JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa
Travel Blogs from Kapolei
Today is moms birthday so I, Katie, am writing the blog today. Once again it was another early morning( not by my choice ). We got up and had another delicious breakfast. Right after, we hit the road. We went to the Aloha Stadium for the flea market that was going on. I was actually very surprised at how big it was. It was stands set up selling all …
- Breakfast at Longboards - Nice view but breakfast was better at our hotel
- Hitting balls on the driving range at Ko Olina Golf Club
- Paddleboarding across the lagoon several times - David and Lauren trading places paddling/riding on the board.
- Taking full advantage of the Lani Wai Spa at the Aulani - the best spa in the world! …
- Early morning 5 mile run around the lagoons - while watching the Ko Olina Triathlon
- Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay - Shallow water with lots of fish (Who knew Lauren was an avid snorkeler)
- Watching the Halona Blowhole (one of only about 12 such phenomena in the world)
- Exploring Windward Oahu and the town of Kailua
- Saved by …
- Waking up early
- Breakfast at hotel
- Working out in hotel gym
- All day beach cabana, hanging out by the lagoon.
- Lauren sunbathing and reading magazines all day
- David actually being still for most of the day - and forcing Lauren to apply sunscreen (but only with SPF 10 - while David wore 70 and still cowered in the shade …
- First class flight to Honolulu
- Smooth car rental - My first convertible
- Slow traffic to Honolulu
- Lunch at Hau Tree Lanai - Nice lunch under a beautiful old Hau tree on Waikiki Beach
- Round Top, Tantalus Drive loop - Beautiful drive through the rain forest just outside Honolulu
- Drive to Kapolei, Ko Olina to check into …
How has this resort rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa Kapolei
Our family had a tremendous time at the Ihilani resort. The room was very spacious (even for our family of 5), the staff was friendly and helpful and the lagoons (4 of them) were incredible. They are perfect for children since there are virtually no waves. The snorkeling was great and there is a nice walkway that connects the four lagoons (perfect for a quiet evening stroll). True that the resort is about 30 minutes from Honolulu, but I would much rather stay away from a tourist trap like Waikiki. We spent one day at Waikiki beach and concluded that there is NO comparison to the lagoons at Kapolei. The beach at Waikiki was crowded, dirty and the waves were too big for our young children.
My wife and I stayed there for our honeymoon. I have been to Waikiki before and wanted to avoid the busy streets fo Waikiki. Ilhani is located on the west coast of Oahu, far from huge tourist clouds. The lagoon offers a quite calm blue water beach area. You can rent boats/goggles to float on the water or go snorkling. Also, the swimming pool was very nice as were the restaurants (recommend the breakfast buffett!). Our room was also very excellent - overlooking the lagoon.
This is a very attractive resort, but it's got some serious downsides.
This is a brand new property which stands in front of lagoon number 3 in Ko'Olina. It is a most elegant property and the rooms are nicely furnished with dark solid hardwood furniture and trimmings. We found the hotel to be very clean, well-maintained, and efficiently-run. The staff was very helpful (and eager to assist). I think it is ranked 4-5 stars and it deserves its ranking.The hotel is located on the west shore of Oahu which gets more sun (or is less rained-upon) than the east shore. That translates into more time on the beach during Spring if you happen to go during that season as we did.As much as we liked this hotel, we would not recommend it IF you meet these conditions: 1. You plan on touring much of Oahu 2. You like to beat the crowds by leaving early 3. You don't like driving long distances Being located on the west shore, you would be forced to drive east to Honolulu, Waikiki, and the intersections of freeways H1, H2 and H3 (which take you to the north and east shores). These are where the major attractions are located. This will easily add 15-25 minutes of driving time depending on your speed AND assuming that there is NO traffic. If you choose to leave between 6:00am and 9:00am on a weekday, you can easily add a full hour or more. You may be able to shave some time off if you take the intercity expressways, but this will require a good deal of familiarity.You can't drive to the north shore around Kaena Point in the northwest.For your first trip to Oahu, book in Waikiki or along the north shore. Save Ko'Olina for when you're ready to spend most of your time being on the beach instead of sightseeing.
Upon arrival at the hotel, we were put in a room overlooking the roof towards the mountains. I enquired about an upgrade (as a platinum level member of Marriott Rewards) and was told I would have to pay $50/night for something I always got free at the Maui Marriott - the desk clerks were downright rude throughout the entire stay. After speaking with a manager, I was offered a room overlooking the lagoon for free. While the view was better, the condition of the room furniture and carpet was disgusting. The carpet was covered in filthy spots and the sofa was so bad we wouldn't sit on it without a towel. We had a room with 2 beds - which are not full size (they are slightly larger than a twin). The bathroom was very nice - all done in marble with a soaking tub, a seperate shower and a water closet. The lagoon was a delight, however. We tried to spend no time in the room as it was basically disgusting. If I was paying for this resort, I would have checked out and gone elsewhere. There are no ice makers so you have to call for ice continually - it comes quickly but it is a pain.
