Resort Review: The Fairmont Southampton, Bermuda

The Fairmont Southampton, the largest hotel in Bermuda, appropriately sits on Bermuda’s highest point overlooking the beautiful island.  It is Bermuda’s premier luxury resort, with 593 very large guest rooms and suites, each with its own private balcony, most with amazing ocean views.

The Fairmont Southampton rests on 100 exceptionally well manicured acres of Bermuda property.  On it, in addition to the main building, there is also a 3-par Executive golf Course, several tennis courts, a private beach with scuba and snorkel gear available to rent and lounge chairs with covers available at no charge, an indoor and an outdoor pool, and 8 separate restaurants to suit any taste and budget possible.

Additionally, the resort’s Willow Stream Spa rivals any you will find anywhere. It offers amenities such as massages, facials, aromatherapy and reflexology, plus men’s and woman’s manicures and pedicures.  There are 15 treatment rooms in what is Bermuda’s largest spa.  There is also an indoor, heated pool with a sundeck, and a magnificent state-of-the-art, ocean view fitness center.

The resort also has a special section for kids, Explorer Zone, where there are plenty of activities for children ranging in age from 5-17 all day.

Need a place to hold a conference? The Southampton can accommodate your needs there too.  The resort holds the largest amphitheater in Bermuda, seating 750.  Their conference center is well used by both visiting corporations and locals alike, as it has become Bermudian’s go-to spot for weddings, proms, and high school reunions.

For those guests who choose not to leave the resort, and quite honestly, there is no reason to as they have done everything possible to be self-contained, the Fairmont has established an entire shopping center for them right on the premises.  There are at least half dozen stores with men and women’s fashion and sports apparel, jewelry, a nice variety of toiletries and other odds and ends, leather goods, and other items.

There is a shuttle services to take you on the 3-minute ride down the steep hill to the resort’s private beach.  The beach itself is 200 yards of pure, crystal white sand.  You want to get there early though, because it does get crowded quickly.   It is separated by small cliffs to Bermuda’s infamous Horseshoe Bay, but you have to walk to the end of the tennis courts and through a fence to reach it.

There are also shuttles right outside the main lobby of the hotel that will take you to the resort’s sister hotel in Hamilton, the Fairmont Princess.  You can also reach the Princess by ferry shuttle.  Word has it that the ferry captain is quite the character and will not only act as a fantastic tour guide as he glides through the bay, but will also keep you well entertained.  You are cautioned, however, to keep your eyes on the time because this shuttle only goes a couple of times a day in each direction.

The resort features several different restaurants.  Depending on your culinary mood:

The Waterlot Inn:  Established in 1670, this is Bermuda’s premiere steakhouse.  This AAA Diamond Winning restaurant sits on the dock of Jew’s Bay and features breathtaking sunsets and offers only the finest steaks and chops.  (Reservations required – Jackets suggested) See my review of the Waterlot Inn at TMRZoo.com:

Bacci: Features classic Italian fare using only the freshest seasonal ingredients. (Reservations required – Smart Casual)

Oceans Club: Fresh seafood served ocean side.  This bright, relaxing restaurant sits right on the resort’s private beach overlooking the ocean as the waves roll in.  (Reservations required – Smart Casual)

Windows on the Sound: Just off of the resort’s main lobby with floor to ceiling windows throughout, this restaurant offers a bright, airy room that overlooks the Great Sound where they serve brunch daily.  You can choose from an extensive array of menu choices or the expansive buffet of made to order omelets, waffles, pastries, fresh fruits, and so much more. (Reservations not required – Smart Casual)

Wickets: Sandwiches, salads, and burgers served poolside, indoors or outside café style.  (Reservations not required – Casual)

Jasmine Lounge: Martini bar that offers that plus any other cocktail desired.  They also offer a wide variety of sandwiches, salads, and light snacks.  It is also the resort’s location for High Tea at 4:00 PM, and that means scones, jams, and light sandwiches.

There are several types of accommodations, ranging from several guest rooms to the more exclusive Fairmont Gold, and one and two bedroom suites to split level duplex suites to penthouse suites. The guest room types include:

Moderate Room: located between the 1st and 2nd Floor of the resort, typically has an obstructed view of the Great Harbor Sound, the Golf Course, or the Hotel Roof.  (450 sf)

Fairmont Room: Located between the 1st and 5th Floor of the resort.  Typically has an obstructed view of the Great Harbor Sound or the Atlantic Ocean. (450 sf)

Deluxe Ocean Room: Located between the 1st and 5th Floor of the resort.  Typically has an awesome view of the Atlantic Ocean. (450 sf)

Deluxe Harbor/Golf Room: Located between the 1st and 5th Floor of the resort.  Typically has an beautiful, panoramic view of either the Great Sound Harbor or the Resort’s beautifully manicured golf course. (450 sf)

The following rooms are all located on the resort’s 6th Floor and are all part of the resort’s “Hotel within a Hotel” concept. Aconcierge floor with private check-in and lounge.All rooms have special amenities (see below).

