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If clients wanted to do nothing more on their vacation than relax by a pool or the ocean, they could live out that dream at Fairmont Orchid, a seaside Hawaii Island resort blessed with sunshine throughout the year.
But increasingly, as travelers crave immersion in the history, setting and lifestyle of their chosen getaway, this elegant 540-room oasis checks all the boxes — and then some.
Legends and Lore for All AgesFairmont Orchid’s connection with its host destination starts at sunrise, when guests can paddle a traditional outrigger canoe with one of the resort’s Hui Holokai ambassadors. These staffers channel the knowledge, skills and storytelling talents of the original Waikiki beach boys of the early 1900s.
While the ambassadors often hang out at the hotel’s protected bay, they also lead guests on guided hikes to historical fishponds, caves and petroglyph fields, sharing legends and lore along the way. During casual guest interactions, they chat about Hawaiian lifestyle past and present, and they mesmerize kids with their nightly torch-lighting ritual.
The property provides easy access to the natural wonders of the island’s Kohala Coast. Outfitted with snorkel gear, clients can swim in safe waters teeming with tropical fish and honu (Hawaiian sea turtles). In the winter months, the resort’s shoreline presents a perfect perch for spotting humpback whales as they spout and breach.
This wide range of daily activities makes Fairmont Orchid an ideal choice for multigenerational visitors, says general manager Kelley Cosgrove.
“Families can relax under a shady palm tree and learn Hawaiian traditions such as dancing the hula and playing the ukulele,” she said.
She adds that the property’s Keiki Aloha children’s program regales guests ages 5 to 12 with adventures such as tide pool explorations and gecko hunts.
Food With Deep Roots, and a Spa Without WallsFoodies can taste Fairmont Orchid’s allegiance to culinary sustainability. Whenever possible, the resort’s chefs collaborate with island growers in order to serve guests fresh, locally sourced flavors. For instance, at Brown’s Beach House — Fairmont Orchid’s oceanside fine dining restaurant — the menu touts kampachi and lobster, which are farm-raised in Kona, while Hamakua mushrooms, vine-ripened tomatoes and other produce are sourced from nearby.
In time for the 2018 holiday season, Fairmont Orchid is opening Binchotan, an eatery honoring northern Japanese robatayaki (fireside cooking). Centuries ago, fishermen grilled fresh catches as they talked together into the night. The new hub promises to modernize that concept with dishes such as smoked pork belly and shishito peppers served on a terrace conducive to lively conversation.
For wellness lovers, the hotel’s Spa Without Walls breaks down the barriers between the indoors and outdoors. While clients can opt to stay inside for their treatments, the spa’s claim to fame is its alfresco layout, which includes eight secluded hale (huts) by waterfalls and six by the sea.
The spa’s name also reflects its dedication to island products, which are used in cutting-edge indulgences such as a papaya enzyme body masque. At the same time, its philosophy embraces age-old Hawaiian healing practices, like lomilomi massages. Although the spa has been around since the hotel’s debut in 1990, it continues to update its offerings with new, nature-inspired options, such as Hawaii Love, a couples treatment with passion fruit and coconut oil.
Going for GoldFor VIP travelers, Fairmont Orchid provides a separate class of accommodations bar none. Dubbed Fairmont Gold, the hotel-within-a-hotel features 45 upgraded rooms and suites on the private sixth floor of the north tower. Discriminating clients prefer its special check-in area and concierge staff members, who are ever at the ready.
“Our team is trained to do everything we can to create that expression of wonder and excitement on the faces of our guests,” Cosgrove said.
Fairmont Gold sells itself further with an exclusive lounge where clients gather for complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and evening canapes.
But no matter whether clients are staying in a Fairmont Gold room or another accommodation on the property, the resort remains true to its goal of presenting exceptional service across the board.
“People come to Hawaii for that once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation,” Cosgrove said. “Our Fairmont mission is to help our guests create lasting memories as they immerse themselves in this unmatched destination.”
The DetailsFairmont Orchidwww.fairmont.com