Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

Apr 08, 2011 Avatar Katie Cadar Katie Cadar

Hawaii’s Fairmont Orchid is at the Mauna Lani resort complex. If you haven’t been here in a while, a small shopping center, The Shops at Mauna Lani, opened just over a year ago.

The Gold Floor is the way to go at the Fairmont. Definitely worth it for the meals, beverages, private concierge service. (Alcohol is charged – they have an honor bar, but all soft drinks, coffees, water, etc. are included.)

Rooms are nice – traditional style as this was originally built as Ritz Carlton. One-bedroom suites are very spacious. Furniture is in need of upgrading but functional. Nice spa – outdoor treatment areas next to the ocean as well as huts (hale) located by waterfalls and ponds.

Best feature is the beach – since this island has so much lava there are not many sandy areas on the dry side of the island – and this is a great beach for children. It’s a circular lagoon – you can swim out into the ocean where there is good snorkeling, and turtles! The hotel sells an activity card – gives guests access to snorkel equipment, kayaks, floats, etc. for the length of stay. ($65 per person per stay). Golf is excellent – Mauna Lani South and Mauna Lani North are right there. Unlike many of Hawaii’s resorts, there is no daily resort fee. Nice spacious oceanfront pool and several outdoor jacuzzis. Great value at this hotel.

I always think of Hawaii as my backyard with a better beach. Getting there is easy. However, the inter island flights are fewer than they once were.

Also – I watched my luggage being loaded onto the plane, but when I arrived in Lanai the luggage was not there – they had off loaded it to balance the weight of the plane. I didn’t get it for 4 hours.

Leaving Maui on the way to Kona the gate agent repeatedly told me the plane would be on time – even when it was already 30 minutes past departure time and the plane had not even arrived yet at our gate! Leave plenty of time if you have to connect from an outer island to HNL to go home – you cannot depend on the timing of these flights. (Nonstop flights are always best when you can get them!)

Other than that – Hawaii vacations are beautiful, easy, has all levels of hotels, offers lots of activities – everyone should keep up their knowledge of this destination.