Fairmont Southampton Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Southampton Parish, Bermuda

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Beautiful private beach, plus two nice pools (including kiddy pool)
  • Amazing Willow Stream spa with plenty of extra amenities
  • An 18-hole championship golf course with pro shop
  • 8 restaurants offer a wide range of dining options
  • All rooms have private balconies
  • An excellent kids' club
  • Free ferry service to downtown Hamilton
  • Tons of shops in the retail wing

Cons

  • The private beach is a 10-minute walk, but shuttles are available
  • Some of the balcony views are obstructed, and many of them do not face the ocean
  • Restaurants on-site are expensive
  • Fee for Wi-Fi

Bottom Line

Built in the early 1970s, the iconic "Big Pink Lady on the Hill" is easily the most recognizable hotel in Bermuda -- and, following a 21st-century renovation, it’s still one of the nicest. No other hotel comes close to touching this 593-room property’s laundry list of amenities, which includes eight restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, a nightclub, a spectacular spa, two pools, a private beach, tons of meeting spaces, a kids’ club, an amphitheater, and a retail wing -- all for an amazing rate (all things considered). On the downside, rooms could use some updates, and the 100-acre resort's sprawling layout means long walks just to get to the beach.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

The biggest and showiest resort in Bermuda

Exterior and Hotel Grounds
Exterior and Hotel Grounds

Set along 100 hilltop and beachside acres, this 593-room hotel -- affectionately known as “the Big Pink Lady on the Hill” -- is by far the biggest (and in many ways, the grandest) resort in Bermuda. And with so many activities and amenities on-site, the Fairmont Southampton gives guests few reasons to leave the hotel grounds.

For a hotel that’s neither in the middle of the city nor on the beach, the Fairmont Southampton does a stellar job of delivering access to both. The former is accessible via a free ferry that taxis guests between the hotel and its sister property, the Fairmont Princess Hamilton, located in the middle of downtown Hamilton and within walking distance of plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars. The latter is even closer via a short trolley ride (or a 15-minute walk) to the Fairmont’s beach, which includes lighted tennis courts and a pro shop, an upscale restaurant, a beachfront bar and cafe, a water sports center, and more lounge chairs than might be necessary. The strip of beach isn’t the most stunning you’ll find, and it’s almost as crowded as the public beaches, but it’s a pretty-enough cove for guests only.

Since 1972, the Fairmont Southampton has been the go-to resort on the island. Following a $64 million renovation that took place in 2004, though, you’d never know its age. Gleaming marble tile, colorful patterned carpeting, polished wood floors, grand staircases, and fresh-cut flowers maintain an elegant yet of-the-moment look in the restaurants and other communal areas. The rooms, though, could use a little of that modern TLC -- although comfortable, decor feels a bit tired, and the tube TVs are archaic for a resort of this caliber.

Despite its large size, service is friendly. Everyone here seems to enjoy his or her job, from the doorman grabbing your cab to the bartender mixing your cocktail. Of course, personable service does not necessarily mean personalized service -- when you call the front desk you’ll usually wait about a dozen rings, and there’s not much chance anyone will remember you by name. Also a drawback is the amount of money you are almost guaranteed to spend while at the resort -- the restaurants are expensive, Internet service is a whopping $14 a day, and a 17 percent service charge on virtually everything might be a hard pill to swallow.

 Location

A sprawling complex along the southern shore in Southampton Parish, you’ll walk far enough just to get from one side to the other

You may not care that you can't walk anywhere from the Fairmont Southampton because everything you could possibly want to get to (the beach, restaurants, a spa, even a ferry into Hamilton) is located on the property. That's not to say everything is at an arm's reach -- many of the resort's attractions require at least a five-minute walk, and trolleys run to some of the farther distances like the ferry dock and beach. In fact, it takes about 15 minutes just to get off of the resort's property by foot. As a result, most guests may not even realize that there is a wealth of activities just a short taxi ride away, including additional golf courses, nicer beaches, and tons of cultural attractions.

In an effort to permit as few vehicles as possible on the island, car rentals are strictly forbidden. Even locals are allowed only a single car per household -- something you'll appreciate when you see the lush, winding roads that unobtrusively snake through the island. Taxis are reliable and metered according to state law, so there is no need to negotiate fares; however, rates are exceptionally high.

Those looking to save on cab fares might consider renting a moped, the islanders’ preferred mode of transportation. While safety may be an issue for some, a local speed limit of just 35 km (about 21 mph) will likely assuage most fears. Consider the less expensive ferries and local pink-and-blue buses to cover longer distances between “the hook” (Bermuda’s westernmost island), the main city of Hamilton, and the beaches along the southern side of Warwick and Southampton.

  • 35-minute drive to the Bermuda International Airport
  • 15-minute walk (or 5-minute trolley) to the resort’s beach
  • 15-minute walk (or 5-minute trolley) to the resort’s ferry to Hamilton
  • 5-minute drive to Gibbs’ Hill Lighthouse
  • 7-minute drive to Horseshoe Bay
  • 7-minute drive to Belmont Hills Golf Club
  • 7-minute drive to Riddell’s Bay Golf Club
  • 10-minute drive to Port Royal Golf Course
  • 12-minute drive to Elbow Beach
  • 13-minute drive to the Botanical Gardens
  • 16-minute drive to downtown Hamilton
  • 20-minute drive to the Royal Naval Dockyards, featuring the National Museum of Bermuda and Dolphin Quest
  • 20-minute drive to Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo

 Rooms

Spacious with updated bathrooms, but some details are dated

The One Bedroom Suite Living Room
The One Bedroom Suite Living Room

While the units are roomy, Elbow Beach and Rosewood Tucker’s Point both have larger standard rooms, starting at 500 square feet and 520 square feet, respectively. Still, rooms are comfortable and have modern technologies.

