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“Great family resort” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   92-1185 Ali'inui Drive, Kapolei, Oahu, HI 96707   |  
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Ranked #2 of 3 hotels in Kapolei
vancouver
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great family resort”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012 via mobile

We stayed for 1 week in November as a family of four.
Highlights: exceptional service, great pools and slides for kids, mostly free kids club, calm lagoon for swimming, activities all day long.
Room for improvement: expensive food at resort.

By completing online check-in before you arrive, you are handed your room keys and info packet when you get out of your car and don't need to go to the front desk.Everyone is friendly, welcoming and do a good job answering your questions. After a brief tour of the impressive lobby, we went to our room which had a queen bed and sofa pull-out for the girls. The bathroom was large, wifi signal excellent, and balcony space adequate. We booked a standard view, which was of the West Oahu mountains and the parking garage. It would have been nice if the architect had included a "green"/Eco-roof with plants or trees at the top of the parking garage to improve the view. I also would have been happy with a peacock tied to a tiki statue or something equally Hawaiian, but I digress.
The pool and beach area always had chairs available, and amazingly the umbrellas and chairs at the beach were free. Also, for a first, the staff actually removed towels from "saved" chairs if they were unoccupied after an hour. The rainbow reef was fun for snorkeling, although a little on the cold side. Life vests and towels were readily available for use.
We used the grill by the lawn a few nights to grill some steaks and enjoyed the ocean-walk to the other lagoons/properties.
Kids loved the kids club and we took advantage of them staying for dinner while we drank Mai Tai's.
Would stay here again, but only if we brought the kids.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (640)
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English first
Melbourne
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

This is the best hotel we've ever stayed in. Outstanding, professional and courteous staff complemented by a well thought out resort. Well done Disney, what a great place and all your 'cast members' are an absolute credit to you. A big thanks to Dayna who was fabulous on our arrival as well as Nalani and Crystal who went the extra mile to sort out the mix up with the Character Brakfast for our son's 4th birthday. Another big thanks to Nicole, Brittany, Gerald and Gordon at Ama, Ama for looking after us for our son's special birthday dinner. You are all very kind, considerate professionals and the reason we would happily travel all the way from Australia to stay here again. Also, it might sound like a little thing but in true Disney form, there are spotless trash cans everywhere (nothing worse than searching for one) and the place is spotless. My only suggestions are 1) put a club soda button on the Sprite option at the beverage station, it helps to dilute the sodas and sugar 2) Offer your sensational fruit salad that's available at One Paddle, Two Paddle in the evenings at Mama's Snack Shop during the day 3) think about adding an Asian option like a Wok Station that does great noodles and fried rice, particularly for guests staying more than a few days. All in all, Disney Aulani is a special place whether you're an adult or a child, enjoy!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

We travelled here in an off peak time, mid November, and the resort was pretty quiet. There was also some refurbishments going on, so part of the resort accomodations were closed, making for fewer guests. We are DVC members and enjoy the more relaxed feel of a Disney property, rather than the hustle and bustle of the parks. In saying that, the weekends did get busier with more locals staying for a night or two. The beach and lagoon is about 10 steps in front of this property and there are chairs for guests to use and beach rentals for the lagoon and beach. You must have a wrist band on to identify yourself as a resort guest or they ask you to leave and you cannot purchase food or drinks or rentals if you are not a resort guest. There are many activities for kids, most are complimentary like fish feeding and a pool party with characters and some have a small equipment cost like tie dying or surfing lessons. There is an exclusive teen area and spa, as well as an adult spa with every service you could imagine, but with a cost. If you have a one or two bedroom suite with a full kitchen and washer and dryer, there is a costco only 10 minutes via cab ($18 one way) where you can purchase cheap food and booze if you are a Costco member.... Or there is a small ABC market across the street that also sells groceries and Hawaiian souvenirs at a good discounted cost as compared to the resort. Near the ABC market are 2 casual dining restaurants... one called Just Tacos and another called Hawaiian B-B-Q. If eating out, this is a nice change from the Disney resort. Disney has 2 high end restaurants ($40ish dollar entrees for supper) and a couple quick service eateries ($10-$14 for a quick service lunch/supper). I believe there may be another alternate restaurant coming. The pool area is amazing with a fast water slide and a tube ride and a nice lazy river. Often you will see Goofy lazing in the river waiting for photo ops and [pushing you along. There also is a nice water play structure for young children, sized 48" and less. All in all a nice relaxing, great holiday.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

I was very impressed with Aulani resort. Every detail, sculpture, wall hanging, music, and the childrens activities honor the culture. It is a beautiful place to explore and stay. The employees speak very highly of working there. Most of all, that Disney doesn't put their name first like all other Disney Resorts. Pono 'Aina. They respect the land. The one thing I would recommend to Aulani is to include some local flavors of food on their cafe menu instead of the usual fast food faire. It wouldn't be difficult to include lomi lomi salmon, kalua pig, etc. It's easy to make and it's good as long as it's fresh. I understand they're catering to the mainland kiddies and parents, but it would benefit the travelers to have the choice. And NOT to make it $35 a plate!
All in all, I would have to say that the Aulani is an incredible place to stay. The Locals who work there exude pride, and 65% of travelers to Aulani stay on-site because there is so much to enjoy. From the Ocean to the pools, to the infinity hot tub, to Ama Ama restaurant, to the lazy river. Clean, and well cared for. If you can go, you should.

