Historical Traveller Reviews of The Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel
Lovely stay but ...
Spent the 4th weekend at the FHP and it was lovely. We were in a gold room which was expensive but was great and had a nice harbour view (but no balcony, some do). The lounge and amenities are excellent and free breakfast is ample, good and has a wide choice (although not hot food). Snacks pre-dinner are less impressive but not bad, also free water and beverages are nice. Location of this hotel is fabulous for shopping and dining in Hamilton (walk to everything) and it is a short 30 minute ride by scooter (great fun if you can drive one) bus or hotel ferry to the Southhampton sister property which has a beach, glof and tennis, or the main south shore beaches. Service was excellent and the gold lounge staff helpful and pleasant. My only complaint and it makes the difference between 4 stars and five is the main hotel restaurant Harley's. Our meal was barely acceptable (tough chicken, bland salmon) but worse an obviusly intoxicated party of 10 was seated near us and later their friends came in and wandered about the room talking loudly - one could not hear oneself think. Might be fine at the local pub but absolutely unacceptable at these prices. The staff did absolutely nothing to stop this although it was clearly disturbing several customers trying to have a quiet meal or at least chat amongst themselves. when I complained after the meal the maitre d' obviously had no idea what to do (he had watched the whole thing). I did get a call from the general manager who apologized but the event soured me on the restaurant, although in any event I would not have gone back. There are many better restaurants in walking distance (try Fresco or Les Coquilles, both very good)
Bermuda - Fond Memories of Hamilton Princess
We had a nice stay at the Hamilton Princess for four nights in a Garden Suite (June 12-16, 2004). Our patio was right on a nice grassy area next to the freshwater pool. Our kids (ages 3-12) really enjoyed the uncrowded pool so close to our room! Ask the waiters at Harley's for leftover bread to feed the fish in the bay. The waiters at Harleys were great - I enjoyed the best prime rib I've ever had at Harley's! The kids also enjoyed the little putting green next to the saltwater pool. Be sure to go to Portofino, within walking distance of the hotel, for an incredible pasta carbonara. The room was very nice, with two queen beds and a pullout couch in the "living room." Huge bathroom with separate shower and tub. The only thing missing is a beachfront location.
Bermuda is great!
from A TripAdvisor Member
We vistited Bermuda for 4 days back in July of 99. We loved it! The hotel was very nice but expensive--which is really what the entire Island is like. We ate some of the best meals of our life there but paid the price for them as well (everything is ala carte). The people are friendly and the Island is basically crime-free, unlike so much of the rest of the Caribbean. We rented scooters and toured the beautifull Island, stopping to swim and relax and drink at the various little deserted beaches along the way.
This was one of our favorite get-aways. Compared to other hotels in other islands that we have visited the Princess ranked very well (but expensive) however, since we have not stayed anywhere else on Bermuda we cannot accuratly judge it with respect to other Bermuda resorts. We do plan on going again sometime soon but will be renting a cottage this time for a bit of a change. No matter what though, Bermuda is a wonderfull place to visit (at least during the summer).
Good long weekend
from A TripAdvisor Member
We went to Bermuda for a long weekend get away for sun and relaxation. We found it through the Delta Vacation. The hotel was well appointed, but the service was just acceptable for the level of hotel. Our room was the Fairmont Room, very clean, but patio looked over the parking lot. Still a lot of clean up from the hurricane. Parts of the hotel under construction.Concierge was helpful, but not always accurate - for example, she confirmed dinner reservations and the restaurant was closed. Another staffer caught it when I called to confirm. Our transfer company (Bee Line) left the hotel without us for the airport. Concierge mislead us about time of departure and Bee Line never returned our call. The best part was that a hotel bellman, found us a ride no cost. The concierge was not helpful with a 'your otta luck attitude.' If it hadn't been for the Bellman, we'd left with a sour taste.Getting around Bermuda is easy, but be prepared to walk. We choose the 3-day bus pass. It was easy and flexible. Once you got to your stop, there was a little walking, so have a plan mapped out. We opted not to do the scooter.Food was very expensive, but we had a some great meals. Baracuda and Port O' Call were at the top of our list. Both were gourmet meals with good wine selection. Service at Baracuda was poor, slow and overworked, but food was good. Port O' Call service was awesome and the food was great. We'd go back in a minute.
