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“Disney has the potential to be an awesome family resort entrepreneur” 4 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
Pasadena, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Disney has the potential to be an awesome family resort entrepreneur”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the Aulani in August, 2012, just missing the opening of the third tower. My worry is that Disney will fill the resort to the same capacity as it does the theme parks. That would be a deal breaker.
We loved the two bedroom "villa" and most of its amenities. A quick trip to the nearby Costco allowed us a respite from dining out. The restaurants were very good, typically priced for resort hotels. The Disney culture is still being instilled in the employees so service can be inconsistent, but generally, it was good to very good. The Lazy River, the pools and the beach are great. The spa was excellent, a well-designed refuge from the kids. Having the Ko Olina golf course across the street was good.
Disney will have to surmount the expectation of some folks that this is a theme park experience. They offer many on and off property experiences, but it pays to study and book before your trip.
We will go back.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1,956 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 (664)
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English first
Tiburon, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We are DVC members and totally LOVE Disney. We have been going to Disney resorts/cruises/playlands for 10 years. This was the least Disney experience we've ever had. It is a hotel. That's it.
CONS -
It has Auntie's (a kids camp) for up to 12. My kids are 11 and 13. The teen options were kind of lame (my kid's opinions). My 11 year old tried Auntie's and didn't think it was organized. She left early.
The rainbow reef was great, but the last day there was a sewage leak. Total bummer.
Because we are DVC members, they didn't clean our room or change our sheets once. They gave us one small shampoo,conditioner, body wash bottle for four people for four days. Extra shampoo was $5. We got 4 towels for four days as well and to get extra was $5. Seriously?
Last thing, is there isn't alot for adults after hours. They are expanding, so maybe they will fix this. They need more because there isn't alot in that area.
Our recommendation would be a comedy night, wine/tequila tastings, jazz or piano bar. Take a page from the Cruise.
PROS -
We got 10 percent off on the snorkle stuff, so that was great!
Also, as DVC members we had a room with a kitchen. If my kids were small and we ate in the room more, that would've been great, but for us, it was just the coffee maker.
It is really beautiful. They built the buildings in a Hawaiian tradition. The area is nice, but very secluded.
We rented a car the entire time and that was great! We had a great time in Pearl Harbor, Dole Plantation and the north shore. We also had a great time in Kailua.
Don't get me wrong, Oahu was great, but as DVC members, I expected to be treated with more hospitality, not less.
We would have preferred being in a regular hotel room that was cleaned each day.

Room Tip: We were in 482 which had a tiny view of the ocean and just in front of the river. It was a little l...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Southern California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

This is a very new, clean, and nice resort, but way overpriced. We paid almost $500/night including tax, and that's the reason I'm giving it only 3 stars.

Pros:
clean, safe environment for the kids.
decent night time show.
man made lagoon was safe for the kids to swim in, and also good for snorkeling, as we saw some colorful fish there, but for the ultimate snorkeling, you still need to go to Hanauma Bay.

Cons:
adults will get bored pretty quickly here. We stayed 2 nights, and were eager to get out and moved to a hotel in Waikiki.

restaurants are pricey. Our average lunch and dinner bill (for 2 adults and 2 kids) was over $120. Good food, but but I'm not sure it's worth the price.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Ponoka, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We saw the New Years Fireworks there on the grounds they covered 4 lagoons and were awesome!! We went on a horseback riding trip on the west side and really enjoyed the heat and scenery there. The west side of Oahu is hotter and dryer then east side where it was raining all the time we were at Aulani.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basingstoke,UK
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

As always with Disney, we experienced excellent service. The staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome. The pools were not overcrowded and the the Hawai'ian theming was exceptional, down to the Hawai'ian music that was played absolutely everywhere and took a while to filter out. We did, however, realise once we'd left that we kind of missed it!
There is current construction. but appeared to be managed in such a way that it did not impede enjoyment in any way.
I do have 2 downsides to mention:
1. We have stayed at many Disney Resorts and the choice of restaurants was nowhere near as good as we'd hoped. There are other good restaurants nearby, so if you fancy a change then head out along the beach or across the road!
2. I understand that Disney is aimed mainly at families, but there was absolutely nowhere that was child free, except our room and the spa. We were hoping that there would be a bar for adults, or at least some outside space that was teeming with them. I find it difficult to accept that children should be in bars after 8pm, crying, tired and annoying everyone else! Disney, please consider that adults enjoy your magical world too!

  • 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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Seattle, WA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

Beach closed due to a sewage leak at another resort. Will have to wait for the entire Pacific Ocean to filter the cove clean. :) Rooms have been nice, spacious. Bathrooms large and well equipped. Pools ok, but nothing remarkable. Food on premises ridiculously (and foolishly) expensive. $152 for two adults and a 10 yr old for a buffet service. Seriously? Had planned to go to Four Seasons but the lure of Disney convinced us it'd be better for the little one. I seriously suspect that the Four Seasons has a better kids program. Now, if we had a 5-8 yr old maybe it would be better here. But, I suspect we've run the course with Disney for a few years.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Berkeley, California
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

Currently staying at the Aulani. The sewer line broke from the property spilling sewage into the ocean. We were not told this upon check-in, only discovered it when we tried to go to the beach. Disney realized we would have insisted on going elsewhere.

There are other beaches.... 15 minute walk away, but they won't let you take their equipment (boards and snorkels) to other beaches. All the other equipment is not rentable.

The "resort" has NO back-up plan... no extra activities for kids & families. So, the pool is way over crowded, all the lounge chairs at the pool are gone by 9:00 am.

The kids club (Auntie's beach house) is a very poor babysitting service. They don't engage the kids in activities... just throw them in a room with video games, a TV and some arts and crafts. Kids have to figure it out themselves.

They do have some organized activities for kids, but, be warned, book at 8am when they open or your kid is out of luck.

I have made several calls and a visit to the front desk to try and convince them to organize some more activitiers, but I can't seem to get anyone high up in management. The latest person says, "I did not get approval to have staff work overtime to provide more activities."

I can't help but think that Disney must have some other company managing this property as this is NOT the Disney I know and love. In sum, I am having a HORRIBLE experience.

Don't overspend by going to this property. Management clearly wants you to have a horrible time.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the one bedroom with kitchen.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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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