“ Address: Fairmont Hotel Southampton / 101 South Shore Road / Southampton / Bermuda / Telephone: 441 238-8000 „
The Fairmont Hotel in Southampton - Bermuda, together with its sister hotel the Fairmont Princess in Hamilton, is widely considered to be one of the finest resorts on the island, since its opening over 30 years ago. The hotel is at one of the high points of the island, and it is difficult to miss, thanks to its elevation, with its beautifully manicured golf course meandering down to the road.
My visit was not as an overnight guest of the hotel itself, but an afternoon in its Willow Stream Spa, as a special birthday treat with my sister for my 40th birthday recently. Well it's not every day a girl turns 40 is it?
After a relaxing morning, and a breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled egg bagels, washed down with a glass or two of fizz, we head off the mile or so to the hotel. Despite there being a major conference at the hotel, we were able to find parking close to the entry.
First impressions of the hotel are indeed grand, and in the true style of a busman's holiday, I do like to see the inside of other hotels, partly out of curiosity, and partly in case there be a potential job opportunity in the future. The lobby area of the Fairmont is extremely impressive, a vast area, but divided up into different areas including its lounge bar area and its Newport Restaurant. The staircase is a key feature of the lobby, and somewhat unusually, the spa is actually accessed from the 1st floor (assuming we entered at G - but of course this is Bermuda, and it numbers its floors as in America).
We made our way upstairs and were greeted in a friendly manner. My sister took care of the payment of treatments, as she had the booking, and I had to complete a health questionnaire as is the norm for a first time visitor. Our treatment of the day was a Tranqwillow Back and Face Experience, a 90 minute indulgence, and our treatments were slightly staggered.
Rather unusually, access to the Willow Stream Spa is not included in a room rate, and guests of the hotel must pay a nominal fee to use the facilities. On the positive side, anyone booking a treatment can indeed use the pool, sauna, steam rooms and outdoor plunge pools at no extra cost. We were allocated a locker and this included comfortable and very roomy bathrobe, as well as a bottle of mineral water. This was a nice little touch and it makes sense to take the bottle for the journey home as there are ample water coolers around the spa and in the relaxation rooms. Towels were also abundant around the spa, and you have no fear of finding a clean dry towel for your poolside lounger.
The pool is a good size and during our afternoon there we rarely shared the pool with more than 2-3 others at a time. The hotel does also have an outdoor pool for guests. The pool was welcoming due to the temperature of the water - although the outdoor Jacuzzi was warmer still and that particular experience was akin to climbing into a warm bath! Nowhere in Bermuda is far from the sea, and the views from the Spa and in particular the outdoor terrace and Jacuzzi are inviting and relaxing to say the least.
I had selected the Tranqwillow treatment myself prior to arrival on the island. I selected it for its holistic approach - the treatment was described as an Awakening and energising experience and included a back cleanse, exfoliation and massage, followed by a fantastic facial and scalp massage, and the hands and feet are also given plenty of attention. This was advertised at $259 for a 90 minute treatment.
I particularly loved the treatment bed. When lying on the back, the head is raised as are the knees, this gives a wonderful feeling of support, which is essential for a 90 minute treatment and far superior to an average flat bed. The main oil used in the treatment is warm lavender oil, which is great for relaxation. The massage was reasonably gentle, occasionally there were some points which were a bit tougher than average, but certainly very bearable and you know it is doing some good. I tend not to like massage of the feet and toes, but this was very gentle indeed. After the hands are massaged, the therapist places warm mitts on each hand, which remain in place until the end of the treatment, and these were very warm, so much so that my therapist placed them on top of my hands until they cooled down slightly.
The actual products used on your face are of course tailored to your own skin type, paying attention to any problem areas, and I particularly liked the use of a special lamp so the therapist could do her own diagnosis, rather than relying on me to explain what I think my skin type is! It is advisable to stay out of the sunshine after the treatment, despite the temptation but a SPF 30 cream is applied to the face and so it is possible to sit outside for a short period afterwards if you wish. In actual fact both my sister and I did not want to get back in the pool or even shower for as long as possible, as we both loved the smell on our skin!
The final part of the day is unfortunately that part when you have to shower and change. The showers included a private ante room so you can change in private and hang your robe etc, and there was a lovely product range of shower gel and shampoos.
As you would expect from a spa of this calibre, there is a wide range of treatments for different seasons, moods, and for men and women and it is also possible to book massage treatments for in room, for in house guests. A 60 minute "Bermuda Facial" is available from $169 at the time of writing, and there are 60 minute body treatments available for a similar amount. Specialist treatments are also available for Sports and for Jet Lag.
Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Southampton
101 South Shore Road