As has been noted on here many times, the Marriott Ko Olina is a timeshare property, and its not close to anything on the isalnd of Oahu. These shouldn't be a surprise to anyone anymore - just resolve to rent a car and enjoy being away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. Being that its a Marriott timeshare, its run much more like a traditional hotel than a typical timeshare.
That being said, this is a beautiful property. The room was tastefully decorated, the grounds of the resort were beautiful, the pools and beaches were wonderful. Would I stay here again, probably, but I'm not completely sold.
Here's what you need to know, for being such a high end property, the walls are paper thin. When the telephone in the next room would ring, I could easily hear the entire conversation of my neighbor. Considering my wife and I were here for a romantic week away from the kids, I can imagine what my neighbors heard emanating from my room. Marriot and the developer cut a significant corner here in failing to adequately sound proof the rooms, and it did detract from our experience. Can you get over that-sure-you're in Hawaii and not likely to ever see your neighbor again as long as you live, so we decided who cares?
Only other drawback was the food. There is a decent beach bar at the Ko Olina to get drinks and munchies, but do not, under any circumstances, eat at a full meal at this beach bar, or at the supposedly "upscale" Chuck's, also on property. Here is where the isolation of the resort can sometimes be an issue. As East Coasters, we tend to eat much later than Hawaiins, where restaurants typically stop serving dinner around 8:30 p.m. So on two nights, we sort of got stuck eating at the resort. Truly-the food at both of these restaurants is virtually inedible. The salad bar at Chucks was swarming with fruit flies, the steak was a congealed hunk of meat. At least they didn't screw up the Johnnie Walker, but hey, that's just ice and a glass. To top it all off, the meal at Chucks was about $125 for two people. I wouldn't have paid $20 for it. The beach bar (I believe its called Kolohe's) isn't much better, but at least the prices are significantly less. If you are stuck on or near the resort for meals, walk the 1/4 mile down the beach to the J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort, were the restaurants are all either 4 or 5 star. Quite frankly, we are foodies and the best meal we ate in Hawaii was at the JW's 5 star rated Azule.
The staff are mostly friendly and eager to assist. There was a mistake in cleaning our room (since its a timeshare you don't get a full "cleaning" service like a traditional hotel-but can request one for a small fee). We requested that our room be cleaned several times, rather than merely "tidied." On one occassion, not only was it not cleaned, but not even tidied. When we informed the staff they immediately ensured that our room would be thoroughly cleaned the next day, and waived all charges for the extra cleaning.
In short, if you want the Waikiki experience, don't want to invest the $$$ on a rental car for a week and can't deal with Honolulu's rush hour traffic on the occassions you might want to venture to Honolulu/Waikiki-then the Ko Olina is not for you. If you want a quieter "off-isalnd" experience, without actually going to Maui or Hawaii, then the Ko Olina may fit the bill.
One more caveat, right now the four beach "lagoons" are very quiet, serene and uncrowded, but, as has been noted by others, Disney is currently constructing a resort right next to the Ko Olina. Let me tell you, its going to be enormous, and given that its a Disney property, probably teeming with children. This might change the entire balance of this little area of the island.
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott`s Ko Olina Beach Club Hotel Kapolei
- Marriott Vacation Club Kapolei
- Marriotts Ko Olina Beach Hotel
- Marriott Kapolei
- Ko Olina Beach Club
- Marriotts Ko Olina Beach Club
- Kapolei Marriott
- Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club Hawaii/Oahu