Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club VacationAugust 1, 2010 No Comments
After experiencing the cold blast of a rare New Jersey winter storm in January, my wife and I were ready for our up and coming warm and tropical February family vacation in Hawaii. We were in New Jersey visiting my wife’s side of the family for almost 1 week, and it was the first time flying with our 3 month old baby boy. I’m happy to say we survived the flight experience unscathed and were ready for round two!
Once again my brother-in-law had paved the way for our entire family excursion to the tropics, this time by organizing a trip to the Island of Oahu at the Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club Resort. We’ve been to the Island of Oahu many times before, but we normally stay in the busy Waikiki Beach area at either the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, the Sheraton Waikiki, or one of the many Outriggers that line the coast. The Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club was in a more remote and secluded part of the Island which is what we were looking for.
The nice thing about travelling to Hawaii from the “mainland” is that you gain a few hours on the flight, leaving you more time to enjoy the day. Unfortunately our American Airlines flight was delayed over two hours so it was a wash. As it turns out our flight back was even worse but I’ll leave that story for another time. Our son Christian was a handful on the long trek there, but having our parents, my sister and her family around to help made a big difference. It also helped to know that there was a warm and tropical island waiting for us on the other side!
When we arrived at the airport we were greeted by our Limo driver who did a masterful job packing all of our bags and belongings into his limited truck and front passenger seat area. Transporting Christian was easy with his car seat and the snap-and-go stroller. The ride from the airport to the hotel was only about 30 minutes, and we made the best of it by popping open a bottle of Campaign and toasting to our new adventure.
It was about 2:30pm Hawaiian time when we arrived at the Marriott. The official check-in time was 4pm and unfortunately the hotel did not have any rooms ready for us until precisely 4pm. That was a big inconvenience especially for my wife who had to find a private place to pump milk! Although Christian was only 4 months old, he was no longer breastfeeding. He still drank breast milk, but he would only drink from the bottle and absolutely refused to drink from my wife’s breasts directly. After spending all day travelling, my wife’s breasts were engorged and she was in a great deal of pain. She needed relief immediately and couldn’t wait another minute so we set up camp in the lobby by the only electrical outlet we could find and covered her while she operated the breast pump!
It was a rough start, but after we finally checked in to our rooms the excitement settled back in. We had a wonderful one bedroom suite with a separate kitchen and living room. There was also a separate foyer between our bedroom and living room where we parked the baby’s belongings and our suit cases. We had a nice large balcony area with a view of the lush and green mountains. It had a comfortable patio set where we often fed our son oatmeal in the mornings.
The pool was one of the main attractions that brought us to the resort in the first place, and we were not disappointed. One of the other guests we met on our trip told us the hotel had spent several million dollars re-vamping the pool area and it definitely showed. There were several pools and spas with waterfalls all surrounded by volcanic rock formations. The water slide was unlike any we had seen before because of the way the entire slide with all the twists and turns were embedded inside volcanic rock. That meant the entire trip from the top of the slide to the bottom took place in total darkness! The kids loved it!
My only complaint is that none of the pools were heated, which may not be such a bad thing if it wasn’t February. For this reason I spent most of my time either in the ocean or in one of the spas. We did swim in the pool several times only because we wanted Christian to experience it for the first time. He was wearing his special swimmy diapers, board shorts, and a full body outfit which was mainly used to protect his skin from the sun, and it also helped to keep him somewhat warm in that cold water. He was a bit fussy at times, but he enjoyed it for the most part. My wife brought with us a dolphin shaped blowup flotation device which looked like a small personal baby boat. It gave him steady support in the water, and the long tail that stretched around over his head provided him with much needed shade.
We were very impressed with the Ko Olina resort and very pleased with the location. There was a boardwalk that stretched for miles between our resort and other hotels along that coast line. Every day we walked along this boardwalk to explore the other calm water coves along the way. We also walked over to the neighboring JW Marriott Ko Olina to have brunch on several occasions. The JW Marriott was of course a beautiful resort and the hotel itself was an amazing sight to see with its elaborate design and architecture. The pool however did not even compare to the water paradise of pools, spas, water slides, and waterfalls that made our hotel stand out in class by itself. That is why we give the Oahu Marriott Ko Olina a high rating in the kid friendly department!
Our hotel restaurants and bars had excellent food and service. We ate dinner almost every night at Chucks Steak and Seafood because of the convenience, but mainly because we loved the food and service. There was also a luau at the resort one night and the food and entertainment were world class. Christian had no problem falling asleep in his snap-and-go stroller each evening on our way to dinner. We made sure to bring his sleepy sheep noise maker to try and mask the different noise level changes during dinner, and it worked out perfectly. He is a heavy sleeper by design, and he slept through our family dinners and then on through the night without a hitch!
Overall our Hawaiian vacation was everything we thought it would be and more. Other than the long journey going and coming, it was a very relaxing week and a great bonding experience for our family. We will definitely be back. Aloha!