11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Full service resort, though not quite up to Fairmont standards
"We had a very nice long weekend here - nice pools, including one at the spa which is adults only, good range of restaurants, a very nice beach (across the street and a quick shuttle away), a great spa, a reasonable though not very challenging golf course onsite and balconies off each room. If you don't want to deal with mopeds or paying for taxis aroudn the island during a quick stay - this resort has more than enough options to keep you happily busy.
We went as a couple, but it was very family-friendly. Woudl consider going back with our kids.
The rooms are a bit on the basic side for a Fairmont - probably due to taking over a Princess property versus building it right from the start.
- Travel date: Tue 25th of January 2011
Things you should know about the Southampton
"Recently returned from a one week stay at the FSH (July 6-13, 2004).
CONDITION OF THE PROPERTY:
This property recently went through a major rehabilitation as a result of hurricane Fabian. The hotel interior and the rooms were all new and in excellent condition.
When making reservations, make sure you ask if there will be any large groups when you are planning to be there. If so, change your dates to some other time. FSH caters to large groups and the hotel âchokesâ when catering to them. Everything becomes crowded and disorderly. The elevators are jammed, restaurants are over booked/crowded and the beaches and pools are absolutely jammed. Doesnât make for a nice vacation. We were fortunate having a whole week until the very last day when a large group came in and I saw a whole different environment.
We checked in on a Tuesday and it was effortless. We were greeted by a lovely hostess and directed to the front desk. We incurred NO PROBLEMS at all. Note: If you are considering coming hereâ¦check in âMid-weekâ. There is a noticeable and significant difference on weekends. Weekend checkins are chaotic as the hotel just does not have the capacity to serve large groups quickly of new guests
We went to the âocean viewâ room 2nd floor, and found it to be in excellent condition however it was over the entrance roof so I called the front desk and asked I they could change our room to a better view. A few minutes later a young woman came to the door and showed us to a â1 bedroom suiteâ (at no extra charge.) We immediately said yes and moved in. Everything was beautiful.
VERY IMPORTANT â At ALL restaurants in Bermuda except the FSH, it is strongly advised to order âbottled waterâ as some other restaurants DO NOT FILTER / PURIFY THEIR WATER. Both my wife and I ate at one and were sick the next day.
#1 Ariel Sands (AQUA restaurant) This is the Michael Douglas resort. We arrived by cab at 8:00 PM.
The restaurant AQUA has 2 settings: (A) upper deck off the main building overlooking the beach, and (B) deck on the beach itself. The ambiance was great! As soon as darkness set in, everything was lit. There is also a great musician who sings and plays outside all during dinner. A totally great experienceâ¦this is the Bermuda we expected.
Food: The menu was a combination of both East and West Coast and the best of both. We had a young waiter that was â10 starâ! The food was simply excellent. All in allâ¦.the best experience on the island. Would definitely go back!
#2. Elbow Beach Resort â Sea Horse Grill. We arrived by cab at 8:30 PM.
This restaurant is the only âworkingâ restaurant in the resort as a result of Hurricane Fabian but it was also an excellent experience. Itâs a small restaurant and the service and the food was exemplary. Oddly enough the menu was the least expensive. Would definitely go back!
#3. The Reefs â âCoconutsâ restaurant.
The âReefsâ is just up the road from the FSH and is an excellent establishment. Dinner is outside on the deck as well as on the beach for an âupchargeâ. The ambience, service and food was excellent. Would definitely go back!
Southampton - Whalerâs Inn (down on the beach)
We made 8:30 PM reservations 2 weeks prior. We were never informed there was a choice of outside / inside dining. When we arrived, we discovered that to eat outside, it was âfirst come, first servedâ. We chose outside and had to wait at the bar. Worst Margherita â EVER! Reserve early in the evening as when we chose our dinners they "were out" of what we chose and were forced to choose what was available - Swordfish. When it came, it was overcooked and dry. The food here was just âfairâ to be kind. I wouldnât go back.
