We spent a week at the Ihilani Ko Olina Resort and Spa the end of January, 2008. It was wonderful. The snorkeling was terrific! We loved the 4 coves to swim in and the people were very nice and informative who work there. Our room was very nice, well decorated and the view was exceptional! We enjoyed the Polynesian Cultural Center very much. I also made my own lei at the hotel! FUN! We loved working out at the fitness center/spa. All in all, we had a great time. We also enjoyed visiting the Vacation Club and seeing their rooms too! We'd love to buy there - but we have our place already with MVC in Florida and will just trade to go back to Hawaii. By the way, we used our Marriott Rewards Points to fly and stay - all we had to pay for was our food! Yes! Oh, the food at the hotel was over the top expensive. We rented a car and drove to other places to eat. We only ate a couple of times at the hotel - just at the bar - and ordered food there. We don't drink alcohol, but their virgin drinks were wonderful. The breakfast buffet was very good - but very expensive, as were all the buffets! We didn't try the other buffets, only the breakfast one, once. It was much cheaper to pay $20 a day to park our car than it was to buy dinner at the hotel, or lunch or anything. We went to the store and stashed food into the little refrigerator/bar thing in the room! Saved us a bundle!!
I've just signed onto Insiders. I too own in Florida at the Grand Vista in Orlando. Maybe you can help me: I exchanged my 2007 week for 1/3/09 - 1/10/09 on Kaui, and I've exchanged my 2008 week for points because I want to use the points for a second week 1/10/09 - 1/17/09 on Maui. But when I tried to use the points for Maui, the response from the Marriott website is that there is nothing available on Maui. Although, If I try to rent $$ a room at a Marriott property on Maui, they have availability. Should I use my points for the airfare instead?
We prefer Kaua'i to O'ahu. There is lots to do on either island. It just seems like Kaua'i is more friendly. It might depend on how often you have been to either island before.
Kaua'i has the Na'pali Coast, Barking Sands, Waimea valley, good snorkeling trips out of Port Allen (Hanapepe), Nawawiliwili Harbor, Kilauea Lighthouse, Hanalei Bay (Bali Hai), and taro ponds. And eat at Roy's Poipu bar and Grill.