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“Great for families with money to spend!”

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Kapolei
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 1, 2013 via mobile

This is a new resort perfect for families who want to sit at the pool all day. But you have to get to the pool very early as every seat is taken by 9am. This is a very beautiful resort in a wonderful location it really is something to see. the staff welcoming us made us feel so special though they completely ignored the fact that we did online check in. On another note - There are very few Disney characters so don't expect to see many. Do not pay for the character breakfast - u can see all the characters around the resort and the food is not very good nor is there much variety. Most of all the service at the Makahiki Room is horrible! In general the food in no way comes close to the cost. The kids did enjoy Aunty's house activities but the scavenger hunt was difficult.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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1  Thank Michelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,029 - 4,035 of 5,513 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2013

We recently spent 10 days at Disney's Aulani resort on the island of Oahu. Being a DVC member, we stayed in the vacation rental portion of the resort. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous, with typical Disney style. In addition, the area is great. It is 18 miles from Honolulu, so you can be out in the country, but just a half hour from the city.
The resort sits on a man-made lagoon, making the beach very calm and relaxing. The pool is large, with a lazy river and two big water slides. Kids have a blast. The restaurants are very good, and there are other excellent choices in the area, such as Roy's and the ones at JW Marriott next door. We had a great time, and would return.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank anita57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

So sad to read the previous review with poor service, because from our first night on arrival to our last day (10 days), the staff was consistently wonderful. I think that might have been one person, and should not speak for the entire resort!
We stayed in a one-bed villa (DVC members) and our room was more than comfortable. I was a little surprised at how small the decks were.....they were long but only about 4 feet deep. Have stayed at other older Disney beach properties with much bigger decks! But the views are lovely, the grounds are so well-kept, and the way they are laid out we never felt that we were in the middle of a busy resort.
The beach front is great: we rented a kayak for an hour for $20 and had fun seeing the resort from the sea! The pools were small, but lovely. My grandkids would have loved the area for the little ones. I was happy that we were there in early Nov. 2012, because the resort, while busy, was definitely not packed. That said, we could always find a deck chair if we looked hard. I do agree that I found the decking in the pool area slippery in spots, which surprised me. The biggest negative I had was with the hot tubs. Note that during our visit, the resort was undergoing some construction, so the adult private pool was closed. There were tiered hot tubs, and we were very surprised to find that none of them were adult-only. Many many small children were using them for swimming pools, sliding over the edge of one into the tub below---so dangerous, and of course if they had a parent with them (not sure about that), no one stopped them! Hot tubs are dangerous for small children, and they should not even be allowed in them, but I think Disney should at least have one tub that is adult only. If they can monitor the deck chair time use so closely, I think they could monitor this as well.
The only other negatives: the music from the pool areas at night goes until at least 10 pm. On one night where we had to get up at 4 am for a tour, I found that annoying. Otherwise, it was not a problem. On the 6th floor, we never heard screaming kids from the pools! And the store is very very small.....I was hoping to do some Christmas shopping for Disney goodies there, but the selection for kids was so small, and they were out of sizes in some of the items I picked out for both myself and the kids!
Aulani is very isolated on the island. We had a car; otherwise I doubt we would have been able to see all the rest of the island's wonderful places to visit. Disney offers a few sightseeing tours, but they are more costly than if you buy them independently. There is no public transportation to the downtown Honolulu area, where you could pick up the bus that circles the island. It does not come to the Aulani area, though! It took us an hour to get from Aulani to the Waikiki area, or to the North Shore. I personally would not want to stay at Aulani without a car, unless I was doing a purely R&R, sit on the beach/bask by the pools vacation!
We only at at Off The Hook on property, a poolside bar that had a limited amount of appetizer-like foods....but what we had (ribs, shrimp) were excellent. Having read the consistently poor reviews of the property's restaurant foods, we opted to eat off site for all our lunches/dinners. One spot near Aulani that was fabulous was Roy's Restaurant......we had a delicious meal there. We ate at a so-so mexican food restaurant in the ABC complex across the street. Our other meals were eaten as we traversed the island with our car.
One aside regarding the remote location: we experienced plane problems on our way home, forcing the plane back to Oahu, and we were put up for the night at the Marriott in Waikiki. I felt like I was staying at Motel 6 compared to Aulani! And the hustle and bustle of Waikiki would have worn me out if we had stayed there for the entire 10 days........so in retrospect we did love the isolation of Aulani, because it was just so peaceful!
We really did enjoy our stay at Aulani. We won't be going back, but that is only because the flight time from the east coast is just too long for me.....we'll be going to the Gulf side of Florida for the sun, surf and sand from now on!