Southampton â Waterlot (at the ferry)
This is a â4 Star Frenchâ ripoff. We had reservations at 8:00PM. We arrived âon timeâ along with others and were immediately shuttled to the bar for 20 minutes so we could order a drink. This is the regular drill! Then we were shown to our table.
The Fairmont Dress code was supposed to be jacket required. When I arrived, I was standing next to a guy, just off the beach, in a tee shirt, shorts and sandals. I canât ever remember being in a â4 Starâ next to a T-Shirt. The Hostess said, this is what some of our guests are demanding (DEMANDING?)â¦.so we unfortunately we have to comply. Whoâs in Charge???
A â4 Star restaurantâ is all about expectationsâ¦âGreat Foodâ â¦..NOT HERE! We chose appetizers, âPrime Ribâ and a few sides and it was âjust averageâ and the waitress âLauraâ was simply condescending. Certainly not a 4 Star, and not a nice experience considering the Food, Service and the Price (Very Expensive.) We also met other guests staying at the FSH who were on the food plan and they felt exactly the same. Would not go back to this restaurant!
Take the FSH trolley to the beach no later than 9â9:30 AM in order to get a nice cabana on the beach. Around 10 AM things can start to get a bit crowded depending on how many guests are in. The casual restaurant at the beach is good with a fairly wide selection on the menu.
Drinks are available at the restaurant as well as on the beach served by the waiters who bring them to you. Very Good Drinks!
Played on the course and truly enjoyed it. A par 3 course that can be very trying. You must be accurate. An early tee time is where to be. It can get extremely hot and humid starting around 10:30 - 11:00 AM through the reminder of the day.
Jasmine (the first floor restaurant and lounge) offers "live music" and dancing at night, with a very nice piano trio with a singer. Good Drinks - ask for a waiter named Answorth - "Incredible service."
The FSH has a âfree ferry serviceâ from Southampton to itsâ sister hotel in Hamilton. Take the ride, itâs great. I think the islandâs economy runs on taxicabs and they can be expensive. You can also take the bus which, if youâre staying for a longer period of time, makes a lot of sense. And then of course there's always the mopeds if you're game.
Overall, the Fairmont Southampton was a very nice experience. If you avoid some of the negative items and take advantage of the good ones I've listed here you'll have an edge up.
Hope this helps someone out!"
- Travel date: Sat 24th of July 2004
Enchanting storybook vacation
"We stayed at the Southampton July 18th - 22nd. It was glorious. We stayed in a jr suite on the fifth floor and had a beautifully decorated living room and bedroom with both rooms having separate full baths with granite and marble. The bedding was lovely, soft, brand new and the view was over the town and the ocean. The room was very clean and one of the housekeepers Zita was so kind, outgoing and helpful that it really enhanced our stay.
We dinned at the Waterlot twice. Let me share with you that both evenings we were there at about 6:45 right before the 7:00 rush and had lovely window views. We had perfectly seared filets the first night and luscious lobster the second night. In fact the lobster was the best I have ever eaten. The Waterlot is about 300 years old, just charming and the wait staff could not be friendlier. The next night we dined at Newports which has the ambiance of a yacht and serves fine French cuisine. The dinner at Newports was very much like what I had in Paris last fall at the Royal Monceau. Our final night dinner was at Bacci's which is Italian and was good. I would not recommend that stuffed roast chicken only because the portion was a bit small. However the wait staff and the receptionist (I believe Louise) were so nice. We really wanted a table by the golf course and ocean and when a four top was not available Louise herself managed to get two tables together so we had a perfect spot in the restaurant. We also had several lunches at Wickets which is very casual, overlooking the pool and the meals were all tasty.
Most of the hotel has just been renovated so it looks new. There is an outdoor pool with new glass tile and plaster. The indoor pool which is open from 6:30 to midnight every night is a special place, with beautiful lighting and spa-like atmosphere. We took a hot tub there every night and it was quite private.
We had the hotel arrange for parasailing, jet skiing and wake boarding and all went well without a hitch. My husband and I took a golf lesson from Cornelius and he has definitely changed my game for the better! He is a great guy and so easy to get along with even when you are embarrassed about your bad swing.
