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Ko Olina is a relatively new resort community and high end residential development found on the west side of Oahu. Ko Olina is found in the Waianae area, against the backdrop of the Waianae Mountain Range. Ko Olina has a rich history dating back to its early inhabitation by Native Hawaiian royalty. Before the Hawaiian Islands were discovered by Captain Cook during the eighteenth century, the Ko Olina area was used by Hawaiian royalty as a resort and vacation spot. Modern residents of and visitors to the Ko Olina area have developed the same appreciation for the natural beauty of the area as the kings and queens of old Hawaii. The most distinctive natural feature of Ko Olina is a series of lagoons along the western coast of Oahu. There are a total of seven crescent lagoons along the shore of Ko Olina, accentuating miles of beautiful white sand. Ko Olina became especially popular towards the end of the twentieth century, when investors became increasingly interested in bringing the lucrative tourist economy out to the west side of Oahu. Previously, the tourist industry had been focused almost exclusively on the east and southern coasts thanks to destinations such as Waikiki and Haunama Bay.
Ko Olina is centered on the Ko Olina Resort and Marina, which gradually developed from a beach resort into a large master planned community. The Ko Olina Resort alone covers more than six hundred total acres, while other developments extend up and down the Leeward Coast. The largest components of the Resort include Ko Olina Beach Villas Resort, the Aulani Disney Resort, the Ko Olina Golf Club, and the Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina Resort. Ko Olina is home to some of the best golf facilities in the state of Hawaii, and some Ko Olina communities were intentionally constructed around golf courses. The best known golf course in the Ko Olina area is the Ko Olina Golf Club, which covers approximately one hundred and seventy acres. The Ko Olina Golf Club has hosted a wide variety of major tournaments over the last two decades. Since it was opened in 1990, the Ko Olina Golf Club has been home to the LPGA Tour’s Hawaiian Ladies Open, the Senior PGA Tour’s Ko Olina Senior Invitational, and the Fields Open in Hawaii. The par-72 course is also home to the Ko Olina Golf Academy and Roy’s Ko Olina restaurant.
Educational opportunities in the Ko Olina area are offered by a number of public and private schools in the larger Kapolei area. The public schools that serve Ko Olina are the Barbers Point Elementary School, Kapolei Middle School, and Kapolei High School. Due to the upscale nature of many of the developments in Ko Olina, a number of residents choose to send their children to popular private schools such as Iolani and Punahou. Properties in Ko Olina range from million dollar mansions to relatively affordable townhomes at developments such as the Ko Olina Golf Estates, the Ko Olina Fairways, Kai Lani, Coconut Plantation and the Ko Olina Fairways. Ko Olina hosts two of the best known cultural shows on the west coast of Oahu, the Fia Fia Polynesian Dinner Show and the Stars Above Hawaii Show. Ko Olina is also home to the annual Taste of Kapolei as well as the Ko Olina Triathlon Sport and Fitness Festival. Ko Olina maintains a wide variety of shopping opportunities in the region, such as those offered by the Ko Olina Station and Center, the Marketplace at Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club, and the Ko Olina Marina Shop. Ko Olina maintains one of the only marinas on the island, which contrasts with the rugged beauty of the Waianae Mountain range behind the resort.