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“Beautiful resort” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Kapolei
Certificate of Excellence
Lodi, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Beautiful resort”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2014

I spent four nights at the Au'lani the first week of April, 2014 with my two young grandsons and their Mom. We had a King size bed and a very comfortable sleeper sofa. The accomodations were very nice with a balcony and a partial view of the ocean.
The water activities were awesome. The beach was perfect for children of all ages. If you wanted waves, there were none. You could "stand up" paddle boat, kayak, or swim to the two floating rafts available. There were tons of lounge chairs. They had an infinity pool, snorkling pool and an awesome multiple water river! The "pools" had too much chlorine we felt because of the numerous young children..........
Our breakfasts were included and it was perfect for us. The meals were quite pricey. We had to have the "snow cones" which were expensive. We had room service twice. The meals were delivered hot and great! The children meals included dessert which were yummy.
There lots of activities for the children free and not free.
Downfalls: 1) parking was pricey, 2) You could only sign up for the day's activities that morning. The lines were too long. Who wanted to get up at 5 am to get in line while on a vacation? My daughter-in-law never got her boys into any of the free activities. By chance, we walked into the "lei making" and there was space available. 3) Food expensive
There were units that had kitchens, but I'm sure it was very expensive to stay there. A very beautiful resort if you have a big pocketbook.......

Room Tip: Rooms facing the "village and ocean" have the prettiest view and some will get the awesome...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank VickyPCC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,343)
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Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
120 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2014

There were a lot of plusses to this resort!! The main negative is price. The resort is VERY nice. The kids had a blast in the pools - so did the adults. The rooms were very well decorated and clean. The pools were very clean. The chefs at Makahiki did a fantastic job of accommodating food allergies - the Disney service we are used to and love! We were disappointed at expensive Ama Ama - the chef did not come out to discuss food options and our kids were given 2 dinner options (neither of which was what they wanted). After some probing, the server asked about a 3rd option which worked. Our experience at Ama Ama for breakfast was a little better (but the chef still didn't come to talk to us about allergies like they do in all the other Disney restaurants). Kids 10 years and older pay the adult buffet price at Makahiki for dinner which is $43 which I think is ridiculous if you have a 10 -12 year old. I was told before we went that some of the fast food options would work for our allergies, but it ended up that none of them did - only 2 dining options for gluten free was Makahiki and Ama Ama. We loved Makahiki. Aunty's beach house is fabulous (very clean) - but not necessarily a great attraction for kids 9 and up. Our kids did not want to go there - because it was for "little kids". They have a large backyard with playscapes, a craft room, a computer room, a movie room, a dress up area for little kids, etc… Parents can leave their kids there from 9:30am to 9:00pm and select to have their kids receive meals there if needed. They have a teen area - but those kids ages 9-12 need something a little more dedicated to them. The shows were nice - but there could be more to reduce the crowds at the show. We went to the Hawaiian show and sat so far away we could barely see. But it was nonetheless a good show. Staff seemed very friendly - everyone from greeting hostesses, restaurant servers, bartenders, to housekeepers. They had a fabulous scavenger hunt for the kids around the resort - very magical. The daily show at the pool was fun - would have liked to have seen a show maybe twice a day at the pool. Overall, we would go again! We had a great time! But it is very expensive. When you're paying $610 per night there shouldn't be an extra $35 charge per day to park a car...

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Redwingsbestfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2014

This property is really nice. The pools, infinity pool, water slides, snorkeling pool and Aunty's Beach House are really nice. But at the end of the day I left with a feeling that I did not get value for money. I am sure there are other resorts in Oahu which offer similar facilities at lesser prices. Food is really really expensive. It is cheaper to walk across to the strip mall and eat. There are Disney characters in the restaurants but the lines are long. The staff really don't go out of the way to make you comfortable. I had dropped my iPhone in water and wanted a little bit of rice and they said it would cost me $10!! If your room is over looking the pool, its really noisy till 11pm.
To put it in a nut shell not worth the prices!!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Irajan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jannali, Australia
Level Contributor
123 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 April 2014

