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“Beautiful! Be prepared to stand in line and walk around looking for space!”

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Kapolei
Certificate of Excellence
Corpus Christi, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Beautiful! Be prepared to stand in line and walk around looking for space!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2014

Absolutely breathtaking hotel! But if I may say- poorly ran. We stayed at the Aulani for 6 nights, 8/1-8/6/14. We were excited to get there! Expecting the same service as the Animal Kingdom Lodge, we were prepared to spend a bit more in food and accommodations but as we received the bill for 4 buffet dinners....$240 later... I was a bit winded! We quickly cancelled our reservations for breakfast and dinner for the week and decided to keep the rental car. Second, we decided to approach the Concierge for help with learning how the programming worked for the kids and for assistance in signing them up... Well, he was a bit too busy for us. :( - We later learned that we had to be at the Auntie's house at 8am to sign up the kids for the day including the programs offered there. Well, so did everyone else... line... If the family wanted to sign up for any other program, then you had to go down the way to stand in another line to pay for the programs...Then, if you want a bracelet for pool access and towels.. another line... Oh.. and.. if you want a chair by the pool.. make sure after you stand in line for Auntie's house, and towels - put your towels on a few chairs because if you wait... you will be walking around looking for chairs for most of the day.

We were so used to the Concierge level at the Animal Kingdom and the organization and service of the resort and staff- we were very unhappy with the way things were ran. We decided to absorb the cost of parking and spent our days away from the hotel. We almost went back to the Hilton Hawaiian Village to spend the remainder of our trip.

Room Tip: Make sure you go early to register for Aunties house then straight to towel/wrist bands and reserve...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank SusanH78418
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 (1,363)
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English first
Galesburg, Illinois
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2014 via mobile

We stayed at Aulani the first 4 nights of our Hawaiian vacation, 7/26 - 7/30/14. We had check in problems when our room keys didn't work & had me running from 9th floor to lobby three times. When we finally entered room, it was a room with one king bed for 4 people. Waiting for new room we were told to grab a bite at Off The Hook at the resort. Completely OVERPRICED chicken strips, cheese pizza & burgers that were McDonalds quality. While eating we were called and told to move our bags out of the wrong room because they had another party of 2 to put in that room. Seriously? Our food just arrived and we didnt have our correct room yet! Resort was clean, beach nice. 2 water slides & a lazy river. Buffet prices beyond crazy! For $36-42 dollars a person you can have TWO meals each at restaurants across street from resort. Just Tacos & Monkeypod were our favorites. For an excellent pricey dinner, chose Roy's at the golf course up the street. Well worth the $ and costs about same as Aulani buffet. Enjoyed the North Shore and our 7 night stay at condo in Honolulu much more than time at Aulani. Sorry Disney, but would rather go to Orlando than Hawaii for your resorts!

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
6 Thank jimnsher1993
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Beach, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2014

I love Aulani and had a wonderful time when we went. We are vacation club members so have already planned our return trip. So fun for the family. Lots of fun activities. There are some things that are not so great:
#1 - Why do they make guests even small children wear those dumb bands at the pool. My 3 year old cried every day that we put it on her. They even made my 1 year old wear it. Ridiculous.
#2 - The food is expensive and there are not a lot of other options in Ko'Olina so be prepared to spend money
#3 - Some of the staff at the pool were NOT VERY NICE AT ALL!!!! and some had different rules then the others, so the consistency was way off.
#4 - For real for as much as the hotel is and being DVC members do you think you could offer us the snorkeling for free?? Come on its Nickle and Diming!!!

Now things we LOVED:
#1 - Aunty's Beach House was awesome and my 3 year old loved it. She didn't want to leave.
#2 - The pools were awesome and the slides were great. A ton of fun
#3 - The Starlit Hui is awesome
#4 - The hotel is beautiful and clean

Room Tip: Ocean view is worth it but then again, you probably wont be spending so much time in your roo.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank kadieliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2014 via mobile

We stayed in Aulani for a week after a few days in Vegas. Flew Hawaiian direct, nice efficient service although HNL airport layout very confusing on arrival, you need to catch a shuttle to reclaim bags!

Good Stuff
Impressive and well maintained resort
Family rooms are spacious and well serviced
Good in room amenities, including own fridge
Air con and ceiling fan make it comfortable
Great facilities for kids - probably best for 8 - young teenagers
Beach is pretty with on beach drinks/food service
Refillable drinks mugs ($18.99)
Starlit hui show very Disney = professional and entertaining
Choice of pools including lazy river and rainbow reef snorkelling ($20 to use per person for the duration of your visit)
Although the adult only pool is supposed to be for over 18s they really only keep out young kids and it's a quiet area away from the noise of the rest of the resort and restful
Front desk helpful at all times

Not so good
Can feel very crowded, the layout helps but it is actually a resort that's too small for the number of guests when full, arrive at the Hui show way before the advertised time if you want a good position.
People who leave towels on beds and never return - the one hour policy they inform you of is not really enforced
The food is in my view generally pretty poor (main downside), if you don't like fast food with salt levels that double your blood pressure you will need to plan to get off resort.
Prices at Ulu cafe, which is a basic cafeteria and self service, I don't like restaurant prices for food that is pre packed ( finding any feta in the Greek salad was like a treasure hunt!)
AMA AMA food quality is good but high prices and portion size that would feed two people easily
The other "restaurants" all have the same menu, burgers, chicken strips, French fries, little else
Hot dogs from the shack are good ... But they are of course not healthy!
Can be a bit regimented a la Disney but not too bad

So more pluses than minuses and I admit the place seemed to get better after first impressions which is a good sign.