  • Walk-in closets
  • Balconies in all units, though views vary
  • Nicely stocked mini bars
  • Miller Harris toiletries
  • Energy-saving air conditioners automatically shut off while balcony doors are open
  • Large flat-screen TVs with multimedia connections
  • Keurig coffeemakers and teakettles with free coffee and tea
  • Monogrammed robes and slippers
  • Internet for a daily fee, but members of the Fairmont President's Club (free to join) get free Wi-Fi
  • Guests who stay in the Fairmont Gold wing get free coffee, tea, evening canapes, and continental breakfast in the lounge, plus better views from rooms

 Features

The best assortment of amenities on the island, and exceptional rates to boot

The Fairmont Gold Lounge
The Fairmont Gold Lounge

The 31,000-square-foot Willow Stream Spa is a definite highlight, complete with 15 treatment rooms, a large fitness center, a hair and nail salon, saunas and steam rooms, a sundeck with Jacuzzis, and a beautiful indoor pool reminiscent of a Roman bathhouse with crashing waterfalls and vaulted ceilings. You easily could -- and should -- spend at least an entire day there. The reception area helps set the mood with the scent of lemongrass and guava, and you'll find a gift bag brimming with samples from the spa’s product boutique -- from an algae gel masque to aromatherapy hair products -- when you get to your locker.

Golf fanatics are best advised to stay either here or at the Rosewood Tucker’s Point. On-site at the Fairmont Southampton, guests will find a highly acclaimed 18-hole, par-three golf course. Additional highlights include a full-service pro shop with equipment rental and storage, membership benefits at the nearby Riddell Bay Golf and Country Club, and even golf-inspired spa treatments at the Willow Stream Spa.

  • A private beach (accessed via trolley or a 15-minute walk) with tennis courts and pro shop, a romantic restaurant, a dive and watersports center, and a beachfront bar and grill
  • A large pool, kiddy pool with a slide, a Jacuzzi, and poolside restaurant
  • A 31,000-square-foot spa with 15 treatment rooms, relaxation lounge, saunas and steam rooms, salon, a sundeck with two Jacuzzis, and an indoor pool
  • An 18-hole championship golf course with restaurant and pro shop with equipment and shoe rental
  • A large fitness center, featuring tons of updated equipment, daily fitness classes (for a fee)
  • Six lighted tennis courts with pro shop and instructor
  • More than 50,000 square feet of flexible meeting spaces, boardrooms, and ballrooms with ornate crystal chandeliers and lavish patterned carpeting
  • A 7,400-square-foot amphitheater
  • A multi-level retail wing with jewelry, apparel, souvenirs, purses, and other goods
  • A free ferry carries passengers to downtown Hamilton
  • A small business center, however, the printer is reserved only for guests flying on British Airways
  • Private offices with direct phone lines, computers, printers, and fax machines are available, for a fee
  • A kids' club with arcade, play room, kitchen, computer stations, and daily activities
  • On-site moped rentals
  • View Full List of Amenities

 Food

Several dining options offer a variety of cuisine, including one of the island’s best upscale restaurants

The Ocean Club
The Ocean Club

Of the Fairmont Southampton’s eight dining choices, the harbor-front Waterlot Inn should be a requirement. Dating back to 1670, the upscale steakhouse has been described by guests as “life-changing.” Hyperbole or not, the cuisine is in fact divine. The Cowboy and Cowgirl steaks are so succulent, they’ve lured vegetarians to the dark side, and extra toppers like truffles and shrimp make any meal even more decadent.

  • The beachside Ocean Club features fresh seafood in a cliff-top setting.
  • Bacci serves casual Italian on the golf course
  • Wickets is a poolside eatery with a family-friendly menu
  • The stunning Windows on the Sound is the resort’s largest restaurant serving breakfast and brunch.
  • Cocktails are popular at the Jasmine Lounge
  • The Newport Gastropub serves upscale pub fare

 Bottom Line

Built in the early 1970s, the iconic "Big Pink Lady on the Hill" is easily the most recognizable hotel in Bermuda -- and, following a 21st-century renovation, it’s still one of the nicest. No other hotel comes close to touching this 593-room property’s laundry list of amenities, which includes eight restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, a nightclub, a spectacular spa, two pools, a private beach, tons of meeting spaces, a kids’ club, an amphitheater, and a retail wing -- all for an amazing rate (all things considered). On the downside, rooms could use some updates, and the 100-acre resort's sprawling layout means long walks just to get to the beach.

Things You Should Know About Fairmont Southampton

Address

  • 101 South Shore Road

Room Types

  • Deluxe Harbor/Golf Room
  • Deluxe Ocean Room
  • Duplex Suite
  • Fairmont Gold Harbor/Golf Room
  • Fairmont Gold Junior Suite
  • Fairmont Gold Ocean Room
  • Fairmont Gold One Bedroom Suite
  • Fairmont Gold Two Bedroom Suite
  • Fairmont Room
  • Junior Suite
  • Moderate Room
  • One Bedroom Suite
  • Penthouse Suite
  • Two Bedroom Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 593
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Southampton Parish, Bermuda
Address: 101 South Shore Road
(See Map)
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