Fairmont Gold Harbor Golf View:Rooms have large balconies with either a view of the Great Sound Harbor or the Resort’s golf course.  (450 sf)

Fairmont Gold Oceanview: Fairmont OceanViewrooms have spectacular ocean views.(450 sf)

Fairmont Gold Junior Suite:  One bedroom suite with a separate sitting area with a full ocean view.   (650 sf)

Fairmont Gold One Bedroom Suite: Consists of one bedroom and a separate living room.  Has two full bathrooms and two balconies with a full ocean view. (900 sf)

Fairmont Gold Two Bedroom Suite:  Consists of two bedrooms and a separate living room.  Each room has a full bathroom and a separate balcony with a full view of the Great Sound Harbor.  (1350 sf).

The Fairmont Gold plan includes deluxe continental Breakfast, Afternoon Tea (complete with housemade scones and pastries), cocktail hour with canapés and hors d’oevres, and coffee and deserts later in the evening. There is free WiFi service (a $15 daily fee throughout the rest of the resort), and two computers and printer services for guests’ use.  There is also a library, and a DVD movie library for guest’s use. Additionally, there is a 24 hour a day lounge with free soda and water and an honor bar for alcohol and very, very comfortable seating.

All of the guestrooms include:  Data port, umbrella, bathrobes, cot (on request), refrigerator, 2 telephones (1 cordless), hairdryer, air conditioning, ironing board, walk-in closet, LCD Flat Screen television, DVD player, multi-media connection, alarm clock radio/cd system, WiFi ($15 per day charge, except Fairmont Gold), private balcony, coffee/tea maker, mini-bar, safe, and iron.

Additionally, in the Fairmont Gold rooms, you will find: Environmentally sensitive, state-of-the-art, motion-sensor thermostats, an electronic control panel requesting housekeeping or privacy, and a doorbell with interior motion-sensors to insure privacy.

From a personal standpoint, we stayed in the Fairmont Gold Oceanview, and it was nothing short of magnificent.  Spacious and well appointed, there was more than enough room for my wife and I to walk freely around the room doing various things without even coming close to getting in each other’s way.

The room featured a king sized bed with a comfort-top mattress that felt like we were sleeping on a giant marshmallow, a very comfortable wing back chair, a writing desk, and a table for four with chairs.  There was a service bar, and a large mahogany and bamboo veneer center piece that did a great job of hiding the minibar, the Kuerig coffeemaker, and the snack center.  Oh, and the 42” flat screen TV sat on this.  There is a DVD player and multi-media center hidden away in this center as well.

The view was sensational, and the blue water that sat just beyond the large colorfully painted homes was breathtaking.

The bathroom had a double granite vanity and the housekeeping staff seemed to clean it, fold the towels and restock it with fresh tissues and toilet paper every time we left the room.  Speaking of the housekeeping staff, the evening turndown service was also great, and they seemed to be standing outside the door ready to clean the room in the morning every time we got ready to leave.

We ate in several of the restaurants during our stay.  Brunch at Windows on the Sound was excellent.  The scrambled eggs at the buffet were cooked perfectly, not an easy task at a brunch buffet.  Everything was hot and fresh.  The fruit was plentiful and exceptional.  The waiter was attentive, refilling our coffee and orange-mango juice every time they were less than half empty.

Poolside lunch at Wickets was a nice change of pace as we shared a huge, very crispy Chicken Caesars Salad that was very good, and reasonably priced.

Dinner at the Waterlot Inn was phenomenal, as the ambiance, the food, and the service was all nearly the best we have ever experienced.  Review of this restaurant to follow.

Ocean side dinner at Ocean Club was also a very nice experience.   While at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Waterlot, the food was still excellent from appetizer to desert.  And our tableside view of the resort’s private beach couldn’t be beat.  Review of this restaurant to follow as well.

The Fairmont Southampton has several different packages, depending on the time of year that you are interested in going.  See the resort’s website at: fairmont.com for pricing information.

If you are going to Bermuda for any amount of time, this is the place you want to be.

There is much to offer and much to do there.  Whether it’s relaxing or swimming and snorkeling at their private beach or playing tennis, or golfing on a superior course, or pampering yourself in their elegant Willow Stream Spa, or dining in any one of their many amazing restaurants. The choices at the Fairmont Southampton seem to be endless.