Unexpected because we were booked at the Four Seasons and while talking to the concierge, she let us know their was a corporate group for 4 days of our trip...we cancelled and called the Fairmont.
We stayed at the Fairmont for 12 nights (2nd stay, first time was 13 years ago) in the South tower 3rd floor ocean view room (2nd room from oceanfront so great view). We liked the 3rd floor b/c the only time we had to take an elevator was to the pool, everything else was on the 3rd floor. The room was very quiet (never heard a neighbor) average on design (recently remodeled, except the mattress, they need to change it since it had 2 major dips on each side of the king) large balcony, large TV, great 2x a day maid service...the room was spotless, lots of closet/hangers space and drawers for clothes, refrigerator held 10 bottles of water (we bought). Even though the room was average, it was half the cost of the room we booked at the 4S so...it was absolutely fine.
Valet- was great when returning back to the hotel, but we suggest when you want to leave the hotel to call the valet desk and they will have your car waiting, we saw couples that didn't and waited awhile.
Capacity and clientele- during our stay employees told us the hotel was between 50-60% full, a great time to vacation. It was very quiet, not many kids at all, mainly couples over 30 yrs old, hetero and gay friendly, everyone seemed laid back ( loved it!).
Beach- perfect for learning to swim, snorkeling ( we saw turtles, 9-10 varieties of fish), SUP, and relaxing, they had cabanas near the beach for only $35 or tons of free shade under palm trees. For advanced snorkelers or divers...sure the snorkeling isn't fabulous as other beaches but for a resort type beach, it sufficed. There also is a bar at the beach.
Pool- huge warm pool, always chairs available for those late risers...some complained about not enough umbrellas, yes there are only 6-7... But again, free shade under palm trees surround the pool. We rented a Holipuna for $150/ day, 2 padded chairs, 2 regular chairs set up outside the Holipuna, huge covered area, say 10x10?, a basket of water and snacks came with it. They also have cabanas around the pool and ocean for $45-$55/ day. If you want a Holipuna, call in advance since there are only 3 of them. Number 1-2 get sun and shade and 3 gets all shade and is best for a family since it was a grassy area in front for kids to play. Well worth the money! Always tons of towels available and the "pool boys/girls" are very helpful.
Pool service and bartenders- the biggest difference we noticed in this area comparing to other hotels we stay at in the category...they need retrained or fired. Not just painfully slow ( again, not busy time of year, end of August- beginning of September), they are NOT interested in any communication with guests. Every day we ate lunch at the pool bar, the bartenders made good drinks but so unfriendly and so slow. The waitresses around the pool, the same. We usually spend $2000 between drinks, food, tips during a 12 day at the pool and on this trip we only spent $900. They are not motivated by tips nor care about giving good service, we don't think they like their jobs. It was ALMOST funny.
Service elsewhere- fabulous! Everyone we encountered from the manager to the janitor was polite, how are you..., anything I can do for you...very accommodating, friendly and professional.
Other tips- SPA was awesome, during our stay they had a couples oceanfront massage for $399. The in-room dining options were extensive. You can have a romantic dinner in the gazebo oceanfront for $400 incl. champagne and wine. They have picnic baskets to take on road trips. They have lifestyle menus for Diabetics, GF, low sodium, etc...all the restaurants including the pool bar. For a special night you can have them "make room for romance" for $163, they put candles, a flower path to the bed and a flowered lei on the bed, robes, slippers, chocolate covered strawberries and champagne( sparkling wine), book they the concierge. You can have flowers and a cake delivered to the room upon arrival for $180. They have a torch lighting ceremony every night at sunset. The boutique is open 9-5 and has great swimsuits. The gym was extensive for a resort gym, total workouts can be done, towels, water, headsets, even gym clothes if you forget yours. Beautiful grounds. Free daily activities and some paid like yoga. Convenient to Foodland. Free shuttle to/from 24 hrs a day. No resort fee! Free wifi with President Club.
We will absolutely stay at the Fairmont again. I think if you pay under $400/ night you will love it. Anything more and I'd expect a nicer room...