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“Amazing property sure to please” 5 of 5 stars
Review of JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa

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JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   92-1001 Olani Street, Kapolei, Oahu, HI 96707   |  
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$50 Nightly Credit
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Kapolei
GreenLeadersGold level
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
263 reviews 263 reviews
87 hotel reviews
Reviews in 95 cities Reviews in 95 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“Amazing property sure to please”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

This is an exquisite resort property in Oahu. It was recently remodeled, reopening in late fall Nov 2012 with a total face lift. All common areas were upgraded, and the rooms have all been upgraded over the past year or two. It was our first time to this hotel and we were thoroughly impressed with the quality of the furnishings, property, the food and the service, which was phenomenal. The staff were very attentive to every need, and quickly resolved any problems that arose. We stayed for 5 nights and got to know the bar and wait staff, as well as the manager...we felt very much at home, almost like these folks were our friends. They remembered us each day and we developed a very positive rapport....which is unusual for a resort or large hotel, but it certainly made us feel more welcome and at home. We ate at each of the restaurants on property and the food was incredibly good. The beaches are magnificant on manmade lagoons, which offer protected bays for swimming and snorkeling. You may read some complaints online about the adjacent Disney hotel and noise, but we experienced no problems whatsover and were there for 5 days. The JW also has an amazing spa on property - I had two massages there and spent time in the sauna, steam room, etc and just relaxing...it was the nicest spa I have ever been to, and was also recently upgraded. The spa pricing/rates were very affordable. The JW also has a very large fitness center with tennis courts and a fresh water pool. The accomodations at this hotel were just altogether amazing...with spectactular views of the ocean and mountains. We loved every minute we spent there and have no compliants whatsoever.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JW_Marriott_Ihilani, Manager at JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Thank you for your wonderful compliments. As our guest at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, from luxurious spa treatments to unparalleled service, we are singularly focused on providing a truly indulgent and calming experience. Our staff enjoys personalizing your experience and getting to know you. We look forward to your return visit. Aloha and kindest regards.
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1,426 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (338)
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English first
Broomfield, Colorado
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

The hotel has recently been renovated and is beautiful! Had an ocean view room and would definitely recommend turning off your A/C and opening the windows at night to take advantage of the cool ocean breezes. Plan to wake up early enough on one morning so that you can watch the sea turtles swim in the lagoon. What an unexpected treat! The 30 minute walk along the ocean behind the four lagoons provides more great views of the ocean and after that "exercise", having a delicious Mai Tai at the pool doesn't feel so decadent! While the facility is gorgeous, the staff really made the experience memorable. Everyone was so nice and provided great suggestions on local activities and restaurants. Make sure you also walk around the back of the hotel. A series of tidal pools contain shark, manta reys, a variety of colorful fish and starfish. Highly recommend the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa and are looking forward to a return visit!

Room Tip: Splurge for the ocean view, the sunsets are worth every penny!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JW_Marriott_Ihilani, Manager at JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Thank you for your review. As our guest at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, we were elated to hear that your stay with us was memorable. Thank you for recognizing our staff as they take pride in serving you. We look forward to your next visit. Aloha and best regards.
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Denver, Colorado
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

My husband and daughter and I are at the Ihilani resort in Ko Olina after changing reservations several times and trying to compare resorts. We live a good life and travel a lot and are so thankful when we get away.

That said: the review:

1. Rooms are updated and good sized
2. Pool is nice but small pool area
3. Beach is busy but wonderful and there are 3 other beaches and a running path to walk there happily.
4. Yes- Aulani is next door and they are doing construction on a side facing the JW but JW is doing all they can to divert noise.
5. Yes- they try to sell you Vacation Club tours etc but if you say NO they will leave you alone.
6. Food is good- not fabulous but very nice. All standards are there and servers work hard to please everyone.
7. Front desk is lively- be nice to them and they will be nicer back- I've read reviews complaint about Lack of Upgrades wah wah. Every room is clean and pretty and if you can't be happy here you're probably unhappy anywhere.
8. Location is so peaceful and family friendly. If you want an ideal trip with kids- come here. If you want to be quiet hit the Ihilani Spa. Fabulous.
9. Excellent shopping is nearby but you are not in Honolulu but you came to Hawaii to get away from a city so go play tennis or golf and be happy.
10. For a big hotel the grounds are very well kept and towels are given to all guests for free beach chairs. There is no attendant to spritz you but if you rent a cabana they bring you grapes and a server who brings excellent coladas.
11. Aulani has umbrellas on the beach. JW does not. Oh well.
12. Not a lot if shops at hotel but it has a good multi purpose shop that has everything one needs. And a gorgeous jewelry store that is also at the Four Seasons Wailea.
13. There are ponds here with baby hammerheads and Koi. There are fountains and lots of foliage. This is not an icky Marriott with bad lighting. No popcorn ceilings or bad plumbing.

