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“Expensive” 3 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
lulu795
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Expensive”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

Where do I begin. We had a villa suite which stated island view, steps from the beach. What we got was a view of the parking garage & golf course across the street all this for $10,000 for 7 nights. The spa charged $115 for a mani/pedi which was mediocre at best. I pay $45 for the same with better service, plus when I asked about adding a tip, they automatically added 20%. The New Year's celebration was $225PP(we had 6-2 kids) which included a buffet dinner, drinks were extra. You were given a champagne toast at midnight. We had to stand in line to get wristbands for the event & then we had to stand in a very long line that evening to get seated at our table. Overall, poorly organized & hardly worth the money. If you want to have dinner at 2 of their restaurants, you need to call well in advance. I suppose if you have kids that you can involve in a bunch of activities while you sit by the pool, then this is the place for you. We would never, ever go to this resort again. I don't understand all the rave reviews. The only good thing is the staff, friendly, polite & helpful.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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 (728)
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New York City
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

We visited July 28-July 31,2013 and stayed in a DVC 2br villa that came with two full baths and 1 half bath. There is also a washer/dryer and full kitchen. This resort has everything you need to relax. It is in a beautiful secluded area (which the Marriott had full view until Disney moved in). There is an amazing kids club with large rooms and plenty of activities. There is also a playground for young kids and a community room with books, games and DVDs to be used for free. The lazy river is what we did every single day for hours. Snorkeling and Hawaiian shaved ice is on site. The shack is the cheapest place you'll get food like hotdogs and chicken fingers. It is in the pool area. Otherwise it's sit down restaurants on premise. Aulani does not have Disney written all over it. It's very nice and subtle. The most basic room is a about $600/night and pretty steep but the lazy river is really all you need. As with everything else, there is a fee to be charged. To save yourself some cash, there's a Target about a mile away in the Kapolei shopping center for all your groceries and souvenirs. If you need a quick Starbucks fix, walk across the sand to Marriott next door. Aulani is an amazing experience to be done once in a lifetime.

Stayed July 2013
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LosAngeles
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

I stayed here for a week in a 2 bedroom suite along with my husband, adult son, daughter, son-in-law and 3 year old granddaughter. Having a full kitchen was great; we didn't have to go out for every meal and had snacks handy whenever we wanted them. My son wasn't thrilled at the thought of going to a Disney resort, but a few hours into it he admitted it was "really nice". We all had a great time! Several evenings we walked across the road for dinner at one of the restaurants in a small strip mall; the rest of the time we had dinner at different restaurants in the hotel. There is a day care center on site (included with your room rate) which my granddaughter went to (along with her mom) a few times for a few hours. She didn't want to stay alone, so my daughter stayed with her and they participated in the crafts and games together. We were all happy to just hang out on the beach or at one of the pools every day. There were Disney characters available for photo ops every day, but they were not intrusive and you didn't get overwhelmed by the "Disneyness". Each night there was a show or family movie on the lawn; we went and enjoyed it with our granddaughter. . She got a kick out of being up "so late"Overall, this was a great vacation and a beautiful resort; I highly recommend it!

Room Tip: We originally wanted to book separate rooms, but it was less expensive to get the 2 bedroom suite...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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San Francisco, California
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

We stayed at the Aulani January 1 - 5 with 2 adults and 2 teens in a 2-BR Grand Villa Partial Ocean View Suite. We have been to Oahu several times, and have stayed in condos on Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island as well, and LOVED our Aulani experience. It is a beautiful property, with a nice manmade lagoon beach, perfect for families. Totally quiet, unlike crazy Waikiki. The villa was over 1000 square feet, spacious with full kitchen, three bathrooms, King suite for parents, and a suite with two queen beds for the teens. Fold out living room couch bed and awesome fold out chair bed (which we all fought to nap in) as well. We did not spend the extra money on a full ocean view, since, as we usually find, we spend the day out of the room and at the beach, and take that money saved and go out to several nice dinners instead.

The lei greeting and superbly nice staff is what we would expect from Disney. The Disney aspect is very much in the background, so no worries about seeing Mickey and Minnie every second. They say it is big H (hawaii) and little d (Disney), and that is correct! The grounds are amazing, and we loved the slides, lazy pool, and infinity hot tub for adults only that over looked the lagoon. Best sunsets ever! The paved walking path from the Aulani lagoon to the others nearby was enjoyed a lot.

A couple of logistic points for families:

Pool/Beach: get down to the pool or beach early to get your wrist bands and towels for the day, then save your beach or pool chairs with the towels (no cost to use these awesome lounge chairs/umbrellas). By 10:30 it was a challenge to find four lounge chairs together, and the resort was only 88% full. They move your stuff if you are away from your lounge chairs over an hour, so we took turns sitting with the chairs here and there during the day. They have refillable mugs for drinks--worth buying them for the stay. There is beach and pool side food service, and places to grab lunch, shaved ice, etc. Food overall was decent for the price.

Shopping/Food Nearby: There is a Safeway and a Costco very nearby and we loaded up on breakfast and lunch/dinner items (and local fresh fish poke, pineapples, tropical fruit, banana cream pie). Teens sleep late so we ate breakfast in the villa, and usually had lunch on the beach. Dinner was either in the villa, at the resort, or nearby: Roy's is awesome and just a brief walk to the nearby golf course, and our kids loved Genki Sushi, a local place where a little train of fresh sushi, salads, etc. goes around and you pick what you like (ate like kings and queens for $75). It was in the same shopping center as Target, which had a huge supply of swim suits and Hawaiian gifts, towels, etc. at cheap prices. All within a 10 minute drive of the Hotel.

