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JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina Resort & Spa

Kapolei, Hawaii

By Roger Cox, Editor

Almost the first news I heard about JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & SpaIhilani when it opened in December 1993 was that its six artificial grass courts had been built atop a parking garage. That hardly seemed to bode well for the resort's interest in tennis. Suspending disbelief, however, I picked up a rental car in Honolulu Airport and drove west—in the opposite direction from Waikiki—on a lightly trafficked highway. Less than 25 minutes later, I was looking up at a six-story parking tower thinking this just can't work.

But it does, in quite unexpected ways. Laid out end to end in two lines the three, the courts cascade down a series of terraces. A central walkway separates the two banks and has room for wooden tables and chairs and planters full of flowers. Windscreens along the outside fences were taken down for a photo shoot and never put back up because everyone was thrilled by the views west along the coast over the Ted Robinson golf course—views all the better for being higher up. Staff delivers pitchers of ice water to the courts, there's a tiny cafe for light breakfasts and lunches and a small but full-service pro shop. Meanwhile the spa, fitness center and its outdoor swimming pool are just one floor below, while the opulent 17-story hotel—designed by the same architect as the Phoenician and Mauna Lani Bay Hotel—is just a short walk away behind a sublime lagoon lined with a thick horseshoe of sand.

Ken Nakama, who played for Chapman University in southern California, runs the program. At the moment that consists primarily of an adult and a junior clinic, private lessons, and game matching, though when last we spoke Nakama had plans to expand what he offers. Once I find out what that consists of, I'll update the information here.

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Rooms and suites are available. See the website for detailsl and rates.

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JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina Resort & Spa
92-1001 Olani St.
Kapolei, HI 96707
Toll-free: 800-626-4446
Fax: 808-679-0080
Web Link: JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina Resort & Spa

Travel Essentials

Seasons. Year-round.

General Tourist Information. Visit the Oahu Visitors Bureau website or contact them at 2270 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 801, Honolulu, HI 96815. Phone: 877-525-6248. Or for information about Hawaii as a whole, visit the Hawaii Visitors Bureau website or contact them at 2270 Kalakaua Ave., Suite 801, Honolulu, HI 96815. Phone: 800-464-2924.

©2017 Roger Cox

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©2017 Roger Cox