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“Good to be away from Honolulu...”

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Kapolei
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Good to be away from Honolulu...”
Reviewed October 26, 2012

Aulani was a 40 minute drive from the Honolulu Waikiki area... and I'm glad. We did not go to Hawaii to be in another big city.
We choose the Aulani not for the Disney theme but to be away from hustle and bustle of Honolulu but still be in a somewhat luxurious hotel with all the amenities.
We were not disappointed. As a couple in our early 60's we a had an enjoyable and relaxed time. Staying there in the off season there were not as many crazy kids running around. Lots of newly weds and young couples with very small children.
The beach was very nice, the pool was fun, and the infinity tiered hot tub was also very nice.
I would recommended it for anyone at any age.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Art C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Tonkawa, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

We really had a good time. Disney did a great job here.

A few examples, in no particular order.
Beach very protected from the surf and family friendly. Great security. Non-resort guests were removed. Snorkeling in large stocked tank was a great prep for our snorkel excursion. Staff was always friendly and helpful, knowledgable about the different resort offerings. I swear these people walked around with a smile plastered on their faces at all times. I did not feel Disney overload. It did not feel like a ride through "its a small world". The Disney themes were there, but neither ever-present or soul crushing. When I needed to find something to do out on the island, the staff was very helpful, not just in arranging Disney excursions, but also fun, free things to do and see. Rooms were very nice and well supplied for families. Beds comfortable. My kids (7 and 9) spent hours in Aunty's Beach House. They loved it and begged to stay longer. My other kids (12 and 15) wandered freely between beach, pool, spa, and food. They loved the freedom, and we felt safe enough on this property to let them do it.

A few cons. If you are planning to do a lot in Honolulu, the traffic to get there is murder. The food on the resort, while tasty, is less than inspired. I understand that most people are vacationing with kids and grandparents, so this is ok. My kids and inlaws would not have understood molecular gastronomy. The cost of everything is high. Disney plus Hawaii equals $$$$.

Construction. Major renovation was kicking off as we were leaving on October 19th, 2012. It appears that they are trying to be as unobtrusive as possible, but its hard to put a silencer on a jackhammer. I would definitely question them thoroughly about room and construction proximity if booking in the next few weeks or months. If I had been checking in on the 19th instead of checking out, it would have been troubling to watch as they jack hammered into a gasoline and had to evacuate the pool. Yes it happened.

Overall, a great experience. Be mindful of construction.

Room Tip: Get a room with full kitchen. You will want it as meal cost rapidly adds up.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SlyleH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northridge, CA
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

We stayed at the Aulani in October of 2011. This, by far, was the best hotel I have ever stayed at. I loved everything about the place.

The rooms were spacious, clean, and beautifully decorated. The grounds were beautiful and so much fun. The pools, sides and lazy river were great and the beaches are right there too.

There are lots of activities, especially if you have kids. We did not but we heard nothing but wonderful things from parents we chatted with.

As always, the cast members always provided great, friendly service. If you don't want to leave the resort, you definitely do not have to. It's quite a nice experience to just stay and enjoy all that Disney has to offer. We did venture out for sightseeing, But I still can't emphasize enough what a wonderful place this is.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank JSo73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
91 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Listen, if you ever been to any Disney place you know what you are getting. Disney is a wonderful place to take family and Kids. Disney was one of the few companies in this last recession that did not lay-off people. Why, because it is a wonderful place. Wonderful places come at a steep price.

People, know what you are getting. You will be paying out of mind and wallet when you go to Aulani. Just like Disneyland or Disneyworld in florida. You will pay.

Aulani is a great place for a wonderful vacation for your family. Just understand, it will cost alot of money for the Disney experience.

Just to let you know, the BeachVilla condos next to Aulani are vacation rentals. They offer better prices to be in same area.

Room Tip: Look into BeachVilla Condos (next to Aulani) for better Value for luxury accomodations.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Steve C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2012

Recently spent a week here with my spouse for vacation purposes - we have no kids. Mostly families were staying here, but being disney fans we are use to this. The resort is located about 20 miles west of the airport on H1 in the vacation neightborhood Ko'Olina - very easy to get to. This is a gated community with a couple of other resorts, golf coarse, and small shopping area. Aulani is very natural in style - blends in well with surroundings. The landscaping is lovely and lobby breathtaking.
We found the staff to be of the usual Disney quality - in other words really awesome and helpful. Our room was on the main floor - near everything but still very quiet. Bed - comfy, a.c. - cold, towels - fluffy, decor - very nice, room size - average for d.v.c studio. There was a full microwave, small coffee pot, toaster, small fridge, and tea kettle in the kitchenette. We were able to prepare several simple meals and snacks. The staff are great at keeping the tea and coffee stocked.
The outside facilities were amazing - perfect for child and adult both. Large swimming area occupies the center of the resort. Swimming area includes a "lazy river", large pool, splash area for smaller kids with slide, water slid for larger kids/adults, several hot tubes, and small infinity pool over looking the ocean. There always seemed to be lots of seating, though just not always close to the pool. Two snack/quick serve dining options are in this area and one nice sit down restaurant. An indoor lounge area is just off the pool. This lounge has changing rooms, lockers, showers, couches, tv, etc.
One of our favorite features had to be the small cove/beach just steps from the pool area. A rock wall makes the water fairly calm/little kid friendly. The beach/water is clean and well kept. Public restrooms are located at either end of the beach. Lots of lounge chairs are available but umbrellas can be limited in the middle of the day. The most peaceful time to visit this beach is after the sun sets. It is far enough from Honolulu that you can see the stars clearly - so relaxing after a spectacular sunset.
The spa is a must. It is so unique. The staff are amazing. The spa area is on the western side of the resort making it very peaceful. It includes outdoor facilities reserved for spa guests only. These facilities include - relaxation room, soaking tubes, hot tubes, giant warmed showers for water therapy, and several lounge chairs. The changing rooms are very nice - well kept with every amenity imaginable. Changing areas also have sauna and steam rooms. Our best vacation days were spent at the spa!!
Shopping is just a quick walk across the street. At the back of the small shopping center is a very large abc store. Anything you need can be found here. They have a well supplied grocery area including fresh veggies and meat. The deli offers a daily menu with hot and cold foods. Of coarse they have ALL the classic Hawaii souvenirs. The pricing may seem a little high but it is a better option than dealing with a cab or trying to drive in Oahu traffic just to get a few necessities.
Overall had a great time here and can't wait to visit again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank ottographwife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
White Rock, Canada
Level Contributor
272 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2012 via mobile

