We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Beautiful Hotel With Small Rooms and Poor Check In”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 9 more sites!
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Kapolei
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Stayed mid October with our 2 children (aged 9 and 11).

We arrived expecting it to be beautiful and the hotel certainly was! Flagstones, wood and tasteful decor abound and the staff who greeted us were friendly enough.

We tried to time our flight (from Maui) to arrive around 3pm so that check in would be a breeze. So when we walked through the doors of the Aulani at 2.55pm, we assumed things would go well.....

Our room wasn't ready which was disappointing considering the resort charges at least $400 per night and we were told that as the hotel was COMPLETELY full, we would have to wait for around an hour until our room had been cleaned.

An hour later and our room was still not ready. At 4.30pm we asked to speak to the manager and suddenly a different room from the one originally allocated to us became available!

We duly found our room and were told our luggage would follow within minutes. 5pm and our luggage was not yet at our room! We called and were told that things were extremely busy but that it would come soon. At 5.30pm our luggage finally arrived.

Although it seems a relatively small complaint, 2.5 hours to check in is totally unacceptable for a 5 star resort. We received a $75 resort fee credit which was appreciated but when only staying for 3 nights, a speedy check in would have been much more acceptable!

Our room was a partial ocean view on the 6th floor. We could see a little of the ocean and a lot of the car park and golf course! The room itself was really small for 4 people and the double beds were very small indeed. That said the furnishings were of a high quality and the bathroom was spotless, with toiletries and robes.Staff will provide a microwave and/or toaster is asked.

Pool areas were lovely and well maintained and the kids loved the trail using the hand held PDA's. A very clever idea.

We chose to eat outside of the hotel, as the dining options were not plentiful and the meal we ate at Roys on the golf course opposite the Aulani was superb and our favourite.

Please know that if you wish to take part in any of the family activities you must book well in advance. This wasn't explained at check in and we missed out on 2 things we wanted to do because they were full.

Listened to Uncles stories around the firepit one evening and watched Finding Nemo under the stars on another....again great for the family.

The beach area, although man made, was pretty and safe for small children. The water was flat calm and gave us a chance to find our sea legs when trying paddle boarding for the first time...great fun for the whole family!

I agree with others who've said "purchase the juice cups". They're $20 each but it's lovely being able to refill them throughout the day at the beveridge stations.

The Rainbow Reef was great. Staff here were particularly friendly and the whole family had a brilliant time snorkelling with the many species of fish.

All in all the Aulani is a beautiful resort but check in and dining options need to be much better. Would we return, probably not. In our opinion, for the money there are many better places to visit as a family.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Where-now-guys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (5,306)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

3,908 - 3,914 of 5,306 reviews

Reviewed November 8, 2012

In selecting the Aulani I reviewed Trip Advisor and I always read the negatives, these included comments about price, service and choice. My experience of Aulani was simply outstanding. It started on check in after a 14 hour flight, and like most resorts check in was as expected about 3 pm. Aulani recognised my situation, traveling with a 4 year old and I was able to take advantage of a meal and on revisiting the front desk Aulani had me in my room about 11 am. All I had to do was ask. In fact asking for anything was always met with a smile and a can do attitude. Comments about choice and price are in my opinion misleading. This is more than a 5 star resort it is priced accordingly. Having said this there is choice from silver service fine dining, priced accordingly, to other options.

If you want the best steak in Hawaii eat at Ama Ama the service is impeccable, the prices are consistent with the experience provided.

I note concerns regarding garden view rooms yes you look over the garden to the car park. Get over it it is not a big deal. Next want a cocktail or a beer or otherwise, get down to Off the Hook, Monika and Taryn and the rest of the staff will go out of their way to make your stay memorable.

Want a table out front at Ama Ama ask Daniel he will get you one. Bookings were not a problem but consider not just walking in 5 minutes before you want to eat.

The Disney Character Breakfast at Makahiki delighted my four year old as it was intended to do, and it was noisy and chaotic but that's what kids love.

Every interaction with staff was positive, there is a focus on children and this is important in my opinion. I have had the privilege of traveling extensively throughout Africa, Asia, USA and Europe and quite simply Aulani was the best Family Resort I have had the pleasure of staying at. Check it out as soon as you can.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Richard L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2012

I want to preface my review by letting you know that I went in October, during a time where it was stated that there was going to be construction done on site. I called to ask what was being done and they let me know that the adult pool was being redone and would be the only thing that was closed in terms of what I might use. That being said, I didn't think that the construction would impact my stay or how I would feel about the resort; however, I realized I was wrong because sitting at the general pool (which is rather small for the size of that resort) I was exposed to listening to a jack hammer the ENTIRE day except for a one hour lunch break-certainly not relaxing or pleasing. In regards to the resort, here is my review:

