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“A dream come true” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Kapolei
Lodi, New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A dream come true”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

I stayed here from April 16 to April 24, 2012 with my family and from the moment you enter the grounds of the property you feel in heaven. Not only the hotel is outstanding in their service, it's well located, the staff are extremely polite and generous and will do anything to make you feel welcome at all times.They'll put anything you want right at your hands just to make you happy. There are so many things to do there every day, lots of activities for the children, adults and in the nights there are live shows and even story telling and movies for the entire family. Their food service is excellent and affordable. Every dollar that you pay here is worth. My 3 year old granddaughter could n't be more happy there, she took pictures with all the Disney characters every time they were out doing children activities, she danced with them, kissed them and hugged them all times. I had been in many 5 star hotels and resorts but must admit that Aulani is the best one of all. This was the best vacation time I ever had. I will give this place a 10+ stars. Can't wait to go back again.

Room Tip: Our suite was located on the 14th floor off the main building on the left hand side and it had an aw...
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  • Stayed April 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,160 reviews from our community

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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 (728)
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CA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Disney always does things the Disney way so you know that every detail is covered. The room was beautiful and spacious. I especially appreciated the WI-FI availability without extra cost. In our room we no no cell phone reception which was a bummer when we missed calls from home. However, we had no trouble with the internet. We went during our "furlough week" from school and found the hotel very busy. We received a room on the fourth floor which was great to get to with the stairs. The sad part is that the trees were just that height so there was nothing to see from our lanai except the trees. I suggest asking for a higher floor so you can have a view of the property and ocean. All the employees go out of their way to be personable and helpful.

We enjoyed our stay but didn't find enough for adults to do without children. We were celebrating our 25th anniversary and have been to many of the Disney Resorts around the world. This hotel is perfect for families with children in elementary school or younger. It seemed to really cater to that population. When we have grandchildren we would love to come back.

The resort has very limited areas to walk to, we found only one small strip area with just a couple restaurants. We know the area is still developing so it will take time to build. We finally rented a car because I had to get out beyond the hotel. The Aulani has a car rental agency inside it which made the process fast and very efficent. The rental is for 24 hours but the agency is only open 8-5 which means if you want the full 24 hours you must pay the $35 charge for overnight parking. Also beware of the gas cost. The cost of gas is essentially the same as in CA but finding a station anywhere near the Aulani is tricky. We just decided to buy directly from the rental company which turned out cheaper and less stressful for us.

We had a lovely time away and are grateful we have now had the opportunity to stay at the Aulani. Thanks Disney for making the Aulani so special.

Room Tip: Ask for a higher floor. Rooms on the 4th floor are at eye level with the palm trees. The music is...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnetonka, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

My wife and I were "forced" to stay here because of mechanical problems with our plane flying from Honolulu. AWESOME!

What a beautiful resort. Let's face it, Disney always does it right. Even though we were inconvenienced by a delay in our flight, this resort really took the sting out of it. We were tired and discouraged, but had a great 24 hour layover at Aulaini. Very relaxing beach and the staff was exactly what you would expect from a Disney Resort.

The bar at Off The Hook was a fun diversion. Chad and Monica were a hoot and they can make the Foo, Foo Drinks better than most mixologists. I'm a bourbon and scotch man, but I was drinking the Umbrella Drinks because Chad was supurb at mixing fun cocktails. Thanks Chad!

Great Sushimi at the bar and the Long Island Osyters were amazing. We really enjoyed our time with Chad and Monica. They made our short stay fun! We almost decided to extend our vacation a couple of days longer just to stay here.

Great family resort and there appeared to be plenty of golfing oppprtunites available. The rooms were fabulous and if I come back to Oahu, this is where I'll be! I can still take off and drive around, but this is a resort you can just hang out at if you like and be very content.

US air didn't make it this nice for me when their plane woudn't go in Charlotte, NC, but they did us right with mechanical probelms in Honolulu!

Thanks again Chad! You made it very enjoyable!

