WHY MEET IN BERMUDA? FAIRMONT HAS THE ANSWERS
This Atlantic Isle of Pink Sand & Cerulean Waters Has Plenty of Secrets to Share
Dubai, UAE – April 3, 2013 – While some mistakenly think Bermuda lies in the Caribbean, savvy travelers know that this island paradise is set in the Atlantic Ocean less than 7 hours from London. Want another fun fact? Fairmont Hotels & Resorts boasts two of the island’s premier properties, The Fairmont Hamilton Princess and The Fairmont Southampton, and is home to expert colleagues who know how to plan the perfect Bermuda event. With both the island’s most historic property (frequented by Mark Twain and Sir Ian Fleming, of James Bond fame) and the island’s first purpose-built convention hotel, together Fairmont’s properties comprise 25 percent of the total hotel rooms in Bermuda. So, to answer any and all Bermuda meeting questions planners may have, seasoned colleagues have put together their best insider advice on creating the perfect island event.
How difficult are the logistics of organizing off-site activities for attendees?
“It’s really easy!” says Darren Chichester, director of Discover Bermuda, Fairmont’s in-house destination management company. “We’re in direct communication with hotel departments at both properties as well as local dining establishments, activity suppliers and more, and are able to offer pre-planning and onsite teamwork activities, uniformed and Fairmont trained professionals, master billing and coordination of the entire group program from pickup to departure. One of my favorite ways for a group to host a welcome event is a Bermuda beach bash on The Fairmont Southampton’s private beach. Attendees can feel the pink sand between their toes and take in views of the stunning turquoise water while watching the sun set and enjoying a gourmet meal. After dinner, we often host a large bonfire and fireworks.”
Do groups get any advantages from having two Fairmont properties on the island?
“Whether you’d rather be close to town or close to the beach, you can enjoy all of Bermuda when you stay with Fairmont,” said Tom DeGloria, director of group sales. “Maybe you want to take advantage of the Gazebo room for a meeting at Fairmont Hamilton Princess (which is said to have inspired Ian Fleming when writing Dr. No), but also want to schedule some spa time at Fairmont Southampton’s Willow Stream Spa. Or, you want to leave time for attendees to explore Hamilton in the evening, but want to take advantage of Fairmont Southampton’s extensive meeting space during the day. To accommodate all events we operate a ferry between the hotels year-round, and can also arrange easy shuttle service between the two. Your attendees even have signing privileges at both hotels, making their stay seamless.”
What constitutes an “authentic” Bermuda experience?
“Because our hotels are considered local landmarks and have been a big part of the community for decades, we’re able to offer inside access to the island’s most unique activities,” said Shelley Meszoly, regional director of sales and marketing. “For example, we work closely with Gosling’s, Bermuda’s famed run distiller, to offer Rum 101 Programs. Attendees have a lot of fun with experts from Gosling’s as they’re taken through a tasting of three rums – Gosling’s Black Seal, Gold and Old Rum – and are treated to recipes and tastings of signature cocktails such as the Dark n’ Stormy and Rum Swizzle.”
Both hotels also offer charitable team building activities as part of the brand’s environmental program, giving planners a way to give back to the island community in a meaningful and fun way. The Turtle Scrub activity lets guests get to know some of Bermuda’s greenest residents – the giant sea turtles at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo. Participants get in the tank with the turtles and scrub them clean with the help of the Aquarium’s turtle experts.
What is Fairmont’s claim to fame in Bermuda?
“The Fairmont Hamilton Princess is the most historic hotel on the island, opening its doors on January 1, 1885,” said Leonard Czarnecki, general manager at The Fairmont Hamilton Princess. “Bermuda gained international recognition in the 1880s when Princess Louise, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, visited for a winter retreat. When the hotel opened, it was named ‘The Princess’ in honor of her royal visit. Whether in town on the Harbor or on the South Shore, each Fairmont hotel has a prominent position on the island and with the community.”
How can I give attendees a true island experience at my event?