In contrast, we had spent our first night of this vacation, on July 17th, at the Pompano Beach hotel. The deluxe room we reserved was curiously not available so they put us in a standard room. The beach is so small. There cannot be more than 150 feet of shoreline and a total of maybe 900 square feet for laying out. The beach had a fishy smell. The food was not bad just bland. The room was large but definitely old and dated. And I have concluded that the receptionist has just been working there too long. One of our credit cards was mysteriously lost while on the premises. Anyway I have no idea why Pompano gets such good ratings. It is not a bad place but I would not return.
We see that one reviewer of the Fairmont, who stayed at the same time we were there, reported that a convention of attorneys attended the Fairmont. We were unaware that the hotel had hosted any legal convention. My husband and I met some of very nice people at the hotel so I guess that speaks well of the legal professionals who stay at the Fairmont.
Anyway I need to mention the very convenient Explorers Club for kids. It has indoor activities, computer, video, big screen TV, paddle ball and other activities so you can drop your children off for an hour or two or more without reservations all without additional charges. And yes they have a day time camp as well!
My husband and I only stay at 4 and 5 star hotels when vacationing. This hotel is one of our favorites (next to the Royal Monceau in Paris) and it made the whole family happy."
- Travel date: Fri 23rd of July 2004
Should have been so much better
"The Fairmont Southampton did not live up to it's fine reputation during our visit from June 17-20 in lovely Bermuda. We have stayed at three Fairmont properties in the past three months and were expecting the same level of service and graciousness during our three night stay here. This is a very large hotel which comes with many amenities but our conclusion was that it caters to the large conference business rather than vacationing couples.
We arrived while a large group of lawyers were meeting, staying and dining at the Southampton. The front desk staff was terrific to us at check-in (despite the unexpected problems they had encountered with the crash of their entire reservation system). They worked very hard to keep the guests happy in a bad situation. After 3-4 hours of waiting a room became available (2 doubles rather than the king we had booked) which we took with the promise of moving to a king the next day. First room was Ocean View and the second room was Harbor View. We'd recommend Harbor View as the vista was more interesting, especially from the balcony at night. The second room was just right. Nice size, spacious closet and bathroom. However, during our 2 nights and days there our room phone did not work. We asked three times for it to be repaired/connected, etc. with no result.
We enjoyed the breakfasts at the hotel, but only dined at one restaurant affiliated with the property for dinner. When we booked the hotel (70 days ahead) we also made dinner reservations at the Waterlot Inn. Despite that we were seated in the worst room of the restaurant (it looked like a basement rec room under the stairs down to the main dining room). However, since we were starving and weary at this point -- having waited so long to get into our room -- we simply ate and left. Naturally many large tables of lawyers attending the conference were seated at all the good tables. The food and wine were very good but, again, it should have been so much better.
After that experience we decided to ask the concierge to recommend a couple of restaurants for our next two evenings. We carefully described what we were looking for and could not believe what was then suggested! Basically a binder full of photocopied menus was placed on the counter for us to flip through while she tried to steer us toward places that were nothing like what we had mentioned. (On our own we chose to dine at Aqua at Ariel Sands and were absolutely delighted with the atmosphere and the fabulous food and wine list).
The beach at the Fairmont Southampton is lovely but accessible by trolley, not a walk. Lots of long lines as we waited to leave the beach to go back up the hill to the hotel. We hung at the pool on our last day and were very content there. Get there early at both the beach and pool to stake out your spot/umbrella.
The fitness center was well equipped and the spa looked terrific although we did not choose any spa treatments.
The hotel is in a lovely spot on the island but this Fairmont did not meet our expectations."
- Travel date: Wed 21st of July 2004
Loved the Southampton Princess Hotel
"We just arrived home last night from a five night stay at The Fairmont Southamption Princess. We had a glorious experience. From the time we arrived at the hotel until we arrived home, we have absolutely no complaints. The hotel was fabulous and the staff went out of their way to do everything for us. We had breakfast included and it was superb. We ate at two of the hotel's restaurants for dinner and the food was fabulous. When on the beach, we were catered to like royalty.
