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Trip Report

Colorado Springs...
Level Contributor
27 posts
7 reviews
13 helpful votes
Trip Report

Ok, this is the first time I've ever done an official trip report.....I'm kinda nervous! It was our first time and it was myself, my husband, our 13 yr. old son, and our 23 yr. old daughter. I didn't really make a plan ahead of time as far as things we were doing. We just kinda did whatever....

We arrived Friday 10/8 in the early afternoon. We rented a car from Alamo (Jeep Compass) and headed off to find the Ko Olina.

We found it pretty easily and we were impressed right away.

It's beautiful!

Everyone we dealt with there was amazingly kind and helpful.

We checked in, ate at their poolside grill (expensive, and the food is just "ok" but it has a great view, and it's a perfect spot to relax). We ventured out to Target in Kapolei to get a few things we needed and some snacks, went for a little drive then called it a night.


Slept in just a little. Got up and went to Waikiki.

We went to the International Marketplace, wandered around there for a loonnnnnng time. They had live music in the food court it was a lot of fun. We ate at Puka Dog while we were there based on a recommendation I saw here on the boards. It's awesome!!!! We also stopped at a little stand there and got fresh coconut and pineapple.

After we had enough of shopping, we wandered along the beach for awhile. We stopped and had drinks at Shorebird.

The drinks were good, the food we got was mediocre, and the service was sooooooo sloooooowwwwww. I wans't in a rush, but it was super slow.

When we had enough of Waikiki in general we went back to the Ko Olina and relaxed in the lagoon and pool :)


Got up early, went to the Aloha Stadium Swapmeet. It was fun, and they have great deals, but it gets pretty redundant after awhile.

Left there, had lunch at KOA Pancake House in Aleia Heights. I had practically my favorite meal here.....Fried rice, 1 egg, and spam, and it was delish!

We decided to just venture around for awhile from here.

We went to Punchbowl Cemetery. Worth the visit if you're nearby. It's beautiful, and serene.

From there we did a strange transition and drove to the Dole Plantation. The gardens were pretty but I guess this was my least favorite thing to do. We did of course get Dole Whip and it was yummy and refreshing.

After that we ventured up the highway and went to the North Shore. It was so pretty!!

We stopped at Matsumoto's for shave ice. I got mine with ice cream and beans in the bottom. It was SO good even though my daughter was the only other one who would taste it LOL (she liked it too!)

Back to the hotel after there for relaxing.


Lunch at Zippy's in Kapolei. Food was good, prices were decent, what more can ya ask for? :) I had their chili and rice. My daughter had the chicken and chili combo. My son had spaghetti and meat sauce, and my husband had a club sandwich. Then we got a couple of desserts to share.

Drove to the Byodo-In Temple.

This may have been one of my favorite things that we did. The setting is just beautiful.

We all took turns ringing the bell. We took off our shoes and went in the temple for a bit, then we just spent time walking around the grounds there.

Back to the Ko'Olina


Up early to go to Pearl Harbor. We got there about 8:15 in the morning and we got tickets to the 9:30 ferry to the Arizona. We also toured the Bowfin and the USS Missouri. The whole experience was amazing. I cannot still get over the size of the Missouri! We walked and walked and walked and walked. I couldn't believe we were still on the same ship!

I'm so glad we went. This is the one thing I really didn't want to miss.

Ate lunch at L & L BBQ. Just ok. I would have rather gone back to the KOA Pancake House which was right next door practically.

Back to the Ko Olina. Put my daughter in charge of dinner.

This landed us back in Waikiki.

We ate at Gyu Kaku on Lewar's in Waikiki. It was so good! We didn't get one of the premade "courses". We picked everything ala carte then cooked it at our table. It was really laid back and fun! For the 4 of us for dinner we spent about $70 and left stuffed!!


Up early and to the front of the hotel for a sailing/snorkeling tour on the Ko Olina Cat catamaran. It was from 9-noon.

It was $110 per person, and they guarantee that if you don't see dolphins you will get a refund.

Off we went.

I loved this whole experience but just for reference.....When you go at 9:00 breakfast is included. Breakfast consists of muffins, croissants, fruit, and snack bars. I'm not a huge breakfast eater so it wasn't that big of deal, but it's definitely not a "real" meal.

We sailed, ate and drank, snorkled for about an hour, then sailed back.

