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Reviewed October 12, 2019 via mobile

A year ago we stayed at a property close to Aulani, but we came to Aulani for dinner at ‘Ama’Ama, as well as lunch the following day at Off The Hook. Dinner was excellent! The staff was able to honor a request for a table close to the back of the restaurant entrance, closer to the ocean. The food is thoughtfully prepared and attention to detail regarding the presentation wasn’t overlooked. We also requested a special treat for our birthday celebration and were presently surprised :) Ama’Ama meets the same high culinary standards as several of the other leading restaurant on other islands in Hawai’i.

Off the Hook was also surprisingly wonderful. We weren’t expecting much from this eatery that‘s located just off the path from the pools. Usually these spots are simply a get-in-get-out kind of place - don’t expect much from them and pay inflated prices. What we found, instead, was a friendly staff, freshly prepared, well seasoned food and a relaxing environment.

In the last year, we’ve had a baby, stayed and eaten and many unique places and travelled to several other wonderful spots including Iceland, but we are returning to Aulani in a month (Nov 2019) and this time are staying on property (we bought into the DVC membership). Expecting great things once again! We will review the rooms and all of the intimate details of the property soon. Looking forward to exploring Aulani before heading to the Grand Hyatt Kauai for the rest of the trip.

The cost of everything is the only setback. Disney is rarely inexpensive, but treat this experience as money well spent.

Date of stay: November 2018
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
3  Thank JasonMais
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2019

Stayed our last 3 nights on Oahu at Aulani. It is on the West side of the island and on a man-made lagoon next to the Four Seasons. The hotel is beautiful and our room on the 4th floor was very large. We didn't care about the view as much as the price, so we booked a standard view and only had trees and the parking lot out our window, but we were only in the room to sleep. The rest of the time was spent in the pools, Lagoon and we visited the Dole Pineapple Plantation. The lazy river and the kids play area were closed till Nov for refurbishment, but the other pools, Hot tubs and the lagoon were awesome.
I would have given it 5 stars but the room price, the Makahiki Bufffet was not very good, and the cost of the Luau was quite expensive. We will be back someday once we can afford it again. We stayed the weekend after Labor Day was over so the hotel and pools were not too crowded like they can be during peak times. .Be aware that ALL beaches on Oahu are public so the lagoon can have people using it that aren't hotel guests, but we met some nice locals that way.

Date of stay: September 2019
2  Thank DisneyKelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2019

Aulani is a beautiful resort. Although it was quite expensive, we enjoyed ourselves. We recommend the Ama Ama restaurant as the best place to enjoy some excellent food. We were there at sunset, so the scenery was excellent.

Date of stay: September 2019
2  Thank L3958LCdouglasb
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2019

Interesting hotel. We went one night for drinks on the patio and also enjoyed some live music. There are interesting outdoor nighttime features on the property, like colorful dancing waters, constellations of tiny lights in the concrete and tons of lizards. Also look for the hidden Menehumes (Hawaiian Leprechauns) hidden in ceiling corners and along walls in the lobby area.

Date of stay: August 2019
2  Thank Jane M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2019

Yes its beautiful. Its location is pristine and the people are very friendly, but you are best to spend your money elsewhere. First off let me give you background on my and my wife’s travel experience. We love the Hawaiian Islands. We visit as often as life permits us. We have several timeshares, one being the Westin in Maui. The Westin is our gold standard. We normally travel by ourselves or sometimes with family. We also like our privacy. We are not new to timeshares, resorts and traveling. So now that is done, let’s talk about our invasion of privacy and issues at Disney’s Aulani.

As I stated before, we are private people and do not like anyone entering our room without us giving them permission to do so. We only give permission when we are ready and we do this at every resort or any hotel we stay. We normally place the “do not disturb” sign out and everyone leaves us alone. Aulani is different. I noticed is that Aulani does not give you a “do not enter” or “privacy please” sign. Instead they give you an “occupied room” sign. I found that there is a huge difference.

Once we settled in, we put up the “occupied room” sign on the door and expected everyone to keep out just like other resorts and hotels do for your privacy. We came and went several times for the first couple of days. As we left, I did not notice at first, but someone was entering our room. The reason I knew it happed was that the kitchen trash was taken away and only the kitchen trash. Nothing else was done in the room.

