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“Never wanted to leave” 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
Elk Grove, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Never wanted to leave”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

My husband hates to travel, but he said he "never wanted to leave" when we stayed at the Aulani. It is ideal when traveling with children ages 3-12. We adults found plenty to do. Be sure and read the "EWA" daily activities to find all the hidden & free things to do. Disney characters are everywhere and staff are eager to take your picture with your own camera!

Room Tip: Rooms pool side have views of the center activities and ocean (above 5th floor). Rooms partial ocea...
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  • Stayed December 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
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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)
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

I had a 4 days stay at this resort with my wife and daughter; we all loved it and miss it in the end!! I must admit that the first impression when I arrived this hotel was not some what I expected. I been to just about all the Disney Worlds/Play-lands around the world, but this is the first time I visit a Disney resort.

The Disney resort takes a little different approach as normal Disney play-lands. You see Disney characters all around the properties, but you will just have to FIND them because there are limited characters walk around at any given time. With this is a hotel/resort property rather than a play-land in mind, I think Disney nailed the perfect balance to distinguish the differences.

Rainbow Reef was my favor since you can pay 35 for unlimited entrance during your stay (I would recommend the all stay fee rather than 25 one time entrance because the water is fairly cold and you will want to take a break after 30 mins... and you will want to go back again!) I visited 5 times during my stay because during different time of the day, they have different activities at Rainbow Reef. Rainbow Reef looks rather small, but give it a try and you will enjoy it!!

The Tube slide is my wife and daughter's favorite. Aulani was fully booked during my stay and in avg the tube slide wait is about 5-10mins... which is very good!

Food and beverage are on the higher side, but it's HAWAII !! You can easily walk across the street and you will find a ABC store within 5 mins walking distance and you can get mostly you need there.

I stayed at Waikiki beach area after Aulani and I sure miss Aulani A LOT !!

I will definitely visit it again when I get a chance!

Room Tip: The Ocean view room arent always worth the money. It really depends on which side of the wing they p...
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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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Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

I visited this resort for 3 nights with family (including 2 young ones) and we all loved it. The beach is stunning and the pools are great for kids. however, it is not always that relaxing but this was expected being a resort that largely caters for children. It can be quite overpriced, especially the restaurants but in saying this, the food and drinks were generally good.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012 via mobile

A true resort with everything and more. Pricy, yes, but worth it if you take advantage of all the amenities they offer (pools, beach, daily activities). Expect what you see in the advertisements. Restaurants in the boundary were expectedly expensive; we only tried the character breakfast which I may add was good but could be better (food wise as well as entertainment); could have added a princess such as Ariel to the limited 3 characters (Mickey, Minney, Goofy). But my kids were thrilled nonetheless. Gorgeous beach/lagoon- got to swim with sea turtles without having to go deep. The BEST resort so far for me and my family.

Rooms: stayed in a 2 bedroom with a full kitchen. Clean. Roomy. Comfortable. No complaints. Beautiful room with the view of what you pay for. Loved that a dishwasher, washer & dryer with one time use detergents were provided. All necessary kitchen tools were also provided including a rice cooker.

Staff: most were pleasant but you had a few that were indifferent whose attitude was "non-Disney like".

Hope to see better reviews of the restaurant so that we'll be motivated to try next time.

One more piece of advice call the actual resort for the weather rather than trusting the weather forecasts.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Sydney, Australia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Aulani is AMAZING, we thought this would be a one off trip, to check out Disney in Hawaii. But, the from the moment you arrive, you know you are somewhere very special, very well thought and detailed in everyway possible. The 2nd part of our trip, we moved over to Waikiki, and ended up changing our mind and coming back to Aulani + became DVC members which is something that I never expected to do on this trip but the hotel is just so amazing, you feel like you want to become a part of it :-) We traveled as a family, with 2 young children (4 & 6). They loved this hotel! We have done Disney before and never have they almost left somewhere is tears, of all the nice places they have been to. Aulani touched our family, and we can't wait to return!

The only parts that could do with improvement are:

#1 - Food options. It was expensive to eat at the Makahiki buffet. The food was nice but I felt the child prices could be lower. My 4 year old ate less than a plate full, so when we returned to this restaurant I ordered a child's meal from the menu for him, which was much better for his appetite. Around $8.50 for a meal, drink and dessert. Some healthier lunch food options for the kids would be good also, everything seems to come with fries and we lived off chicken tenders (they were good - very good - but not so healthy!)

