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“One and done!”

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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Kapolei
Certificate of Excellence
MD
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“One and done!”
Reviewed 20 August 2014

After a 6 day stay in Waikiki, we decided to end our vacation with one night in Aulani. This is on the other side of Oahu and much quieter. Once we drove up to the resort, we were greeted by the valet/bell hop who asked us for our last name and advised us that our room was ready. We were then approached by another greeter with a lei and necklaces for the kids. The check-in process for the most part was smooth. We were in room 445, which had a view of the street. The room was spacious to accommodate our family of 4. Being a Disney resort, it is expected to be busy and filled with kids everywhere. The disappointing factor was that we could not find seating in the pool area. Unless you get there real early in the morning, you are literally standing around waiting for someone to leave. It got to the point where people just laid their stuff on the ground or simply used a side table (we did this). The kids enjoyed the lazy river and the splash area. With regard to dining, it's pricey as expected. If you're able to do so, drive into Kapolei and find eateries. It's just so much cheaper. We were able to enjoy the open house offered by Aunty's house. The kids got the opportunity to do arts and crafts and dance with chip and dale. All in all, it's a beautiful resort. Just a bit too big and pricey for my taste Just for one night, we spent over $600 (accommodations, parking, dining). I can't imagine spending more than that. I would much prefer to have stayed in Waikiki.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank atablada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2014

The only negative is that you are far from Waikiki and if you like busy city life then you will miss being downtown and so the Hawaiian Village is the best second option with kids.

I did not care about being far from Waikiki and that resort is truly the best when you have kids. This is the only hotel that has the "auntie beach house," which allows you to put your kids for an hour or many hours in the hands of caregivers. It's like a fancy daycare for all age. Teens also love it.
We put my boys so my husband and I could have romantic dinners!!!! Can you picture that -- romantic dinners every night thanks to the auntie beach house :-)

We did not use it during the day because we loved doing everything with the boys. The pools are awesome and warm.

If you want the beach, you have the beautiful lagoon next to the hotel. They have lounge chairs and umbrellas.

We had a suite so having a kitchen was awesome. We could have a mix of family dinners and romance as express above.

Their food is not cheap! So come with a full wallet to enjoy resort life to its fullest :-)

Room Tip: A suite is the best if you can do it .
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
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1 Thank Virginie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newark, California
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2014

Here's the thing, we are Disney Vacation Club owners, but even if we weren't and paid retail . . . it's still worth it's weight in Gold/Platinum/Rhodium, combined.

Other than Disney's standards of Customer Service which exceeds Excellent Standards, the location & accommodations are up there too. I'm not going to get into how we were placed in our room, where we were placed and timeliness of getting the room. Honestly, and we are veteran Disney vacationers, it really is a crap shoot. There is no guarantee if there is a particular room number you want . . . seriously and if someone says there's a tip to getting "that" room, it's not 100% (it's not even 80%) that it will work. What will help you in your attitude, I've seen those who are your "Alpha-Dog" types that treat the "Help" as if they are a lower-class human beings (at the Front Desk) expecting their butts to be kissed and held up high while doing so. Yes, that does work if you at a Personal Net Worth of $100 million-plus but at that level, you're not concerned about price of what you paid and they are the ones that not only paid a SERIOUS Premium but paid even more.

Now, from my experience of meeting SOME people (and ask my wife, she knows I make it an effort (every time) to break the ice and meet people as it makes a great experience as I sit next to the pool, in line and/or riding a shuttle/tour/etc), the ones that I hear complain or have their voices at "disappointed levels" while dealing with the front desk are not the CEO types and generally try to get more than what they paid for. This is Disney that we are talking about, they have over 50 years experience in dealing with Guest Accommodations. If you paid for an Ocean View Room (whether it's a Studio, 1-Bedroom/2-Bedroom or Grand Villa), you're going to get that. This goes with all their level-tier of rooms (Ocean View, Pool View, Isle View & Standard View). And if that doesn't happen, Disney will make it right, that's the only guarantee. But if you're trying to weasel into getting an upgraded room by complaining, not being assigned the "exact" room number from what you requested or being inconvenienced because the water tasted more like oranges than pineapples at the Greeting upon arrival, please go back to Waikiki.

