JW Marriott Ihilani refurb hailed

By Shane Nelson
A guestroom at the JW Marriott Ihilani.The JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko Olina, located right next door to Disney's Aulani property on Oahu's west coast, finished up an extensive $30 million renovation earlier this year, overhauling each of its 387 guestrooms while also refurbishing public areas and the resort's pool and redesigning the 35,000-square-foot Ihilani Spa.

The improvements have boosted Oahu business for Susan Tanzman, president of Los Angeles-based Martin's Travel and Tours, who said the redo has been a hit with clients.

"I've had people coming back just raving," she explained. "The upgrades in the rooms have taken the property to another level, [and] my sales of that hotel in the last six months have risen drastically."

Melinda Wittman, a travel consultant at Julie's Travel Desk in Lake Oswego, Ore., is also a fan of the revamped guestrooms and has enjoyed success selling the renovated JW Marriott Ihilani to traveling couples.

"It's just such a romantic property," she said, noting the photogenic views of Oahu's Waianae coastline and the Pacific. "It's a perfect place for honeymooners or destination weddings."

Both agents lauded the resort's dining options, especially the upscale Azul restaurant, but they also tell clients about acclaimed nearby options like Roy's and Monkeypod Kitchen, which have opened in recent years at the master-planned Ko Olina Resort.

"It used to be if you were staying out there, you were stuck," Tanzman said of Ko Olina's dining options. "Not anymore."
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