Everything you need to know about visiting Ko Olina.
- 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.
Where to Stay in Ko Olina
Ko Olina’s Annual Events
APRIL: Trade your bathing suit for a superhero fit and enjoy a family-friendly afternoon at the Annual Ko Olina Children’s Festival. The festival includes activities, movies, performances, and more. All revenue from ticket sales go to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.
JUNE: There’s no better place to learn about the ocean than at the World Oceans Day Celebration around Ko Olina Lagoon #4. Spend your afternoon participating in sustainability activities, exploring food booths and then watching a movie as the sun goes down.
JULY: Take a break from the beach and head to the Ko Olina West Side Summer Fest. The festival features local fresh-farmed produce, art, music, food trucks and more.
OCTOBER: Encourage your family to stay active on vacation by participating in the Race Ko Olina. It features fitness challenges for both kids and adults. If you’re craving a culinary feast and craft cocktails, don’t miss the oceanfront Hawaii Food & Wine Festival featuring more than 100 internationally renowned vintners.
*Things change, so please check with the organizers of these events to make sure they are still happening.