Nice hotel but far
Ihilani was far from everything, but it's quiet and beautiful. I stayed there 5 days, and love it. If you want a hotel that you can relax on your own lanai, not too crowed beach and pool. This is a hotel you should visit. Spa is nice also. Room is great in size, if you like big bathroom and fluffy towels, this is a hotel you should stay. Room service is always on time, sunday brunch was a little expensive, but morning free coffee is a must stop by.I spent several afternoon for nothing, just on the lagoon and relaxed.
Stayed here in Nov. '01. Going back in May '03. Rooms are elegant. Private cove beach excellent, snorkeling fair. Neat pool and pool bar & restaurant.Super golf course competitively priced when we were there. Very quiet area of the island but only a 20 min. drive to the airport and 30 to downtown Honolulu. Drawbacks would be the marriott restauants are rather expensive. But Kapolei is a quick drive and has a variety of restaurants. You will need a car though but a drive to the north side of the island is a pleasnat one. Have fun.
The Ihilani is located a 20 minute drive west of the Honolulu airport in the Ko Olina resort development. Originally this development was to consist of at least one hotel, a golf course, and a large housing development. As the Hawaiian economy collapsed, this development was cut back and consists now of the Ihilani Resort & Spa, a beautiful Ted Robinson designed golf course, four beautiful lagoons, and a small housing development several miles away from the resort. A Marriott timeshare, consisting of three buildings, is under construction about ½ mile away. One building has been completed, so there is noise at the timeshare, but it cant be heard at the Ihilani. The lobby is a beautiful and quiet atrium and the entire resort has a wonderful calmness about it. While the hotel occasionally has some group functions, you dont find the noisy crowds which are normally found at Waikiki hotels. The hotel consists of two sections: a 15 story tower and a 4 story beachfront wing. We have always stayed in the beachfront wing as we like being close to the beach and hearing the roar of the surf when we leave our sliding glass doors open during the night. We stayed in a deluxe oceanfront room which consisted of a bedroom (129 x 19), an all marble bathroom with his and hers vanities and a stall shower and tub (10 x 92), a separate toilet (5x3) a foyer (86 x 4), and a lanai with a chaise lounge and two chairs and a dining table (68 x 19). The rooms are beautifully decorated in heavy rattan furniture. There is an automated system next to the bed which controls all lighting in the room, air conditioning, your alarm clock, and the electronic do not disturb sign outside your door.The hotel sits on a beautiful ocean-fed lagoon with a semi-circular beach about 1000 feet long. A breakwater keeps waves out, making it an ideal place for young children. I dont know where everyone goes every day, but in the many times we have stayed at this resort, there have never been more than 50 people on the beach- and given its immense size, you can spread out and be a hundred feet away from the nearest person. If thats not private enough for you, there are three other almost identical lagoons which can be reached via a paved jogging/walking path or by a 2 minute drive in a car. We went over to one of the other lagoons on one day of our stay and there was only one other couple on the entire beach! .Snorkling equipment is available for rent for a small charge. This is not a resort for those looking for beach volleyball or surfing, nor for singles looking for some action.A five minute walk from the hotel is Paradise Cove where a nightly luau is held. There is also yet another lagoon here, in case you still dont have enough seclusion in one of the other four!The service at the resort is impeccible. The staff is mostly Hawaiian and just the sweetest people imaginable. They will do just about anything to make you happy. While their room service and restaurant menus are fairly extensive and the food delicious, they will be more than happy to make you anything you want so long as they have the ingredients. Potential guests should be aware that meals at the resort can be outrageously expensive. Breakfast buiffet is $17.95 plus tax and tip. Dinner entrees average $25 and there is no inexpensive restaurant suitable for a family there or even nearby.It is about a 40 minute drive into Waikiki and the Ala Moana Shopping Center. For those needing supplies, there is a Safeway and a Longs Drugs about a 5 minute drive from the hotel. The very large Wakalai Shopping Mall and Outlet Mall is about a 10-15 minute drive. The hotel also has a huge and well recognized spa with an extensive menu of services.I cant recommend this resort highly enough. Although you are still on Oahu, it is like being on a separate island.
The hotel was absolutely beautiful, rooms were large, spacious, beautiful marble bathrooms, spacious patios not typical of most hotels. The staff was friendly, outgoing, especially at the spa-world class facility! Pool and grounds immaculate!!!! Can't wait to go back!