The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Travel Blogs from Kamuela
We stayed at the Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island in Hawaii. It was beautiful and was the perfect honeymoon location.
... see what it was. There are apparently wallabies on Oahu (descendants of escaped circus animals from a long time ago) but I don't think that applies to Hawaii.
After heading East through Waikoloa, we started the trek North through mountainous country, with vegetation changing from the Australian inland to something more like Coffs Harbour. We ended up at the end of a highway at a spot that looked South East down the coastline, which was made up of a series of cliff faces, ...
30th November - Saturday
We are at:Kona Cottage II Relax In Comfort, 74-5047 Kealapua Street Kailua-Kona, our hosts are Kevin & Lizanne. At this BnB we are spoilted we get breakfast which consists of homemade banana bread by Lizanne and fresh fruit, we had our cereal and some fruit and the banana bread for morning tea.
Now what I didn't tell you in yesterdays blog is ...
... as we head south ( roughly the same area we drove the day before). Along the way we see black sand beaches, massive cliffs formed by lava flows many years ago and just how barren the western part of the island is.
We get close to Kilauea , but not over the top due to restrictions and smoke activity in the area. We still managed to see glowing lava , moving ( slowly) down the hill and burning trees around it.
Sometimes the chopper can get a ...
... killed him in a fight on his return to the island. They felt very betrayed after finding out he wasn't the god they had thought he was when he first landed. The snorkelling was amazing with beautiful coral and so many fish and we got a special show from a huge group of wild spinner dolphins as they flipped and jumped out of the water right near us. We tried to swim out to them but whenever we got close they moved further away so we gave up on that idea and just watched ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
- Swimming pool
- Room service
Historical Traveler Reviews The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Kamuela
After carefully considering the 5 major resorts on the Kohala Coast, I was thrilled with my selection of the Fairmont Orchid. The problems described by other reviewers simply baffle me. We had an incredible time during our 4 night stay and found every service just fantastic.
I can understand why there are negative comments about the Orchid, although I don't think it's that bad. Of course, they didn't have our reservation in the computer when we arrived. When they did find it, they had booked us for the wrong number of nights in the wrong room type. When it was all straightened out, our room wasn't ready and it was already 3:30. So we went to the pool bar. This is where things started to look up. The grounds are beautiful, the view is awesome, and the drinks were good. THe size of our room was fine, the bed was comfortable enough, and the large lanai was comfortable and well furnished. Their breakfast buffet is terrible, not much to offer for room service. But Browns and The Grill were awesome! The one major problem I had was no hot water. I ran the hot water for 20 minutes and it got barely lukewarm. I called the front desk, who promised to send someone right away. Well, maintenance called and told me to just keep running the hot water. That was their solution to the problem. And the front desk didn't care either, so I had a hot shower when I got home. I can understand the complaints about lack of service, but I still had a good weekend, and may go back.
Wow! This is the nicest hotel I have stayed at on the Big Island. (Neck and neck with the Grand Wailea on Maui for my money)
I just recently got back from the Fairmont Orchid. I found this hotel to be amazing! I was surprised to see some of the bad reviews, but trust me, this hotel is gorgeous. We had an ocean view room, and we also had a view of the golf course and also mountains. Service was excellent. The food was overpriced but it was excellent too. Each day we had the buffet breakfast which was $25 a person but it was well worth it. There are hot and cold stations, fresh fruit including tropical selections, an omelet station. Each day there was a different fish cooked and I thought that was neat. I can say that the North Tower rooms seem to be the best so you should ask for that section. Our room was 2515, I would say that section is the place to be. There are many falls on the property, and ponds full of Japanese Koi fish. The beach is great and there is a great poolside bar there too. In my opinion, you would not go wrong staying at this resort.
We have stayed at the "orchid" before. On our last trip, We split our vacation between the "Orchid" and "Manele Bay" hotel on Lanai. We payed the same rate at both of the hotels for partial ocean view rooms. On arrival at Manele Bay, they recognized us as returning guests, provided us with a great room , and gave us a fruit basket in the room. The Orchid gave us a lousy room and wouldn't move us. Our partial ocean view room was over the restaurant and through the palm trees. Hardly saw anything at all and we were there during off season with plenty of rooms available. Never again for the Orchid. Lanai forever.
