We are trying to decide between staying at the Fairmont Orchid hotel (this would be our 2nd time staying there) or staying at a condo within the Mauna Lani area in May. We could get a really good (special) deal at the Fairmont, but the only big drawback for us is that they don't have self serve laundry facilities, and we have learned that having access to a washer/ dryer is a big plus so we can pack lighter. It would also be nice to be able to reheat leftovers or cook breakfast too, but we probably wouldn't cook dinners there, and we have made easy breakfasts (bagels and cream cheese) and lunches (PB&J, chips, and fruit) from our hotel rooms in the past, so although it would be more convenient to make them in a real kitchen, not sure if it would really be that much of a cost savings to us having the kitchen. It is just the two of us too, so we don't really need much space as we'll probably be out at the beaches most of the day any ways.
To be comparable in rate to the Fairmont, we'd need to be below $170- $180/ night at the condo. I am seeing a couple of options at the Fairways that look nice and updated, but not many because with the cleaning fees included it ends up being equal to or slightly more than the special rate we can get at the Fairmont.
Also, what is the beach like at the beach club for condo owners/ visitors (all the vrbo advertisements are saying it's a private beach, which I thought was not allowed in Hawaii)? It looks nice but pretty small. Does it get very crowded at that beach? Is the snorkeling good at this beach? Can you walk to the other beaches in the area like Makaiwa Bay in front of the Mauna Lani easily?
One other thing is that our flight leaves late the last day (10:45 pm), so I'm assuming the hotel might be better for that than a condo (I e-mailed the Fairmont to ask if they have a hospitality suite for taking quick showers, etc. before our flight, but I'm assuming they do since I know the Fairmont on Maui has one).
I think we're leaning towards just staying at the Fairmont again. Any thoughts/ comments to help tip us one way or the other though are appreciated though.
Thanks for your help, dreaming of Hawaii on this snowy day in D.C.!