We recently stayed at the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club after five nights at Aulani. Why? It’s just down the beach and the Marriott is typically around $150 a night less (or free when using points).
Plus, when you stay at Aulani you can use all that the resort has to offer on both the day you check in and the day you check out. We had an early morning flight and didn’t want to pay for another night at Aulani. For our last full day on Oahu, we spent most of our time at Aulani but saved by staying that night at the Marriott.
Here’s our Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club Review:
The property has three main buildings and three main pools. They’re positioned around a beach lagoon just like the one at Aulani. There’s a great pathway just off the beach that connects this hotel with Aulani and the Four Seasons.
It’s got two restaurants, neither of which get great reviews. But it does also host the Fia Fia Luau, which generally gets really good reviews (better than KA AWA’A at Aulani).
The Marriott has three main pools. The Nai’a Pool is a multi-level pool with at least seven waterfalls, two hot tubs, and a really fast water slide. The Reflection/Quiet Pool is just that, it’s the library of swimming pools. Quiet! Finally, the Lagoon Pool has a sand bottom (surprisingly coarse sand).
The beach should be the star of the show at any Hawaiian resort and that’s the case at the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club. The perfectly manicured grass is a refreshing transition before the sandy beach and gradually deepening waters of the lagoon. The jetties at the entry of the lagoon reduce the waves to a gentle roll. You could easily spend all day here with a good book.
We used points to book a basic 1 King Sofa Bed room. The rooms are a little dated and could probably use a refurbishment, but ours was clean and the view from the balcony was fantastic. Plus, the basic appliances in the kitchenette were helpful for making breakfast in the room.
The Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club is a Category 8 Marriott property. It requires 40,000 points per night (5th Night Free). This would be 13,333 Starwood points with 3:1 transfer rate.
This hotel is part of Marriott’s timeshare program. These particular properties are harder to book on points than others. Not because the process is different, but there are fewer rooms available on points at these hotels.
We recommend using the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex to earn the necessary points.
First, the hotel is not as nice as Aulani. It feels a bit older and doesn’t have the bells and whistles you’ll get at Aulani. That being said, here’s why you should considering staying here anyway:
“When” You Should Stay at the Marriott
- If you arrive in Honolulu late in the day
- If you fly out early in the morning
- If you’re going to rent a car and explore the island, leaving the resort area for most of the day.
- If you want to spend a week on the beach but don’t want to pay for a week at Aulani.
“Why” You Should Stay at the Marriott
- At 40,000 Marriott or 13,333 Starwood points, you’ll save a lot.
- Marriott includes things you won’t find at Aulani (free use of sauna and steam room, sand bottom pool, better Luau, etc.).
- The beach is nearly identical to the one at Aulani.
It’s very likely we’ll stay here again. For us, it particularly makes sense for the day you arrive or the day you depart if your flight schedule means you won’t be able to enjoy a full day at Aulani. While the Marriott is not as nice as Aulani, it does offer things that are different from Aulani. Just being able to enjoy new activities and experiences was fun.