My husband and I just returned from a fabulous five night stay. I too am shocked by the negative comments. Everything was great. There is FREE Kona coffee in the morning until 9am, and then a small counter with muffins and the sort until 10am. If you are a late riser, the dozen or so tables at the beach bar are ready for you after 10am until the wee hours of the night. Each day at the pool we got small cups of fresh fruit and very cold washclothes to cool off with. Very nice touch! The pool is heated (very nice) and is beautiful! The padded lounge chairs are an added plus as is the beach towels I swear they use faberic softener on. The beach is man-made/enanched. Small sandy area, but large enough. Be sure to snorkle. It's wonderful. You will see many fish and turtles. Be sure to seek out the turtle they named Tripod... unfortunate shark incident. You are in Hawaii after all and the sight of lava is pretty cool.The restaurants are wonderful. Expensive, but great. We enjoyed our first night's dinner at Brown's Beach Grill. Every night they had live entertainment and it was wonderful to eat great food, listen to the singers and watch the waves crash against the shore. Heaven.The daily torch lighting is as fun to watch as the kids say it is to run along with them! The grounds are wonderful. Be sure to check out all the waterfalls.. you may find a jacuzzi or two. The staff is almost over accomodating. They leave a card in your room which you have the option to leave on your bed if you don't want the sheets changed. We thought we would save the room attendent some work by putting the card on the bed. She found us and asked us if we wouldn't prefer some fresh sheets. Wow!!! The front desk was quick to any response and the staff in the restaurants made us feel like royalty. Wonderful!!Now the spa. I can not say enough about this! I purchased the Hawaiian Rejunivation for $200 and it was worth every penny. Without a doubt, the best spa experience I have ever had. Suzanne was wonderful, and the poducts were all locally made. I never felt rushed, and the whole experience was top notch. I highly recommend spending some time in the spa. The rooms were great. Very large, beuatiful and comfortable. The beds were cozy, the room was clean and very sound proof. I never heard our neighbors or people in the hall. I really can not say enough about this resort. I highly recommend it and I am sure you will have just as wonderful an experience as I have had. Enjoy!!!
Not sure about the negative comments here on the hotel. We stayed there for 5 days in November and found it an absolute delight. From the room, to the staff, to the food to the hotel itself. Just sheer pleasure - and we have stayed at many other hotels in this high end catagory. We will be back.
Just spent a week at this property and there's something terribly wrong here. The hotel is beautiful - after all it used to be a Ritz-Carlton - but the grounds don't appear to be as well maintained as they should, the lack of service is appalling and they seem very understaffed. We spent 3 days trying to get two working keys to the room. Should this really be so difficult? A fax sent to us on the day we arrived got delivered to our room several days later. The AC in our room only worked intermittently. The rooms are somewhat small with large bathrooms, although there is insufficient space for personal items. There are 3 restaurants on the property. One is only open on weekend evenings, another only for breakfast. If you want beachside food and drink service prior to 11am or after 4pm you can forget about it! Some of the beachside waitstaff are surly and seem to think its too much trouble to cover the beach seating furthest from the bar. There is a small coffee kiosk but it closes at 10am. Also strange for such a large property is that there was not a store selling, magazines, books or toiletries. (If it exists I never found it!) There were a few redeeming qualities about this hotel! The Beach House restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the food is very good, albeit very expensive, the staff are very friendly and service is excellent. There is a protected cove with a mostly sandy bottom which provides for ocean swimming and snorkeling even when the surf is high. When the sea is calm enough, the snorkeling outside of the cove on the reef is excellent. "The Beach Boys" program provides staffers to assist with beachside activities, take the guests on guided tours of the nearby fish ponds and petroglyphs, and teach native arts and crafts. This location is also great for beachside whale watching. Overall though, I don't think I'll stay here again because I prefer more choices for meals, the hotel is at least a half hour drive to local restaurants or shopping charged here.
First asked for a non-smoking room, they tried to put us in smoking. The room we recieved we found out after getting sick, had a totally clogged air filter and mildew growng inside the AC unit. Food was marginal yet overpriced. We did have a good burger at the bar. The staff in the restaurants were the only saving grace. It was so bad we spent 32K on a two week time share in Kailua. Oh yeah, the beds sucked! Don't go there!
My partner and I stayed at the Orchid for ten days, and while the grounds are very nice there's not much else to recommend it. We're no strangers to travel or the Big Island (we've been there nine times in ten years), and there are a number of better alternatives in this price range.