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“Magical part of our Hawaii family vacation.”

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Kapolei
Certificate of Excellence
Port Stephens, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Magical part of our Hawaii family vacation.”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We travelled together with another family to three Hawaiian Islands on our long awaited family vacation over the summer. Staying together in condos with our family saved us money, but meant we didn't get much timeout from our duties as activities directors for our 5 energetic children. That was, until Aulani. We decided to keep our visit to Disney's Aulani Resort a secret from the kids, as they had wanted to stay there ever since it had opened a few years ago and we thought it would fun to spring the exciting news half way through our trip.. To say they were thrilled would be an understatement. So much fun was had in our short stay that we needed at least two more days to recover afterwards. The rides, the games, the characters, the activities, the beach and pools were almost too much for our kids (ages 5-13). We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite which was absolutely beautiful, very well designed & with enough space to comfortably accommodate our group of 9. The kitchen & laundry facilities were just perfect, as were the Disney themed furnishings and little special touches like the glorious bathrobes... We stayed in early July and so It was very busy and at times did feel almost too crowded really to be relaxing, but we parents did relax. The children were spoilt for choices to entertain and amuse them and although it was expensive we did feel overall like we got good value for our money. So glad too that we stayed on a Tuesday night as the Starlight Hui was a great bonus and a very memorable night. I would recommend exploring other options online for transfers from the airport to the resort, a wide range of quotes out there. In the end we chose Honolulu Airport Express Shuttle Services.. Johnny was right on time. Highly recommend his service. We would love to go back to Aulani.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SashaOZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Sleep Quality
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Chicago, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Went to Aulani this past weekend. Stayed in a 1-BD suite that had a full kitchen, a king bed, a pull-out sofa, and a cot-type pull-out kid's bed. And only ONE bathroom. Not even a powder room. Not a tremendous problem since we were only two adults. But even the two of us felt that the space was "just enough" for two people. We could not imagine "sleeping five" in that suite (as it's advertised). Any more bodies in that suite would have definitely been uncomfortable and crowded. Not to mention inconvenient.

The suite itself was comfortable enough. Nothing luxurious, but not low-brow either. Pretty clean. The only thing that was kind of annoying was that the whole suite was on the dark side. Even with all the lights on, it's dark in there. Even during the daylight hours.

Of course, this being Disney and Aulani, most of the action is out on the grounds and not inside the suite. And of course, it was high season so it was incredibly crowded. Imagine Disneyland on a hot summer day. Transplant those kids and crowds to Hawaii and add water park action. That sums up Aulani.

While I did notice a mad dash-grab for pool-side chairs and umbrellas, we got a "casabella" for $45 and avoided that cluster. It was nice because you could come and go throughout the day without worrying about losing your place. And you could kind of remove yourself slightly from the masses as well. But I must admit, even with the massive crowds, Aulani did manage it pretty well.

A lot of the reviews complain about the prices for Aulani. While definitely not bargain-basement, I thought that the prices were actually quite tolerable and reasonable for a Disney resort-type place. Food prices are on par with what you would have to pay at an amusement park. Quality is comparable as well. We noticed that full family dinners served in room service could be had for around $75-$85. Not too bad. The "finer" dining establishments cost more, but then again, you are at a resort on Oahu. The activities and rentals were quite reasonable as well. Hourly kayak and stand-up paddle board rentals were actually less than at other resorts on the outer islands.

In summary, Aulani is worth seeing maybe once. But if you're an adult with no kids, I would recommend trying to go during the slower off-season to avoid the crowds.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sam m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Staten Island, New York
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Upon arrival to your departure... Disneys Aulani will bring the true charm of what Hawaii is all about to you and your family along with some of the best accommodations and incredible restaurants. This is by far the best family experience in Hawaii!!!

Room Tip: No matter what you choose...The Disney staff will never steer you wrong
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JCSINY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Flower Mound, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2014

Property was gorgeous and emaculate! Staff was very friendly and excited to help you find your fun. People are everywhere. Character breakfasts and the ift stores are pretty much the extent of seeing Disney characters ( other than a surfing Mickey lamp in our room). I have teens so this was good. There are large hotels surrounding us which gives the feel of hotel central a bit. Safe cove for swimming at the end of the pool areas. it is deep but you don't have to worry about undertows for the little ones. You can walk to Paradise Cove for a nice Luau . Low rating for crowd only.

