Ko Olina Resort

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Ko Olina, Hawaii
Census-designated place
Ko Olina Resort
Ko Olina Resort
Coordinates: 21°20′15″N 158°7′7″W / 21.33750°N 158.11861°W / 21.33750; -158.11861Coordinates: 21°20′15″N 158°7′7″W / 21.33750°N 158.11861°W / 21.33750; -158.11861
Country United States
State Hawaii
 • Total 1.1 sq mi (2.8 km2)
 • Land 1.1 sq mi (2.8 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 35 ft (11 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,799
 • Density 1,700/sq mi (640/km2)
Time zone Hawaii-Aleutian (UTC-10)
Area code(s) 808

Ko Olina Resort is a 642-acre (2.60 km2) master-planned vacation and residential community on the leeward coast of Oahu, 17 miles (27 km) northwest of Honolulu.[1] Ko Olina has 2 miles (3.2 km) of coastal frontage and includes three natural and four man-made lagoons with white-sand beaches. It is home to four hotel and vacation-club resorts: Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa; the Ihilani Resort & Spa, Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club, and The Four Seasons at Ko Olina, as well as several resort condominiums and villa homes.

The resort includes Ko Olina Golf Club and Ko Olina Marina, as well as shopping and dining at Ko Olina Station and Ko Olina Center. Watabe Wedding manages four wedding chapels on the resort property.

Major events hosted at Ko Olina Resort include the LPGA Lotte Championship,[2] Ko Olina New Year's Lagoon Fireworks Spectacular, and the finale of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival.[3]

Ko Olina Golf Club[edit]

Ko Olina Golf Club offers an 18-hole course designed by Ted Robinson.[4] It has water features on many holes and multi-tiered greens. The club is home to Ko Olina Golf Academy, and also includes an extensive golf shop and Roy's Ko Olina restaurant. Created by James Beard Award winning chef Roy Yamaguchi, Roy's serves Hawaiian fusion cuisine.[5]

The 170-acre (69 ha), par-72 golf course opened in January 1990, hosting the LPGA Tour's Hawaiian Ladies Open from 1990 to 1995, the Senior PGA Tour's Ko Olina Senior Invitational in 1992 and the Fields Open in Hawaii from 2006 to 2008. Women's professional golf returned in April 2012 with the inaugural LPGA Lotte Championship, won by Ai Miyazato.[6]

Ko Olina Golf Club also featured in the Super Famicom video game: Okamoto Ayako to Match Play Golf.

Ko Olina Activities[edit]

Ko Olina Activities offers access to snorkeling trips; dolphin & whale watching; sport fishing; scuba diving; sailing; sunset cruises; golf; helicopter tours; luaus, and stand-up paddleboard and kayak rentals.[7] Ko Olina Activities has outlets at three locations: Ko Olina Marina, Ko Olina Beach Villas Resort, and the beach at Lagoon 2.

Ko Olina Marina[edit]

Ko Olina Marina is a privately owned deep-draft marina set on 43 acres (17 ha). It has 330 full-service slips and Bellingham floating docks.[8] The marina store sells snacks, drinks, clothing and souvenirs. It includes a Ko Olina Activities outlet that offers ocean tours and resort activities.[9]

Ko Olina Weddings[edit]

Ko Olina Resort has four wedding chapels with lagoon and ocean views.[10] Wedding services are managed by Watabe Wedding and Ko Olina Weddings and include limousine service, bridal gowns, flowers, photography, videography, entertainment and receptions.[11]

Ko Olina Center and Ko Olina Station[edit]

These mixed-use commercial retail centers located at Ko Olina Resort together comprise approximately 56,000 square feet.[12] Current businesses include Ko Olina Realty LLC, Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman at Ko Olina, Sushi Yuzu Ko Olina, ABC Island Country Market, Two Scoops Ice Cream Parlor, Pizza Corner, Pineapples Boutique, The Plantation, Ko Olina Visitor & Sales Center, Just Tacos Mexican Grill & Cantina, Island Vintage Coffee Company, Hawaiian Fire and Ko Olina Hawaiian Barbeque.


Ko Olina is part of an original royal land division that extended from the waters off Pearl Harbor to the summit of the Waianae Mountains.[13] The area was a sacred place used for rest and relaxation by Hawaiian chiefs, like Kakuhihewa, and Hawaiian royalty.[14] Kamehameha the Great and his wife Ka’ahumanu were frequent visitors, bathing in the protected water of its reef-sheltered coves, fishing, and participating in religious ceremonies. Hawaii's last monarch, Lili’uokalani, also came to Ko Olina for time away.[15]

The industrialist James Campbell helped develop much of the Ewa Plain, where Ko Olina is situated. In the late 1800s, after purchasing 41,000 acres (17,000 ha) of arid, barren land, he had water wells drilled for irrigation and built a plantation for sugar-cane production. In the 1930s, his daughter Alice Kamokila Campbell moved to what was then a secluded shore in the area. During World War II, Ms. Campbell allowed her property at Ko Olina, which she called Lanikuhonua (“where heaven meets earth” in Hawaiian), to serve as a recreational retreat for army and navy servicemen.[16]

In the mid 1980s, Hawaii developer Herbert Horita and his Japanese investment partner, Takeshi Sekiguchi, purchased the Ko Olina Resort property and entitled, designed and built the four man-made lagoons, marina basin, golf course and all infrastructure. After the Japanese real-estate bubble burst in the early 1990s, development at the resort stopped after the completion of the golf course, a resort condominium and just one hotel, which was the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa and is now the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina.[17] In 1998 developer Jeffrey Stone, President of The Resort Group, and partners bought the property from Herbert Horita's lender, The Industrial Bank of Japan, and began its revival.[18] To date they have added two vacation resorts, Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa; villa homes, and multiple resort condominiums, including the oceanfront Ko Olina Beach Villas Resort, a luxury condominium with a rental program overseen by Resort Management Company.[19] Approximately 150 additional long- and short-term rentals are managed by owners directly or through authorized agents. Stone and partners also have added a full-service marina; two commercial centers with retail and dining; four wedding chapels; an activity center, and a beach and sports club for residents. Currently, approximately 50 percent of the 642-acre resort is developed.

Panoramic view of Ko Olina lagoon 1, "Koholā" ("humpback whale"), located behind Disney's Aulani resort

Ko Olina Charities[edit]

Ko Olina Charities is a 501 (c) (3) organization created by Ko Olina Resort to provide resources, donations and educational programs in the surrounding communities. With donations from resort operators and residents, and grants from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Ko Olina Charities supports community events and organizations, including Waianae High School's Searider Productions and Robotics Program, the ‘Olelo Youth Xchange video competition, Links for Literacy, the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii, NFL Youth Education Town (YET), education and job-training programs for West Oahu, and homeless initiatives and emergency shelters on the leeward coast.[20] Ko Olina Charities' annual Thanksgiving Outreach serves more than 4,000 holiday meals for homeless and low-income families.[21]