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Marriott Big Island Hawaii. Waikoloa Ocean Club Review

A vacation in Hawaii is the stuff of dreams. I spent a week at Marriott Waikoloa Ocean Club, in Big Island Hawaii. The Big Island is famed for its active volcano. There are lava rocks everywhere.

It’s also an adventure seekers paradise. There’s volcano national park, mountains, waterfalls, hikes and every water sport you can imagine.

Waikoloa Ocean Club is a Marriott Vacation Club Property. This means it has apartments, rather than hotel rooms. I stayed with my wife and kids, so this was perfect. We had a one bed apartment. My wife and kids took the bedroom. I took the sofa bed!

We also had a kitchen and washing machine for our use. I can’t describe how great it is, to have clean clothes every day.

There’s loads to do at the hotel. The property is right on the beach. There’s three swimming pools and four jacuzzis. There’s tennis courts available to use. You also have free beach yoga and aqua fit classes.

I thought the resort was really nice. Hawaii is crazy expensive, however. This hotel charges $1,000 per night. That’s standard price for a beach front resort in Big Island, Hawaii.

In this article, I give two great tricks to save money when you book Marriott Waikoloa Ocean Club. One option is to book a ‘preview package.’ The price is $700 for four nights.

This review is an in-depth guide. Know exactly what it’s like to stay at Marriott Big Island Hi, Waikoloa Ocean Club. I took loads of photos. Each photo can be clicked, and open out to a slideshow.

What I Liked

  • Free activities. Beach Yoga, tennis and aqua fit classes
  • Water Slide
  • Three Swimming Pools and Four Jacuzzis
  • One bed apartment was really classy
  • Beach Front Resort

What Could be Improved

  • No kids club
  • The resort décor is a little dated

The Booking

I’m an owner with Marriott Vacation Club. As such, I used Marriott Vacation Club Points to book one week at the resort. I used 75% of my annual points allocation. The cash rate for the room was $10,625 for one week. This was a great deal. I could never afford to pay cash for the room.

There’s another upside of booking with Marriott Vacation Club. I don’t need to pay a resort fee or car parking charges. That would have come to $40/day. I saved $280 for the week.

There’s a couple of tricks to save money, when you book this resort.

You can visit the resort on a ‘preview package’. You pay $700 for 4 nights. You’ll also receive 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. No resort fees or car parking fees are payable, when you visit on a preview package.

You will need to sit through a 1-hour presentation. Basically a sales pitch for their timeshare program (Marriott Vacation Club). There’s no obligation to buy anything.

To state the obvious, if you don’t want a timeshare, then you shouldn’t buy a timeshare. Just say no! If you don’t want to sit through a presentation, then I wouldn’t book a preview package.

If you do wish to book up a package, then email me and provide the below information:

  • Name
  • Telephone (include country code)
  • Email Address
  • City you live in


Another way to stay here at a discount, is to use Marriott Bonvoy Points. I would have needed 350,000 Bonvoy points to stay here for the week. You can buy that many points for $3,365. Which is a massive saving on $10,625. You can buy Marriott Bonvoy points on this page.

If you’re not a member of Marriott Bonvoy, you can sign up with this link. Get 2,000 bonus points for each of your 1st five bookings. I’ll also receive bonus points. If you prefer that I don’t earn points, then go to Google and search for the Marriott Bonvoy signup page. I’ll never know that you did it! However, you would miss out on 10,000 bonus Bonvoy points.

The Resort

The Marriott Big Island Hi, Waikoloa Ocean Club, is large and sprawling. It has the following facilities

  • Kids pool, infinity pool and ‘sand’ pool
  • Water Slide
  • Tennis court
  • Beach front property
  • One restaurant
  • One cafe


The resort is a ‘horseshoe’ shape. The horseshoe faces out to the sea. The swimming pools are in the centre of the horseshoe. This part of the resort is where most guests spend their time. Everything is in excellent condition.

The resort looks out to the sea. It’s 5 minutes walk to the public beach. There’s a paved path, along the lava rocks – how very Hawaii! The beach isn’t very deep. Although the sand is beautiful and the water is turquoise.

The main restaurant is on the 1st floor, next to the swimming pools. There’s also a café on the 2nd floor, which serves breakfast. The resort is made up of apartments, so many guests make their own food. That’s why there’s only one restaurant.

The lobby is on the 2nd floor. It’s a pretty large lobby. You can sit there and get a nice sea view. It’s not uber-luxurious, like many hotels. This is because Marriott Vacation Club prefer to spend money on the apartments. I like this. I spend more time in the apartment, rather than the lobby.

