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“Bar None - The Most Fantastic Trip to Hawaii I ever took”

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Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed July 31, 2009

I have been to Hawaii several times..Maui and Kauai. I decided to go solo to Kona - Big Island. I was placed via my travel agent at the most wonderfully relaxing and visually beautiful hotel ever - Fairmont Orchid. They are rated 4 star..this is like a total 5 star..the food in all the restaurants and bars was superb...service exceptional from the front desk to concierge, to bell hops, to the bars, to the restaurants. The room was fantastic..an ocean view room..perfect view..could see ocean well and wonderful views of swimming pool and courtyard. Plenty of private space on my balcony to chill and be served or to go down the street to the amazing food store like Bristol Farms here - Sunland Farms - to buy fresh food, sushi, drinks. The best beach on the island - Mauna Kea - is just a 5 minute drive upcoast north. I can't say enough positive things about it. Keith,,,,the front desk manager is truly one of thee most professional hotel managers I have ever encountered. I am so so happy I stayed there. I was by myself and they made me feel very special and attended to.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled solo
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Thank lifetraveller63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,392 - 3,398 of 4,101 reviews

Reviewed July 28, 2009

My wife and I stayed here for 9 nights on the first leg of our Honeymoon. We were greeted and escorted to the Gold Floor in the north wing. Patricia checked us in and showed us our fabulous room. The room was awesome - great ocean views and views of the hotel grounds. French doors, marble bathrooms, comfy beds. We were greeted each night with wine, cookies, chocolates, champaigne, etc. The Gold Floor lounge has complimentary internet access, beer/soda,water/juice, snacks, breakfast and nightly hors d'oeuvres. Patricia, Stacy and Annie from the Gold Floor were very nice, helpful and a pleasure to speak to. They were very helpful in making all the reservations for dinner and other out-of-hotel excursions we had planned.

The hotel restaurants are great. Brown's has a great menu. We also had dinner arragned for us on the beach which was done perfectly. The luau is one of the best on the island. If you are going to spend at least 3 days on the beach, get the activity package so you can snorkel, lounge on the float, kayak, etc without having to pay for each. During our stay, many of the children seemed to stay at the pool area while adults mainly occupied the beach area.

Overall, this was the finest hotel we have stayed at on the Big Island and would highly recommend anyone to stay here. I would encourage those considering it to upgrade to the Gold Floor.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank NorthernLights1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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4  Thank fletch608
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank WorldPeace2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank mrsh25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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5  Thank Enrilynne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank oreoLA
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 Luxury Hotel in Puako
#2 Spa Hotel in Puako
#2 Romantic Hotel in Puako
#2 Family Hotel in Puako
#2 Green Hotel in Puako
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
Price Range: $305 - $740 (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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