In-room Wi-Fi is only free for Fairmont President’s Club members
Guests must take a 10-minute shuttle to the hotel’s private beach club
Not all rooms are renovated
Nightly resort fee
Built in the 1970s, the iconic “Big Pink Lady on the Hill” is easily the most recognizable hotel in Bermuda — and following a 21st-century renovation, the Fairmont Southampton is still one of the island’s nicest properties. Though massive, the 593-room resort has Bermudian charm to spare and its laundry list of amenities attracts all kinds of travelers. Families come for the beautiful pool and private beach club, couples enjoy the Willow Stream Spa and multitude of romantic dining options, and outdoor enthusiasts are attracted to the 18-hole par 3 golf course and six beachfront tennis courts. Most rooms have been renovated, and feature modern decor and tons of nice features. However, some rooms are still stuck in the '70s. The Fairmont is not a beachfront property, so travelers looking to be directly on the sand should compare rates at Elbow Beach, Bermuda a similar, though smaller, property with fewer amenities.
An upscale Bermudian hotel that attracts a broad clientele
Since 1972, the Fairmont Southampton has been the most iconic resort on the island. Perched on 100 hilltop acres, the pink facade of the Fairmont Southampton makes a grand impression — even from miles away. Driving up the property’s winding driveway, the golf club’s manicured greens and bunkers come into view, along with the ocean in the distance. Beneath a grand portico, Bermuda-shorts-clad bellmen greet arriving guests and escort them through glass-paneled doors to the hotel’s impressive lobby. Covered in mahogany as far as the eye can see, the lobby more closely resembles the grand entry hall of a British estate than an island resort. The room’s marble floors and crystal chandeliers imbue the space with elegance but framed pictures of seashells and wingback chairs with coral-patterned fabric remind guests of the hotel’s seaside locale. 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. Thanks to the $64 million renovation that took place in 2004 and an $11.5 million room renovation in 2014, you’d never know the hotel's true age.
The hotel attracts a broad clientele — families with children, business travelers, honeymooners, flight attendants, and everyone in between. As cliche as it sounds, the Fairmont really does have something for everyone. Despite the hotel's 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, in-room internet service is not free, and a service charge on virtually everything might be a hard pill to swallow.
In Southampton Parish, close to Horseshoe Bay Beach and Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
If its name didn’t clue you in, we’ll officially tell you that the Fairmont Southampton is located in Southampton Parish, on Bermuda’s south shore. Southampton Parish is a popular tourist destination known for its exceptional beaches. It’s home to a few resorts, tons of restaurants, and popular attractions like Gibbs Hill Lighthouse and Horseshoe Bay Beach. The Fairmont is about a 35-minute drive from the airport, and about a 25-minute drive from the city of Hamilton.
For a hotel that’s neither in the middle of city nor on the beach, the Fairmont Southampton does a stellar job of delivering 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 shuttle ride 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. (Guests can walk to the beach in 15 minutes, but they’ll face a steep incline on the return trip.) The shuttle is free and runs frequently throughout the day. 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 foreigners aren’t allowed to rent cars in Bermuda, taxis, though expensive, are the most reliable form of transportation. The public bus doesn’t always run as scheduled, and renting a moped can be dangerous for travelers who aren’t accustomed to left-side driving laws or Bermuda’s insanely winding roads.
Nearly 600 rooms -- most with modern decor and nice amenities
The majority of the Fairmont’s 593 guest rooms have been refurbished with modern decor and amenities — though a few still feature dated decor, including the penthouse. The newly refurbished rooms have a chocolate brown and ocean blue color scheme but maintain traditional elements, like crown molding, diamond-patterned carpeting, and inlaid wood furniture. Bright pops of color come from lime green lamps and tropical throw pillows. Modern amenities include minibars (accessed for a fee), flat-screen TVs, Keurig coffeemakers, and several USB charging portals. Bathrooms are furnished with marble tile, polished silver fixtures, and luxe Le Labo toiletries. All bathrooms have double sinks, but the shower/tub combos (instead of separate tubs and showers) are disappointing, especially in higher-category rooms. Most rooms have ocean views, but some overlook the golf course — all have private balconies.
The Fairmont has all kinds of different room types, from standard two-bed guest rooms to 3,000-square-foot penthouses. Fairmont Rooms, the hotel’s entry-level category, start at 450 square feet, while Signature Suites, the next level up, are about 600 square feet. There are also one- and two-bedroom suites, for families or larger groups traveling together.
