Fairmont packages highlight properties' refits

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NEW YORK -- Both Fairmont properties in Bermuda have undergone extensive renovations and are launching 2003 with a Royal Romance package that serves to highlight the new additions.

The Fairmont Hamilton Princess completed a $24.3 million makeover, resulting in a new look to the lobby, meetings rooms and guest rooms.

The 114-seat lobby lounge boasts high ceilings, arched doorways and windows, marble floors and a large stone fireplace.

The Fairmont Gold Wing was given a $13.2 million upgrade. Gold Wing rooms include concierge service, private check-in, breakfast, afternoon tea and hors d'oeuvres. The renovated guest rooms feature walk-in closets, an in-room safe, a coffeemaker, dual phone lines and Internet access. A boardroom is available.

The meetings rooms at the Hamilton also were upgraded. The largest, the Harbourview Ballroom, offers ocean views and now can accommodate 1,000 people reception-style or 440 for a sit-down dinner.

The smaller meetings rooms have new lighting and wall treatments, and more windows were built into the foyer area.

The Fairmont Southampton, not to be outdone by its sister property, underwent a $64 million renovation that includes the introduction of the Willow Stream Spa, the first spa of its kind on Bermuda.

At 23,000 square feet, the spa includes 15 rooms for massage and hydrotherapy treatments; aromatherapy rooms; a sauna; a hair and nails salon; a couples treatment room with bath, shower and massage tables; an indoor swimming pool; both indoor and outdoor hot tubs; and an outdoor terrace. Adjacent to the spa is a fitness center staffed with a personal trainer.

The Fairmont Hamilton Princess recently completed a $24.3 million makeover. In addition to the spa, the Fairmont Southampton completed renovations to the lobby, ballrooms, meetings rooms, business center and guest rooms.

The lobby was redesigned and enlarged to include an additional, 148-seat lobby lounge that offers floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the south shore.

The Atlantic Ballroom Foyer and the mezzanine meetings rooms were expanded and refurbished, and audiovisual and Internet capabilities were incorporated.

A business center was added to the mezzanine level, and guests can use three private work stations and two executive boardrooms that hold up to 14 people.

The retail space also was enlarged to include six boutiques focusing on jewelry, crystal and upscale clothing.

Also, like the Hamilton, the Southampton renovated the Gold guest rooms. Now, all 88 rooms include marble bathrooms, double sinks, French doors to private patios, duvets, cordless phones and a second phone line for Internet access.

Guest rooms on the other floors have new bathroom tiling, vanity lighting and a new decor, including bedspreads and drapes.

Guests at either hotel have signing privileges at the sister hotel and have access to complimentary ferry service between the properties.

The renovations at the Fairmont Bermuda properties came just in time, as the Bermuda Department of Tourism unveils its "Companion Flies Free" campaign (see story below).

To celebrate the new look, the Fairmont is offering a Royal Romance Package. It includes three nights' accommodations; daily American breakfast in the restaurant or via room service; a bottle of champagne; chocolate-dipped strawberries; a spa treatment for two and a spa gift.

The package starts at $515 at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess and $595 at the Fairmont Southampton. Rates are per person, double. Commission is 10%.

For information or reservations, call the Fairmont at (800) 441-1414 or visit www.fairmont.com.

Tourism board sets 'Companion Flies Free' campaign

HAMILTON -- When clients book a three-night package to Bermuda, their companion will fly free or receive a $300 air credit, depending on their

departure city, under a program created by the Bermuda Department of Tourism.

The "Companion Flies Free" program is available for bookings through Feb. 28, for travel through March 31.

Prices start at $416 per person, double, for a three-night getaway, including roundtrip air, accommodations and roundtrip airport transfers. This price already reflects the free companion ticket or $300 air credit.

Rates may vary depending on departure city, dates of travel and accommodations.

In addition, each visitor will receive a Passport to Savings coupon booklet upon hotel check-in. The booklet offers savings of up to 50% off dining, shopping, sightseeing, boating, scuba diving and golf.

For more information on the Companion Flies Free promotion, travel agents can call (800) BERMUDA or visit the Department of Tourism's Web site at www.bermudatourism.com.

Various hotels and resorts are offering packages in conjunction with the campaign.

Meanwhile, the Ariel Sands Bermuda is offering a fifth night free when travelers book four nights.

Rates for bookings made by Feb. 28 are $225 per night for the first four nights. After that, prices for bookings made by March 31 are $250 per night.

Agents receive an additional 5% commission, making it a 15% commission on all room sales.

For more information, contact Ariel Sands at (800) 468-6610; fax (441) 236-0087. The property's Web site is at www.arielsands.com. -- J.K.

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