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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
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Reviews (5,630)
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3,242 - 3,247 of 5,630 reviews
Reviewed 3 July 2014 via mobile

Room was amazing, especially the shower and the tub.

Beautiful state of art resort.

But this resort is overcrowded.

You have to secure beach chair earlier in a morning if you want a spot under umbrella.
Need to make restaurant reservation couple of days prior. Need to line up at Aunty's beach house before 9am to secure activity for the day, without the popular activity listed on the activity sheet, kids are just gonna play with video game or play indoor in freezing cold room. They don't even take them swimming. Kids club in Cancun was way better.

Stayed: July 2014
3  Thank Kaori58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2014

We travel all the time and Aulani is tied with the Four Seasons San Diego and Big Island properties for best family friendly property. Our 18-month old daughter went completely bananas for the splash park. My husband and i actually relaxed in our beach chairs for almost an hour at a time watching her play (not an easy accomplishment with a toddler). We did the character breakfast (another HUGE hit) and hung out on the beach (which was a lovely protected bay our daughter could wade in). Our suite was fantastic - although the pack n' play was a little lumpy... but our daughter was so exhausted from her water sports that she conked out every night.

The spa is also a little piece of heaven. One of the most relaxing spa experiences i've had. As per some of the other reviewers the food wasn't 'the best' and my daughter pretty much lived on Mickey Mouse peanut butter sandwiches while we were on the resort. However i didn't find it overpriced for the level of the resort. But the overall experience was so fantastic we recommend it to everyone and anyone with children. For the rest of my Oahu with kids review visit: www.arrivalstravel.com

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank ArrivalsTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2014

We are DVC members and Au'lani is our home property. Our kids loved the Poland the beach; characters and Disney theme are not overdone or overwhelming. We opted for a studio but will go with 1 bedroom/kitchen next time as food/restaurant options are limited. Many guests brought in food from the local Costco - we didn't even think of that! Staff was very friendly and helpful. Rooms were clean and quiet.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Karen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2014

Our main impression was: the resort couldn't handle the amount of guests that it offered beds to. If I had to describe it in one word, I would use "zoo". At breakfast the waiter summed it up nicely: "You know how we never have enough deck chairs? ….." For the price, that's not what we had expected.

In summary, here is what we liked and didn't like:

Liked:
- Kids had a great time with slides, lazy river, scavenger hunt and Disney characters
- Rooms were nice and spacious, kitchen fully equipped (we had a two bedroom with ocean views)
- Lots of activities on the daily calendar (a lot of them with limited capacity and the need to sign up early though)
- Staff were friendly
- Kids Club was well organized and felt very clean and safe

Didn't like:
- Felt more like being in Vegas than in Hawaii (volcano shimmering in red after dark etc), lots of manmade stuff versus natural beauty
- Crowds, crowds, crowds. For example: People were lining up at 7am to sign their kids up for activities. But the kids club didn't even open until 8am. Lining up at 7:45 am was too late, we were told. When we walked by at 8am the line was around 150 feet long. Crazy! Same with evening activities: "Please be there half an hour early or you might not get a seat." The pool lady told us they go through 5000 wrist bands every day. We were seven people and not a single time did we find seven deck chairs. Average wait at the slide over ten minutes (slide was awesome though), wait for towels and wristbands. Pools were closed at least once per day to get the chemical levels back to normal.
- Our kids only went to the kids club twice and both times they told us they had chosen between computer games and movies.
- Lagoon was man made and small (and crowded). If you choose to paddle board or kayak they don't allow you to leave the tiny lagoon. If you have ever paddle boarded before, it takes you less than two minutes to traverse the lagoon. Not what I had hoped for.
- Lots of extra charges: snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding in the lagoon was extra, $35 for self parking every day, paddle boarding and kayaking extra, breakfast buffet for a three year old not included, etc

We wouldn't go back. There was nothing really bad about the resort, but it simply wasn't our thing.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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8  Thank Sandra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2014

We spent a week at Aulani, June 22-29, 2014. Overall, our experience was amazing. We spent four nights in a one bedroom DVC room with a garden view (reserved directly through Aulani). Upon entering our unit, we were a bit disappointed because we were on the 1st floor, facing the westernmost side of the resort (next to the Laniwai spa). This room actually turned out to be nice because we had easy access from our room, either out the front or back doors and when we went out the front door, we were right at the Menehune Bridge play area and steps away from the rest of the pools. We did not have to wait on elevators, which was nice as well. If you are trying to cut some costs, this is the way to go.