Although Bermuda is not in the Caribbean, visitors come away with an authentic island experience. From the moment they get off the plane, visitors enjoy the vibrant greenery and panoramic ocean views. The Fairmont Southampton offers world-class golf at The Turtle Hill Golf Club, ranked the fifth par-3 course in the world- high praise on an island that boasts the most golf courses per square capita. If you’re looking to infuse some traditional Bermudian spirit into your program, local Gombey dancers can be hired to entertain guests. The vibrantly-outfitted traditional dancers have long been part of Bermuda’s culture, their origins traced to a mix of Afro-Caribbean and Native American influences. Gombey dancing was a form of rebellion during slavery. Although slavery in Bermuda has long been abolished, the form of dance remains and has become a cherished island tradition and an integral part of Bermuda’s rich culture.
Are Bermuda dining experiences more upscale & formal or laid back & casual?
“While luxury travelers are increasingly looking for less formal options when they travel, they still value high quality dining experiences,” said Steven Stefaniuk director of food and beverage at The Fairmont Southampton. “To address that need, we’ve reworked some of our restaurants to provide an experience to meet the needs of today’s travelers. We’ve moved beyond the jacket and tie dinners Bermuda had been known for in the past.”
New changes on the island include The Fairmont Southampton’s transformation of its Newport Room into The Newport, a Gastropub, creating a more relaxed environment. It also added The Dock, an outdoor lounge adjacent to its elegant Waterlot Inn. But that’s not to say more formal affairs aren’t well suited to the island as well. The Waterlot Inn boasts both AAA Four Diamond and Wine Spectator Awards, and refined activities like The Fairmont Hamilton Princess’ famed Afternoon Tea provide sophistication for any event.
What is the value of holding an event in Bermuda as opposed to another island destination?
“We hear from planners all the time who want convenience and value,” said George Terpilowski, managing director of Fairmont Bermuda. “We’re lucky to have direct flights from Air Canada, WestJet, JetBlue, British Airways, Air Tran, Delta, United, and American, and being just over 2 hours from gateway cities like New York and Washington, we may be the quickest and easiest route to the beach available!” Planners that book their meeting at The Fairmont Southampton or The Fairmont Hamilton Princess from April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014, are eligible for The Bermuda Perfect Fit Offer. Receive a 5 percent rebate off of the master account (not including rooms), a complimentary suite upgrade for every 50 paid room nights, a complimentary room for every 40 paid room nights, and complimentary meeting space. Guests will be impressed by a complimentary one-hour “Taste of Bermuda” reception with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. For leisure, world-class golfing is available at The Turtle Hill Golf Club at The Fairmont Southampton for 25 percent off and along with a free complimentary Willow Stream Spa treatment for every 35 paid treatments booked. The Perfect Fit Offer also provides flexible attrition, making it a real perfect fit for any program looking for Bermuda.
Are there facilities to hold a larger conference on island?
“Bermuda may be a small island, but we’ve gone out of our way to invest in facilities that can host big, complex events,” said Rochelle Quinn, director of conference services and catering at The Fairmont Southampton. The Mid-Ocean Amphitheatre at Fairmont Southampton is the largest multimedia amphitheatre available in the resort market in North America, Hawaii and the Caribbean – providing the ultimate meeting environment for groups of up to 700. This 7,400 square foot conference space boasts the most sophisticated technology and multimedia components available. The resort has hosted events for numerous Fortune 500 companies, and with a total of 32,000 square feet of meeting space and several group outdoor venues, the resort can easily host groups up to 1,200 people. In town, the Fairmont Hamilton Princess offers function rooms that combine state-of-the-art technology with the hotel’s historic grandeur. The hotel’s scenic outdoor terraces, patios, and gardens can accommodate up to 500 guests in one of Bermuda’s most picturesque settings.
For a comprehensive look at Fairmont’s meeting offerings, visit fairmontmeetings.com or contact Global Events & Meetings Solutions, a dedicated resource for meeting planners available at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-662-6060 from within North America, and 1-506-877-3162 internationally.
ABOUT FAIRMONT HOTELS & RESORTS
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of more than 60 luxury properties around the globe, including Shanghai's Fairmont Peace Hotel, The Plaza in New York, and Makkah Clock Royal Tower in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The luxury brand's distinctive hotels offer a sense of heritage and sophistication, warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also recognized internationally for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel branded luxury private residences club, whole-ownership residences and serviced residences properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit fairmont.com.