My husband and I recently celebrated a milestone Anniversary. We couldn’t decide where to go or how to celebrate until I came across a great deal for a five-night stay at the Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island of Hawaii. It didn’t take too much convincing for me to get Mike on board (hello?: paradise). We asked Grandma to stay with the girls and jetted off in mid-April.
The flight is 6 hours direct from Vancouver and Westjet’s flight times aren’t great (late night departure and red-eye return) but very reasonably priced ($500 each).
We rented a car at the Kona airport and the drive to the Fairmont is about 30 minutes.
Here are my reasons you should chose to stay at the Fairmont Orchid for your next trip to the Big Island, Hawaii with or without your kids.
A Cushy Bed
The bed was so very very comfortable. The King room was spacious and the bed was amazing. I’m convinced we need a mattress pad now, to make our bed at home just as cushy.
I loved that the property was not very large. It felt intimate and although there were two conventions occurring over our stay, it never felt crowded. It is a 540 room hotel.
The pool is warm and very large, there is no difficulty finding a spot on the deck or in the grass nearby. Pool service is prompt and the drinks substantial (and delicious). The only thing missing is a hot tub.
Daily yoga (both seaside and on the sea with paddleboards) classes, tiki carving, cultural hikes, arts & crafts, tide pool education, turtle talks and more. There are a plethora of resort activities offered for both adults and children alike. Paddle board yoga (shown below) was tempting for me but I feared the surefire splash but my balance is challenged on the best of days doing yoga on a solid surface.
A Calm Beach with Amazing Snorkelling
Although the beach is not large, it was never crowded during our stay. Covered and cushioned cabanas can be rented for $60. The beach hut provides snorkel gear (flippers, goggles & snorkel) for each guest for an hour per day. You will see coral, colourful fish, eels, urchins and sea turtles every single time you float into this beautiful bay.
We ate very well. As with all Fairmont hotels, the service and food offerings were excellent. We reserved a sea-side private table for our Anniversary Dinner and it did not disappoint. With a dedicated server and an introduction to the chef, our celebratory meal was simply perfect.
My Crab Crusted Kona Kompachi was delicious. I made sure to order something I would never get to order at home.
“The Spa Without Walls” it is called, and it offers simply luxurious spa services. I didn’t indulge, but it looked magnificent. You can book a massage beachside or in one of these small (shown below) huts set inside beautiful gardens alongside ponds and waterfalls. Ohh la la, very relaxing. ($159+)
The snorkelling is amazing. You will see sea turtles every single time you jump in and go snorkel, you can even see them sunning on the beach and swimming along the coast if you go for a walk. In the bay you will also see coral, colourful fish, eels, urchins and many more unidentifiable creatures.
At night, every night, we walked down to the lit-up bay and watched this giant Manta Ray swimming laps up to the rocks and back out again. It was truly a sight to behold, at about 10 feet wide, it was a beautiful giant. (below)
A Great Cocktail
The Mai Tai is the cocktail of Polynesia, a perfect fit in beautiful Hawaii. It’s a delicious drink consisting of pineapple and orange juice plus two different rums. We also enjoyed our share of other delicious and tropical libations including the Toasted Coconut Mojito and of course, the standard (and tasty sweet) Pina Colada. We love being served these treats both poolside and on the beach by the friendly and attentive staff at the Fairmont.
Nightly Torch Lighting
Every night at the resort, they light all of the property torches and the polynesian dressed Hawaiian blows the conch. It’s a fun touch that makes it feel so authentically tropical.
Stunning Sunsets & Night Sky
Every night we were treated to the most magnificent skies for which to enjoy the setting of the sun into the Pacific Ocean. Not only were the sunsets beyond my expectations, the stars in the sky every night were completely magical. We sat on the beach every single night to stargaze and I spotted a falling star each one of the five nights we were here.