Nice spot to vacation. What we (wife and self) did:
- Volcano tour (overpriced but still worth it for the pictures and movies taken). We scheduled via the Concierge desk. Concierge was too pushy like a used car salesman. But she got us what we wanted in the end. Welcome gifts are not gifts just plastic trinkets to get you to stop by the welcome center or concierge to buy extras. But we still appreciated.
- Toured the Mauna Loa Macadamia nut plantation – Very good gift shop. Self guided tour. Try the Garlic Onion nuts. Wow!
- Visited Pearl Harbor – Saw the Arizona, Missouri, and more. Best part of our trip.
- Visited the notorious ‘North Shore’ area for a day - Great pictures, there was an international surfing contest going on which was very nice. We visited the famous Sunset Beach and club. Great tide pools for snorkeling and wading. VERY WINDY AREA.
- We played beach bum for two days at the Ko Olina resort. They have four great man-made lagoons. Imported sand, no rocks in the sand, great water, free recliners. Extras cost extra. Available for rent are mini-cabanas, snorkeling equipment, boogy-boards, etc…
The Staff is friendly, courteous and attentive. We ate at Chucks in the Beach Club tower. Food was barely adequate for a high end resort. I had the filet and scallops. Scallops were VERY overdone and rubbery. I hate rubbery scallops! Wife had the Coconut Encrusted Shrimp. It was good but not great. Drinks – The Mai-tai’s are awesome! The simple Chopin Martini was barely shaken and olives were a cheap bar brand. No stuffed olives!
The room was fantastic. Although the resort is new and under construction and there was some noise from construction equipment the room was quiet. The windows are very well sound proofed. They did a lot to keep the construction out of view. You have to know its there to notice it. We had the master section of a lock-off. Full kitchen, full dining room, full den, reading room, master bedroom, tub room and bathroom with a shower. All very well appointed. All very clean. A nice balcony with a great view of the lagoon for our tower and setup with two chairs a table and a comfy recliner.
The beds are well.. Marriott. The Marriott chain has THE BEST bedding period of all the chains. There may be some better 6 star and better hotels but for a chain like this they are the best.
The gift shop leaves much to be desired but had the basic essentials like milk, liquor, snacks, etc… The pools are fantastic. It closes WAY too early for a resort (10:00pm) The public Jacuzzi’s were fantastic but there were simply too few for a resort of this size. We counted 4 8-seaters and one was for the kiddies.
The land does not butt-up to the natural beach which is misleading. It is separated from the natural beach by chicken wired shrubs. But there are holes you can sneak through. Behind these barriers is fantastic natural lava formed stone beach with numerous tide pools, big waves, and great picture and film material. But you are warned not to venture there. Of course we did. WEAR TIGHT SECURE SNEAKERS if you dare. The terrain is rough and jagged at these natural beaches surrounding the resort but beautiful.
In the end it was a good resort and good but not great experience.