Fairmont Orchid is my kind of place

I wasn’t certain whether to stick with more posts about our stay on Oahu or whether to venture over to the Big Island for the next post. My query was answered by news that the Big Island Film Festival is taking place this week at the Fairmont Orchid Resort and I wanted to get this post out incase anyone reading this was toying with the idea of attending the event.


The grounds and gardens at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, are soothing and inspiring.

I happily accepted the invitation to stay at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, in February, as an opportunity to scout out the venue as the host of the Big Island Chocolate Festival which was held May 1-3, 2014. Although I wasn’t able to attend this year’s event, I did meet Hubert Des Marais IV, the Executive Chef at the Fairmont Orchid, and enjoyed several of his creations. I also know this venue can’t help but add to the vibe of any event. It is truly magnificent, in a relaxed and understated kind of way.  We loved everything about it.


It was awesome watching the whales frolicking off our lanai at the Fairmont Orchid.

We could watch the humpback whales breaching from our lanai, or be inspired by the vistas of the mountains or the beauty of the golf course. This resort far exceeded our expectations. Every member of the staff we encountered was friendly and helpful. The cuisine was creative and satisfying. The location ideal, being just 20 miles north of the Kona Airport and an easy drive to the city of Kailua Kona or the rustic solitude of Pololu Valley lookout on the northern tip of the island of Hawaii, one of the most scenic vistas I’ve ever seen. Stay tuned for more on that in a future post.

Want a beach-side massage? You got it. There’s also a sanctuary for the endangered Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle on the beach. Just like us humans, the turtles (called Honu in Hawaiian) like to rest themselves on the beach and soak up the sun. The Fairmont Orchid has plenty for guests to do, but if you just want to chill and enjoy the peaceful serenity, it is there without loud music and noisy activities to spoil the Zen.


The beachfront spa at Fairmont Orchid offers sounds of the sea as the perfect backdrop for your massage.

For us chocolate lovers, there is no better place to be. We were welcomed with an assortment of chocolate covered strawberries hand-dipped in Hawaiian-grown chocolate. Our consolation prize for not being able to attend the Chocolate Festival–which I hear was fantastic this year.


I’ve also heard that the 2015 Big Island Chocolate Festival will be held in late May, but at a venue with a larger banquet room. Details can be found here.

Have you been to the Big Island? Stayed at the Fairmont Orchid? Attended the Big Island Chocolate Festival? Is it on your Bucket List? Please share your thoughts and experiences. Mahalo!

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

42 Responses

  1. Lance says:

    Wow! Just stumbled onto this looking for places in Hawaii. The Fairmont Orchid needs to go on our list!
    Lance recently posted…Total Relaxation at the Islands of SiankabaMy Profile

  2. We’ve stayed at the Fairmont Orchid and really enjoyed it, especially all the activities with the Beach Boys. Combining it with a Chocolate Festival would be even better. Lucky you.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted…Penang Homecooking School with Pearly KeeMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thans for your comment, Michele, and welcome to the blog! If you love chocolate and you love to travel, you’re in the right place as chocolate travel is the theme of this blog. And yes … the Fairmont Orchid is a tremendous place to enjoy Hawaiian chocolate. I’d sure love to go back!
      Doreen recently posted…planning a virtual book tourMy Profile

  3. The vistas are magnificent, chocolate is almost too much in a place that lovely… almost. What a lovely trip to look forward to.

  4. The Big Island Chocolate Festival and the Fairmont Orchid sound divine and something that should be on everyone’s bucket list!
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Road Trip, Cat, A Little Faith: StoryMy Profile

  5. alison says:

    Doreen-I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting Hawaii, but it certainly sounds enticing. Does the Fairmont have an abundance of orchids-hence the name? Chocolate Festivals on each island-oh my. I can see you’ve chosen a subject that everyone loves to learn more about.
    alison recently posted…The Design Collection of Chocolate CreativeMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Alison: Yes, the Fairmont Orchid does have lovely orchids. Not as many as I might have liked to see, but there were definitely a variety of them in bloom when we were there. Perhaps there are more blooms at other times of the year.

      Yes, I’m hoping that my love and knowledge of chocolate will entice chocolate lovers to buy my book. If you’re interested, you’ll find it at chocolatour.net. Cheers!
      Doreen recently posted…Fairmont Orchid is my kind of placeMy Profile

  6. We were on the Big Island a few years ago and had the fantastic opportunity of seeing the green sea turtles basking in the sun on the rocky beach and then entering the water where we were snorkeling. Watching these ungainly creatures become graceful swimmers underwater was a truly awesome experience. But seeing the humpback whales breach is still on our bucket list! Anita
    Anita and Richard @ No Particular Place To Go recently posted…The Road To CahuitaMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Anita and thanks for your comment. I would love to swim with the turtles! I’ve had some pretty amazing snorkelling experiences over the years, but am mesmorized by the beauty of sea turtles under the water.

