Real estate in Ko Olina tends to have a very short lifespan, snapped up like a limited supply Black Friday special. A reputation like that can make them all blend together in your mind into a vaguely defined outline of a Ko Olina Home.
The reality is the 6 neighborhoods are all distinctly individual in architecture, feel and even types of residences – and designed from the start to be so. While each can lay claim to the resort lifestyle of the glorious lagoons and amenities of the luxury vacation properties, where you spend the greatest amount of time, your home, plays the greatest part in your satisfaction.
That means ending up in a property that fits your needs, your desires, your plans for the years ahead. Which of the neighborhoods in Ko Olina will deliver all of that? There’s one way to find out and it starts just below.
You might think that a name like that is almost too much, almost over the top. This, however, is that rare case of a place that fulfills the idealization created by its title.
This Ko Olina townhome community is well known for stirring up feelings of warm, Old Hawaii nostalgia. The designers’ reliance on the architecture of the grander Plantation homes of nearly a century ago creates a pure elegance that is a legacy of these lands.
2BR models have a broad range, almost doubling from an already nice spread of 1,093sq ft on up to 2,141sq ft. A 3BR Coconut Plantation home promises 1,548 to 2,073 sq ft, with the 4BR weighing in at 2,146sq ft.
From your 2, maybe even 3 lanais, you gaze out at the numerous coconut palm trees that give the neighborhood ½ its name, the tropical plants and flowers surrounding you, manicured grounds and, for some, the golf course fairways that lie along most of your community’s boundaries. As pleasurable as the view is, you’ll find the joys multiplied during your strolls within this scenery.
Outside your gated community you’ll find a growing selection of recreational options, the closest being the Four Seasons and Disney’s Aulani Resorts as well as the largest of the Ko Olina lagoons, Kahola (Lagoon #1), all in walking distance. Those are merely the start, with more resort properties and 3 lagoons not too much further.
The Plantation architecture from Old Hawaii, the grounds that fill your senses with the Islands’ richness – it’s a daily experience intended to evoke simpler days and sometimes you just might feel like you’ve returned there.
The impression of Ko Olina real estate as purely luxury or at least HIGH LEVEL is generally accurate. But not completely. Hill Side Villas stand out as an entry to the resort lifestyle at a less intimidating, even inviting pricepoint.
The townhome community is the most mauka of the neighborhoods as well as sitting on the eastern limits of the district. Though they are the outer reaches of Ko Olina, your home still has excellent access to the recreational riches makai of you.
The Na’ia Lagoon (#3) is 1 mile from here, a distance that can be walked, biked or even done on the golf carts that are commonly used by residents. The Marriott Resort is there, with the soon to be built Atlantis property next door, then Disney’s Aulani and then the Four Seasons Resort. All fall within only a little more than 1.5 miles from your front welcome mat. You can include the other 3 lagoons in that span, each with its own particular pleasures to offer.
There are natural pleasures at home, too. Your townhome has palm trees lining the street, making for a pleasurable stroll beneath them in the refreshing evening temperatures. Looking out and listening to their rustling in the wind from you lanai is something you’ll find particularly soothing and special.
You’re also at the dead end of Ali’inui Drive, the farthest point from Ko Olina’s entrance westward. Any traffic and activity dies down before reaching you, putting Hillside Villas in an especially tranquil corner of the place.
The townhomes divide up into 2BR (981 sq ft) and 3BR (1173 sq ft) models, with open layouts inside that let the sunlight and winds into your day and the cool serenity of Hawaii’s nighttime into your evening.
Although the Hillside Villas may come at a more attainable cost, don’t mistake them for anything second rate. The lifestyle here is purely first-class. You were just smart enough to get it at a better price.
The Fairways townhomes are another project created for a more accessible entry cost. They sit on the makai side of Ali’inui Drive as it reaches its conclusion, directly across from Hillside Villas. One difference between the two neighborhoods, though, is the stunningly green scenery Fairways borders on, courtesy of the Ko Olina Golf Course.
You enjoy that remoteness of being the easternmost limits of this singular region. Yet the entirety of Ko Olina is in easy bike riding, or even walking, range. In this special corner of Oahu the exceptional environment of the place makes the journey truly as enjoyable as the destination.
That’s high praise considering the destinations include 4 lagoons that seem to call to you, so inviting are the waters. Drier, and equally enticing, pursuits are available, too, in the dining and entertainment of the world-class resorts here – Aulani, Four Seasons, Marriot and soon-to-be arriving Atlantis.
If a day at home is called for, you live in a place made for relaxing, Island Style. Every room has a ceiling fan, for natural cooling, with A/C there if needed. The open layouts let the sounds of the palms and the welcome tradewinds roam freely, reaching you wherever you are.
Those palm trees along with the plentiful shade trees and other greenery surrounding you add not just cover, but a wonderful backdrop to your hours.
The variety of floor plans can be broken up into single level condos, with 2BR/2BA (847 to 856 sq ft) or 3BR/2BA (987 sq ft), and two story townhomes of 3BR/2.5BA (1,223 to 1,264 sq ft) in them. All, except the smallest model, come with an enclosed 2 car garage, accounting for the clear, open streets outside.
The Fairways homes are a retreat within a retreat, for those who appreciate an even lower level of calm and peace in an already soothing place like Ko Olina.
If you’ve ever looked longingly at the resorts in Ko Olina and wondered what it would be like to live there, wonder no more. The Beach Villas condos isn’t just the only condo tower(s) here, it occupies real estate that is something out of a fantasy.
