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“Must be something they put in the water” 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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Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Kapolei
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“Must be something they put in the water”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2005

My husband and I got back from a FABULOUS 9 nights at the Ihilani. We arrived to be informed we had been upgraded to an oceanview room, which was excellent and unexpected. We slept with the lanai doors open every night! The staff was constantly attentive and very very friendly, we especially loved the valet...Abe in particular. There were plenty of activities at the resort (ukulele lessons, lahaula weaving etc.), we explored all 4 lagoons (*a must do if you want to avoid the influx of families on Friday and Saturday), the restaurants at the resort were overall "good" if not a bit expensive, though Ray's was outstanding. The property itself was stunning and vast. We kept joking that Ko Olina must mean "nice digs" in Hawaiian. The spa was nice, though not your Canyon Ranch, though I was dissapointed to learn that the mens spa had a cold dip pool whereas the womens did not!

Overall fabulous, glad even though they did have timeshares we never felt pressured...nothing can ruin a vacation like a semi-constant sales pitch!

Just great!...we even toured the island and took a look at Turtle Bay, my husband turned to me and said "I'm so glad we are staying where we are staying", that I think speaks volumes.

Also fantastic as we were only 20 minutes from the oppresive swarm of Waikiki...and to think we could have stayed with 40,000 screaming kids for the same price!

  • Stayed January 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,483 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
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A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2005

The JW Marriott at Ko Olina was beautiful - the staff very polite and friendly - especially the bell staff (Tommy is the man - a Houston Texans fan in Hawaii!!), and the gal at the Hertz desk that gave us a car for $39.00 for the day - what a sweetheart. The rooms were beautiful, especially the bed and bathroom. But I have to forewarn you - the food at the resort is mega-expensive ($21/person for the breakfast buffet - come on!). We wound up going into Kapolei, like someone on Trip Advisor had advised, and shopped at the Safeway for breakfast and lunch food. We did eat at Roy's two nights and enjoyed it immensely. We thought that Azul's was overpriced but nice. The beach is pretty too. No ice machines was totally inconvenient. Would I go back? Maybe, but I'd want to go to Kauai and the big island first.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frisco, Texas
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2005

My husband and I island hopped through our honeymoon 12/21 to 12/30. We spent our final 3 nights at the JW Marriott Ihilani. Upon booking this hotel, neither of us had been to Oahu. We both agreed that we did not want to be anywhere near the hustle of Waikiki Beach. We are so happy that we chose here. We had a garden view and the view was still spectacular with a wonderful view of the ocean. We loved the lagoons and one morning even had a private beach to ourselves at Lagoon #2. The room service is quite pricey, as the restaurants, but there are near by towns for restaurants as well. The resort is about 25 minutes from Waikiki where we walked around one day. The service here was great and the sunsets were beautiful. Maybe one day we will return. After the not-so-great experience in Kona the prior days, staying here was a wonderful way to end our honeymoon.

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Long Beach, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2005

As part of a time share offer, I had the chance to stay at the Ihilani for 5 nights / 6 days for about $650, including a rental car. The hotel is immaculate, and though I got a mountain view room, I loved the property. The rooms are reasonably large (about 500 sqft), with the bathroom and lanai being the most satisfying (the room itself was more or less not anything other than standard, though the bed was very comfortable). Desk staff, room service and housekeeping were impeccable. The grounds are stunning; if you're looking for a place outside of Waikiki, but still close enough to Honolulu and the North Shore (each about 45 minutes), then this is it. Lots of activities available for families and adults as well. Be sure to check out the bar about the pool, as the bartender, Christopher, is a gentle, smart, and affable soul.

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2004

We loved it. The hotel has beautiful white marble through out and neat little beaches which are wonderful for lounging or children playing. The grounds are manacured with a world-class golf course and Roy's restraurant in the resort area. A touch of old Hawaii the way it should have been.

Las Vegas

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Phoenix, AZ
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2004