Three of us(all adults) spent 2 nights here recently in a one bedroom villa, which was excellent,and enjoyed many things about the resort, and the shoreline nearby.The 2 slides were a lot of fun, one linking to a wonderful drift down the "lazy river".There were also a number of pools which were OK,a big fish talk which had snorkelling at a ridiculous cost of $15,some canoes and paddleboards for hire in the lagoon.There are actually 4 lagoons and a fantastic walking/running track leading 2km North from Aulani.
The Disney characters were ever-present and great to be around,especially at the buffet breakfast which also had other excellent entertainment for the children.I thought the other food options were a bit expensive,including the $43 buffet dinner(plus tax and tip) and we ate dinner at the Marriott next door which was a much better option.
The main complaint I had was about the staff, which unfortunately is an important part of a hotel stay.Once we told the people at the front we wanted to park our own car, they directed me to a spot in the rain to unload and were not very friendly or helpful.The staff on the front desk were polite but not too well-informed, giving us incorrect information about the dinner buffet, and even called my Australian number to tell me my room was ready(i got the message when I returned home),even though they had my US cell number.I had no communication whatsoever from Aulani once I made my initial booking and deposit, no welcome letter and the girl at check-out did not even ask how I enjoyed my stay.Most other employees were friendly, but some appeared bored and had forced smiles, not what I would expect from a Disney Resort.
This is a great place to go at least once, but they really need to look at making it more affordable and work on their employee relations.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DerekHulme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
43 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2014

I live about 20 minutes away. We made some short trips before, but never stayed overnight until recently. This area has some of my favorite beach/dive spots on the island.
We booked the cheapest room we could get with local rates - even so, everything was really top-notch. Furnishings in the room were high quality everywhere. Don't forget to look for hidden Mickeys. The pool area was an incredible hit with my 5 year old daughter, but there are plenty of watersport options out in the lagoon for teens and adults. I love the walking trail that starts near here and weaves around all the lagoons down Ko'Olina's beach - 3 miles round trip I think. Also a great place to watch the sunset each night. Dining at the restaurants wasn't too expensive, actually a little cheaper than I expected. Lots of options from grab-and-go picnic fare to nicer dining and family style. Character breakfast is a must if you have little ones - make your reservations at the same time as your room booking. Don't worry if the kids really eat or not - just take your time and have fun! There are activities throughout the day to break up the routine if you're just hanging at Aulani the whole time, but the things we did at night on the big lawn were the best. The staff here does a good job of creating an ohana feel to things.
Please don't come to Oahu and only do Aulani though. So much more to do on the island that is truly Hawaiian. Personally I like to hit Waikiki the best, but that is a totally different vibe. If you have the time, and aren't going to kill yourself running all over the rest of the island, this place is really great if you have children and want some time to just be together as a family.
I'm sure others have mentioned there's not a lot more to do in this general area, but a new Target and Wal-Mart are nearby if you need stuff. If you're a diver you could probably book a beach dive from "Electric Beach" with a dive shop and meet them in the parking lot about 10 minutes from here. Wet-n-Wild is also about 10 minutes away. If you just want a break from Aulani or a stroll in the evening, there are a few restaurants, ice cream shop, and a small market within walking distance.

Room Tip: This place is a little like going on a cruise. You're not going to hang out in the room - that...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank drewrunsoahu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South OC, CA, USA
Level Contributor
53 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2014 via mobile

I won a Disneyland Trip for four from KLOS Los Angeles in 2013 and was fortunate to also be the lucky drawing winner of a trip for four to Disney's Aulani! Our family of six visited in January of 2014 and our stay of four nights was glorious!

We arrived to a friendly team of valets who immediately made us feel welcome and appreciated... The trip only got better from there! From the Lobby Welcome person to the front desk, and from the cleaning staff to the restaurant and pool team, everyone was warm and friendly.

Our trip package included a room for four with two comfy queen beds, we paid about $325/nt for an adjoining King room... Yes, expensive but still somewhat competitive with the rates at the other Ko Olina cove JW and Marriott Vacation Villas, especially considering that Aulani had the premier kids pools, lazy river and water slides. We chose to spend the days cove-side, as our kids are all teenagers/early twenties and it was much more relaxing down there.

Our "routine" was to eat at Ulu Cafe for breakfast and have a light lunch, if any. Never ate at any of the Aulani restaurants for dinner, as we were still on a budget. Good thing is that there was Longboards at Marriott south of Aulani, and also some restaurants across the street and behind the hotel with more reasonable prices including pizza, a taco place and Monkey Pod.

Make sure to make the trek north of JW on the rocky/sandy beach access to a cove about a half mile away that had visiting seals and turtles... A highlight of our vacation!

We also visited Hanauma Bay NE of Honolulu ( plan a whole day there, as it's about $8 per person, with great snorkeling ); hiked to the top of Diamond Head ( bring lots of water and good shoes ); and visited Pearl Harbor as well, also a must-see for families.

