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“Attention to detail” 5 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
Arcadia, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Attention to detail”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2006

We vacationed November 9th – 13th, 2006. We originally booked at the Hilton (to try something different,) but after two hours we found the Hilton disappointing and called the Fairmont hopeful they had availability. (We stayed there two years ago and loved it.) They only had garden rooms which was fine with us.
When we checked in, we had been upgraded to a suite (last time we were upgraded to a club level room.) Something about an inventory thing, but who cares! Our room was beautiful, shouted luxury but was very comfortable. Since we had a suite the rooms were huge (nice living room area) and we had two balconies and bathrooms! However, our first visit in July 2004, we had a standard king room that was just as nice just not as big. Renovations were going on during our stay, but we almost wouldn't have known if it weren't for a few signs apologizing for the renovations taped around. We heard no construction noise. By the way, the Fairmont does not have a bird problem like some of the other resorts – we are sure many of you know what we mean. You can enjoy dawn and dusk with out a lot of shrieking.
The entire resort is beautiful and well kept. You never saw trash, piled dishes, old pool towels, etc. lying around. The pool is nice and relaxing and there was never a shortage of lounge chairs. Some people thought the beach was a little small, but we thought it was fine. The beach never seemed crowded and the water was warm and clear. The activity desk offered kayak, boogie boards and snorkel rental for a small fee. We didn’t snorkel at the hotel, so we can’t comment on whether this is a good spot.
However, what really makes this place is the staff. Everyone from the valet, front desk, concierge, housekeeping, maintenance, waiters, etc were so friendly, helpful and truly go out of there way to make sure your stay is perfect (with you having to ask most of the time.) The level of pampering is amazing. The moment you step in the resort, the valet takes your bags and gives you a lei, the front desk quickly checks you in and goes over the activities/restaurants available at the resort, the concierge helps with any arrangements you could need, the pool attendants set up your towels on your lounge chair and occasional come by and spray you with Evian water - maybe a bit over the top but you pay good money to stay here and all the little touches and extra friendly service makes a good vacation become a great vacation.
To appear a little objective the following is a small list of complaints:
The bar and food service pool side can be a little slow. It is usually quicker to get up and get your own drink from the bar. However, the wait staff is very friendly once they get to you.
The cashier at the Lamont was not friendly, probably the only person at the Fairmont having a bad day – I think she is an outside vendor and probably doesn’t count as Fairmont staff.  At the other shops, the ladies were so nice and helpful.
My husband and I went to the spa for massages – I loved it, the amenities, the masseuse, the location (Oceanside cabana), but my husband wasn’t crazy about the amenities offered and his masseuse didn’t listen to his comments so he left disappointed. The massages were overpriced but hey it is fun to splurge once in awhile.
Of course there is the food/drink prices, the food and drinks at the Fairmont are expensive., but we haven't found a Hawaiin resort that isn't. Some food/drink items are really overpriced and others seem somewhat reasonable. However, the food (and portion sizes) is very good. We were never disappointed in anything we ordered., but be prepared for some scary room charges. We ate at all the restaurants but The Grille and we did not use room service. If you do stay at the Fairmont for more than 3-4 days; the restaurant choices can seem boring. One more restaurant (such as Italian or something) would be nice but hey you will probably have a car as did we so you can go somewhere else to eat. Kona is 20-30 min drive and several other resorts are within a 5-15min drive.
As repeat customers of the Fairmont Orchid, we can easily say we will stay here again and can comfortably recommend this resort to anyone.

  • Liked — Staff and Comfy Beds
  • Disliked — Food/drinks can be expensive
  • Tips/Secrets — King Shops
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2,172 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (471)
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English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2006

The Fairmont Orchid is just a dream come true, a perfect getaway for couples or good friends.

We didn't have the nice check-in experience of others here (no water, no lei) - instead, we had a long wait behind a horde of Japanese-speaking tourists and a VERY angry woman whose reservations were bungled.

It was a busy weekend and we ended up in the outer corner of the South Tower. I really don't recommend this side of the hotel. We couldn't even use the large lanai because the room was right in front of the generators which were VERY loud, and we also got a view of the storage area.

The rooms are beautiful, very well maintained - housekeeping is very diligent, fast and professional. Everything was absolutely pristine.

And the pool complex - HEAVEN - definitely get a double-chair cabana - for a scant $25 a day you get your own private cocoon AND a cooler with bottled water and fruit (which at the Deli nearly costs $25 anyway). Attendants come by with chilled towels and small cups of refreshing melons. There is a great view looking out over the pool into the ocean beyond.

We also had lunch poolside from Brown's, let me tell you that ahi wrap was one of the tastiest thing I've ever eaten, only made better by the soft breezes and sound of ocean crashing.

And working it off was almost a pleasure in the elegant state-of-the-art fitness center, which featured soft chandelier lighting as well as a fruit basket.

I have to say that it's not a fabulous place for under-5 kids, our 2 and 3 year old were pretty bored outside of the pool.

The grounds are exquisite, everything painstakingly manicured.

The food is delicious, really 5-star quality with a 5-star price tag, and a total waste for kids. The best meal was at Norio's - the sushi is to die for. The $40 butterfish was a deal at any price - but $10 for the small bowl of Kraft Mac & Cheese (no salad, grapes, nothing, just a small bowl of Kraft M&C) was ridiculous - come on, you're a Zagat-rated restaurant, the least you can do is make scratch Mac & Cheese or add some carrots or something!

