Hamilton Princess & Beach Club – a Fairmont Managed Hotel
What We Love
- Marcus Samuelsson’s pop-up restaurant, open through the end of summer 2014
- Restaurants and nightlife of Hamilton sit just outside your door
- Marina-front 1609 Bar and Restaurant attracts as many locals as tourists
What To Know
- Request a room in the recently renovated Poinciana Wing; decor in the main building’s rooms can feel a bit dated
- Not beachfront, but a free ferry takes you on a stunning boat ride to the hotel’s sister resort and its extensive beach facilities
- The hotel will renovate guestrooms in the Gazebo Wing in winter 2015
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Built in 1885, the Pink Palace, as it’s affectionately known to locals, has graciously presided over Hamilton Harbor for more than a century. Mark Twain puffed cigars on its stately verandas, and the bar’s formerly fishtank-lined walls inspired Ian Fleming’s James Bond tale Dr. No. A $70 million 2014 renovation set the Hamilton’s sights on the future, preserving the stately common spaces while going thoroughly modern in the Poinciana Wing guestrooms.
Bed and Bath
Choose between old-school colonial style (think palm and plaid prints, stately hardwood furniture) in the main building and beachy modern in the newly renovated Poinciana Wing rooms, which have balconies or terraces. All rooms have pillowy beds and marble bathrooms with Le Labo spa-style products.
A 2014 renovation added a stunning infinity pool with chairs that appear to float on the water and plush, shaded cabanas, as well as 1609, an open-air restaurant and bar that appears to float over the resort’s new 60-berth marina. Deep-pocketed locals sail right up for sundowners, especially during the bumping Thursday Harbour Nights parties, when DJs spin on a deck overlooking the water. Star chef Marcus Samuelsson’s pop-up restaurant makes creative use of the island’s bounty, from fish chowder croquettes with rum aioli to dark and stormy sorbets.
In the Area
Let local Ashley Harris take you off the tourist trail to go cliff jumping, cave swimming and snorkeling on her Hidden Gems of Bermuda tour. Horseshoe Bay Beach is justifiably famous for its sugary sand and turquoise water, but it does get packed. Start your day there (preferably when there are no cruise ships in port), then walk down from cove to cove until you find a quiet stretch of sand to call your own. Get a taste of old-school Bermuda with waterfront wahoo and fish chowder (topped with sherry pepper sauce and a dash of dark rum) at local favorite Black Horse Tavern. Take the free hotel ferry over to the Hamilton’s sister hotel, the Fairmont Southampton. The boat lets you off right at the loungey waterfront bar, the Dock, which is an ideal place for a cocktail before dinner at the old-school Waterlot Inn, which is housed in a clubby, candlelit 1800s dining room. Embrace the retro menu with oysters Rockefeller, a wedge salad and surf-and-turf washed down with a big, bold red.
How to Get There
Beautifully renovated hotel with amazing art and very good restaurants. Perfect location for exploring Hamilton, but annoying and lengthy shuttle bus to access the beach club.
At check-in, the hotel upgraded us to a Fairmont Gold room and access to the Gold club lounge, but when we visited the club lounge, we were told that we did not have access, and it was just a room upgrade. The club manager agreed to offer access because of the confusion, but we had to wait around while they figured out the issue.
The adults-only pool was a great spot for some quiet relaxation, but it was not well staffed, and the closest restroom is far enough from the pool that I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving anything at the chair. The other pool that allowed children and families was much nicer, but it was very overcrowded and had kids running around everywhere, and people drinking too much and listening to loud music. The chairs were packed in, so everyone was very close. I did not return to this pool.
My employer held its all-day conference at the Hamilton Princess in October 2018 and the team there accommodated our needs with professionalism and ease, even with changes up to the final hours. Special thanks to Jasmine Quinn, Phil, Art, Rahul, Ed, Fareed (guy with the mohawk haircut)!
Hamilton Princess has recently gone through a major refurbishment and it is tastefully done. A bit on the exclusive end and their in house restaurants are top notch. Their grounds and piers are immaculate at all times. 5 star resort