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“A Really Nice Place” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

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The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   1 N Kaniku Dr, Puako, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743   |  
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Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Puako
Leavenworth, Kansas
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“A Really Nice Place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

The Fairmont Orchid on the Kohala coast north of Kona is a beautiful resort with a well-trained, helpful staff. My wife and I stayed for six nights in February 2013. Fortunately, two of the nights were complimentary.
Our room was nice with a small balcony. If you leaned out a little you could see the beach; otherwise the view was mostly of the grounds around a residential development with pool next door.
The small man-made beach seemed especially well suited for families with children. It is well protected by lava rock barriers. Even so the inner lagoon water can become cloudy if waves in the bay are up. There are actually enough fish in the lagoon to make snorkeling fun and it gets better (reportedly) out in the bay.
The drive to Hawi via the mountain road from Waimea is very scenic and both towns are worth spending a little time in. In Waimea at the Parker Square is a very good little coffee shop with some tasty bakery items.
Down in Kona just south of the airport a mile or two is a large K-Mart store good for stocking up on various supplies (like souvenir t-shirts, suntan lotion, macadamia nuts, etc.) Next door is a theater. Heading back north, on the east side of the highway just as you reach the end of the commercial buildup is a coffee outlet, Kona Mountain Coffee. It provides free samples of their excellent coffee. Well worth a try.
We ate breakfast mostly at the Orchid Court which was very good and for which we had some $25 discount coupons. For dinner we preferred the Hale Kai outdoor dining - fine food at a reasonable (for the setting) price and typically a nightly whale show not too far off shore.
We didn't try the spa nor the golf course. The golf course looked beautiful and challenging. The pool area was very nicely designed and landscaped so as not to appear crowded even when busy.
We had a good time and are glad we went, but felt that the resort was a little too formal for us to really enjoy. Golfers would likely appreciate it more.
One special note: the valet parking attendants offer complimentary bottles of cold water as you are heading out each day. A very nice touch.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,174 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (472)
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Edmonton, AB
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

We loved it so much last year we returned again this year...and it was great!
Our stay was shortened a little because the resort was oversold and they called us to ask if we would mind two free nights at the Mauna Lani Resort next door before coming over to the Orchid for the remainder of our stay.
Having not stayed at the Mauna Lani before, and having a chance to do it for free we said yes...and the Orchid person was very nice on the phone. The fact that we were offered an upgrade at the Mauna Lani and an Ocean Front room at the Orchid made it an easy decision.
The Mauna Lani is nice, but the resorts really don't compare in our opinion. We would have preferred the Orchid for the whole stay, but the experience was good and the Fairmont people handled it very well.
Adding to the experience is the great snorkelling you can do right out front of the resort...turtles, rays, octopus, coral, and tons of fish.

Can't wait for next year!

Room Tip: South wing is closest to the beach.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheFairmontOrchid, Guest Relations Manager at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Aloha,

Thank you for your review. We are pleased to know that you enjoyed your stay and sincerely appreciate your understanding and willingness to relocate for 2 nights. Thank you for your loyalty and for choosing to stay with us again. We look forward to welcoming you back next year!

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Summerville, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

We spent 11 days at this hotel and while the facility itself was comfortable enough and appropriately decorated, we were very disappointed in most other aspects of the hotel, many of which are commented on in other reviews.

Staff-friendly enough and generally helpful. Sometimes difficult to contact concierge and they weren't very good at returning calls. Shuttle drivers were the best,

Location-Good location but you will need a car to go outside the resort. Ride to the next resort 2 miles away was $20. $75 to Kona airport. $135/ea way to Waipio Valley.
Rental cars-Dollar rent a car at the hotel. very few cars and ridiculously expensive. Paid $185/day for a Ford Fusion.

Food- 5-star prices for 2.5 star food. Did not have one great meal there and cheapest was $31 for breakfast buffet. Lunch generally $60+ for 2. Valentine dinner was $91/ea and was not as good as Outback! Not a great meal at any of the hotel's restaurants.

Beverages- $5.75 bottled water;$14-$16 for any alcohol drink.

