My husband and I have just left the Fairmont Southampton having stayed for seven nights. We have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
I will try and give a balanced view of the strengths and weaknesses. We struggled when choosing our accommodation in Bermuda torn between FS, Elbow Beach and Cambridge Beaches and will be going from here to try Cambridge Beaches.
One point to note is join the Presidents Membership online in advance which will give you free internet and gym access. I did this on arrival which was fine as I would have been really annoyed if charged to go to the gym at that room rate!
Definitely its people. We booked a Gold room, on the top floor with its own check in/concierge. Courteous and friendly service at all times. The lounge staff were also very helpful.
Proximity to Horseshoe Bay- just stunning.
The beds- extremely comfortable.
Dining options were varied-good steak fine dining restaurant and fish restaurant which we tried. Also available were Italian, a British pub (no bar oddly) and a casual restaurant, which we did not. Cabs are pricey here so on-site dining is a real strength. At this point I must enthuse about the Jasmine lounge. Great martinis and bar food served with a lovely smile (thanks, Daisy!). We found that if you have a good lunch this was a great alternative to a big dinner.
Ocean restaurant is much stronger than the Cabana at lunch but similarly priced- the views are stunning too.
The Gold lounge. A really pleasant breakfast experience with nice China and good breads,pastries, cold cuts, fruit and cereals with a couple of changing hot offerings included in the room rate. Afternoon tea also pleasant, with scones and cakes (no sandwiches) . Evening canapes also served but did not try those followed by mini desserts (that lemon meringue.....) You could graze all day!! It was nice that we could take soft drinks back to the room- water importantly .Big note, there is an honour bar which is charged to your room. I did not realize this (my fault) - having stayed in Club rooms in other hotel groups before, either the booze is included or at least pre-dinner with canapes.
The golf course on-site. We played twice. A super par 3. As holiday novices it was ideal. 3 hours was plenty to get round. Note if you are a Presidents Member (their free loyalty programme) golf clubs are not free to hire. The website is unclear on this as it refers to hire being free at selected hotels,in this case the Hamilton Princess. I presume perhaps that hotel needs more selling points? Not a huge issue for us as we were not expecting this as a freebie anyway.
The weaknesses as we see them:
The hotel is not actually on the beach, but runs a short shuttle up and down the steep hill. This is fine but for us put us off going unless we intended to spend at least a few hours,for example pre checkout,we will just go to the pool.
My husband says he is disturbed by noise at night, in terms of the air con units on top of the shuttle buses when they are stationery, also taxi drivers chatting and from inside the hotel. The walls are a little thin. I slept really well and use ear plugs as my husband snores!
When considering the above, the top floor is without doubt the best, but if you choose an ocean view you still overlook the car park before the ocean. I would probably go harbour view next time, which I suspect may be quieter and just as attractive.
We would have preferred not to have the entertainer down at the Dock Bar. To us the comedy mini guitarist (sorry I am not sure of the correct term and I mean the guitar and not the player when I say mini) was not in our view a good fit for the pretty spot. Some background chilled music would have been perfect. The last straw warranting this mention was when one poor group got up to leave without ordering and he called after them over the microphone with some ditty or other. Maybe a little bit of a sense of humour failure on our part, but at £400 plus a night for some rooms- really? When going to the fine dining restaurant we thought of giving it another try, but reconsidered when we saw him two nights later and went straight into the restaurant instead. Generally the Dock Bar is a good spot and serves snacks (posh ones) but you need the right table as in our view not all the furniture were conducive to eating even if only the lighter bites.
The pool area- could be better- not a massive pool and we found the extractor fan loud, but there is a private beach so.......
Size is a tricky one. This is a big hotel and families and corporations like it as well as couples like us. Everywhere is a bit of a walk, but if you want the choice of bars and restaurants, that is the trade so more of a strength and a weakness really. We were not bothered by screaming kids or groups of business people, which was a concern when we booked.
Sun Beds- around the pool ok, but poor on the beach. Those rubber slatted ones. I found them uncomfortable. There seem to be loads left out and close together, more than were needed. It created a crowded impression where it was not that crowded at all.
The sea was let's just say, refreshing!
General final pointers.
There is a free ferry to and from the sister hotel in Hamilton. A good service but runs infrequently eg 9am then not until 12.30.
We caught the bus to and from Hamilton from by the shuttle stop. Every fifteen minutes and tokens can be bought from concierge. Otherwise there are loads of cabs, so transportation is really not a problem.
The room was bright and a good size- great coffee machine and big tv. It was what we expected with a nice balcony with a table and two chairs. Perhaps a little dated but perfectly acceptable.
I have no doubt that anybody who does their research and thinks carefully as to what they are looking for who goes on to book would have a good stay at this hotel.
As a final PS, we did go to Elbow Beach for lunch and asked to see a room. They appeared to be pre-fab style bungalows and really not inspiring at all. The development looked tired with lots of rooms looking at the buggy accesses and then down to the sea. I understand the main hotel rooms are not inhabited. The lunch was nice, the beach absolutely stunning but not our cup of tea.
- 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