We are arriving on 9/14 and staying at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel and would like some info on the area. What is there to do? Is the hotel a good one? Thanks in advance for your tips!!!!!
The Fairmont Orchid is a beautiful hotel with a lovely pool and a nice beach. (I've got a few pictures of it on my Hawaii page.) Really first class. You really need a car, though, because the hotel is a bit isolated in the middle of barren lava fields. Of course, there's tennis and golf at the resort itself. The town of Kailua-Kona (and the airport) is about a half hour drive to the south. It's also pleasant to drive up into the hills, where there are quaint small towns, horse and cattle ranches, and (on clear days) great views of the Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes. Driving up the state roads around the northern tip of the island was one of the highlights of my trip. The climate zone and vegetation gradually change to a lush tropical forest. And the dramatic overlook at the Waipo Valley (sp)is a must-see.
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