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Help with Best Marriott Choice in Hawaii?

Discussion in 'Marriott Vacation Club' started by rifralex, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. rifralex

    rifralex Guest

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    Hi, I am planning a trip to Hawaii next July or August with my wife, daughter, son-in-law and 3 year old grand daughter. Is that a nice time of year to go? Which of these resort below would anyone recommend? Which are the nicest and most fun and most luxurious? I welcome all comments or recommendations. I am a MVC Points member. Thank you!

    Marriott's Waikoloa Ocean Club
    Waikoloa Beach, Big Island, Hawaii, USA

    Marriott's Kauai Lagoons - Kalanipu'u
    Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii, USA

    Marriott's Kauai Beach Club,
    Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii, USA

    Marriott's Maui Ocean Club –
    Molokai, Maui & Lanai Towers, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, USA

    Marriott's Maui Ocean Club –
    Lahaina & Napili Tower, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, USA

    Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club
    Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, USA

    Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club
    Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
     
  2. Fasttr

    Fasttr TUG Member

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    This would be my top pick. Not cheap from a points perspective, but everybody in your group will love the villa, the resort, and the island.
    Marriott's Maui Ocean Club –
    Lahaina & Napili Tower, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, USA

    Are you planning to visit only 1 island....or multiple islands?
    First visit to Hawaii for all?
    Any desire to see Pearl Harbor, etc?
     
    GregT likes this.
  3. melissy123

    melissy123 TUG Member

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    Ditto. Although Waiohai would be a close second place.
     
  4. GregT

    GregT TUG Member TUG Member

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    Marriott: Maui Ocean Club Lahaina Villas (3BRx5), Ko Olina, Shadow Ridge II, Willow Ridge, DC Points HGVC: HHV Lagoon, Flamingo, Sea World, I-Drive, Starwood Bella (x4), SDO, Aulani, Worldmark
    I agree with Fasttr -- Maui Ocean Club (Lahaina and Napili Villas) is the top of the Hawaii stack.

    Second choice is going to elicit wide and varied opinions. Personally, I gravitate to Ko Olina, but Waiohai and Kauai Lagoons are also fantastic. I think at that point, you are debating not between the properties, but between the islands -- Kauai and Oahu are very different -- both fantastic, but very different. Are you a hiker? Kauai has amazing hikes, but can be rainy. Oahu has the most historical significance of any island -- both military and otherwise.

    There is much to like about all of them. I would pick between those four, and put Kauai Beach Club and Waikoloa Ocean Club aside for various reasons. The first four are the four best (IMO) and I personally favor Maui Ocean Club (as you can see). Availability will be challenging at MOC so you will have to book right at inventory release. Good luck!

    Best,

    Greg
     
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  5. NboroGirl

    NboroGirl TUG Member

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    ANYtime is a nice time to go. :cool:

    I've gone to Oahu and Maui separately in August, and to Kauai once in September. I can say August is quite a bit more crowded (the pools and restaurants) with a lot more kids than September because families whose kids are in school tend to go in the summer months. Weather-wise it's hard to compare because the islands are so different and where you are on the island matters. But the Marriott resorts are on the sunnier sides and it was always very warm and humid.

    I agree with what's been said about the resorts in the earlier posts.
     
  6. rifralex

    rifralex Guest

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    Hi, thank you, everyone. At this time my only choices are Kauai Lagoons, Ko Olina and and Waikoloa Ocean Club. From what I learned, I should choose either Ko or Waikoloa, as the Lagoons are not on a beach, and you have to take a shuttle bus to a beach. I also learned that the only downside to Ko Olina is that it is very big. This is our first trip to hawaii and we were thinking of staying in one place. Does anyone have a comment as to which they thin k is nicer, Ko versus Waikoloa?

    APPRECIATE everyone's help and comments!

    Frank
     
  7. vacationtime1

    vacationtime1 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I would first decide which island I wanted to visit; only then would I focus on where I would stay.

    Hawaii is good to visit year round. I would avoid July and August if I could; it is more crowded and accommodations are more expensive those months (as well as during holidays and during winter -- whale season).
     
    chalee94 and WyldSmurf like this.
  8. brianfox

    brianfox TUG Member

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    Ko Olina is not near a "beach", but rather fronts a man-made lagoon. Great for a 3 year old. The resort is very large and luxurious. Rooms are excellent. You would not be disappointed here. It's located in a rather remote part of the island a few miles from town. To do just about anything you need a car or shuttle.

