Oahu’s West Side — Ko Olina

Ko Olina

Travel Oahu's West Side Like a Local

Top restaurants, hotels, and activities featuring the best of Ko Olina

Everything you need to know about visiting Ko Olina, curated by local experts

  • Ko Olina, which translates as “Fulfillment of joy”  is Hawaii’s only private deep draft Marina.
  • The west side of  Oahu, home to Ko Olina, is the oldest and driest side of the island.
  • Ko Olina’s coastline has four artificially created beach lagoons, designed for protected swimming and snorkeling, modeled on three natural lagoons to the north.

Seventeen miles west of Honolulu, Ko Olina (pronounced koh-oh-lee-nah) contains four luxury lodgings and resort hotels with as many white sand beaches and protected lagoons. The private golf course development also offers plenty of delicious restaurants to explore and boutiques to visit in the resorts, Ko Olina Center and Ko Olina Station—the latter named for the depot used by the vintage sugar cane train that stops here three days a week.

Check out one of the many boat charters and tours that run out of Ko Olina Marina to experience world-class snorkeling, diving and sailing, with views of sunsets, dolphins and, depending on the time of year, whales. The 18-hole course at the Ko Olina Golf Club, designed by Ted Robinson and considered one of the top in the state, offers a great way to stretch your legs and practice your swing between dips in the ocean. The 3-mile round-trip beach walk along the lagoons recharges the soul, and can be a good place to spot whales in winter, too. If you’re up for an adventure, walk over to Lanikuhonua (“where heaven meets the earth”) Cultural Institute, where natural lagoons offer incredible snorkeling. One of the lagoons also plays host to the nightly Paradise Cove luau. 

Before Ko Olina  was home to luxurious hotels, Hawaiian chiefs and royalty came here to fish, rest, relax and bathe in its protected coves, leading to its name, which translates as “fulfillment of joy.” Entrepreneur James Campbell purchased and irrigated its arid land to create a sugar plantation in the  late 1800s, but the area saw little attention until his daughter allowed military service members to use Lanikuhonua for R&R during World War II. In the 1980s, Hawaii developer Herbert Horita bought the land, beginning the development of today’s 642-acre resort community. Today, Marriott, Four Seasons and Disney have all staked their claim to these incredibly scenic and paradisiacal shores.   

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