Friday, April 12, 2019

April 27 Children’s Festival Ko Olina



The 6th Annual Ko Olina Children’s Festival on April 27th, 2019 will be Disney Pixar’s ‘Incredibles 2’ as the Feature Sunset Film on the beach.

Our 3br/3ba villa is available with a check-in date of April 27th, 2019 and we are right next door to the Disney Aulani which is where the festivities are held. Check our rates and compare, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Fly in on an early morning flight from the Mainland on Hawaiian Airlines or from Japan on ANA featuring their new Airbus A380 double decker or JAL, drop off your bags and have a fun filled day with your Keiki.

The family-friendly afternoon is filled with arts & crafts activities, an interactive percussion studio, superhero booths and a sunset movie on the beach.

It’s a day where imagination soars to new heights and keiki can be the incredible superhero they’ve always dreamed they could be. The finale of the 6th Annual Ko Olina Children’s Festival begins just as the sun starts to set, as the bustling activities quiet down and families begin to find a comfortable spot on the beach. This year’s festival will showcase Disney • Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” as the sunset feature film on the beach, along with a showing of the popular short film “Bao.”

The Hardings--
Homeowners & Proprietors, the Beach Villa Resort

The Beach Villa Resort is located in West Oahu within the beautiful Ko Olina Resort. We offer luxurious vacation rentals with two and three bedroom villas right on the beach. Luxury hotel accommodations and amenities at condo prices.

The Ko Olina Resort is located 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and just over a half-hour’s drive from downtown. If you've been to the Paradise Cove Luau or have been shuttled from Waikiki to golf, you've already been to our beautiful resort. Click HERE for reservations

Thursday, April 11, 2019

July 13 Haleiwa Arts Festival



The 22nd Annual Haleiwa Arts Festival is quickly approaching! My artist friend Lynne Boyer will be displaying her paintings at booth #16 during the Haleiwa Arts Festival on July 13th & 14th, 2019.


Picking up our painting from Artist Lynn Boyer


You can also see Lynne's work in our condo when you stay in our families three bedroom vacation villa at the Beach Villas at Ko Olina.

The North Shore painting in our living room


At the Haleiwa Arts Festival, approximately 140 juried visual artists with original works and limited editions, both traditional and contemporary, in oil, acrylic, ceramic, photography, sculpture, watercolor, fabric, serigraphy, jewelry, and glass as well as other media will be on display. The art will be available for viewing, browsing, and purchase directly from the artists. Items will be available at all price points from inexpensive to expensive and in-between.

Visit Lynne at booth #16 , which is nearby the "Cool Things to Buy" tent. She will have lots of new "hot off the easel" Original Oil on Canvas paintings as well as her large selection of Giclées on Canvas and Paper.

Here are three of Lynne's latest works:

"Chun's Morning Charm" 9" x 21" x 1/2" Oil On Canvas Panel


"Haleiwa Rainbow Bridge" 16" x 20" Oil On Canvas Gallery Wrap


"Kailua Magic" 9" x 22" Oil On Canvas

We support our local Hawaiian artists and hope that you enjoy the art pieces in our three bedroom, three bathroom condo, during your next Hawaiian Vacation at the Beach Villas at Ko Olina. We have filled our home with Aloha and we hope you enjoy the results. (If not, we also have other villas that contain more hotel type furnishings if that's to your liking.)

I grew up near the beach in Lynne's painting and it brings back many childhood memories. Create your own family memories during your next visit and then pick up an art piece at the Haleiwa Arts Festival. It will be a great way to remember your time here in our little slice of paradise, the Beach Villas at Ko Olina on Oahu, Hawaii. It would be our pleasure!

The Hardings--
Homeowners & Proprietors, the Beach Villa Resort

The Beach Villa Resort is located in West Oahu within the beautiful Ko Olina Resort. We offer luxurious vacation rentals with two and three bedroom villas right on the beach. Luxury hotel accommodations and amenities at condo prices.

The Ko Olina Resort is located 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and just over a half-hour’s drive from downtown. If you've been to the Paradise Cove Luau or have been shuttled from Waikiki to golf, you've already been to our beautiful resort. Click HERE for reservations

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Nearby Shave Ice in Kapolei


After a fun day at the beach, head over to Island Shave Ice and Creamery in Kapolei for a cool treat. They have some of the best shave ice on the Island and are the go to shave ice spot on the Westside. If you're not in the mood for a shave ice, they also have Roselani Ice Cream, Crepes, Milkshakes and other assorted items.

