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“Perfect for families, young and old” 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
SF Bay Area, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
“Perfect for families, young and old”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

There is no doubt that when you have young kids, a Disney vacation is ideal. First, location. For us, after 5 days in Waikiki, Aulani was the perfect balance of relaxation and retreat to end our vacation. Nothing was crowded about Aulani (we went pre-spring break)...no lines for meals, pools were comfortable and not overcrowded, beach was tranquil and not overpopulated, and plenty of privacy in the hotel room hallways as the resort was only half full, not to mention free upgrades! Secondly, the variety of pools and water activities was excellent. We easily spent 5 hours under the sun moving from lazy river, to water bridge, to pool, to beach, to slides, to Rainbow Reef! We loved the reef because our son had never snorkeled before until then. The Rainbow Reef was a perfect and safer environment for him to get his first taste. Variety of fish was OK, not superb, but it is rare that you'd get a whole "tank" to yourself anywhere else! We loved it!

Third, rooms. The rooms were fine-- clean, nicely decorated, but not luxurious. Perhaps it's because we just came from the Trump Waikiki (see that review) and they pretty much had set a new standard for luxury and service in Oahu. The balcony was not spacious but you definitely can still enjoy the gorgeous Ko'Olina view. They don't provide too many amenities (only soap, lotion, shampoo, robe) so bring your own.

Fourth, service. We liked being greeted with water and lei/shell necklaces. We also liked the immediate early check-in which allowed us into our room at 9:30am. Valet, bell hop, front desk, servers were all wonderful. Pool staff, on the other hand, can learn a few lessons from Mickey and smile a little. Also, no need to yell at unknowing parents who happened to step on the water bridge in order to help their little ones from slipping. Geez!

Finally, food. That has to be the weakest category. Very limited and expensive options. If you are there for character dining, I'd suggest do it at Goofy's Kitchen in Disneyland instead! We only saw 3 total characters at Aulani: Mickey, Minnie and Goofy. Your kids will be so disappointed if they came expecting more. What happened?? Where was Stitch? Donald? Chip? Dale? This is our 3rd character dining experience overall, although first at Aulani, so my son didn't mind as much and it was easy to give him an excuse why the others didn't make it in. The breakfast and dinner buffets were mediocre at best. There was variety, yes, but quality was lacking. Considering we paid $48 per adult, it was certainly a rip-off. However, on the very bright side, Disney, like they always do, accommodated my son's wheat allergies. We appreciated that the chef came out to speak with us and prepared dishes that met our needs. Thank you, Disney!

We didn't use the child care services but one of the Aunties came out during brunch and played with the children. It was a blast seeing them sing and dance together!

Overall, I'd recommend it highly to families with children under 10. It will keep everyone entertained! Even during off-season it is very pricey but well worth it when everyone is happy!

Room Tip: Try to get a higher floor level for sure. Above 6th floor, facing away from the pool if possible...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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2,252 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 (754)
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Vancouver
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

The arrival experience at au lani was second to none. As we arrived 2 hours prior to check in i was peasantly surprised our room was ready. Take the time to ask the cast members to tell the story of the mural in the lobby. The attention to detail in the design is amazing. Had a great late lunch at Hama Hama. Excellent food well worth the price. The water park was fun as was the nightly entertainment which we could hear from our lanai that had a partial ocean view. Francis the Bellman and alex and angel at check in were very knowledgable friendly and made us feel very welcome.

Room Tip: 1st dloor access to pools and auntys beachhouse would be great with little ones as the resort is hug...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Oxnard, California
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We spent one of the most relaxing vacations ever here. As Disney Vacation Club members, we got a 2 bedroom "villa" that we shared with friends. The villas have a full size kitchen, dining area and living room. Our balconies overlooked a "lawn" area that had some fun event going on at night - movies and spectacular shows that featured dancing, singing and storytelling to tell the story of Hawaii. We could sit on balcony and watch instead of sitting on mats. We also saw several weddings in the afternoon.

