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“Good Stay at the Fairmont Orchid” 3 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 Nite Free + Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Good Stay at the Fairmont Orchid”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2009

We spent the last 4 nights of our honeyoon at the Fairmont Orchid. It had some tough competition as we stayed at the Grand Hyatt on Kauai and The Kahala on Oahu. I'll start by saying our stay at the Fairmont Orchid got off to a rough start. We had payed for an ocean view room and while I was parking the car, they told my wife they upgraded us to an ocean view room, which confused me [she really didn't know because I made the reservation]. . .but I figured who cares as long as we end up in an ocean view room. We then checked into our room to find we had an extremely limited ocean view room with our primary view being a golf course. To make matters worse we had two double beds even though they knew we were on our honeymoon -- this really upset me! They had champagne chilling for our honeymoon, but gave us two double beds???! Anyway, we called down to the front desk to express our displeasure. They agreed to move us to another room across the hall, which was much better. It had a view of the pool [with the ocean in the background] and also had a king bed. We really did not like the decor in either of the rooms as it was very strange decorating to say the least. . .I felt like we were staying in a dated NYC hotel. I'm really not at all picky on the decor of hotel rooms, but I found the decor of our hotel room distasteful. It certainly did not feel like Hawaii to me. Anyway, those are my primary complaints regarding this hotel. Some of the pros are as follows:
1) The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. Significantly nicer than the Mauna Lani hotel in my opinion, which is on the same grounds.
2) The pool was very nice very nice
3) The beach area was great
4) Brown's Beach House restaurnt was excellent and the sunsets from this hotel were amazing.
5) Service was average
6) It was a good value as our breakfast was included each day and we received a good deal through our travel agent.

Overall, if you can tolerate the odd room decor and limited ocean view than I would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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2,383 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
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English first
Twin Cities, MN
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2009

Okay, I am currently staying this hotel. We went Japanese restaurant last night and they were incredibly pricy. I mean, the price is in same league as Nobu, but the quality of food were less than what I usually get in Japanese restaurant in Minnesota, USA. (midwest USA....)
Is this possible in Hawaii? apparently, yes.
If anyone who cares about their sashimi quality, I recommand you stay away from this one.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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San Francisco
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2009

From what I am told this hotel used to be a Ritz-Carlton, and from my stay here I can see that this Fairmont has adopted some of the Ritz's service. I've stayed at other Fairmont hotels but this particular one had impeccable service and attentive staff. The location is perfect for a beach side resort, and the hotel offers many amenities and services. Our package included a breakfast buffet each day and we were quite pleased with the outdoor seating, service, and quality and selection of food. We spent a day at the lagoon beach under a cabana and loved it - a great way to relax, read, and rest. The room was reminiscent of a Ritz - clean, large and comfortable, huge closet, lots of drawers, mini-fridge, the bathroom ample as well with a shower/tub and a separate shower stall, and a nice lanai (balcony) to sit and read overlooking the garden, and if you turned your head slightly you could capture a sliver of an ocean view!
Suggestions: Although the food was good here at the Orchid, I would recommend stopping at the Foodland right at the beginning of Kaniku Drive to pick up water, snacks and fruit, beer and wine that you can easily store in your room fridge. Bring your workout clothes as well so you can workout at the fitness center that has at least a dozen cardio machines, no waiting!
We truly enjoyed our stay here, it was relaxing and comfortable and we felt like we were a world away from everyone.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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El Segundo, CA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2009

I just got back from a 5-day vacation to the Big Island. It was one of the most memorable and amazing vacations I have ever taken. A big part of why I enjoyed the trip so much was because of my stay at the Fairmont. As soon as I pulled up and walked in the open-air lobby and saw the pool and the ocean my spirits were instantly lifted!

