The Ko Olina Resort & Marina is a master-planned beach and family resort community on Oahu's leeward coast about 17 miles west of the Honolulu Airport and, depending on traffic, a 40-60 minute ride to downtown Honolulu and Waikiki.
Overview of the Resort:
The gated resort includes a mix of single-family homes, townhouses & villas which reflect the architectural style of early Hawaiian living, numerous waterfalls and ponds, four major beachfront resorts.
The Ko Olina Resort includes four large man-made lagoons along a 1.5 mile stretch of shoreline which includes a beachwalk which stretches the length of the resort and which makes for a perfect morning walk or jog.
What I consider to be the best of the four main lagoons is referred to as the Lagoon Kohola (Lagoon 1). It offers the calmest water and the best water activities within the resort, including snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, sailing and swimming.
JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa:
Located on the beach at Lagoon Kohola is the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa, which offers 387 guest room accommodations and suites; two pools; and five restaurants and lounges.
Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa:
Also located on Lagoon Kohola is the new Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa which opened in August 2011. When all phases are complete in 2013, the two towers of Aulani will feature 359 hotel rooms including 16 suites, and 481 Disney Vacation Club Villas.
In addition the resort features two pools including the 8,200-square-foot, zero-entry pool Waikolohe Pool; a 900-foot-long tubing experience; two restaurants; one lounge bar and two poolside bars.
I have had the pleasure of staying at both the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa and Disney Aulani Resort and can highly recommend each.
Ko Olina Beach Villas Resort:
Lagoon Honu (Lagoon 2) is home to the Ko Olina Beach Villas Resort, comprised of 247 luxury Hawaii villas situated in two towers - a limited number of which are available for vacation rental.
Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club:
Located along the beach at Lagoon Nai'a (Lagoon 3) is the 30-acre Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club, Marriott Vacation Club International's first resort on Oahu.
When fully complete the resort will have 750 two- and three-bedroom villas; four pools; a spa; restaurants and shopping arcade.
Ko Olina Marina:
The 43-acre world-class Ko Olina Marina has 346 full-service slips able to accommodate vessels up to 150 feet in length. The private Marina offers state-of-the-art Bellingham floating docks, a fuel dock to provide gasoline, diesel and pump-out services, and the Ko Olina Marina General Store.
The Ko Olina Marina is also home to a number of deep sea fishing charters and water activity tours, including the Ko Olina Cat, a 53-foot sailing catamaran which offers a selection of snorkel, sail and sunset cruise options.
Ko Olina Golf Club:
Ko Olina is also home to the Ko Olina Golf Club which features an 18-hole, par 72 championship course designed by Ted Robinson and award-winning golf shop. The course has hosted numerous professional golf tournaments in the past and will host the new LPGA Lotte Championship, Presented by J Golf, from April 18-21, 2012.
The Ko Olina Golf Academy offers personalized instruction as well as group and corporate golf schools - each professionally designed to help meet individual performance goals. The Golf Academy features a student to instructor ratio of 4 to 1 to optimize each learning experience.
The popular Roy’s Ko Olina at the Ko Olina Golf Club suffered a fire in December 2011 and is closed as of this writing.
Ko Olina Station and Center:
The Ko Olina Station and Center, located just a short walk across Ali'i Nui Drive from the JW Marriott and Aulani resorts, is home to Island Country Market (operated by ABC Stores) which offers a full-service deli, a selection of take-out foods, a large selection of both wine, beer and hard liquor, gifts, souvenirs and various sundry items - all at very reasonable prices.
Also located at the Station is Two Scoops Ice Cream Parlor and English Tea Room Corner, Just Tacos Mexican Grill & Cantina and Ko Olina Hawaiian Bar-b-que.
For resort guests, Hawaii visitors or island residents who are looking to get married at Ko Olina, the resort offers three wedding chapels: the Ko Olina Chapel next to the Disney Aulani Resort, the Aquaveil Frais Chapel at the Ko Olina Marina and the newest of the chapels, Honu Kai Lani, located near the entrance to the resort.
Paradise Cove Luau
Finally, the Ko Olina Resort is home to what I consider the best luau on Oahu, the Paradise Cove Luau, located next door to the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa. This is Oahu's only beachfront luau and offers excellent pre-luau entertainment, a fine luau feast and a superb after-dinner show.