Tons of features that appeal to all types of travelers
With a laundry list of amenities and on-site dining options, the Fairmont gives guests few reasons to leave hotel grounds. For travelers looking to relax, the Fairmont’s pool and private beach club are definite draws. The freeform pool is set on a hilltop patio that overlooks the ocean. Surrounded by lounge chairs and white umbrellas, the pool is the perfect place to lounge in the sunshine. Guests who need some Bermudian pink sand between their toes can head to the hotel’s private beach club, a 10-minute shuttle ride from the hotel lobby. The pristine half-moon shaped beach is reserved for Fairmont guests only. Bright blue lounge chairs and striped umbrellas are lined up in neat rows along the sand, and in the summer months, guests can rent kayaks and paddleboards to take into the water. Beachgoers who’d prefer something a bit more active can stop by the Fairmont’s incredible beachfront tennis courts. The hotel has six Plexipave courts, three of which are equipped with lights for nighttime play. Adjacent to the courts is a fully stocked pro shop, where guests can purchase Fairmont logo tennis gear and make reservations for lessons or matchups.
A large, luxurious spa with lots of treatment options
The Fairmont’s 31,000-square-foot Willow Stream Spa is one of the largest in Bermuda, with 15 treatment rooms and a 10-page list of treatment options. Also on offer are saunas and steam rooms, a hair and nail salon, a sundeck with two hot tubs, and a beautiful indoor pool reminiscent of a Roman bathhouse with soothing water features and vaulted ceilings. You could — and should — spend at least an entire day there. The Fairmont’s fitness center is also located within the spa. It’s free for guests to use (even if they do not have spa treatments booked), and is equipped with tons of modern Cybex equipment.
Turtle Hill Golf Club is the Fairmont’s on-site golf club, with its own 18-hole par 3 course. The challenging 2,600-yard golf course is often considered one of Bermuda’s best, despite its being a par 3 course. Turtle Hill Golf Club hosts multiple tournaments throughout the year, including the Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship and the Bacardi National Par 3 Championship. Turtle Hill has its own pro shop where guests can purchase apparel, rent or store golf clubs, or arrange lessons with one of the club’s pros. Golf lovers could also consider a stay at Rosewood Tucker’s Point, home to the excellent Tucker’s Point Golf Course.
Plenty of kids' activities to keep the little ones occupied
For families, The Fairmont is a surefire bet. There’s a small kiddy pool adjacent to the main pool, which has its own waterslide and shallow splash zone. Though it isn’t free, the on-site kids' club is one of the best in Bermuda, and timid tots can try it out for free for one hour before signing up. Daily activities include arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, beach games, and nightly themed parties. For older kids, there’s also a game room with arcade style games.
Over 100,000 square feet of meeting and event space
With over 100,000 square feet of meeting and event space, The Fairmont is an ideal pick for weddings, business functions, and other large scale events. The resort can easily host up to 1,000 people, in both indoor and outdoor venues.
You could easily visit Bermuda for a week and not eat anywhere else but the Fairmont. The hotel’s 10 dining establishments range from a grab-and-go coffee shop, to a gourmet gastropub, to the hotel’s signature AAA Four Diamond steakhouse. Additionally, guests can arrange private beachfront dinners during the warmer summer months.
The hotel's steakhouse, Waterlot Inn, is housed in a building with an interesting history. The Waterlot Inn was originally built in 1670 as a private home for the Darrell family, direct descendants of Bermuda’s first post master, James Perot. Originally, the inn’s cellar was used by seafaring merchants to store their cargo, but by 1920, the entire home was converted into a full-service restaurant. Today, the AAA Four Diamond steakhouse still feels like a private home, with small rooms, wood-burning fireplaces, and cozy seating throughout. The original cellar is now used as a wine cellar — there’s even a small room that can be reserved for private events. Dining at the Waterlot is a true Bermudian experience; guests and non-guests alike are encouraged to make reservations well in advance. The menu features upscale steakhouse mainstays like rib eye, filet mignon, French onion soup, and table-side prepared caesar salads.
The Fairmont’s other dinner options include Bacci, an Italian restaurant on the golf course, the Ocean Club, an oceanfront seafood establishment, and Newport Gastropub, a fine-dining pub with international favorites like fish and chips, poutine, and barbecue ribs. Jasmine Lounge, the lobby’s upscale bar serves afternoon tea, light bites, and cocktails throughout the day. It also has live entertainment a few nights per week. The Dock is the hotel’s seasonal tapas bar. It has a menu of speciality cocktails and shared plates like flatbreads, ceviche, and tacos. A massive daily breakfast buffet is served at Windows on the Sound, the hotel’s upscale (read pricey) breakfast restaurant. Guests looking for more casual fare can check out Wickets — a coffee bar in the morning and a burger bar in the afternoon and the (seasonal) Cabana Bar & Grill on the beach.
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