Room Tip: Bottom floor Easier to get out
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rose W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riverside, California
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2014

When you check in, the staff is very friendly and greet you with leis and make you feel very welcome. Being Disney and for the price you pay, it's what you would expect. Rooms are nice with balconies and the nice touch of turn down service everyday with chocolates was great. The first day when we got down to the pool was around 2pm.....good luck trying to find a lounge chair. It was very crowded and too many people save chairs and not use them. I found one of the pool attendants and they do have a rule where if you leave your chair unattended for over an hour and they can clearly see that someone is saving the chair, they will fold the towels a certain way and time it and if no one returns for over an hour, they will give you the chair that has been timed, so if you head down and can't find a chair, find a pool attendant as they will find you one. Since the pool is open at 8am, I recommend that you go down by 9 and reserve some chairs so you won't have an issue. There is not enough chairs for the amount of people at this resort. The lazy river and the slides are fun but long lines for tubing slide as well as water slide. I did see that many people complained about the price for food and drinks and I think it wasn't that bad....you are in Hawaii so what do you expect. There is a strip mall across the street for great coffee at Island Coffee and I went there everyday for their Hawaiian Honey Latte which was delicious and their acai bowl (enough to feed 2 people). Monkey Pod Restaurant in that center was very good and a bit cheaper than the resort. The rooms do have refrigerators so take advantage of the ABC market for drinks, groceries and also their breakfast and lunch menus. Food is very good and way way cheaper than the resort. We had our 13 year old daughter and because there are kids, they will meet new friends but personally, I would have rather gone to Maui or another island. I do recommend having a rental car as you are about 30-40 minutes from Waikiki and I highly recommend you drive to beautiful beaches where you will be secluded and not have so many people in one place. Overall it was nice but for the money, I would have gone and stayed at a true 5 star resort.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Yc7734
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Branchburg, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2014

