We went to Hawaii over the Christmas holiday, 12/22-12/29 and really enjoyed it! We are not timeshare or vacation club owners, but we found an alternate route of reserving a 2 bedroom villa (mountainside) from a vacation club owner.
1 week prior to arriving at Ko'Olina, the family we rented from (they are vacation club owners) forwarded me an email with all the confirmation information, and a survey to fill out and send back to the resort with our preferences ranging from floor level, location, which building, etc...
We checked into the Ko'Olina around 5PM, and while there was a small line, it was not an issue checking in. The front desk lady was very friendly, and helped me out. We were given the 14th floor on the Naia Tower, and while it was considered a "Mountain" view, it certainly was more than that. To our left side from the balcony, we viewed mountains, then we faced the marina, and then to the right, was the views of the ocean and lagoons. Absolutely stunning views, especially waking up early in the morning to watch the sunrise!
Villa - 2 Bedroom 2 Bathroom
Full size Kitchen
Living and Dining Area
Beautiful Large Balcony from Living/Dining area
Washer/Dryer (detergent included)
Dishwasher (detergent included)
Master Suite - Full Size Bathroom, King Bed, Separate Tub and Sink Area as well
2nd Suite - Full Size Bathroom (1 sink), King Bed, Separate Seating Area, Small Balcony
Tidy Service - depending on when you check in, and how long you stay, tidy service is offered. We stayed from a Saturday to Saturday, therefore we received 1 tidy service on Wednesday. It involved changing of towels, making the bed, tidy-ing, restocking of amenities. You have the option to receive tidy service more than once during the week, but there is a charge.
Parking - I believe parking is $30/night or $35/night valet, however since we were renting from owners, our parking was included. Each tower has their own parking area. Spaces are small and narrow, but always seemed available for us.
Huge Plus - while this is a vacation club, and you will see time share presentations, no one ever approached us directly about sitting in their 90 minute presentation, which I appreciated. There never seemed to be any pressure to join. My family are timeshare owners in Mexico, and every time we visit there, we still get approached to upgrade... that being said, since Marriott Ko'Olina NEVER approached, I really appreciate that.
Beach/Walkway - lovely! We were able to walk along the pathway by the Lagoons (man made) all the way to JW Marriott. We passed Disney's Aulani Resort, and another Villa resort on the way, but the views were spectacular. Probably some of the best photos taken in Hawaii were from the resort grounds!
Restaurants - we stayed away from most of the restaurants on the Resort. We tried Longboards one evening, some had burgers and fries, I had a seafood linguine, and another had a macadamia crusted chicken dish. It looks like Longboards is good for burgers and fries, but other items on the menu, you can go without. And for a restaurant on the resort, it iwas reasonably priced.
I would recommend heading out of the resort, driving a couple miles out to Walmart and Costco, and grocery shopping that way. Prices are comparable to Mainland US if you go to Walmart and Costco. Gas is cheaper there too, if you have a rental car! Additionally, there are many restaurants around that area... Off of H1, I believe the exits are 1A and 2.
Golfing - My husband is a huge golfer, and he played at the Ko Olina Golf Course... the course itself looked stunning, he said it was a difficult course but fun. Pricing is not the cheapest, I believe it's $169/round... but if you reserve after 1PM, it's $129/round. My husband called a day before his appointment to reserve, and it didn't seem to be a problem.
Family Resort - we went to Ko Olina without any children, but this is a very family friendly resort. People looking for an "adults" only style stay should want to consider going elsewhere. We had no problem with kids running around, but I did take notice of it.
Spa - 50 Minutes $105 and then upwards, depending on what you're looking for
Convenient to visiting many areas within the island! If you have questions on where to go and what to see, please feel free to contact me!
Overall, it was a lovely stay. 15-20 Miles West of Downtown Honolulu, very easily accessible from the highway. I would highly recommend checking this out, and possibly looking for vacation owners willing to rent out their units (in order to get a better chance of a higher floor, better view, etc).