informed us that the manager could not speak to us because he was ready to go home. I could not believe this. I understanding wanting to leave work, but when your work is not finished, you cannot simply abandon your duties. Finally, the manager comes out and lo and behold, it was the "bellhop" from earlier. How could he have not introduced himself as a manager? Fairmont should be ashamed to have this person on staff because I have never met someone so rude and disrespectful in my life. He was a tall, thin man with a French accent. He basically said that we were in the same "class" of room and that there was nothing he could do. I even asked if I could go back to our original room and sleep on the soaked bed because I would rather do that than stay even one minute more in that room that should be condemned. He refused. We were offered no compromise for this incredible inconvenience. This showed a huge gap or failure in service training. Having stayed at some of the most glamorous hotels in the world, I know what real service is, and a manager should never come from a place of no. "No" does not exist in the service industry. If there is a problem, you need to fix it. I find it extremely hard to believe that no other room was available to switch us into, nor do I understand why I could not have returned to our original room.
After breakfast the next morning, after neither of us had been able to sleep because of the screaming baby, I inquired at the front desk about whether our original room was ready or whether there was another room more similar to our original one available. She graciously moved us to an ocean-front room and apologized for the inconvenience. This was 9:00am, so I find it hard to believe that someone had checked out of the "fully-booked" hotel and housekeeping had already prepped the room. This made me quite angry at the manager from the prior night; feeling like you have been lied to is an awful sentiment. I was not looking for a free upgrade; in fact, I said to both the night and day manager, I just wanted my old room back. I believe our original room was number 295...it was quite a long walk from the elevator but WELL worth it. We went from being in heaven and absolutely loving everything to hell and hating everything. That is why I truly believe the type of room and placement especially will determine the quality of your stay. Had I been originally placed in the "second" room, I would have hated the Fairmont and told anyone who would listen to stay away. If housekeeping had not ruined the bed of our first room, I would have given this hotel 5 stars and had nothing to complain about. The food was excellent, the beach fantastic, and most of the service was top-notch, other than the night clerk and incompetent night manager.
Lastly, I would not waste the money on the beachfront rooms. We stayed in one our last night, and it was fine, but we were positioned over the parking lot where the trolleys picked up and dropped off guests, so there was constant chatter by the guests and the sounds of the trolleys. Our first room was perfectly serene and not a sound could be heard!
- 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 Parish
- Southampton Princess Bermuda
- Southampton Fairmont