I say Thumbs Up. I'll come here a lot from now on.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JW_Marriott_Ihilani, Manager at JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Thank you for your kind words. As our guest at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, we were delighted to hear that you wanted to quench your thirst for quiet luxury. Thank you for your beautiful pictures that you have attached. We look forward to welcoming you back soon. Aloha and kindest regards.
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Boulder, Colorado
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

Pay the extra money for an ocean view. What a great location and view. The service was second to none! You can find plenty to do in walking distance and many major attractions are within a 30 minute drive. The monk seals that occasionally show up on the beach within walking distance is just another bonus! The rooms are clean and staff was very friendly and many restaurants and bars within walking distance as well! We would definitely stay there again!

Room Tip: Get an ocean view room - well worth it!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JW_Marriott_Ihilani, Manager at JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
Thank you for your review. As our guest at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, we were elated to hear that you enjoyed your overall experience. We were thrilled to hear that you were able to see a Hawaiian Monk Seal, one of our endangered species. We look forward to your next visit. Aloha and best regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

My family and I stayed here for 9 days in August and everyone loved it. The hotel is spacious, impeccably maintained and the staff is so friendly. The concierge and bell staff gave us ideas for different hikes and activities every day and the restaurant staff made us feel pampered every evening. My wife loved the huge, spotless room and veranda and wants bathroom/closet space like the hotel has. The stay was so good I returned again for a week in December to do more diving-- the first time I've ever returned to stay at the same resort hotel. PS. The kids loved the breakfast buffet with the fruit smoothies and eggs but I loved the sushi.

Room Tip: Get Oceanside. The views are breathtaking and hundreds of birds in the trees bellow sing every eveni...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JW_Marriott_Ihilani, Manager at JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
Thank you for your wonderful compliments. We are honored that you have chosen the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa for your family vacation. We were delighted to hear that you visited us twice within the same year and enjoyed the spacious and well appointed rooms. Thank you for recognizing the staff as they take pride in serving you. We hope to see you again soon. Aloha and kindest regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

Alright, for starters, this is going to be a long review, because I wish someone had written a 'complete' review as airline and hotel cost will make up over 50% of your trip expense.

If you are in a hurry, go through the pro's and con's and make up your own mind.

We stayed at the JWM for 8 days and returned on the 22nd of December.

Pros:
Far from Waikiki, which is fantastic
Excellent sunset views
Very tranquil property
Mid-point so you can travel (North/East/South)

Cons:
Not a grand place
Lobby is barren
Check in staff are not trained well
No service in the outside lagoon area (no alcoholic drinks served while you sit on the beach)
Not worth the big price tag WHATSOEVER


Now for the details:

For people who are booking here, more than likely you have stayed at a JW Marriott before. So you are expecting a grand hotel w/ amazing service right? Well... forget it. This is not it. Personally I was shocked that this place has the JW initials attached to it, because it simply does not belong to the JW class of hotels. This is more or less a regular Marriott w/ a Marriott vacation club place next to it.

For starters, the place is a 50-70 min drive from the airport. DONT even THINK about taking a cab/getting a shuttle etc. Go and get yourself a rental car., preferably a convertible. Yes, I know they are expensive, but believe me you are going to be driving a lot if you stay here, and a convertible in Hawaii is just WAY too much fun. Don't skimp on that.

