This landmark luxury hotel launched Bermuda's tourist industry and, thanks to a healthy demand from business travelers, is still going strong. Its younger but larger sibling, the Fairmont Southampton, has better dining, grander and more comprehensive facilities, and the advantage of being on a beach, but it's somewhat remote; the more "urban" Fairmont Hamilton earns fans and devotees because it is more conveniently positioned for shopping and sightseeing. The hotel, whose pink walls and gingerbread trim evoke a wedding cake, is a short walk from downtown Hamilton, on the edge of Hamilton Harbour. Elbow Beach (the closest beach) is a 20-minute taxi ride or 45-minute bicycle ride from the hotel. The easily accessible ferry delivers guests to the Fairmont Southampton, and sun lovers can get their fill at the sandy stretch there. The lack of a beach here doesn't keep the glitterati away: This is the hotel of choice for movie stars and the yachting set.
Opened in 1884 and named for Princess Louise (Queen Victoria's daughter), this princess is far more staid than the Fairmont Southampton, and with a higher percentage of clients involved in the fastest growing sector of the Bermudian economy, the re-insurance business. It doesn't even attempt to offer the roster of activities available at Elbow Beach, so the young and the restless might want to book elsewhere. This is the oldest and one of the most deeply entrenched members of the Fairmont hotel chain, and it's certainly the one with the most history: British intelligence officers stationed here during World War II worked to crack secret Nazi codes.
Modern wings, pierced with row upon row of balconied loggias, surround the hotel's colonial core. The property was designed around a concrete pier that extends into the harbor, near a Japanese-style floating garden. Many of the spacious rooms have private balconies, which were designed "to create the feeling that you'd choose the same kind of bedroom if you owned a home here."
The hotel has a wide array of bars and restaurants, including Harley's.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Highly Recommended 2010