29th August 2009 at 17:50 #455147
Anonymous29th August 2009 at 17:50 #455148
Had a Friday Meeting in Bermuda last month, dovetailing nicely with a family event, followed by a weekend in the sun and enjoyed a good stay at this well located hotel:
Reviews of this hotel seem to polarise at one extreme or another.
Probably because there are two distinct room types; *much* better to book the recently renovated Bermudiana Wing, which overlooks the secluded saltwater swimming pool.
These rooms are fresh and modern, with flat screen TVs and superb furnishings, including a terrific drenching shower, and dreamy beds. Ground floor seems to be best, as you can walk directly out to the pool from there. Room pic:
Other rooms in the older wing had old-style TVs and looked less modern than one would expect for the prices charged.
Beware the large amount of extras including taxes and compulsory service fees on top of your rate, which adds almost 20% to your nightly stay. I paid a $219/night discounted rate; regular rates for non-renovated rooms start at $250, with renovated rooms from $350 depending on season, with taxes on top.
As a solo traveller, the $10 airport shuttle was an option. I preferred the independence a taxi brought for $30 one way (rates are higher on a Sunday) but watch that you are on the correct tariff as a few taxi drivers charged me tariff 3 which should only apply on weekends; challenge them if this happens to you.
Joining the Faimont President’s Club online a few weeks before staying is a good idea as you get free net access with your membership number. Net Speeds were fast and WiFi connection easy:
I opted for “Gold” membership, usually $100 a day, but offered a week before check in at a reduced $75 which gives access to the Gold Lounge on the Second Floor.
On balance I would not have taken this “Gold” offer up as the breakfast in the lounge was modest (two warm items eg scrambled egg and quiche), afternoon tea only had scones and cakes (no sandwiches) and evening nibbles were limited to mini-quiches and twiglets, with an “honor bar” rather than free wine etc. Thankfully I was out and about in the evenings so didn’t have to rely on this.
Much nicer to go outdoors and sit on the terrace to enjoy the proper menu at Harley’s for brunch and a sundowner cocktail under the gazebo.
This hotel has a great location overlooking the Bay and close to the many shops and offices in Hamilton, handily walkable for meetings if you have business in town, though the heat became oppressive in the afternoons.
A handy feature is the free private ferry three times a day to the sister hotel, Southampton Princess. Lovely views of the islands on the short half hour trip – I saw a Sea Turtle!
Staying at the Hamilton Princess allows access to the Southampton Beach Club (you can still charge things to your room) which is right next door to the stunning pink sand Horseshoe Beach which is not to be missed. Just walk through the parking lot to one of the best beaches on the planet!
If you are deciding between the two hotels in Fairmont chain, Southampton Princess seemed more crowded and resort/family oriented. The perfectly maintained gardens and two bay-side pools of the Hamilton property are more refined, quieter and better for relaxing as a couple.
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