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“Stunning Family Holiday” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Kapolei
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
104 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Stunning Family Holiday”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2014

Enjoyable Family time in such a great location. Such a clean and well-run Resort.
From a very warm welcome to the friendliness of the staff we were greeted beautifully
The highlight is the pools and beach. Amazing Fun. Plenty of helpful staff to assist and guide you around all the pools and slides. We found the Ulu Cafe and Mama's Snack Shop as the best value in the Resort.
This area is a great part of Oahu and recommended. Would definitely return if my kids were younger. For fellow Aussies, the room prices may sound a tad daunting. It's a pity DVC mainly focus on Japanese and US visitors. It did make us feel left out.

Room Tip: Try and organise an earlier check-in. If coming direct from Australia most flights arrive early and...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BozzaM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,540 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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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 (1,291)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Burbank, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2014

Stayed here in July with my husband and 11 year old daughter. My daughter had the time of her life. So much to do, see, and fun to be had. Great pools, slides, safe beach for kids. We stayed 9 days, but by day 4 the hubby and I were getting bored. So like most reviewers, this place is very cut off. The beach is lovely......BUT, to my complete disappointment, I noticed immediately that it is man made. The sand was the first giveaway. It was not that lovely, silky brown sugar you feel on natural beaches. So hence, no reef, no coral.....NO real snorkeling. However my hubby and I ventured out past the lagoon. It was a bit scary at first but we did it and it was worth it. But I would not take my daughter along for obvious reasons. She settled for the Rainbow reef inside the resort, which was lovely, but not like the real deal. We rented a car and ventured to the North Shore where we snorkled at Shark Bay.......AWESOME!
There is not a lot to occupy adults, so this is all about your kids. If your joy is to see their joy, well you will be as happy as can be spending a fortune here. Food is pretty good. Ama Ama, was fabulous, but you won't go there every night unless your filthy rich! The Ulu cafe is very cheap, the food is decent but its fast food style. Pool side pool is good enough.
Service here was superb across the board. Room was beautiful and spotless clean. You can work this place if you are on a budget. We went to ABC store across street and filled outer fridge with food for breakfasts and lunches. Then splurged for dinner at the restaurants. There are 3 decent restaurant options across the street and the neighbor hotels, for a little variety.
My husband escaped one day to play golf which he enjoyed. My daughter loved the regular visits from Mickey and the gang for poolside parties. The Starlight show at the hotel is lots of fun, your kids will love it. Don't waste your money on the buffet, food is never great at buffets and it's not worth the high price here either. We managed on our own bagels, cream cheese and fruit every morning. One great thing that is free at the resort are soft beverages when you buy a souvenir cup.....unlimited refills! Thanks Mickey!
Would I return, probably not, but everyone should bring there kids here at least once. They will remember it forever.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Helen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westford, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
42 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2014

We visited for 6 nights in July in a 2BR DVC suite with four adults and two kids. Arrival was great. Kids loved the menehune necklaces and the adults loved the lei greeting that is so emblematic of a Hawaiian greeting but so often not part of hotel arrivals (or at least is a paid extra...). Thoughtful touch of allowing DVC members to self park two cars for free. They even valet it while you check in and then bring it back for you to self park it. Nice touch.

The building itself is amazing. Intricately themed and nice hidden touches all over the place. It is NOT just another big hotel. It's along the lines of Animal Kingdom Lodge at Disney World. Service we received was pretty consistently great. Front desk, concierge, waitstaff, maid service and the spa were all good.

Two areas of concern. Food is expensive, and not that great, particularly the options at the pool. 'Ama 'Ama, the really expensive restaurant had excellent food. The lounge had ok appetizers but very good drinks. The pool food was limited and not good at all.

My main complaint about this property is that it is busy. Think huge Las Vegas hotel busy. Disney World at Christmas busy. Black Friday at the mall busy. Perhaps this hit us so hard since we had just spent a week lounging on Maui and it wouldn't have been so bad coming right from home, but man it seemed like there were a million people wherever you went.

I also second some of the comments about traffic going to HNL, Waikiki, Pearl Harbor. Can be devastating which stinks normally, but on vaca in Hawaii really is a downer.

