Only two hotels service the Pearl Harbor area, both geared toward long-term guests. Ko Olina is a great family destination for those seeking a controlled and manicured resort atmosphere without the crowds and nightlife of Waikiki. Inside Ko Olina you’ll find the amenities of luxury resorts, hotels, and vacation rentals, but you’ll also sacrifice Waikiki’s selection of restaurants, ocean activities, and nearby sights, as Ko Olina is very isolated on the southwestern tip of O‘ahu. Makaha has vacation rentals in condominium towers right on the beach. There is also camping at westside beach parks.
Pearl Harbor Accommodations $100-250
The Harbor Shores (98-145 Lipoa Pl., 808/488-5742, $120) is an apartment hotel located on the shore of Pearl Harbor. They have basic, no frills two-bedroom units with full-size kitchens, private lanai, microwave, refrigerator, toaster oven, wireless Internet access, and a swimming pool. They cater to military families, budget travelers, and business travelers. Rates depend on the number of guests per room, and they offer weekly rates as well.
In similar fashion, the Harbor Arms (98-145 Lipoa Pl., 808/488-5556, $113-125) apartment hotel has one- and two-bedroom suites with partial or full kitchens, private lanai, and free cable TV and wireless Internet. They also have a swimming pool and offer weekly rates.
Leeward Coast Accommodations $100-250
You’ll only find visitor accommodations at Makaha. The Hawaiian Princess (84-1021 Lahilahi St., 800/776-2541, $149-209) is one of the more stylish and well-maintained condominium buildings along Makaha Beach. Their one- and two-bedroom units have 180-degree views of the Pacific, full kitchens, washer/dryer, and private lanai. There is also a pool, hot tub, barbecue area, tennis court, and recreation room. One-bedroom units start at $149, and two-bedrooms rent for $209.
Ko Olina Accommodations $250-400
Three swimming pools, seven whirlpool spas, and a beautiful seaside lagoon make the Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club (92-161 Waipahe Pl., 808/679-4700, $295-600) the ultimate kid-friendly resort. Their one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas with fully equipped kitchens and tableware provide for a family vacation that is much more comfortable, and their master suites with oversize soaking tubs and king-size beds are the ultimate in relaxation for couples. The villas also have private lanai, washer/dryer, and wireless high-speed Internet.
Ko Olina Accommodations Over $400
Aulani (92-1185 Aliinui Dr., 808/674-6200 or 714/520-7001, $505-650), A Disney Resort & Spa, is set on one of the trademark Ko Olina lagoons, and its Hawaiian theme is everything you’d expect from Disney. At the center of this family-oriented resort is Waikolohe Valley. The aquatic adventure park has a winding river with two tubing adventures, one with rapids and caverns, an enormous swimming pool with waterslides, a private snorkeling lagoon with tropical fish, and an interactive play area for the littlest ones. There are also a separate pool and spas away from the main pool for parents wanting to enjoy some peace and quiet. During the day, Disney characters make appearances, and after the sun goes down there are age-specific theme parties for the kids. The rooms are modern and luxurious, and there are several types of views that dictate the room rate. The suites are designed for large families. They also have a spa, fine dining, and casual dining at the resort.
For families or couples after a romantic getaway, the Ko Olina Beach Villas Resort (92-106 Waialii Pl., 808/679-4088 or 877/333-3808) features private villa suites, each with a unique floor plan and an elegant and sophisticated interior design. The two- and three-bedroom villas feature separate living and dining areas, private lanai, and partial to full ocean views. One-bedroom villas are only available during the low season for $405 per night. All rooms have a seven-night minimum stay.
Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Hawaiian Islands.