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“Unexpectedly Fabulous” 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
Pittsburgh PA
Top Contributor
202 reviews 202 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
388 helpful votes 388 helpful votes
“Unexpectedly Fabulous”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

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...

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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, September 20, 2013
Aloha,

Thank you so much for your amazing review. It was a pleasure having you as our guest, and hope we will have an opportunity to welcome you back soon.

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
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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
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Western Pennsylvania
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5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

Just returned from a great trip to Maui and Hawaii (Big Island). Stayed at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui 8/28- 9/3 and the Fairmont Orchid in Hawaii 9/3 - 9/8. Both hotels are top of the line. I would wholeheartedly recommend both. However, they are different, and the differences are greatly based on the differences of the islands. Looks like I have to review them separately.
The Fairmont Orchid is on the Kohala Coast area of the Big Island, about a 30 minute drive north from the Kona Airport. What amazed me was the landscape on the drive...barren, arid, with piles of lava as far as you can see. I could not imagine a hotel existing anywhere in the midst of that desolation. Pleasantly surprised to find the hotel in what appeared to be an oasis close to the ocean. There is a small shopping center close by. First impressions on the grounds...the most lush I've ever seen....plants, flowers, fountains, waterfalls...just a delight to the eyes. Also, the woodwork throughout the hotel was just beautiful, and the most amazing flower arrangements. If you are walking the grounds with a camera, it is impossible to not stop and take photographs. Nice pool, but only one. Our room was not a suite, as in the Fairmont Maui, but we were right on the beach. Room had a nice bathroom with higher flow faucets and oversized shower heads, refrigerator, and Keurig coffee maker (as did the Fairmont Maui). The bed was firmer...more to our liking. Speaking of the beach, I would rate it as an over-sized lilly pond...very small lagoon with no surf. The beach area was the only downer to me. If you want a real beach, drive north a few miles to Hapuna Beach State Park...one of the top beaches on the Big Island. By the way, all the beaches in Hawaii are public beaches. This hotel also has bicycles for guests, but if you bike, go early. It was very warm in September....high 80's to low 90's. If you want to cool off, take a drive to the Mauna Kea summit to watch the sun set and do some star gazing. Take warm clothing, however, as it was windy and about 50 degrees! I recommend the hotel's guided walking tour of the petroglyphs. You will learn much about the Hawaiian culture and history. It's at 8:00 AM and lasts about two hours. We had dinner at Brown's Beach House Restaurant....one of the highest rated on the island. Food and service was outstanding. Our returning flight to the mainland was at 9:00 PM, as are most returning flights. The hotel was gracious enough to let us have the room at a very reasonable day rate on our last day. This was truly a blessing. There are attractions close by, but others are a lengthy drive...as on Maui. We put about 500 miles on our car in six days. If we ever return to the Big Island, I would not hesitate to stay here again...a very enjoyable vacation.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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, September 20, 2013
Aloha,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. We are so pleased to know that you especially enjoyed our beautiful landscaping, guest room amenities, and Brown’s Beach House Restaurant. We very much look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back.

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
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new jersey
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

My family stayed here in August 2013 (2 adults and 1 teen boy). Loved everything about this resort. Staff warm, friendly and helpful Entire resort area clean, beautifully decorated. I loved the overall design of resort. Pool and beach area clean and awesome!! Dining wonderful if not a bit expensive. Would stay here again in a heartbeat. One drawback located quite a bit away from other sites on island, but it is a beautiful island to drive around on.

Room Tip: Choose a room over looking ocean and garden
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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, September 20, 2013
Aloha,

Thank you so much for your review. It is very gratifying to hear that you loved everything about our resort! We hope you will come back and stay with us again soon!

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
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Irvine, California
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013 via mobile

We have stayed here several times. The place is fantastic. Fairmont takes care of business. Great location, nice rooms, nice people. Two beach bars nice pool nice beach. No complaints. Free Internet with free presidents club membership.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, September 20, 2013
Aloha,

Thank you for your kind review and for your confidence in Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. We look forward to your return.