We were originally booked to stay in a garden view room but decided to pay a $200 per night upgrade to Fairmont Gold, the 6th floor of the North Tower that is a private floor with its own private concierge. Fairmont Gold includes a delicious deluxe continental breakfast every morning (smoked salmon, fresh fruits, pastries, bagels, a hot egg dish, etc.), high tea from 3pm-5pm, and wonderful appetizers (coconut shrimp, sushi, beef skewers, etc.) from 5pm-7pm, all served in the private lounge overlooking the gardens and glimpsing the ocean. The lounge is open from 6:30am-10pm so you can always go in there to enjoy or take with you complimentary fresh fruit, cookies, Kona coffee, guava juice, sodas or bottled water. They even have a library to borrow books and internet access. Our room was spacious, clean, and had a great view of the golf course and ocean. The concierge at Fairmont Gold is willing to do anything to make your stay pleasant, and they were gracious enough to give me a late 7pm checkout since we had a late flight. Overall, upgrading saves you from being nickel-and-dimed since it includes the deluxe continental breakfast which alone costs $25 per person per day, plus the cost of drinks, the free snacks and appetizers, and valet parking (self-parking at the hotel is $15 a day).

The beach at the hotel was great, although there were too many kids there. But I just walked around the corner and found a more tranquil, quiet, beach with adults just sunbathing and reading. We did a little bit of snorkeling and scheduled a stand-up paddleboarding lesson with the hotel which was very fun...but hard! We hung out at the hotel beach on our first and last days and spent the other days exploring the other beaches and sites on the island, including making the 3-hour drive to Volcanoes National Park. Hapuna Beach, which is one of the prettiest beaches in the world, is a 5-minute drive away, the charming town of Hawi is about a 45 minute drive away, and while we were there we drove to the Pololu overlook and hiked about a mile down a steep cliff so we could take pictures on the black sand beach! Absolutely awesome!

I'm glad I stayed not just at the Fairmont, but on the Kohala coast. I loved the white sand beaches. I didn't like Kona very much and the beaches on that end were not very pretty or expansive. If you are looking for a relaxing, romantic, and amazing adventure, visit the Big Island and definitely stay at the Fairmont!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Charles, LA
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2009

My husband and I stayed here for 8 nights in July, 2009 with our two teenage daughters. We found the hotel and grounds to be beautifully maintained. The rooms were very clean and spacious, as was the bathroom with a separate tub and shower stall. The service was impeccable. Anytime we called for anything, staff were at our room door in five minutes. The staff were very friendly, calling us by name. The food at Brown's Deli was very good and affordable for a poolside lunch. The hit of our stay was seeing all of the sea turtles which were swimming in the ocean with us and lying on the beach sunning themselves. I would recommend this hotel to anyone and don't think you could find a better place on the Big Island. We stayed at the Four Seasons in Maui last summer and found this hotel to be a very close second (only difference being in poolside service--they provided chilled face towels and spritzed you with Evian water at the Four Seasons). We rented a car at the airport and found this to be wonderful as it allowed us to travel around the entire island at our leisure.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 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
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San Diego, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2009

