Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hammock Grove (and We Love Ko Olina!)

So, here is my quick (or not so quick - you know me) review on Ko'Olina. We love it! It is so family friendly! and did we mention we ran into Shawn Bradley and his family (6 kids!) at church, and they were staying here.
Here's a little rundown on pros of the place: four gorgeous lagoons with almost no waves - great for swimming and apprehensive little ones (I've also been snorkeling there and seen people take surf lessons, but I would probably recommend those activities elsewhere); 3 mile walking/running path along the lagoons; located on the west coast with plenty of great sunset watching spots; a little concierge/rental gazebo thing with ads, brochures, maps and super helpful people that will do anything from recommend places to eat to rent you a snorkel set, water hammock, or a paddle boat; an award winning golf course and club and Roy's, a five star (I think) restaurant; a marina; a Marriott Vacation Club Resort with a fun little "beach side" "restaurant" that has a delicious breakfast buffet ($18 pp, kids - cheaper, but under 5 - free). The Vacation Club also has a luau and other activities, like yoga on the beach, that I don't think you have to be a guest to participate in. The Paradise Cove Luau is also located here - supposedly one of the best on the island. All of this in a gated community! with a 24 hour Aloha Center to regulate who is coming in.
Here are the cons: it's located on the southwest corner of the island, which puts you about an hour from Waikiki, and an hour from the north shore, and pretty much an hour from everything (this could be a pro, if you're averse to big crowds and the more commercial side of Oahu), which means convenient eating choices are minimal, but the nearby town of Kapolei is growing quickly and there are a few restaurant and several fast food choices there.
Inside the gates of Ko'Olina, there are several choices for accommodations including the Marriott Vacation Club, the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa, several gated developments, and other options still under construction. The gated developments range from 7 to 8 years old to still building and include condos, attached townhouse style, and single family homes. Many of the homes are inhabited by their owners, and the others are rented, but Ko'Olina has a minimum thirty day rental rule which keeps the turnover traffic at a minimum.
We stayed at Coconut Plantation, the development with closest beach (lagoon) access, two pools - one with sand, and a hammock grove.
We loved it! That's it. Enough said.

Here we are at our hammock grove ( a big open area with a bunch of palm trees sporting hammocks).

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