Come to the magnificent landscapes, and enjoy unique experiences

Everything about taking a trip to Hawaii is magical. Stunning nature, pristine beaches, pristine wildlife, and beautiful weather are all major attractions. But what if there was something more exciting to add to your Hawaiian itinerary? Enter: underwater ballet. As someone who would make any excuse to get out of the cold New York winters, I took the opportunity to find out what it was all about. After a short 30-minute drive from Kona International Airport, I arrived at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel and opted to spend my first afternoon swimming in a variety of private pools to soak up the sun before enjoying a sunset dinner. The multi-course meal highlighted local ingredients and even included berries fed by the chef himself.

At the end of the night, I went back to my room. It was filled in neutral colors and had a balcony perfect for watching the sunset (or sunrise). The custom-scented Le Labo amenities and large bathtub were a welcome retreat after a day in the sun. Not to mention, the service at the resort was top notch, which made my stay unforgettable.

I got up with the sunrise the next morning, headed to the on-site beach, grabbed some snorkeling gear, and took the plunge into the clear blue waters of Pauoa’s private snorkeling bay. Sea turtles bobbed their heads up and down beside me as I watched multicolored fish swim in the brightly colored coral below. The backdrop of beautiful Hawaiian landscapes whenever I peek my head up just adds to the experience. This was the way my entire stay went, the serene experiences became more enchanted by the nature around us.

Next to the bay, a small viewing spot (Hawaiian sea turtle) awaits. A little further from the shore, you can sometimes spot schools of whales and dolphins bobbing across the sea. Walking around the grounds, on and off the aisles, was a feast for the eyes too. All the trails were lined with colorful orchids, koi ponds, and small waterfalls. The resort also has two golf courses and a full tennis complex with ten courts.

A spa without the walls, a spa with completely outdoor treatment rooms, is another perk. Filled with the soothing sounds of the ocean as the soundtrack, the treatments are unlike anything you’ve experienced before. For 60 happy minutes, I closed my eyes and fell asleep completely while a special technique was used to release all the tension built up in my muscles.

The seven on-site restaurants served delicious fruits and vegetables, along with Hawaiian specialties and tons and tons of fresh fish. For breakfast, Orchid Court was a popular spot with both buffet and a la carte options. Hale Kai, the poolside restaurant that focuses on fish dishes such as poke pot and fish and chips, was a favorite at lunchtime, while Binchotan Bar was a great option for dinner. We experienced the traditional Hawaiian Luau, which is one of the resort’s most popular dining experiences.

And to make my time at the resort even more special, I tried the limited-edition underwater ballet experience. For 60 Minutes, watch famous underwater ballet dancer and performer Kristina Makushenko perform synchronized swimming movies in and out of the water. It was entirely in the water with a stage in the middle of the ocean, and the music could be heard for the duration of the programme, regardless of whether you were watching it above or below the water. Honestly: It was a scene straight out of a movie. It opened my eyes to experience Hawaii in a new way and made my stay at Fairmont Orchid unforgettable.

An underwater ballet show was hosted at the hotel as part of a larger campaign called Beyond Limits. It was launched by their owner group of hotels, Accor, in order to break boundaries and give guests (like myself) unforgettable experiences that are out of the ordinary and highlight the unique aspects of a destination. For example, they’ve also had a symphony inside a cenote (a natural pit) in Mexico, an oxygen bar float on 7000 in the Canadian Rockies, and other experiments for different characteristics in their repertoire on the road.

But this show was the cherry on top of an already idyllic trip to heaven. Not sure how my next visit can top the perfection, but I’m already planning to go back.

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