Room Tip: Don't rent a car if you plan on staying at Aulani. $35.00 per day parking fee. Just get a cab or...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Connecticut
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

The resort is wonderful from the time you arrive to lei greetings to when you depart with an Aloha.The setting is beautiful and peaceful. There is something for everyone to do. The spa has wonderful cast mambers. The pool and lazy river are a blast. The cast members are always helpful and willing to answer questions. A few things that they don't let you know are that inorder to get pool towels you need to show your room key and get a bracelet everyday. Anothe thing is that if you are staying a in studio style room and you want to do laundry you need tokens from the desk or there are machines in the laundry rooms.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

My wife and I recently returned from our honeymoon in Hawaii. The first leg of our trip we spent at the Aulani. We normally wouldn't of chosen a resort like this, but it was given to us as a present for our wedding. That being said, the Aulani is an amazing resort, just not meant for honeymooners.

From the moment we arrived at the Ko Olina gate we were treated extremely well. It was noted on all of our paperwork that we were travelling on our HM and we were congratulated by everyone. The concierge/front desk were extremely welcoming (Leis, Beverages, etc). The give you a brief history and explanation of the details of the hotel which is extremely interesting. Disney incorporated a lot of Hawaiian tradition into the property.

We stayed in a Studio overlooking the "Garden Side" of the Hotel. The view is not nearly as nice as the pool/ocean view, but if you are like us you are never in your room anyway. The room was equipped with Toaster, Tea Kettle, Coffee Maker (and Coffee which was actually good), plates, etc. Tip: Stop at the Target in Kapolei and stock the fridge (Soda, Juice, Wine/Beer). We even made drinks to take down to the beach to avoid the high beverage prices during the day!

The Pool and Beach (which is an extremely calm cove) are great. You will read reviews about construction, and it is quite annoying. But we were there during the low season which is the best time for them to do the construction so we understood. It definitely tainted our time on the beach (where it was most noisy) but it is what it is. I would recommend calling before to see if there is construction going on. With that said, the beach is great. Super relaxing and absolutely beautiful. Perfect for both Adults and kids - plenty of toys, water mats, etc. The pool is absolutely fantastic as well. The water slides are a blast. It is a must do at any age - they will make you feel 10 years old again!

All in all - we had an great experience at the Aulani and I would definitely recommend it to people with Kids. If you are looking to travel on a more low key and romantic getaway, you might want to look someplace else!

***Take a walk past the JW Marriott onto the rocks and watch a sunset. It is absolutely beautiful.

**Get a massage at the Spa - I got their signature with the hot rocks. it was possibly the best massage I have ever had. My Wife had the same massage and felt the same way! Ask for Katie - she is great!

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Room Tip: Higher the Floor the better. If you don't plan on being in your room often, don't pay for th...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
red deer
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

Stayed at Disneys new Aulani.

It was one of the better stays we have been at. The pool area was astounding & the rooms were new, modern, clean. Service from staff is among some of the top we have experienced, for being a relatively "cheaper" priced hotel.

Only issue, we found the food left something to be desired. The food sits "pre-cooked". I get it, it is a family based resort. So having kids wait for food impatiently when they want to go to the pool can be an issue.. So they have all lunch items sitting under hot food lamps. We ordered 2 lunches during our 5 days here. Both were extremely disappointing. The Buffet, for the price was what you expect from an average 3 star hotel.

Eat across the street. You're in Hawaii for crying out loud. Hit up some nice restaurants!
Roy's across the street in the golf course is nice.

Aside from the food, this place is awesome.

I have travelled a lot, so I know how staying in stationary in one place is less than ideal. My recommendation is as follows if staying here as a couple.

1st day - relax, orientate, grocery shop at Safeway
2nd day - take that rental car and explore the area
3rd day - excursion, return and relax
4th day - pool day & walk up the beach
5th day - pool day

*Make a plan. You're not going to stay on this resort and not want to do anything.
*Safeway is nearby. We stocked up on water, drinks, snacks, pastries, fruit etc.
*Golf if you can, it's right there!


This side of Hawaii is the "resort" side. It's quiet, quaint & far more romantic than Waikiki. Perfect for the start of a honeymoon or resting holiday.

If you come with children, pay the extra & get the suite. You will enjoy the ability to cook your own meals in suite. It is worth it. As well, Aulani has a few BBQ's that resort guests can use to BBQ lunch/dinner etc! Great idea.

Parking reasonable, only $35 a day I believe it was.

All in all, I would recommend & return.
Definitely worth a stay to experience a new large scale resort.
A+ for family with kids stays.
B+ for couples stays

Room Tip: Eat off the resort. You will enjoy it more.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

Address: 92-1185 Ali'inui Drive, Kapolei, Oahu, HI 96707
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Kapolei
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 hotels in Kapolei
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa 4.5*
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Also Known As:
Aulani, a Disney Resort And Spa In Hawai`i
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa In Hawai`i Hotel Kapolei
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Hawaii/Oahu

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