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“Just say no” 2 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
New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Just say no”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

Let me start out by saying the resort is very pretty clean and well maintained. It is on a beautiful bay. With all of the water sports promised (sort of). The criticism of the food prices and limited choices are true, but you know that going into it. The rooms are nice definitely not amazing but clean and nice. Now the bad. Our flight was delayed almost 15 hours, requiring us to arrive in the middle of the night. I called ahead to make sure we would have not problems when checking in and I was told "Don't worry your vacation will start once you arrive, everything will be perfect" We arrived at 1am with my self, my husband and my two teenage children. I had booked a 1 room with two queen beds. Had the paperwork to prove it. They showed us to a room with 1 king bed. I called down and said this is not going to work and was told " our computers our down, this is all we have let the kids sleep on the floor" Seriously for 500+ per night no I am sorry no nothing. We went to reception where I was told they computers would be down for another hour and if I wanted they could start moving furniture and give me a blow up mattress. There was no way that was going to fit in the room and again...this is a luxury resort not a days inn. This fight continued for about an hour till she agreed to give us an "upgrade" to an ocean facing room with 2 queen beds. The "upgrade" was on the second floor and over the restaurant facing some tables not an ocean but I was just happy to have two beds. We were woken bright an early every morning of our stay by the restaurant noise. Even the bellman commented that this was a downgrade not an upgrade. I spent a 1/2 hour with a manager the next day she was professional but did not offer to change our room or apologize just blamed the misunderstanding on corporate. The concierges were completely useless and just sent us from one area to the next to avoid having to research the best way to see Pearl Harbor and store our luggage prior to boarding our ship. They even suggested I google it. Over all I would say this is an embarrassment to the disney name!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
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 (639)
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English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

17 hours flying time and 9,000 miles from London and very well worth it. A luxurious base to explore the fantastic island. The hotel was luxurious, the food simply superb, the beach idyllic and the service everything you would expect from Disney. One of the better DVC properties in the portfolio

Room Tip: We chose not to pay for a sea/pool view these rooms are great just without the view and a perfect wa...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
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Wahiawa, HI
2 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

Not up to par with the rest of the employees, who provided excellent service:
Brenda from Kalepa's Store. Unfriendly. Busy talking to other customers - making us wait. Barely spoke to us. Barely smiled.
Female employee at Mama's Snack Shop - busy talking to coworkers.
For the price we paid to stay here, we expect better service, especially from Disney.

Bad deal - chicken strips and fries at Mama's Snack Shop - 3 measly strips vs. 5 huge strips when ordered poolside. Spend the extra $0.05 and order poolside!

Other than these two things, our vacation was fabulous. Wrote a positive review, too, but had to point out the negative as I like reading the "terrible" reviews on tripadvisor.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Issaquah, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

My family spent about a week at Aulnai. The resort was nice and clean. My young kids loved the pool, the water slides, and the tubing. I personally like the lagoon right outside the resort. It was simply beautiful.
Because it's from Disney, there were many activities for families. We tried lei-making, listening to the fire-pit stories, hulu dancing, morning yoga/circuit training on the beach, etc. They were really enjoyable. My kids also loved staying at the Aunty's Beach House.
However, to my surprise, the service didn't meet my expectation of a Disney resort. House keeping failed to turn down our room several times, even after we brought this up to the front-desk. Staff was really friendly though.
Also, the location was far away from other attractions in Oahu. Dining options were limited. If you don't want to pay the premium price for not-so-premium-quality food, you will have to drive.
Overall, we had a great time staying at Aulani.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Ottawa, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

The resort is beautiful! Having two teenage daughters I felt safe allowing them to come and go as they please. The staff were quite friendly. My daughter described the beds being so comfortable it was like sleeping on a cloud. Very clean premises. When we wanted to venture off site we enjoyed the restaurants just across the street and especially enjoyed the ABC store. Lots of things to do - the lazy river is wonderful!

Room Tip: Pay the extra for an ocean view.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 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.
Helsinki, Finland
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

I came to Aulani Disney Resorts to spend Christmas and New Year, a total of ten nights with my family. At the time of writing this review we are half way, spent here five nights. I am a member of the Austrian vacation club company Cordial, which has a partnership with DVC. We are staying in a two bedroom villa. Having said that, you understand we come from Europe, and are used to a bit different culture regarding hotels and resorts, especially restaurant standards. I red reviews both at tripadvisor and Yelp, and seen a lot of photos before arrival, and based of everything I had build some kind of expectations about the resort. I am very well traveled all over the world, and I have seen a lot of places, from luxury to basic, depending on what kind of trip I have been on. It’s a nice Resort, but there was no wow experience upon arrival. There have been a lot of negative writings about the restaurants. Ama Ama is the resorts highest standard restaurant. In the dining guide in the rooms it’s advertised as “casual elegant dining”. The dining experience is really noting to brag about. The ambiance is really poor! The restaurant is like an Applebee’s or TGI. There is a dress code for this restaurant, but you have still people in swimwear and T-shirt, and men with a cap on the head, sitting at the table next to you, sitting. Not very civilized or elegant! We have no complaint about the quality of the food, and we did not find it that expensive either, as many people have complained about. But, if the resort is supposed to be a five star establishment, they should have a decent restaurant within the premises. That would be a restaurant white tablecloth standard, and where the dress code is enforced. Now there is a restaurant with three star standards.

The rooms are spacey and OK, the beds comfortable. Restaurants, pools and garden are too limited or small, considering the number of hotel rooms (359) and vacation club villas (481). If the place is fully occupied at peak season, and if we count with a moderate number of 3 persons per room, we have 2520 persons at the premises. How many sun chairs do you think there are? How many persons have space in all of the pools and water area? I really wonder how qualified the people who have planned the resort, have been for the job? And one thinks the Disney Corporation have some know how about resorts?
There are totally three Jacuzzi's, which all are full of kids equipped with goggles swimming and diving. I understand they like the warm water, but it’s not a kid’s swimming pool? I know it’s a resort with emphasis for families with children, but still. No supervision from the resort personnel at all! The best part is the beach.

The service is very friendly, polite and good averall. Because of the poor standard of restaurants, no enforced dress code, no supervision of Jacuzzi's, I give only a average rating

  • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

We stayed in a 2br apartment which we upgraded to at the last minute. The apartment location and facilities were excellent for a family of 8 and the resort staff went out of their way to help in any way they could. The kiddies really enjoyed the pools, beach and seeing Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the characters.

As an adult I found the pools underwhelming especially the lazy river, which didn't really seem to have much variation except for the cave with waterfalls. No rapids and only two slides, one of which was probably a little to scary for the young kids we travelled with. Having done the pools at the Grand Wailea (Maui) I think these pools were better. Lifesavers around each corner meant that kids were pretty safe. However we also saw a child slip and fall on the kids playground (staff were quick to respond) with blood gushing out of his head so this was a concern.

The food was average and prices were what you expect from a resort of this calibre. Staff were also excellent and I cannot speak highly enough of them like everyone else has said.

But I also agree that the resort was overpriced for what it offered, and was not really close to any of the main 'attractions' so visiting these can be awkward without a car.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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 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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