Ko Olina: Lanikuhonua (Where heaven meets Earth)

Ko Olina beach (Photo by Shelley Kassian)

The beach oasis at Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club––early in the morning (Photo by Shelley Kassian)

Ko Olina is part of a royal land division that is situated on the leeward side of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Early hawaiians and hawaiian chiefs considered this north-western shoreline a sacred space. Royalty once visited its reef sheltered coves, but now tourists lounge on beach chairs, walk across its white sandy shore or snorkel to gaze at the amazing bounty of tropical fish and coral hiding in the reef. During world war II Ms Campbell, the wife of James Campbell, named the area Lanikuhonua, which means where heaven meets earth. Today resorts such as Aulani, a Disney resort and spa; the JW Marriott Ihilani resort and spa, and Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club, offer vacationers a beautiful glimpse of paradise.

Kassian family dining in the villa (photo by Wayne Kassian)

Kassian family dining in the villa (photo by Wayne Kassian)

Accomodations

The Kassian family called the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club home for four nights at the beginning of August. We stayed in a villa, which offered ample space for our family of seven. The villa ($700.00/night) came with three rooms, a full kitchen, washer and dryer, two king beds, two sofa beds, and two bathrooms. We filled our fridge with groceries, which enabled us to enjoy most breakfasts; and snacks or drinks in our room, by the pool or on the beach instead of the restaurants. (Dollars saved.) It was nice to have a room that came with two 12-cup coffee makers. Most hotels offer a two-pot and four of our family members wanted a cup first thing in the morning. A nice feature of the Beach Club was several barbecues on site. We took advantage of this and grilled steaks/veggie burgers for dinner one night.

Dining

If you don’t want to cook your own meals, a quick option is the Marketplace, which offers many breakfast options as well as family sized pizza for lunch. We enjoyed a breakfast buffet one morning at Longboards Bar and Grill, which also offered your favourite Mai Tai’s, Lava Flow’s or Beer in a long board souvenir glass.

Amenities

Two pools beneath our villa (Photo by Shelley Kassian)

Two pools beneath our villa (Photo by Shelley Kassian)

When you travel to a tropical paradise two amenities take priority––the pool and the beach. The Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club excels in both. When we were not swimming in gentle ocean waves or snorkelling above the reef in the lagoon oasis, we swam in two of the three pools. The relaxation pool is meant for quiet contemplation and has different elevations for lounging. I hope we didn’t bother too many people when we couldn’t stop playing/laughing. Laughter is relaxation, isn’t it? My family really enjoyed a second waterfall/river pool that had a grotto feeling. The resort also has seven whirlpools set in volcanic rock. We ventured into a whirlpool only once, as the temperature each day held steady at 30 degrees celsius.

We enjoyed our stay at the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club and if our family were to travel to the island paradise of Oahu again, we would choose Ko Olina. Our last night in Hawaii we stayed in Waikiki at the Hilton Hawaiian village to be near the airport. The crowding both on the beach and in the pool areas was not enjoyable. If you’re travelling to Oahu, stay on the leeward side in Ko Olina: Lanikuhonoa, where heaven meets earth. You won’t be dissapointed!

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