My husband I traveled to the Big Island for our honeymoon on July 2nd and stayed at the Fairmont Orchid until the 8th. We stayed on the east side of the island for the remainder of the honeymoon. We were happy with the accommodations as a whole but it definitely didn't have the "wow" factor we had envisioned for a Fairmont hotel/resort. We had champagne and a nice card waiting for us in our room upon our arrival. It was definitely a resort feel for people who like all their amenities at arms-reach (which I do). Upon check-in the check-in clerk said our room was one of the best there, however, she said they were offering us a special upgrade. I inquired how much, then the woman told me the manager could come down and negotiate a price. I possibly would have upgraded but the fact that they didn't have an upgrade price available at the moment seemed like a big hassle. We had an Oceanfront Room which had a spectacular view of the ocean & sunset. I felt badly for people who had the "Ocean View" rooms because they probably had to stick their necks out around the corner to see a sliver of the ocean in some spots. For paying $700+/per night I expected more inside of our room (maybe a fridge that didn't freeze everything inside of it?). It seemed like pretty standard room even though it was supposed to be a Deluxe Ocean Front Room. The valet attendants were fantastic and helpful and always willing to give you directions, maps, water, and towels (no charge). Funny though, because they charge you $3 or $4 by the pool for the same bottle of water, but they give you for free when you depart the hotel for the day. I felt a bit nickel & dimed for everything. It was about $14/hr to rent snorkel gear. I went to Costco about 20 minutes away (there is a Walmart too) and bought a whole snorkel set (mask, snorkel, and fins) for under $40 so at least I could use it at the Fairmont & any other beach I wanted to snorkel at. I brought my own beach towels from home and was "confronted" by security for not using their thin, dingy white towels provided for guests. They said having your own beach towels signals security that you aren't a guest. I appreciate that the Fairmont Orchid tries to keep the riff raff out of their private beach but it was a bit embarrassing to be asked for hotel keys and ID in front of other guests. God forbid I have a nice tropical beach towel instead of using dingy, thin, cheap hotel-provided towels! So the next day I went back to the beach at the Fairmont and asked for a hotel-provided towel. They pointed to a bin and said they were in there. That really peeved me. So basically anyone (non-hotel guests) can use their private beach as long as they take a towel from the bin...doesn't make any sense! After about spending $5000+ on accommodations, room service, drinks, dinner, etc. I felt it wasn't worth all of the hype. The hotel was beautiful and would reccommend it but it seemed a bit pricey for all of the add-on fees. If you are staying there it may be better to get an Ocean View room since it is far less expensive and you probably won't be in it as much. I had a great time there and everything was very scenic and gorgeous. I just wanted to give an honest review. I am definitely not complaining, just wanted to give a bit of insight. Thanks!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Orange County, CA
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2009

We just got back from a fantastic trip to the Fairmont Orchid; we stayed on the Gold Level, which we highly recommended, if you can. It included private elevator, lounge, lobby, concierge, and an extremely nice continental breakfast (always including a hot dish such as croissant, egg, ham and brie sandwich), afternoon tea, and evening
hors d'oeuvres which often included sushi, and other treats such as Kobe beef, seared pears with goat cheese, etc...

Our room was fantastic, clean, and I doubt a single room in that hotel has a bad view. Almost all will have at least some type of partial ocean as long as you are on the 3rd floor and up. We recommend you stay in North Tower, because your chances of a great view are slightly better (you have the golf course or the hotel pool/grounds---and the ocean of course on both sides).

The lagoon is probably the best feature of the hotel; it has great snorkeling, kayaks, and ever floating device imaginable, all for a low activity fee of $60 for your entire stay. The water is warm, clear, and not too deep unless you go out around the bend. There are almost no waves, which we preferred.

The pool is nice, but generic. The hot tub however is fantastic. It included sand, and lava rock. It was perfect in the late afternoon and evening when it is nearly empty (so is the pool!) despite the fact both are open 24hrs.

Staff are amazing, and ALL are very friendly and willing to do whatever to make your stay fantastic. I have stayed at a few nice places, including the Four Seasons Maui, and this is on-par down to almost each detail, including the Evian spritz while you lounge by the pool.

Food is really good, but slightly expensive for portions...especially their deserts. We recommend using Brown's Deli during the day (they make sandwhiches) and the prices are reasonable, but they close at 3PM. Afterward, we ate at the Ocean Bar, for excellent snapper and drinks.

We used the spa---"The Spa Without Walls". It was beautiful, and we had a message on the ocean. They were running a special, so a couples message, lunch, and a cabana rental at the ocean for the day was only $299. Ask to see if they have something similar. Our only complaint was we asked for two females, and I was slightly uncomfortable to have a male. I didn't say anything...

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#1 Luxury Hotel in Puako
#2 Family Hotel in Puako
#2 Romantic 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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