HOWEVER, on day 4, we moved into an ocean view 1BR unit, which I had reserved through DVCRentalStore.com (renting a DVC member's points). Same type of room as we had previously... but, WOW, what a difference to have a view of the ocean and of the entire pool/recreation area. This gave our trip a little spark (the kids were getting homesick as we had spent a week in Maui prior to arriving at Aulani) and were honestly ready to go home. Once in our new room, we felt our money was better spent, and our vacation had another element. In the 1st floor room with no view, we felt we had to be out of our room at every moment. Which is fine. But when we moved into our new room, we now were able to relax on the lanai, enjoy the music from the restaurant below, see the characters from above, etc. We were able to prepare and enjoy meals from our room (which is why we booked a room with a full kitchen) while enjoying our view.

My recommendation is to pay the extra $$$ to have the ocean view. It really does add another element to your experience at Aulani.

Aunty's Beach House is OUTSTANDING! The kids enjoyed it... although my own kids much preferred being with us so they didn't spend a whole lot of time there, but we did have a couple of "kid free" meals and a few hours to ourselves. This was VERY nice. The kids activities are excellent, as are all of the recreational activities available. The Starlit Hui show is great. The beach rentals are reasonable (2 person kayaks for $20 an hour and paddle boards for $30). There are activities for kids of all ages, from 3-18. Although we do not have teenagers, there are specific activities every day for them, as well as their own spa.

Overall, our experience was outstanding. Yes, the food is expensive. But we had read the reviews and had expected that. We also visit Disneyland regularly (annual passholders) and we know food is expensive there as well. We made a couple of trips to Safeway and made lunches and a couple of dinners in the room. Our first four nights included breakfast (used annual passholder discount to book room). Other than that, we budgeted in extra money for food so we didn't have to stress about it. We did the character breakfast after our included breakfasts ran out (after switching to new room) and it was wonderful! The kids enjoyed having Minnie and Goofy visit our table and dance and sing songs with them. The food at the buffet is very good as well.

I have a couple of cons to share: The bathrooms in both of our rooms had some soap scum and mold. This is an issue that is probably difficult to deal with in Hawaii, especially because the bathrooms get very little ventilation. But I can see this being a problem in a couple of years if the housekeeping staff does not get a handle on it. The tile, stone, and fixtures are very nice, but not taken care of with standards we see in other high end hotels. Even the kitchen sink in both units had some gunk in the drain area that could easily be cleaned with a good sponge and cleaner.

There are many lifeguards and I felt my kids were very safe. My kids are only 4 and 5 so we constantly watched them anyway. However, the lifeguards simply observe and wait for a problem most of the time. I only saw one or two actually interact with guests. Which is ok, because I am sure they are trained to be serious and focused. However, they also do not intervene when seemingly minor things are going on that should be addressed. For example, there were often teenagers going against the current in the lazy river and rough housing. My kids are little and often got tangled up in these kids' antics. We have been other places where the lazy river has strict rules that are enforced (i.e. everyone has to have a tube, etc.). It would have been nice for the guards to address these kids instead of just observing and waiting for a crisis.

Other than those two minor cons, as I said, our vacation was wonderful. I highly recommend Aulani and we will definitely be visiting again in the future!!

Room Tip: Request an ocean view room above the 6th floor. If you want a quiet room, request the Ewa tower, on an outside face, away from the pools. Ocean front rooms most likely are VERY hot as they face directly into the afternoon sun. Rooms on the 7-10th floors are perfect. Elevator waits can be LONG on higher floors.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank AlohaMom2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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