What The Plaza is to New York and Claridge’s is to London, the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club is to Bermuda. The Princess (as it’s widely known) is the island’s unrivaled grand dame—a designation the hotel has held since opening in 1885. Over the course of its 131-year history, luminaries like Mark Twain and James Bond novelist Ian Fleming have checked in, and the hotel remains as relevant today as it was back then.
Just this month, The Princess completed a two-year, $100-million renovation that introduced Bermuda’s first celebrity chef-helmed restaurant (Marcus Samuelsson’s eponymous eatery Marcus’), a sprawling spa (run by Exhale) and a 60-piece art collection that essentially transformed the resort into a living museum. Works by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Roy Lichtenstein are thoughtfully placed around the property, giving guests Instagrammable moments everywhere they turn.
Of course, the rooms and suites received major makeovers as well: they’re now outfitted with beachy chic décor, clean white linens and rain showers. Some have postcard-perfect views of the harbor, while others overlook a picturesque infinity pool—but which suite is considered the hottest commodity among guests? We turned to The Princess’ general manager Allan Federer to find out.
The most requested room:
The Harbor View One Bedroom Suite is one the most requested accommodation at the hotel.
What makes it so special:
The Suites overlook our 60-berth marina. Designed by Botelho Wood Architects, each suite features a Harbour view and private balcony as well as separate seating area and king bed. The contemporary-designed rooms
When Princess Louise, the fourth daughter of England’s Queen Victoria, first visited the Bermuda, she referenced the island as “a place of eternal spring.” Since then, Bermuda has gained international recognition and the hotel was named “The Princess” in honor of the royal visit some years earlier. From the moment the hotel opened, it was considered the gem of the island and as word got out, the hotel started to attract royalty and celebrities alike. Mark Twain was a fixture at the property (he liked to smoke cigars on its shady verandas while reciting poetry to adoring fans or putter around in cart pulled by a donkey named Maude), while Ian Fleming, a wartime guest of the hotel, reportedly used the Princess’ fish tank-lined Gazebo Bar as inspiration for his novel, Dr. No. Marcus Samuelsson visits often (as he oversees his restaurant Marcus’ in the hotel) and we recently hosted fashion designer, Rachel Roy.
Your personal favorite:
A personal favorite of mine are the Penthouse Suites. There are only two of them at the hotel, so they’re a very exclusive option. Located on the higher floors of the hotel, each Penthouse features a large wraparound balcony offering a panoramic view of the Harbour.
Those who book the Penthouse Suite receive a complimentary tour of the Bermuda Great Sound aboard the hotel’s custom yacht, Lady Whytbank, complete with cocktails and a swim around the Vixen shipwreck (sunk in 1896).
In 1939, when the world went to war, The Hamilton Princess & Beach Club was under British Censorship and the hotel became an intelligence center and station where all mail, radio and telegraphic traffic bound for Europe, the U.S. and the Far East were intercepted and analyzed by 1,200 censors before being routed to their destinations. We also have our own rum—Princess Rum, a Single Barrel Reserve by Gosling’s—that’s exclusive to the hotel.