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just back from 7 days Fairmont Orchid

jfd
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
404 posts
711 reviews
just back from 7 days Fairmont Orchid

Had very good weather, very clear in the mornings and somewhat hazy in the afternoon. One evening of rain did not last long. Did not notice any air issues besides the haze. Close to 90 degrees most of the time. Eating out is expensive, but enjoyed Tommy Bahama and Lava Lava Beach Club the most. Helpful to have a car, we saw the manta rays at night at Mauna Kea. Also went to a coffee farm tour, much cooler at higher elevations. Snorkeling was great where we stayed so we didn't venture out to other beaches.

24 replies to this topic
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
1,500 posts
3 reviews
1. Re: just back from 7 days Fairmont Orchid

Thanks, jfd. I, for one, appreciate reports from those recently returning from the Big Island. Even though we’ve been a number of times, and our scheduled are still months out, and despite knowing conditions change day to day and even hour to hour, this vog thing (the “haze” to which you refer) has a lot of us anxious about how our plans might be impacted. So it’s comforting to read that your family and plans weren’t affected.

Glad you had a good time, and thanks again for reporting back. Did you do the manta ray night snorkel from the beach, or just view them from land?

San Carlos...
Level Contributor
1,567 posts
9 reviews
2. Re: just back from 7 days Fairmont Orchid

I also got back last night from our 6th trip to the Orchid. As the OP said VOG wasn't a big deal IMO. Some days were slightly hazy but others were fine. It all depends on the trade winds which kicked in so strongly the last couple of days that umbrellas were turning inside out. It is definitely worse as you get down towards Kona, even Waikoloa wasn't as clear sometimes as Mauna Lani despite only being a couple of miles difference. All things considered it wasn't much of an issue at all. If you are going to stay in Kohala I wouldn't consider changing plans. If you are staying in Kona you have bigger issues than the VOG. Kona was tolerable for less than 1/2 an hour for my wife and me. What a trashy dump it has turned into over the years...... just awful.

jfd
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
404 posts
711 reviews
3. Re: just back from 7 days Fairmont Orchid

just viewed them from land, by the way never felt any earthquake tremors either.

Level Contributor
332 posts
4 reviews
4. Re: just back from 7 days Fairmont Orchid

Mgventures, noticed your comment about having been to Hawaii island previously. So it's possible you've experienced vog already. The haze that comes down in the afternoon, and earlier farther south, ie Kailua Kona, has been voggy long before the latest change in Kilauea's eruption pattern. But it's not always vog, or all vog, as I understand it.

It's taken me a while to grasp this, as it looks like fog or low clouds to me.

I also understand that visual appearance is not a good indication of how much is vog, or the proportion of irritants, or of how any individual will be affected.

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
32,780 posts
6,430 reviews
5. Re: just back from 7 days Fairmont Orchid

Nice trip and trip report.1

Oklahoma City...
Level Contributor
5,634 posts
72 reviews
6. Re: just back from 7 days Fairmont Orchid

Thank you, jfd, we love the Orchid! Hope you got to eat at our favorite splurge restaurant, Brown’s Beachhouse located on property in a beautiful outdoor setting. Glad you enjoyed one of my favorites, Lava Lava, in Waikoloa too. The mantas are amazing, huh!!!! Doing a manta tour is a must do in my opinion.

Even though you didn’t mention Kailua Kona, someone did so I’ll quickly address the description of “trash dump”. There are some amazing parts of Kailua Kona, where we now exclusively stay. It is in the heart of one of the most sacred places on the island and still gives me goosebumps to be there. Beautiful million dollar homes, restaurants with gorgeous oceanfront views and stores with artwork made by local artists costing in the thousands of dollars are just a few of the hundreds of things there are to see and do in and around Kailua Kona. If you go to Kailua Kona and go away describing it as trashy, you have not properly done your research. Anyone reading this need only ask us where to go and what to see suggestions to see and do some of the most glorious things the Big Island has to offer.

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
15,587 posts
312 reviews
7. Re: just back from 7 days Fairmont Orchid

Uh, the immediate area around Scandanavian Shave Ice was er, grittier than the million dollar home area this past January. Seawall sitters added an earthy tone and herbal vapors. Been that way for quite a while. Denying that is like saying DC does not have some sketchy or up and coming areas, as we say, because it has million+ condos and a new waterfront development.

San Carlos...
Level Contributor
1,567 posts
9 reviews
8. Re: just back from 7 days Fairmont Orchid

If Kona is "sacred" then there are an awful lot of sacrilegious individuals hanging out. I'm sorry but I don't buy into this new age sacred stuff. I first visited Kona in 1965 and it was a nice sleepy town back then. It is now filled with junky tourist shops offering garbage for sale which includes some of the most gauche "art" this side of Lahaina, lousy restaurants, third rate and worse condos and hotels, hordes of geriatric cruise passengers when the ships come in, bad traffic, Walmart, Target, Costco, ABC stores every 20 yards, fast food outlets, open use of drugs and alcohol..... this is "sacred"? Instead of goosebumps I break out in hives..... each to their own.

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
15,587 posts
312 reviews
9. Re: just back from 7 days Fairmont Orchid

On the other hand, Kailua-Kona DOES have significant historic and cultural sites.

Those in the heart of town are now surrounded by a lot of stuff I have no interest in experiencing, much less interest than 25+ or so years ago when there was still some funky charm there imho. It used to remind me of Pass A Grille before it got developed and ruined. The eateries we used to drive down for could not sustain their price points and closed.

For a guide to "Royal Footsteps Along the Kona Coast" to help you find and see what is still there,

see historickailuavillage.com/documents/Draft%20…

or get apps here historickailuavillage.com/royal-footsteps-al…

Edited: 05 August 2018, 23:27
10. Re: just back from 7 days Fairmont Orchid

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Removed on: 08 August 2018, 23:36
 
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