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Fairmont Orchid, Kohala Coast 

1 N. Kaniku Drive
Kohala Coast , Hawaii
Tel: 800 845 9905 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 885 2000
view web site ›'s insider take:

From the moment you enter, this 32-acre 540-room property is a compound of serenity. Palm trees sway, birds chirp, waves lap at the sand, and green sea turtles appear every afternoon. Once a Ritz-Carlton (you'll see it in the formal architecture), Fairmont took over in 2002 and overhauled the property from top to bottom. The renovation included warming up the guest-room decor with tropical touches, redesigning the popular Norio's Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, and adding a Fairmont Gold floor (we recommend the upgrade—the money you'll save by feasting on three daily buffets offsets the extra expense). Views from the guest rooms vary quite a bit—ask for at least a partial ocean view. Dramatic ocean views are also to be had on the green fairways bordering black lava fields of the resort's adjacent 36-hole Francis H. I'i Brown Golf Courses (North and South), and the outdoor Spa Without Walls is one of the most unique facilities on the island. (Get a rubdown in a thatched hut with a stream of water running beneath.) In 2006, Fairmont added a hip outdoor dinner luau called "The Gathering of the Kings," during which performers in nontraditional costumes entertain with modern dance to a foot-tapping contemporary soundtrack.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
"If it didn't take 14 hours to get there from D.C., I'd go every year." This stucco resort with a "plantation feel" is located on the Kohala Coast. Rooms are decorated with tropical and Hawaiian prints, and textured carpets with bamboo motifs. "It is very child-friendly—kids eat free—and yet they keep it classy." The casual oceanfront Hale Kai restaurant opened in 2010, serving ohana, or family-style, plates of steak, fish, and crab. "Lots of activities kept everyone busy."

(538 rooms)
—2011 Gold List
Overall Score: 89.2
  • Activities: 89.9
  • Design: 90.0
  • Food: 88.4
  • Location: 93.5
  • Rooms: 85.5
  • Service: 88.1

Also appeared in the Gold List in 2010, 2007, 2005

Amenities: Beach, Golf, Pool, Spa, Tennis, Water sports

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User Reviews

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Ocean front resort, beautiful romantic lush grounds. Decent decor. Be aware that this hotel caters to large conventions and groups that take priority over other... more