Our first three nights reservation prior to these four nights was at Wyndham Beach Walk, which cost the same as one room here at Aulani but provided a 2 bedroom / 2 bath condo with room for six... A much better value and in the center of it all in Waikiki. This will probably be our destination if we're fortunate enough to go to Hawaii again... Not to discount the beauty, elegance, and laid-back relaxation that Aulani treated us to. Dear Aulani, please save us our six favorite chairs one the south front row cove-side! It's probably the best place we've ever been!

Stayed January 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank bonesting69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, TX
Level Contributor
213 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2014

We really enjoyed our stay at Aulani. We were there 4 nights mid March. The non weekend days were really nice because it was not crowded at all and we had our run of the resort. Even on the weekend though we could still easily find a chair poolside or on the beach.

We booked an "Island Garden View" room and what this means is you overlook the front of the hotel above floor 5. They tried to put us on the 6th floor which pretty much overlooks the parking lot and I refused. I had no idea that's what "island garden" meant. They did promptly change us to floor 14 however if you looked out still on balcony. So would i pay the difference between standard and island garden...no. The balcony is so tiny you don't want to be out there anyway and I would not let my children out there either.

The rooms are clean. Clean. Clean. Very nice for a kids hotel! I've stayed on property at several Disney resorts in Orlando and could not say the same so I was very impressed with how clean everything was.

The beach aka "cove" is very well kept. Perfect for our kids to play and not get knocked over by the waves. It was absolutely fabulous. To the left there is a wedding chapel and the beach is public although not busy. We saw a wedding dress every day on the beach which was fun for the boys. The chairs and the umbrellas the resort provides are fabulous, as is the service. Again, everyone has a smile and great customer service.

We booked the character breakfast. I'm a huge fan. My boys, ages 5, loved it. This is a great way to see the characters and not have to do the scheduled meet and greets.

My boys also visited the kids club and it was great as well. Everyone is always friendly, smiling, eager to please. The customer service at this resort is phenomenal, as is the staff.

Our favorite snacks at the hotel were the shaved ice, mickey mouse shaped ice cream sandwiches, and mickey mouse shaped chocolate dipped vanilla ice cream bars. Bought every day. I thought the best casual to-go menu was actually beachside...they had a california roll, fresh sliced pineapple, nachos, etc. We had a burger poolside and it was decent, as were the fries. The food was not as expensive as I thought it would be (casual food). However, we did forgo the expensive restaurants so I cannot comment on them.

The next exit on the highway there is everything under the sun you could want. Costco, lots of places to eat, etc. Two exits up even more. We ate at a really yummy fresh food place called Aloha Salads and then returned 3 times because it was so good. They have fresh salads, wraps, sandwiches, etc. and are super affordable.

We did the snorkeling at Rainbow Reef and we would do it again for sure. Well worth the price for your entire stay. We had our own equipment but they will supply for free when you purchase. The staff is very patient and will help the kids get everything on. My 5 year olds do not know how to swim and snorkeled just fine. My "scared" 5 year old used the little blue life jacket from the pool which made him feel more secure. My brave one used the snorkeling one.

My only huge complaint is the towels you get poolside sometimes had mildew smell and so when you used them then your skin would smell the same. I started getting 6 instead of 4 (what we needed) and would smell them first before I would use.

Having just come from a beautiful hotel in Maui (Grand Wailea..the grounds are breathtaking) it was really hard to compare the two. This was more "convention center" type carpet and rooms, although beautiful and Hawaii themed. Had we stayed here first our review might have been a bit higher. We expected the same of Aulani (beauty wise) and although they have tons of greenery around the pools the grounds were a bit unimpressive. For this reason, the towels and for the lack of "Disney" feel I am giving it 4.5 stars. I will say we would definitely return if ever on Oahu again.

Things not to miss on Oahu if you do daytrips:
- The night show at The Polynesian Cultural Center called "Ha"...you'll never see anything better!
- The cocoa puffs at Liliha Bakery
- Diamond Head (start in morning so not hot sun)
- Lighthouse Point (even if you just drive and park it...gorgeous)
- Eat at Giovanni's North Shore
- Eat at Papa Ole's in Laie
- Science Center at Bishop Museum (for kids...only if time but ours loved it...other buildings not so much for their age)

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank TexasGingerbread
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

Property: Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Address: 92-1185 Ali'inui Drive, Kapolei, Oahu, HI 96707-4434
Region: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Kapolei
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 4 Hotels in Kapolei
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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 & Spa In Hawai`i Hotel Kapolei
Aulani, a Disney Resort And Spa In Hawai`i
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Hawaii/Oahu

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