In summary, this is a fantastic property. Using points is awesome as it would be super expensive otherwise. Your kids will LOVE the pool and beach. The excursions were great. The room was great. The food could be better and it is busy. If in Oahu with kids again, would definitely stay.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank travelzwithkidz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roscoe, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2014 via mobile

Aulani was a great place for the kids, but the prices were a little to steep. And it being under construction while we were there really bugged me. We didnt stay at the hotel for most of the the time, we explored Hawaii (Which I reccomend you do) rented a Prius and saw everything from Pearl Harbor to Mountains. The service was good at Aulani, and the food was ok (Free breakfast when we went, long lines) The views were spectacular, but an ocean view room cost way too much, so we got a view of the mountains.

Beautiful. Expensive. Construction.

Stayed March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank detentiongiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Celebration
Level Contributor
98 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

First and foremost - Aulani is beautiful. However, before visiting decide where you want to stay. The island is incredibly crowded these days and traffic (especially from Waikiki/HNL) is extremely busy. If you plan to spend your time in the tourist-y areas around there, Aulani is a long drive (In no traffic, HNL to Aulani should be under 30 minutes, but in traffic it can be 90+). Ko'Olina in general is lovely, but if you want to get out and explore, you'll need to leave the resort area and go to the North Shore, Hawai'i Kai, Waikiki, etc. There is relatively little around the area - nearby Kapolei has a Target, health foods store, etc within a 20-minute drive.

The resort itself is lovely, similar to the newer DVC resorts of Bay Towers, AK Lodge, etc. The decor is appropriately Hawaiian and traditional without being tacky. The pool is fun, but quite crowded with limited space for chairs, etc. around. There is a nice splash pad and play area for young kids (even teenagers) will enjoy. The beach is nice, but keep in mind all the Ko'Olina beaches are man-made. For a true Hawaiian beach experience you'll have to leave the area.

Disney does service, amenities and resort-experience well. However, the food at Au'lani was really my biggest qualm. A variety of traditional, asian and hawaiian tastes were available, but even for Hawai'i (and Disney) the prices were exorbitant. Food was good, but breakfast for three adults and a two year old was over $150 for a simple hot meal. There isn't a next-door ABC or other more affordable option within walking distance, so you commit to eating there or driving elsewhere. Not that big of a deal if you are out and about, but a pool day at the resort can turn expensive very quickly.

We stayed in a 3-bedroom via DVC which was fully equipped with a restaurant-style high chair, vacuum, laundry, pack-n-play, etc. We had all we could need and more. The kitchen was full of ample dishes and cooking utensils, and for the room space alone I might have moved in. It's very functional and great for families. We had a pool/ocean view and enjoyed it thoroughly in the morning. Of note, however, was the price that one would have to pay (point value to dollar) for these rooms if not a DVC member. I do not think the price tag ($45k+) is worth the visit. I would prefer to stay elsewhere that is in a more convenient location for considerably less. If you have the points to burn, then this can be a great, affordable option for a hotel stay as any similar-quality resort on the island will run at least $400-500/night. (Upwards of $1500+ for such a large space that the 2/3 bedroom DVC rooms run).

Overall, I would recommend this resort and will return, but only under circumstances where I can use the DVC points and am not traveling with others who want to continually drive to and from Waikiki. It's a relaxing, quiet and lovely spot that is definitely worth considering if you are a DVC member.

Room Tip: Rooms facing away from the pool are quieter. Unless you plan on bunking in your room all day, don...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ehan31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

We visited last week and wish we could have stayed longer. We had upgraded to a DVC Room and it was well worth the money!
Can't say enough about how great the food, drinks, staff, and property are!
Ama'Ama has a waiter named Owen who is FANTASTIC!!! He gave us amazing service and was very informative, gave us tips of where to visit and where to eat while sightseeing. He was awesome!
Can't say enough about how wonderful this resort is! There's so much to do just at the resort that we didn't even have time for everything. Can't wait to go back!

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank AngelaAFolsom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

Currently staying at this Disney resort and am shocked at the great reviews this place has received.
Traveling w a toddler and called before hand to double check that toddler amenities were available (including diapers, wipes, etc). Upon arrival learned there are no wipes available! This is a kid basic so to me this doesn't exemplify disney's child focus atmosphere. Furthermore we have been given a room without a bathtub - again not very child minded. Our room is dated and uncomfortable w hard beds and rough linens. Food is average at best. And to describe the hotel as busy is a complete understatement. I guess given it's sold out, Disney does not feel the need to go the extra mile w it's customer service. Def not worth the money we are paying.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jenycal
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 #3 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
Reservation Options:
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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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