Parts of the resort do feel dated. Some of the communal areas could do with an update. The corridors are quite dark. The parking lot looks quite old. That being said, the apartment and the pool areas are very nice. Ultimately, the resort doesn’t want to spend lots of money on their corridors. It’s Hawaii. Who wants to spend time in the corridors?!

The tennis court is located at the front of the property, near the parking lot.

Also note that there’s no kids club. I really love to send my kids to a kids club. Make them someone else’s responsibility for a few hours! Sadly, I couldn’t do that on this trip.

The resort has a shop. It has a good range of products. The prices are similar to the shops outside.

 

The Activities. What to do in Big Island Hawaii

The Big Island is big (the clue’s in the name!). Most of the island is empty, and the hotels tend to be secluded. Marriot Waikoloa Ocean Club is located in Waikoloa village. There’s some shops and a supermarket within walking distance of the resort.

The resort is a 20 minute drive from the airport.

The Big Island is one of the four main islands in Hawaii. The others being O‘ahu, Maui and Kauai. The Big Island is an adventure seekers paradise. With dramatic landscapes everywhere.

For an outdoors lover like myself, the place is wonderful. From my visit, there are 3 things I definitely recommend. The volcano, the mountain and the waterfalls.

Volcano national park is in Big Island. Mauna Loa is the largest active volcano in the world. I visited at sunset, with my family. This is the best time to visit. You get a clear view of the lava. The park was really busy at the time, and the visit was lots of fun. It was very atmospheric.

The volcano is about 1 hour 30 minutes drive from the resort.

Mauna Kea is a mountain. It’s located in the centre of the island. 1 hour drive from the resort. It’s 13,803 feet high. You can drive to the top, but you need a 4x4 vehicle. Rental car companies ban you from taking the journey, even if you rent a 4x4.

You can drive to the visitor centre at 9,000 feet with your car. This is what I did. It's also really amazing. You’re above the clouds and the views are awesome.

I also recommend to see the waterfalls. There’s a few to see. My favourite were the ones at Akaka falls state park. It took us 1 hour to drive there from the resort. The waterfalls are exactly like you imagine a waterfall should be.

We also visited the black sand beach. This is on the south of the Island. It’s a 2 hour drive from the Marriott Big Island Hi, Waikoloa Ocean Club. To be honest, it probably wasn’t worth the effort. It’s a beach. It has black sand. The four hour round trip was too far to travel for it!

The Apartment

I loved my one bed apartment! I’ve stayed in bigger apartments, but this one felt very welcoming. It was on the 4th floor.

The apartment had the following features:

  • One Bedroom
  • One bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Living room with sofa bed
  • Two Small balconies
  • Washing machine and dryer
  • Resort view
  • Sea view


I mentioned above, that the resort was a horseshoe shape. My room was on the inside of the horseshoe. It looked over the resort and out towards the sea. However, the view wasn’t panoramic. One side of the sea view was blocked off.

Each morning, I’d make breakfast for my family. I then sat on the balcony with a cup of tea, and gazed out to the sea. A relaxing way to start the day!

The view was really nice. It was probably the 2nd best view at the resort. The best view was from the rooms, at the ends of the horseshoe. These rooms have a panoramic sea view.

The design of the apartment was simple and modern. I liked it a lot. The floor was carpeted. The carpet wasn’t luxury, but it was clean. I find that hotels often have stains on their carpets. Indeed, all of the furniture was in very good condition. Very clean.

The kitchen was good. It had a microwave, dishwasher, utensils, rice maker, blender and toaster. The only thing that was missing was a gas hob. We had to improvise with the microwave. This was a little annoying. We couldn’t make proper dishes in the evening.

That being said, I really like having a kitchen. It means that we can eat healthier. Also, I can avoid spending money on crappy restaurant food.

The kitchen came with some complimentary tea bags from Taylor’s. Which is a good brand. There was also a coffee machine. I didn’t try the coffee machine, so I can’t comment!

The apartment had a washing machine and a tumble dryer. This was a life saver for my family. Going on a long trip with kids. We had lots of dirty clothes. It’s great to wash our clothes, and wear something clean each day.

The apartment had two TVs. One in the living room and one in the bedroom.

The bedroom was comfortable. It had a large double bed with a thick, firm mattress. My wife shared this bed with my two kids. I did get a few minutes to lay on the bed and it was very nice.

