We try not to blather on about a resort—it hurts our credibility. But when it’s right, it’s right. The Fairmont Orchid has an intoxicating richness that permeates everything. The lush grounds have a very sculpted and precise feel. Nothing is out of place. The inside is just as flawless. The lobby, halls and rooms are all richly furnished with lots of wood and fine carpets—even the elevators are paneled in koa with crystal chandeliers. The overall effect of the resort’s rooms and common areas is European-Hawaiian elegance. The entire staff seems obsessed with pleasing you. Restaurants are what you’d expect, on the higher end with delicious results. They have their own garden and bees on property and use items they grow for their recipes. The manmade beach is usually calm and protected; it’s also one of the only beaches in Hawaii you may (legally) enjoy a beverage, making it prime for weddings. Lots of activities are available, including a sunrise canoe paddle and professionally-led stargazing. The tennis complex is the best on the island, and the two Mauna Lani golf courses are humbling and world-renowned. You can get a massage next to the ocean at the “Spa Without Walls,” where the sound of the surf helps you relax (as if you’ll need any help) or by their waterfall with windows in the floors to watch the fish. If you prefer walls, there is a sauna and steam room in the spa that you have access to for free.
They have an optional $85 per adult ($75 per child) per stay activity package that’ll cover snorkel gear, surfing and snorkel lessons, a SUP, boogie board, etc. All to be used at the property. Casabella chairs (two chairs with a retractable cover) by the pool start at $75 and $85 by the ocean and include fruit, water and dry snacks. Umbrellas by the pool are free. Their children’s program is $105 per day. There is a beauty salon on site for brides-to-be.
The Fairmont Orchid is exceptional in many ways. It has become popular with business travelers, and if you’re looking to be pampered, consider it. Rooms (522 sq. ft.) are $345–$945. Some of the partial ocean views will require imagination to see the ocean, but they base the views on what you will see from your lanai. Rack rates are high—this ain’t for the budget traveler—but they often have specials to ease the pain a bit. They also have a gold floor (for more money), which has more personalized services and its own lounge. Suites (which are very nice) are $595–$1,400 and are 1,050–4,258 sq. ft.