We've stayed here 3 times this summer. No, it isn't cheap...but we do think it's worth the money.
The first two stays, we opted to stay in the Disney Vacation Club one bedroom villas. While they cost a few bucks more, they're TOTALLY worth it. The villas are suite style (a distinct and separate bedroom), a soaking tub in one room and a spa shower in a separate room, a washer and dryer (they provide you with detergent too), a dishwasher (detergent provided), full stove/oven, microwave, rice cooker (for locals like us that HAVE TO have rice) and pots, pans, baking dishes, and utensils. There is a pack n play in the room for those with infants. There's also a vacuum cleaner in case you feel so much at home, you feel the need to clean house. The full kitchen is complemented with a dining table and a living room complete with Blu-ray player and gaming console hookups. The entertainment center sneakily hides a murphy bed and the sofa has a comfortable pull out bed. Our units also had a very large balcony that wrapped the entire side of the unit, living room to bedroom. My husband, myself, my step-daughter and my nephew were very comfortable in this room.
Our most recent stay was on a group rate so we didn't have the option to choose the DVC Villa, but got a standard room. When we checked in, they told us we were upgraded to a partial oceanview for free. Cool! We were curious to see the smaller standard room...it actually wasn't too bad. No, it wasn't the villa and we were all much closer in proximity, but the standard rooms are good sized. I've stayed in a good number of hotels here in Hawaii and across the mainland and this is certainly a comfortable size. Four of us again were fine in the room. The bathroom is much larger than any standard room hotel bathroom anywhere and has a separate door for the toilet.
The way to get the most value out of this hotel is to become familiar with it. There are TONS of free offerings here and the more you take advantage of them, the more you'll feel like the stay was worth your buck.
Here are a few tips:
The daily schedule of activities: filled with all the free activities throughout the day around the property.
Aunty's Beach House: FREE BABYSITTING!! Your kids will love it here! There is something for kids of all ages (up to 12) so be sure to encourage them to explore the WHOLE house and the yard. I know people who have taken their kids there and had to force their kids to come out and eat (they will feed them lunch/dinner for a small fee). Adults aren't allowed in the House for security reasons, so you check your child(ren) in and go. They keep your phone number in case they need to call you. Otherwise, they close at 9 PM...enjoy your adult time.
Luana Lounge: Mostly used the day of check out, there are mens/womens locker room with free lockers (first come, first served), showers, toilets, towels, blow dryers, etc. Showers have shampoo and body wash. There is also a 30-second wet clothes dryer so you're not packing sopping wet swim suits in your carry ons. tip: Go early (before check out time) to get a locker. If the womens lockers are taken, husbands check the mens. Those usually aren't. The womens showers usually are packed with moms trying to shower their kids so keep that in mind if you're trying to make a flight.
Pau Hana Center: a huge "family" room where you can make lei for free (ask the attendant for string) every day if you want, rent movies ($3 unless you're a DVC member), read books, watch movies, play video games, etc. You'd think we didn't have a TV in our room...our kids loved it here.
Pool games: The kids loved the pool games at 2 PM. They're different every day. Parents can play too.
Rainbow Reef*: Not free, BUT the kids LOVE this and it is not expensive. I think it was $15 for the first day or $20 for a whole stay pass. Obviously we chose the whole stay pass. The cool thing here is that you can use the equipment not just in the Rainbow Reef but also at the beach. The kids will love snorkeling in the reef and seeing the fish and going to the enclosed beach and doing the same there.
If there were anything to improve on, I think it would be the food options. My kids eat chicken strips and fries EVERY time we go there. My step daughter once at it three times in one day. Yes, she like chicken strips and fries but really I think they lack alternatives that she might like. My husband actually walks across the street to eat at the little eateries there (not that there's a lot to choose from there either). I can't imagine what people do when they stay more than a weekend. I see people with 7 or more pool bands on their wrist and wonder if they've gone broke on food in the "good" restaurants or are eating chicken strips or bacon burgers every day.
When you arrive at and when you leave Aulani, the staff at the entrance make you feel so welcome and so much like this is your home. They are probably the best staff in the entire property. They do their jobs well. I'm sure that when you drive away from Aulani the final time, you'll wish you weren't.
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- Also Known As:
- Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa In Hawai`i Hotel Kapolei
- Aulani, a Disney Resort And Spa In Hawai`i
- Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Hawaii/Oahu