Entering the vast black lava fields of the Mauna Lani Resort complex on the Kohala Coast is an exercise in faith that a lusher oasis awaits. Validation comes in the form of the landscaped grounds of numerous condos, the two 18-hole golf courses, a shopping centre and a pair of beachfront hotels: the Auberge-managed Mauna Lani to the south and the Fairmont to the north. Although the latter holds 540 guestrooms in its two wings, the hotel’s U-shaped layout, set around a large green yard with meandering walkways to its oceanfront attractions, means it never feels crowded. Instead, the atmosphere is one of intimacy, gracious service and tranquil beauty.
Green sea turtles frequently bask along the pebbled shoreline, which includes a safe, sandy cove for swimming and snorkelling. Paddle on a complimentary outrigger canoe ride and hear the stories and legends of Hawaii, as narrated by local team members. The Fairmont’s Spa Without Walls intersperses its thatched treatment rooms amid a rainforest setting, with waterfalls and tropical foliage providing serenity as well as privacy. Just outside the hotel’s arrival area, take a short hike to one of the island’s largest sites of ancient petroglyphs, boasting more than 3,000 carvings, then refresh yourself with a liliko‘i (passion fruit) margarita at Hale Kai restaurant.
More information: Rooms from around £389 per night, including breakfast; fairmontorchid.com