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“Incredible Hotel”

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Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed October 1, 2007

This was the most amazing place, 1st class hotel and staff. I would not hesitate to return. Not cheap, but worth every cent. Sea turtles in the beautiful bay, excellant snokeling. So nice on this dry side of the island, more sun time per day, with the best sunsets ever!!! I loved this place, pool, private hot tubs and lanais. Everything is available and cooked perfectly! Enjoy paradice, we did!

Stayed: July 2007
4  Thank khamby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 18, 2007

This is a little late because this was part of a long honeymoon trip and life's been crazy since we returned.

The Fairmont Orchid was our first 6 nights (June 17 - 23) of a 16 night honeymoon. We booked through Luxury Link, and were able to secure a rate of $283 a night, which included the Orchid Court buffet breakfast each morning, access to the fitness center, and all taxes.

We arrived and experienced an easy check-in, and they made notes in their system about us - for example, the fact that I booked with my maiden name, so they made note of my married one. We were led to our room and found complimentary champagne and a congratulations card in our well appointed room. We were supposed to have a garden level room, however they upgraded us to a 6th floor room with a partial view of the ocean while on the lanai. The room was a good size, with plenty of room for our many bags. I would describe the decor as laid back and eloquent with a gentle Hawaiian feel. The bathroom was also a great size, with a shower, soaking tub, double sink and separate toilet. We decided to order room service because of a long journey - 10.5 hour flight to Honolulu and a connecting flight immediately thereafter to the Big Island. We ordered the food at 9PM and had it by 9:40, the exact time we were promised. Our food was fresh, hot, well prepared, and exceeded the quality of many five star hotel room service I have had. Needless, to say, from the start we felt well taken care of!

The overall hotel feels like a Hawaiian-inspired castle - all open air, made with lava-looking white stone, beautiful chandeliers, all facing the ocean. The view at day and night is breathtaking (especially during their evening torch lighting). The area around the hotel is all lava fields - truly surreal!

The hotel is also not too far from the Kohala area, which is a great place to explore. We took a Hawaii Forrest and Trail Kohala Vie tour of the mountains and water systems and it was AWESOME. All in a Pinzhour all-terrain truck with only two other people on our tour. HIGHLY recommended. It was one of the best parts of our ENTIRE trip. The staff is highly educated, and are SUPER nice and professional to boot. They also do a tour of Volcano National Park, but we had to cancel that one because my husband got the worst sunburn of his life (so use sunblock even if you don't burn while in Hawaii!). It worked out anyway, because the park was experiencing hundreds of earthquakes a day and most of it was closed. We had no problem navigating it on our own.

OK, now back to the hotel itself. All of the staff was top notch, and we did not have one single bad experience with them. They were all well-informed and quick to offer help or advice.They truly seem to care and want you to have a marvelous time at their property. We parked valet - they charge $18 now - but that was for our entire stay - well worth it! The valet always provided us with large bottles of cold water and towels. They were also great at giving directions.

We ate at Brown's, The Orchid Court, Brown's Deli and their poolside bar/restaurant. All had great views. The service and food was top notch at Brown's. Everything was delicious! We were given a table with a fantastic ocean sunset view and were front and center for their peaceful, live Hawaiian music. It was a truly romantic evening with a great complimentary dessert that had "Congratulations!" written in chocolate to top it off! We enjoyed the buffet breakfast each morning at the Orchid Court, which was included in our package, and we found to be a great value. They had a great variety of fresh fruits and baked goods, in addition to about 20 other choices each morning. Many healthy choices and many inventive dishes, some of which were very Hawaiian inspired. Our late evening pizza at the beach front bar/grill was also delicious (although a bit overpriced).

The snorkeling here is excellent, especially if you are a novice. They have a man-made lagoon that houses a great coral reef. Some people may think that a man-made lagoon is bad, however on this side of the island, a lot of the shore is black lava, which is very pretty, but not too luxurious for a beach visit. This is the BEST PLACE to see turtles! They come right up to you! There is also a great variety of beautiful fish, especially butterfly. Kayaking is also a great activity available here. Their activity card (about $50 per adult) is a great value, because it allows for unlimited usage of all their equipment, if you are staying more than just a few days.

We saw turtles everyday on their protected lava beach. It's a great place to see them, without disturbing them. A real treat!

Their spa was incredible. We had a couples lomi-lomi massage (traditional Hawaiian wave massage) ocean-side in a private hut. It was expensive, as all resort spa treatments are. However, it was worth EVERY penny. We left feeling as NEW people! Absolutely fantastic - especially when hearing the ocean a couple of feet away!

In case you couldn't tell from this review, we LOVED this place. We have stayed at many four and five star resorts and found this to be on par with the best, especially for the price we paid. This was truly the best value we received the entire trip. All in all, we found this to be a great resort, especially when comparing it to the giant Hilton down the road (which was nice to visit for a change in restaurants and some additional shopping). The Fairmont Orchid is a good size, but not too big and really gives their guests individual attention. We felt like royalty!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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16  Thank Mfarquar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2007

Our family stayed at this resort for a week. Their services are the best. Lots of beach activities for kids, snorkel, ocean kayak, kids palyed surf board etc. Lots of sea turtles off their beach.

Best vacation we had.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank lovehawii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2007

We just recently stayed at the Fairmont Orchid and it is a lovely property. The staff is very welcoming and we highly recommend staying on the Gold floor.

