It’s up to you how to navigate through this 62-acre oceanfront Disneyesque golf resort, laced with fantasy pools, lagoons, and a profusion of tropical plants in between three low-rise towers. If you’re in a hurry, take the Swiss-made air-conditioned tram; for a more leisurely ride, handsome mahogany boats ply canals filled with tropical fish. Or just walk a half-mile or so through galleries of Asian and Pacific art on your way to the ample-sized rooms designed for families. In 2013, the resort unveiled the new Makai section of its Lagoon Tower: 161 rooms and eight suites, all ocean view, with upgraded baths (including dual vanities), roomier closets, and high-end bedding, with a sophisticated palette evoking lava and sand. Kids will want to head straight to the 175-foot water slide and 1-acre pool, and will pester you to pony up for the DolphinQuest encounter with Pacific bottlenose dolphins. The actual beach is skimpy here, hence an enormous swimming and watersports lagoon that’s home to green sea turtles and other marine life. There’s also a separate lagoon for swimming with two black-tipped reef sharks for a fee; it’s free to watch the daily feedings at noon. You won’t want for places to eat here, either, although more affordable options are at the two nearby shopping centers.
- Jeanne Cooper