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“Watch Out for the Taxes!”

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Fairmont Southampton
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Watch Out for the Taxes!”
Reviewed July 6, 2009

I have a condo in Bermuda for work but decided on this occasion that it would be nice to spend a few days R&R in a hotel. We chose the Southampton Princess/Fairmont Southampton because we had heard good things about their spa. There had been some publicity about high staff lay offs due to the economy and this was evident. Most of the restaurants were closed and most disappointingly the spa and fitness centre were also closed. There had been no mention of this on their website or at check in. Be careful also of the taxes. They have three different kinds of tax which you only find out about at check out. They also include a charge for tipping the maid every day which is worked out $10 per person not per room per day. Worth knowing if you are, like me, the kind of person who leaves a tip in the room on a daily basis. My company were paying and it still came as a shock! I wrote a letter of complaint to the manager who did respond, without offering apology and stating that these were standard charges. If they are standard, the information should be available on the website along with information about restaurant/spa closures so that customers can make an informed decision prior to booking. And now for the good points! The lobby of the hotel is beautiful, rooms are nice and a good size (we had deluxe ocean view rooms), the restaurants, when open, are good. I recommend Bacci for the best Italian food and friendly service. This hotel is also well located for the beaches on South Shore which are the nicer beaches on the Island. If I were to stay in a hotel again in Bermuda I would choose the Elbow Beach Hotel. The spa there is fantastic, beautiful location on the beach, great sunday brunch and closer to town.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TVWalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Columbia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2009

We just returned from a 3 night stay at the Fairmont Southampton and had a wonderful experience. The weather, staff, amenities and food met all our expectations. After reading several of the other reviews, I was quite surprised at the difference in our stay. I did not find the hotel dated at all. The rooms were lovely and comfortable. We had a harbor view room on the 6th. We did choose to upgrade to Fairmont Gold status and that was a wise decision. Wonderful breakfast served every morning. Snacks available through the day (mostly cookies and nuts), afternoon tea, evening canapes, non-alcoholic drinks all day and an honor bar for alcohol that was considerably cheaper than bar, pool or beach prices. As for the room, the bed was quite comfortable with lovely linens. The bath had a separate room with double sinks and included q-tips, cotton balls and nail files as well. There were two large walk in closets. One closet held the safe, a full size iron and ironing board, shoe horn and brush and full size umbrella. I have to agree that the TV was a bit small and old. Not very many stations to choose from and the quality of some was poor. Fortunately, we did not spend much time watching tv. Being on the 6th floor, our room was cleaned twice a day, bed was turned down at night, two cookies and two bottles of water were left by our bed. One night they forgot the cookies and water but I could live with that. We ate at the Ocean Club and Waterlot which are part of the property. Both were pricey and the Waterlot was the best hands down. Cocktails are readily available but beware of the cost. In Jasmine, 4 cocktails cost $67. At the beach, similar cocktails were $50. Everything , everywhere has 17% added on for gratuity. If you go to Bermuda, get used to it. Nothing is cheap. The pool at the hotel is too small but we were there over a holiday weekend and found it bearable. The beach is lovely but it is difficult to find unoccupied chairs under the huts even at 9:00am. The snorkeling at the beach is great and I heard from many that Horseshoe Bay is even better and is right by the hotel beach. I could go on forever about our experience but I won't. I have no regrets and would go back in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank scaim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ridgefield, ct
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2009

The hotel is nice. Great comfy beds and good linens. Wonderful facility. Pool could be bigger. Food is VERY expensive! We found the best thing is to eat at the hotel. You end up spending a little more but the food is much much better and you don't have to pay for a taxi so that saves a bunch. Just got back from a day of snorkeling. Sonny from snorkelbermuda.com picked us up at the waterlot near the hotel. We had a great time! Very reasonable price. Very personable captain. He took us to 2 shipwrecks and gave us a little tour of the island. We loved it and would recommend him highly to anyone who wants to snorkel and does not want to go all the way to the dockyard. Thanks Sonny!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aslavetofashion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2009

Pros:
-Very nice private beach with chairs, umbrellas and towels. The location just steps away from Horseshoe Bay beach is also a big plus!
-Ferry to Hamilton was pretty convenient (the last ferry back to the hotel leaves hamilton at 7pm, so if you want a later night there you have to plan for a bus ride/cab back)
-We only ate at Jasmine and Wickets but found the food and service to be excellent at both restaurants