Room Tip: The hotel is actually shaped like a U, attached in the center by a low wing where the main desk and...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Kathy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2012

Let me start out by saying the resort is very pretty clean and well maintained. It is on a beautiful bay. With all of the water sports promised (sort of). The criticism of the food prices and limited choices are true, but you know that going into it. The rooms are nice definitely not amazing but clean and nice. Now the bad. Our flight was delayed almost 15 hours, requiring us to arrive in the middle of the night. I called ahead to make sure we would have not problems when checking in and I was told "Don't worry your vacation will start once you arrive, everything will be perfect" We arrived at 1am with my self, my husband and my two teenage children. I had booked a 1 room with two queen beds. Had the paperwork to prove it. They showed us to a room with 1 king bed. I called down and said this is not going to work and was told " our computers our down, this is all we have let the kids sleep on the floor" Seriously for 500+ per night no I am sorry no nothing. We went to reception where I was told they computers would be down for another hour and if I wanted they could start moving furniture and give me a blow up mattress. There was no way that was going to fit in the room and again...this is a luxury resort not a days inn. This fight continued for about an hour till she agreed to give us an "upgrade" to an ocean facing room with 2 queen beds. The "upgrade" was on the second floor and over the restaurant facing some tables not an ocean but I was just happy to have two beds. We were woken bright an early every morning of our stay by the restaurant noise. Even the bellman commented that this was a downgrade not an upgrade. I spent a 1/2 hour with a manager the next day she was professional but did not offer to change our room or apologize just blamed the misunderstanding on corporate. The concierges were completely useless and just sent us from one area to the next to avoid having to research the best way to see Pearl Harbor and store our luggage prior to boarding our ship. They even suggested I google it. Over all I would say this is an embarrassment to the disney name!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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20  Thank Debbie039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2012

17 hours flying time and 9,000 miles from London and very well worth it. A luxurious base to explore the fantastic island. The hotel was luxurious, the food simply superb, the beach idyllic and the service everything you would expect from Disney. One of the better DVC properties in the portfolio

Room Tip: We chose not to pay for a sea/pool view these rooms are great just without the view and a perfect wa...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Jonathan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2012

Not up to par with the rest of the employees, who provided excellent service:
Brenda from Kalepa's Store. Unfriendly. Busy talking to other customers - making us wait. Barely spoke to us. Barely smiled.
Female employee at Mama's Snack Shop - busy talking to coworkers.
For the price we paid to stay here, we expect better service, especially from Disney.

Bad deal - chicken strips and fries at Mama's Snack Shop - 3 measly strips vs. 5 huge strips when ordered poolside. Spend the extra $0.05 and order poolside!

Other than these two things, our vacation was fabulous. Wrote a positive review, too, but had to point out the negative as I like reading the "terrible" reviews on tripadvisor.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
10  Thank Elsie4HI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2012

My family spent about a week at Aulnai. The resort was nice and clean. My young kids loved the pool, the water slides, and the tubing. I personally like the lagoon right outside the resort. It was simply beautiful.
Because it's from Disney, there were many activities for families. We tried lei-making, listening to the fire-pit stories, hulu dancing, morning yoga/circuit training on the beach, etc. They were really enjoyable. My kids also loved staying at the Aunty's Beach House.
However, to my surprise, the service didn't meet my expectation of a Disney resort. House keeping failed to turn down our room several times, even after we brought this up to the front-desk. Staff was really friendly though.
Also, the location was far away from other attractions in Oahu. Dining options were limited. If you don't want to pay the premium price for not-so-premium-quality food, you will have to drive.
Overall, we had a great time staying at Aulani.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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Thank wacgoo
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 96707-4434
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: $482 - $896 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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