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“Awesome Hotel, Expensive Food”

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Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
A TripAdvisor Member
“Awesome Hotel, Expensive Food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2004

Just returned from the Fairmont yesterday, and thought the whole experience was wonderful! Went with the family (2 kids-6 and 2, and my wife) and everyone had an awesome time. The weather was perfect, and the hotel was the nicest hotel we have ever stayed at. The natural cove at the ocean was perfect for the kids and us. In fact, we were there 5 days and never swam in the pool! We got lucky when the guy down at the place you get the snorkels and kayaks GAVE us the $30 stay passes for free!! The kids would go out on the kayak with my wife while I snorkeled and we were constantly surrounded by turtles-the kids loved it! The one down side was the food. We went down to Kona on our second day and bought a cooler for drinks and snacks, and that worked much better than eating at the hotel. (Ate at the breakfast buffet the first morning, and for just 2 buffets and kids it ran $65! And the buffet wasn't the best) If you are OK spending around $300 a day on just food, then you wouldn't have a problem, but with kids and a budget, spending the $100 for a week's worth of drinks and snacks down in Kona was well worth it! But overall we got an awesome last minute deal thru Expedia to go and we loved every minute of it and the hotel and it's location were by far the best part of the trip!

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3,812 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2004

I just returned from a stay at the Fairmont Orchid for 5 nights (July 13 - 18, 2004). This was my first trip to Hawaii, so my opinion may be somewhat colored by the overall wonder of the island, but this was far and away the best hotel/resort I have ever stayed in. The service was friendly and helpful, and quick. When we called for additional towels, they were there within 2 minutes. The bellboy recommended that we get the $30 activity pass, which is a great bargain if you are going to spend much time at the hotel. It covers such things as floats, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment. However, it does not cover the cabana chairs (shaded chairs at beach and poolside which includes bar service), which are $25/day. There is decent snorkeling at the resort - expect to see colorful fish and sea turtles, but not a lot of live coral. A better snorkeling area is just a few miles north. We ate a few meals in the resort, but found the prices prohibitive for eating all our meals there. The food was great, just pricey. If you want to eat dinner at Brown's Beach house, you will need a reservation. My favorite aspect of the resort is the truly spectacular landscape and interior design. I felt surrounded by luxury at every turn. The pool is beautiful, free form with an island in the middle. There are beautiful courtyards, gardens, and water features throughout the property. Our room was partial ocean view, facing the golf course. It was wonderful at night to open the doors to the lanai, just closing the screens, and feel the breezes and hear the palms rustling. I would certainly return!

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5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2004

Great hotel, one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed at. Was here for 5 nights on my honeymoon. It is a beautiful place with all the benefits of a 5-star hotel. Its expensive and so is the food, don't listen to these stupid people who say food is too expensive, you get what you pay for in Hawaii. We alternated expensive meals with cheaper local places and bought beer and wine to keep in our beautiful room. Other than the Four Seasons, I think this is the nicest hotel on the island, absolutely fantastic.

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A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2004

Just returned from a weeks stay at the Orchid with our 4 children. The hotel grounds and common areas are fabulous but the rooms were disappointing for the price..very tired and dated and small. The swimming lagoon was great for the kids and great snorkling...lots of turtles!! The pool is large and beautiful. The hotel was full but did not seem crowded at all. The Beach Boys were great . Don't miss the arts and crafts. Paul the bellman was fabulous. The rest of the staff was not very friendly. Housekeeping did not do a very good job. The food is way way overpriced so get the breakfast included and eat elsewhere at Cafe Pesto and Merrimans and Tres Hermanos. Also go to Walmart in Kona and buy a cooler and drinks to keep in your room which saves a ton on drinks at the resort which adds up when you have 4 thirsty kids.
Overall it was a great trip but I would probably stay elsewhere next time.

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1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2004

Beautiful hotel, beautiful grounds and perfect for our honeymoon; we were there in late June- early July. Staff was extremely friendly and helpful, maid service excellent, except we didn't notice any nightly turndown service? We dined at Norio's for sushi- extremely fresh and delicious, portions were ample! We also indulged in a couples 75 minute lomilomi massage by the ocean- highly recommend it! Overall, very good times. Only complaint, the prices are a little high for food- try some of the "local's restaurants" in Kailua-Kona area- Kona Brew Co. for delicious pizza and Teshima's for yummy Japanese. Both are far but worth it!

Thank M K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2004

A beautiful table set among tiki torches, sounds of the ocean as it meets the shore, the soft strains of Hawaiian guitar, the feel of a gentle breeze that sways Palm trees on the lawn, and the awesome beauty of the sky at sunset -- a typical dinner at the Orchid - memories that will last a lifetime. Stayed at the Orchid the last week of May 2004. What a great place!

Wasn't stuffy like other luxury resorts sometimes are and seemed almost homey. Not as large as I thought either, which was good. No crowds, but clearly plenty of guests. Besides the beautiful open air lobby and the drop dead georgous sunsets, the hotel staff was outstanding. We booked a partial ocean view room -- but I corresponded via email with the resort telling them that our trip was a delayed 25th anniversary trip and anything they could do to make our stay special would be appreciated. When we arrived, to my surprise, not only did we have flowers, a bottle of wine, fresh fruit and cheese, but also an upgrade to an Executive Suite. At check-in the staff seemed as surpirsed as we did on the upgrade, but happy to give it to us. The room was wonderful. A living room was separated from the bedroom by french doors - there were two marble bathrooms, his and her closets, robes and slippers, plus a lanai off the bedroom and living room. WOW!

Landscaping at the resort was lush with lots of waterfalls. In fact, they were LOUD - but it just doesn't seem right to COMPLAIN about a waterfall. The food at Brown's Beach House (the setting for the nightly dinner described above) was great, but expect to pay Resort prices. Be sure to get the Breakfast Buffet included with your room. It will save you money and time. While the food was typical buffet style, they did have a chef standing ready to prepare eggs/omlets "your way". Eat while you are out exploring during the day because the food is expensive and the resort is a good 30-40 min. from Kona. The traffic can get heavy but that's where most of the resturants are located. It is also 20-30 min. the other direction to the small town of Waimea, location of a few more eateries. Food was exceptionally fresh at Merrimans.

The resort is not immaculate nor perfect - but what place is? I have stayed at resorts that were so clean that the grounds keepers actually vacuumed the lawn - not so here. But what little it lacks in that department is overshadowed by the ambiance of the resort and the friendliness of the staff. We had a great stay and would go back in a skinny minute.

  • Stayed May 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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Seattle, WA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2004

The hotel is beautiful, and it was a nice retreat from Honolulu. Loved the beach. However, the staff did not match the caliber and expense of the hotel. Some little kids (I'm tempted to say brats) who must've been from the East Coast and thus woke up very early, pulled a ring and run several times on my second morning - at 6am! The whole point of being there was to get some rest. When I called the front desk, they said there was nothing they could do about it. Excuse me? They didn't offer to move us, talk to the parents (typical Hawaiian style - avoid the problem, don't address it), or anything. Not that it was the hotel's fault (I won't get into what I think of parents who let their kids alone to pull those stunts in hotels, especially very nice hotels.) but it is their hotel and their problem. I was horrified.

3 Thank MemphisOx
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

Property: 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 Family Hotel in Puako
#2 Spa Hotel in Puako
#2 Green Hotel in Puako
#2 Luxury Hotel in Puako
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#2 Romantic Hotel in Puako
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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