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“A lot of improvements!”

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Kapolei
Certificate of Excellence
San Leandro, CA
Level Contributor
255 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“A lot of improvements!”
Reviewed October 26, 2012

This is our 2nd visit (our 1st being in Nov 2011). We stayed 5 nights this time (vs 3) in a standard view room. No upgrade this time. I think because they had limited rooms available with one whole wing closed for finishing touches on the outside of the building. Honestly, we didn't mind the view of the parking garage one bit as we were honestly not in our room but to sleep. I have to say Disney management definitely has listened to the feedback and have continued to make changes to better accommodate their guests needs. I have to say the majority of the cast members (employees) were very personable and went above and beyond to make our stay memorable. Shout out to the community room CM's as well as the beach CM's. Both sets of employees were so personable and really made our visit memorable. Jordan on the beach remembered all our names everyday, made sure our son had a boogie board when one became available, gave us recommendations for off site restaurants. The CM's in the community room always welcomed us to do activities and made us feel right at home. They remembered our names throughout the visit. Disney was and continues to make improvements through summer 2013. The construction noise was limited and 95% of the activities and area were available during our visit. We hardly noticed the work. The only thing that did put a crimp in our activity is that they started working on the stairs (hopefully to make them less slippery when wet) on the volcano on the 4th day of our visit. Our son stopped going on the water slide when they did this because he would have to walk around the entire pool to enter the water slide on the other side. However, he had already enjoyed the dark waterslide for 3 days before that! The food service is improving as well. I just wish they had more healthy food choices (vs a lot of fried food). Many food service eateries offered the same menu (Off the Hook, poolside dining). Mama's Snack Shop is a good addition. I just wish they offered more selections. Disney needs to add more quick service options with more healthy food options. I think they have this in the plans. I was a little disappointed as I wanted frozen yogurt from Rip, Swirl & TIde??? but it seemed it was never open when I wanted it. I think it doesn't open until noon everyday and it is tucked by the spa (kind of hard to find). I was also disappointed that One Paddle Two Paddle had limited hours (5-8pm) now. On our first visit we ate there almost everyday. I also noticed that they took the fish tacos off the menu which were very good and a healthy option. Now it seems almost the same menu as Off the Hook. The character breakfast is way overpriced and the food quality is poor. I like that they have turkey bacon available but it just does not taste like good quality food overall. Good food service options: Olelo room for continental breakfast (really good croissant sandwiches, pastries, yogurt parfairts & fresh fruit). We went here every morning as it opened at 6am (being 3 hrs jet lagged we were up at 4:40am every day). We also went here for dinner one night. They offer mainly appetizers...BUT good ones. The calamari was excellent (not greasy)! We all got full on sharing appetizers and sitting comfortably on the big couches! The other surprise this visit was Ama Ama. We went for breakfast two mornings. All I can say is don't miss the chocolate banana peanut butter french toast! OMG! They need to have this available all day long and at every restaurant, room service! It is so good! Ohter recommendation: bring a wet suit if you plan on snorkeling in Rainbow reef (way too cold for little ones and big ones too!). I suggest to Disney management that they offer wet suits to anyone who pays $15-$20 to snorkel in their Rainbow Reef for the day. One other suggestion is that Disney management needs to provide mats for their guests to ride on in the dark water slide. Many people complainig about feeling the rivots in the waterslide when coming down. This actually stopped my husband from enjoyng it with our son. His back was all marked up with red lines from going down the dark waterslide. One other item to note: the front desk staff were not personable or helpful at all. No upgrade available (not even when we offered to pay the difference), no early check in or check out available. We are planning on coming back with my brother's family and wanted to see a 2 bedroom. When we asked to see a 2 bedroom we were told by the front desk staff that it was a bad time (during check out).

Room Tip: If you are not planning on being in the room a lot go for the standard view. There are plenty of gr...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank mariard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
2 Thank Art C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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
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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
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ottographwife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
White Rock, Canada
Level Contributor
275 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 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.
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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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