When you take the exit for the hotel, and you are pulling in, you will say, IS THIS, JW??? Then you will look at the building on the left, and say WAIT.. That must be JW!... Again, this is where your first disappointment will begin. Most of the times when you stay at a JW, they are usually the best looking digs in town, but not here. The building is a Plain white vanilla pasty looking place similar to ones you find in Miami that were built in the 80's. Absolute opposite of awe-inspiring. And, the building to the left you ask?... well that is Disney's Aulani. I was surprised it was so close to the hotel, but rest assured you will not hear any kids screaming or jumping to your side of the lagoon.
When you enter the lobby, keeping with the theme outside was plain jane, boring and nondescript.

The staff:
Check-in - Unfortunately are severely under-trained when it comes to working in a 4/5 star place. Don't get me wrong, they were not rude or anything (except for a guy named Philip)... they were just not involved. It was similar to checking into a Best Western in Topeka, KS for a business meeting that you weren't thrilled in attending. No, WELCOME TO HAWAII!! LEI's, Mai-Tai's etc... Nothing. Just a simple aloha, and get on w/ your day buddy.

Room Service/Valet - They were real nice and courteous.

Room:
The room was very clean w/ a big screen flat panel TV. We got the Ocean front room with the balcony and it was great.
The balcony actually was quite big, and we had breakfast outside on many occasions and it was tremendous to start off the day with the view and hearing the birds chirp.

Food:
Meh... just okay. Go to Lanakai early in the morning and eat at the crepes place at 7 AM. Way more satisfying.
The buffet was close to $60 for 2 with tax and just not worth it.
We did not try the Italian restaurant, Azul, but heard it was good.

The location itself:
The cool thing about Ko' Olina is that its 30 mins away from HNL, but will take you 45-60+ mins to get to Waikiki with traffic.
North Shore is an hour away. (make sure to go to Haleiwa)
Lanakai is 40 mins away (make sure to see the sunrise)
and you can end the day at the resort watching the sunset.

If you stayed in Waikiki, you will be spending so much on the road going to the North Shore and other places that you will more than likely do stuff around Waikiki itself. At least, that's what I did the last time I was there. I love the Waikiki area, but would NEVER stay there because you are truly missing out on HI if you are doing all touristy stuff.

For that reason, it might make sense to stay here, but honestly, you better get a heck of a deal, because at ($4600 including air for 2 from the East coast) this was just not worth it.

Have a great time in HI, and Happy New Year!!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JW_Marriott_Ihilani, Manager at JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
We sincerely appreciate your feedback to improve guest services. We regret that this was not your impression and offer our apologies. We have passed down your concerns to management and have applied your feedback. Thank you again for your review. Aloha and best wishes.
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Boise, Idaho
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

I had spent almost 7 hours reading websites from Priceline to Expedia to AAA to Hilton to Marriott, plus two airlines' sites, just to see if I could arrange an affordable spur-of-the-moment trip to Hawaii. I had discovered so many good things about the Ihilani that, even though it was almost $1000 more than the other resort I considered, I decided to book this resort. To answer my last few questions, I called the resort directly, long-distance. I wanted to confirm that tours would be available (bus, boat, whale-watching) prior to makng non-refundable airline reservations. The young lady at the front desk, though pleasant, listened to me and asked questions then told me that she couldn't answer my questions, that she would transfer me to the concierge. I was on hold for over a minute. The young man who next answered was hard to hear (it sounded as if he was in a kitchen), and after listening to my questions told me he was busy with a guest and could he transfer me to another person on the desk [WHY did he pick up the call if he was already busy with a guest?]. The next person who came on the line turned out to be at an entirely different Marriott - in Waikiki. Gosh. I changed my mind about spending $5000 to travel to Hawaii this Christmas. It was disappointing that I could not get questions answered from staff at a $500/night resort.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JW_Marriott_Ihilani, Manager at JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
We sincerely apologize for your disappointment. We have applied your feedback and are changing some processes. Aloha and kindest regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa

Address: 92-1001 Olani Street, Kapolei, Oahu, HI 96707
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Kapolei
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Kapolei
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 387
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa is an oceanfront hotel that overlooks one of four beach coves. AAA Four Diamond rating with spacious guest rooms and lanais located on the western shore of Oahu. Guests enjoy on the on-site spa, sumptuous dining options and the championship Ko Olina Golf Club. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jw Marriott Ihilani Hotel Kapolei
JW Marriott Ihilani Resort And Spa Hawaii/Oahu
Marriott Kapolei
Kapolei Marriott
Jw Marriott Oahu

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