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“Aulani Disney Resort - DVC member” 5 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
Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Aulani Disney Resort - DVC member”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Aulani resort Nov 12-18 2012 and loved to celebrate our 25th anniversary, no kids. We had a wonderful time. The rooms were spectacular (as always) and the views beautiful. There is a wonderful walking/running path along the water, that we enjoyed every morning, as well as yoga on the beach area. Water was really nice, pools were great. Didn't try the paid snorkling lagoon, when we could snorkel in the ocean. The spa was delightful too, very relaxing and rejuvenating, we would recommend - their showers are very impressive.

Things we discovered:
-We found an amazing private little cove to the west of the resort past the Marriott close to the Paradise Cove area, with lots of sea turtles.
-Roy's Restaurant at the Ko'Olina Golf Club - it was fantastic
-Coscto is just up the highway - which helped to keep the food costs down while staying at Disney, as nothing there is cheap.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (596)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ontario
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

The highlights:

Wonderful NEW facility (loved the Kona Coffee in the Room too)
Beautiful beach and lagoon
Expensive (it's Disney so you already know that, or if you are a Japanese tourist it won't bother you, lol)
The pools were dominated by kids (so if you have/like kids its great..if not _____ )
I love the attention to authentic detail all around the resort and the incorporation of local influences. Well done on that account Disney.
GREAT kids programs (toddlers, tweens, and young teens)
The staff (especially Native Hawaiians) were simply amazing. It is wonderful and refreshing to see bright eyed and intelligent youngsters who are sincerely dedicated to the Disney Mission.


My suggestion to Disney:
1) Provide an adults only pool and hot tub
2) Secure the gate off the lagoon that leads into the resort (there should be a staffer there 24/7 because local riff raff seemed to be all over the water slides on the weekends. The reason I know this is because a group of 4 teen boys told me they lived 10mins away. They were a bit rowdy but at the end of the day they are just local kids having fun.. no harm done, but Disney needs to make sure that a precedent is set with the balance of allowing locals to the expectations of guests paying a pretty penny for that 'Disney' experience.

My suggestion to YOU:
Rent a car and explore the island
Support local markets and artisans.
Check out the North shore surfing beaches\
Drive the east coast
Snorkel Hanauma Bay

Room Tip: All rooms except for the low level north facing would be nice ... there isn't a bad view
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

Four of us just spent a week at Disney's new resort on Oahu and it was lovely. The personalized feeling of a Disney 'welcome home" was not only there, it was even more emphasized. We had our own personal greeter who escorted us out onto the overlook and pointed to each and everything we should experience. Most impressively, he delivered his information with utter joy.

As DVC members we had an ocean view two bedroom villa that was beautifully appointed. It was more roomy than most of the villas at Disney World (with the exception of Old Key West) and was very comfortable for all of us. As always, it was immaculately kept.
The resort itself sports a big pool and a lazy river maze that can be floated around on either single or double inner tubes. A "volcano" is disguised as two massive slides---pretty darned cool (for a volcano!) Another pool area was closed during our stay so that the area could be further enhanced, Plenty of restrooms and refreshment opportunities were available including amazing shaved ice flavors. There is also a beautiful cove alongside a nice, wide beach with lounge chairs and umbrella available gratis.
Off the Hook, a casual eating spot was enjoyable. We had breakfast at Ama Ama several times--it's the fancy restaurant that overlooks the ocean. We enjoyed it more for breakfast than for dinner (which was very expensive and since it was dark you couldn't see the ocean anyway).
The buffet restaurant is way overpriced, though they have added menu selections, they were just OK.
One huge criticism is for guests----who leave their "stuff" on beach and poolside chairs all day whether they are there or not. I don't know how to adequately police that, but right now, it's a problem.
The drawbacks we faced were minor compared to the positives. We said we were going once because it is so far away from Ohio, but having been there, I'm SURE we will be going back some day! It really is lovely. Oh---and the spa was FABULOUS!!! GET A LOMI LOMI MASSAGE.OY!!!!

Room Tip: We enjoyed the ocean view. With our two bedroom villa we had two balconies and a gorgeous view of t...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vancouver
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
38 helpful votes 38 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
38 reviews 38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
33 helpful votes 33 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.

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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 & Spa In Hawai`i Hotel Kapolei
Aulani, a Disney Resort And Spa In Hawai`i
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Hawaii/Oahu

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