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“Relaxing atmosphere, wonderful staff, gorgeous setting”

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Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Puako
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 30 December 2013

We stayed at the Fairmont Orchid for 5 nights at Thanksgiving. First, the setting is amazing. Beautiful coastline with green turtles at every turn on the beach and in the shallow swimming lagoon. This and the amazing staff warrant the 5 stars. Second, a practical tip. We stayed on the Fairmont Gold floor and I highly recommend the extra cost for it. Each morning, we would walk a few steps to a complimentary and wonderful breakfast selection of 10 or so gourmet items. Much more diverse than a typical complimentary breakfast. Each afternoon and evening there were also various snacks and non-alcoholic beverages (alcoholic beverages may be purchased by an honor bar system). The lounge was staffed by a dedicated concierge who could help plan your day and whatever reservations you might need during your stay. Valet parking is also free for gold floor guests so while the room rate was higher, I don't think the actual cost was higher (or if so, only a small amount). Third, the food was good - better quality and slightly less expensive than my recent experience at Four Seasons and Ritz Carltons elsewhere. We did not eat at the high end Brown's, as we were traveling with young kids. However, the beach restaurant was excellent. Finally, two points of constructive critism which may not bother others but I found them incongruent with the setting. First, the valets (who are absolutely excellent in every respect so this is a management issue) hand out plastic water bottles at every turn and this seems environmentally inconsistent with the setting. The other slight criticism is the water activities and staff. The cost of the "water activities" pass is too high if you have your own snorkel gear. Absent the need for snorkel gear, the only interesting option is stand up paddle boarding, and the staff did not monitor who had the paddle boards and for how long, so they were not available often and then only within the small lagoon, so not really worth the cost. Also, the water activities staff were not always watching what was occurring in the lagoon, as we saw guests fishing so they could hold a tropical reef fish for photos, which also seems an inconsistent environmental message for the setting. Neither point would deter me from staying at this wonderful place again, but I would not purchase the water pass.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank CMK43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,422 - 2,428 of 4,293 reviews

Reviewed 29 December 2013

I found the Fairmont Orchid to be a very good resort. We stayed on the Gold Level (personalized check-in, concierge, lounge with breakfast, non-alcoholic drinks and hors d'oeuvres) and I can say that this is the ONLY way to stay! Better yet, this upgrade was given to me as a "Stand-By Internet Upgrade" based solely on availability and at time of check-in. Thus, I stumbled on to the savings! If you're worried about the additional cost, just imagine adding the cost of breakfast for each guest every morning and you'll realize this is an extreme value since the lounge provides breakfast and snacks/drinks!

Pros:
1. Gold Club Level
2. Personalized, impressive and exceptional service… especially on the Club Level
3. Almost all activities located within the hotel grounds
4. Family friendly

Cons:
1. Any meals (not included on the Club Level - such as lunch/dinner) at the property restaurants were extremely expensive
2. I found the resort food to be just that.. average and "resort tasting"
3. You need a car to go past the resort to see Kona. Taxis are expensive!

Simply, YOU MUST STAY ON THE CLUB LEVEL. This was so impressive, it made a significant impression on our family. The hard part is figuring expenses/time for other meals/activities. Big picture, it's a good hotel with GREAT STAFF/SERVICE in a GREAT location.

Room Tip: Stay on the Fairmont Gold Level (Building 2, Sixth Floor). The service, food and drinks available th...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Duke H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2013

First, the good points. It's a very nice hotel with beautiful grounds, a great pool, a really nice (probably man-made) beach with a sheltered lagoon, great food, and fantastic service. The staff was all extremely polite, cheerful and helpful. Valet parking will not only park your car but also provide cold bottled water and towels for your excursions. There's a nice little deli with coffee, pastries and sandwiches that opens at 6:30am. There's a bar with casual food right next to it which will happily provide strong mai-tais to-go if you like for sipping on your porch.

Turtles like to take naps on the beach in front of the pool, and they sometimes come in the lagoon. They're utterly unconcerned with people. This makes it easy for little kids and non-swimmers alike to have turtle encounters, which is great. A variety of fish can be seen swimming in the lagoon if you have goggles. The water is shallow enough to stand up in, so again it's a great ocean encounter for people who would otherwise not be up to the experience. The water is pretty murky due to the sand, but the fish come by very close. If you have some snorkeling skills you can head out to the ocean from the cove and see more fish with better visibility.