Awesome After Check Out Service: We usually take the red eye back home, and with an 11 am check out and a midnight flight back, it is usually a challenge to spend the last day at the beach and get cleaned up for the flight home. Aulani has a lounge at no cost for guests checked out but with late flights. We took the four dry clean bags the hotel had in our closets and put in a change of clothes for the flight. We left those ready to go in the rental car (along with our suitcases) and enjoyed a full day at the beach (could even use our room key to charge for lunch and drinks after check out). If you do not have a car, their concierge will hold suitcases/bags for you. When we were done at the beach after 5 pm, Aulani gave us a one use key into the lounge, where we found a computer to print boarding passes, and locker rooms with showers (all shower gel/shampoo/conditioner provided), lockers, towels, hairdryer, bathrooms. We took showers, and put wet beach stuff into those same plastic laundry bags and threw them into the suitcases. We had a great last day then headed off (sand free!) to Roy's for dinner before driving to the airport. So nice to have this service at no extra cost to us!!

We loved the relaxed feel of the resort, and it really worked for a family needing some serious lay on the lounge chair and stare at the waves kind of vacation break from school. My kids did not visit the teen spa or join the teen activities offered each day, but Aulani works hard to find fun things for teens to do in a resort highly geared for families with kids 3 - 12. We did drive around the island one day and enjoyed that a lot, but Aulani was just what we needed! Perfect experience and one we highly recommend!

Room Tip: Partial Ocean View was fine for us. Villa was key for having enough private space and reasonable fo...
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

I love everything about this resort! I traveled with my husband and 7 month old daughter. The only downside is the kids area seems to be ages 3 and over, and no activities for babies or toddlers, which is odd for Disney. We made do and had a lot of fun!! Definitely do the character breakfast!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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.
Bellevue, WA
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

We aren't huge Disney fans, or all that fond of Oahu so I wasn't quite sure we'd enjoy our stay here. However, we planned the trip at the last minute and weren't able to get flights to Maui or the Big Island so we gave this place a shot and were pleasantly surprised with the hotel and Ko'Olina. The resort is new and had a great pool complex. It's what the Grand Wailea would be like if the people running it actually cared and they bothered to keep it updated. The reef snorkel activity isn't very exciting for anyone over 8 or so and the lagoon is very calm, but there was a great boogie board/surfing beach about 15 minutes away at White Plains Beach and we liked the calm and peaceful location of this resort compared the rest of Waikiki. Villas were nicer than the ones at Hilton Hawaiian Village as were all of the resort amenities. Food was middling, but MonkeyPod and Roys are walking distance from hotel and had great food and mai tais. Shows and cultural programs were also interesting and varied. Spa was high caliber. Only odd thing was seeing Aloha Mickey and crew as they seemed out of place. Poolside room was very convenient and meant we didn't have to skulk about for an open pool chair each day. Staff unbelievably friendly and full of aloha.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Hamilton, New Zealand
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

We stayed for 3 nights Dec 26th - 29th, it is visually a really nice resort with great facilities on offer for children like Aunty's beach house, water slides, rainbow reef. The kids club runs all day till about 9 pm so you can drop the kids off for a couple of hours or longer if required. You do need to book the kids in for lunch or dinner and if you want them to do certain special activities you also have to book. If however they don't get the special activities they can still do the normal activities on offer. There is a wait list also for meals and special activities which I put out son on and both times a spot opened up for him. The meals the kids get cost $8.50 and it's a full meal with different options. As a family we did the character breakfast twice and had breakfast at the Ulu cafe once. The Ulu cafe was about $8 pp as opposed to the $32 per adult $19 for under 10's for the character breakfast. The other bonus with the Ulu Cafe is it's self service so no tipping required. It's important to check your bill as they loaded up a few extra charges that we didn't opt to purchase like the photo's with the characters that they take before breakfast I had said no to, and a couple of extra charges at rainbow reef when I told them I only wanted a day pass but they charged me a whole stay price. If you point out the errors they will correct it with no problems. The pool area was busy so it pays to go down before 10.30 am to find chairs. The chairs are there later but near the less desirable areas like the spa pools. It didn't bother us as long as we had somewhere to dump our stuff so we could go to the lazy river of water slides. We bought one of the refillable cups which was good value and my son and husband shared it. The refillable stations are open till about 8.30 at night so when we were waiting for our laundry we went and grabbed a drink. There are two laundry's at Aulani in two different towers so it pays to grab a map of the resort.
We were travelling with a baby so generated washing so the laundry facility was good. There is an ABC store over the road useful for a few extras plus the disney store at the resort also sells ice-creams, deodorant, little swimmers etc. You will need a car as it's about a 35 minute drive from the airport plus it means you can go to the outlet store which is close by along with a target. I booked a deluxe studio which had tea coffee facilities and an island view, housekeeping serviced it ever day we were there which was good. Aulani is very new so everything is clean and fresh looking.We had dinner at Ama Ama one night it was pricey but the food was fantastic, I had two starters and they were both an generous size. We didn't use the spa but I hope to next time. We purchased a DVC membership we have looked at similar things in the past and felt this one would work for us. It's worth looking at and you get a $100 disney card for your time. I'm looking forward to many years of holidaying at disney resorts.

Room Tip: A deluxe studio ground floor pool room puts you right by the lazy river. It's not as expensive...
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  • Stayed December 2013, 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
    • 4 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.
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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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