      The humpback whales are breath-taking. Whether they’re swimming by or under your boat, or you witness their play off shore, they are majestic!
      Doreen recently posted…the impact of colour in our livesMy Profile

  7. I’d love to go to the chocolate festival in HI! The chocolate goodies gift looks delicious. I’ll have to make chocolate a focus the next time I visit Hawaii.
    Tracie Howe recently posted…Sedona hiking and cairns a plentyMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Tracie: Just remember that each island has its own festival. I was at the Hawaii Chocolate Festival in Feb, but the Big Island also has its own Chocolate Festival (this year was in May, but I believe will be in late March in 2015.) Either way, you can’t go wrong in seeking out Hawaiian chocolate. 🙂
      Doreen recently posted…the impact of colour in our livesMy Profile

  8. Cheryl says:

    I have not been to Hawaii at all. It is on my bucket list. Now that you have shared your experiences there I have an idea of where I would like to visit when I do go.
    Cheryl recently posted…#Eyebright: Another ‘At Risk’ HerbMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Cheryl: Then I have achieved my goal. My goal is to get chocolate lovers thinking about where to travel on future trips, and to travel with chocolate in mind. But apart from the chocolate, there are many great reasons to visit, and I know you’d enjoy it. Just be sure to pick the island that best suits your personality and travel needs. Let me know if you have any further questions about that. Cheers!
      Doreen recently posted…the impact of colour in our livesMy Profile

  9. Catarina says:

    Love the picture of the chocolates. Fairmont is a good chain of hotels and it sounds like you had a great time, Doreen.
    Catarina recently posted…Will future leaders have to expand their thinking?My Profile

  10. I’ve been to the big island, but I’ve never had the Fairmont Orchid experience. Guess I should put that on a list of things to do. It looks lovely.

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Lee: Yes, the Fairmont Orchid seems to have achieved a level of perfection in setting, scenery, ambiance, quality of service, and that sense of Zen I was looking for. I wouldn’t recommend it for the party crowd, but it’s perfect for me!
      Doreen recently posted…the impact of colour in our livesMy Profile

  11. Patti says:

    Chocolate and Hawaii – that’s a combination of goodness! We enjoy the big island, we find it to be a more true definition of the Hawaiian life/culture.
    Patti recently posted…The Proverbial Sardine in a Can ~My Profile

  12. Chris says:

    Love that you could see Humpacks and the addition of a Turtle sanctuary is sensational!
    Chris recently posted…United in our destinationMy Profile

  13. Samantha says:

    Wow a beautiful resort & chocolate. Win Win in my books. Would love to go somewhere where the main reason would be for chocolate. Often thought about visiting the Chocolate Hotel in St Lucia! Not sure my waist line would like it very much!
    Samantha recently posted…5 Questions this Expat is tired of hearingMy Profile

  14. Whales, chocolate, massages – don’t really need much else 😉

  15. Looks like a wonderful property to stay at, whatever the reason:-)
    Irene S. Levine recently posted…What’s at the top of your travel bucket list?My Profile

  16. I have not stayed at the Fairmont Orchid, but that spa looks fantastic. I want to go.
    Donna Janke recently posted…Free Winnipeg Parks and Outdoor ActivitiesMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Trust me, Donna. You’d love it. It’s not that often that I find a place that is pretty much perfect in every way. But the Fairmont Orchid is one of those places. I truly enjoyed the peace and serenity after the hustle and bustle of Waikiki.
      Doreen recently posted…the impact of colour in our livesMy Profile

  17. Agness says:

    China has been hot and humid these days, so I wish I could be in a place like yours – nice and refreshing! 🙂
    Agness recently posted…Phuket on $25 a DayMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Agness. That’s what I love about Hawaii. I don’t recall ever being TOO hot there, as you always get the beautiful sea breezes and the temperatures are moderate compared to other equatorial locations. I absolutely love Hawaii in every way.

      Hope you’re enjoying China. I will get there one day.
      Doreen recently posted…the impact of colour in our livesMy Profile

  18. I’ve tried to forget how much I love chocolate. Well, you’re very enticing story makes for reasons to start a chocolate bucket list. The view of the whales must have been an amazing sight. Thanks for sharing this peaceful place.
    Neva @ Retire for the Fun of it recently posted…Ride on The Impossible RailroadMy Profile

  19. It is an absolutely amazing place. The chocolate was perfect. Thank you for inviting me to be part of this amazing getaway. I can’t wait to read about it in your upcoming book.

  20. The Fairmont Orchid sounds fab! Would love to be somewhere here I could look our and see whales and eat chocolate.

  21. Michelle says:

    Oh my the Big Island + chocolate = heaven! It sounds like you had such a good time. I can’t wait to get back to the Big Island and am trying to plan a trip during 2014. Thank you for the the hotel tip and sharing your photos!
    Michelle recently posted…Why I’m Glad I Visited Bali and Why I Won’t ReturnMy Profile

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