Just gt back from our second trip combining Aulani and Trump. We did the same a year ago as our children's first overseas holiday - they loved it so we decided to redo it again this year.
Original plan was 7 nights at Aulani then 3 nights at Trump however we were enjoying ourselves too much to leave so we extended our Trump stay to 6 nights prior to flying home.
AULANI - stayed again in a 2 bedroom villa same as last year. Huge and spacious accomodation with full kitchen, 2.5 bathrooms and laundry facilities. Housekeeping service can be slightly patchy - ranging from excellent to at one stage a quick blow through making beds and changing towels.
Beach and pool facilities are excellent - towels, chilled water stations and free beach usage of lounges, umbrellas, sand toys and body boards.
There s work still ongoing however it was fairy unobtrusive IMO. My main "issue" was due to this work they don't seem to be utilising all the rooms in the tower closest to the work, which makes sense. The downside is that our room this year was in the Ewa tower which is massive! We were on the 6th floor which made me feel a little claustrophobic - last year we had a ground floor which walked out onto the green gardens which was lovely. On the upside we booked an island view room but had lovely views overlooking both the beach and the lawn where the Starlit Hui and movies are shown at night.
Dining can be pricey but we were prepared. First stop is always Costco to get fresh fruits, cereal, juices and milk which makes breakfast much easier for three demanding children each morning. Off the Hook poolside dining is great for allowing parents to unwind whilst watching kids in the pool. AMA AMA is lovely and very accepting of children - there were quite a few kids falling asleep at surrounding tables and the staff were always bringing in extra chairs to lie them down and fresh warm towels to cover them with. Little Opihi down at the beach was great for lunch with cold options like salads, sandwiches and sushi etc.
Aunty's House was a hit again with our kids - we are always loathe to leave our kids with strangers so they only went once but they loved the activities and staff. Starlit Hui was exactly the same as last year - but everyone seems to like it. Movies were older - "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Adventures of Arrietty" were two our children watched on the lawn.
We tried out The Monkeypod restaurant across the road - it was really lovely. Gorgeous food, great cocktails and excellent service. He'll of a lot cheaper then dining onsite as well.
TRUMP - we were upgraded to a three bedroom suite for the first three nights. Huge huge rooms with great views of the beach across the road. As many know we adore Trump so this was the Mummy and Daddy portion of the trip! But luckily our kids love it too.
We were welcomed with a bottle of champagne & chocolates for us and gifts for the kids (stuffed toys, colouring in books and cake pops). The staff at Trump are wonderful, from valets to concierge to the housekeeping staff we never have any issues with anyone.
We tended to go to the beach in the morning then back to Trump's pool for lunch and swimming. Bento boxes as well as the kids poolside meals always a winner for us. Trump also lends out the beach bags, sand toys and body boards free of charge to guests - we then rent chairs and umbrellas from the Koa Beach hire stands down on the beach.
Was interesting to see how our favourite restaurants are when we have children with us (compared to when we travel by ourselves each NYE). BLT Steakhouse, Yardhouse and Ruth's Chris all were outstanding for the whole family. Giovanni Pastrami is good for both eat in and takeout (great for eating in our room whilst watching the Friday night fireworks). Our kids also like Denny's for breakfast and Moose McGillyCuddy's as well.
The second part of the Trump stay was in a two bedroom ocean view which again is more then spacious enough for our family of 5. This time we were overlooking the Saratoga side so had great views of Fort DeRussy, hotels such as The Breakers as well as views of the beach towards HHV.
HAWAIIAN AIRLINES - still one of our favourite airlines. Love the easy check in Honolulu airport - no standing in a queue for up to 2hrs like most times at Sydney. Was pretty easy to change flights home over the phone with their service centre. Probably the only "down side" was there were no kids meals on the flight home - every child was fed the same meal as the adults. Only one of my children ate the meals - and we have fairly adventurous eaters.
Because we had the kids there was next to no shopping - I save that for our NYE trips. Sad to say our main purchases were a new kitchen faucet (tap), a new kitchen wastebin ($49 at Costco and retails for closer to $200 here in Australia!) and some alcohol.
Did go and say goodbye to Sears at Ala Moana and IMP just in case it is gone by December.
Also revisited Honolulu Zoo and The Aquarium - firm favourites of our kids (must admit I also have a soft spot for the Zoo and their display of flamingos at the entry).
So another Oahu trip done sadly - will have to start planning the grown up NYE trip next.