This place is beautiful, comfortable, and has friendly staff, but make sure you have plenty of room on your credit card when you come here. Everything on site is expensive, and you need a car to get anything off site. Want a tube so your kid can float in the pool $20, want a snorkel and mask $20, want a 6pack at the onsite store, $20; it gets to be a little much.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank JD778
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne, New Jersey
Level Contributor
92 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2012

We're long time Disney fans (have visited Orlando/ California a combined 7 times in 7 years). Since we were in Hawaii on a cruise for our honeymoon, we figured we would try out Aulani since it's brand new and we won't be back in Hawaii anytime time soon. So we decided to stay two nights after the cruise.

We are really happy that we did. We arrived around 10am, well before check in time, but they held our bags and we headed over to the pool area where they have these great locker rooms with showers and even a bathing suit water extractor. This way, you can immediately enjoy the pool before your room is ready. In true Disney fashion, the pool is amazing with two water slides, lazy river, main pool, a play water place for kids and plenty of warm jacuzzis. We didn't have a problem finding chairs even on the busy weekend. I would advise that you try to coordinate your stay during the week vs. the weekends... the pool is significantly busier on weekends vs. weekdays.

This place is not cheap to stay in so we booked a standard room. The room was huge for a standard room. It featured a queen, pull out couch and a balcony with two chairs and a small table. There was plenty of vegetation around, but you could still see the parking deck... Not a big deal for us. It was still nice to sit outside and enjoy the Hawaiian breeze. Along with the LCD, it had a Blue Ray player and hook ups for your personal media sources. The room also had plenty of easy to access outlets to charge whatever you need. Of course the bathroom was beautiful. There are no real negatives other than a fairly steep cost per night.

On one of the days, we booked a morning Spa treatment in there Laniwai Spa. If you have the time, spend a whole day there! They allow you to use all the amenities during your treatment day, but I don't think you can just come and go....so just stay. You go in an hour before your treatment to unwind. They have an amazing water garden. There are six over sized huge showers that soak you in different water patterns with 96 degree water. There are two soaking tubs with 100 degree water and one standard 96 degree jacuzzi. Right next to that jacuzzi is a 44 degree tub. What you do is soak in 96 degree water for a few minutes, get out and plunge into the 44 degree water and back into the 96 degree water. It's invigorating! I'm told it helps promote blood flow. When you get back into the hot water, you're ENTIRE body had the pins and needles affect. Very interesting and you should try it.

There are plenty of cushioned lounges to lay out outside far away from the general population and pools. It is very quiet with just the background music, breeze and wildlife chirping away. If ou don't want to be outside, they have an interior relaxation room with huge windows and cushioned lounges. The staff will bring you anything you need. They bought us warmed buckwheat neck cushions and eye covers. Very relaxing and so you don't have to leave, they offer what they call private dining (room service). All of these features are co-ed so you can share the time with your significant other.

In the men's locker room there are showers, all the toiletries you could need, sauna, steam room and a relaxation room with a large LCD with sports on. My wife tells me the women's side has the same amenities, but no LCD in the relaxation room.

So keep in mind when you review the pricing of the treatments that you get sooo much more. Bring your Kindle, iPad or whatever b/c the free wifi is also available. We were there from 10am to 7pm. Never needed to leave. The staff is extremely nice and accommodating. So build in an all day Spa day during your stay.

As with any full service resort, the food gets expensive FAST. So if you're staying longer than two nights and have a car, go out and get your snacks and such elsewhere. We saw people with McDonalds and Subway take out from time to time.

Sadly we had to leave, but you can use the same locker rooms I mentioned at the beginning of my review. So you can enjoy the pool and such to the last possible second and then get showered up for your return home. It's such a great idea and more hotels should implement it.

The hotel and staff are top notch and really make you feel welcome.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SubaruLegacy
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

Property: Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Address: 92-1185 Ali'inui Drive, Kapolei, Oahu, HI 96707-4434
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 #4 of 5 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 And Spa In Hawai`i
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa In Hawai`i Hotel Kapolei
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Hawaii/Oahu

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