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Oahu Travel Guide: Where to Stay & Things to Do in Ko Olina

Oahu Travel Guide: Where to Stay & Things to Do in Ko Olina

There are endless amounts of hotels and resorts to choose from in Oahu, but where should you start and where is the best place to stay in Ko Olina Resort?

One of our favorite areas to stay in all of Hawaii is in Ko Olina.  There are some great resorts to choose from, with our personal favorite being Disney Aulani!  If you're planning a trip to Oahu, I would recommend spending a few nights in Waikiki/Honolulu at the beginning of your trip and then spending the rest of your vacation in Ko Olina.

See more below for the best places to stay and things to do while staying or visiting Ko Olina.

Oahu Island Overview

There is much more to Oahu than Waikiki Beach and if you don't venture out from the big city of Honolulu, you have not truly seen or experienced everything Oahu has to offer.

Oahu, often referred to as "The Gathering Place,”is home to approximately 75% of Hawaii's diverse population, a fusion of East and West cultures rooted in the values and traditions of the Native Hawaiian people.  It's unique that you experience both town and country by only taking a short drive away from bustling Honolulu.

You'll find plenty of different options for exploring Oahu's different regions, the island's many activities, its eclectic restaurants and accommodations.

On the Leeward Coast of Oahu (west side of the island) you'll find sunny and dry weather as well as more rural towns, off-the-beaten-path beaches and the luxurious resort area of Ko Olina.

Ko Olina Resort

The Ko Olina Resort encompasses 642 acres with sweeping ocean and mountain views and a string of lagoons connected by more than a mile and a half of seaside pathways.  Accommodations here include Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club and the Beach Villas at Ko Olina.

The resort is edged to the north by the pristine nature preserve of Lanikuhonua and to the south by four lovely beach coves.

It is also home to the award-winning Ko Olina Golf Club and the Ko Olina Marina, Hawaii’s only private deep-draft marina.

Where to Stay in Ko Olina

There are four great accommodation options to choose from in Ko Olina: 
  • Ultra-luxurious Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina
  • Family-friendly Disney Aulani
  • Vacation ownership (timeshare) at the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club
    • Rooms can still be booked as "hotel rooms"
  • Whole Ownership at the Beach Villas at Ko Olina
    • Owners can choose to rent their villas when not in use
Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina
The Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina is the first Four Seasons property on Oahu, located in the Ko Olina resort area on the West side of Oahu.  The five-star Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina balances a classic Hawaiian style with modern one-of-a-kind luxury.

The 371 guest rooms and suites are spread out among seventeen floors and most rooms face the water and feature floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces.  The white facade with the pop of pink flowers hanging from the terraces leaves a very memorable impression of the resort!

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina on the island of Oahu, is the perfect place to stay for a Hawaiian family vacation that will immerse you in local culture through Disney magic.  It truly is the most magical resort in Hawaii and perfect for a family vacation!

There is no better way to vacation in Hawaii for families than a magical stay at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa from the beautiful lagoon, pools, character dining and so much more.

Beach Villas at Ko Olina
The Beach Villas at Ko Olina offer luxury resort lifestyle accommodations perfect for family vacations with two- or three-bedroom villas.  Your best bet for finding availability here is VRBO, Ola properties or similar. 

Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club
Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club offers 550 one, two, and three-bedroom villas across three towers.  Well-appointed villas have ample living and dining space to accommodate anywhere from four to eight guests, elegant, comfortable furnishings, fully equipped kitchen and dining areas, furnished private balconies and patios, washer and dryer, and more.

There are also a nice selection of family-friendly amenities here including heated outdoor pools with whirlpool spas; a children’s outdoor pool, activity center, play area and daily activity programs for all ages; a spa, restaurants, and an arcade.

Things to do in Ko Olina

If you're planning a stay in Ko Olina you should know that there isn't much close by within walking distance other than a few restaurants, small shops and a small grocery store at Ko Olina Center.  There is a fairly new shopping center and mall within a 15-minute drive from the Ko Olina Resort Area that includes a Target and other shops.

Here are some of our favorite things to do in Ko Olina:
  • Grab lunch or dinner at Monkeypod
    • Monkeypod has a few location in Maui and the one in Ko Olina is just as good. 
    • Monkeypod Ko Olina is an eatery featuring sustainable Hawaiian food plus has a nice patio & great happy-hour scene.
  • Eat breakfast at Eggs'n Things
    • Be sure to get there early as lines and wait times can get very long.  Eggs'n Things is an Oahu instituion that opened back in Waikiki in 1974 and the Ko Olina location was so good we ate there multiple times on our last stay in Ko Olina!

  • Paradise Cove Luau
    • Located on twelve oceanfront acres in Ko Olina, the Paradise Cove Luau is one of the biggest luau's we've been to in terms of size and the amount of people there.

The luau was good, but a little too large and commercialized for me (activities, photo ops, etc).  However, it did feature some of the best and most scenic landscapes I've seen on Oahu!

  • Disney Aulani Character Dining
    • The Disney Aulani Resort is the perfect Hawaiian escape where Disney magic meets island paradise - one of the main reasons why Mickey and all his friends love to vacation here!
    • Even if you're not staying at Disney Aulani, you can still dine with your favorite characters.

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