Booked a last minute travel deal and the hotel offered was the Hamilton Princess. Was I impressed! It was a big gorgous pink hotel, where the staff couldn't do enough for you. I was upgraded to the Fairmont Gold Level, (free continental breakfast, with plenty of choices and free Hors d'Oeuvres in the evening) My room was clean and spacious with every amenity overlooking the Hamilton side (still a nice view) The pool area is beautiful, overlooking the harbor, the bar / restaurant was friendly and wait staff great. Didn't eat at the restaurant, there are plenty in Hamilton, but the menu looked good.
5-10 minute walk into Hamilton to catch the ferry or bus or shop. Tons to do and see on Bermuda, just have to get used to the traffic going so slow (25mph speed limit) and no hire car. You have to hire a taxi (expensive) or go by bus or ferry. Get 1, 2 or 3 day bus passes and you can use them on the ferry as well. The bus system is good and there are plenty of them. I would go back in a heartbeat. In fact going back in May 04 and will be staying at the Princess again. Can't wait.
A Good time despite the weather
I recently traveled to Bermuda for a three night school vacation break with two fellow teachers. We booked through an on-line agency which wasn't up on the current deals. Had we booked through Delta, we could have received a fourth night free at The Hamilton Princess. Delta offers the only non-stop flights from Boston and offered better deals all-round. We traveled on Delta, and I wish that I had ckecked with them first. That said, we did get a good price and we upgraded to a Deluxe room suggested by the reviews I read here. That was definately the way to go and we had breakfast and cocktails on our balcony each day overlooking the harbor. Our room was lovely and the service excellent. Had we not had the balcony and the view- we would have really minded the weather. We had lots of rain along with gale force winds one night. While this gave us a bit of the feeling that people must have experienced last August during the hurricane, it was NOT the weather we'd hoped for! The local paper had an editorial suggesting that Bermuda needs to be more up-front with their winter weather conditions, and we certainly agree. If you go in February you have to expect rain and winds. The temperature ranged from the upper sixties to seventy, but the blowing downpours made all outside activites difficult. Otherwise, it was a worthwhile trip. We swam in the heated pool in the middle of the gale, and took a taxi tour around the island (our only chance to actually walk on one of the beautiful beachs as there was a bus strike). We also attended an excellent concert- part of Bermuda's music festival, and took a ferry ride just to get out on the water ( there were NO other boat trips operating). On our island tour we were able to see what's left of the hurricane damage, and it's still extensive. The Hamilton Princess had crews doing outside repairs, and The Southhampton Princess is still closed - as are several other southshore hotels. We had a great dinner at The Ebow Beach Hotel, but were glad we weren't staying there beacuse of all the hurricane-related construction going on. I'd like to go back, and would stay at The Hamilton Princess again, but I'll wait until May!
The Gold Club is a gem.
My wife and I just returned from a week in Bermuda over Valentine's Day, having stayed at the Princess. I saw the lines and inattentive main desk staff (mentioned in another review) but we used the Gold Floor (in this location about five floors actually). I had called ahead and the concierge had roses and hard to get dinner reservations waiting....they even sent up a cake since it was also my wife's birthday!. I could see where regular guests could be lost in this huge complex (one morning we counted 47 people waiting to check out at the main Reception downstairs!), but again the Gold Concierge were extremely helpful in giving directions and recommending restaurants.
There is still some post-hurricane work going on but nothing inside that we saw (there are other island hotels and restaurants still closed from the hurricane). I'd recommend by-passing the hotel restaurant: very very slow service on two occasions altho' the food was fine, but there's a lot of great places to eat in Hamilton itself. Since almost all food is imported now to Bermuda, eating out is not cheap...so the expectation of service tends to rise accordingly.
from A TripAdvisor Member
I took my Dad to Bermuda and we got a great package deal at the Hamilton Princess. Because it was "off season", we were upgraded to a room with an ocean view. The hotel is absolutely beautiful and the staff is very polite and helpful. We came home filled with many happy memories of Bermuda.
