JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa
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Historical Traveler Reviews JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa Kapolei
A must stay at!
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.
We loved the Ko Olina Resort! We also loved the Ko Olina Beach Club by Marriott! Talk about a luxurious vacation- Marriotts Ko Olina Beach club is hard to beat-just a mile from the JW Marriott Ihilani. ENJOY AND HAVE A GREAT TIME!!!!!
All You Need in Hawaii
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.
As mentioned in other reviews, the bathroom was very nice too. Overall, if you want a quite, beach area to rest and swim, Ilhani is the place for you. If you like the busy atmosphere with lots of people, goto Waikiki. But let me tell you, the thing most people remember about hawaii is the natural surroundings (beach/mountains/volcano) - all of this plentiful at Ilhani. At Waikiki, it's like any other large city with tons of people. Besides, you can visit Waikiki as it is only about 30min away. Trust me, you will regret not spending more time on the beaches of hawaii!
Oh yeah, don't hop islands. One vacation = one island. Don't tire yourself out!
Skip this one...
This is a very attractive resort, but it's got some serious downsides.
As others have mentioned it's far from everything and it's not in a nice area. The resort and the adjacent timeshare properties, marina, and golf course is nicely landscaped, but the surrounding area is barren and/or industrial.
The front desk experience was a big negative. We were the only one's checking in and there were two people on duty. They were far from welcoming or hospitable; and it took an unduely *long* time to get checked in.
When we finally got to our room, the phone rang 3 times in a row. We were hot and sticky and trying to change and bathe, so this was irritating. The first two times, when I stopped undressing and went over to answer the phone, no one was there. The third time, the front desk advised that we must come back to the lobby to show them our AAA membership card (we booked with a AAA discount). They would not accept our membership number over the phone. My husband had to re-dress and go back down to the lobby to show them our card.
They also messed up the billing, charging part of the charges to my friend's credit card and part of them to mine. When I checked in, I told them to put the charges on my card. Weeks later, I had to call the hotel to get this problem fixed. Though they readily agreed to reverse the portion of charges to my friend's card and put them on mine, no apology or regrets for the inconvenience were offerred. I have not seen the new billing to my card yet, so God only knows what they'll mess up this time.
There are a couple of nice restaurants in the hotel, but I guess there is not enough business to keep them staffed. Some are only open a couple of nights a week (remember, it's a good 20 to 40 minutes any restaurants off the premises).
The room was spacious and attractive. The view was not good, but then I did not pay the top rate for a view room. The bathroom was over-the-top palatial; but the soaking tub had grit in the bottom and the shower head didn't work. We checked out after one night.
For that kind of money, you can do way, way better than this on Oahu.
Great, ... but save it for your 2nd trip.
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.
Lagoon is great Hotel is not
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!
The Trip From Hell
My wife and 3 children spent 6 nights at the Ihilani(7/22/02).
First of all, this "signature" property is located in an isolated, developing area west of Honolulu. It takes at least 45 minutes to get to Waikiki--you definitely need a car.
The marble lobby, beach, pool, and all public areas are beautiful and well kept.
The staff and service are not what you would expect at a five star property. A surly bartender asked for a tip from our 10 year old!
The rooms that were assigned to us reeked of mold/mildew. We had a constant problem with roaches and ants invading the rooms.
Management repeatedly ignored our requests to change our rooms ( for medical reasons).
Due to the fact that a film crew was on site for several days, some of the facilities were closed for private use.
On the weekends, the clientele changes drastically. If you come to the Ihilani for peace and quiet, go elsewhere. The pool becomes the local hang out for the local residents and their families. Expect these families and their many children to monopolize the lounge chairs and use up all of the towels. The Jacuzzi becomes a kiddie pool, not to mention the fact that the pool is filled with screaming, rowdy kids.
After 6 days of repeated requests to change our rooms because of the mold, mildew, and bugs, we felt that we had no choice but to ckeck out early.
Marriott management needs to reconsider their priorities.
TripAdvisor Reviews JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa Kapolei
Travel Blogs from Kapolei
... and show tickets but we just went to the show starting at 9:00. There were 2 magicians: John George and Dana Daniels. They were both very good the slight of hand and patter superb, it was unbelievable what they did. The latter offered 2 magazines to a lady from the audience, who chose 1, Dana ripped out a couple of pages and got the girl to rip the page in half and half again and from the bit left over pick out a word (but not say it). He then brought out a inflated balloon ...
... for cocktails or beer or wine, but the cocktails were very small.
The pig had been slow cooked in the ground for hours with the only seasoning being sea salt, and it was covered with banana leaves and volcanic rocks. There was a ceremony when the pig was removed from the ground, and then the meat was taken away for carving and serving. The meal was a buffet and there was plenty of food, with seconds available if you could fit them ...
... were a bit younger I'd love to take surfing lessons.
To finish off our day we walked down the street to an incredible Korean restaurant. We each had our favorite Korean dish and ate till we couldn't hold any more. It was a great way to end our last day in Hawaii.
My next post may be a couple of days from now. We'll be in Australia, on the other side of the international date line, in another hemisphere.
Until next time,
Jim & ...
... a leather strap being crushed by other commuters. I swayed with them at every turn in what felt like a communal dance, all while smiling broadly. The Ala Moana Center is, apparently, the largest outdoor mall in the world. We visited several shops but didn't buy anything due to the outrageous prices. My favorite shop was Barnes and Noble. I spent two hours drooling over the books until I realized I couldn't take any home in my suitcase and my heart broke. ...