We stayed in a 1-bedroom villa with a full kitchen with 2 kids (4 and 6 years old). I have often traveled with the Marriott time-shares on the Hawaiian islands and would like to note that they are more extravagant and larger than this one bedroom villa. We got the 1-bedroom villa versus a hotel suite because my husband needed to do some work early in the morning (the business center is only open at 8am versus all night which is strange because if someone needed to work with mainland hours, they would need to use it earlier!!). This was not enough I quickly realized because the doors on the bedroom are not solid, rather, they are wood slates and you can hear everything through them. :( The shower to the room was so bad that we could not use it for 3 days and even then it was unpleasant--the smell was so bad in the shower. The housekeepers indicated they usually use an anti-mold spray and then there isn't much ventilation in the shower so that it smelled badly--they tried to wash it down, but it really wasn't fixed-we stayed in room 1083 so avoid that one! The beds are firm and I like firm beds, but thought they were a bit too firm-like sleeping on the floor. I brought my own pillow, but would have been miserable with how full their pillows are. Their towels were nice and thick. Also, the two rooms did not regulate the same temperature--always felt warm in the bedroom and cold in the pull-out bedroom. Activities: This is a Disney resort and I will say, hands down, the ONLY reason I would come back here is because of Aunty's Beach House--which is an upscale childcare/pre-school like environment that is free! You can leave the kids there when you go to dinner or for a few hours (as many as you like actually) during the day. The kids do not have access to water activities while they are there, but are able to choose from several activities: playing outside, arts/crafts, movies, computers, video games--they also have special projects like making leis and building exploding volcanos that the kids can sign up for. We went during the offseason, so if it is high season, you need to sign up for activities early as they can fill up. We also enjoyed family activities at the family activity room-such as canoe building, pumpkin carving, etc. They always emphasize a piece of the Hawaiian culture/history in their activities and lessons which is nice. They recently added an area where they have movie nights and the starlit hui--this is all included and is nice for night time activities. The starlit hui does not have food, but is like a luau experience. There is also the Menehune Adventure Trail--which is like a scavenger hunt for the kids. You use a tablet to go around to different locations on the resort and you learn a piece of history of Hawaii and see cool things hidden along the way. The pools: The lazy river is nice and there are 2 waterslides-one with a tube and one without. The one with a tube is an open-slide and 1 or 2 people can go on it (you can bring younger kids on this one and it is fun for anyone) and the one without a tube is enclosed and is very dark and fast-- if you have claustrophobia you might not want to do it. You end up in two different pools with each slide so you have to know where/which one your kids will be going on even though the entrance is the same point (hard if each kid goes to a different one). The pool area is too small for the size of this resort. I know they are currently expanding the adult-only pool--but they will have to add another pool when they open all of the rooms up! There is no way! It was as crowded as I would want it and I went offseason!! I was able to get chairs and tubes but would have been frustrated if this was not possible during high season. One last thing about the pool-the buildings of the resort are built so high (16 stories) that it shades some of the lazy river area during the day-and just leaves a towering feeling over the pool. The beach area is great. I have always loved how they made these little bays. The snorkeling is not good in the bays, however. The kids had fun on these mats they set up that you can stand on or jump off of in the salt water. The rainbow reef: It is very small. It was not worth my money or time to get in it! I have snorkeled all over Hawaii and the Caribbean so it was nice enough to look through their windows they had of the reef. I also didn't think it would be that great to swim in the reef and have everyone stare at my legs through the peeking window! My 6-year old son did do it and would go for about 10-15 minutes a day and be done. It is that small. But, a nice first time experience for snorkeling. Food: The food at the pool area is ok. We ate at Off the Hook for lunch and dinner, AMA AMA for dinner and Makahiki for lunch. Makahiki for lunch was delicious and the best cost for taste. AMA AMA was overpriced, but good-I would rather go to Roy's around the corner. Off the Hook is bar/pool food...I think that all the restaurants have a very limited menu--they need to add a little more variety. Even though we had a kitchen, we did not cook very much in our room. We usually do, but we did not rent a car this trip as the car parking cost is $35/day if you are not a vacation club owner and I thought that was ridiculous! I didn't realize until the end of our trip that we could have gotten a taxi for $10 each way and gone to Costco!! The ABC store across the street is expensive ($7.50 a mango!) but food in general is more expensive on Hawaii! The Taco store across the street is delicious! Overall, I thought this was a nice resort for families. I thought my kids would absolutely fall in love with it being they are only 4 and 6 but all they came away from is that they wish they went to the "other Hawaii!" We usually go to the Waiohi resort with our family so I am not sure if they like the access to snorkeling at the other one, the pools or the fact that we usually have more family with us at the other! Good luck on your travels and hope you enjoy! Hawaii is beautiful.