Like many of the reviewers, we also traveled to Bermuda off-season on a cheap air/hotel internet promotion. Here's a tip: after I booked, I went online and joined the Fairmont Presidents Club (no charge) and then called the hotel and gave them my membership number. Upon arrival at the hotel we were upgraded to the Fairmont Gold floor which had all kinds of great amenities, including complimentary breakfast, tea in the afternoon and hors d'oeuvres in the evening. Our room was spacious and elegant. It's not a guarantee you'll be upgraded by joining the Club but I think it helps your chances. We found the hotel staff to be extremely helpful and friendly and although the weather could have been nicer, our stay in Bermuda was very pleasant. The restaurant food in Bermuda was a bit disappointing, and surprisingly the best meal we had was in the hotel dining room. Meals at Henry VIII and the Pickled Onion were really overpriced and not impressive. Be sure to rent a motor scooter and see the island -- we rode to St. George one day and had a great time.
5 Days of Beauty and Calmness...
from A TripAdvisor Member
I was petrified when I read the wary reviews of the Fairmont Princess in Hamilton just after I booked a discounted off-season trip to Bermuda. I called the travel agency I had booked the trip through and was promised that the Fairmont Room I was to have was in the main building and was great. I want to thank Alice of Discount Vacations, for being thorough and just being great overall! The room was fine it wasn t elegant, but it was just perfect for the price paid. It was in the main building and it overlooked the bay. The staff was cordial and some were really friendly. My only complaint was that we had a little ant problem (the tiny kind) so all of the food had to be stored in the fridge.Speaking of food, the prices are obscene for what is actually served. There s a few places that you can buy food in Hamilton: the first is The Market Place which is located on Church Street right across from the Central Bus Terminal. It s an American-style supermarket, is huge and offers pretty much everything that you ll find in a typical supermarket and the prices are about the same, which was great. Also, during the week, it s open until 10pm. It is about 3/4 mile away, so if you re going to carry heavy objects, be prepared to schlep! Just next to the Princess, just off Waterloo Street (1 block away and hidden behind an office building), is the Miles Market, which is a gourmet grocery store. It s pricy, but convenient and a blessing. We stocked up the mini bar and made many breakfast and dinners in our room. There's also another store I believe called the Phoenix Store and it's located on Front Street. It's like a Walgreens and the prices are "normal".Sunday on the island is D-E-A-D so, if the weather s good, make it a beach day. Also, the attractions are okay, but we found the Crystal Caves to be a bit of a disappointment. For $12 we got a quickie tour and history that you can get from the website. We met a couple on the tour and the husband took us down the road to the Grotto Bay Beach Hotel. You can walk on the grounds and they actually have their own Stalactite cave, which was a mini version of the Crystal Cave. I hear during the season, they actually have a bar and live music in the cave.We used the great bus and ferry services (a 3-Day pass is $23). I found that the bus drivers really didn t check the passes as they were flashed, so we actually used them for 4 days and felt we got value.Although the weather was iffy, all in all, it was a great trip! I found the other reviews on Trip Advisor to be of great help! Hopefully each person can add that much more to make the next person s experience that much better! Enjoy!!
Top Local Tips for Hamilton
clear view suites and villas
This is a group of cottages about 45 minutes from hamilton and 20 minutes from St. Georges. Gorgeous views, serene surroundings, large rooms. If you're not into staying in/near the city (as I woud imagine you might be, if you're on a getaway), it's perfect. Has fully equipped kitchens, so you don't have to eat out every meal. Also seemed great for group stays/retreats. Friendly staff.
Breakfast at Bouchee's is great or pick up a quick bite at the Miles Market, a gourmet type market with fresh coffee and foods for takeout.
Portofino's, Hog Penny, Lobster Pot for dinner. Better food than the hotel. Pickled Onion okay but trying to be too trendy. Menu confusing and too varied.
Good places to eat in Hamilton
While in Hamilton, we really enjoyed our meal at the Pickled Onion, a new restaurant downtown. The Fish & Chips were excellent, as was the simple grilled fish sandwich. Service was a little slow, but it was worth it when the brought out the french beignets with warm vanilla pudding for dessert. The Pickled Onion was also fun at night, when they had live music and cold "Sol" beers with lime aplenty. We had dinner at the Hog Penny as well, which had decent food (wouldn't recommend the steak, although it's my own fault ordering steak on an island!), and live guitar music at nights. We also heard good things about Portofino, although we didn't get a chance to eat there ourselves.