browns at fairmont orchid

A Celebratory Dinner at Brown’s Beach House

Brown's Beach House

Elizabeth Weintraub and Hella Rothwell celebrate buying a house in Hawaii for the Weintraubs at Brown’s Beach House.

Prior to dinner at Brown’s Beach House last night, Hawaii Broker Hella Rothwell had to postpone her departure from Big Island and extend her travel plans so she could stay a few more days to see me through the inspections for our new home in Hawaii. On our way back from Old Republic Title, we stopped at Hertz near the airport to revise her car rental and that seemed like a good time to check in with my husband. I haven’t had much time to talk with him in person, and when I pointed out that obstacle, his remark was, “Well, whose fault is THAT?” 

He’s right, of course. Nobody told me to buy a home in Hawaii, and that’s eaten up a lot of time, negotiating interest rates, fixing small but important errors (did you know one must disclose in Hawaii the status of being a Sacramento Realtor?), locating a property manager for an “on island” agent, among other things, and let’s not forget scheduling a manicure, of high importance. We drove into Kailua Kona to meet with the escrow officer and deliver a deposit check. Escrow is officially opened, and that meant it was time to make dinner reservations at Brown’s Beach House to celebrate.

I had considered the Four Seasons at Hualalai, as I have stayed at many hotels in Big Island and dined at many fine restaurants. That seemed a bit too far to drive from Waikoloa, and the Four Seasons Ocean Grill is above the water; whereas Brown’s Beach House is closer to my hotel, and it offers outdoor dining on the beach. Walking into the Fairmont Orchid reminded me of how it goes to great lengths to create a fantasy vacation at the hotel as compared to the relative straight-forwardness of the Marriott Resort at Waikoloa.

However, I have to point out that the Gold Floor rooms at the Fairmont are too far from the water. Even an ocean view room with a side view is about $1,000 a night, and I did not feel like we received value for that kind of money. There is a special building of cabanas at the Marriott Resort that is located on the fish pond with the sand bar and ocean right in front of you for about one-third that cost. Although the restaurant at the Marriott is not particularly impressive, there are other fine dining options nearby, including King’s Shops.

Brown’s Beach House is just up the road. It offers that farm-to-fork dining. We started our experience by toasting with classic margaritas, which probably should have been served in tropical crystal and not in the same glass one would pour a single malt scotch, but that’s just my attention-to-detail speaking.  The twin grilled lobster tails special was disappointing. It’s not only that it was undercooked, which was part of the problem, but it tasted very fishy and somewhat spoiled.

Our server wasn’t to blame, though; he promptly whisked away the offending dishes and replaced the lobsters. Regardless, we didn’t let that little snafu ruin our enjoyable evening. Before we knew it, three hours had passed. Hella is a helluva-lot of fun. Not to mention, she worked her butt off yesterday to take care of our escrow, AND introduced me to a delightful property manager, Andrea, who has worked on Big Island for 26 years. Andrea offered to invite my husband and me to island parties next year and introduce us around.

Subscribe to Elizabeth Weintraub's Blog via email