Thursday, August 29, 2019

USS Arizona Memorial Reopens

Pearl Harbor
The USS Arizona Memorial will reopen this Sunday, September 1, 2019.

If you plan to visit the memorial, be sure to visit the official visitor information website. Tickets, which are free except for $1 service charge, are available directly by NPS at their official visitor ticketing website.

Also visit the two free museums, exhibits, bookstore, and the virtual reality center. The Battleship Missouri Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, and the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor are open too and have separate admission fees.

Pearl Harbor is open daily from 7am to 5pm (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day). Free parking is available at the visitors center.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Aug 31 Summer Concert Series

Hawaiian concert series

Waimea Valley’s Summer Concert Series

Saturday, August 31 | 3–6:30 p.m.

Head to the North Shore and take in the breathtaking views of Waimea Valley while enjoying some favorite Hawaiian singers and hula hālau. Featured performers in August (marking the last of a three-part series) include Kalani Pe‘a, Kapena and Hālau Hula Olana.
I spent a lot of time here as a kid doing kid things like climbing rocks, swimming and standing under the waterfall. Now aday's you can't do all of that but you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings while listening to great Hawaiian Music and watching authentic Hula on the 31st.
Waimea Valley Main Lawn, $16–$20, waimeavalley.net

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Family Friendly Restaurants near the Beach Villas

Ka'aha'aina Café, Specials
Swing by the Ka'aha'aina Café for a casual homestyle Hawaiian meal with jaw dropping coastal views. This relatively off-the-grid restaurant, tucked behind the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, serves traditional plate lunches piled high with grilled meat, brown rice and fresh greens from MA’O – a local organic farm dedicated to teaching sustainable agricultural practices and Hawaiian culture to underprivileged youth. Choose from the juicy Huli-Huli chicken, tender Kalbi beef strips, or authentic slow roasted Kalua pork. The generous portions can easily be shared. Afterwards work off those delicious calories by exploring the Health Center’s pristine walking trails and tropical gardens. Best of all, as you can see, plate lunch prices are quite reasonable.

Map at 86-260 Farrington Hwy
From our property on lagoon two, exit the main Ko Olina resort gate and go over the overpass to head East by doing a loop de loo instead of the usual turning right (West) to go back towards town. Head 8 miles up the coast, about a 15 minute drive up Farrington Hwy.


Makahiki Buffet

Courtesy of Disney Aulani Resort & Spa
Spend the morning with Mickey and the gang at Aunty's Breakfast Celebration at the Makahiki, in Ko Olina’s Aulani Disney Resort and Spa. While noshing on a delectable buffet spread of tropical fruits, Mickey Mouse shaped waffles, omelets and sweet treats, your little ones will enjoy meeting their favourite Disney friends. Special Hawaiian touches, including an interactive ukulele performance by Aunty and conga dance party, create magical moments for every guest. Simply bring your appetite and sense of childlike wonder to this breakfast extravaganza. Oh, and don’t forget the camera as there are plenty of photo opportunities throughout the dining experience.
From our property on lagoon two, walk out our beach gate next to our beach bar and turn right. Walk next door to the Disney Aulani Resort on lagoon one. It's a quick stroll via the wide beachfront promenade that connects all four of our beachfront lagoons.


Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina

Courtesy of Four Seasons
Seeking culinary perfection? You’re likely to find it at one of Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina’s three family-friendly restaurants. The property’s weekend Brunch for All Seasons is nirvana for foodies, and one of the island’s most popular locales for locals celebrating milestone events. You may need a map to explore the infinite selection of seafood, carving, poke, dim sum and pasta stations on display. Insider tip: avoid the decadent dessert bar until after the kids have satisfied their nutritional requirements. For a unique sea-to-table experience, reserve a sunset spot at the beachfront Mina’s Fish House, where a resident fish concierge offers tableside chats about the restaurant’s fresh daily catch. Order the whole pan-roasted Opakapaka for a delicious family-style meal. If you’re craving delicate handmade pasta, Noe promises to please. The caprese salad, seasonal ravioli and veal cheek ‘Rossini’ are just a few of the restaurant’s must-try signature dishes. Children’s menus at the Four Seasons are equally creative and vary by restaurant. Highlights include Noe’s spaghetti ice cream and the phyllo-crusted fish and chips at Mina’s.
From our property on lagoon two, walk out our beach gate next to the beach bar and turn right. Walk past the Disney Aulani Resort to the Four Seasons Resort on lagoon one. It's a quick stroll via the wide beachfront promenade that connects all four of our beachfront lagoons.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Farmers Market

The Farmers Market at Ka Makana Ali‘i happens every Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Experience the exciting weekly family-friendly farmers market featuring delicious local fruits and vegetables, tropical plants and flowers, locally made treats and prepared foods. Enjoy a stroll through the Center as you sample products and discover unique handcrafted merchandise. Stay awhile and enjoy live local Hawaiian music, entertainment and more!

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