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“Amazing Grounds!!”

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Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed October 8, 2008

My husband's family and I stayed at one of the Exclusive Resort homes adjacent /part of to the Fairmont Orchid. So, I can only share my experience with the lobby lounge, pool, spa, restaurants, activities and overall beautiful grounds. This was my third trip to Hawaii for '08- with visits to different islands and I hadn't experienced more beautiful sunsets than the lobby lounge area of the Orchid. It was absolutely amazing! The grounds are beautiful and the spa has very unique little treatment rooms spread around the property with a nice creek going through it. The pool did seem a little outdated but overall, the beach was good and the activities being offered were fabulous. I very much enjoyed my private pilates early morning overlooking the beautiful water.
The big island is very spread out with only two luxury resorts;: this one and the Four Seasons (which has the most amazing grounds ever!). So, not too many to choose from, but I'd definitely go back and split my time between this property and the Four Seasons.

Stayed: May 2008
Thank finetraveler0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,445 - 3,451 of 4,105 reviews

Reviewed October 7, 2008

I agree with everything Azfllady wrote. In fact, we were probably there at the same time and ate with them in the Gold level lounge!

We were there at the end of September and were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. My husband mentioned to Ian and Nikki that we'd like to eat at Brown's for our anniversary dinner and would like a nice table, overlooking the ocean and near the singer, if possible. They went OVER THE TOP in making sure our dinner was spectacular. We had a table off by ourselves (closer to the water and singer), decorated with a lovely tablecloth, flower arrangement, rose petals and candle. Our server, Gail, was very friendly and efficient and food was terrific. When we got back to our room, there was something else that we did not expect. A bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries were waiting for us, as well as plumeria flowers on the bed (in the shape of a heart) and sprinkled on the floor. Music was playing from a CD that they left for us and in the bathroom, more flowers in the tub and candles, too!

We joined the President's Club a week before we arrived, giving us discounts on spa services and products, as well as various other discounts. Doesn't cost a thing and well worth it!

We stayed on the 6th floor (Gold level) ...room 2648...which was a suite with a great view of the pool, waterfalls (great to listen to at night) AND ocean. It had a separate living room, 1/2 bath, TV and balcony with 2 chairs and a table. The bedroom consisted of a king sized bed, TV, another balcony with chaises, two huge double closets, another bathroom with a tub and a separate shower. When we made our reservations, they had a special with 3rd and 6th nights free, along with $200 spa credit, so that made it more attractive and affordable!

Included on the Gold level floors, you have your own concierges (Patricia & Stacy...you were great!), free computers with internet access, newspapers, continental breakfast (with a different, delicious hot item every morning, like quiches or breakfast burritos), tea from 3:00-5:00 every day with little sandwiches or sushi, then from 5:00-7:00, they serve appetizers (crab cakes, skewered shrimp were among those that we enjoyed) All sodas, water, juices and mixes are included. We just bought wine from the market down the street and kept it in our room, but there is wine, alcohol and champagne available in the lounge for a charge. I must mention that the breakfast parfaits were delicious (diced, fresh fruit , mixed with granola and a bit of yogurt)!! I'm usually not a yogurt, granola kind of person, but I ate this every day (along with the deilcious pastries...YUM!) We didn't buy a meal at a restaurant for 3 days, because of all the food available, but we finally ventured out. LOL

This hotel is not really close to anything, so if you like to be by a town with shops, restaurants, etc, this is probably not the place for you. There is a small shopping area with a grocery store, a few shops and Tommy Bahama store/restaurant (good food) just 1 mile away. It's an easy walk, but the hotel will shuttle you for free and pick you up when you're ready to come back. Several more miles away, there are two more shopping areas called the King's Shops and Queens shops. We just drove by these and didn't go in. When we travel, we don't usually like to go to malls....we can always do that at home. The town of Kona is 25 miles away and it's a cute town to go for an afternoon of shopping at touristy type shops and restaurants. This is where the Iron Man competition is this weekend, and where the cruise ships unload their passengers for the day. We had a nice day there, but didn't really want to go back another time.

Kona coffee is terrific! I found the best place to buy some to bring home is at Costco in Kona. The little shops in Kona were way overpriced (as in any touristy area). I wish I would have brought home more....

I'd welcome any questions if you have any!

Aloha...and thank you Fairmont Orchid for a lovely stay!

Chris from San Diego

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank cmcgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2008

It's a nice hotel, but if you've stayed at other expensive hotels/resorts, don't expect to be wowed.

Pros:
- the grounds are beautiful
- snorkeling with turtles
- wonderful food
- not that many kids running around

Cons:
- you get nickel and dimed a lot
- not as well cleaned as I am used to (because of the drop in tourism due to the bad economy, this hotel, as well as others, has had to lay off a lot of staff)

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank TorontoKeli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2008

My husband and I stay at premium resorts when we travel and were underwhelmed with the orchid. yes, they are typically expensive but they usually have some perks or are completely over the top amazing.
We self parked and they still charged $15 a day, the bathroom faucets leaked and needed updating, they tried to put us in an "upgraded room " and was on the first floor with ceramis tile by the pool with yelling and screaming. At the resort luau they had a VIP seating for $25 extra dollars which got you nothing but seated first, then they asked us to move for a family with several
babies to sit infront of us. Dont do the extra $25 VIP for the Luau!
After the Luau they offered pictures of the guests, and still made the VIP guests pay $40 more dollars for the pics. You would have thought at least for the upgraded cost they could have thrown in the pictures. At the end of the night the Luau and pictures cost 2 people $290 at the Fairmont Orchid!!! And it wasn't even by the beach, it was by the tennis courts.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank muttonchops916
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2008