Again, this is Disney, they know exactly what they are doing and they know all the tricks that people do. Remember, they get more tourist (from more countries) in the span of a week than all of the Hilton in a month (and I'm just talking Disneyland). So when it comes to accommodations, be "ready for bear" (as the saying goes) when you have to voice a concern of your room.

Please understand how the room tier thing works too. Before I explain that, the room that you see on the picture of their promo (the one with the really happy family overlooking the beach in background and pool/palm trees in foreground) is Ocean View.

There is a particular floor number that is the key separation of the room tiers. I don't know the exact number, but let's just say it's the 7th Floor.

Now, let me explain how the room tier works. Here's how it goes:

- STANDARD VIEW is below the 7th Floor and faces the outer exterior of the resort.

- ISLE VIEW is in the same location as the Standard View, but you're above the 7th Floor which gives you a better view of Ko'Olina. Here's a tip, if you get an Isle View room in the Ewa Tower, you will get some Ocean View (Now don't say I never helped you ;) )

- POOL VIEW is below 7th floor and faces the Interior.

- OCEAN VIEW is above 7th floor and again faces the Interior.

Now the (what I call) End-cap rooms that all face the Ocean View are your High-Roller rooms. I believe those are the 2-Bedroom or Grand Villas . . . Unless you dropped about $16,000 or have a bukoo amount of DVC points for a week stay, play lotto if you got this room as a complimentary upgrade . . . seriously.

Now, I find it hard pressed to be told that there's a room with a crappy view, unless, of course, you paid Ocean View but got Standard View (Again, Disney will make it right). There's pluses and minuses. For example, if I was placed on the 1st Floor Pool View, then you have access to Pool Areas (Lazy River, Water Slide, Pools, etc) right from your Terrace. You still have a table & 2 chairs to relax right out your room, but the mere fact that you get to go right to the pool in less than 30 seconds is nice. 2nd Floor Pool view might have some view challenges because the number of Palm Trees lining the Pool Area does seem to obstruct the view. But (IMO) the 3rd Floor up to the 6th will give you some great pool view and probably the Beach. I'm not going to comment on Ocean View, because 1, I didn't stay in it and 2 I didn't stay in it. But chances are, Ocean View is probably really really really nice. Now Standard View is not bad considering it's the cheapest, but also you probably get a better view than 2nd & 1st floor of Pool View tiered rooms (and you paid a lot less, 2 level-tier less).

In my opinion, Isle View is the best view if you're on a somewhat budget. It's the 2nd tier level room price (only more expensive than Standard View) and access to the pool (with the exception of 1st Floor Pool View) is the same (time-wise) as the all the other rooms. Remember, whether you're on the 2nd floor of Standard View or 2nd Floor of Pool view, you're all going to the same elevator. If anything, you're getting to the pool about 1-2 minutes faster than Ocean View residents since they are above 7th. But, really? 1-2 minutes? "Island Time" is not something you actually keep tabs of.

Now, here's my stance on food. My wife and I are Foodies. We will drive across the island if we hear of a food place that is really good. Oh, wait, we did do that, we went to a really nice place in Kailua (Boots & Kimo) and drove another 45 minutes just for Shaved Ice in North Shore. I don't want to comment on Aulani Resort food as 1, we didn't eat at any of the restaurants there and 2, I'd rather pay that kind of money at other places that are known for food. Or another way to look at it, I didn't go to The Monkey Pod because their rooms have great views, that's why I went to Aulani. I was told don't invest (notice how I didn't say "waste"?) in the character buffet because the food is, well, buffet, and we all know what most buffets are like. And for $43 per person for dinner ($39 for breakfast), I just can't seem to justify about $150 (2 adults, 1 teen (adult price) and a 10-year old (cheaper by $3-5). For $150, I can go to Monkey Pod and get a 5-star type meal which includes tip. Also, the buffet is really all about the Character Meeting experience. Okay, we will get that when we go to Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel (Or Storyteller's Cafe at Grand Californian). Plus, my boys are somewhat over it on Character meetings as they really rather meet them in the park. But we were heavily advised by other residents to not "invest" my money into the buffet, so we listened.

