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One island, three hotels... Oahu

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This isn't a trip report, as such, just a reflection on my Oahu trip of this past week. I never book more than one, maybe two, different hotels when coming to Oahu on my annual visit to meet up with friends from fodors. This trip, I booked THREE different hotels, two nights at each one, for my 6-night visit.

I started on the west side of the island, at Ko Olina. I booked two nights on points at the J W Ihilani. What a gorgeous suite I got!!!! By far one of the best I've ever had anywhere! I'm a platinum with Marriott, so I usually get upgrades at check-in. This upgrade blew me away. My junior suite was the size of about 3 or 4 typical hotel rooms. My view was of the ocean and the lagoons and the pool. Awesome view! I had a huge balcony where I spent loads of time, just relaxing, reading, doing emails, etc. I am not a sunbather so loved that my balcony was shaded most of the day.

After my luxurious junior suite, I knew I'd be taking a drastic step DOWN when moving into the central Waikiki area (not beachside) to the Marriott Courtyard. I've stayed at this hotel before, and it was not bad. This time, on check-in, I was upgraded to a one-bedroom suite in the building on the north side of the property. This is a Courtyard, not a J W, so the suite was NOTHING like what I had experienced at Ko Olina. I was told that my suite in the north building would be quieter than the main building. NOT! I never set foot on my balcony, which faced a noisy street, and had a parking lot view, with construction equipment across the street. In the past I had been given a room in the main building overlooking the pool. A better view, and quieter than what I got this time. I complained about my livingroom TV which worked about 1 out of 10 times when I tried to turn it on! Grrrrr.... but internet was fast, and free for me because I am an elite. While in this location, I did my island driving rather than sticking around at the hotel. This room was only for sleeping!

My last two nights were spent on Waikiki Beach at the Marriott Resort. Upon check-in I was upgraded to a deluxe ocean view room in the front tower. Although not nearly as spacious or luxurious as Ko Olina, the view was comparable, and the balcony, although not even half the size of Ko Olina, was shaded most of the day and a very pleasant place to relax, read, do emails, etc.

I wish the JW Ko Olina was located a bit closer to the 'action' of Kalakaua Avenue and Waikiki Beach. It takes a good half hour (depending on traffic) to get from the west end of the island into the main shopping and dining locations. I'm a shopper, and I plan my list of places to shop and people to include (many are freinds in Bangkok, who will never see Hawaii in their lifetime). I have been told that a huge mall (to be bigger than Ala Moana??) is going to be built on the west side, just a few miles from the J W. That, and the Waikele Outlets and surrounding shops, will make it more appealing for me to return to Ko Olina in the future.

I will probably give up on staying at the Courtyard, although it is in a pretty good location for shopping the west end of Kalakaua Avenue, which is maybe 2 blocks away. This stay was just too disappointing to give it another try.

I will, for sure, return to the Marriott Resort on Waikiki Beach. Even though this is a busy place (always WAITING WAITING WAITING for an elevator) the shopping nearby, and up and down Kalakaua, plus the view of the beach, and the shaded balcony, will draw me back here.

My wish would be that my suite at Ko Olina would be located on Waikiki Beach!!!

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