    Waiohai should not be ruled out by any means. It FRONTS Poipu Beach - one of the top beaches in the world. A 3 minute walk away is a protected kiddie beach (tidepool) which would be better suited for the 3 year old. Lots of shopping and dining nearby, but realistically you should get a car as they are not in walking distance.

    Kauai Lagoons is quite isolated. Not near a beach. Rooms are excellent. Car is a necessity. I rarely see this place for rent. Not a very big resort, so you may have difficulty finding a good deal in July.

    Kauai Beach Club has a great pool and a really nice beach, but rooms are converted hotel rooms. Cannot recommend it.

    Maui Ocean Club gets rave reviews. Good beach, walking distance shipping and dining. We tried it once and decided to buy at Ko Olina and Waiohai. We felt Waiohai and Ko Olina were quieter, less crowded, and felt more like Hawaii. MOC felt like Waikiki. Not to mention the price of everything on Maui...
     
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  9. GregT

    GregT TUG Member TUG Member

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    Marriott: Maui Ocean Club Lahaina Villas (3BRx5), Ko Olina, Shadow Ridge II, Willow Ridge, DC Points HGVC: HHV Lagoon, Flamingo, Sea World, I-Drive, Starwood Bella (x4), SDO, Aulani, Worldmark
    Recognizing that you have 3 year old with you, Ko Olina's lagoon will be fantastic -- and preferable to a beach with big waves. There are also other pools that are well suited to a young child and the sunsets are fantastic. I think you will really like Ko Olina -- it's isolated and tranquil but there is alot to do on-site. Availability will be easy too -- you may want to book a 2BR unit and then request to be in either Hale Kona or Hale Moana. Both properties have a little "sun room" where a rollaway could be facilitated so the 3 year old can sleep privately and each set of adults get a true bedroom.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.

    Best,

    Greg
     
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  10. Fasttr

    Fasttr TUG Member

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    Given your choices and the fact that its your first trip to Hawaii and prefer to stay in one place, I would chose Ko Olina. Its a great resort, and on the island you have Pearl Harbor Memorial, Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, Dole Pineapple Plantation, North Shore, Polynesian Cultural Center and one of the best weekly Luaus right on site at Ko Olina. Plenty to keep you busy for a week.

    To get you fired up....here is a pic from our visit last year.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
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  11. turkel

    turkel TUG Member

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    People love Ko Olina I don’t. Oahu is not where I would go on a first trip to Hawaii. The resort is nice but very isolated. If you only want to stay at the resort or visit Pearl Harbor then you might be happy. If you expect lush tropical beauty Oahu is not what your looking for.
     
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  12. brianfox

    brianfox TUG Member

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    For lush tropical beauty, I'd say Kauai is the island to visit. The drive from the airport to Waiohai is beautiful. By the time you exit the tree tunnel, you are thinking "I want to live here".
     
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  13. MOXJO7282

    MOXJO7282 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I bet you would like each and every one of them because all Marriott Hawaii resorts are fantastic. Maui would be my first, second and third choice personally but i'm a Maui snob. Maui will be the most costly in terms of DC points so that may factor in but rest assured any that you choose will be great but Maui would be the best, that is why they call it "No Ka Oi" The best.
     
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  14. pchung6

    pchung6 TUG Member

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    I wouldn't mind to go to any resort on your list in Hawaii.

    If I have to pick, Ko Olina and Maui Lahaina & Napili Tower are my favor, followed by Waiohai.
     
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  15. 4Sunsets

    4Sunsets Guest

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    If you are concerned about having to take a shuttle to the beach, Kauai Lagoons and Waikoloa Ocean Club are probably not the best choices (of the 3 choices you said were available in your updates to the OP).

    At Ko Olina, you can walk to the beach/lagoon easily. It's right out in front of the resort. With a 3 year old, you will have a sand pool at Ko Olina, which is very nice, as well as 2 other pool options.

    Ko Olina has a great waterfront boardwalk for walking and great views for sunsets. There's also a free shuttle that takes you around the various areas of the resort.
     