We travel frequently but have never written a review. Our vacation here was such a positive experience that we wanted to let others know. We recently combined a birthday/anniversary celebration at this property, staying for 6 nights. We have stayed at high end hotels in the USA (including most of the islands), Europe, Asia, South America and the South Pacific, and I can tell you that the service we received from the Orchid staff was exceptional and, in many cases, far exceeded the level of service we have received anywhere in the world. From the moment we drove up until the moment we drove off, each person we encountered could not have been more friendly or helpful or appreciative us. We are members of their President's club, but have not stayed at a Fairmont for several years. We received an unrequested upgrade to an oceanview suite on the concierge level, and were treated to complimentary snacks delivered to our room upon arrival. The concierge staff sent a bottle of wine to us to enjoy on a private charter for a sunset sail they booked upon our request. They followed up with us after every dinner recommendation or activity book to make sure we were satisfied (we always were). Every restaurant recommendation was excellent, as was the food on-site. We had one minor glitch with an ethernet port that was not working in our room. The technicians were immediately summoned and it couldn't be fixed, so they installed a wireless router so that we would have internet access, even though the lounge down the hall provided complimentary computers and internet. We thought that went above and beyond! Finally, we requested their romantic dinner for 2 on the beach, which consists of a table under the torches on the water but off the beaten path, a superb meal with several courses, and a private butler. We did a similar event in Tahiti on our honeymoon, and wanted to celebrate our anniversary the same way. We were not disappointed. Every single person involved in the preparation and execution of the dinner was attentive, and worked hard to make it a truly special evening. We have stayed at Four Seasons hotels on the islands, and while those properties were very nice and we had no material complaints, the service at the Fairmont far surpassed anything we have experienced at a Four Seasons. We will definitely return here and will look first to Fairmont when we book trips elsewhere.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank MizRoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2008

The hotel is just gorgeous. Everyone was very friendly, from the bell hops to the cleaning staff and everyone in between. We don't usually stay at this level hotel, probably on step down, but we were so impressed with the Faimont that we would definitely find a way to stay at this hotel chain again. They had us booked in a room on the outside of the hotel overlooking the golf course. This was not our choice as we had booked an ocean veiw room. The front desk staff spent a half and hour checking every room she could to try and satisfy our request of an ocean view with a pool view. She was successful and our room was perfect. There was a very large conference there during our entire stay and that was why we had been moved to the golf course room. But, with a little patience we were awarded a beautiful room. The restaurants are all very good, and I highly recommend including the breakfast buffet into your package. The buffet is wide ranging and changes a bit daily as well so it doesn't get old at all. The birds are very agressive so if you eat on breakfast on the terrace and have to leave your plate on the table for any reason, you must cover your plate with your napkin or they will devour your plate in seconds. I learned this the hard way of course. For those on any kind of budget, there is a very nice grocery store inside the grounds at the Shops of Mauna Lani shopping center. There is a small frig in the room so you an buy a few things and store them, such as wine or any other small cold snacks. The Brown's deli by the pool also has great selections for snacks etc. The shopz at the resort are gorgeous, the pool was perfect and beach awesome. There were sharks in the area during our stay so we didn't use the beach too much but you can walk around on all the trails and see the beach area, etc.,

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank vacationing59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2008

Booked two nights for our honeymoon through Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts.

Bottom line... a beautiful resort but not a winner among any of the places we stayed and the other places we stayed wouldn't be considered "peer resorts". Expensive, in every respect, and they nickel and dime you to death. Paying $500 a night for your room? That'll be $15 a day for SELF parking. Echo an earlier review's comment about this. $12 an hour for snorkeling gear, etc.

You definitely can't knock the food though. Norio's was amazing. If you are a mainland sushi eater you won't know what to do with yourself.

At least AMEX helped the property redeem itself, if only somewhat so. The breakfast buffet was awesome (thanks AMEX!), but I wouldn't have paid the $30 or so a piece they wanted for it. Plus, dinner at Norio's was basically free thanks to the resort credit.

Another bone of contention: We were there on our honeymoon - and we booked a King "Partial Ocean View." And that's what we got. And by "Partial Ocean View" they mean "Golf Course View with... oh... wait.. over those hills there... I see some blue... that must be ocean!" Regardless of it is was our honeymoon or not, using AMEX FHR should have gotten us upgraded (maybe on higher floors, there is more "partial ocean view"), but the resort was DEAD.

Also, staff was attentive and pleasant, but just didn't feel like I expected to and have felt at two Starwood properties in Oahu and on Maui.

So, my advice, if you want true 5-star experience, as other reviewers have commented, stick to the Four Seasons. Otherwise... the Sheraton and the Marriott probably provide just as good an experience at half the price.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank smatter
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
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 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#2 Spa Hotel in Puako
#2 Romantic Hotel in Puako
#2 Luxury Hotel in Puako
#2 Green Hotel in Puako
#2 Family Hotel in Puako
Price Range: $307 - $741 (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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