My one odd experience was on the first day we arrived - it was cloudy and overcast. i think I experienced a paranormal feeling. We walked around the property and I had an overwhelming sense of sadness and dread. I also felt pressure on my chest as is someone was standing on me and it was hard to catch a breath and breathe. I wonder if anyone else has felt that there. That feeling only lasted one day the rest of our trip was dread-free.

Curious if anyone knows the history of the property.

Stayed: August 2007
4  Thank AMRNyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2007

I agree with a lot of what others are saying about the Fairmont Orchid. I just got back from Labour Day long weekend at the Fairmont, and I thought that while it was definitely a great hotel, it's definitely starting to show signs of age. This was probably most obvious in the rooms (peeling wallpaper in the bathroom, old school CRT TV's) but I have to say that the service definitely made up for it.

We were upgraded to a room on the Fairmont Gold floor, which has its own lounge and amenities including your own concierge. The free (non-alcoholic) beverages and snacks were definitely a plus since food at the hotel was pretty expensive across the board. The room was a good size, clean and smelled great (I can't stop thinking about how great the room smelled). The club floor staff were extremely nice and helpful.

The pool area was fairly large, but even getting there at 10am they had already run out of umbrellas, so we were left to roast in the sun for our pool time. The private beach area was small, but the pool shack provided a lot of supplies. Having stayed at resorts such as the Four Seasons Maui, I wasn't pleased that cabanas (both pool and beach) as well as water gear (snorkels, life jackets, etc) all had to be paid for. Seems like at the rates you are paying, they can all be complimentary as they are at the FS.

As for the food, I thought it was mediocre for the prices they were charging. The pool/bar drinks were great, but the room service and breakfast at the Orchid Court were so-so.

So to summarize:

Pros -- great service, family-friendly, lots of activities and amenities (even though some had to be paid for), good drinks, clean and bright rooms

Cons -- mediocre yet expensive food, showing signs of aging

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Vivian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2007

We try to visit this fabulous island at least twice a year and ALWAYS stay at the Fairmont. The resort is nestled so gracefully off the road surrounded by lovely black lava fields just a 20-30 minute drive from the Kona airport.
Every time we arrive the stay is what I can only describe as "seamlessly professional". The charming staff is a gem, remembering our names and special requests - down to delivering the NY Times daily. This visit, the front desk immediately informed us of the areas of the hotel and grounds still going through renovation/repairs due to last years' earthquake for which they unnecessarily apologized. The restaurants, BROWN'S with it's exquisite Lobster fried rice - Yum and NORIO'S Japanese with the most superlative food and wonderful staff continue to impress!! We happily anticipate our next visit. MAHALO , Fairmont Orchid....

  • Stayed: August 2007
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2  Thank spike11sr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2007

We stayed 9 days at the Fairmont Orchid and I can honestly say it was the most enjoyable stay I have had anywhere. The staff was always accommodating and ready to serve. They were attentive and treated you as if you were the only one who mattered.

The resort is beautiful with open areas everywhere that provide natural breezeways throughout. Exceptionally clean, large rooms that give you a lot of space to stretch out. Cleaning staff never rushed you to clean your room and even asked what time would be better to return.

The style of the resort gives it a very appealing view and not over the top. The Fairmont has very large balconies they overlook the grounds/pool with lots of open area between. This gives a perfect view of the Pacific Ocean. The sun sets from these balconies are perfect!

Dining is expensive as is any location within Hawaii, however the meals were delicious and worth it. Entertainment at night during the meals at Brown's was excellent, they had a variety of singers (singing soft pop and Hawaiian music) that did not interfere with your dining experience but made it better. Many people at other resorts or hotels came to eat at either Brown’s or The Grill!

The Grill is another restaurant within Fairmont that is also exceptional; it is inside the Orchid and offers a more cordial night out. The meal at The Grill was also delicious (expensive, again) but worth the money.

For those with kids......The Fairmont has Lagoons, two I think, that have clear, calm waters. One of the issues I always have with beaches is the waves, undertows and rip currents. These Lagoons give an area where families can let their children in the water with peace of mind. The Sea Turtles and other sea life are abundant at the Lagoons (I counted 5 sea turtles) and they swim along with you as long as you leave them in peace.

Outside the Lagoons is the Pacific Ocean with buoys to mark where you should remain safely. So older kids or adults wanting to Kayak or take a surf board out (or even snorkel) have a safe but more adventurous area to enjoy.

The beaches on the Lagoons have several cabanas to rent with staff periodically coming by with drink/food requests. These are especially nice if you have children to keep them out of the sun and taking naps! The lounge chairs for lying out as well as towels (as many as you needed) were all without charge. Even with families at the beaches, it was quiet (for any beach) and relaxing.

We were there during the Hurricane threat of Flossie; the Resort more than assured us that they would accommodate us if the storm delayed our travel back. We had a red-eye out of Hawaii (11pm flight) and the resort allowed us to stay at the Fairmont, utilize the services until we left that evening. They even gave us a complimentary room to shower and change in before we left.

All in all and exceptional stay at a very beautiful, natural location!

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank johase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

Address: 1 N Kaniku Dr, Puako, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743-9731
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Puako
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#2 Luxury Hotel in Puako
#2 Green Hotel in Puako
#2 Spa Hotel in Puako
#2 Family Hotel in Puako
Price Range: $346 - $735 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii 4.5*
Number of rooms: 540
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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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