The residences front directly upon the Honu Lagoon (#2), giving you if not a wide angle view on the ocean, withing nothing in-between, then, at the very least, a partial view that will still make the most jaded world traveler’s jaw drop. The vistas are all enjoyed from large lanais of 178 to 560 sq ft that will do more for you than a good therapist.
Your proximity to the swells is close enough that the sounds of the Pacific’s warm rumble often follows you indoors, like a beloved companion who knows you intimately.
The inside of your home is luxury and elegance, with models of 2BR (1,170 to 1,484 sq) and 3BR (1,478 sq ft to 1,650). First floor residents, believe it or not, even have some yard space of their own, where you’ll find the largest lanais.
An elevator ride away there’s something to satisfy almost any mood or need – concierge services, lap & kiddie pools, fitness center, steam room and a beach bar. These make for not just an ideal home, but also an ideal vacation condo property, something many owners have taken advantage of here. This is no condotel, though.
The biggest giveaway that these can be, ultimately, real Hawaii residences? The outdoor BBQ grills. You won’t find those at Aulani or the Four Seasons. It’s a clear sign of what the Beach Villas give to those who are fortunate enough to be here, permanently or short term. These condos are spaces you can truly live in, not just stay in. Whether that’s you or your vacationing guests who experience it, it’s a feeling that makes all the difference.
Ko Olina Kai’s gated span contains the full line of residential categories; Condos that take up one level each of two-story structures, townhomes and, finally, single family homes. With neighboring Coconut Plantation, it forms the center core of the golf course surrounding the whole on all sides.
That green band of sculpted lawns grants the Golf Estates on 3 sides a vista that the eyes can get submerged in, sight that delights even the most dedicated non-golfer. It also keeps the horizon visually open, makai to mauka. Yet this buffer is an insulation, too, separating you from any noise from the resorts, which admittedly isn’t a lot.
Inside your neighborhood refuge you have your own recreation center with, among other things, a pool and cabanas, 24 hour fitness center and 2 tennis courts. There may be weekends where, if the groceries hold out, you never venture past the front gate. It’s too peaceful inside your green oasis.
Let’s face it, though. The lagoons are too enticing for that to happen too often. With one way out of Ko Olina Kai, that does increase the expected travel distance to the shore. Even so, it’s still just a little past the 1 mile mark to the Kohala Lagoon (#1), with the Marriott Beach Club and Aulani resorts ringing it.
The entertainment and dining you’ll find in the hotels are all superb, but one of the best choices is even closer to home. Roy’s at the Ko Olina Golf Club is within as little as a 5 minute stroll from the front doorsteps inside the Golf Estates. Dedicated diners just might be sold on buying here for that reason alone.
You can let the ono food digest inside a residence with room to stretch out. They run from 2BRs (1,144 sq ft) and 3BRs (1,427 sq ft), topped off by 4BR models of 2,216 sq ft. That doesn’t include the lanais and garages that come with your keys.
Though more modern in design, they fit the tropical resort landscape, with open layouts, palm trees all around and an elegance that is understated, but still can’t hide just how good the life is in Ko Olina Kai.
Kai Lani homes stand on lands that the casual Ko Olina visitor might not even notice. Upon turning onto Ali’inui Drive from the highway, the fence you drive along on your right hides much of this community from sight. If you could look over you’d see something special.
Townhomes that return the old Kamaaina style that dominated the Oahu shoreline of a century ago. The open lands of the Makaiwa Beach Park that make up their Waianae side and, more importantly, an equally unobstructed stretch that runs right to the ocean that plays on the shore that’s 600 ft from the closest residence. Looking out at that, you almost feel like you’re off on your own, untouched oceanfront.
All the while, you’re actually inside a gated community in a resort district that’s become a top destination for even the most upper strata vacationers. So you can leave this remote Island scene and take advantage of the restaurants, the spas and the entertainment of a level that comes from names like Four Seasons, Disney and, soon, Atlantis.
The indulgences of Paradise Cove Beach lie a mere 1/3 of a mile away, the Kohala Lagoon ½ of a mile before you’re descending into the calm waters there.
You set off on that easy walk, or ride, from either an upper floor 2BR (1,244 sq ft) or lower floor 3BR (1,320 sq ft) unit, impressive dimensions you’ll love living within. There are also lanais, some which have a clear lookout upon the waves to savor as long as you wish.
Kai Lani are of Ko Olina and, in some ways, it feels outside of it as well, with the undeveloped slice of the coast it gazes directly out upon. That latter effect is unique from the other neighborhoods, giving it a dual character that its residents love.
WHERE DO YOU BELONG IN KO OLINA?
Real estate inside these borders is white hot, its desirability taking off significantly with Aulani’s opening and now news of an Atlantis project that’s imminent and more besides. It’s no secret that Ko Olina is thought of as much in terms of investment or solid income properties as a place to make a home.
Whatever your goals or intentions are, that financial upside is there because these homes and these neighborhoods are standouts, even for Hawaii. Each of the 6 communities gives you same, or at least similar, access to the amenities of the resorts, the lagoons and the beautifully maintained grounds that typify the place.
However, it should be obvious now that there’s something exceptional that defines each one distinctly, too. Something that resonates with what you want out of your stake in such an incredible piece of Paradise. Follow that feeling and you’ll know exactly where you need to be in Ko Olina.