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“"Aulani...WOW"” 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
Irvine, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“"Aulani...WOW"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Spent 6 days, 5 nights at Aulani the first week of November. Beautiful resort. Very impressed with the cultural theme throughout the entire resort. Disney did this right and was respectful to the Hawaiian culture. My husband, myself and our two teen daughters enjoyed our stay very much. We stayed in a two bedroom villa with full kitchen, full size appliances, oven, stove, refrigerator, stackable washer and dryer. Utensils and pots and pans and a dishwasher. Full master suite with master bath and soaking jet tub. The secondary bedroom had two full size beds (could have been queens) full bath. Looks just like the photographs posted on their web page. Two balconies overlooking the garden where we watched a Disney movie from the balcony and a luau on another night. Cooked breakfast and dinner in the suite. Saved $$$$$$ on food. Shopped at the local Smith's the night we arrived and were set for the week. Disney did this resort right. There is just enough "Disney" represented so children enjoy their stay as well as adults traveling without children. The "upscale" restaurant we ate at on one evening was very pricey and was the only time we ate out. They had just changed the menu and isn't very kid meal friendly. They do have chicken strips, hot dogs along with french fries, hamburgers, Hawaiian ice, ice cream, etc. for purchase at pool side dining restaurants and pool side service. Beach toys are available for the young ones, (pails, sand shovels, sand toys) and boogie boards are available for guests free of charge. We rented a kayak and they have paddle boards for rent also. The friendliest staff. Very well trained, courtious. The weather was perfect as the resort is on the dry side of the island. There is plenty to do and see and everyone was so friendly. I was impressed that while we were swimming in the pool that there are attendants watching over the lounge chairs and would replace your wet towels while you were gone with dry clean towels and lay them over the back of the lounge chair without disturbing your things. They also have a activites/tours that you can pay for like horseback riding, surf lessons, hiking excursions, etc. Would definitely go back.

Room Tip: I don't think you could go wrong with any room really. You could get an ocean view, garden view...
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  • 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
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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 (641)
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

Stayed here for five days in November, over the long weekend. In all honesty, a Disney Resort wouldn't have been my first choice, but my son is an only child, and we thought that this would be a vacation that he could enjoy as well.

This property is definitely "Disney Lite" - which for us was terrific. If you're expecting "theme park", you are going to be disappointed. There are characters around the property from time to time, but it is low key, and there is little Disney style branding. Such a relief!!

If you have kids, this is a terrific place. The kids club (Aunty's Beach House) is great - open from 9-9ish, and my son had a great time every time he went. This allowed us to leave the resort, go for dinner, or just relax without having to entertain a child all day. There are plenty of staff all the time, and both structured and unstructured activities for the kids. Some have additional cost, but it isn't huge ($40-$70 or so). The pool and beach are wonderful, with slides etc. There are lifeguards about every 10 feet, so you have no worries about your kids and we even stopped keeping track as our son was off running around with his new found friends.

There are a number of dining options - quick serve, buffet and a restaurant that is quite good, though if you're a family on any sort of budget - pretty expensive.

We booked a suite in the time share part of the resort....and if you have a family - this is TOTALLY the way to go. You have a kitchen, dining area, and small living room with a neat patio. We went to Costco (5 minute drive or cab) and an organic market next door to the Costco and bought food and wine, and then cooked most days. WAY better than making kids sit in a restaurant for an hour or two. There are even BBQ's outside for use. Nice touch. If you want to walk, there is a little market right accross the street from the resort that will have most of what you need.

Do the reef snorkelling thing (though one day is probably enough - no need to pay for more). Get there about 15 minutes before they feed the fish - and hang out near the staff - they will let you feed the fish, which is pretty cool - there are literally TONS of fish in there.

There was some construction going on, which was a little annoying (and of course, ther resort didn't bother to warn us in advance). Meant that sitting by some areas of the pool gave you a splitting headache from the noise. We moved, and problem solved.

Last tip - book whatever meals and activities you think you might want before you get there...you can always cancel later. Some times/days are VERY busy.

Staff were excellent from housekeeping to door staff to beach staff. Really warm and friendly. Good work! All in all, a really enjoyable vacation - if you have kids. If you don't, can't imagine why you would go!

Room Tip: Book in the time share rooms that have a kitchen. This will save you a small fortune, and you will l...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Junction, Colorado
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

I spent a week here with my 10 year old daughter. this resort is amazing. It was the perfect Hawaiian vacation for us. the beach and pools were perfect for relaxing. we had a 1 bedroom condo with a garden view. They showed movies and had the Starlit show on the lawn in the garden area. we could watch everything from our balcony. this is the perfect resort for families with children. the only negatives were the $35 per day parking fee and the overpriced character breakfast. breakfast for 2 with photo and tip was $115 and the food sucked. It was the worst buffet I have ever been to. overall our vacation was fabulous and we will return. Disney costs a lot, but it is amazing. For some extra fun rent a paddle board in the bay. it's tons of fun.

