These Lagoon Projects Are Popping Up All Over the World. Could O‘ahu Be Next?

Residential and resort developers alike have expressed interest in the oversize pools.
Lagoon Egypt
Photos: Courtesy of Crystal Lagoons


Recently, Pedro Pablo Aresti was in Honolulu to meet with local developers about the giant lagoons his company has created around the world. The company, based in Miami, started with a 20-acre lagoon in San Alfonso del Mar, Chile, in 2000, when a developer wanted to create a second-home destination along a beautiful piece of coastline. The water off Chile never tops 50 degrees and the rip currents are dangerous, thus Crystal Lagoons was born. Now, there are 600 lagoon projects underway in 60 countries around the world. Could O‘ahu be next?


We were skeptical at first, because, really, have you seen our ocean? Then we took a harder look, and it’s difficult not to be a bit dazzled by the photos of all that clean, sparkling lagoon water and the technology behind it.

  Lagoon Chile


Another benefit: Aresti says these large lagoons use 100 times fewer chemicals than traditional pools. They’re monitored in real time and given pulses of chemicals only as needed, and, instead of being filtered constantly like most pools, they use ultrasound waves to push particles to the center, where a suction system cleans the pool.


In Las Vegas, the Wynn will be replacing its golf course with a 38-acre lagoon early next year. The result will be a 30-percent decrease in water consumption and a 50-percent decrease in energy consumption for the company.


These things aren’t salt water, like some of O‘ahu’s existing lagoons. There is sand along the shore, concrete to 6 feet deep, and then the lagoon is lined with a nonconcrete liner. Right now, there are 15 contracts underway on the Mainland. In Tampa, a new residential neighborhood with a lagoon is outselling its competition by about 15 percent.

  Lagoon Chile


How much does it cost to get a lagoon of your own? Most installation estimates are between $500,000 and $700,000 an acre.


While in town, Aresti met with residential and resort developers here on O‘ahu. Meetings were introductory in nature, but he expects to be back soon.