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“The Fairmont Orchid, our Place of Refuge”

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Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 11 September 2009

Perfect, It was truely our place of refuge on the island! So glad I choose the Beautiful Orchid. I can tell this grand resort was a Ritz Carlton in the past. It has maintained it's elegance and distinguished details. It's interior design isn't over the top or in your face just Casual/Elegant just the feeling you want when you are in Hawaii. Our suite was spacious, comfortable and pretty. The king bed was perfect and the 4 pillows were really comfortabe (very important to us). We loved having 2 bathrooms 2 showers,one shower was with the tub, both Carrera Marble. We could both shower at the same time, didn't affect water at all. The cleaning staff does a spit spot job every morning and turn down every night. Coffee maker with comp. coffee, mini frig. we did request a larger frig. it was $25 but worth it. The rooms have excellent air conditioning! Nice to have two seperate his and hers closets with mirrors. Also, appreciated the dressing table with a mirror that was not in a bedroom or bath. I can't say anything negative about the rooms. I only noticed a tiny bit of wear on the white painted trim here and there.
We loved the mini-beach it is just right for floating, sunning hanging out and ordering drinks. Beyond the little reef you can snorkle and swim. I loved it because I didn't have to wear water shoes and watch for "things" in the ocean. It is not a good place for body surfers or people who like allot of water action. If you want a bigger beach experience you need to go to Hapuna or Mauna Kea beach. We checked them out but only hung out on the Fairmont beach it was just to perfect:) We did pay $65 a person for the activities package so that we could utilize the floaters,snorkels,kayaks etc. Nice pool area also. Both are close to the rooms it doesn't feel like it takes forever to get there.
The bars and restaurants are awesome and we ate at everyone of them, from tasty to decadent just take your pick! We loved the Luana lounge, it over looks the beautiful grounds and the sea, great for watching sun sets! The beach bar was great after dark .
I did appreciat the staffs attitude it really made our stay very pleasant!!!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Hawaiibeachgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,427 - 3,431 of 4,158 reviews

Reviewed 10 September 2009

My husband and I stayed here for a few days on our honeymoon...what a perfect place to end our memorable trip! The hotel is beautiful, the staff are great, the food is delicious and there was so much to do! There is nothing bad I can say about this hotel. Definitely track down the "beach boys" for a complimentary outrigger canoe ride, they are fun and the guides are knowledgeable. The pool was large and warm enough to take a swim in at night. The snorkeling was GREAT! I've been snorkeling before and never seen so many fish without even trying! The sea turtles were regulars in the snorkeling area. We actually saw a large manta ray in the lagoon the evening we dined at Brown's Beach House. I would love to go back to this hotel and would recommend it to anyone who wants to relax and have fun!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nene809
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2009

My family of four spend 3 days 2nights at Fairmont Orchid for our 9 days trip. It is the segment of our trip that we planned to just chill and relax on the beach and completely enjoy the resort. My husband and I had stayed here 7 yrs ago in a standard room, so this time we decided to spend extra and got ourself the Gold level room...and it was probably the best decision that we've made for our trip. On the gold level, our room was very spacious even with two double beds. The large bathroom with separate tub and shower area is another plus. The service was very attentive. From the moment we arrived, we were guided to the Gold level by the manager. The check in was very personal and quick. The lounge area was comfortable with mini library, big tv, continous supply of snacks/drinks to munch on. The valet parking is free. The internet usage is free in the lounge and in room. There is a nice breakfast buffet. You don't get huge selections but there is always one hot item with all necessary items to make it a very satisfying meal. There is afternoon tea snack time, and also coctail time until 7pm. I thought you actually get to sample some of the food/appetizer from the available restaurants in the hotel without actually breaking your wallet. My children, age 5 and 3, really enjoys what the lounge has to offer. They found some board games to play..and my son loved the idea of unlimited non-alcoholic drink..soda/juice/water . As for the compound, I do think that the decor outside of the gold level could use some update especially hallway carpet. The ground outside is very well maintained. The pool is very big with small sandy kiddy pool on the side. We loved the fact that it has it's own enclosed bay and white sand beach which is perfect for small kids. You can snorkel (decent view), kayak, swim, lounge around. We really had a great time in Fairmont Orchid. If you plan to do lots of sight seeing, ie driving to the volcanoe, Fairmont is probably not the most ideal place to stay. And Big island, Kona side, is not as lush and green like Hilo, so most of the scenery on the road is dark, brown lava field which can get very boring after awhile. However, if you just want to have some R&R and soaking up the sun on the beach, Fairmont is a good choice. Now to go a step further, by spending a little extra money to stay at the Gold level, you will probably save more in the end along with experiencing a wonderful service that can only enhance a vacation...