My personal favorite Shave Ice flavors are POG, Mango and Lilikoi. Their syrup flavors are of high quality and very tasty. With a solid 4.6 Google rating and a 4.5 Yelp rating, the majority of their customers agree!

Holoholo over to Kapolei for some Ono shave ice, it would be our pleasure.

The Hardings--
Homeowners & Proprietors, the Beach Villa Resort

Island Shave Ice and Creamery is on Kamokila Blvd in Kapolei, next door to our favorite Italian Restaurant, Assaggios and Chun Wa Kam, our favorite Kapolei Manapua spot.

The Beach Villa Resort is located in West Oahu within the beautiful Ko Olina Resort. We offer luxurious vacation rentals with two and three bedroom villas right on the beach. Luxury hotel accommodations and amenities at condo prices.

The Ko Olina Resort is located 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and just over a half-hour’s drive from downtown. If you've been to the Paradise Cove Luau or have been shuttled from Waikiki to golf, you've already been to our beautiful resort. Click HERE for reservations

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Ko Olina Dining

Ko Olina Dining Options while vacationing at the Beach Villas

It's tempting to cook in our fully kitted kitchens with Sub Zero, Wolf & Fisher-Paykel appliances. You're on vacation though, so venture out and try out our local dining scene.

Here is a list of our families favorite restaurants in the Ko Olina Resort and the Kapolei area. All of these restaurants are convenient and close to our property, the Beach Villas at Ko Olina. For reference, our property, the Beach Villa Resort is located on Lagoon Two.

Within the Ko Olina Resort:
Lagoon Two (Beach Villas) - The Beach Bar is open from noon until seven thirty in the evening and has live music on Wednesday's. (Sunset is around 6:00 pm) Beer, wines, cocktails, sodas, water and "Brain Freezes" for the kids are available. The Beach Bar is for the exclusive use of our guests so it's not crowded. The staff is always ready to talk story with you and is also able to book excursions for you such as surfing lessons or to the luau.

We also have BBQ grills on the property by the lagoon pool. One exit down on the highway (a 5 minute drive) is our personal favorite, Costco. They sell USDA Prime Beef and fresh fish (The Ahi steaks are fantastic, marinate them in some huli huli sauce, garlic & ginger) and grill poolside with our outdoor Wolf BBQ grills. Grill out by the pool, swim, eat, watch the sunset, not a bad way to end the day.

Lagoon One (One lagoon over from the Beach Villas)
The Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina has a pool side bar, the Waterman Bar & Grill adjacent to the family pool which is great for sunset cocktails with food truck cuisine.

Fine dining options include the Fish House overlooking lagoon one, La Hiki Kitchen on the main pool level, and Noe for fine southern Italian cuisine.

There is also the lounge Hokulea for a perfect morning break and live entertainment from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm by the Serenity Pool.

The property also has the Naupaka Spa, reserve in advance.

The Disney Aulani Resort and Spa is also located on this lagoon and many of our guests with Keiki enjoy reserving the Disney Character Breakfast called Aunty's Breakfast Celebration at the restaurant Makahiki. You must reserve in advance and I suggest reserving it months ahead, or as soon as possible.

Activities include Aunty taking the Keiki around the restaurant in a parade and interacting with Mickey, Minnie and Goofy during breakfast.

It's also fun to walk around the resort after breakfast, hit the gift shop for some unique Disney Hawaiiana and relax.

The property also has the Laniwai Spa if you are able to schedule some down time or are traveling without Keiki in tow. Reserve in advance.

Lagoon Three (One lagoon over from the Beach Villas)
Longboard's on Lagoon Three is good for lunch, it overlooks the beach which is great for sunset drinks. Longboard's is one of our favorite lunch spots.

Longhi's is also located here serving Italian cuisine, steaks and seafood.

Directions: All of the establishments on Lagoon One and Three are about a five minute stroll along the oceanfront promenade, a palm lined pathway that connects all of the lagoons together. Just head out our gate next to the Beach Bar. Right is Lagoon One, Left is Lagoon Three as you head out the gate, facing towards the ocean.

Dining at the Golf Course within the Ko Olina Resort:
Located between lagoon's one and two at the 18th hole.
Roy's is great for Pupu's and listening to live music on Wednesday's while overlooking the 18th hole. Roy's is also a full service restaurant, their Chocolate Soufflé is famous. The restaurant is a short walk along the golf course or you can drive over.