Pools & Beach-Very good pool and beach facilities with snorkeling, etc. Nice cabanas but $70/day.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheFairmontOrchid, Guest Relations Manager at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Aloha,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience. It is concerning that your stay was a disappointment and we sincerely apologize for failing to meet your expectations. Should your travels bring you back to our beautiful island in the future, we would appreciate an opportunity to welcome you back and regain your confidence.

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
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Fortaleza, CE
Top Contributor
360 reviews 360 reviews
189 hotel reviews
Reviews in 130 cities Reviews in 130 cities
247 helpful votes 247 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

We stayed here because my wife was attending a conference there. If we hadn't gotten a special conference rate, we probably couldn't have afforded to stay here, between the room rate, and fees for Wi-Fi, parking, etc. It is in a lovely location. The small sand beach and lagoon are great-- we had a great time snorkeling in the lagoon. Some people do venture out further, especially for surving, but currents can be dangerous (resort does post flags noting wind and current conditions-- theyw ere yellow most days we were there, and red once). Resort is a bit isolated from Kona, etc., so it's a great place to stay if you don't need to venture much. If you do want to visit even the nearby petroglyph park and small shopping center with supermarket, restaurants, etc. (including a place to rent snorkel gear at a much lower rate than you'd pay at the resort), you need a car.

It is a good idea to dine or at least buy groceries at that center, since the in-house restaurants are a bit pricey, with the possible exception of Brown's Deli. Best deals are the small dishes at the Luana Lounge in the main building (nice place fior viewing sunsets, and, at times, hearing live music). Breakfast in the Orchid Court is pricey, but you can get small items at the deli. Brown's Beach House Restaurant, mainly outdoors on the grass,is very pricey but gets good reviews. You can get some of the same menu items at the adjacent, and moreinformal, Hale Kai restaurant and bar, next to the pool. We did splurge one night at Norio's Japanese restaurant (they have many non-Japanese items; we had grilled fish), at one of their outdoor tables rather than the noisier inside portion.

This is a place for relaxing. It is not for someone on a budget, but if you can splurge, it's very nice, especially if you can get at least an ocean view room with balcony.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Victoria, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

From the moment we arrived until the day we left the service at the Fairmont Orchid Gold was absolutely fantastic. Staff are friendly, professional and do whatever they can to ensure your stay with them is memorable. Our room overlooked the gardens, waterfalls, pool and from the lanai, the ocean. We were on the "Gold Floor" and I would recommend this. It costs more, but is worth the extra charge. We had great breakfasts every morning, tea at 3:00 and appetizers at 5:00 . My friends and I agree that we will return to the Fairmont Orchid in the near future.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheFairmontOrchid, Guest Relations Manager at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Aloha,

Thank you for your wonderful review. We look forward to welcoming you back!

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Just returned from a week at the Fairmont Orchid. Truthfully, I'd like to give it a 4.5. While I don't want to burden readers with repeating all of the wonderful aspects of the property, I'd like to point out a couple of my observations:

The location (although this could also be a dislike if you don't have a rental car for neighboring attractions) - was wonderful for running outdoors. Every day I started with a 5 - 6 mile run through the winding trails by the beach to the south past the Mauna Lani resort & over to the golf course & back in a big loop. There are plenty of roadways with wide shoulders and jogging paths to traverse around the area making for a different route each day. That said, the walk from the Fairmont to the Mauni Lani Shops & small grocery store takes about 10-15 minutes. There is also a complimentary shuttle if you'd prefer. We ate lunch one day at Just Tacos at the shops and found it very quaint & learned a lot about Tequila from a very informative bartender. Highly recommend if you enjoy tequila tasting. Back at the resort, we dined at all the restaurants. As others have said, very pricey. My husband ordered shrimp fried rice one day for lunch. It was about 1 1/2 C of rice (plain rice) topped with 2 grilled shrimp - at a cost of $36! The workout facility was adequate at first glance; however, upon entering at 6:30 on my first morning, it was completely full - so began my daily outdoor runs. I wish the hotel provided bottled water in the guestrooms - even if it was for a fee. There was not a mini-bar but there was a frige, so after a trip to the store, we had bottled water. Upon check-in, the bell staff lost one of our suitcases somewhere en route to our room. It was recovered 2 days later after it was discovered in another guestroom. They did send an apology along with a large fruit and snack tray. Overall, a pretty plush place on the Kohala coast but not as top-notch as the Four Seasons down the road.

Room Tip: Excellent sunset views from the rooms in the North Tower poolside.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

We stayed at the Orchid for a week towards the beginning of February. The weather was perfect and making the arrangements -- including booking golf times and hiring a car from the airport -- were done easily by using the concierge ahead of our arrival.

We stayed on the Gold floor, which is definitely worth it. Although we didn't eat breakfast in the lounge (our travel agent got us the breakfast buffet included), we did have snacks many afternoons and joined others for pre-dinner cocktails a few times.

The resort itself is fabulous! The pool is nice and has plenty of shallower areas for the younger children. I had read about heating problems in the pool, but they seem to have all been fixed. However, drink service around the pool is virtually non-existent. On our first day there, one server walked by, said she'd be right back and we never saw her again. I got drinks at the bar eventually.

Most days, we were at the beach, where Todd was a great server. The cove is perfect because it's warmer and calmer than the ocean. The kids spent most of the days we were there playing on the boogie boards, paddle boards and doing a bit of snorkeling. We took the free snorkeling class so my husband and I did some outside the cove too. (Again, props to our travel agent who got the weekly beach rentals included with our room. It was well worth it.) Be sure to bring or purchase (only $14 at the beach shack) water shoes so that you don't cut your feet on the lava rock.

The breakfast buffet was good. There wasn't a ton of variety, but the food was usually hot and tasty. The Hale Kai restaurant (the only one in which one doesn't need reservations) had a great menu and really good service. We particularly liked Zoe, who was a great server.

We had one dinner at Brown's and it was good. It was expensive for what it was, but, then again, we're in a resort on Hawaii, so we weren't surprised.

We had two dinners at Norio's Japanese Steak and Sushi Bar. The first was a fiasco from start to finish, but the staff made it right by comping us the entire meal. Honestly, we expected my husband's meal to be comped, but giving us the entire meal free was over the top. Because of that, we returned a few nights later to try again. This time, the food was very good and the service was good too. What made it even better was that the second time, we were a party of eight, which I know is more challenging in terms of getting hot food, properly done, to everyone. The second time, the steaks were cooked as they had been ordered, the appetizers were great and the various special needs (no sauce for some of the kids, no shellfish for me, etc.) were handled very well. Again, the meal isn't inexpensive, but it's very good food and good service.

We ate a meal at Monster (in the shops nearby) one night and the Mexican restaurant there too. The shuttle to get to the shops is free and comes frequently, making the trip easy. The food at both was good.

Overall, I would return to the Orchid again. The beach was so fabulous and the rooms were so nice that it seemed worth the price. We were travelling with my two daughters, who are tweens, and we stayed in two connecting rooms.

Room Tip: We faced the golf course and had a very good view of the ocean. I'd recommend the Gold level roo...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheFairmontOrchid, Guest Relations Manager at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, responded to this review, March 13, 2013
Aloha,

Thank you so much for your extensive review. Your feedback is important to us and we appreciate learning what you enjoyed at our resort, as well as the ways we failed to meet your expectations. Your comments provide valuable information and will be used to support our continuous improvement efforts. We look forward to welcoming you back and to providing you with a much more positive overall experience.

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

Address: 1 N Kaniku Dr, Puako, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kohala Coast > Puako
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Puako
#2 Family Hotel in Puako
#2 Romantic Hotel in Puako
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#3 Spa Hotel in Puako
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puako
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii 4.5*
Number of rooms: 540
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii is a Kohala Coast Hawaii oceanfront luxury hotel and resort with white sand lagoon, Hawaiian Spa Without Walls, golf, tennis, five restaurants, extensive meeting and event facilities, and a year-round children’s program. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Hotel Waimea
Fairmont Hotel Kamuela
Fairmont Orchid Hawaii
Fairmont Kamuela
Kamuela Fairmont

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