Andrew Parsons checks into the Fairmont Orchid Hotel, Hawaii
1 North Kaniku Drive, Kohala Coast
Check in: We were in a large group so had special check-in. Staff were friendly and efficient and a lunch was laid on nearby. Our bags were taken from our bus to the rooms.
Nearby: Itis delightfully isolated.
Room: 1534 south tower 5th floor. All rooms have sea views. Room is spacious with twin double beds, balcony, TV and Keurig pellet coffee machine which is US-hotel standard but inferior in taste to Nespresso. Also has a large fridge.
Bed: Twin doubles with a good selection of large and just-right-for-us pillows.
Bathroom and toiletries : There are twin sinks, bath and shower-over bath and separate shower. Rose1 toiletries.
Facilities: There is a large 1.5m deep pool, which is good for kids but a bit shallow for lengths; it also has a private cove with a beach with watersports kit included and only a 50m swim to a reef with fish and the odd passing sea turtle. One night a week, the hotel hosts a group of astronomers with their telescopes so guests can see the some of the best views of the stars.
Wi-Fi: The Wi-Fi is secured but truly awful — it regularly dropped out or went slow, depending on where you were in the room. The manager advised me that they are in the process of upgrading it.
Noise: Apart from the babbling of an artificial water fall below our room, it's a very quiet hotel.
Food: We only ate breakfast there. There is a good spread of buffet-style food, but staff were very disorganised, even when the restaurant was half-full. Our group leader complained and we were given the use of the beach restaurant, but also got the dregs of the staff!
Recommend? I would neither recommend this hotel, nor stay here again: there are several luxury hotels on this section of coast and I have been told they have better staff and Wi-Fi and are more amenable to large groups.
Website: fairmont.com/orchid-hawaii/ Cost:NZ$750per night