The downside is that food and drinks are very expensive, even by Hawaii standards. If you're on an expense account you may not mind, but otherwise it's painful. We ended up eating food from off-property much of the time. If food was a bit more reasonable we probably would have eaten at the resort a lot more.

Room Tip: Garden view was really very nice as the grounds are quite pretty.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank JustSomeGuy08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheFairmontOrchid, Guest Relations Manager at Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2014

Aloha,

Thank you for your kind comments about your recent stay. We appreciate your feedback, and hope we will have an opportunity to welcome you back to our beautiful island in the future.

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 December 2013

We stayed at 3 different hotels over the course of our honeymoon and the Fairmont was the best property, bar none. The service was flawless, the grounds are perfectly manicured, and the food is excellent. It is expensive; but one should expect that at a Fairmont property, especially in Hawaii. Brown's restaurant is the best on the property, but all of the food we had was excellent. Samantha in guest services took excellent care of us and we truly felt like royalty on our honeymoon. The beach on the property was also nice; although man made, provided pretty good snorkeling with lots of turtles.

The Luana Lounge has good happy hour prices and the spa is fantastic. We spent 6 nights there and can't come up with a single negative aspect of our trip.

Room Tip: If you can spring for the suites, they are incredible.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Cancunradio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheFairmontOrchid, Guest Relations Manager at Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2014

Aloha,

Congratulations on your marriage, and thank you for choosing to spend part of your honeymoon with us. We are delighted to know that your experience at The Fairmont Orchid was memorable. We look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you back in the future.

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2013

We spent a week here. Awesome resort and great beach. The restaurant and bars/lounges were great -- pleasant mai tais and good food. We enjoyed our suite and the view. We will definitely return on our next trip to the Big Island!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SGYoung1952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheFairmontOrchid, Guest Relations Manager at Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2014

Aloha,

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. We look forward to your next visit!

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2013

based on the hotel pictures we booked deluxe oceanview and paid extra for it. how disappointed were we to find a partial oceanview where the ocean is visible in the 30% corner of your vision! rooms are clean and nicely appointed. beds are great, comfort wise. food and drink are completely overpriced but tasty at the japanese restaurant and browns deli. beachside restaurant is carbloading at best. salads please!! poolside svc and front desk svc is great! orchid cafe breakfast is inconsistent. for real ocean views, consider the hapuna prince!

Room Tip: only oceanviews are a handful of oceanfront rooms. south tower closer to the beach/restaurants.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Susan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheFairmontOrchid, Guest Relations Manager at Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2014

Aloha,

Thank you very much your review. Guest feedback is important to us, and we appreciate your many positive comments, and also your feedback identifying those areas where we fell short of your expectations. Your comments will be shared with our team and used to make improvements. Thank you for choosing to stay with us, we hope to welcome you back in the future.

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2013

We were not disappointed with this resort. The activities were great, the staff was friendly, the bed was awesome, the green turtles showed up every day, the pool and hot tub were big and nice, and the beach was a lot of fun. It's a fancy resort, so you've got stuff like turndown service, bellhop bringing bags to the room, a set of adapters to connect your computer to the TV, etc. My main gripe is the cost of the food at the resort, and to a lesser extent in the general area. If you're not willing to pay $40 per person (before tax/tip) for lunch and dinner, you'll have to look offsite, and the affordable options are limited in this remote area (I recommend Just Tacos at the Shops at Mauna Lani, and Macaroni Grill and the food court (Dairy Queen, Ippy's, Subway) at the Queen's Marketplace at the Waikoloa resort just down the road if you want to pay less than $30 per entrée).

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Fubecao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheFairmontOrchid, Guest Relations Manager at Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2014

Aloha,

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your review. We are pleased to know that you were satisfied with your stay, and appreciate your nice comments about our resort and staff. I hope we will have an opportunity to welcome you back soon.

Mahalo,

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 Family Hotel in Puako
#2 Spa Hotel in Puako
#2 Green Hotel in Puako
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puako
#2 Luxury Hotel in Puako
#2 Romantic Hotel in Puako
Price Range: £258 - £699 (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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