  • Liked — Lovely grounds, heavenly poolside, beautiful fitness center.
  • Disliked — Check-in was slightly nightmarish, room location was somewhat dismal.
  • Tips/Secrets — Leave the under 5's with Grandma!
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2006

This hotel is truly paradise. The grounds are spectactular and the rooms are gorgeous. I visited with my wife on our honeymoon and the service was top notch. Make sure to become a fairmont club member prior to leaving because you get some added perks when you arive. We had an upgraded room and fruit/champagne platter sent of behalf of the hotel. Great place, would definetly go back.

  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Las Vegas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2006

Coming from a frequent traveller....This hotel is great!! 5 Star service all the way!!.. If you are looking for a nice relaxing vacation..this is the place! Nice and quiet....Definately worth paying a little extra for the Fairmont Gold floor..you will save money on food ....complimentary continental breakfast and snacks throughout the day. Going back for Christmas...Have fun and enjoy!!

Stayed November 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2006

My husband and I spent 4 amazing days at the Fairmont Orchid. We were greeted by very friendly valet's and given a beautiful orchid lei, cold towel and bottle of water. We checked in at 8am, so our room was not ready, it was no problem b/c we relaxed in a hammock then ate a tasty breakfast by a koi pond. The hotel interior and exterior are breathtaking and elegant. The small amount of children we saw were well behaved. There are tons of hammocks scattered around the property, some of them hidden within trees and waterfalls that just lull you to sleep. When we got to our room it was immaculate. Marble bathroom, hardwood floors and a patio just steps from the ocean. The mini bar was stocked so full with anything you would possibly need. The snorkeling cove was full of coral, fish, urchins and even huge sea turtles!!! We rented a private beach side cabanna for only $40 and enjoyed an afternoon of pampering by the staff. They constantly checked on us, and replinished our mai tai's (which were very strong) our water, ice and fruit. The staff is so friendly and genuine and they will do whatever to make you happy. The price of room service is average for a place like the Fairmont, but the food vastly exceeded our expectations. We ordered room service quite a bit and we were never dissapointed. Great mimosa's for breakfast, and omlets, as well as a great california roll, and pasta dishes. We also fell in love with Brown's Beach House! The lobster fried rice is mouth watering. I loved every bite! My husband got Chicken Tatusuka which was very tasty, I also tried their asian chicken salad, droooool, so great but the best part of Brown's was the mud pie. WOW! Best Dessert EVER!!!! We complimented the chef, the manager and our amazing waiter and raved about it to anyone who would listen. Everyone at the concierge was so helpful and friendly. I had a massage and facial in a seaside tent which were glorious. I was so sad when it was over, but I treated myself inside their amazing steam room, and helped myself to all the amenities available in the beautiful spa. I then had a mani/pedi at the spa which was equally wonderful. On the night of our anniversary the hotel sent us a bottle of champagne (and not the cheap stuff either-they sent us Veuve Clicquot!!!) and 6 decadent chocolate covered strawberries!!!! We truly enjoyed every second we spent at the Fairmont Orchid. We went to several hotels while on the big island (hapuna beach prince & hilton waikoloa) and they were NOTHING compared to the Fairmont. I will definately be back. I will recommend this beautiful hotel to anyone who will listen. I LOVED IT!!!! Fairmont Orchid is #1!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Liked — Food, decor, spa, staff
  • Disliked — air conditioning not cold enough
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2006

We stayed at the Fairmont during our honeymoon. You could not ask for a better facility or service.

Our room was perfect. If over looked several man-made waterfalls. In the distance you could see the ocean. The distance from the room to the ocean, gym, resort restaurants and the main building was close, but long enough not to disturb.

The service was phenomenal. From the moment the bag man took our luggage upon arrival to the assistance we received after the earthquake, we were treated like royalty. I cannot say enough about the staff.

The food was amazing. The morning breakfast every morning was all that you could hope for. We ate at the resort for dinner four times. The sushi was delightful.

This is a perfect place to get away from it all. It is very expensive, however you should know that going in. I would highly recommend this resort. We have been back on the mainland for one week and we are both having withdrawals for the Fairmont.

  • Liked — The staff, food and access to the beach.
  • Disliked — Other than the expense, I really cannot complain about anything.
  • Tips/Secrets — Stay away from Kona. Very touristy.
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2006

We celebrted our 10 year anniversary by renewing our vows at the Fairmont Orchid. After honeymooning in Maui, visiting Maui more than 3 times, the Big Island twice and Kauai once, we decided to try the Fairmont for our big 10 year. I don't know if it's always this way, but it was SOOOOOOO windy the entire stay. We were told by staff that it is more windy in this location than not. During our vow renewal ceremony, my husband had to hold me so I wouldn't blow away (literally). The hotel was undergoing renovations on the first floor, while we had an OF Room on the 5th floor, we still hear the hammering, drilling, even though we were told we would not. Our room had been renovated, but still wasn't as nice as we expected. As I understand, this hotel used to be a Ritz Carlton, and it definitely shows by the grey/white marble bathrooms which I think our hideously outdated. The pool area was very small and not much of a beach to speak of, although we were aware of this. We did not try room service, but ate at Brown's Beach House 3 times and thought the meals were great, but pricey of course. We like 4/5 star accommodations, but we're not too big on having someone wipe our nose the whole time, so this was nice for us but maybe not for others who expect this. My spa experience was nice, but nothing above average. We did not encounter any problems, in fact, staff seemed attentive and nice enough. Overall, it is a beautiful property; however, we would try another place before we'd go back again. We visited the Hapuna Beach Property and the Four Seasons...beautiful as well, but nothing spectacular either.

  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
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
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 Business Hotel in Puako
#2 Family Hotel in Puako
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puako
#3 Spa 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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