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

We spent one night here in August. We were passing through on our way to somewhere else, so we did not get to experience everything this resort has to offer. With that in mind, here are our thoughts.

Pros:
Lovely grounds, especially the gardens
Interesting things nearby, like the Pukao Petroglyphs
Interesting public areas
A spacious and clean room (Garden View)
A generously sized and well-equipped bathroom
Professional and helpful staff
A quiet atmosphere.

Cons:
Dirty glasses and cutlery at breakfast (a pet hate of ours)
A number of food options running short at breakfast
Fresh towels stored in the toilet cubicle - why?
No slippers to go with the robe
Used towels and drink containers by the pool at midnight (even if the pool is open around the clock, it's still not a good look).

This hotel somehow felt more American than Hawaiian to us. Also, there was just a vague feeling that no-one was going to take too much trouble with us when we were only staying a single night. But while it's not quite up there with the best hotels we've stayed in, we would have been happy to stay a little longer.

Special recommendation: enjoy a late-night walk though the gardens, visit the petroglyphs early before it gets too hot.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, September 20, 2013
Aloha,

Thank you for sharing your experience at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. We are pleased to know that you enjoyed our lovely grounds, helpful and professional staff and quiet atmosphere.

Please accept our apology for the shortcomings you experienced; your valuable feedback will be used to improve in those areas where we fell short. Should your travels bring you back to Hawaii Island in the future, I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back.

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
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Kona
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

The last time I stayed here the property was a Ritz-Carlton, and had a different feel to it, more ultra-luxe. But we had no real complaints about the room or the service. The bed was awesomely comfortable (although sheets with unraveling threads seemed bizarre for a hotel of this quality), the room was clean and well-appointed, and all staff that we encountered were very pleasant.

We're going to have to contact the management, however, about passing off "Kona Blend" coffee as Kona at the breakfast buffet. We asked what kind of coffee they were serving and our waiter answered, "Kona." I pressed a bit, asking if it was real, 100% Kona and he said no, it was a Kona blend. I told him he really shouldn't be claiming it's Kona then, since Kona blend is only 10% Kona and 90% low-quality coffee from somewhere else . . . and his reply was that, well, it says "Kona" on the package. No excuse for that, at all, especially on the island where our great Kona coffee is grown!

We very much enjoyed walking the shoreline trail to have dinner at the Canoe House at the Mauna Lani. This twilight saunter, with the new moon rising, was memorable - especially when we almost stumbled over a huge honu resting in the middle of the narrow trail!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hilo, Hawaii
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

This is our 3rd stay at this amazing hotel in this year. Service always excellent, got upgraded to a suite on the south wing with a garden view. Room was always cleaned well everyday, also in the evening when we went out to dinner. Came back to the room with ice and bottled water waiting for us. We loved the heated pool, and the cabanas at poolside was a great finishing touch. We dined at Norio's there at the property, kind of pricey but overall we enjoyed the experience. The valet's were always great, we had an ADA suite and had handicap parking which we didn't have to pay for daily parking rates. Although this trip we weren't greeted by anyone at the entrance with kukui nut leis as we have always had on our previous visits there. They probably were too busy for that but not a big deal. We really enjoyed the property as always, awesome views, quiet atmosphere, good service, and friendly staff. I would recommend the Fairmont Orchid to anyone that needs a quiet getaway whether for couples or families. I would say they lived up to their 4 star rating...AAAA++++

  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, September 20, 2013
Aloha,

Thank you for choosing The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii for your stay-cation! We appreciate your loyalty and support and thank you for your wonderful review. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon!

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Report response as inappropriate
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 Romantic Hotel in Puako
#2 Family Hotel in Puako
#2 Business Hotel in Puako
#3 Spa Hotel in Puako
#3 On the Beach 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*
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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