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“Beautiful Property, Poor Service”

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Fairmont Southampton
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Boston
110
Reviewed September 6, 2005

I just spent this past Labor Day weekend at the Fairmont Southampton. To start with the positive: beautiful property, great golf course, nice private beach (inc. convenient trolley service), and indoor pool (with incredible views). In fact, compared to some of the other properties we saw around the island, the Southampton was definitely a “premier property”…at least on the outside. Unfortunately, for the amount of money we spent, there also were a lot of negatives: very poor service (when we asked for extra towels, they hesitated and only brought them two hours later; front desk was rude and not personnable at all), everything costs money (from use of the gym to use of the tennis courts), the property is at least a 20-25 minute taxi or bus ride into Hamilton, and once again, poor service. Even though the hotel did not have an island feel, had there been better service, we would have been a lot happier. All in all, from people I spoke with who have stayed at the Fairmont and at the Elbow Beach Hotel, they recommended the Elbow Beach. All I know is that the next time I go to Bermuda, I will not be checking into the Fairmont.

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,824 - 3,830 of 3,953 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Boston
112
Reviewed September 5, 2005

So we just came back from Bermuda over the labor day weekend we had a total of 10 ppl for the trip. I have to say that I didnt have many expectations for the trip...or the hotel...and i was right. If you're looking for an island feel...this is not the place... if you're looking for good service...this is not the place....The island was beautiful, but the hotel was not very accomadating (we had requested 3 rooms with king bed, go two of them with 2 doubles, and ONE with king bed)...and bring your wallet if you want to partake in anything (gym, indoor pool)....nothing was included in the price...which was a pretty penny...
The service was VERY mediocre considering it is the Fairmont...We had a regular room...maybe that was the problem...we were just some joe schmo paying $300/per night (times 4 rooms).
The beachside "restaurant" closes at like 4pm...and there is nothing available at the hotel until 7pm. The concierge was ok...the front desk was Horrible...we would've been treated better at any other hotel...I wish we had read more reviews prior to booking the trip...
So enough of the negative, the best part was probably the Beach...it was nice water...(but dont expect to eat past 4pm at the beachside cafe)....it was maintained, but we had to lounge around the "rakers" (of the sand). when we asked for towels past 4pm...we were treated like we were being a drag...
After this experience, the fairmont has lost my business...it's just sad that we already paid A LOT of money to them this weekend.
THe absolute best part for ME was the spa (we had a total of 8 spa treatments --for 8 ppl). only half of us liked the massage (ask for Mary she was AWESOME!)
In the spa while getting ready we had to work around the lady that restocked the lockers....WE HAD TO WORK AROUND HER, not even an excuse me...NOTHING!
Well i'm sure you've heard enough....I suggest staying elsewhere...

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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12  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Toronto, Ontario
111
Reviewed September 1, 2005

My wife and I stayed at the Fairmont Southampton From August 20 to August 27, 2005. We had a fantastic time overall, but there are many things at the hotel that could be improved.

The service - It ranges from excellent to hostile. We found the concierge desk and some of the restaurant wait staff warm, pleasant and helpful. However, the front desk staff is arrogant and mean. Moreover, they don't have enough telephone operators at the hotel; be prepared to wait 5 minutes or more on the line for virtually everything.

The Rooms - They are generally large and clean, but ask for an oceanview room. The rooms in the back have a rather depressing view of a large ugly roof. They will charge you more for the privilege however (see below).

Costs - There are no freebies at this hotel; it is definitely not working along the Club Med model. If anything, it is an all-exclusive. I'm surprised that the toilets in the rooms are not coin-operated. This a place where they charge $4.50 for a diet Pepsi and $100 for the use of the indoor pool during your stay. Don't believe the prices listed in Fodor's or Frommers - all prices are at least 40% higher than those listed in such guidebooks.

Food - There are many restaurants at the hotel (all overpriced), but you absolutely need reservations. There are arbitrary closures, so you never know if the restaurant of your choice will be available any given night. Reserve early or you'll end up eating dinner in your room or in the lobby.

Tipping - The hotel includes a 15% gratuity for everything. This practice effectively removes all incentives for good service. The wait staff know they will get tipped anyway, so why should they care?

The Ferry - The so-called shuttle ferry to Hamilton only runs twice a day (despite posted schedules to the contrary), and at very inconvenient times. The ferry is designed to bring people from Hamilton to the beach - not the other way around.

Despite all of that, the hotel's private beach is wonderful and safe. It is within easy walking distance to some of the island's most beautiful beaches (like Horseshoe Bay). The rooms are very comfortable. Bermuda overall is an amazing place.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2005

We stayed at the Southampton Aug 19-22. It is improved since it was owned by Princess, rooms having been redone and the added Spa has taken it up a level. Our last stay was in 1999.

But there are still small things that seem to keep it from being the top level resort it could be. On our first day, we headed to the beach in the afternoon to find that there were no towels available at all. Some were eventually delivered but how simple is it to keep enough towels for the guests.

