When my husband and I travel we prefer doing things our own way. For us that normally means avoiding hotels and resorts and instead opting for a little villa, a cottage or even just a campsite. That said, wedding days are certainly anything but normal.
Wanting to ensure that every detail of our day was memorable, I decided to book a stay at The Fairmont Orchid following our wedding ceremony. Having been a guest of Fairmont hotels in the past, I knew that we could expect an unforgettable experience.
Just a short drive up the Kohala Coast on Hawaii’s “Big Island,” the Fairmont Orchid sits at the end of a winding drive, nestled next to the Mauna Lani community. Instantly we were impressed by the warm aloha spirit of the hotel staff as kukui nut shell leis were draped around our necks before being personally escorted to the Gold Floor check-in area.
Any stay at a Fairmont hotel is fantastic, and a stay on the Gold Floor is no exception. Essentially a “hotel within a hotel,” the Gold Floor features a private check-in area and an exclusive lounge serving continental breakfast each day, snacks, nightly hors d’oeuvres with an honour bar, personalized service from the Fairmont Gold Manager, free wireless internet and complimentary valet parking.
Check-in was a breeze and I was positively giddy when we were greeted as “Mr. and Mrs.” Once we made our way to our room, I was instantly drawn to the ocean view, framed on both sides by coconut trees. All of the comforts I could dream of welcomed us, including a luxe king-sized bed, modern furniture and tasteful décor, macadamia nuts to snack on and soft Hawaiian music playing in the background. The kissing swan towels were a very sweet touch for a couple of honeymooners such as us.
After a quick change of attire, we set out to explore the immaculately tended grounds before making our way to the hotel’s on-site restaurant, Brown’s Beach House, for our wedding night dinner. Again we were greeted personally as “Mr. and Mrs.” – something I found to be incredibly thoughtful.
Our table was perched on the edge of the lanai, hedged in by hibiscus plants with swaying palms overhead. Nearby tiki torches flickered as our server popped open our second bottle of Prosecco of the day. As we dined on the island’s local bounty – wild boar for him, grass-fed steak for me – my husband and I were all smiles as we were able to reflect on our day amidst total tranquility.
One small feature of the hotel that my husband was particularly excited about was that the pool and hot tub area is open 24 hours a day. Following our delectable meal, we slipped into our swimsuits, grabbed his-and-hers Mai tais in “sippy” cups from the Luana Lounge and made our way to the hot tub. There we were able to soak the day away as we spent several hours happily chatting with other couples who were also seeking rest and relaxation.
Following a luxurious night’s sleep, J and I stopped by the Gold Floor’s private lounge to fuel up for the day. Spread before us was a mouthwatering selection of pastries, sliced tropical fruit, toast, bagels, salad, hot breakfast canapés, gourmet cheese, muffins, quiche, coffee, tea and an assortment of juices. Needless to say, we each loaded up on seconds!
Our bellies full and our overnight bags packed, we were sad to say goodbye to what was certainly a bright highlight of our visit to Hawaii. At The Fairmont Orchid, no attention to detail is too small and no guest is overlooked. I could not have imagined a more stunning place to spend our wedding night and kick off our honeymoon. My only regret is not booking more time at the hotel, which only serves as a great reason for us to return in the near future. After all, we’ve got to celebrate our one-year anniversary somewhere, right?
The Fairmont Orchid is more than just a place to rest your head at the end of the day. This sprawling gem on the Kohala coast also offers to its guests a variety of kids’ programs, the Spa Without Walls, enticing dining options, a tennis court, golf, lei making classes, yoga, ocean sports, a naturally protected swimming lagoon at the beach. The resort’s nightly tiki torch lighting ritual is something not to be missed.
The Fairmont Orchid is located off Queen Ka’akumanu Highway (Highway 19) at 1 North Kaniku Drive on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii Island. For more information and to book your visit, you can visit The Fairmont Orchid’s online. Be sure to follow their updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
CMP.LY/2 Our stay at The Fairmont Orchid was offered at a reduced rate with a complimentary upgrade. We personally paid for our meal at Brown’s Beach House and our après dinner cocktails. I was not paid or asked to write this post. My thoughts, views and opinions are entirely my own.
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