The living room had a large sofa, which converted into a bed. This is where I slept. The sofa bed wasn’t all that comfortable. But then again, sofa beds aren’t comfortable!

The Restaurants

There’s a cafe on the 2nd floor, next to the lobby. It’s open between 7am and 11am. You can get pastries, Acai Bowls, smoothies and tea/coffee. You can get breakfast for about $15. I appreciate that the resort offers a low-cost option for breakfast.

I didn’t eat at the café. I had a fully stocked kitchen. I cooked for my family each morning.

The main restaurant is on the 1st floor. They’re open all day, from breakfast to dinner. You can get burgers, pizzas and sandwiches. Very much comfort food!

We had a margherita pizza on the 1st day. It was perfectly acceptable. We also ordered french fries as we sat by the pool.

The Swimming Pools

The swimming pools were my favourite thing about the Marriott Big Island Hi, Waikoloa Ocean Club. They were very impressive. There were the following facilities:

  • Adult Pool
  • Kids Pool
  • Toddler pool with sand
  • Water slide
  • Three jacuzzis
  • Waterfall feature next to the water slide


The swimming pools get quite busy. In the middle of the day, virtually every lounger was taken. That being said, there was always one available.

The water slide is in the kids pool. It was popular with kids and big kids! There’s a waterfall feature next to the slide. Which was pretty nice.

There’s a small toddler pool. This pool was very shallow and had sand at the bottom. The toddler pool was next to the kids pool.

There’s an adult pool, which is above the kids pool. The hotel markets the adult pool as an infinity pool, but it’s not really. Frankly, the adult pool is neither an adult pool nor an infinity pool! Kids can freely access the adult pool. Also, the hotel is 5 minutes walk from the beach. So the pools aren’t right next to the sea. It doesn’t feel like an infinity pool.

There are three separate jacuzzis. Dotted around the pool area.

One of my favourite swimming pools is at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. Review here. They have an amazing rooftop pool, overlooking Beverly Hills. The hotel is the most famous in Los Angeles. It hosts the Golden Globes every year. In the article, I explain how I stayed at the hotel for a 64% discount. 

The Tennis Court

The Marriott Big Island Hi, Waikoloa Ocean Club has a tennis court at the front of the building. I used the court a few times during my stay. Unfortunately, the court is pretty bad. There with loads of cracks. For a resort that charges $1000/night, they really should sort this out.

I’ve shown a couple of photos of the tennis court in the above slideshow.

The Beach

The property is located on the beach. Between the resort and the beach is a small lagoon with lava rocks. Lava rocks are everywhere on the big island! It’s about a five minute walk from the resort to the beach. The beach is public.

On the beach, there are loungers. I’m not sure if these loungers are owned by the hotel. There’s a sign that says that loungers are chargeable. I would hope that use of the loungers is free for hotel guests. But it wasn’t clear. I didn’t spend much time there, so I didn’t ask.

The beach is pretty small, but definitely nice. The sand is beautiful and the water is turquoise. It’s Hawaii after all!

The resort has a beach yoga session at 8am each morning. This is complimentary. It’s pretty cool, as many resorts charge for this. In the Maldives, beach yoga costs $50 per person. I took my family in the morning one day.

Conclusion

Marriott Waikoloa Ocean Club is an excellent option in Big Island, Hawaii. The resort is right on the beach. The pools are in excellent condition. There’s a water slide for the kids and jacuzzis for the adults.

It’s a great option for families. The resort has apartments. We stayed in a one bed apartment with sea view. We were able to wash our clothes and cook our own food.

My only complaint is that the décor was dated. The lobby and corridors need a refresh. That being said, it’s Hawaii, so who cares! Go to the pool, go to the beach or go up a mountain!

I recently flew in Delta One Suites. That’s the name of their international first class. Review here. The seat reclines to a fully flat bed. There’s also a door for privacy. The crew were friendly and the TV was large.

I flew to the Big Island from Los Angeles. I stayed the night at Marriott Los Angeles, before my flight. Review here. The hotel has a free shuttle to the airport. I also had an amazing view the of runway, from my room. That being said, the hotel had the biggest queue I’ve ever seen at a hotel lobby!

I flew in Singapore Air Suites from Frankfurt to New York, JFK. Review here. It’s a 50 foot apartment in the sky! It’s mental! There’s a separate bed and armchair. There was Krug champagne. The service was out of this world.

If you enjoy my content, then great. That’s why I write it! You can join my email list. Get notified of my newest and best content. Happy travels!

 

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