Room Tip: It is worth while to get the poolside view--I looked at both. I would stay above the 3rd floor--the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank kgluhak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

Me, my husband Tom his brother Joe and wife Annie spent 12 days at Aulani compliments of their daughter Melanie and husband Martin who are Disney Vacation Members..Hell of a gift isn't it! We're all in our mid 60's and have been dying to go to Hawaii..boy did we go..We were scheduled to be there a week but ended up with 4 extra days because the flights out to Arizona and Philly got canceled due to Sandy. Because of the construction (not a big deal) Aulani gave us 2 free nights and Melanie gave us 2 more nights so we were about as happy as pigs in poop! I have thought and thought and can't come up with one negative thing to say about Aulani. The C M s could not of done more for us. We were treated like kings and queens. We hung out on the beach most days..thank you Jordan.."our" beach man..at least it felt like it..Greeted with Good Morning Mr and Mrs Gleaves. (yeah..2 sets of us).how are you, what can I do for you? He'd set up our umbrellas and chairs talk and give us recommendations of what to do or where to go..never felt rushed or like he had somewhere to go etc like in some of the higher end resorts. The beach lagoon was just fine with us..we could stare, read our books and were just as happy as clams. The hotel was spectacular. Words don't do it justice..Check out their pictures on their site.
Our room..The Standard View Efficiency looked out to the convention center grounds..perfect sunrise views..later we got Garden View with views of the Wedding Chapel and the ocean..views weren't important to us but they were pretty.
The Lazy river..We got our fat butts in the tubes..no wait..and floated looking up at the beautiful flowers surrounding the river as we floated under trees and bridges. We did the Volcano water slide too. Ya gotta do the slide..and I have new knees!
People say its expensive to eat there..yup..but you don't have to go that way...we got the refillable cup the first day..$18.99 and good for the whole time you're there. can be filled with coffee, tea, soda etc..no booze. We would fill our cup with coffee in the morning at one of the filling stations and go to breakfast. We ate at Ama Ama every day...yeah..their top of the line restaurant. Huge portions. Cheese and ham omelet and potatoes for $13. or 3 huge plate sized blueberry pancakes for $13.. and we would split it and the waiters/waitresses were more then happy to accommodate you with extra plates and if you told them before they placed the order you were splitting they split it in the kitchen. and NO..they didn't look down their noses at us for sharing. Especially Roxanne..our favorite waitress and Tait too. The girls at the Ama Ama reservation desk couldn't be sweeter. For lunch they have the snack stands around the pools..Mamas..buffalo ranch Chicken Sandwich..crusty roll, huge..$6.95..and of course drinks free at the filling station. later we would go over to the ABC Country Store. Nice sandwiches for under $7. Grilled cheese with fries for $3.99. Lots of t shirts etc at good prices.
We didn't think the buffets were worth it. We would never eat $35/$45 worth of food. I think people go there because they think its the only was to see and get pictures with the characters...NOT..Mick, Min Goof Stitch etc are always somewhere floating around and we got pictures with all of them with no wait. just had to use your head and wait till the crowd died down..not that big anyway low season...or get them as they entered or left the buildings. Happy little critters never complained.
We did fall in love with Aunty's Beach House..visited there..given a tour..and made a project..yeah we're nuts..lots of security there. We had to wash our hands to enter. No pictures of anyone's kids..oh how we missed our g kids at that time..spent hours saying.."gee wish Molly was here...Grace and Lily would love this..Maggie wouldn't leave here"...like that...they accompanied us through House which is huge..so much for kids to do..dress up, games, movies, projects..check the site..So worth it! We felt like kids again.

Room Tip: standard view is fine..you're not in there enough to care
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank StephanieMG47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

My family of four stayed here this October. My son who is 7 loved the Aunty's Beachouse and it was hard to get him to join us for family activities. Needless to say seems like he enjoyed his break from his parents. My daughter who is 11 thought Aunty's House was okay but preferred to swim in the lazy river or hang out at the beach. This hotel has beautiful grounds and so much too do. I am very pleased with the activities provided especially the Liu show they have with the characters. The show gets two thumbs up. My husband and I also enjoyed the lazy river and slides. It was like being on vacation at a water park. We also very much so enjoyed hanging out at the bar watching sports and having an array of very stiff cocktails while the kids played. The hotel room was nice we had a two bed partial ocean view. The room was a bit small for four so we moved furniture around but we didn't spend much time in the room anyway. The bathtub in the bathroom is deep and very inviting, I loved that:). The fine dining is very pricey but also very good. I would reccommend eating off site to cut the costs down or going to the local safeway and getting a few groceries. We bought milk, cereal , bread, coldcuts...etc.etc. The hotel has its own beach/ocean area where employees will bring and set up umbrellas for you and serve food and drinks on the beach. We did that alot of the time. Disney has outdone itself on Aulani. Service is 5 star employees are very nice and I hope we can have another cfhance to go again while our children are still small. Highly reccommended for families with children

