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“Extremely nice property if......” 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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5th Night Free
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Puako
Frisco, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Extremely nice property if......”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014

This is an extremely nice resort with a staff that goes overboard to help you during your stay. However, I hesitate to give it 5 stars because had I not been attending a company sponsored event, they would have nickle and dime-d me to death with things like parking, the internet, and other resort fees. I stayed from April 11th through the 17th and the average rate during this time period would be the most I would pay even into May, and on. Yes, they've got a great pool, spa, and beach to hangout on, but things like drinks and food could be a little more in line with reality. Fortunately, less than a mile from the resort there are several nice restaurants and a grocery store that sells liquor, beer, and wine so my advice would be to eat away from the resort and BYOB.....

Beware of the spotty internet and the long distances you'll have to travel to see other attractions on the Big Island. We rented a car so fortunately we weren't stuck on the resort and got to see quite a bit of the Island.

Room Tip: I would recommend nothing short of a room with at least a partial ocean view to relax and take in on...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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2,161 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 (467)
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English first
San Francisco, CA
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014

We stayed at the Fairmont Orchid Mauna Lani for one night as a mini-vacation within a vacation. We chose the Orchid because we were looking for a luxury hotel in the Kohala Coast area, and there frankly aren’t too many options. Overall, the Fairmont is a nice hotel, but it was a mixed bag of experiences, and ultimately, I would have to say that it failed to meet some of my expectations, especially around the upkeep and modernization of the property.

I think the highlight of the hotel is the grounds. The landscaping is very mature so you definitely get a very tropical vibe in stark contrast to the volcanic lava rock right outside – it did not feel like the Big Island, and I think that’s OK. It’s also right on the water, with access to a sandy beach.

The room is where things start to become a mixed bag. We were in a partial ocean view room facing the pool. The room size and layout is that of a normal hotel room … nothing extraordinary or unusual about it. On the positive, everything about the sleeping area appears to have been recently renovated in a clean modern way. The view from the lanai was also great … and it was also nice to hear the ocean. However, the bathroom was probably not updated as part of the renovation, and that’s very unfortunate. The whole bathroom was in some sort of whitish marble with brass fixtures. There’s a separate shower and tub, but the bathtub was pretty small … probably a normal residential tub, but smaller than I would expect at a luxury hotel. And the whole thing just … felt … old. It wasn’t dirty, but it wasn’t pristine. The brass on the fixtures were starting to rub off, and one faucet was just wobbly. There were hard water stains on the white marble. No amount of cleaning is going to help this … it’s time to renovate if the Orchid wants to maintain a luxury room feel. This “run down” feeling isn’t just in the rooms … for example, all the elevator buttons had been worn down. Not a big deal, but you start to wonder if the Fairmont is really trying to do their best to compete in the luxury market in Kohala.

Another mixed bag impression was the large convention that was staying at the hotel. There were significant portions of the public space cordoned off for their activities, and lots of coordinators with badges and walkie-talkies and attendees with lanyards. They weren’t intrusive or anything, but again, you start to wonder what exactly the Fairmont is trying to be. I for one did not expect a big convention hotel because I didn’t think this hotel was big enough, but it did take away from my personal enjoyment and relaxation as an individual vacationer.

Dining was a highlight. We had dinner at the Brown’s Beach House and breakfast at the Orchid Court. Both experiences were great, with good regional food, and great service especially at Brown’s where we had a particularly good waiter that made our evening fun.

One piece of practical advice. Sign up for the free Fairmont Gold frequent customer program before you check in. This entitles you to free wifi for your entire stay, instead of being charged for it.

The Fairmont is a nice enough hotel, but failed to measure up to my expectations of luxury. The overall impression was that the hotel is ‘worn’. That’s great for the landscaping because it’s had a chance to take root, but not so great for the bathrooms. And having conventioneers amongst vacationers was truly unfortunate. The next time I’m back in the Kohala / Kona area, I think I will either spend the money to stay at the Four Seasons Hualalai again, or spend less at a lower-tier hotel where my expectations won’t be as high.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 3
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, May 1, 2014
Aloha,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your recent experience at The Fairmont Orchid. We are grateful for your kind feedback about our lovely grounds, and your enjoyable dining experiences, and also your honest feedback about those areas where your stay failed to meet your expectations. Your feedback is important to us and will be used to support our continuous improvement efforts. Thank you for choosing to stay with us. Should your travels bring you back to the Island of Hawaii, it would be our pleasure to welcome 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.
Mountain View, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