#2 Add a child's stepping stool to all the rooms. The sinks were too high for even my 4 year old to reach the taps, making teeth brushing and hand washing something that I always had to attend to myself.

~~Love the staff, the property is beautiful, I loved receiving the daily IWA, a schedule of everything on offer for the day. Lazy river, pools, Menehune play area and slides all great and the beach just beautiful and very relaxing. I loved the Menehune Adventure trail, you will discover just how well thought out this hotel is, when the adventure reveals all the hidden magic. The Menehune makes it fun for the kids, my children loved them!

Room Tip: Standard View will face the car park or convention center. Try to get an Island garden view or bette...
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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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario,CA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Arrived from Honolulu Airport via Hawaiian Island Shuttle (about a 40 min drive). Once you arrive you are given a warm Hawaiian reception complete with a Lei for the men and women in your group. The initial sight of the lobby is overwhelming...it is beautiful. The grounds are laid out to give you a tropical island village. The service and attention we got (my wife and I) was great, typical Disney fashion. My concern that Mickey would be "in our face" all the time was unfounded. The pool area, lazy river, slide and infinity hot tubs were also very nice. There is daily entertainment on the premises at no extra charge so that was also a plus. Aulani has a private lagoon which was a bit tame for thrill seekers (no body surfing or waves of any size), but perfect for small children and couples just wanting to relax in the water. Employee's are available to set up an umbrella and seating for you once you have selected an area, and after setting things up refused a tip...WOW!! Drink service at the shore's edge was a little slow to come around, but I just took my own crush-able cooler with my own water and beer (cans), so that wasn't a bother. The rooms are very nice. We stayed in a 1 bedroom villa with a kitchen and washer/dryer. The only complaint I had was the isolation of the resort. There is an ABC convenience store close by a short walking distance, as well as a Mexican restaurant called Just Tacos (good food). The Hawaiian BBQ place was horrible (stay away). We were there at the time of the last big boxing match Pac-man and Marquez and there was virtually no way to see it. No pay per view at the resort, no close by sports bar, no bars, clubs or anything else. The nearest shopping center was about 6 miles away where you will find a Costco, Super Target among other stores. The Alamo Car rental was totally hassle free. We had a reservation set up through Costco for a convertible. The Alamo office is just down the hall from the resort front desk. They bring the car around to the front of the resort and away you go. Returning the car after hours was just handing the keys to the Aulani valet (after hours), and your done! Wow, simple or what??!! Worth checking out!!

Room Tip: Pool view rooms will also give you a partial ocean view.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Did an overnight @ Aulani and it was an amazing experience! The thing that made it such an awesome stay was the staff there. When you arrive they welcome you with leis for the adults and a necklace for the kids (and they give it to everyone not just tourist who are new to Hawaii). They were very welcoming and friendly and just very willing to help throughout our stay. They had a lot of staff at the property and they were VERY kid friendly. The rooms itself were very clean and nicely done to match the hotel and the landscape outside. The beds were very comfortable and pillows were perfect for a good night's sleep. They have a lot of free activities for kids and adults to do through the day. We did not do many of the activities because the kids didn't want to leave the pool. We did get a chance to make our own orchid lei which was very fun for the kids to do. The pools are open until 10:00 p. which was very nice. And they have 2 slides (one was a inner tube slide which ends up in the lazy river) that the kids really enjoyed and they closed the slides at 8:00 p. It was nice to have the option of enjoying the pool in the evening especially for the kids. The characters came out pretty often at the hotel so it was pretty easy to get pics with them. We did the character breakfast and the kids really enjoyed themselves. The food was good but they could improve their waffles and pancake. maybe a pancake/waffle station would be good. It was nice to have the characters come to your table so you could just enjoy yourself and not worry about tracking the characters down. The staff at the restaurant did a good job in making sure the characters went to each table and did not rush our time with them. The waitstaff was also very good. Everyone at the Aulani were always ready with a smile for you and willing to give directions or helpful hints for our stay there. It was nice that although checkout was 11:00 a. you still have guest privileges until midnight the day of your check out . The bell service can keep your luggage and there is a room with couches and TVs and locker rooms where you can store your valuables and showers you can use before you leave. Would totally stay there again! Just another awesome Disney experience! Disney sure knows how to get it right even miles away in Hawaii!

Room Tip: If you are not from Hawaii and want the Ocean View choose the Ocean View rooms and not the partial o...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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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