It’s up to you how to navigate 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. Among the best are the 161 rooms and eight suites in the Lagoon Tower’s Makai section—all ocean view, with upgraded bathrooms (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, hence an enormous swimming lagoon that’s home to sea turtles and other marine life. You won’t want for places to eat here either, although more affordable, intriguing options await at nearby shopping centers and Allen Hess’s Mai Grille.
Note: Self-parking ($27) is not included in the hefty $35 resort fee, so you may as well pay $10 more for valet parking to avoid a long, warm walk.
- Jeanne Cooper