All in all, Aulani is worth the price if you're going as a family. If you don't have children and are not particularly interested in Disney then Marriot Ko'Olina is more your speed. But if anyone tells you that the noise of the children and zoo-like atmosphere is annoying is a moron to begin with. Duh! It's Disney! Of course you're going to run into families and with that children (sometimes loud children). But if you're that type of couple that refuses to have children because you'd rather have a Ferrari 430 or a clothing wardrobe that can be equivalent to the GDP of some nations, then yes, please stay away from Aulani, because you're messing with our family-yelling-like atmosphere. We don't need the Negative Waves in the pool area as we have come to expect our children to have fun and the more yelling the better. But I will say this, if you stay in your room and trying to relax/sleep, then that noise will not keep you up at night. I think the reason why you see the palm trees lined up all around the Pool Area is because it's deadens the sound.

Aulani is great for everyone, you just have to know what you're gong to expect.

Room Tip: Isle View is the best kept secret in terms of value & quality of view. Shhhhh! I don't wan...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
9 Thank Newsrunner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beaverton, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

This is probably the best place you take your family to on a getaway in Hawaii, even if you live here. It certainly is the best place on Oahu. As with most Disney properties they seem to have done everything right. It is not just a place for the kids, but really designed to see that the adults get a chance to relax and enjoy themselves. Certainly the room price is on the high side, but them you get what you pay for in this case. The service is first class and you can find deals with a free night or discounts on other services. Certainly a place to consider if you are coming to Hawaii and never stayed here.

Room Tip: ocean views are great here as it is right on the beach.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank sunaloha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

My family decided to stay at the resort for my daughter's 4th birthday and we left completely disappointed. There are so many reasons why we were unhappy but I'll start with the most important. DO NOT stay here if your children are small. Their highly talked about children's fountain and bridge is completely dangerous and there is MINIMAL adult supervision. While I'm all about watching my own child I certainly do not feel it's my job to supervise the entire area. ONE employee is responsible for monitoring 2 slides, a bridge, and countless fountain spouts. Kids are slamming into each other because again NO ONE is stationed at each slide to make sure kids are going down one at a time. On top of which parent's ARE NOT allowed to take their children up to the slide. After watching children barrel into each other and then my daughter get slammed into I had enough!! Thankfully my child was ok however I was not going to stand around and take it. I found one employee who informed me that no employee is stationed at the slide; they are only told to "walk around". I spoke to another employee who then told me when they are busy they can call for support. Well guess what, you're at 98% capacity get help!! Still nothing was done so myself and another parent decided to take turns watching the children go down the slide. I stationed myself up top and he watched down below so we could signal each other when the kids safely exited. After doing this for some time an employee told me to leave the bridge area because again parents are not allowed up there. I informed her I was going nowhere unless she called for additional help. After another employee showed I left to speak to a Lead. She was friendly and sympathetic but I could tell she had heard this often and just didn't know what else to say. She told me she'd have the Guest Service Manager call so I can tell him the situation. Of course I wasn't going to wait around for the phone call so later that night I received a voicemail telling me again he was sorry and they'd make sure their was more supervision in the future. Well guess what, the rest of my stay was EXACTLY the same!! Unfortunately I have a feeling the hotel will not learn until a child is seriously injured!! It takes one second people for a kid to slam their head into the slide or each other so hopefully parents will listen to this and either stay elsewhere or demand more supervision! So it doesn't stop here, you want to go down the lazy river- wait in line, you want to eat lunch on property- wait in line, you want a snack from the bar- wait in line, you want a photo with a character- wait in line...Everything here involves a ridiculous amount of waiting! Don't open a hotel if your amenities CANNOT support the size!! On top of which after waiting and waiting you're met by the UNFRIENDLIEST staff. The shave ice stand is full unhappy employees, not one smile or even a friendly nod. We finally decided to try our luck by the beach and we were met with more disappointment. I'm 7 months pregnant and decided to sit in a chair close to the water to watch my daughter and I was told first my chair could not be close enough to get wet, then not 30 min later someone came by to take my chair because they needed to clean up. REALLY?! The sun is out and I'm 7 months pregnant you're going to take my chair?! The next day was even better, I walked to by a drink and by the time I got back someone removed my CLOTHES from the chair so they could chain it up!! Their rooms are just as disappointing as our two room "Villa" was cramp and the floors felt dirty. If it weren't for my daughter's love of Minnie we would have left the first day but my husband and I decided to suck it up and get through the trip for her sake. Crazy to think we were spending an absurd amount of money to suck it up. Lessoned learned though after leaving this trip we decided to never return!