Ko Olina Station Shopping Center located behind the new Disney Aulani Resort. On the entrance road to Coconut Plantation.

Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman's is our favorite dining spot in Ko Olina. They opened in 2012 and we've been fans ever since. They have 36 craft brews on tap served at 29 degrees, kiawe wood oven pizza, and live music twice a day. I like their No Ka Oi cocktail which has ocean vodka, thai basil, lime, simple syrup and honey-lilikoi puree. We enjoy their fish dishes and rib eye steak with wasabi mashed potatoes is excellent.

Just Taco's, we had dinner here the other night and my son went on and on about the Tamales. We spoke with the General Manager who is from Baja California and the owners mom hand makes all of the Tamales herself. You could tell as they were quite tasty.

Also try the Molcajete's which is their specialty. A Molcajete as quoted by someone on Yelp, is "Shrimp, steak and chicken swimming in melted cheese".

I didn't enjoy my Fish Tacos as much. Having spent some time in Ensenada, Mexico I know what a great fish taco tastes like. Since the GM is from that part of the world, I thought they would be similar but they lost something in translation. Also, the Margarita's were way too sweet but they do have a great Tequila selection.

Dessert was over at the new Two Scoops Ice Cream Parlor and Tea Room, right across from Just Taco's. You can't miss Two Scoops as it's on the right at the entrance of the shopping center. The owner is very nice and friendly and enjoy's chatting with customers.

Two Scoops serves David Lappert's home made Hawaiian ice cream from Kauai. Lappert’s Hawaii was founded in 1983 and is based in Hanapepe. Their super premium ice creams come in both classic and island flavors, and all are produced locally in small batches.

My sons favorite is the Coconut, Pineapple & Lilikoi (passionfruit) Sorbet. My wife and daughter stick with their traditional chocolate Ice Cream.

Personally I love all of Mr. Lappert's flavors but Two Scoops is expensive and they don't give a lot of ice cream for the price. The store is really cute and the owner is really nice, so I'm hoping that they increase their scoop size to match their price. If I'm paying Häagen-Dazs prices, I want Häagen-Dazs sized scoops.

Hawaiian Bar-b-Que serves local plate lunch food and the manager of the Ko Olina Sports Club said the food here is really "Ono". Ono is delicious in Hawaiian.

They serve the assortment of dishes that you would expect in a plate lunch joint and they also make party sized trays in case you would like to host a gathering in our guest lounge and would like to bring in some prepared food. We have a catering kitchen in the guest lounge which is perfect for staging the food for your invited guests. Our guests who are here for weddings enjoy hosting their rehearsal dinner in the guest lounge for example.

Eggs 'n Things recently opened and serves breakfast all day long and lunch/dinner items after noon. They are the latest addition to the Ko Olina station shopping center. They have locations all around the Island with lines out the door. They have great omelets with fresh ingredients along with local favorites including Loco Moco. The pancakes and waffles are good as well. The menu is very large and they have plenty of daily specials for even the pickiest eater. We have a couple of those in our family!

We hope this gets you started with a great list of restaurant choices in Ko Olina, have a great vacation! From our Ohana to Yours. It would be our pleasure.

The Hardings--
Homeowners & Proprietors, the Beach Villa Resort


The Beach Villa Resort is located in West Oahu within the beautiful Ko Olina Resort. We offer luxurious vacation rentals with two and three bedroom villas right on the beach. Luxury hotel accommodations and amenities at condo prices.

The Ko Olina Resort is located 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and just over a half-hour’s drive from downtown. If you've been to the Paradise Cove Luau or have been shuttled from Waikiki to golf, you've already been to our beautiful resort. Click HERE for reservations

Monday, March 11, 2019

A Family Favorite



 Monkeypod  Kitchen






Monkeypod Kitchen from Wailea on Maui has opening an outpost in the Ko Olina Resort on Oahu. The food is delicious and one of our families favorite places to eat. They continue to win awards every year in the Hale Aina awards. Their made from scratch food includes delicious cream pies, burgers and pizzas. The restaurant features an exhibition kitchen, sushi bar and 36 craft beers on tap. Yum Yum!

The restaurant is so popular that they are getting ready to expand. We can't wait to share this restaurant with you, it would be our pleasure!


The Hardings--
Homeowners & Proprietors, the Beach Villa Resort

The Beach Villa Resort is located in West Oahu within the beautiful Ko Olina Resort. We offer luxurious vacation rentals with two and three bedroom villas right on the beach. Luxury hotel accommodations and amenities at condo prices.

