“Ihilani” is the Hawaiian word for “heavenly splendor” and I can’t imagine a better description for the Ihilani Resort. Situated on a beautiful blue lagoon, there is no more picturesque hotel in Hawaii. The hotel is away from the traffic and crowds of Waikiki with breathtaking views in almost every direction. Yet it’s still easily accessible to the best of Oahu restaurants and shops.
The resort sits right on the water, and the immaculate white sand beaches are definitely heavenly. Salt water lagoons are built right around and through the hotel, filled with tropical fish, stingrays and even sharks! In fact it’s so close that you can see them swim right up to you while sitting at the Naupaka Terrace restaurant or the poolside grill. You can almost reach right out and touch a stingray during lunch!
Also overlooking the lagoon and gardens is the fine dining restaurant, Azul, which boasts one of the most robust wine lists in Hawaii. Ushio Tei is a traditional Japanese restaurant with an all-you-can-eat buffet twice a week. They have some of the best sushi and sashimi I’ve ever tasted!
Of course there’s also fantastic room service, and with these oversized beautiful guestrooms you may never want to leave! They each have their own lanai (private patio) where you can relax and watch the sunset from a comfortable lounge chair. Or indulge in one of their luxurious suites, some of which have private whirlpool spas.
Despite the well-appointed rooms you’ll want to sample the amenities throughout the resort. One of their most inviting features is the amazing spa, which offers every therapeutic service your body The spa treatments refresh both body and spirit and the half or full day programs can include aromatherapy, body wraps, facials, body scrubs and many different types of massage.
And if you want to work out your body yourself instead of letting someone else do it, there is a full weight/cardiovascular workout room as well as a lap pool. Or try the “Hip On Hula” exercise class to work on the hips while learning the Hawaiian native dance – Hula!
If tennis is your thing, there are both grass and hard courts. Prefer golf? A world class golf course is right on the resort grounds. Even if you’re a beginning golfer the Ko Olina Golf Academy provides a wide variety of school offerings including clinics and private lessons. Facilities include a grass driving range, a practice putting green and the finest short game practice area on the island.
And you can’t visit Hawaii without participating in ocean activities. The nearby Ko Olina Marina offers all manner of water sports and sightseeing tours. You can go snorkeling, catamaran sailing or take a romantic sunset cruise. This state-of-the-art marina is the first built in Hawaii in 30 years and has become a great success, with slips for yachts as well as a burgeoning commercial trade.
With “heavenly splendor” as their motto, there is much to live up to – but the Ihilani accomplishes it easily. It is a perfect slice of paradise, and whenever in Oahu there can be no finer destination.