A short drive from KOA airport, along the Big Island’s Kohala Coast, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa rests on the tranquil shores of Anaehoomalu Bay. The location is ideal for water sports and beach relaxation, with stunning sunsets and amazing ocean views offering a picturesque home away from home for a remarkable vacation getaway. Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is a luxury resort accentuated by breathtaking natural landscapes, so you’ll find yourself surrounded by a perfect blend of awe and amenities.
A recent multi-million dollar renovation showcases a contemporary ocean decor highlighted by traditional Hawaiian design elements. I loved how even as expansive the property was, I felt welcomed by an intimate environment with attentive hospitality and courteous guest relations. Guest suites are a few steps from the main gathering spaces and all amenities were within quick reach of my room. The beautiful gardens and grounds are great for exploring, and I loved seeing coffee and fruit trees throughout the property.
During my stay, I enjoyed a king suite with an oceanfront lanai, furnished with comfortable outdoor seating perfect for taking in the beachfront view. My room was tastefully decorated with luxurious linens and an assortment of plush furniture. I loved the bright airy feeling of my spacious room, and appreciated the in-room amenities of a mini fridge, coffee maker, aromatic Thann toiletries, bathrobes, and plenty of electrical outlets to keep my travel gadgets charged.
For my stay at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, I savored the extensive breakfast buffet offerings at Hawaii Calls Restaurant & Lounge. The variety was incredible and the hot entrees were fresh, along with a made-to-order omelet station. I appreciated the abundance of fresh fruits, juices, and pastries, and the seating was fabulous with an open air layout facing the beach.
In the evening, the Sunset Lu’au offered one of the best luau menus I have experienced. The buffet offered fresh, delicious entrees focused on local ingredients and regional recipes, while the bar highlighted island cocktails and local breweries. The Polynesian entertainment was engaging, with fire dancers and hula, and a well-rounded celebration of traditional island culture.
Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is a luxurious property with a plethora of on-site activities and experiences. I adored the beautiful, expansive pool area with a variety of pool options and a winding water slide. There’s an ample supply of lounge chairs and gathering areas, as well as cabana rentals if you prefer to relax in the shade.
Right before you get to the sandy beach, the property has a fabulous ancient fishpond worth exploring. Signs help guests identify the natural landscape and fish swimming through the lagoons, and this is a really cool opportunity to spot native puhi (eel), kumu (goatfish), and kaku (barracuda). Petroglyphs throughout the property provide additional insight into the historical landscape of the Big Island.
On-site beach activity rentals range from snorkel gear to boogie boards, kayaks to paddle boards, and you’ll love the easy access to the sandy beach stretching across the resort property. Note that there is opportunity to witness marine life in their natural habitat, including green sea turtles, so keep an eye out for these beauties but be sure to respect their space.
Waikoloa Beach Marriott neighbors exciting championship golf courses and hosts a full-service Mandara Spa. Across the street, you’ll find a great selection of fashions, souvenirs, and home decor at Kings’ Shops and Queens’ Marketplace. I particularly loved perusing all the island inspired home accent pieces. These two open air plazas also offer an assortment of additional dining venues, ranging from grab-and-go to fine dining establishments. The plazas are directly across the street from Waikoloa Beach Marriott so you can pop in and out for refreshments and shopping day or night.
Coffee lovers will want to spend a day exploring the Kona coffee district. I enjoyed a visit to Hula Daddy Kona Coffee tucked away on hilly slopes and, in the downtown Kailua-Kona waterfront district, I found a variety of beans to take home from Surfin’ Ass Coffee Co. In this touristy district where cruise ships dock, you’ll find a broad range of cafes and eateries, souvenir retailers, and artisan crafts. The waterfront is great to explore for shopping and entertainment options. While in the area, be sure to visit Kona Brewing Co’s pub and brewery for a bite to eat accompanied by an assortment of brews. I love the crisp flavor of their Longboard Island Lager. For another special island treat, head to Punalu’u Bake Shop for fresh Malasadas—a decadent, sweet donut you’ll find celebrated around the island. Go for classic chocolate or try lilikoi glazed for a unique treat.
On its own, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa offers an island oasis resort with amazing amenities, on-site dining, and a breathtaking beach. Combined with the proximity to area shopping and island attractions, the resort provides an ideal location to call home for a luxurious beach getaway. Waikoloa Beach Marriott is part of Marriott International’s Hawaii Resorts Collection, comprised of six oceanfront Autograph Collection and Marriott Resorts across four Hawaii islands.
Lori A. May is a Seattle-based travel writer.
Photo credits: CT Shier.
A portion of this itinerary was coordinated by Waikoloa Beach Marriott.