Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

1 N Kaniku Dr | Kohala Coast, HI 96743  [SEE MAP]Kohala Coast, HI  [SEE ADDRESS]

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at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

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Guest Reviews

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4

Nice trip to the Big Island

Feb 20th, 2020

My husband and I just returned from a 5 night stay at the Fairmont Orchid. We had a trip to Asia cancel at the last minute due to coronavirus so booked this trip in less than a week. Below is my review of the property and stay: Overall: there are a lot of kids at the hotel. It's not a hotel necessarily for couple or non-kid families. That said, we didn't have kids with us and we had a nice time. It's not a romantic or a party hotel. Check-in: check-in is 4 p.m. We arrived about noon and just changed in the bathroom (no additional changing facilities) and grabbed lunch. I got the sense an 'early check-in' is very unlikely but wasn't an issue for us. Room: we had a standard garden view room. Room was fairly large with a nice well appointed bathroom. Loved the big tub! The room had a fridge that you could story beer/wine and other things which is nice. Lanai had a lounger as well as a small table with 2 chairs. You could see your neighbors if they were also outside at the same time. We don't spend a ton of time in the room so we didn't care about the view. I did note that the ocean facing rooms seemed to be in a fish bowl. Everyone could see into your room/balcony so it was not something I would want to pay up for. The bigger ocean facing rooms at the end complex saw a ton of foot traffic so people were constantly walking in front of the rooms and the morning yoga was in front of the south tower rooms. I saw that as a huge negative. I was happy with our room selection. Rooms were cleaned regularly and no shortage of towels/toiletries. Beach: Beach was on a cove which would be nice for kids. There was almost no shade. You can rent a cabana for $60 or $85 / day. We liked the Coconut Grove (at the far south side of the beach which had less kids and more shade. Easy to snorkel out from the beach. Marine life was plentiful for good snorkeling. We brought our own snorkel/fins so not sure about rentals. You can get towels in front of the beach and there is a bar as well. Bar closes about 4 daily. It's easy to get a drink and order food as we never saw a huge line/wait. Beach as always crowded but we were able to find chairs any time of the day. Pool: it was odd: pool was really warm the first 3 days and then cold the last 2 days. Pool was nice and kid-friendly but wasn't so over-run that adults couldn't enjoy it. There is no adult pool. Service around the pool is spotty but it's not a long walk (just across the pool deck) to grab food / drinks yourself. I view pool service as a nice-to-have rather than a must so not a huge issue for me. Pool was more crowded than the beach and chairs could be hard to come by after mid-morning. Food: Besides the breakfast buffet the food was just mediocre at best. We did enjoy the breakfast buffet. We did the continental buffet rather than the full buffet with the 'hot' items. It was great for us and provided everything we wanted. We ate at Brown's for dinner. It just was not good and so overpriced especially for the quality. We both left saying that the only reason they are around is because they have a captive audience with the hotel guests. I seriously would not waste any time here if you want good food. Binchotan was good for sushi. My husband was a fan and was complementary but since I don't eat fish there were limited options and the ones they had were not good. I had the shrimp (there were 2 small shrimp in the order), avocado (ok) and mushrooms ('meh). The beach restaurant was just ok. We ate there twice for lunch and both were underwhelming. I guess it's more convenience then quality. All-in-all the food was just not good at the Fairmont. Tennis: easy to get a court. Guy manning the tennis center is really nice and accommodating. There was a tournament going on while we were there but he got us a court without issue. Everything has a fee (racquet fee; ball fee; court fee). Just know that going in. We brought our own racquets but 'rented' balls and they were fine. Yoga: yoga is offered daily. You can do paddle board yoga or beach yoga. We did the beach yoga twice. Sarah, the instructor, was really good and helpful for all levels. Unlike other higher-end hotels (i.e. the Four Seasons), you have to pay to participate ($25). Everything at the Fairmont has a fee! Grounds: well maintained. Nike hiking trails close by. They are simple hikes but nice to have the option. The petroglyph hike/walk was nice. Very easy flat 1.4 mile RT. I read reviews that the grounds / hotel looked dated. I really didn't get that feel. It's definitely not a W but I didn't have any issues and I thought everything looked aesthetically pleasing. Concierge: Easy to access and easy to schedule tours. We did the whale watching trip (Sea Adventures) and the concierge handled everything. Spa: my husband had a great massage. We booked the day before without a lot of issue. He requested the beach massage and really enjoyed it. Car rental/Uber/Cab: we ended up NOT renting a car. Estimate for 5 day rental was ~$600. This was the first time we didn't rent a car when visiting Hawaii and we were fine. We took an Uber from the airport to the Fairmont. I was concerned about the wait time for Uber but was completely unfounded. We ordered an Uber and it arrived within 10 mins and was more than half the price of a cab ($55 v. $115). No issues getting an Uber from the Fairmont to the airport was equally as easy. The tour we booked picked us up at the hotel and dropped us off so no issues. Also, you have to remember that there is a $17/day parking fee at the Fairmont so factor that into the rental car fee. There is a rental car office at the Fairmont so if you want to rent a car while you are at the hotel that is possible. Check-out: easy and seamless check-our from the room. There is a $35/day resort fee that they also charge you tax on as well. The Fairmont never met a fee they didn't like. Everything, and I mean everything, at the Fairmont has an added fee + tax. It was a little bit of a downer to leave knowing you were nickeled and dimed at every turn. I'd rather just pay more upfront and know everything is included. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER 

