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Tuesday, August 27

Oahu Beaches: Ko Olina

JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa

JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina
 We just returned home from our Summer vacation to the Hawaiian Islands.  As first-timers to the beautiful island of Oahu, we weren't entirely sure what to expect, though we hoped we'd find beautiful beaches and lush tropical scenery.  Our hopes were far exceeded.  When we booked our room at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, we weren't sure if we'd regret not staying in Waikiki.  We couldn't have made a better decision!  Of all of the Oahu beaches we visited while we were there, the Ko Olina lagoons were, by far, the most calm, serene and family friendly.
sunrise oahu ko olina
 We arrived at the resort in the evening after a long day of traveling, so after a quick meal, we headed immediately to bed so we could start the following day with plenty of energy.  When we woke up in the morning (quite early due to our 3 hour time gain) we immediately took delight in the sky's soft pastels as the sun rose on the opposite side of the island.  In no time at all, the sun was shining, showing off the gorgeous blue waters of the Pacific ocean and the vibrant greens of the palm trees.  It was time to get out and explore the resort.
jw marriott ko olina courtyard
jw marriott ihilani resort
jw marriott ihilani atrium
open air walkway at jw marriott ko olina
 The JW Marriott Ihilani resort has three main towers connected by a triangle courtyard.  The resort is very open, allowing the soft tropical breeze to flow freely into the building.  Within the resort are several restaurants, including the signature casual dining experience at Naupaka Terrace.  There is also a fantastic open-air Starbucks in the lobby, which we frequented.
jw marriott oahu ko olina starbucks
jw marriott animal habitat
 The resort property has a beautiful habitat for sting rays, fish, and other low tide creatures, as well as a shark pool.  They offer a fun kids program to learn more about these creatures.  As you walk out of the resort toward the beach area, you immediately take notice of the large circular swimming pool and palm trees.
jw marriott ihilani pool
beachfront jw marriott hotel oahu
ko olina kohola lagoon
 The JW Marriott Ihilani sits on the right side of Ko Olina Kohola Lagoon, a beautiful man-made lagoon that has pristine blue green waters, and plenty of beach space to spare.  The water here is always calm, and the beach is never crowded, making this Oahu beach the perfect spot for taking your small children.  There are rentable cabanas on the beach, complimentary lounges, and tons of water activities to participate in.  Our favorites included snorkeling, kayaking and relaxing in a water hammock.
kohola lagoon
swaying palm trees ko olina
There is a beach walkway that you can explore which passes the other three Ko Olina lagoons, as well as the other resorts in the area.  The path is about 1.5 miles each way, making it perfect for a 5k run (roundtrip).  This is where our vacation starts and I can't wait to share with you all of the fantastic adventures from our trip, including all of the other gorgeous Oahu beaches we visited!

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