Cons:
-The walls in our room were very thin, we could clearly hear conversations happening in the rooms on either side of us. A couple of nights the noise level was very loud and kept us up or awoke us during the night.
-We found the beds to be very uncomfortable
-I agree with a previous poster that mentioned a urine smell, there was definitely some sort of foul smell that lingered in the bathroom, it seemed like the smell came from the plumbing and was stronger when the shower was running
-The hotel is somewhat remote from other attractions or restaurants (besides the hotel restaurants) so you need to be prepared for long walks, cab rides, or the bus/ferry just to reach another restaurant or find something to do.

This was our first trip to Bermuda and we got a great rate. We enjoyed the beaches but If we were to return we would consider other hotels.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank enfuego06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
112 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2009

We just got back from a four-night stay at the Fairmont Southampton and were very impressed. Overall, the staff were very friendly and eager to help in any way (with the curious exception of some of the front desk staff when we checked in, who seemed indifferent at best). The only problem we had there, which was that our toilet had a tendency to run, was reported to the concierge desk when we went down to breakfast one morning and had been repaired by the time we returned to our room after breakfast. We were there to (belatedly) celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and minutes after we arrived in our room they sent up a half-bottle of chardonnay and some wonderful chocolate truffles. Our room was delightful, very good sized with a walk-in closet (and this for a rate of $129 per night, part of their 99-hour sale in May!) and a lovely view to the southwest which included a nice span of ocean and the Gibbs lighthouse. The concierges were great, and in fact all of the staff greeted us throughout the hotel in a very friendly manner all day long. The restaurants there are surely not cheap but we enjoyed all of our meals, especially the night we ate at the Ocean Club, which really was delicious and such a great atmosphere! The beach was great and the spa pool, which we enjoyed in the evenings when non-spa-users could use it, was very pleasant. We all found the beds to be exceptionally comfortable and the air-conditioning worked perfectly. We had no complaints at all and thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank woodchucker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2009

As my wife and I departed the Fairmont Southampton we actually departed early enough to visit other hotels to determine where we would stay during our next visit to Bermuda. It was that bad. Upon check-in, we were placed in a room that smelled of urine, was humid, damp and musty. To say the room was dated is an understatement. In this age of digital technology, we had an old 19 inch television set with poor audio transmission. This problem became evident because the weather was bad for three of our five day visit. We had to have maintenance come to fix our A/C, which did not work the entire first day, a lamp, replace a telephone, and repair the bathroom faucet, which sprayed water every time we used it. Beware! They charge for EVERYTHING! Guests have to pay for use of the gym ($40), internet ($14), pool ($30), etc. Notwithstanding, they still charge you a daily resort levy fee of $18.00. For what, I’m not exactly sure. If we excuse the Southampton for dated rooms and charging for basic amenities in a ploy to have you join their President’s Club, what I can not excuse them for is the consistently rude response from their staff. At times we felt as if we were imposing on them for making basic requests, like a ride to the golf course, a band aid, a restaurant reservation – which was never confirmed – a tee time – which was never confirmed – etc. Suffice it to say, that we’ll be back to Bermuda but not the Fairmont properties. Best of luck!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JLV_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wiltshire
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2009