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 1

The Fairmont didn’t measure up

Feb 20th, 2020

We stayed for 2weeks so we got a very good exposure to the hotel and it’s service. Upon arrival we were disappointed that even with our advance reservation the hotel didn’t put our two party’s together. This day and age that is ridiculous. I would say the food was good. But was it worth the price tag? A resounding no. The pool was warm that is a plus. The umbrellas and shade was extremely limited and it was like a battle for the prime seats. Having to get up early in the morning and stake a claim to your chairs was ridiculous. This makes this resort a 2 star!! Why only have one umbrella for every 4 chairs? There is only one pool and it was filled with screaming kids every morning. At the end of the day there was floating scum along the edges. I didn’t realize this resort didn’t have an adult pool area. This was so disappointing. The pool bathroom was disgusting. One of the toilets leaked the entire time we were there. I bet it is still leaking...Oh and the hot tub area is disgusting. The hot tub was hot but the pond around it was full of floating debris and gunk. We had a late flight so we were hoping to check out late. Well for a $200 fee we could. Hmmm we rented 2 rooms for 2 weeks and there was no budging on this. They said at 6 am you can call get a hospitality suite for 45 minutes on the day of your departure. The rooms were small But bed was comfortable but honestly again for the price tag you would think the walls in the bathroom weren’t moldy. Yes in the corner of the toilet room the corners were moldy and the vent was filthy. Every other day ( why not every day? ) you received fruit on a plate in your room. Small plate of a few native fruits. This would be a great place if it was a Hilton Garden Inn but it is a Fairmont. Definitely look elsewhere for a luxury vacation. Before I posted this review various staff members were wonderfully accommodating and gave us a lanai on the beach and paid for our late check out. But the facility needs some of the money THE CHINESE INVESTMENT GROUP takes out PUT BACK IN. Stay elsewhere!! TRIPADVISOR.COM USER 

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4

Great Family Stay - Accor Holding Fairmont Back?

Feb 19th, 2020

Resort is awesome for kids and families. Love the dining deal where kids eat free for resort guests. Binchotan was our favorite restaurant as well as the kids! Beach is great as there are only small waves that make it into the cove. Make sure you get the watersports deal for unlimited rental for your whole stay. Pools are heated and warm, but there is no waterslide or kids pool or playground on the resort or nearby that we could find. Fairmont has upgraded their gyms with all new TechnoGym equipment - its awesome. Deli was a great option for coffee, snacks and lunch on the go at decent prices - We did a picnic almost everyday near one of the water fountain displays. Live music and happy hour at Luana is pretty good. Nice restaurant right at the beach, thought food was average, but views made it taste amazing! Cleaning staff was very good. Only 4/5 stars due to Accor. I really feel like the new loyalty program is holding the Fairmont service back from its exceptional self. Instead of dining upgrade certificates you now get limitless but very limited suite upgrades. We were staying under a conference so Accor would not let us use them. Accor must be the only brand that does not give platinum or gold members breakfast or even continental breakfast! We got two welcome drinks and no upgrade for a platinum and gold membership! Fairmont did later apologize with a bottle of wine. Welcome gift on arrival was some pieces of pineapple, I think it used to be a lot better! We will definitely come to big island again though. I just hope the Fairmont/Accor thing gets figured out. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER 

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3

Average at best

Feb 19th, 2020

Our initial attempt to check-in failed due to a mix-up in our reservation. The gal at the front desk made an effort to accommodate but her offer was a room that was over $1,000 per night and recommended another property that was sold out. We quickly looked online and found a room for much less on a third party website. Though I understand she cannot see that availability, this was not offered as a suggestion. We arrived for a wedding on a holiday weekend and were left standing there with no options. Literally, we had to stand back in line for check in again taking another 30min. Comparing it to a past stay at Grand Wailea, well, it didn't compare. In my opinion, check in at a luxury hotel should feel effortless, and if there is bottleneck like lack of check in stations, offer guests a bottle of water or small pastry, something to add value. Luckily we travel often and figured it out ourselves... when you are spending a few thousand dollars for long weekend, you would expect a higher level of service looking for ways to WOW the guest. We moved on, got to the room and again were let down. Ok the service is eh but now the room is eh. The room was just...very basic, I will leave it at that. We got ready and headed to eat. Again, I will just leave it at I recommend eating off property. It was expensive, service lacked, quality lacked. On a higher note, we had turndown service come at 9:30pm, which seemed obviously late. We let the property know we had, had a bit of a few off experiences and they left a little package in our room. Thank you! The wedding we were there to attend was pretty fabulous. The best part of the weekend for sure. Overall, for the cost of the hotel I felt there was no value. Service, Facilities, Pool, Beach, nothing really stood out as like wow ok this was worth it. Buyers remorse I supposed. Lots of great properties in this area, I would recommend checking one of those out before coming here. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER 

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5

🌺 Beauty at every turn 🌺

Feb 18th, 2020

This was a business trip for my husband so we combined our Valentines getaway and it did not disappoint. We’ve vacationed at several 5 star resorts and this one was all of that an more. Everywhere we went on the grounds, the lobby, the lawn, restaurants, bars, we were met with genuine smiles from everyone who works there. We loved the private protected beach area - great for snorkeling, the view, the walk through the beautiful and endless accessible property. It was “sold out”, but always felt spacious, open, elegant. The Fairmont Orchid is deserving of it's 5 Star rating. We can't think of a single thing we would change. Room were spacious and comfortable, with all the amenities, they were so quiet, beds were comfortable, which provided great sleep for the next active day. We had a fabulous view of both the adjacent golf course and the Pacific Ocean. We appreciated that every staff member we met exchanged a pleasant "Aloha" and did a very good job of taking care of us. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER 

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