  16. californiagirl

    californiagirl TUG Member

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    We have stayed at all except Kauai Lagoons. If your choice is between Ko Olina, Waikoloa, or Kauai Lagoons I would choose Ko Olina. As everyone has said the lagoon is perfect for a 3 yr old. The other thing to remember is that Waikoloa Villas do not have ovens or stoves. Just a microwave and toaster. I think there is lots to do on Oahu. You may need to drive a bit, but fun just the same. There are some great restaurants in the Ko Olina area. You would be far enough away from Disney’s Aulani that your lagoon would not be crowded. If you go to Ko Olina, go down to the counter service restaurant at Aulani in the morning and get some warm malasadas. Yum! If they are out just wait a few minutes, there will be warm ones coming out shortly.

    My first choice would be Waiohai followed by Maui. I’m wondering if you are limited by immediate availability? You can waitlist.

    Also as to when you plan to go. If you are not restricted by the school calendar, early to mid-May or September are ideal times to visit. The weather is great and the crowds are low. During the summer it seems each villa is at capacity. During May and September we have found that occupancy per villa is at about 50%.

    Have a great time wherever and whenever you decide to go.
     
  17. gsb

    gsb Guest

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    From the three choices you said were available, I would choose KoOlina. We own two weeks there and always look forward to returning. We like that it’s away from the busyness of Waikiki. Since you’ll have a car, you can get anywhere on the island for sightseeing. The villas are nicely done and the lagoon is well protected and a great place to hang out. Several good places to eat within either walking distance or a short shuttle ride away. Your grandson may even enjoy visiting Aulani and maybe running onto some Disney characters.

    In regard to the other two, we just returned from a Hawaii trip and stayed at Waikoloa for the first time. The villa was very nice, but the resort itself was not our favorite. Nothing wrong with it in particular, but it just didn’t suit us. When we go back we will probably stay at either Mauna Kea or the Westin Hapuna Beach. The best part of Waikoloa, for us, was that there are a number of restaurants and shops within walking distance.

    We also stayed at Kauai Lagoons, and it’s one of our favorites. Sure you will need to take a shuttle to the beach, but sitting on the balcony, looking out at the ocean and mountains right in front of you—it’s hard to find a more beautiful and peaceful place than that. The point levels are a bit high, but we always get an oceanfront unit.

    If it comes open, I may be among the minority who loves Kauai Beach Club. We own both there and Waiohai, and always choose KBC. The villas have been renovated in the last year, and are very nice. There’s no full kitchen, but the larger refrigerator is a welcome addition. Your grandson will love the pool there—it’s perhaps the largest in Hawaii. You’ll have a beautiful view from the beach, and we always enjoy watching the outriggers and surfers on the evenings.

    The bottom line for us is that it’s all in Hawaii. We’ve stayed in all the Marriott Resorts in the islands, and they all have some advantages. We hope to enjoy them for many more years. Whichever you choose will be great!
     
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  18. tahoe

    tahoe TUG Member

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    I have been to Waikoloa and Ko Olina, and not to Kauai Lagoons. If planning to just stay at the resort with a 3 year old, I would pick Ko Olina over Waikoloa. Ko Olina as a resort is far superior to Waikoloa, though the Big Island of Hawaii offers more to do (IMO).

    Ko Olina
    + Artificial Lagoon -> minimal waves -> less intimidating for little kids
    + Ko Olina pools are much better than Waikoloa
    + Ko Olina resort is much nicer than Waikoloa
    + Ko Olina villas are much nicer than Waikoloa (hotel conversion -> not a full kitchen)
    + Aulani/Disney is near by. You can go get a Mickey shaped shave ice. Character breakfast also an option (tho $$$)
    + Pearl Harbor (not sure if the Memorial is open - there was some damage to it)
    + Fia Fia Laua
    + Kapolei (town near by) offers relatively cheaper food options (including Costco)

    Waikoloa:
    ++ Big Island offers much more too see/do, but it's also much bigger and a lot more driving (which may be a con for a small kid)
    + Mauna Kea telescopes/star gazing, but the summit is not recommended for young kids (-).
    + Volcano National Park, though Kilauea is no longer erupting (good for residents, not as good for tourists)
    - Waikoloa feels isolated. Outside of the resort area, it's ~15 minute drive through rocky/desert like conditions to another town.
    - The ocean @ Waikoloa beach is very rocky. I didn't see a ~2 foot rock, tripped right as a wave came, and got a gash on my knee.
     
  19. dagger1

    dagger1 TUG Member

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    Ko’Olina is a
    Do you mind me asking why you like KBC better than Waiohai? Thanks!
     
