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“Lovely but maybe haunted grounds?”

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Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Lovely but maybe haunted grounds?”
4 of 5 bubbles 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
2 Thank AMRNyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,810 reviews from our community

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  • 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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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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

  • Liked — great service
  • Disliked — expensive mediocre food
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank Vivian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cupertino, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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....

  • Liked — Elegance and privacy
  • Disliked — A bit costly
  • Stayed August 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2 Thank spike11sr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, NC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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!

  • Liked — The attentive staff
  • Disliked — The prices of meal....but that is Hawaii!
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4 Thank johase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palisades Traveler
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2007

We have kids ages 10 and 12 and were very disappointed with this hotel. The website makes the kids camp sound great but the facilities were a joke. The "camp" is in a converted guest room, maybe 500 sq.ft. No game room, no water slides etc. So instead of a break from the kids they didn't want to go to the camp and we had them with us the whole time.

Don't pay extra for the Gold level its a rip off. We paid around $1,400 a night for a "ocean view" 1 bedrooms suite 1,000 sq. ft. That's about triple the regular rooms rate. While the conceige service was great, only two rooms on the gold level have a direct ocean view. Our view was of the golf course and mountains with some ocean view from the patio. Also the 1,000 sq. ft. is misleading, it included the outside patios ! For that kind of money we should be watching the sunset from our patio !

This hotel is somewhat isolated and there are limited dining options. If you're traveling with kids the Grand Wailea blows this place away. If you are adults looking for a quiet hotel with limited activities this place is OK.

PS what's with tropical hotels and limited umbrellas. We signed up for a cabana at $50 a day only to find out its only a covered beach chair for two, not a real cabana, misleading again. By 8:00 a.m. all umbrellas were taken and we had to scramble for shade. We were there during a slow period, the local schools were back in secession, so it must be really bad when they're busy.

PS. The luau was bad, unless you like Cirque de Solei Hawaiian style, not tradional at all and bad food.

  • Liked — Gold service
  • Disliked — kids activites
  • Stayed August 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank TfhPalisades
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2007

My wife and I stayed at the Orchid from July 22-28 during the second leg of our honeymoon in Hawaii. After leaving our first resort in Kauai, we really didn't think any subsequent resort would compare in beauty and service. Then we arrived at the Fairmont Orchid, and we were completely blown away. The lobby, as well as the whole resort, has an open and airy feel. We went to check in for what we thought was going to be a garden view room, but the pleasant receptionist saw that we were honeymooners and immediately upgraded us to an oceanfront suite! Our view of the ocean and sunset was perfect. My wife and I were downright giddy as the bellman showed us to our room, along the way telling us about the different dining, entertainment and activities that were available on the resort. I had to modify our island itinerary to allow for us to spend as much time as possible on this beautiful resort!
The beach is protected by a reef, so it is calm most of the time. The reef also makes for great snorkeling. The sea turtles were really neat to see, as they come up to rest on the beach in the late afternoon. The pool is also wonderful, especially because you could it and the lava rock whirlpools 24 hours/day. The stategically positioned palm trees were asthetically pleasing and offered shade at the beach or pool if you needed it.
One of the many things we really loved about our stay was that, especially being honeymooners, the resort is very spread out, and people weren't on top of one another. We had plenty of privacy, which was quite relaxing.
The food and drinks were terrific, albeit expensive. But hey, it is Hawaii, and everything is pricey. Besides, we were on our honeymoon, so we were sparing no expense. Most mornings, we ate breakfast at Brown's Deli, a great place to grab a quick bagel or egg sandwich; they serve huge sanwiches and wraps for lunch as well. If we weren't out exploring other parts of the island during the day, we would eat lunch at the Ocean Bar, which serves pizza, burgers, chicken sandwiches, etc. The Grill, the premiere restaurant on the resort, and regarded as one of the best on the Big Island, was absolutely delicious. My wife and I agree that it was the best meal we've ever had together! During our last night, we ate at Brown's Beach House, a beachside torchlit dining experience. With the starry night above, a light breeze blowing, a live singer playing soft island music on his guitar, and the freshest fish I ever tasted, we couldn't ask for more.
So many times during our stay, my wife and I would just look at eachother and say, "Are you kidding me?" The Fairmont Orchid went far beyond our expectations, and we would definitely return.

  • Liked — Beauty and service
  • Disliked — Paying to self-park.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
10 Thank nicholas5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
48 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2007

Just returned from relaxing, pampered vacation with family on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Fairmont Orchid is a place to spoil yourself. We had an oceanfront suite with 2 queen beds, 1 1/2 baths, huge living room, 2 lanais open to the ocean. Everything was fresh, clean, well-maintained. Service was excellent everywhere except the breakfast buffet.
We ate at Brown's Beach House, the Grill, Norio's, the Ocean Bar, the Orchid Court, Brown's Deli, poolside and beachside. All the food was great; Norio's Seafood Papaya was the best dish (went back a second time just for that) and the coffee perfect. Most restaurants on property share a children's menu, but it has plenty of choices.
Housekeeping was spot-on. Turn down service each night included fresh towels and bottled water, which was perfect as we showered off the sand before heading out to dinner each night. Room service on the lanai at sunset was wonderful; the lanai's could use some lamps or candles for evening enjoyment.
We took advantage of the Fairmont Fit program, new for their President's club members, where they bring you workout shoes and clothing each day. It needs a little work on the execution, but is a great plan. You don't have to pack bulky running shoes, and you don't have to wash your sweaty clothes after exercising. The shoes were brand new and great. For some reason, they didn't seem to carry ladies' medium clothing.
Valet parking costs more than self-parking (they charge for both) but our car was always waiting for us by the time we walked to the front. They helped us re-attach our license plate after a bit of 4wd off-road driving.
Off property dining we enjoyed included Merriman's and the Canoe House.
The protected beach area was a perfect spot for the kids to play and get their feet wet with snorkling. Other beaches had clearer water for snorkling, but not as protected from the waves. Instead of the activity pass the hotel offers, we rented snorkle gear in Kona from Snorkle Bob's so we could take it to any beach. Great gear at reasonable prices, and their website is funny. The beach also has a protected area for the green turtles to rest, and there are plenty to see.
The Orchid is a luxury retreat in paradise; enjoy it if you get the chance.

  • Liked — Spacious suite with killer sunset views; relaxing on the lanai to the sound of the surf.
  • Disliked — Driving time to other points of interest.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
5 Thank bubbleslt
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 Spa Hotel in Puako
#2 Romantic Hotel in Puako
#2 Family Hotel in Puako
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#2 Green Hotel in Puako
#2 Luxury 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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