Until last week, our favorite vacation spot has been Caneel Bay on St. John, USVI. Now we can say that The Southamption in Bermuda is beautiful and wonderful and stands up to our vacation standards."
- Travel date: Thu 15th of July 2004
"We stayed here for 3 nights and loved every minute of it. Although expensive, it was worth it. The Hotel was gorgeous, top notch 5-star all around. The trolley service to the beach and the ferry is very convenient. The beach is absolutely gorgeous and has a walk up cabana bar as well as a nice restaurant set above the beach. All meals were outstanding (food, presentation, and service) all incredible. The golf course was beautiful, the views especially The actual condidtion was so-so, but for a par 3 course in that heat, it was great. Highly recommend this hotel!!"
- Travel date: Tue 29th of June 2004
Fond memories of Southhampton Princess
"We just returned from a three night stay. Booked two moderate rooms through a family package (one room full price, second room half price). When I booked two moderate rooms (lowest priced category), I expected the worst. We were happily surprised. The rooms were on the first floor ovelooking a roof, but we still had a balcony and a great view. We loved the beach - calm waters and great sand. My three and five year old donned lifejackets and just played in the water for long periods. My ten and twelve year olds enjoyed making sand sculptures and snorkeling. The pool was small but had a small separate pool with waterslide for the under five crowd. I guess the reason I only give it four "dots" is because the service is not quite a "Four Seasons." The kids club needs a little improvement. We ate exclusively on-site and enjoyed the Waterlot Inn the most (although Whaler Inn and Bacci both had exceptional service). Windows on the Sound for breakfast was great. All in all, if it weren't such a long airplane flight, we would go back year after year!"
- Travel date: Tue 29th of June 2004
Miserable Hotel Experience
"The hotel's advertising about the available amenities is misleading. Quality of hotel services is poor: 1) the reservation clerk was not aware about the on-going available promotional rates; 2) the front desk clerk was non-accommodating, indifferent; 3) rooms (we had two rooms) had several non-working lights; 4) one of the rooms had non-functional toilet; 5) cleaning services were substandard; 6) concierge services were non-existing; and 7) the shift manager had never returned our phone calls. The worst experience we had was about the food services: one food poisoning at Newport Room, provision of spoiled food by the room service twice. In general, the food was much lower in quality than in several other restaurants in Hamilton.
Next time when we visit Bermuda, which we absolutely fell in love with, we'll stay at a different hotel."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of June 2004
"We just got back from the Fairmont Southampton and absolutely loved it. Our room was bright, cheerful, and very comfortable. The expansive grounds were beautifully landscaped and kept. A huge hot tub, which sits high atop a hill near the indoor pool, provides a romantic spot to sit under the stars at night or take in a gorgeous view during day.
One of the best meals we've ever had was at the Newport Room. We didn't have a bad meal at any of the hotel restaurants.
Spotless hotel trolleys carry guests to the beach or to the free ferry service to Hamilton.
Drawbacks? Extremely expensive, extremely large hotel, but top-notch, first rate."
- Travel date: Thu 24th of June 2004
Just an amazing place!
"We have probably stayed at this hotel 14 or 15 times. And let me let you in on a little secret: it's an amazing place to come for the week of New Year's Eve. Prices are less than in the summer time, and the weather ranges anywhere from 65-80 degrees. It's really a perfect place to get away from the snow at home around the holidays. The staff is warm and friendly, and the food is outstanding. Another great feature is the fact that it has it's own outstanding par-3 golf course, as well as it's own beach club. Not many hotels on the island can boast such a claim. If there are any drawbacks, I'd say that it's the location.
While it is stunning for views, it's about 20 minutes to town via cab.
If you have the opportunity to stay here, take it...any time of year!"
- Travel date: Mon 8th of March 2004
The Best Ever!
"The best place ever! I had so much fun! The people were extrememly nice and helpful. One lady even pulled over while we were walking and looking at a map to ask us if we were lost. She proceeded to give us very helpful directions. The hotel is fabulous but we never spent much time there because we were always out on the hotel's beach. I would recommend it to all."
- Travel date: Thu 20th of November 2003