Firstly – the good. The Fairmont Southampton was just packed with holidaymakers who all seemed to be having a great time, greeting one another ecstatically and hailing the staff as old friends. So please take what follows in context – we are the exception in that we did not much like the hotel and were disappointed in Bermuda. But that may be as much a reflection on ourselves as “old colonials” from the UK (or in my wife’s case no colonial – she is from Ireland), very much in the minority among crowds of vacationing Americans. Perhaps the Bermuda we dreamed of in happy anticipation of our Ruby Wedding celebration existed, say, three or four decades ago. Today it is overcrowded, the only open spaces having been sacrificed to the deity of Golf. It is a golfer’s paradise OK, no less than five outstanding (so I am told) courses on the islands. But we are not golfers.
And it rained, and rained and rained. We had just one day in our week when we were able to sit on the beach and enjoy the sunshine. If we expressed our disappointment to the hotel staff we were reminded on each occasion how badly Bermuda needed rain. No doubt they did, but among all the panoply of wealth it seemed not a quarter as much as, say, Somalia needed it.
The hotel is imposing and majestic in an Alcatraz sort of way – please take the analogy as being tongue-in-cheek. It’s just that the tall building and the rows of railings on the balconies that seemed cloned to infinity were reminiscent of something, and I’m sure it wasn’t really a prison. Surely though, it was not beautiful. The room was adequate, but I have had far better for that money in Italy, and with weather guaranteed as well. No complaints about drought either –but then I suppose they have fewer golf courses to water. The pool was diminutive and the poolside crowded – when the rain desisted for long enough for us to sit by it. And no-one troubled to take in the mattresses from the loungers and place them under cover when the next downpour threatened. So they were always sopping wet, to the extent that even layers of towels (with which the hotel was admittedly generous) did not protect our clothes from the damp. On our last afternoon there was a virtual, albeit brief, hurricane: mattresses, loungers, umbrellas, glasses, plates and various other detritus were blown about and into the pool. It was actually quite hazardous, yet a few people remained in the pool. We did not see any sign of staff coming out to order them inside. But maybe this had to do with the several notices by the pool and on the beach pointing out to guests that there was no lifeguard and anyone who chose to swim did so at their own risk.
Every morning we had an excellent breakfast in the “Windows” dining room, beautifully furbished and with glorious views out to the lagoon. We were greeted on the first morning by a nice lady staff member who said “And how are you this beautiful morning?” so convincingly you’d have thought she really meant it. But these were the exact five words she said to everyone else, and to us again morning after morning. The cynic in me concluded that she was only issuing this greeting because she had been told to. Is it an American thing? But what a pity that this magnificent dining room was closed off after breakfast and not used until the next morning! Why could it not have been available for dinner? Instead we had the choice of a snack meal in the Jasmine Bar, or going downstairs to the Wickets, a burger and ribs joint downstairs and, sorry, we did not come to Bermuda to celebrate 40 years of marriage to eat burgers and ribs. So the only realistic choice was to avail of one of the three – admittedly good – restaurants away from the main hotel building. Two were a good half mile away down a steep slope, accessible by what they call a “trolley” which ran frequently if rather hair-raisingly around the hairpin bends. This would have been OK, but in the rain it was really not acceptable, particularly for my wife who had brought some lovely outfits for the evenings and had so looked forward to wearing them.
We thought an outing to the capital, Hamilton, would be a distraction. The Fairmont Southampton runs a ferry service four times a day to its sister hotel in the city, and back. This was fun, but the city a real disappointment. Its scattering of historic buildings and the cathedral notwithstanding, Hamilton is a dump. No shops worth speaking of and, worst of all, a potentially lovely frontage ideally suited to shady palms and harbour side bars, restaurants and cafes was entirely given over to parking for row upon row of stinking motor scooters. Shame upon you, Hamilton. The little market town where we live in the county of Wiltshire, measured against you, would win hands down.
A further word about our room: drear, and with decor about as unimaginative as you could get. But at least the air conditioning was efficient and the bed comfortable. For the most part it was quiet, but with two exceptions so awful that these in themselves will preclude us from ever returning: on two occasions on our third night we were woken by noisy activity in the room above us the nature of which was only too apparent. I cannot be too specific here as I know Tripadvisor will veto it if I am. I accept that this is a hotel favoured by honeymooners, and some may have found it amusing. But for a couple in their sixties who are grandparents five times over it most certainly was not. The second occasion was even more blatant – a fight broke out between two male guests on the pool area close to midnight on our last night. It was violent, vicious and punctuated by as foul language as you could imagine. I hope none of the smashed glass found its way into the children’s pool. My wife was frightened by it. We paid a huge amount of money for this “holiday” as we Brits call vacations, but not for the “privilege” of having to endure these degrading exhibitions.
The Fairmont Southampton is clearly one of the most popular holiday destinations in this area. Long may its success continue, for doubtless it has great appeal. But not for us. We will not be coming back.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Meriope
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Southampton

Property: Fairmont Southampton
Address: 101 South Shore Road, SN 02, Bermuda
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bermuda > Southampton Parish
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Southampton Parish
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Fairmont Southampton 4.5*
Number of rooms: 593
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

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