The next day, we were looking for a quick breakfast bite, like coffee and a muffin. When we asked the front desk, they told us to go to Wickets on the lower level. We did but the restaurant wasn't open. So we walked back up the stairs and asked again and were told we would have to go to the main dining room. There was a line to get in and the continental breakfast was $18 before gratuity. We didn't want to take the time it would have taken. The hotel needs a spot like they have at the sister property in Hamilton, a coffee, bagel, muffin and ice cream place that allows people to get a small snack to go rather than a full meal. In fairness, there was coffee in the room and free coffee in the entrance to the main dining room but the lack of available spots for a quick snack made every meal have to be a time consuming activity.

We did have good dinners at Whaler's Inn and especially, the Newport Room, the five star restaurant. It wasn't a problem getting reservations when we arrived, though we had made the Newport Room reservation before leaving home. We were directed by the concierge to the Hog Penny Tavern in town when I asked about a place to hear music on Sat night. But though the food was good, there was no music at all and we were there until 10:30pm.

The spa looks very nice but I think it is overpricing to have to pay $29 to use it if you are having a service that is under $100. I wanted to have a pedicure and then use the spa but since the pedicure was under $100, I couldn't use the pool or any other part of the spa unless I paid an additional $29. Silly, so I decided not to get the pedicure either.

Lastly, we booked two rooms. One was the Fairmont Room and one was the Golf/Harbour View. The Fairmont room was only 4 doors away and had the same size and view as the Golf/Harbour View. It was $100 cheaper so I would never bother with the Golf/Harbour View again. It wasn't worth the extra money at all.

So in summary, with a few changes, this could be an outstanding property. As it is, it is expensive given the missteps I saw.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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9  Thank xcone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Allentown, PA
17
Reviewed August 15, 2005

The Fairmont Southampton is an excellent choice if you are travelling to Bermuda. The hotel grounds are well manicured and there is a lovely golf course surrounding the hotel. The hotel has a fantastic private beach and the snorkelling there was much better than on a boat excursion that we took to a shipwreck at the price of $65 per person. The hotel beach is next to a pink public beach which is a must see. There is a complimentary ferry to Hamilton that runs several times per day. Guests have access to the sister hotel, the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, which has a beautiful outdoor pool/bar right by the ferry dock.

The meal plan is a great value, and I would highly recommend it. The food at the restaurants is very good and offers a wide variety of choices; room service is included in the meal plan if you prefer dining in. A fantastic breakfast buffet is offered as well. Gratuity of 15% is included in the meal plan, but that doesn't result in diminished service. Staff was attentive, friendly, and helpful throughout our stay.

Our hotel room was very clean and roomy with updated decor. You do pay a fee (about $18 per day) for daily housekeeping, but you get what you pay for. Every room has a balcony, which is an added bonus. The views from either side of the hotel are spectacular. I would request 4th floor or above for a more unobstructed view.

To our regret, and primarily due to making the most of enjoying every bit of the beautiful weather, we did not have a chance to use the spa. I cannot comment on the service first hand, but expect to pay top dollar, however, based on the menu prices.

The concierge desk was extremely helpful and well staffed. For a nine day trip, there was no shortage of activities afforded to guests. We would definitely stay at the Fairmont on a return trip.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Arlington, Virginia
110
Reviewed August 12, 2005

After an enjoyable 5-day vacation at the Fairmont Southhampton in 2002 my family returned Aug 6 to 12, 2005. We found the facilities greatly improved with the addition of a new indoor spa pool and glorious hot tub overlooking the ocean. Despite the fact that the hotel was full (overbooked, in fact), and buzzing with the usual business junkets, the staff was as friendly and helpful as ever. The hotel beach is as beautiful as any on the island and joggers/walkers will appreciate the proximity to the Bermuda Rail Trail. Our only complaint was the lead time necessary to get reservations at most of the hotel's very good restaurants. Although this 500 plus room hotel obviously caters to business groups, families will find it a great place for a vacation as relaxing or as active as they desire. Yes it is expensive, but so is everything on the welcoming, beautiful and well-maintained island paradise of Bermuda.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2005

Second trip to Bermuda. First one eight years ago at the Coco Reef (then Stonington) which was absolutely wonderful for a couple. This time was going with the kids and 8 other families. Needed something bigger with alot to do. Southhampton lived up to the task. We stayed on the gold floor which made everyday a pleasure. Staff was very helpful planning our day. Included breakfast, tea time and happy hour gave us rendezvous times and place. Always found spots on the beautiful beach with lounge chairs and umbrellas (although they did run out of towels once during the week). Only thing if you want a good pool don't choose this place. Pool is way too small and there are never any chairs available. It gets quite dreary in the afternoon. Restaurants on beach and poolside have good food and drink and the service at the pool and beach can't be beat. All in all a wonderful vacation.

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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9  Thank stasiakay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $247 - $745 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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