Bermuda is my new favorite island nation. I've visited dozens of Caribbean islands, but Bermuda, located 700 miles east of North Carolina, has it all without the hassles and concerns for safety.
The Fairmont Southampton Hotel is its jewel property although it's older sister, the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, is very charming.
The Fairmont Southampton is not only outstanding for tourists looking for a great escape to someplace that offers beautiful private (and public) beaches, unique shopping, challenging golf courses and first-class dining.
The Fairmont Southampton is also an outstanding destination for meetings and conferences with its plentiful meeting space, golf course and first-class service. I highly recommend it.
A few helpful hints if you visit Bermuda...
1. You need a passport. But, it's so easy to clear Customs and Immigration... very friendly.
2. Plan to stay at least four nights. Spend two nights at the Fairmont Princess Hamilton, located on the main drag of Hamilton, the capital city. It's about a half mile from the center of town.... an easy walk to the shops, restaurants and bars.
2. The Fairmont Hamilton Princess (named after Queen Victoria's "wild child" daughter, who visited there with friends in the 1880s and thus gave Bermuda it's fun tourist reputation) has the most spectacular Gold Floor lounge I've ever seen at a Fairmont Hotel. It's worth every penny to upgrade to the Gold Floor just to use this ballroom-size lounge. Enjoy a full breakfast, high tea, cocktails, and desserts in the lounge. The new owners are putting millions into the Hamilton Princess, so it will have a fresh, new look after November 2014. By the way, if you're a Gold Floor guest at one of the two Fairmont Hotels in Bermuda, you can also use your Gold Floor privileges to access their sister property. This is really nice for day trippers who hop over to Southampton from Hamilton or vice versa.
2. Take the Fairmont's private ferry, located at the back of the hotel, across the sound to the Fairmont Southampton Hotel. It's free for guests. It's a very smooth ride (just in case you're worried about getting seasick -- no problems -- my wife did just fine). Because the ferry only makes the round-trip 3x a day, we opted to return to Hamilton by taxi. It's about $20. They love the American dollar and the exchange rate is 1:1, so don't worry about getting Bermuda currency.
3. When you arrive at the end of your 30-minute ferry ride from Hamilton to Southampton, you'll get off at the Waterlot Restaurant, which is one of the best restaurants on the island. Be sure to dine there for your special night out. It's expensive, but memorable, with the best staff and service I've ever experienced. The trolley bus to the Fairmont Southampton operates just down the street from the Waterlot restaurant. It runs every 15 minutes or so, and it's free. Don't try to walk unless you're a mountain climber! It's a one mile uphill hike to the hotel. Wait for the trolley. It's very reliable and free!
3. If you're just doing a day trip to the beach, you can take the same trolley down to the Fairmont's private beach, the Ocean Club. It has everything you need -- umbrellas, towels, a bar and restaurant (with very good food) and restrooms. Also, next door to the Fairmont's private beach is Horseshoe Beach, a separate, public beach that is absolutely beautiful. This is where you should take your photos. There's a small snorkeling ocean pool located at Horseshoe Beach, so bring your snorkeling gear. It's cool! The water temperature in late October was very pleasant.
4. Again, be sure to make dinner reservations at the Waterlot Restaurant. It's a short trolley ride from the Southampton hotel and well worth it! It will be one of the best steak or sea food dinners you've ever eaten! The building was constructed in 1670. Wow!
5. Be sure to treat yourself to the Fairmont Southampton Spa, Willow Stream. We had several treatments there and it was great. Also, make time to enjoy their indoor pool, jacuzzi, and locker facilities.
The Fairmont Southampton Hotel is 30 minutes by taxi from the airport. There are no rental cars on Bermuda, so taxis are the way to go. They are reasonably priced. You'll be pleasantly surprised because the taxi drivers own their vehicles (and pay a lot of money for their medallion) so they take great pride in their cars and they know everything about the island. They are great tour guides and very honest people. Given it's small population of 65,000 people, everyone knows everybody in Bermuda!
Also, you won't see any poverty in Bermuda. At least we didn't, and we covered the island from St. George's to Dockyard, where the cruise ships arrive. Bermuda does it right.
Finally, don't expect to see the typical American "Main Street" in Bermuda. It doesn't exist. There are no Starbucks, McDonald's or Wal-Marts in Bermuda. How nice! Every shop is one-of-a-kind and the prices are the same in the shops and the hotels, so you won't have to worry about paying a premium in the Fairmont Hotel stores. Also, the island goes quiet on Sundays, so plan to do your shopping any other day of the week.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- The Fairmont Southampton Hotel Southampton
- Fairmont Southampton Bermuda/Southampton Parish
- Southampton Princess Bermuda
- Southampton Fairmont