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Claudette A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Okay, now it's my turn to write a review. About a month ago, me and one other of my family members checked out the aulani after a year or two of convincing my family to go. Once I got there, it was beautiful scenery, friendly service, and total luxury. It was like a dream! The lobby was incredible and I really wanted to buy the soundtrack playing in the lobby. I loved how they gave you a lei when you first arrive.. No not a fake one with the paper flowers, a real one with exotic flowers. Anyways, we walked straight to our rooms and gazed amazed at our view of the lagoon and our room. We hardly ever stayed in the room because there was so much to do! Of course that's a good thing! We could not get enough of the lazy river.. Or the slide. The lagoon was awesome too. We went paddle boarding and kayaking and we had the best time. The food (buffet) was pretty okay, but we were so hungry we didn't care! Even though this place and the flights here were so expensive, we went at just the right time ( September) when all of the tourists are gone and it's not crowded. Listen to me when I say it is worth EVERY penny we spent. There are way too many things to do. Which is why we are saving u for our next trip this coming year! Also, rent a car! Th alamo service is amazing. We got a convertible and a toyota camri and drive around all of Oahu to the dole plantation to sunset beach and witnessed sea turtles coming to shore- amazing.

Room Tip: I would say choose the ocean view room, so worth it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Sofia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

My hubby and I stayed for my birthday in mid October and had a fantastic, relaxing time at the Aulani. We stayed in an ocean view room on the 15th floor and absolutely loved it!! We did not rent a car on arrival at the airport and decided to take the advice of other TripAdvisor travelers and use the service of "Charley's Taxi" 877-531-1333. This is definitely the way to go, very convenient and about $55.00 one way. We were staying for 5 days and planned to relax during our stay, but if you plan to stay longer, maybe renting a car is your style, but just keep in mind that hotel parking is $35.00 a day and the Aulani is quite far from Waikiki, so maybe driving back and forth would get old,

There is not a huge variety of sit down dining choices at the Aulani. We found that walking a few blocks from the hotel offered a few options if not wanting to eat at the hotel. In a small shopping corner there was "Just Tacos", a Hawaiian Barbecue and an ABC store that actually had a nice variety of things you could buy for snacks and lunch. We even walked over there a few mornings since they had a hot grill and enjoyed breakfast. Other mornings, we just enjoyed fruit and yogurt that we had purchased the nite before at the ABC store and enjoyed it on our balcony since we had such a beautiful view from our room. We had one dinner at "Ama Ama" and did not care for it too much. My hubby said his dinner was ok, but I was not that impressed with mine. When we return to the Aulani in the future, we will probably give the Ama Ama another try for lunch, but probably not dinner again.

The hotel offers a shuttle with designated depart times that will take you to a few other hotels near the Aulani and also over to the Ko'Olina golf course where you can have a nice lunch/dinner at "Roy's Hawaiian Fusion" There is also a nice restaurant we tried "Chuck's Steakhouse" it was located inside the Marriott's Vacation Club Resort. You can easily get there since it is one of the stops on the shuttle route from the Aulani.

We found all the staff at the Aulani to be very helpful and friendly. Everyone is professional and ready to asst with any need you may have. They really go out of their way to make sure your vacation experience is enjoyable and memorable.

We were just two adults and truly enjoyed our stay and would not hesitate to recommend this resort to couples who enjoy Disney and of course to families since they really have so many activities to keep the little ones entertained.

They are the middle of doing some enhancements on the property and I think they are going to re-open their "quiet pool" and also have a few more options for quick service meals. We did not find that these enhancements interfered with our stay or impacted our enjoyment in any way

We will definitely return, thank you Aulani for making my birthday special and memorable!! :-)

Room Tip: Ocean View on a higher floor
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank RxVacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Kapolei
Waikiki
Trump International Hotel Waikiki
Waikiki
Halekulani Hotel
Halekulani Hotel
#8 of 84 in Honolulu
2,569 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Waikiki
The Modern Honolulu
The Modern Honolulu
#7 of 84 in Honolulu
4,128 reviews
Waikiki
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about 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: $431 - $814 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 819
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Travelocity, TravelUp, Hotwire, HotelQuickly, Cheap Tickets, Cancelon and getaroom.com so you can book your Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing