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.
- 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