The Lazy river became a favorite for us. Lying on a tube and floating down the river was so relaxing - who needs a message?!? I loved walking in the morning on the paths along the lagoons owned by other hotels. We did a lot of sitting pool-side and on the beach.

You don't get a huge dose of Disney characters here and kids have their own activities so we weren't overrun with little ones. The architecture and landscaping are incredible I liked seeing the hidden stone menehunes in the gardens and a koi pond filled with beautifully colored fish. We only ate twice in the property restaurants - expensive. There is a good cafe, Monkeypod, across the road and we ate a lot of meals in the villa.

A rental car is almost a necessity. Aulani is out in the "sticks" ( my Hawaiian friend's description) and if you want to buy food, go see the sights and shop, this is the only way to get around. Cab fare from the airport is pricey too.

We were so delighted with this resort that i wouldn't stay anywhere else when we come back to Oahu.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Family of 4: wife and I and two girls; 7 and 10.

We stayed for a week, which overlapped Halloween... it was terrific!
Having spent every Halloween in the pacific northwest in wet icy weather... it was a new experience for the girls, dressing up without having to cover and bundle up.
They got to trick-or-treat around various locations in the resort, very well done I must say.

We have been to Oahu many times before, staying at a resort just one lagoon over... but Aulani was a new experience for the kids and us.

We stayed in a two bedroom suite garden view, figured we would save a buck or two by not having to face the beach.

Hit Costco, Target, and KMart the day we landed and stocked the kitchen (just one exit away).

My 7 year old wanted to stay at aunties house everyday... the 10 year old was reluctant at first, but she too wanted to spend more time there... which was really strange for us because we havent spent 'couples time' together for the last 10yrs ;)

My wife and I hit the spa... did the couple's massage... a little on the $$$ side, but well worth it imho.

There was tons to do around the resort, we couldnt get enough in for the 7 days we were there.

We are going back for sure! We will probably get an ocean view... Ko Olina is an awesome destination for the family.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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.
Moreno Valley, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Aulani is an amazing resort with all the amenities you will need. As so many have mentioned, there is plenty to do at the resort so i suggest that you look to see what activities are offered each day and take advantage. I took my 3 and 5 year old and they loved the pools, the slides, the lazy river, Aunty's beach house, the beach.

We have been to Aulani twice, with the previous time being last year in January. We went again this year in February and did notice some changes. The Aulani refillable mugs are different and they no longer make the same ones they did when they first opened which is a bummer because those were pretty cool and had several colors to choose from. A lot of changes are going on around the property and it was nice to see more food options being offered. I also noticed a new restaurant across the street called monkey pods I believe which is a great place to go and have dinner, especially with the live music they have.

Our family had another amazing stay there and the customer service is unbeatable. Everyone treats you as if you were a VIP. Kudos to the whole staff there!! I highly recommend Aulani and my biggest recommendation is to take some time to enjoy the other beautiful parts of the island, especially the beaches over by Kailua like Lanikai.

Oahu has so much to offer and being able to stay in Aulani just makes the experience that much more.....magical!

Room Tip: Pick an even numbered room to face the pools if you can....
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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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New York City, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Beautiful resort. The rooms were well appointed and luxurious. The resort grounds were awesome. The amenities are situated within close proximity of each other, which is great when everyone in our travel party wanted to be in different areas of the resort. The enterainment was wonderful and the many scheduled activities ensured everyone had the opportunity to get the most out of the resort.

  • Stayed May 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.
Milwaukee WI
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013 via mobile

1bdrm villa on 16th fl. Great ocean view from balconies and master and we weren't upgraded from an island view. Everything you need for kitchen is at Island Country Mkt a 10 min. walk from hotel. Skip Roy's and eat at Monkey Pod--much cheaper and much better food. No problem getting pool or beach chairs before 11am. Skip Polynesian Cultural Ctr (huge time sink and waste of money--kids ages 6 & 9 were bored after first island). Spend the day at the North Shore beaches and watch turtles in the surf. Do the star lit hui and canoe building project but skip the fireside storytelling at aulani. Best pools and beach vacation ever.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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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