The Ko Olina Resort is located 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and just over a half-hour’s drive from downtown. If you've been to the Paradise Cove Luau or have been shuttled from Waikiki to golf, you've already been to our beautiful resort. Click HERE for reservations

Friday, January 25, 2019

Sammy Hagar's Mai Tai Recipe

Enjoy Sammy Hagar's new Beach Bar Rum which is being distilled on Maui in partnership with Sammy Hagar and Haliimaile Distilling Company. (Love Bev Gannon's food at Haliimaile but you'll have to take a trip over to upcountry Maui.)

Instead of a trip to Maui, run over to the resort's Island Country Market in the Ko Olina Station and pick up a bottle of Sammy Hagar's Beach Bar Rum made from Hawaii-grown sugar cane. Just walk or drive over and you'll be making Sammy's cocktail in no time!

Your villa comes with a cocktail blender, glasses and a Sub Zero Fridge with an Ice Maker. The perfect ingredients to start the perfect Mai Tai. Feel those tropical breezes? How about a breathtaking sunset? It's just another beautiful day in paradise.

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Ingredients: 1½ oz. Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, ½ oz. orange curacao, ¾ oz. lychee* juice/syrup, and 1 oz. fresh sour.

Directions: Pour ingredients over ice into a cocktail shaker. Shake, then strain into a rocks glass, drizzle dark rum into the cocktail, garnish and serve.

According to a press release, “Unlike other premium rums, which follow a standard one-year maturation period for the cane, (cane used in) Sammy's Beach Bar Rum matures for a full two years, giving the sugar from the cane its intense character.”

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Sammy Hagar was the lead singer in Van Halen and he is a part time Maui resident. The rum business came about by accident after he met Mark Nigbur, a Maui local who makes vodka out of pineapples. Nigbur, looks like Hagar which is an interesting coincidence.

"He was in the middle of a sugar cane field, so I asked him, 'Why don't you make rum?,'" Hagar recalled. "He said, 'Dude, you want me to make you some rum?' Two weeks later he comes over with this barrel and, I'm telling you, it was the greatest thing I've ever tasted in my life."

Monin Flavored Syrup
*Lychee is a chinese fruit that is available at farmers markets around Oahu and in Chinatown. You can also check on-line at amazon. Buy the 1883 Lychee Syrup from France or Monin Flavored Syrup. Ship it to your villa and we'll have it waiting for you upon arrival.







So come enjoy your cocktail with us in paradise, it would be our pleasure!

The Hardings--
Homeowners & Proprietors, the Beach Villa Resort

The Beach Villa Resort is located in West Oahu within the beautiful Ko Olina Resort. We offer luxurious vacation rentals with two and three bedroom villas right on the beach. Luxury hotel accommodations and amenities at condo prices.

The Ko Olina Resort is located 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and just over a half-hour’s drive from downtown. If you've been to the Paradise Cove Luau or have been shuttled from Waikiki to golf, you've already been to our beautiful resort. Click HERE for reservations

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Disney Aulani Resort dining options


From the time the Disney Aulani Resort and Spa first opened, the world wide press has been beating down their door. We appreciate the attention, as it provides a nice experience for our guests staying at the Beach Villa Resort at Ko Olina next door as well.

The Disney Aulani Resort in Ko Olina provides our guests with some additional dining options, just a short stroll away. Our two resorts are connected via a wide manicured promenade that fronts our beach. Click here for online reservations for Ama Ama and Makahiki or call 674-6200


Have a cocktail before dinner

Ama Ama (the Hawaiian word for small mullet) is the resorts fine dining option. The restaurant is right on the water and it's the first place you'll see, when walking over from the Beach Villas.

Dining - 'AMA 'AMA
Ama Ama Beachfront Location

Ama Ama is open for breakfast 7-11 a.m., lunch 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., and dinner 5:30-10 p.m. with each service having it's own distinct breakfast menu, lunch menu & dinner menu.

Within Ama Ama there are three seating areas, the first representing 1890's Hawaii, the next 1940's Hawaii, and the last, present day Hawaii.

Breakfast, order dishes that have Fried Rice and/or Portuguese sausage in them. Yum Yum!