Like I said, we loved it and we REALLY didn't want to leave. Now that I'm back, and have had a chance to catch up on the reviews that I've missed (one really not good), I've decided that there isn't much I can ad to the most recent review which was pretty thorough. We were originally given a room with a "Refinery view" a.k.a. "Ocean view", but with a quick call to the front desk with a request for a "quieter Ocean view", we received a much nicer view of ocean and mountains that they refer to as their "Sunset view". Perfect! Lovely room, very clean, comfortable BIG (King) Bed with nice linens and comfy full-sized pillows (something you don't see much anymore). Beautiful patio, and yes a very large bathroom, but not as huge as some people make it out to be. It certainly wasn't as big as the bedroom, which was very nicely appointed and had a very relaxed "spa" feeling. Most people will say that you don't spend much time in your room, however I don't agree, and I do like to have a nice place to come home to, to dress for dinner, and enjoy a nice nap, or place to read in the afternoon. This room was a welcomed retreat. The pool is small, but the beach area is incredible. Some have made a negative point of the Man-made lagoons, but they were incredibly beautiful, groomed each morning, and had a fabulous walkway that runs 1.5 miles around the four lagoons. A great place for a morning walk. In addition, I have to say that the staff seemed very friendly, all the personnel, from front desk to wait staff seemed very happy to be there and very happy to help. I don't think we passed an employee that didn't take the time to great us. One more thing, it was probably one of the best morning buffets that we've ever enjoyed. Everything was delicious and fresh! We were there for only four days, and loved every minute of it! Then on to the Marriott in Kauai (see my review of that resort). Best wishes for a happy visit.

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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2004

The bathrooms were huge. The bedrooms were not. I agree with one over reviewer who said that they could stand to take some of the space from the bathroom to add it to the bedroom. The bedroom area did feel slightly cramped with a sofa, a coffee table, and a desk, but they utilized the space well and we were never uncomfortable. The rooms were very well decorated and there was a console on the phone that allowed you to control virtually everything in the room, including the “do not disturb” sign. The verandahs were a very nice size. We had a “mountain view” room that overlooked the stingray pool, and we could actually see bits of the ocean over the tree tops. I’m surprised that they didn’t call it a “partial” ocean view room, which most hotels would have done.

The service was not something we would remember – good or bad. The staff was friendly, but there was nothing extraordinary about the service. (To read between the lines here, if you are someone who needs to be waited on hand and foot, this is probably not the place for you, but at the same time, if you hate overbearing, in-your-face service then it is perfect. We are somewhere in between, but the service here was just fine and we have no complaints.)

The location was great – away from Waikiki and the crowds. The downside was having to drive down H1 to get there and back – at the wrong time of day, this could take quite a long time, as H1 is one of the worst freeways we’ve been on during rush hour (and we live in DC and have lived in LA – two of the worst cities for traffic in the country). We had no problems finding the resort. The people who said it was hard to find must be navigationally challenged.

The hotel itself was very nice and the grounds were well maintained and very nice. The pool was small but it was pretty and adequate for us – we don’t go on vacation to swim laps and there were never that many people actually swimming in it. The beach was huge, but as another reviewer stated, they could stand to have some more chairs. They actually had more (and better) chairs down at the timeshare resort that Marriott is building a few lagoons over.

The food was decent, but probably not up to “food snob” standards (and I say that tongue in cheek – there’s nothing wrong with having gourmet tastes, but I get irritated at people who just complain and moan and moan and complain about food.) Also, every single resort hotel review for ANY resort I’ve ever read complains about the food prices. I think people just need to deal. It’s a resort. They hike up prices because they can. You pay for convenience. Ever been to a movie theater or a theme park before and paid 5 bucks for a soda? Same concept. Get over it. I would say from the standpoint of knowing that it is a resort and the prices would be a bit higher, they were actually on par with most other resorts to which we’ve been, if not a bit cheaper.

To give you some context regarding our “standards” so that you have something on which to base this review, we’ve stayed at the Four Seasons on Maui, the Hilton Waikoloa on the Big Island, and the Mandarin Oriental Kahala. Each had its plusses and minuses. Our favorite by far was the Four Seasons on Maui. Then we would rank the Mandarin Oriental a close second and the JW would fall a somewhat distant third. (We loved the Hilton’s lagoon and the large pools, but the rooms were not very deluxe and the hotel was so huge that it was a hike to the rooms and there was no real beach.) Regardless, we had a great time at ALL of these resorts and in most cases, you get what you pay for and so based on what we paid for these resorts, we knew what to expect. I think many people don’t, which is why they are disappointed. I go on vacation to relax and have fun and if you start sweating the small stuff (like not having anyone acknowledge your anniversary), then you may need to reassess your priorities (granted, if you find yourself encountering bigger problems like broken shower doors, then sometimes it’s hard not to start sweating the small stuff). What we paid at the JW was easily less than half the price of what we paid the Four Seasons or the Mandarin Oriental. I think it’s a great hotel for the price.

So, overall, this isn’t a “rave” review, but we had a great time. We’d definitely recommend the hotel and would consider returning. It was beautiful and relaxing, and in reality, what more could you ask for?

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
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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