History of Ko Olina
Ko Olina is part of an original royal land division that extended from the waters off Pearl Harbor to the summit of the Waianae Mountains. The area was a sacred place used for rest and relaxation by Hawaiian chiefs, like Kakuhihewa, and Hawaiian royalty. Kamehameha the Great and his wife Ka’ahumanu were frequent visitors, bathing in the protected water of its reef-sheltered coves, fishing, and participating in religious ceremonies. Hawaii’s last monarch, Lili’uokalani, also came to Ko Olina for time away.
The industrialist James Campbell helped develop much of the Ewa Plain, where Ko Olina is situated. In the late 1800s, after purchasing 41,000 acres (17,000 ha) of arid, barren land, he had water wells drilled for irrigation and built a plantation for sugar-cane production. In the 1930s, his daughter Alice Kamokila Campbell moved to what was then a secluded shore in the area. During World War II, Ms. Campbell allowed her property at Ko Olina, which she called Lanikuhonua (“where heaven meets earth” in Hawaiian), to serve as a recreational retreat for army and navy servicemen.
In the mid 1980s, Hawaii developer Herbert Horita and his Japanese investment partner, Takeshi Sekiguchi, purchased the Ko Olina Resort property and entitled, designed and built the four man-made lagoons, marina basin, golf course and all infrastructure. After the Japanese real-estate bubble burst in the early 1990s, development at the resort stopped after the completion of the golf course, a resort condominium and just one hotel, which is now the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa. In 1998 developer Jeffrey Stone, President of The Resort Group, and partners bought the property from Herbert Horita’s lender, The Industrial Bank of Japan, and began its revival. To date they have added two vacation resorts, Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa; villa homes, and multiple resort condominiums, including the oceanfront Ko Olina Beach Villas Resort, a luxury condominium with a rental program overseen by Resort Management Company. Approximately 150 additional long- and short-term rentals are managed by owners directly or through authorized agents. Stone and partners also have added a full-service marina; two commercial centers with retail and dining; four wedding chapels; an activity center, and a beach and sports club for residents. Currently, approximately 50 percent of the 642-acre resort is developed.
What is Ko Olina?
Ko Olina Resort is a 642-acre (260 ha) master-planned vacation and residential community on the leeward coast of Oahu, 17 miles (27 km) northwest of Honolulu. Ko Olina has 2 miles (3.2 km) of coastal frontage and includes three natural and four man-made lagoons with white-sand beaches. It is home to three hotel and vacation-club resorts: Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa; the Ihilani Resort & Spa, and Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club, as well as several resort condominiums and villa homes.
The resort includes Ko Olina Golf Club and Ko Olina Marina, as well as shopping and dining at Ko Olina Station and Ko Olina Center. Watabe Wedding manages four wedding chapels on the resort property.
Major events hosted at Ko Olina Resort include the LPGA Lotte Championship, Ko Olina New Year’s Lagoon Fireworks Spectacular, and the finale of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival.
Located at the entrance to the resort on 11 acres and only 200 yards from a natural lagoon, the Kai Lani condominiums are designed to reflect the architectural style of older kama’aina beach houses. It is the only low density oceanfront project at the resort and all the front buildings have beautiful ocean views.
There are 116 condos with two story 4 plexes with 2 bedroom/2 bath upstairs and 3 beroom/2 bedrooms downstairs. The condos range in square footage from 1,200 to 1,300 in living space. All the units feature a single car garage and one assigned outdoor parking. Kai Lani community amenities include one Recreation Center, pool, Jacuzzi and barbeques.
Beach Villas at Ko Olina
The Beach Villas feature 247 luxurious villas in two towers located just steps from Lagoon 2. There are 19 floor plans, featuring villas from 2 bedroom/2 bath up to 3 bedroom/3 bath and indoor living space ranges from about 1,171 to 1,634 sq.ft.
These are absolutely beautifully designed with high ceilings, natural woods and wonderful large lanais or patios for outdoor dining. With an open concept and high-end appliances such as Sub Zero and Wolf, the kitchen was designed by Hawaii’s well known Chef, Roy Yamaguchi. Amenities include private fitness room, hospitality suite, lagoon-style and lap pool as well as a sand bottom keiki pool, member’s lounge and beachside bar.
Ko Olina Hillside Villas
One of the newest communities to be built is the Hillside Villas, located on approximately 11 acres and featuring 174 two story town homes. With an interior space ranging from 1,358 to 1,552 sq.ft,. you can choose from a two bedroom/2.5 bath unit or a 3 bedroom/2.5 bath unit. All feature an open concept in the living room, dining area and kitchen, with a large lanai, perfect for coffee in the morning and cocktails in the evening, especially in this quiet corner of the Ko Olina Resort Amenities include a recreation center with pool, cabanas, barbeque grills and a whirlpool spa.
The Fairways at Ko Olina
Overlooking the 2nd and 3rd fairways, this 19 acre community features 280 town homes and condos with 2 bedroom/2 bath stacked condos with an approximate size of 850 sq.ft.
It also features three bedroom/2.5 town homes approximately 1,200 + sq.ft. and 3 bedroom/2 bath upstairs flat, approximately 987 sq.ft. They are the only residences at Ko Olina to have two car enclosed garages with access from garage to residence in all 3 bedroom units. They are also the least expensive of all the communities. Amenities include Recreation Center with pool, Jacuzzi and barbeques.
Ko Olina Kai Golf Estate and Villas
Bordering the fairways of the golf course, the beautifully designed Estates and Villas feature an open floor plan with large lanais and patios. Located on 34 acres it features 264 multifamily condos and town homes in the middle of the property and single family homes on the edge of the golf course.
Multi family units include a single enclosed garage and one open tandem parking stall in back of the garage door, while single family homes feature attached two car garages with entry directly into home. Amenities include a Recreation Center with pool, barbeque grills and Jacuzzi.
The Coconut Plantation
The Coconut Plantation features an award-winning design based on Hawaii’s old plantation villages that had been built in the 1920’s and ‘30’s for the many sugar plantations throughout the islands. The community is located on 29 acres and includes eight different floor plans for the 270 condos and town homes. Condo sizes range from 1,093 to 1,207 sq.ft.; town homes, 1,548 sq.ft. plus.
Town homes are usually in duplexes or at the end pf the multifamily buildings. Condos feature a single car garage and one assigned open parking space; town homes, 2 car garages. Amenities of this community include 2 pools, 3 Jacuzzis, 2 Recreation Centers and barbeque grills.
Here are the locations of each of the communities listed above in relation to the rest of Ko Olina:
Hotels and Resorts
JW Marriott Ihilani
(Currently under renovation and will be owned by Four Seasons Hotel)
New description coming soon for the Four Seasons. The JW Marriot Ihilani will be renamed to Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina.
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa is a beachside hotel, resort and all-inclusive vacation destination offering complimentary children’s activities and programs at the Ko Olina Resort & Marina in Kapolei on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Part of the Disney Vacation Club, it is the third Disney Vacation Club Resort located outside of a Disney theme park property. The resort opened on August 29, 2011.
Marriot’s Ko Olina Beach Club
Surrounded by Hawaii’s celebrated natural beauty and wrapped in the seclusion of its own beachfront lagoon, Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club features stunning views of lush wilderness, shimmering lagoons, soft sands and unforgettable sunsets and an array of first class amenities and services to answer every need. The luxury property offers 750 one- two- and three-bedroom villas that reflect the gracious, warm hospitality of a Hawaiian plantation.