We are vacation club members since 2004. First let me say resort, staff, accommodations are great. This was our second trip to Aulani, our first was Aug 2012, things were still new so we figured they had worked out some of the kinks in 2 years. We are a family of 4 with an 18 yr old boy and a 15 yr old girl. We booked a 1 bedroom island garden view for 12 nights. ( booking 12 nights did require 5 additional calls to Disney reservations as members can only book a week at a time & then call each day to add a day which you have to do at exactly 9 am when they open or it will b sold out) We arrived at 3 pm and surprisingly our room was ready. We were on the 12th fl in the Ewa tower overlooking the lawn, gardens and much to our surprise a whole lot of beautiful ocean, cove and marina. A much better view than friends that booked pool view and got first floor looking at a tree for more points... It was great to have coffee in the morning on one of the two lanai's watching the waves. Also great view of the starlit hue show that is put on several nites per week, and it is the new location for weddings as well. Rooms are big enough for 4. Master bed quite firm, not comfortable for me, but if u like a firm mattress you will love it. Pullout has nice Therapedic foam mattress, and the Murphy twin pulls down from the T.v wall unit. It was sufficient for my 15 yr old daughter who is barely 5 ft any bigger forget it. Whoever gets that bed should be a great sleeper cause the T v is right over them n if the person in the pullout is a late nighter, forget it. Also the doors between the master n the living room/other sleeping area and the doors that separate the master bedroom from the only bathroom have slats not solid door panels. You hear everything from the bathroom,including the loudest toilet flush I have ever heard. And the sound of the tv in the living room goes right thru the door into the master. Oh and the only dresser drawers are in the master bedroom. There is a closet in the living room, but no drawers. Poor design.
Otherwise well equipped kitchen,clean, washer n dryer( again slatted doors very loud). We were first room off elevator bank and it was very quiet. So the food.. Typical Disney fashion, I personally did not think it was any more overpriced than any other Disney resort. I feel the choices of restaurants are lacking. Dinner options are either by reservation only. Buffett for 43pp bucks or appetizers only at the casual restaurant by the pool or quick service salads n Disney pizza at the other restaurant. Unless you want to make a reservation for every meal, go to Safeway or Costco( prices are the same as your Costco wherever you live) even the 1.50 hotdog and soda..and get your groceries if you have a unit w a kitchen. There is an Outback Steakhouse near the costco which was very good ate there twice..and an excellent pizza place called Brick Oven Pizza.. We r from jersey, good pizza is important! We also ate at Chucks steak house at the Marriott near the marina (not the JW marriott next door) just a 5 min walk down the beach! AND if you go on Tuesday, the marriott has a great luau show that you can see from the resturant since it is open air.. You could also purchase tix to the show n dinner thru the marriott. We did the paradise cove luau two yrs ago, this one was just as good..
These places are all located within 3 miles of the resort . First and second exit off the highway. Get a car at the airport.. Cheaper than at the hotel and if you have a BJs warehouse membership, their car rental discount is the best you will find. We paid 500 for mid size for two weeks w taxes! You will save that in food! FYI the parking garage is a hike if you are in the Ewa tower. If you food shop, drop your groceries at the main entrance or have the bell service bring them up.
Pools. Everything you have read about the chair saving, pool police, pools closing and tons of kids is true. If it bothers you that you have to go to the pool early and get your chairs and ck back every hour or so then you will be not b happy here. If you do get chairs and decide to go to the beach ,paddle board or lazy river, or even go upstairs for lunch just be mindful of your time. Let the pool police know you will be back,they are understanding that some things may take a bit longer.. Just b courteous. Don't put towels down and go to Pearl Harbor, they will be gone when u return. The day we went to diamond head we got back at 1 ish and since we of course did not get chairs in the am, we did not have anywhere to sit at all.. Disappointing. There was at least one pool closed at some point every day for chemical imbalance, usually just before the 2 pm pool party. It's to your benefit! There are lots of kids, it's Disney remember.. They are not your kids, just ignore them. The bar at the adult pool closes Way to early 7 pm. Great bartender Chad! Adult pool was quiet n seats were available. ( no one under 18 supposedly permitted) Waitress n waiter service for drinks and food service was readily available in all pool areas. The new infinity pool was greatly needed and is beautiful. Paddle boarding snorkeling and other activities at the beach were fun.. Waits sometimes for equip,especially later in the day..
Surfing lessons were a must this time. Found a GREAT little place 20 min west of the resort in Waianae called West Ohau SUP.. 808 729-2229 Jason, His son n Sue we're so nice. No Honolulu traffic or Waikiki crowds.. We went to a private beach,2 hrs 80 bucks pp. 3 kids two instructors all got up first try.. Even our friends 9 yr old! Highlight of our trip.
Overall very nice resort, it may be a "fake" Hawaiian experience as some have claimed, but if you venture out of the hotel you can experience all the culture you want, or not. At least you know what you are getting w a Disney resort. If you go to the oleo room/ lounge their near the Buffett restaurant, you can experience the beautiful Hawaiian language, as all employees there are required to speak it.. It is fun to try n learn..
Our stay came to an end with a cancelled flight, we re booked to leave at 8 pm, got a 1 pm ck out n were given keys to the hospitality room, next to the community center for showering after an extra day of sun.. We checked it out early and it was clean and cool and spacious w lockers n towels. When we went back at 3:30 to shower, my daughter n I were 8th in line to shower... There are only two showers! The line was outside the shower room behind us. It was ridiculous! There were women showering 6 kids at a time..! It was not a pleasant experience, if your flight is late and you need to utilize this facility, PLAN accordingly, you will need at least two hrs to get in n out. Or make a spa appt n use those facilities.. That experience was a huge negative for me.. Overall nice trip, game room w pool tables, air hockey, etc would be nice for older kids.. My kids really had nothing to do at nite. We love Hawaii, will probably return, unsure if we will stay here or even on Oahu.. It is a very expensive vacation if you are not DVC members, get the most for your $$ by reading reviews and don't b afraid to go outside the Wonderful World of Disney!

Room Tip: Unless you require oceanfront, book an island garden view for less money/points. You may get lucky...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank guido f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monrovia, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2014

Spent a week at this resort with children, grandchildren and extended family. It is very well run, extremely well staffed and well maintained. Yes, it is crowded in summer (July), but so is everywhere. They seem to handle the crowd well. There are always those who feel entitled, getting lounges and locations early, saving places for others, adults acting badly, but if you remind yourself you are on vacation and it is for the kids, you will be fine. There is plenty to do to keep the children occupied. We had a 4 year old and a 19 month old and they both were entertained and enjoyed every minute with age appropriate activities. Having a villa, which has a kitchen, allows meals to be handled easily. Food at the resort restaurants is pricey and extra activities (snorkeling, star gazing) do cost, but there is a market and restaurants across the street and plenty of free fun stuff to do. It is an ideal vacation destination for families, ours ranged from 19 months to 73 years old, and everyone had a great week.

Room Tip: Villa is perfect for family, including kitchen, washer/dryer, dining area and sitting room.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank CathyKras
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 5 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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