Room Tip: Ask for a garden view room. we had a view of the garden and a peekaboo ocean view. the room was very...
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  • Stayed October 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Gatos, California
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

The Aulani has it all, tropical setting, great activities for kids, enough distractions for adults and some prime (artificial) beachfront. The accommodations are modern, clean, extremely comfortable and pleasant. The staff is the most hospitable that I've encountered since a long ago stay at the Four Seasons. In fact, the Aulani staff is more friendly and pleasant than pretty much anywhere I've stayed. If you go, definitely spend time in the outdoor "Off the Hook" lounge. It's great!

Room Tip: The timeshare rooms are bigger, and seem nicer, than the regular hotel rooms. Spring for the ocean...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

Great resort with many amenities. Very beautiful and welcoming. The issue is there are screaming kids everywhere. Great for families to play and relax. There was a kitchen in the room so you can cook if you like and they provide grills to cook outdoors if you wish to do that.

With an ocean view room you are destined to be bothered. There is construction one side of the hotel and the rest of rooms face the courtyard with the lazy river and pools. Even on the 14th floor I could not sleep due to the band playing outside. Arriving from the East Coast I wanted to sleep at 8pm the first couple of days. The live band was directly below my window Ann played until 10pm. Super annoying. There were no other room options that were ocean view, so for my partners benefit I toughed it out. I'd go back but wouldn't accept a room in the central courtyard. Probably will return but knowing I won't be able to relax unless I'm facing inland.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

We had a wonderful stay over the Thanksgiving break at the Disney Aulani resort. Was it nice? Of course, it's a Disney property. Was it expensive? Of course, it's a Disney property in Hawaii. Was it worth it? Yes, it was a great experience and we'll probably go back.

Travel Tips:
- The pools are great and well staffed with life guards.
- The cabanas were nice, but were not pool side. Not for sure if they are worth it unless you have a large party.
- All of the restaurants were nice, food was great, but I would make reservations before your stay to ensure you have dining arrangements. You can always make changes when you get there.
- If you have a car, there are other dining options. Check at the front desk and they can give you a list of nearby restaurants.
- Aunty's Beach House is great for kids 7 and under. My 8 year old was a little board and enjoyed the pool more.
- Be sure to get the daily activities guide so you can plan your stay.
- Parking is $35 per night. This would be for valet or self-parking.
- Alamo rental is available if you want to rent a car.
- There is a ABC store within walking distance to stock up.
- There is some construction with the resort expansion. It wasn't too bad and really didn't interfere with our stay.

Have fun!

Room Tip: Choose pool side for a great view.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

Recently stayed at Aulani on the island of Oahu for a staycation. All the positive reviews on TA highlight the many wonderful attributes of the Aulani. Having recently been to Disneyworld this year and a lifetime of visits to Disneyland I would have to say our Aulani experience was by far the most unexpected and pleasant Disney-related trip we've had yet.

Situated on the west side of the island, visiting Aulani felt like a true getaway without the hassle of flying. At the entrance to Ko Olina, when you stop at the resort entrance and announce you will be visiting Aulani, they radio ahead to the hotel where you are greeted by name and with flower and Kukui nut leis for the ladies and gentlemen, respectively. They guide you to the check-in desk and explain the days activities. Very pleasant check-in with phenomenal service and detail.

The lobby is spectacular and once inside Aulani becomes its magical self. The spirit of aloha engulfs you and you are immediately transported to another place and time, where time doesnt matter and you actually feel as if you are a "guest" in someone's home. Never taken for granted, your every need or question is treated as if it was their most important task of the day.

A wonderful place for families, staying at Aulani felt as if you had more access to characters than at any of their amusement parks. The Starlight Hui was wonderful as was ever activity that the kids did within the safety and comfort of Aunty's Beach House. I say this from second hand information from my kids as the beach house is off limits to parents aside from an early tour if there was ever a concern for their comfort and care.

We found the dining options ample although with a full hotel you could easily imagine there not being enough food services for the property. Is it expensive? Not more than any other high caliber hotel in the islands. Probably shocking for those not used to the cost of living in paradise - let alone vacationing here.

Rooms were very comfortable and well appointed. Hard to say much more about them because there is so much to do on property that you should hardly spend time in them. Daily resort parking fee for non DVC members is $35 - for those that are unhappy prepare to be stunned the next time you want to park a car in San Francisco, let alone New York.

Aulani highlights include, but are not limited to the following:
- Service with "aloha"!
- the most authentic "Hawaiian" hotel in all of Hawaii.
- Aunty's Beach House for keiki-friendly activities and quality "holo holo" time for the parents.
- Incredible corn beef hash and fried rice breakfast at 'Ama 'Ama
- pupus ("bar food") in the 'Olelo Room while listening to the sweet sounds of some of Hawaii's finest musicians.
- water slides and menehune hunting for the keikis - and keikis in all of us!

At the end of your trip, what will have you wanting more, will be the memories and a lasting wish that everyone lived with a little more aloha in their soul.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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 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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