  20. frank808

    frank808 TUG Member

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    I am a little biased and love it here at Ko Olina 2. Like others have mentioned, great lagoon for your 3yr old. The beach in front of Maui Ocean Club can be very narrow depending on time of year. Though the water is pretty calm, there is a reef that is just a few feet in the water.

    If you just want to relax, lay on the beach and see the nature more I would choose Maui. If you are more interested with seeing historical sights, shopping, dining, history and seeing nature Ko Olina might suit you more.

    There is very nice hiking and natural scenery on Oahu, but it is more crowded here.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
     
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  21. vacationtime1

    vacationtime1 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I own both so I have no ax to grind. The advantages of KBC:

    Better views
    Better pool
    Better hot tubs
    More on site dining choices
    Lock-off potential
    Cheaper to buy (MF's comparable)

    Note: I could make a list of Waiohai advantages as well; that's why I own both.
     
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  22. csalter2

    csalter2 TUG Member

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    I have always had a difficult time trying to understand the big to do about Maui. I usually go to all of the islands at least every other year and I feel that Maui is by far the most OVERRATED resort. It’s not the most beautiful island. That distinction belongs to Kauai in my humble opinion. I say that because it still has all of that Hawaii natural beauty.

    The beach at the MOC is not the best in my opinion because you have to get by the walkway which is not too bad but the beach is getting smaller and smaller. In addition, each time I go to Maui, I feel as if there is less and less to see and do. Heck, I can do all the stuff Maui has to offer here in my neighborhood in the OC ihere n California.

    Here is why I believe Ko Olina is the way to go. (I am not being biased because I own there either.) Kauai is my favorite. Oahu is a great spot for first timers because it has it ALL! If you go to the North Shore you will see good old picturesque Hawaii! It has all the charm and beauty of a Hawaiian island. Plus, with the new highway (well, it used to be new), you don’t have to go all the way through downtown to get there so you can avoid the traffic. Secondly, it’s got a CITY too! You can do all the shopping you desire and if you want to visit Waikiki Beach to people watch and just be in the middle of it all, you have that option. I do it every time I go. I even go to the beach there just to do it. It’s always fun. Yes, there is traffic, but man it’s still fun and worth the drive for a first timer. I remember when I had my three year old there a few years ago. She loved Ko Olina’s beach. She still does at six, but she loves the slide at the pool even more. With Disney just a stone throw away, your three year old will love a character breakfast or dinner over at Aulani.

    NO OTHER ISLAND OFFERS THE VARIETY OF OAHU. I have done them all and done them many times on the same trip. I always save the best for the last, Oahu. It gets me ready to face the reality of home. I don’t think there would be a debate about which island has the most variety of things to do. Oahu offers everything that the other island have in some degree, but the other islands don’t have all of the things that Oahu has to offer.

    This is just one man’s opinion. You cannot go wrong with Ko Olina.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
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  23. dagger1

    dagger1 TUG Member

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    Thanks!!
     
  24. csalter2

    csalter2 TUG Member

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    Just one more thing that Oahu offers that the other islands don’t. That’s is a night life. Now if you’re an old ruddy daddy like me and not really into dancing and such, Oahu offers a night life. Now I am originally from New York City so I grew up in a city that never sleeps. It took me a while to adjust to the snail’s pace of Southern California. However, know that the City of Honolulu does offer a variety of night life that the other islands just do not have.

    Again, if you just want to get away from it all and have peace and tranquility and stay at your resort, Kauai, Maui, and The Big Island are perfect for you. However, if you want to have it all, then Oahu is the place to go and Ko Olina with its traffic as a possible drawback offers something for everyone.
     
  25. chalee94

    chalee94 TUG Member

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    I just got back from a trip to KBC. It's also a great "central" location for getting to either Po'ipu or Waimea on the west coast or Kapa'a or Princeville on the north coast. Very easy access to the airport after a long flight.

    Definitely agree about the great views, pool and dining choices. Duke's was great. The 1BR was recently renovated and I was fortunate to get an ocean view on the 6th floor - the view was incredible!

    The configuration of the 1BR worked fine for my situation but I could see missing the separate kitchen and living area for a travel group like the OP's.

    Having been to both Oahu and Kauai, I definitely prefer Kauai but wouldn't exactly hate visiting Oahu again either...
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019

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