The snorkeling was so fun. I couldn't get over the color and clarity of the water.

We saw several turtles and amazing fish.

Alas, no dolphins.

I had a great time and I wasn't going to embarass myself asking for a refund.

The crew hudled everyone together and noted that we didn't see dolphins and passed out vouchers for another sail good for 2 years!!! I thought that was excellent customer service!! I will hopefully have the opportunity to use it.

I wanted to go back for the afternoon sail (we could have) but no one else was on board.

That night we attended the Ko Olinas Luau called Fia-Fia. I don't have anything to compare it to, but I thought it was great. The dancing and stories and jokes were always entertaining. The all-you-can-eat buffet was yummy too!

It is held out on the grand lawn between the Ko Olina and the beach, and there was a beautiful sunset that night as well....perfect!


We never left the resort and I'm not sure if we changed out of our swimsuits all day.

Packed that night :(

One more drink on the beach.

To bed for our Friday departure.


Soooooo sad to be leaving.....already!!!!!

I hope this trip report was bearable to read since it was my first. I just wanted to put some info out there since I learned so much here before we went.

I really want to go back next October! I'm open to ideas of specials, places to stay, etc.

Qualicum Beach...
Level Contributor
129 posts
1 review
2 helpful votes
1. Re: Trip Report

Thanks Khokhonut! I thought your trip report was enjoyable and informative. We are going to Oahu in January. I am really glad you got the voucher without having to ask for it!

Oklahoma City...
Level Contributor
5,713 posts
73 reviews
98 helpful votes
2. Re: Trip Report

Nice job. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
Level Contributor
22,690 posts
3 reviews
7 helpful votes
3. Re: Trip Report

Very nice trip report, and the Ko Olina's lagoon and pool sound great for relaxing.

We also ran into the live entertainment back in the food court of the International Marketplace one evening after dinner, and stayed to enjoy it.

The Byodo-In Temple was also one of our favorite things to experience. So tranquil there.

Thanks for all the information you gave, a nice report.

Lakewood Ranch...
Level Contributor
238 posts
414 reviews
147 helpful votes
4. Re: Trip Report

I enjoyed your trip report. I understand how it can be scarry to write your first trip report as some posters forget the spirit of a trip report and want to correct any mistakes you made.

Sounds like your family had a great time. I am an over-planner and it was nice to hear that a great time can be had even when you go with the flow.

Two weeks until we leave for our first trip to Oahu and I think I will definately try the restuarant that you get to cook at your own table. First I've heard of it.

Colorado Springs...
Level Contributor
27 posts
7 reviews
13 helpful votes
5. Re: Trip Report

The Japanese restaurant was my favorite eating out experience. Just the whole ambience, atmosphere, etc.

If you google around you can find when Happy Hour is and they have some great specials during that time too.

We got there around 5:30 p.m. I think and there wasn't a wait, we were able to be seated right away.

Our waiter was really helpful in explaining how the whole process worked and making suggestions too.

Colorado Springs...
Level Contributor
27 posts
7 reviews
13 helpful votes
6. Re: Trip Report

Thanks for all the kind words, I'm not a professional or have a lot of info, but just thought I'd share what I do have : )

Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
821 posts
3 reviews
37 helpful votes
7. Re: Trip Report

I really enjoyed your trip report. We are going to Ko Olina in December, so I especially liked hearing about the resort.

Glad you and your family had a nice trip!

Chisago City...
Level Contributor
466 posts
97 reviews
60 helpful votes
8. Re: Trip Report

Wonderful trip report!!

Kapaa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
55,899 posts
3 reviews
5 helpful votes
9. Re: Trip Report

Thanks for the report Khokhonut!! Throughly enjoyed it.

Bayonne, France
Level Contributor
11,349 posts
10. Re: Trip Report


Gyu Kaku is a "yakiniku" restaurant, which is the style where you cook your own food on a grill at the table. It is among the more famous on Oahu, and they have a beautiful sister store on Kapiolani Blvd near Ala Moana.

It was "invented" by Koreans and adopted by the Japanese. There are lots of them in Honolulu.

They range from the delicate, subdued ambience of Gyu Kaku to the ultimate pig fests like at the Camellia Buffet, an all you can eat yakiniku joint at 930 McCully, just a few blocks inland from Waikiki (really nice selection of items and great value).

An intimate and relaxing dining experience.