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“first time at Aulani”

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Kapolei
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We're DVC members so used our points to start off our Hawaii vacation at Aulani. After you've done Pearl Harbor I'm not a big fan of Oahu and usually only stop over 1 night to catch up from the flight then travel to another island. Typically staying at Hilton Hawaiian Village or Kahala. This time I figured I'd save a buck and use my points at Aulani. Overall it's a well run and well kept place. My opinion is that overall Disney does things well at all their properties. I think the thing that strikes me most about my stay there is that when you're in Hawaii, you don't need to try to be Hawaiian. That's the only way I can say it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Aulani. But it is unmistakably Disney. And I just don't mean the kids all over and the characters around. Aulani is a much better version than Polynesian in Orlando. But I think you can get my point here. If it was in Disney World you'd go... WOW..... but since I traveled 10 hours on a plan and 6K miles to get there it wasn't as impressive as some of the next hotels I stayed on other islands. Again, don't get me wrong. It's top notch all the way. Very well run as expected, clean and well maintained, etc. But it seems to be trying to hard to be Hawaiian instead of just letting the fact that you're in Hawaii speak for itself. Would I go back? probably back to my usual routine of crashing a night in Oahu and using my points with DVC yes. Is it worth going once? yes. Are you a DVC member looking to take the kids to Hawaii and then get out and explore a bit too? if yes, then definitely go. If you are making your once in a lifetime trip to Hawaii...... stay elsewhere and hit other islands as well. It all really boils down to what your needs and expectations are in Hawaii. Overall it's a very nice place and certainly better than some other options on Waikiki that might be across the street from the beach. Fromm a food standpoint AMA AMA was excellent for both breakfast and dinner.

Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
2  Thank NJ-Traveler-Monmouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 15, 2013

This was our first trip to the Hawaiian Islands. We spent 5 nights at Aulani. I met someone recently who described Aulani as, "a perfect marriage between Hawaiian culture and the magic of Disney". I couldn't agree more. From the time you arrive when Auntie greets you at the door and welcomes you into her home until you leave, you feel like you part of their Hawaiian family. This feeliing is part of everyone and everything at Aulani. I am more inclined to return to a place where I feel at home, a part of a community than returning to a resort that feels like a business.

We loved floating along the lazy river, watching the sunset from the hot tub, floating in the pool and snorkeling in the lagoon. They even have their own self contained reef where kids can safely snorkel among the fish in a supervised setting. The rooms were nicely appointed. The food was fabulous but a bit pricey but we knew that before we arrived and planned ahead for it. It would be great if Disney would offer a dining plan like they do at their other resorts (Ex: Walt Disney World in Florida).

We enjoyed the Menehune Trail adventures with Auntie and the stories Uncle told by the campfire. I was surprised by the amount of Disney character interactions. It seemed like there was always a dance party or photo opp happening somewhere at Aulani.

Room Tip: When you book your room and again when you check-in online, ask for a room that overlooks the lazy r...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank LotusExplorerTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

We are Disney Vacation Club members. I was surprised that we were able to book 2 one bedroom units at this resort following a 7 day cruise in Hawaii. Check in was speedy and first class with a lei greeting. The unit is beautiful with a shower to die for. Lovely lagoon and lazy river. Only complaint is that food is very expensive on property so would suggest going to grocery store nearby and stock up. There is a wonderful fully equipped kitchen in units.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank donnajmox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

I thought the.sheraton waikiki was bad but aulani is worse. Its new and rooms are clean but if u are looking for first class service its not here. The worst part was we had a couple pool chairs we put our goods on, and we decided to check in kids in the kids club and take a look at the beach area, when we came back 45 minutes later our stuff was gone. Everyone was blowing us off and we finally found the attendant that moved out stuff and she had no good reason why she turned our stuff in. The way this hotel works is if don't get a beach chair on the morning. So we are screwed the rest of the day. If our trip was linger we would move out to another hotel, not what i expected at over 600 per night. Had to wait in line at the kids club for 45 minutes at 8 am this morning so out kids can participate in the activities. It feels like disneyland waiting in these lines for everything. Character breakfast is the weakest of of the three we have been to, with a few seconds with just minnie and goofy, and a 30 minute line to take a pick with Mickey. Not what we hoped for on our anniversary weekend.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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7  Thank althekillr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Aulani is almost a destination in itself, for couples or for families. In true Disney style the staff are very welcoming and friendly. The property is fairly new and the rooms are great, we had a wonderful view of the lazy river and out to the ocean. There is plenty to do, and Disney has mixed its own style with the Hawaiian culture brilliantly.

We are Disney Vacation Club members and had a wonderful week at Aulani leading up to Christmas, and found the decorations to be a nice touch.

Definitely highly recommended.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2013

The minute we arrived the service was top notch. Did on- line check in. They had our keys ready. Unloaded bags. Valet car. Took us to room in 2 minutes flat and we were ready for fun.

Place is new and immaculate. We had me, wife, daughter, Mom and Dad. We took a one bedroom villa that sleeps 5. It had "island view" but we overlooked the garden and could see ocean. Definitely the quiter side of hotel. I would recommend it if you want to escape the noise of pool side. And there is noise. Disney cheerleaders with microphones.

Restaurants are good, but Disney pricey.

Only two small gift shops with limited options. Nothing special. Don't open until 7am.

Beach is ok, but there are not enough umbrellas. Every other hotel we have ever stayed at on Hawaii has ample shade. Here you scramble for it. Every man woman and mouse for himself. It is as if Disney wants to push its $45 per day cabanas. Major turn off.

As for room. Again, amenities were all nice, but layout is horrible. All sliding doors. No privacy to showers tubs etc. Every time some one in our party wanted to use the facilities they felt compelled to leave the room. Note: do not stay on first floor near Lobby. Disney tiled the floor. Every morning I was down that
way around 630 a.m. People were checking out early and dragging luggage over the tiles. Disney should have carpeted there. Super noisy.

Biggest dissappoint is that, but for Mickie Minnie Goofy Chip Dale and Stitch walking around you would never know this is anything Disney. No princesses. No Jack Sparrow or pirates. No Little Mernaid or Sebastian. No Nemo or Crush. No Tiki Room. No Disney shows.

Clearly Disney knows how to do it right. They have nailed it with cruises and Cast Away Cay. The Disney Water parks in Orlando are fantastic. Aulani is frankly a nice beach and pool with two water slides and a kids play area. You could find this at many other resorts on the Islands and pay less. They are building more, so if you go now you have the joy of laying on the beach in no shade and listening to construction.

We stayed three days here and three next door at the Marriott Ka Olina Vacation Villas. We enjoyed the villas much more. More space. Grounds are more open. Beach is nice. Grounds are more colorful. Disney's decor is all green and brown. No gardens and falls like on so many other Hawaiin resorts.

You will have fun and be treated well here, but unless you are compelled to see Aulani, I would stay next door at Marriott Vacation Villas.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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4  Thank Daniel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2013

If you have been to the Disney Parks you would expect this hotel to incorporate a lot of Disney into it. Unfortunately the hotel did not have much of the mouse in places. We stayed in a one bedroom villa which was very nice for a couple. I would not reccomend this villa for mixed couples. It had two fold out beds that were as hard as rocks. If you are looking for peace and quite I would recommend staying at the Marriott Ko Olina, right next store. The Marriott had more colourful landscaping and was much quieter. Overall this resort was nice, it was just hard to believe we were staying at a Disney resort.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank Queenstownlover1
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: $472 - $887 (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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