We had a last minute reservation and arrived at the hotel late. They greeted us with cold hand towels and fresh squeezed juice. I guess the resort wasn't over booked as we reserved a mountain view, but they upgraded us to a pool, lake and beach view, without even asking for it. The resort is one of the few with a direct beach walk up. The sunsets were beautiful and the resort was quiet enough at the right times.
This was our second trip back to the Orchid. In-between we tried a trip at the Maui Fairmont and loved it-at a price. The room, beaches, and food were better in Maui, but there too many people and the whole island did not seem very Hawaiian. It also was very pricey.
Now, to the Fairmont Orchid. Like our last trip, it was amazing. We have young kids, so we stayed on the Gold Floor, which gave us the benefit of low key breakfasts and afternoon snacks instead of the expensive restaurants at every turn. The staff on the Gold Floor were the best. Whatever you wanted, they would get it for you.
The Orchid is amazing. The grounds include a bay for the kids to snorkel, longboard, and swim in shallow water so the moms can actually relax without acting like drones over their kids.
We also booked many trips on the ocean. They blew away the trips on Maui. We used Wild Hawaii Ocean Adventures for two of those trips and swam with dolphins, sharks, reef fish, and pilot whales. WHOA was the best operator we have used in Kona. We also did the Manta Ray Dive/Snorkel. The first time, we used Kona Diving Adventures, which had a small boat but had really great customer service, The second time, we used Kona Honu Divers, which had a bigger boat but average (at best) customer service. We have previously used Jack's, but wouldn't use them again. We are still waiting for a Kona operator to step up to the level of Maui's Ed Robinson Adventures.
Pocket Guide: Hawaii Kohala Coast - Waikoloa Hotels
Luxury resorts, sprawling golf courses, and white sands line the Kohala Coast – Waikoloa. Hawaii’s sunniest coast is a must-go for beachgoers. It is also known as the cradle to King Kamehameha, Hawaii’s greatest king. His influence can be seen at the nearby Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, where visitors can see the temple of war he built before unifying the Hawaiian Islands.
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