Beautiful sandy beach with loungers nestled along a protected lagoon
Air-conditioned, earth-toned rooms with kitchenettes, flat-screen TVs, and balconies
Three oceanfront pools featuring hot tubs and lots of loungers
Impressive gym with sauna, steam room, and free fitness classes
Live music and happy hour specials at the ocean-view bar
Weekly Polynesian dinner show and luau
Stay & Play program allows resort access after checking out
Gas grills are available for casual family cookouts
On-site guest laundry facilities and rooms come with laundry baskets
Spa for standard treatments and massages
Free Wi-Fi in guest rooms and throughout the resort
Property’s two restaurants are pricey and get mixed reviews
Fee to use umbrellas at the beach
Time-share pitches can be obnoxious
Non ocean-view rooms overlook parking lots or an industrial port
Long drive to Waikiki -- especially during rush hour
Parking fee is surprisingly expensive
Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club is a three-and-a-half-pearl beachfront property in Oahu’s lush Ko Olina resort community. Its 560 air-conditioned rooms have tropical interiors with kitchenettes (or full kitchens), flat-screen TVs, balconies (some with ocean views), and sleeper sofas. The gorgeous beach is lined with loungers and the three lagoon pools with hot tubs, waterfalls, and even a waterslide are a favorite among past guests. Marriott’s two pricey restaurants serve American, Hawaiian, and Italian cuisine, but get mixed reviews. Other amenities include a huge gym, spa, and an ocean-view bar with live music. Free fitness classes and activities are a nice plus, too. However, time-share sales pitches can be obnoxious. Travelers preferring to stay in buzzing Waikiki back east might opt for the similar Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort instead.
Mostly laid-back resort with lush grounds and lots of kids, but time-share sales are pushy
Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club opened in 2003 and was most recently renovated in 2014. For a big chain brand, the resort‘s laid-back vibe is pleasantly tropical and has a decent amount of personality. The breezy, open-air lobby features double-high ceilings and lots of wood accents, including exposed beams, wood-paneled pillars, and a restored Hawaiian outrigger canoe. It’s also a great spot to sit and soak up beautiful ocean views from one the many plush couches or armchairs. A sweeping staircase connects the lobby to the resort’s grounds, which are dotted with koi ponds, palm trees, grassy fields, and -- a big perk -- gas grills for hosting your own barbecue. It’s worth noting that the Marriott is also a time-share property and the free gift doled out to arriving guests -- shell necklaces -- must be picked up at the time-share sales desk. Sales pitches aren't an uncommon occurrence. The hotel attracts an an international crowd from the United States, Asia, and Australia and includes lots of families with young children.
On the beach in the Ko Olina resort development, a 30-minute drive from Honolulu
Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club is located in the tony Ko Olina resort community, a half-hour drive west of Honolulu. It’s a lush area surrounded by golf courses and grassy fields. There’s not much walkable from the resort, though, and the nearest shopping center with a market and restaurants is a five-minute drive away. Ko Olina's golf course was designed by Ted Robinson and is a seven-minute car ride from the resort. Depending on traffic, downtown Honolulu, Chinatown, and the Iolani Palace (the Hawaiian royal family’s former home and seat of power) are a 40-minute car ride. Oahu’s North Shore -- famous for its giant waves and laid-back surfer vibe -- takes 45 minutes to reach in a car. The island's westernmost point -- Kaena Point State Park -- has gorgeous views and a seasonal albatross nesting ground that takes 50 minutes to reach in car from the Marriott. Honolulu International Airport is 30 minutes away by car.
Sophisticated, tropically-inspired rooms with flat-screen TVs, Blu-ray players, kitchenettes, and marble-accented bathrooms
Marriott’s large guest rooms have pleasantly tropical interiors, though we did find them a bit dark. Some show a bit of wear and tear, but overall, they’re well kept. Expect lots of dark wood in the furniture, cabinets, and crown molding, all complemented by earth-tone accents. Beds are a mix of king or twin mattresses with scooped wood and wicker headboards. They’re framed by cylindrical white lamps and conveniently integrated power and USB plugs. Other standard features include 42-inch flat-screen TVs with cable channels, Blue-ray players, iHome iPod docks, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and aqua-blue sleeper sofas. Granite-countered kitchenettes (or full kitchens in the multi-bedroomed Villas) are small, but functional. They’re stocked with coffeemakers and free coffee, electric tea kettles, microwaves, toasters, rice makers, and mini-fridges with separate freezers. Rustically-tiled bathrooms include granite vanities, shower/tub combos, hairdryers, beauty mirrors, and locally-made organic toiletries. They’re spacious, but not huge. Rooms also have safes, irons, ironing boards, laundry baskets, flashlights, and luggage stands. Private balconies are a definite plus, but if you’re in a non-ocean view room, expect to see either parking lots or an industrial shipping port.
Gorgeous beach, three pools, two restaurants, weekly Hawaiian show, and a big gym
Marriott’s beautiful beach is set in a manmade protected cove and lined with lounge chairs and sun beds. Umbrellas are available to rent for a fee. Without a doubt, the hotel’s best feature is its three heated lagoon-style pools. In addition to staying open late, they feature hot tubs, lots of loungers and umbrellas, a volleyball net, waterfalls, and waterslides. There’s also a sandy zero-entry swimming area for kids.
The resort’s pricey -- but casual -- restaurants get mixed reviews. Longboard Beach Club is an oceanfront eatery with an American and Hawaiian menu, happy hour food and drink specials, and a breakfast buffet. Longhi’s Restaurant is the open-air Italian seafood and steak house with gorgeous ocean views. There’s also an ocean-view bar with happy hour drink specials and live music on Fridays. Other entertainment includes a weekly Hawaiian dinner show, movie nights, painting classes, and stargazing tours. Some -- but not all -- are free.
To break a sweat, Marriott’s multi-room gym is fabulous. It overlooks the pool and is loaded with Life Fitness treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bicycles, stair climbers, dumbbells, and weight machines. There’s also a sauna, steam room, and separate mirror-walled workout room. Free daily fitness classes include yoga, Zumba, tai chi, hot hula fitness, and barre classes taught indoors, at the pool, and on the beach. The spa offers standard treatments like massages and beauty services.
Other on-site amenities include a business center with computers, an ATM, laundry facilities, DVD library, and barbecue grills. There's also a well-stoked (and expensive) sundry and gift shop. The hotel can arrange car rentals, tours, and airport transfers. Both self-park and valet parking are available (for a fee). Another great feature is the Stay & Play program. Checked out guests can continue using the property’s amenities until it's time to leave for the airport. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort.
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