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank yuan89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2009

I stayed here with a companion for 5 nights in August 2009, and the experience was truly wonderful. At the risk of setting unrealistic expectations, here were my impressions:

---- Room

We stayed in a fifth floor ocean front room in the north tower. The hotel is shaped like a U, and the 'ocean front' rooms are on the tips of the U. The room was spectacular. We had a large deck, and a full view of the ocean and sunsets. We had two sunsets in five nights which were stunning. We would wake up in the morning and watch the ocean without getting out of bed.

Note that the 'ocean front' rooms are the only rooms with a truly ocean front view. All the other rooms have an angled view of the ocean, at best.

The rooms themselves are very nice (no normal person would complain), but they are slightly more dated than a similarly priced room at a destination with less natural beauty (say Las Vegas). Overall, though, I could not have been happier with our room.

----- Beach

I think the beach is the best environment I have ever encountered at a beach hotel. It had enough families and children to seem lively and fun, but not so many that it was annoying. The snorkeling was fabulous, and very close to that found near the Captain Cook monument. On a typical trip, I would see several sea turtles and many many fish. One one trip, far out, I saw a sting ray with a 3 foot wing-span. It had a dark purple back with little tiny dots and a long skinny tale.

---- Pool, Ping Pong and Activities

The pool was very nice. Not too crowded when we were there. There was a ping-pong table hidden near the pool, and my companion and I played several fun games each morning. We also did some of the activities down at the cove (kayaking, paddle boarding, etc). These are fun, though we got tired of them pretty quickly. With kids, they would be really fun.

----- Food

The food was awesome. I didn't necessarily find the quality of the food correlated to its price. Our least impressive meal was at Browns (though a manna ray did make an appearance in the cove while we were eating). We also ate at the Luana Lounge (great view, great tempura shrimp), the Ocean Bar (really awesome, and large portions that we often shared) and Browns Deli (hardly more expensive than starbucks, and much better food/choices).

---- Location

We had good weather on all but our first night. There are many activities within about a 1 hour drive (captain cooks monument, Waip'oi Valley, Waimea), but I wouldn't want to be here without a car.

Overall, we had a magical stay here. There were moments where we both agreed our stay captured just the mix of relaxing/active that you dream vacation will have, but that it rarely delivers. I just hope I haven't set your expectations too high.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Chris J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2009

I'm going to try to give this hotel a fair review.....Let me first say that the hotel itself and grounds it is on are really beautiful. They did a wonderful job with the pool area too. The sunsets by the pool were really nice =) I did NOT like how they made extra expenses though. 15 bucks for parking....really?! I mean there is literally 30 miles of open lava fields all around the resort, why charge us to park!? just seems silly. 15 bucks for internet. Maybe its because I was coming from the westin where it was all included...I dunno. Oh and I won't go into details because its a long story...but AVOID THE SPA/SALON AT ALL COSTS!!!!!!!!! I guess you can email me if you want details lol.
The reason that I don't think this hotel is really worth it is because of the location. I guess I should say though it depends on what you are looking for. if you just want to relax by the pool/beach area all day, I actually think this would be a nice hotel for you or for the family :-) The pool area is really quite nice, there is a mini beach they have set up right next to the pool which is good too. Also there is a golf course almost attached to the hotel too, so if you wanted to play golf this would be nice too. Oh also I like goign to the gym and the gym at the hotel was actually quite nice too.
So here's why I wouldn't recommend this hotel at all. When me and my wife traveled south, past the airport, down to the sheraton there was SOOOO much more to do! The town was full of life, there were TONS of activities to do (i highly recommend the night swimming w. manta rays!), big open beachs, cute towns, lots of shopping! The area around the fairmont has NOTHING. The best way I can describe it, is that it literally looks like the surface of mars for about 30 miles outside the fairmont. Now don't get me wrong the fairmont itself is quite nice, but the second you get outside of it there's nothing! It really made me and my wife depressed seeing the land that time forgot every time we left our hotel! Especially because we were expecting lush green hawaii. It really is all lava rocks, not a single piece of green outside of the oasis of the fairmont!

So again i guess it depends on what you're looking for. However all in all I would not recommend this hotel to anyone staying there, but maybe if you ONLY want to stay at the hotel and relax then this could be a nice choice. Hope this helps and hope no matter where you stay you have a great vacation!



Pros:
Beautiful grounds, pool area, nice modern rooms, a little beach area with snorkeling and some activities to do too. Remote (a good thing if you just want to get away from it all).
Cons:
Not a good location, depressing drive in and out every time, HORRIBLE spa/salon staff...I mean the worst I've ever seen at any hotel, not a whole lot to do, Remote (a bad thing if you're looking for activities and things to do).

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank danwelch99
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:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kohala Coast > Puako
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Green Hotel in Puako
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#2 Family Hotel in Puako
#2 Romantic Hotel in Puako
Price Range: ₹ 21,398 - ₹ 56,976 (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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