KOHALA COAST, Big Island Since the December 2002 purchase of the
former Orchid at Mauna Lani, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is
moving forward with a long list of renovations to the 540-room
oceanfront hotel now called Fairmont Orchid Hawaii, with work
scheduled to run through early 2004. The end result, according to
David Roberts, Fairmont Orchid’s general manager, will be a luxury
hotel with a strong market share. “We’re taking advantage of the
soft economy to disrupt normal operations and improve the product,”
The most significant changes to the Orchid will be seen in its
spa. Work will begin in September 2003 to transform the existing
facility into a Fairmont-branded Willow Stream spa, scheduled for
completion in early 2004.
Plans call for creating a dramatically landscaped outdoor
location with 15 new private outdoor treatment facilities
surrounding a water feature. The existing five oceanfront treatment
cabanas will be redesigned with state-of-the-art equipment, and
discreet outdoor showers will be added throughout.
Meanwhile, Brown’s Beach House, the outdoor beachfront
restaurant, is getting a new menu, an open-air kitchen and an
enclosed, air-conditioned deli to the left of the hostess stand.
Work will wrap up by late fall 2003.
By the end of this year, a new 12-seat sushi bar and private
Japanese-style dining room will take over what is currently the
upper-level bar area of The Orchid Court restaurant. Louvered
dividers will separate the sushi bar from the existing Orchid Court
facility, which is bordered by a koi (carp) pond. Drawing on the
hotel-within-a-hotel concept, the resort is creating the Gold
Floor, slated to open this fall. It will occupy the entire sixth
floor of the North Tower, with 43 enhanced guest rooms and an
exclusive 50-seat lounge and outdoor lanai. “The Gold Floor will
cater to the most demanding and sophisticated consumer, providing a
sanctuary for the independent traveler,” said Roberts.
Along with high-speed Internet access in its guest rooms, The
Orchid recently launched a service called Port Hopping, which
allows clients to move freely about the resort while on the
wireless network, for a daily usage fee of $12.95. In mid-March,
the hotel introduced a dog-friendly policy for pets from within the
state of Hawaii only (due to strict quarantine laws). Dogs must be
20 lbs. or less, and a charge of $25 per night covers amenities
such as a sleeping basket, dishes, bottled water, snacks and
The Orchid’s new grass-roofed Kahakai (beach) Bar features 12
teak bar stools and a ceiling of woven lauhala (pandanus leaf).
Travel agents earn one free night at the Orchid or any U.S. or
Canada Fairmont property, for every five consecutive nights booked
at the hotel (good on stays through June 30, 2003).
800-845-9905; www.fair mont.com.