Spouse and I are taking the 5 and 7 year old daughters to Hawaii for a week at the Ko Olina vacation club. We will have a car. We are not owners but are going on a special offer where we have to participate in the timeshare presentation. Anyone have any tips or pointers on getting the most from our stay? How long is the timeshare presentation, and what is the format? Do the kids join us for that? Any help would be appreciated. We have never been to Hawaii before. I've stayed at HVCI units before but have not done the timeshare presentation. Apparently there is a nearby Costco where we should buy groceries/supplies for our villa? Or are there better places for that? Thanks!
Sounds like a great vacation and Ko Olina is beautiful. We were there about five years ago and at that time it was kind of out there on it's own with not much around. However; I've heard from our Hawaii Insider travel guru kharada46 that I'll highlight here that it's been built up some now. He will also be able to give you great information and answer all your questions about Ko Olina.
You are going to *love* Ko Olina. We went as a family last August and had a blast. My top tip is to contact Ron at Oahu Spot Tours and plan to spend a day with him. It was the best day we had there -- he gave us an insider's view of the island -- some amazing beaches, fresh coconut and fruit places, malasadas, you name it -- he will do it. It is very personal and he will show you whatever you would like to see. Home - Oahu Spot Tours, LCC | Private Tours on the Island of Oahu | Honolulu, Hawaii
Other than that, the concierge will be able to point you towards a dolphin cruise which you should definitely do. We got up super close to a giant sea turtle -- something none of my kids will ever forget (but not too close -- you don't want to scare them!). The views are wonderful, and we got up early every morning and walked on the pathway from Ko Olina MVC villas past Disney (far inferior and fake in our humble opinion) to the Marriott Hotel and enjoyed a nice Starbucks as a reward. If you go further down the path and off the Marriott property, there is a really cool corral beach that is fun for a short hike. Our kids all loved it.
I literally have nothing bad to say about Ko Olina -- you will have an amazing time. Aloha.
oh, as to the timeshare presentation, no big deal. We got a low pressure guy who once he realized we weren't going to buy this time (we own two other MVC properties and are happy with that) just showed us his travel pics and talked to us about surfing! It lasts about 45 minutes. We have 3 kids, ages 8, 10 and 12 and they have a kids' room where they can hang out and watch TV. Easy peasy.
I just got back and had a good stay. It rained every day but 1 but some days only part of the day. The Costco is a short ride and is a Costco. I like the food at the hotel but not at the timeshare. I enjoy the hike (most of it is going up stairs) to Diamond Head and the view from the top is so worth it. Many first timers visit Pearl Harbor and the Arizona memorial is an emotional experience. I understand it is sinking so there is no telling how long one can visit it. Drive up north and visit turtle beach (ask for directions). The kids would enjoy seeing the large turtles on the beach.
Yup... it's been an unusually wet winter... though not as bad as the time it rained for 40 days straight! I was in high school when that happened... early 2000's time. Fortunately for you, though, the worst of it is hitting us today! Ever since Sunday night, it's been non-stop rain and humidity. The clouds are so dense and low that it's difficult to tell whether or not we have vog... though, I wouldn't be surprised if we do since we've shifted to "Kona winds".
As IAHFLYR has mentioned, I can help you with questions you may have regarding Ko Olina and Oahu as a whole. I reside on the island of Oahu and do frequent Ko Olina, as I have ownership with Disney Vacation Club at Aulani. Regretfully, I've never stayed at the MVCI property in Ko Olina, nor have I ever attended a presentation. What I can tell you, is that my friends that have stayed there enjoyed it very much. There are many pools on property, and I believe a water slide or two. There are also many grills for guests to use. The manmade lagoon the property is overlooking is also great, with clean white sand and calm waters. As Californian & IAHFLYR has mentioned, good dining options are available in the immediate resort area at the JW Marriott Ihilani and Roy's. I'd like to also suggest checking out Monkeypod Kitchen, YuZu Sushi, and since you have keiki (children), Disney's Aulani.
As far as Costco goes, there is a Costco a short ways away in the "2nd City" of Kapolei. Near Costco is also a Target, Down to Earth (natural food store), Kua'aina Burger (good stuff), K Mart, and a number of mainland chain restaurants.
In terms of activities, it really depends what you want to experience. Hawaii has much to offer, especially Oahu. You can go snorkeling, hiking, visit museums, visit historical sites, visit a working ranch with movie sets, pet dolphins, race electric go karts, sightsee, EAT, etc. If you give me an idea of what you'd like to do, I can make some better/specific suggestions.
For now, here are a few reviews I've written on some of the locations mentioned above:
For some useful information, please see the following:
Again, do let me know if you have any questions. Happy planning!
I have never been to this resort, but we do own 3 MVCI weeks under the old system and some points under the new system, and we are very happy with our ownership. We have probably attended 6 or 8 sales presentations over the years. I just want to say that I have never attended one as short as 45 minutes - they typically last 60-90 minutes, and of course longer if you end up buying something, because the paperwork takes some time.
We have never had a high pressure salesman at an MVCI sales presentation, but obviously they each have their own styles. Bear in mind that even though MVCI has been spun off of Marriott, they are still closely related and, as a Gold member, you are considered one of their best customers, so they are not going to take an approach that will alienate people. If you have absolutely no interest in buying anything, you should make that clear early on in the presentation and I am sure it will shorten the presentation, I will say, for whatever it is worth, that we have often said that we should have bought into MVCI years before we did, when our kids were younger. It would have presented some great vacation opportunities for the family. So if you think this might work for you, I would encourage you to explore the opportunity. Just so it does not come as a surprise to you, while you can buy points anytime, they will give you some day-of-presentation incentives that you cannot take advantage of at a later date.
We've owned 2 weeks at MKO since 2003. We did get those when the kids were younger and have many fantastic memories at this incredible resort, going 1-2 a year. As a MR Lifetime Plat we've stayed at many hotels and MVCI resorts, also internationally, and the Marriott quality is hard to beat. The flexibility of exchanging for MR or the new points is great; the Interval International option sounded good too but we found that getting what you want where and when you want it is difficult, especially in kids' school vacations - and especially overseas, with a dearth of 1 and 2 BR options. We've also often split an MKO week into 2 weeks, often getting a 1BR or bigger elsewhere in exchange for an MKO guest room deposit, since the "weight" of MKO is high!
I actually just contacted MVCI about selling our weeks, as the kids are gone and we don't need this anymore - plus, the one factor against owning is the by now staggering height of the Maintenance Fees: some $750 or so when we bought but now approaching an over-the-top $2,000 per week, when adding in the fee for the new program etc. For that much, we can find a 1BR at the AAA rate off-season - or use our many MR points, rather than having big-time money tied up in the ownership. Marriott just replied with sales options and we hope to proceed and at least get our money back from 10 years ago. If that happens, we'll be happy with the experience. And again, as resorts go, Ko Olina is hard to beat. We're going back in March, perhaps the last time as Owners, but will keep visiting in the future for sure!