The AAA Four Diamond Fairmont Orchid Resort is located on Hawaii's Big Island. The resort sits about 30 minutes from Kona International airport on the Northwest side of the Big Island in Pakuo, HI. And this resort sits in a great location. It's far enough away from the city but close enough to drive into Kona or take a day trip to explore the island. The Fairmont Orchid was first opened in 1990 as a Ritz-Carlton. Then from 1995 until 2003 was later managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts until it was taken over by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts The resort sits on 32 acres of oceanfront property on the Kohala Coast.
The Fairmont Orchid at Mauana Lani Resort
If you are looking for views of the vivid blue ocean waters and nearby Mauna Kea, the world's tallest mountain when measured from it's base, then the Fairmont Orchid is the place to be.
Upon our arrival to the resort, it was pretty late since we took a pretty late flight to Hawaii. But we were warmly greeted by the valet, assisted with our luggage and escorted to the Fairmont Gold floor for check-in. You might be wondering what Fairmont Gold is? It's an exclusive lifestyle hotel experience. Fairmont Gold makes your stay very personalized with private check-in, exclusive private lounge access, daily healthy breakfast, dedicated Fairmont Gold Concierge and more.
The Fairmont Orchid is a fairly compact resort in the sense that from the lobby you can head one of two directions, either to the North or South Tower. The Fairmont Gold floor is located in the North Tower. As with most luxury resorts there are several room types to choose from - the most basic up to the most plush.
The rooms feel very luxurious, yet comfortable. We had the chance to stay in a Fairmont Gold Ocean View Suite, which didn't disappoint. The rooms are decorated very tastefully with french doors separating the living room from the master bedroom & bath. Our room made use of several organic feeling materials from the lamps to the furniture and the window treatments.
The room was decorated very simplistic with wallpaper, dark wood furniture with lots of natural light and views of the ocean keeping it very light and airy.
Moving on to the bathrooms, they are very luxurious and spa like with a great use of Carrara marble, double vanities a bath tub and a walk-in shower. And if you have read our blog on our favorite toiletries, you know that Le Labo is our favorite!
One of the most notable improvements to the Fairmont Orchid is that they are re-doing some of their restaurants right now. The on property Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi bar is closed for renovation and will soon re-open as Binchotan: Bar & Grill - serving up Asian cuisine over an open flame. There are four restaurants on property: Brown's Beach House (romantic fine dining), Hale Kai (casual dining), Orhid Court (breakfast) and the grab and go coffee and sandwiches - Brown's Deli.
Since we were staying on the Fairmont Gold floor, we had breakfast most days in the private lounge but we did go down to Orchid Court one morning. Talk about a spread, the breakfast buffet had tons of fresh baked pastries, fresh local fruit, plenty of hot food, a juice bar and an omelet station. And if buffets aren't your thing, they have a great breakfast menu as well.
We also had the opportunity to eat lunch and enjoy a few signature cocktails at Hale Kai twice. The grass covered umbrellas, sand under your feet along with the sounds of the ocean make this dining experience one of a kind.
The Fairmont Orchid doesn't lack when it comes to things to do. There is a fantastic spa on property as well as a great fitness center. There are also several paths to walk around the resort plus a nice man-made beach along the famous Fairmont Orchid lagoon. The lagoon hosts a variety of non-motorized water sports activities like paddle boarding, snorkeling, canoeing, kayaking and more. If you want to spend a day at the beach and experience all that Fairmont Orchid has to offer, you are going to want to opt for their Fun N' Sun Activity Pass. This gives you access to rental equipment from the Beach Shack that can be used just steps away in the crystal clear blue waters.
The resort features one main pool that is quite large and sits right in the middle of the resort. If you are looking to getaway from the crowd and have your own private space, then opt for a pool or beach cabana. We reserved one of the Oceanfront Hale cabanas and it was worth every penny. In addition to having unobstructed views of the ocean, you'll also get a chilled cooler with refreshments and snacks included with the rental.
The Fairmont Orchid has perhaps one of the most peaceful and unique spa experiences. The Spa Without Walls is literally an outdoor spa nestled into thick greenery with the sound of nearby waterfalls that feed the fish ponds located in the heart of the resort.
If you are like us, we are pretty dedicated to working out on vacation so we can indulge. But it can be challenging working out in a gym that you aren't used to. But the fitness center at the Orchid has plenty of space with state of the art cardio equipment, free weights and even a squat rack.
The Fairmont Orchid is a great place to relax, experience a luau and have a fantastic vacation. The Big Island of Hawaii isn't the most well known and traveled destination. But once you visit the Fairmont Orchid, you might change your mind about visiting some of the other islands. The staff at this resort was fantastic. Everyone made an effort to get to know us and was extremely helpful. And the staff on the Fairmont Gold floor spoiling us rotten.
And remember, if you book with a travel agent like Virtual Travel Gurus, you’ll get extra benefits like complimentary breakfast, $100 resort credit, the fifth night free, a room upgrade, early check-in and late check-out! So what are you waiting for, plan your Hawaiian adventure today!