Room Tip: I don't think you can miss with any room.
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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 2
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Truckee, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We stayed at a substandard shoddy vacation rental & decided to vacate early and head for the Auliani-WOW! The hotel is top knotch and fun for all. Activities for all, not just for kids and helpful friendly hotel staff taking care of everything you could ever want. We saw every age there and really enjoyed the last few days of our vacation in luxury. They really made us feel like it was home only better. If you have AAA insurance make sure and let them know and present your card. We will definetely return to this resort. They are currently renovating but it was not an inconvenience for us :)

Room Tip: We stayed in a studio which was great for us with a 10 year old. We had snacks and cool drinks in t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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.
San Francisco
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

My family stayed just recently this past February 2013 at Aulani and had a fantastic time.

As others have stated the hotel is gorgeous. I cannot recall the last time that I was so excited
about traveling to a resort. I couldn't stop thinking about it for a week before. We took Charley's taxi from the airport ($55 flat rate) and arrived around 2pm. They were expecting us
at Aulani and the room was ready. The bellmen use secret service style earpieces to communicate with the front desk staff. They gave us our lei's and water and guided us into the lobby. This was without a doubt my most favorite place in the hotel.The architecture, the breeze, the view and the beautiful music. The music, btw, was written especially for the hotel and is not currently available in US. I did find it on iTunes Japan and it's currently in heavy rotation in my car. I found myself wondering the lobby alone in the mornings with my refillable mug just taking it all in.

Our room was the 1 bedroom villa. This worked out well for me, the wife, and the 3.5 year old in
the king bed, while the mother-in-law was in the pull out. The kitchen was very functional and
housekeeping dropped by every day (we are not DVC members). The bathroom was very nice and had 2 access doors, one from the bedroom and one from the hallway. The wife said the shower smelled slightly of mold, but I'm told this is somewhat common in tropical climates. I do not notice such things.

We headed down to the Makahiki for lunch. We ordered the bento box and the sashimi was fresh and delicious. It's a nice restaurant, just beneath the lobby. There was nothing extravagant about the restaurant or the service but it was nice.

We eventually made our way out to the Valley. This is where the trail, the lazy river, the big volcano water slide thing and the pools were. Our favorite activity at the resort had to be the
lazy river (WAIKOLOHE STREAM). It was slow, relaxing and full of little details that really delighted us. There were always rafts available and the lifeguard staff was silent and present
everywhere. I liked the 1923 insignia on the bridge and the lava cave near the end. Even though I'm a grown a** man, I couldn't wait to try the water slides. They have 2: the dark slide, and the open multi-person open slide. Both were fast, furious and addictive. Loved the slides. One tip: as you approach the splash down on the dark slide, throw your legs straight up in the air and you'll create a huge splash! The larger pool was warm, roomy and one of my daughter's favorites. They had a great pool party at 2:30 some days. Lots of fun. There were also 4 separate hot tubs. The 2 infinity pools nearest the beach were most popular. I too am not used to so many kids in my hot tub environment, but it was Disney, so....

Of the activities we tried the Starlit Hui, which also incorporates a lot of the music written especially for the resort. This was nice, although we wanted to see a little more of the fire
being tossed around. We did the Menehune trail. My daughter loved this, but I found it ponderous while waiting for Aunty to do her rap and the effect to occur. We tried sneaking our 3.5 year old into Auntie's House for child care but they are surprisingly strict on the entrance
requirements. I say sneak because our daughter is still working out the potty training thing,
but in pull-ups. Well they said "no, sorry no pull ups. you can tour during the morning open
house though". They have a whole host of things to perform before they'll let you in: wash your
hands, have no coffee in your hand, put shoes on yer kids, etc. We did as we were told and loved the inside. Unfortunately, we'll have to do it next time.

The photopass is a terrific Disney feature that we utilized a lot. They have professional photographers around the property that take pro shots of you and your family not just with Goofy, but against the beautiful grounds, at the beach during sunset, in the river itself and in the lobby in the evenings. Great resource. You can even request a photographer in the gift shop to meet you somewhere. They show the photos on your TV in the room and they are very tempting to not want to purchase.

