Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, A Fairmont Managed Hotel

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Discover Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, which was originally named after Princess Louise of the United Kingdom.

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, A Fairmont Managed Hotel was constructed during the historic reign of the United Kingdom’s famed Queen Victoria, who sat on the British throne from 1837 to 1901.

The Hamilton Princess & Beach Club opened on January 1, 1885, following a highly publicized visit to Bermuda by Princess Louise of the United Kingdom. Businessman Harley Trott of Trott & Cox had created the business in hopes of capitalizing upon the island’s newfound fame. Trott believed he could create a stunning seaside resort that could compete with celebrated holiday destinations like Palm Beach. He even settled on using Princess Louise as the source of the hotel’s name, which initially operated as “The Princess” for many years.

With long, shady verandas, a blue slate roof, and four stories of opulent guestrooms, the hotel was considered a local gem. It was extremely luxurious, boasting amenities such as gas lights, hot-and-cold running water, and spectacular five-inch mirrors. During its early years, the hotel made a name for itself with upper-class socialites living on the island, as well as wealthy leisure travelers, political figures, and businessmen. When Thomas Cook Tours started offering voyages to Bermuda from New York, the hotel staff, dressed in white jackets, would wave pink handkerchiefs as they greeted the guests. Celebrities even began to frequently visit the hotel. Mark Twain was once such regular, who would smoke cigars outdoors while signing autographs and reciting poetry. The author of the James Bond novels, Ian Fleming, was so impressed by the hotel that he included it as a location in his novel, Dr. No.

During World War II, the hotel acted as a British intelligence center and waystation that analyzed all mail, radio, and telegraphs that crossed the Atlantic. But the island soon became a prime vacation destination for American families following the war, as air traffic to Bermuda increased tenfold. To appeal to these new travelers, the hotel rebranded itself as “The Princess Hotel and Cottage Colony.” Billionaire Daniel Ludwig eventually purchased the hotel in 1959, who invested heavily into renovating its entire structural appearance. Now, over a century later, Hamilton Princess & Beach Club is the Grande Dame of the island and the most historic hotels in the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts family.

  • History Mystery +
    Which Historic Hotel was built in honor of Princess Louise after her 1883 visit to Bermuda? If you guessed the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, you guessed correctly! The hotel opened on January 1, 1885, in Bermuda, just following the island’s rise to prominence after a visit by Princess Louise, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria of England. Having referred to the island as “a place of eternal spring,” Princess Louise was the inspiration behind the name of the hotel, which was originally named The Princess. During its early years, the hotel made a name for itself with upper-class socialites living on the island, as well as wealthy leisure travelers, political figures, and businessmen. Mark Twain was a regular and would smoke cigars outdoors while signing autographs and reciting poetry. The author of the James Bond novels, Ian Fleming, was so impressed by the hotel that he included it as a location in his novel, Dr. No. In 1959, American tanker billionaire Daniel Ludwig purchased the hotel and renovated it to increase the level of prestige, adding a new wing and luxurious lounges, while the cottage colony was levelled. Now, over a century later, Hamilton Princess & Beach Club is the Grande Dame of the island and the oldest hotel of the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts family.

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