Fairmont Southampton Reviews
Glorious but fading. May 13, 2015
There are 2 hotels in the Fairmont chain in Bermuda. The Hamilton Princess and the Southampton. On a previous visit to Bermuda I stayed at the Hamilton Princess, a short stroll from Hamilton town but on the occasion of my second visit I stayed at the Southampton which is much further away from town and the airport on the South west coast. One feature of these sister hotels is that they are connected by a thrice daily complimentary ferry across the bay, it is a beautiful trip and a fantastic way to start the day taking the 9.00am crossing into Hamilton, I did this three times on this trip and twice on my previous trip, you can use the facilities of either hotel if you are a guest.
The Hamilton Princess is undergoing a major upgrade. Phase one is complete. Unfortunately the Southampton is not and is showing its age a little. Nevertheless the rooms are delightful and spacious with comfortable beds and you will be unlucky not to get a sea view. From its elevated position you can get rooms facing North looking towards Hamilton and the Dockyard area where the larger cruise ships berth. Or Southwards out over the Atlantic Ocean. There is an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, spa facilities, tennis courts and a golf course all within the complex. Due to the elevated position of the hotel there are free shuttle buses to either the area where the ferry departs and the bus stop serving the island or to the private hotel beach.
The private beach area is wonderful, a couple of restaurants surrounding a beautiful small white sandy beach where you can swim in the crystal clear water. If this is not good enough just walk a few steps to the adjoining public beach. This beach, The Horseshoe bay beach is the most famous on the island renown for its pink sand and turquoise water.
A word of warning nothing is cheap here, the same can be said for the whole island of Bermuda. However you just have to try the buffet breakfast once, it's $30+ but it was sufficient for me to get through the entire day until dinner.
Both hotels are worth staying in. If you are a beach person I would plump for the Southampton. If you prefer being in town with access to many bars and restaurants I would choose the Hamilton Princess. The Southampton is a bit isolated and a taxi from Hamilton will set you back €20-25 if you can't get the $5 bus back in the early hours.
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Sep 11, 2007
A paradise destination. As with everything in the islands, food is expensive, but does not come without quality. This resort contains about 4 restaurants all within the premises. It also has golf, great views, scuba diving, nice beaches and all the amenities one can think of.
The rooms are spacious and comfortable, overlooking the ocean. They also have a dive shop with a boat that will take you to reefs and nearby wrecks. The dive shop and the people were ok.
The resort is a great relaxing place where you can spend all day at their private beach. There were wrecks nearby. We visited a wreck where you can still see the paddlewheel, almost intact, the boilers and the general shape of it. Of course sea life keeps growing on these wrecks. You can also tell the bow of the boat. Some of it is debris. Marine life around this area is not the best, but the reefs are about 30 feet deep.
There are busses that can take you to the beach area (about a three to five minute ride). There are other beaches that are public around the resort. You can also go to those through a gate near where the bus stops. Other busses will take you to the golf fields and there is even a ferry boat that will be able to take you to Georgetown (it is a very nice city).
About 500 yards away from shore you can see the waves are breaking into them. A white foam shows. Boat navigation can be a little complicated if one does not know the area too well.
Snorkeling is a bit dull. You can go mainly near he rocks close to shore and you will see a few different zebra fish, parrot fish and others. Their size ranges from small to about medium in length. Maybe about 1 foot or so. Aside from some fish you will not see much more. The coral for the most part seems lifeless. Possibly from people swimming or snorkeling around touching it.
The dive operator on this dive shop is Charlie. He is a nice guy and worth speaking with, but it seems as he showed us something quick and then back to shore. Everything seemed a bit in a hurry. Aside from that it is overall a nice place.
Right above the dive shop there is a nice restaurant. I ate dinner there. The food is spectacular. Striped bass was dinner with some cake for dessert. Food there is high end, delicious, well presented and the staff is very helpful.
Dec 27, 2007
The Fairmont Southampton is gorgeous. It sits up on the top of a hill with beautiful winding (albeit treacherous) roads leading up to it. Blue trolleys scour the grounds for resort guests in need of a lift if one wants to avoid climbing the hills up or down to the Beach and / or the Waterlot (bay where the complimentary ferry to the Fairmont Hamilton picks up).
Lush oriental rugs adorn the grandiose lobby where guests scurry about. (A good amount of parents with children were staying at this hotel which should be noted by 'dinks' considering the Fairmont Southampton). The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. Every afternoon at 4pm, high tea takes place with loads of scrumptious scones, cakes and cookies galore.
The pool is fantastic, just be sure to arrive early on a sunny day to reserve your lounge chairs. Treat yourself to a drink or two from the server buzzing around to take your order. The "Strawberry Shortcake" was incredibly refreshing.
The beach proved to be more peaceful with the sound of crashing waves instead of screaming children. Next to the Ocean Club, you will find an on-site PADI 5 star dive shop. The divemaster, Kevin is very accomodating.
Definitely make an effort to hike the beach trails starting at Horseshoe Bay (first beach East of Whaler Bay at the resort). Another fantastic stroll is the Garden Walk up to the Lighthouse. $2.50 will allow you to ascend the spiral staircase to the top for a spectacular panoramic view of the island. Great photo op.
Renting a moped was a smart move as it allowed us to escape the resort grounds to find meals at local pubs and enjoy downtown Hamilton at will. Driving on the left-hand side of the road was intimidating at first, but became natural after a few rides. Beware of crazy local drivers / taxis! : )
The Fairmont Southampton was the perfect mix of island fun and elegant British traditions.