Room Tip: Choose another hotel nearby and just go in for the Brunch with Mickey.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
10 Thank Nancy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lawton, Oklahoma
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

My husband and I stayed at the Disney Aulani in August 2014 and cannot wait until we can go back! As you can imagine, Disney thought and took care of everything to create a wonderful Hawaiian experience. As you arrive at the hotel, you are given a lei and given a mini-history lesson about Hawaii and the hotel. The check-in process is seamless and then you are off to your beautiful room.

The ocean is beautiful as it is a lagoon, so the waves do not get rough and you are able to swim or partake in many of the recreational activities the resort offers. If you need a break from the sand, the lazy river is a relaxing way to spend your time and you can admire all of the beautiful landscaping of the resort (not to mention there are two water slides along with way for a moment of fun).

The food was definitely pricey, but we enjoyed eating at Off the Hook (short rib tacos and sushi are a MUST!) and some of the other restaurants around the resort.

They also had events at night which was enjoyable (movies on the lawn, story-time by the firepit and a luau). All are accomplished with the acute attention to detail that only Disney can give. There is also a spa and excursions around the island you can participate in through the resort.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND! As I said before, we are looking to going back soon! Also, if you are active duty military they give a nice discount on the room rate.

Room Tip: We had the partial ocean view room, which was absolutely gorgeous.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lydia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

Traveled this summer to Oahu with my 3 kids in their twenties and their significant others. Aulani is not just for families with young kids! We loved it. The grounds are beautiful, the hotel and rooms impeccable. The culture they've incorporated into the resort while retaining the Disney magic makes it a memorable place to stay. Also, we LOVED Oahu. There is so much to do. We went Surfing, hiking, toured Pearl Harbor and diamond Head. Went to Waikiki beach and the North shore. We did none of this through the resort or associated tour companies. It costs ALOT more through them. We did it all for a third of the prices. Just search online for what you want to do and then check the reviews on trip advisor! Worked perfectly for us. Definitely rent a car. Aulani is a bit removed and you will not see all the wonders of the island. The only thing I wasn't thrilled about was the Aulani dining. It's very expensive. It's good but I'm not sure worth the expense. We ate AMA AMA (, very pricy ) and the character breakfast ( fun and really good food). We ate at Monkey Pod, which I thought was too expensive for what they offered and Roy's , which we enjoyed a lot. Our favorite meals were Roy's and downtown at Uncle Bo's PuPu house, which looked like a dive but was excellent, oh... And the shrimp trucks on north shore..yummy. We will be going back to Oahu and Aulani!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank luvtotravel0516
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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Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa In Hawai`i Hotel Kapolei
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