Other places to eat - Monkey pod, across the street, much better value and more choice, Azul in the Marriott next door, stick to the pasta dishes if you want io keep the cost down and you can get various groceries/cereals etc from the adjacent supermarket.

We did a snorkelling trip which was good with great sightings of local dolphins, although the place we snorkelled was too far away from any reef to produce good viewing of fish.
Traffic means any trip towards Honolulu takes a while, so factor that in.

So overall I think pretty good, but much better if you have younger kids who will be bought in to the Disney magic. There's a lot of effort put into the hotel and it shows.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Mike H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
32 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2014

My husband and I had the pleasure of staying in a deluxe studio room that was poolside for six nights at the end of July. This is a truly amazing Disney property, and well worth the points for those that are DVC owners! There is so much to see and do at the property itself, and I found it to be within reasonable driving distance to other must-do's around Oahu!
Pros:
-All staff that we encountered, from the front desk staff, bell service, kid counselors, lifeguards, restaurant staff, housekeeping were warm and friendly. Many of them seemed very proud of their Hawaiian culture and it was fun to hear about it from them!
-The overall theming of the resort really aims to embrace the Hawaiian culture, and I thought they did a really wonderful job! If you take the time to explore the paintings, architecture, plant life, sculptures, everything has a link to the islands...and a little Disney magic thrown in here and there without it being overwhelming
-Our room, while I wasn't terribly pleased with our 4th floor view of a palm tree that blocked much of the pool area below, was a nice large size! *Make sure to request a room 5th floor and up if you care about your view at all! Ground floors, however, offer room walk ups right from the pool area, which could be a bonus depending on what you want!
-The room itself was very clean. Because we are DVC members we knew we would only be receiving trash and towel service on the 4th day of our stay. The housekeeper even left us extra toiletries. We lucked out, because the housekeeper returned the following day as well and gave us a plethora of toiletries and extra hand towels...not sure if this was a mistake or just some extra Disney magic...being a Disney fan, I would like to think the latter of the two...:).
-The number of activities offered for people of all ages, some for a fee and others being free, are incredible! My husband and I took a tour of the 'Arts and Architecture' of the resort and it was very informative, entertaining, and fun (and free)!
-So many water options! There is a water splash pad, water play area, the Rainbow Reef snorkeling area, two larger family pools, three whirlpools, a lazy river, two slides, an adults-only pool...and who could forget the ocean just steps from the resort?!
-The resort offers a room families can use to shower, store personal belongings in lockers, change, upon checking in and checking out. We utilized this room upon checking out as our flight didn't leave until much later in the day. Although it was busy when we were in there, this was a nice way to enjoy the terrific amenities of the resort a little bit longer.
-They offered a 'Mahalo Mingle' on Monday morning for DVC members in which free breakfast was served along with prizes and a keepsake for all. They also offered a 'Sundown Mingle' on Monday and Friday evenings for those looking to purchase into DVC or add more to their existing membership...once again some free food and drinks, more prizes, and a little keepsake.
-The daily Ewa Planner that you could pick up at the front desk was very informative and helpful for planning your day out! It listed activities, hours of operation for pools and restaurants/lounges.
-I was lucky enough to enjoy a massage at the spa-while a little pricey-the hydrotherapy garden was so nice to enjoy before and after. Extremely relaxing and luxurious.
-Guest parking for DVC members is free, otherwise you will be paying $30 a day for valet parking.
-Most of the food and drinks we enjoyed at many of the on property establishments was delicious!
-Happy hour at The Olelo Room lounge (5-7pm) was pretty decent. The live music is a great backdrop to the Hawaiian breeze and starlit sky.
-Appetizers at the Off the Hook bar and lounge was tasty, as was dinner at 'Ama 'Ama.
-Starlight Hui (offered Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights when we were there) was cute and free. This does tend to be geared more towards kids, but my husband and I attended one night and enjoyed it.
-We brought our own snorkel gear and used it in the little lagoon-saw a large variety of fish!

Cons:
-We didn't request to be on a higher level floor and got put on the 4th floor. When we tried to change this upon check-in there was nothing available at a higher level. We were a little disappointed and feel that the only way to really get a higher level room is to request it upon making a reservation. Lesson learned.
-How fast pool chairs go around the family pool areas is crazy! My husband began getting up between 5 and 6am to secure pool chairs overlooking the ocean. If you don't really care about an ocean view from your pool chair, you would probably be safe getting down to the pool by 7am...much later than 8:30am, you will be waiting for seats. This seemed a little ludicrous to me. Now, because it was just the two of us, finding chairs wasn't as difficult-*The adult pool chairs, however, don't really fill up until close to noon for those of you spending pool time without any kids along!*
-While the food was excellent at 'Ama 'Ama, the service was mediocre. For what you're paying to eat here, I expected better.
-The dinner buffet at Makahiki was not worth it! The food itself was decent, but the cost, even for Hawaii, and Disney for that matter, was outrageous. I was told by other guests that the breakfast buffet with the characters, is the best value at this restaurant.
-The resort is on the west coast of the island, and seemed to be at least a thirty minute drive from most activities on the island (Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, etc). Beautiful scenery along the way though! Could be a plus or minus-my husband and I liked be a little bit farther removed from the hustle and bustle of the Honolulu area.

-As we did not have our child with us on this trip, I cannot comment on Aunty's Beach House.

Overall, this resort keeps up with Disney level of service, cleanliness and theming! If you want to be immersed in pure Hawaiian culture, this is the place to go, especially if bringing kids. If you are hoping for a completely quiet, low-key vacation, this may not be the place for you, as it was very busy at all times, and there are going to be kids everywhere (it's a Disney resort, after all). I highly recommend this place and will most definitely return again in the future!

Room Tip: 5th floor and up!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Lisa A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
104 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BozzaM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Helen H
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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