My (seven-year-old) son and I stayed here for our "spring break". Its a beautiful hotel and the beach/bay was absolutely perfect for him to swim/snorkel. Room service things were cold and the "special" steak one night was tough. Food at the pool and Hale Kai restaurant was exceptional. I'd go back. One night the concierge suggested we go to "Napua" for dinner - just down the way. The shuttle took us and picked us up and it was one of the best meals ever. Lovely location and great service. I'd go back just to eat there again!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
TheFairmontOrchid, Guest Relations Manager at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, responded to this review, May 1, 2014
Aloha,

Thank you very much for your nice review and feedback. We are delighted that you and your son had a wonderful time. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

Beautiful facilities with VERY small beachfront. Food prices are extremely high especially with the quality taken into consideration. Not a great location for kids as the hotel is a long drive from anything else to do. If your intent is to never leave a resort, it will be fine. 1-2 hours from any other Big Island attractions. Rooms are nicely appointed but the noise level from the hall is extreme. Every time a door closed or people walked by could be heard loudly in the room.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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

Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

This trip was business mixed in with pleasure for my wife and I. We are never disappointed with this hotel and the staff. With all our kids married we enjoy this hotel because there are not bunches of kids running around as in other hotels.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • 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

Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, OR
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
250 helpful votes 250 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

First, let me say that I really like this property. If you see my prior reviews I have said as much, and that still holds true. However, having just returned from a five night stay, I am convinced that the timing of this trip combined with the successful sales staff of the Orchid created a holiday that was absolutely unexpected and disappointing.


I started writing this review while still on the property.

………………………..Flashback: It is 9:30 P.M. and the fireworks, yes fireworks, have just ended. As I look out over the beautiful grounds of the Orchid I see THREE corporate events taking place. One adjacent to the pool area, one across the lagoon at the coconut grove, and the last at the end of the north tower with the house band having just finished a rousing cover of KC and the Sunshine Band’s ‘that’s the way (uh huh) I like it”, followed by a fireworks finale.

Look, I love fireworks, but I really don’t care too much for an UNANNOUNCED display while I’m on a tropical vacation, and my kids are asleep. Granted, I’m a bit jaded as my family was at the wonderfully peaceful Four Seasons Hualalai resort for dinner just an hour or so ago.” ………………………………….



This was a precursor to the next few days as more and more corporate groups paraded through the property, clogging up the grounds, and precipitating detours just to walk through the common areas. The coup de grace coming with the Presidents Club Olympics complete with blaring music and amplified play by play. Picture “Takin’ care of business” cranked to 11, while the announcer gleefully urged the competitors to hold the balloon between their knees.

This went on for about 2 hours, and utilized the entirety of the property excluding the pool area. Even attendees were apologetic, seeing us mortified vacationers mournfully watching (and listening to) the spectacle. It was like hundreds of strangers invading your back yard and refusing to leave.


Positives:

Wonderful grounds
Superb staff
Newly refurbished rooms
Excellent high end value
Negatives:

See above

Bottom Line:


The Orchid really needs to define what it is. At this point it is readily apparent that travelers such as me come in a distant second to the President Club/Winner Circles of the world.

I get it, corporations buy huge blocks of rooms, and that greatly outweighs a few complaining tourists. And they know that even if we complain, all they have to say is “I'm so sorry”. I think all of us would have appreciated something more than that.

  • Stayed April 2014, 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 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellevue Wa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

We enjoyed every minute of our stay at the Fairmont orchid! The best part is the gorgeous sunny beach. It is naturally protected from waves so our kids were able to snorkel too. Beach shack loaned us free life jackets. There are two turtles that were there the whole time and we very much enjoyed watching them. We rented a cabana and would recommend that as it was a nice home base. The pool is beautiful (warm too!) and has a hidden hot tub. It's all surrounded by gorgeous landscaping. We were there during Spring Break week and had no trouble finding chairs at beach or pool at any time during the day. Beautiful, spacious and peaceful rooms. We were next to a maintenance room but didn't hear a thing. The beds were so comfortable. Great coffee maker in room, but would recommend bringing some additional and possibly stronger Keureg cups. The wi-fi in the room wasn't very good, but that's our only complaint. It is every bit as gorgeous as the pictures on the website. We rented a car and we were glad we did that - Fairmont is a little far and there isn't much around. The restaurants are expensive and service was slow, but nice view and good food. We did a bit of grocery shopping at Mauna Lani, and had a delicious burger at Tommy Bahamas. We also loved Sea Paradise snorkeling. The crew was exceptionally helpful and kind. Our kids (age 6 and 7) loved the stay and so did we!

  • Stayed April 2014, 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

Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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, April 25, 2014
Aloha,

Thank you for taking the time to post your excellent review! We are grateful for your compliments and very pleased that the entire family had a great time. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai`i
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 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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