The gift shop was interesting but not quite as impressive as I was expecting. I poured over the merchandise there but just couldn't find much to spend my money on. Lots of uninteresting t-shirts and hats, a few pins (they gave us a freebie when we checked in), some food, and a few of the room decorations from our villa for sale. The only thing worth buying for me was a tasteful Aloha shirt with menehunes and the A frame of the lobby on it for decoration. (I later ran into 2 guys, and 1 small child wearing the same shirt to dinner. Meh.)

We did rent a car to get out of the resort one day. It was $120 a day with a Costco discount. There was no way I was going to rent for our entire stay (from airport) and then pay $35 on top
of it. We've seen most of Oahu in the past, but wanted to surf Waikiki again. Man, is there a lot
of traffic in Honolulu.

All of the adults used the Laniwai spa. We all agreed that it was probably the best massage
we've every experienced. We all got the 80 min. Lomilomi. Great attention, pampering, and
comfort. Highly recommended.

I do want to note a few negatives:

- the weather was less than ideal. I can't believe Disney would allow such weather. It was
reasonably warm (79 F), but occasionally rainy and consistently windy. I had more than a few occasions when I just did not want to swim because I didn't want to be cold getting out. I don't recommend winter time in Oahu. Brrrr.

- Food. Everyone says it, but the food is just not good value for the money. It's adequate and nutritious, but very expensive. Also, just for comparison we also ate at the Monkey Pod and Just tacos across the street, and the Japanese restaurant (sushi) at the Marriott next door. All restaurants in this community are expensive in my opinion not just Disney. And none of the food is spectacular or plentiful (unless you count buffets). We regularly ate breakfast and lunch in our room. Dinners were always out and cause a lot of anxiety when the check came.

- The Menehune bridge was closed the entire time! They claimed it would open 2 days after we
arrived, but come Saturday morning they said "sorry". What was even more discouraging was that we saw not one workman working on the attraction! They just had barriers up. We would look longingly over the barrier and wonder what kind of coolness we were missing every time we walked by. Bummer.

- Resort rates are very pricey. The wife and I make a decent living and love to travel, but I'm not sure we could every do this type of resort stay again. ~$500 a night is just a little more than I want to spend for a family vacation. It was a nice splurge and this vacation has definitely created some memories I won't forget, but I think perhaps I could find better value for my money somewhere outside of a Hawaiian resort (no offense to those that like Hawaiian resorts).

Overall we had a wonderful family experience. I'll never forget the giddiness of my daughter while she saw hidden menehune around the hotel, my wife's glow after her massage and spa
treatment, the look of relaxation and joy on our faces in the photos we had taken, and the deep
sleep we all fell into by 8:30 every night. I really recommend it at least once for families.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chula Vista, CA
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

We've been Disney Vacation Club members for 4+ years, and this was our first trip to Aulani since it opened in the Fall of 2011. We have been in the habit of visiting Hawaii every Spring Break for years, typically staying in Kauai, Maui or on the Big Island, so we were a little aprehensive about visiting Oahu (which, after spending time on the other islands, is just a place to change planes, and then only if you can't avoid it!). Despite our apprehensions, we had a great time in the Ko Olina area and at Aulani in particular. Typical accomodations that we've come to expect from DVC properties; everything was clean and first class. Great waterpark between the towesr to keep the kids entertained, lots of activities. The one down check would be the relative lack of affordable eating locations (every restaurant was OMG expensive).

Room Tip: If you must have a view of the water park between the towers, be prepared for a noisy stay. Althoug...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Salem, Oregon, United States
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

Our friends suggested going to the Disney Resort for the day. They had public parking and rest rooms and a wonderful lagoon area for swimming and snorkling. We really enjoyed a day or relaxing by the water.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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
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*
Number of rooms: 819
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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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