Lunch, have the local plate lunch, your in luck if it's a day when they're serving the Hawaiian lunch with lomi lomi salmon, chicken long rice, poke, kalua pig, fresh catch of the day, pulehu (the Hawaiian word for "broil over a fire") meat and furikake (a Japanese mixture of dried bonito flakes and seaweed) which is sprinkled over rice. The other local plate lunches are typically good as well.

Appetizers start at around $10, entrees range from $12-30, and desserts and cocktails are $10. There's a separate keiki menu where you choose an entree and either an appetizer or a dessert.

During the dinner hour, enjoy excellent live hapa haole and jazz music to get you in a Hawaiian state of mind. To further the mood, order the Aulani Wave, made with coconut rum, a mango-and-passion-fruit liqueur, and pineapple juice.  Perfect!  Dinner entrees such as the fresh catch of the day or a grilled steak range from $30.00 - $60.00. The Kahuku Corn Chowder is a favorite as a starter.

Expect to spend on average, around $300.00 for dinner for four. Breakfast and lunch are less.

After dinner, walk over to the fire pit right outside of Ama Ama and enjoy fireside storytelling under the stars. Another perfect day in paradise!


Dining - Makahiki
Entrance to Makahiki

Makahiki (Hawaiian for the New Year and Winter celebration) is the buffet restaurant at Aulani. Breakfast and dinner are served and the last time I checked, the buffet was around $32.00 for the Character Breakfast on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, $27.00 for the non Character Breakfast and $43.00 for Dinner. Make reservations in advance as the restaurant is quite busy on character breakfast days and the weekends.

Makahiki Dining Room, Mural by Solomon Enos

At breakfast, you may have traditional American food such as Mickey waffles, pancakes, bacon and eggs including an omelet station; Japanese food (lots of Japanese visitors) with the traditional Japanese breakfast of miso soup with dried seaweed, pickled vegetables and rice; Chinese food includes dim sum (steamed buns with BBQ pork, shrimp dumplings and pork xiao mai) and congee (Chinese porridge).

The dinner buffet contains items such as sushi, crab legs, shrimp cocktail, raw oysters, fresh seafood, a prime rib carving station, guava BBQ pork ribs, roasted chicken, fried noodles, nishime (Japanese vegetable stew), mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, pasta, tater tots, spring rolls, tempura fried onions and taro, a local staple. (Personally I love taro but it's an acquired taste.) Dessert includes apple cobbler, caramel bread pudding, cookies and mini pastries.

Make sure to eat one of my favorite Hawaiian dishes, Laulau. It is pork and fish, wrapped in taro leaves (similar to spinach). which is then wrapped in tea leaves. It is then cooked along side the Kalua Pig in the underground Imu or steamed. You peel open the tea leaves and it reveals an aromatic and yummy present.

Olelo Room - is Aulani's fun interactive lounge that offers continental breakfast, traditional afternoon tea and a Hawaiian inspired food menu. The cocktail service includes the “Ike Mua” (“Drink of the Day”) among tropical and classic cocktail such as mojitos, margaritas, sangria and Hawaiian beer and wine.

Papalua Shave Ice - In the middle of the pool area at the Aulani Resort. $3.75. Flavors include Green Tea, Guava, Haupia, Lemon Lime, Li-Hing-Mui, Lilikoi, Lychee, Mango, Orange, Root Beer, Vanilla and Watermelon. Your on vacation, don't play it safe! Have up to three flavors, my favorites are Li-Hing-Mui (crack seed), Lilikoi (passion fruit) and Lychee (chinese fruit); also like Haupia (coconut) and Guava, but I'm allergic to Guava's, go figure.

I grew up in Hale'iwa eating Matsumoto's Shave Ice, the "Meca" of Shave Ice. It's interesting that the Aulani Shave Ice Stand is named "Papalua". The street I grew up on is called Papailoa Road, (right next to Police Beach where Lost was filmed). Papalua sure sounds a lot like Papailoa! See my Hale'iwa Shave Ice blog here.

So come enjoy some "Ono" grinds with us in paradise, it would be our pleasure!

The Hardings--
Homeowners & Proprietors, the Beach Villa Resort

The Beach Villa Resort is located in West Oahu within the beautiful Ko Olina Resort. We offer luxurious vacation rentals with two and three bedroom villas right on the beach. Luxury hotel accommodations and amenities at condo prices.

The Ko Olina Resort is located 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and just over a half-hour’s drive from downtown. If you've been to the Paradise Cove Luau or have been shuttled from Waikiki to golf, you've already been to our beautiful resort. Click HERE for reservations