The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Resort

In Hotels by Susan Watkins

Our temporary home when visiting the Big Island of Hawaii is the gracious Fairmont Orchid, located on the spectacular Kohala coast, which boasts some the most beautiful beaches in the world.  The charm of this luxury resort lies in the fact that it is elegant without being pretentious.  The legendary Hawaiian hospitality is evident everywhere, especially in the staff who are always eager to please.

As we arrive, we are met with a breathtaking setting – sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean along with five mountains, including Mauna Kea, the world’s tallest mountain when measured from its base on the sea floor.  Opulent teak wood floors, banisters and staircases and vintage Hawaiian chandeliers decorate the public rooms and corridors of the Fairmont.  As we stroll through the gardens, we are delighted at the abundance of plumeria trees, yellow hibiscus, coconut palms, towering banana trees, blooming orchids and rushing waterfalls which grace the landscape.

Our well appointed suite is spacious and modern, blending fresh white and ivory palettes with splashes of island-inspired colors of coral and moss.  The teak furniture is rich and there is a private lanai which opens onto sensational views of the ocean and the lush gardens, plus a comfy sitting area with upholstered chaise furniture.

Here we have every convenience imaginable – plush linens on a heavenly king bed, wireless internet access, Keurig coffee maker, refrigerator, Bose docking stations for our e-gadgets (plus lots of bedside outlets), and two large flat screen TVs.  A separate dressing area provides double plantation shuttered closets, and is adjoined by the marble bathroom which features double vanities, two showers, a bath tub, luscious scented bathroom gels, AND a bath scale (the only thing in this opulent room that I do NOT plan to use on this vacation!)

The Fairmont has a lovely pool and an even more stunning private beach and lagoon.  You can choose to relax in your private cabana stocked with your favorite snacks and drinks, or enjoy a variety of water activities – snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking and outrigger canoeing!  The lagoon is teeming with sea life and is a first rate place to snorkel. The minute you dive into the clear aquamarine water you’re treated to the sight of vibrant coral, colorful fish and best of all, a large family of Hawaiian sea turtles which make this lagoon their home.  If you have ever dreamed of swimming with majestic green turtles like I have, this would be your chance!