I, again, am not comfortable with people entering my room without me giving them permission. After I noticed the entry I called down to housekeeping and asked them not to enter. The housekeeping employee stated that it was for “cleaning” and it was there policy to enter when they “needed”. After going round and round with this employee and the fact that I saw no cleaning being done, I asked to speak to the manager.

I spoke to the housekeeping manager and he repeated their policy. The manager stated that it was their policy to enter the room no matter if I do not want them to enter or not. I was told it was a “welfare check” for the room and the sign Aulani provided does not read “stay out” or “privacy please”, so they could come in at any time to conduct a “welfare check” when they wanted. I asked him if we were notified about this when we checked in or if we signed a waiver for them to enter when we checked in. On both accounts he said no and reiterated that it was Aulani’s policy.

A welfare check? So I had to get this through my head. My wife and I are quiet people and we don’t have our TV loud. On this trip we had no grandkids so there was very little or no noise coming from our unit. A welfare check implies that someone was in distress. No one was in distress. So whose welfare are they taking about? The housekeeping manager stated to us that to help us out and if we wanted, we could call them and let them know we were stepping out. First off all I am a grown man and will not check in with anyone. It is none of Aulani’s business when I come or go. Second this is a blatant violation of my privacy. He told me the welfare check was going to happen no matter what I said. My wife and I decided to talk to management the next day after we returned from our snorkeling trip.

The next day it got worse. My wife and I came back from a long snorkeling trip and wanted to rest. My wife fell asleep and so did I. Remember I still have the “occupied room” sign still up on the door. I heard a knock the someone said “aloha” and came in without me saying it was okay to do so. I got mad because they woke me up and I did not want my wife disturbed. I turned them away and told them to leave, which they did. I fell back to sleep.

Later, I woke up to a commotion. My wife was already up, wondering why housekeeping was at the door again. With the “occupied room” sign still up, they came back to get the trash. We were mad but too tired. We just gave up and let them in to get the trash. Later that afternoon, we were getting ready and I was in the shower, mind you the “occupied room” sign is still up on the door, there came a knock. My wife heard it but I did not. I came out of the shower, obviously naked, as my wife intercepted the housekeeper who was entering the room for a third time. She told her to go away, which she did but not before showing my wife that she was given the instructions via an app on her phone.

After we got ready, we left the room and went to the front desk. We were met by an employee who said she was management but was an hourly employee and the general manger was not available or on premises. She was the only one we could speak. I found that difficult to believe with the size and complexity of the resort that a GM would not be on premises. So I figured that she was the gate keeper and the GM had no intention of speaking with us.

Her explanation of the entry was a “welfare check” and it was to keep customers happy and that 95% of their guest like to be checked on. Really 95%? Doubtful. She then stated she would put a do not enter note on our room on the hotel computer as well as a do not disturb on our room phones. By the way this did not stop housekeeping in the slightest. We had people coming in until we left as well as several phone calls.

We were still upset and ended up talking to other managers/supervisors to no avail. A GM was to call us but we were ignored again. We had two more explanations of the welfare check though. The first one was that it was again a safety check. The next explanation was my favorite and the welfare checks were to make sure there were no guns in the room. The reasoning for the last explanation that was told to us was that it stemmed from the Las Vegas shootings. So on that note, is someone rifling through our room searching for guns? How are they trained to do so? How is taking out the trash allowing them to search the room? This had to be fabricated because it made no sense. Does the 4th Amendment mean anything to Aulani or Disney?

We never received notice of these welfare checks were going to occur when we checked in. We never gave permission for anyone to enter our room. We signed nothing that states any of this was going to happen. When we spoke to the front end supervisor, we were told that no notification to arriving guests maybe an issue and that they have never addressed as a company. Maybe you should look at your policies?

In closing, if you are going to stay at Aulani know that you will have no real privacy, nor will they stop entering when there is a notice on the computer system. You also may have someone going through your property when you are not there. You just do not know for sure. Take my advice and find another resort to spend your hard earned money. There are so many other resorts you could have a great room and privacy. Do not spend it at Aulani.

Room tip: Find somewhere else
Date of stay: September 2019
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22  Thank Roger I
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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