View Full Version : Aulani Resort

09-23-2011, 01:10 PM
We've just booked a family vacation to Aulani in HI for summer 2012. Any feedback for this new resort?

09-23-2011, 03:06 PM
I'm here right now, and I'll have a pretty detailed write up when I return. 1-minute review:

This isn't Disney's version of 1970's, trapped-in-amber Hawaii. This isn't the Poly. This is very much a representation of modern Hawaii. The grounds are breathtakingly beautiful, and it's very hard to believe that the construction photos I saw a year ago could possibly be the same resort. The architecture is lovely, and the common areas are beautifully decorated. The water complex - lazy river, pools, spas, water slides, play zone - is amazing. The beach isn't too shabby either. The hotel itself is what I expect of Disney - the rooms are comfortable and well-appointed, the service is excellent. The spa... sheesh, if I could just sleep there, I'd never need to leave. The kids 3-12 club is great; the teen center less so, but I imagine at that age they are happier by the pool anyway. There are fantastic excursion opportunities through the Adventures by Disney desk - everything from self-guided a la carte activities to a three-day ABD overlay. The entertainment schedule is surprisingly full, with the Starlit Hui a must-see.

I'm less pleased with the food. I don't think there are enough options. For breakfast, your choice is a breakfast buffet (which is a character meal three days a week), a continental breakfast bar with $4 croissants, or room service. There is no quick serve breakfast on property. There are more options for lunch and dinner, but now I understand why people who have already been here said that they went over the Marriott for meals a few times, just to get some variety.

I've been posting photos on the MousePlanet Facebook page and on my Twitter account (@mouseplanetavp), but I'll have a LOT more once I get back.


11-05-2011, 12:22 PM
has there been a trip report posted yet?

02-06-2012, 10:51 AM
We plan on going to the Grocery store for some of our meals since we will be in a DVC studio or one-bedroom when we visit.

03-14-2012, 09:15 AM
I wont make it to Aulani until next year; actually I can call next month for our reservations.

DH and DS are headed to Oahu for a conference on Sunday. They dont report for work until Tuesday afternoon so Sunday when they arrive they check into Aulani for a brief two night stay. This was a negotiation between DH and I. He and DS get two nights at Aulani and DD and I get two extra nights at WL and AKL this Spring break.

We got some unfortunate news however, DH was suppose to spend two nights with us at AKL when we arrive in Orlando on April 6, but found out that he has to report for work earlier than expected (Saturday morning). He will only get a small portion of WDW time with DD and I and our friends. We cant complain though, his working at the conference is what got us to Orlando in the first place.

I hope the boys have a wonderful time at Aulani.

03-14-2012, 11:00 AM
I leave for Oahu tomorrow, but am staying at a private residence. I hope to get over to Aulani to check it out!

03-14-2012, 11:08 AM
I leave for Oahu tomorrow, but am staying at a private residence. I hope to get over to Aulani to check it out!

That would be cool!!!!
I told DH that I want LOTS of pictures and I hope to at least get a Trader pin out of his trip! Lol!;)

03-19-2012, 09:15 AM
Well hubby and DS are there now and unfortunately the negative comments out of their mouths so far havent made me too happy about my home resort choice. Im sure it will be enjoyable for years to come and future family trips, but for a first impression trip they failed miserably.
A few thoughts based on what DH and DS have reported to me.
If a view is important to your stay than ask for that and use the points to get those views. We knew going into the trip (to save points for WDW) that they would get a standard studio with no ocean view, but they never expected a brick wall in their view.
The room was unacceptable (in my opinion). The footer quilt on the bed was wrinkled upon arrival as if someone had sat on the bed and when DH went to use the toilet he could see long black hairs on the tile around the toilet. The cleanliness was definitely lacking.
Upon the bell desk bringing up their luggage only 3 of the 4 bags made it up to the room. The missing bag containing three laptops and an ipad was later found, but the temporary stress it caused was not cool! (The guys are there for a conference so the loss of the laptops would of been a huge problem).
They agree that the resort is beautiful and they know I will love it but overall right now I'm less than happy that they aren't really LOVING it.
We knew going into this that we would shop and cook our own meals in the room (assuming later we would get the one bedroom), but DH and DS had no desire to eat at the Resort. They ended up heading to North Shore last night for dinner. Tonight they are heading into Waikiki to have dinner at a place a friend of ours works at.
I don't regret buying into DVC by any means, but I cant help but wonder if buying a home resort at WDW would of been the better plan. Aulani is huge. I don't think booking at the 7 month window would be a problem, but who knows? Its hard to say.

03-19-2012, 09:45 AM
I had them send me their view:http://img.tapatalk.com/32734453-7079-0047.jpg

But here are some nicer sights:http://img.tapatalk.com/32734453-709a-de38.jpg

03-20-2012, 01:40 PM
HB, I'm sorry DH and DS had some negative experiences there. The photos look lovely though! Did their opinions change it all by the end of their stay?

03-20-2012, 02:01 PM
HB, I'm sorry DH and DS had some negative experiences there. The photos look lovely though! Did their opinions change it all by the end of their stay?
We knew what we signed up for when we bought into DVC, but it just felt over all that the "DVC guests" were second class in comparison to "cash" guests. They were at 100 percent so there was absolutely no flexibility in changing rooms which is usually the case with a DVC rental. Fine. Understandable.
I mentioned in our other thread about the room lotions and that too is understandable, but really? They wanted him to purchase a travel size lotion in the hotel gift shop for $5? Next time he will remember to pack his own right? ;-)

They did go back up and re clean the room so that was nice and DH had a very pleasant sit down with the manager (her name is Charlene). He said she was wonderful. Everything you would expect from a Disney cast member. I know we will be a lot happier next time when we pay the points for a garden/pool room and get a one bedroom so we can cook in the room etc....
In a way I'm glad that DH and DS went without me to "test the waters". I know when its the whole family's first visit together it will be a little better.

Right now they only have phase one opened so by next year they will have more rooms open. Also, we just saw today on the Disney Blog that they will have another food (quick service) location down by the pool.

I know DD is going to LOVE the teen spa!!

03-24-2012, 09:50 AM
I checked out Aulani on my trip last week and it is a beautiful resort. I did, however, get to experience the "Disney 'no'"----I went to the DVC preview center, identified myself as a DVC member and asked if I could see the preview rooms and was resoundingly told "no." That they had previews only at 8 a.m. (right) and 4 p.m. and you needed reservations. And it was now 5:15 p.m. I guess they are really not interested in selling more Aulani points--in California the guides took the time to show the preview rooms.

However, our drinks at the bar by the lily pond were delish as we listened to a small duo sing "Disneyfied" Hawaiian songs and watched tourists meet with Donald, Mickey, Minnie and Stitch.

03-24-2012, 12:11 PM
Thanks for your review HB. I have been reading that the view you book is really important too. I have also read that the Ocean Views are really not unless you have a Grand Villa booked. I know that doesn't pertain to you- just throwing it out there for any lurkers! This is also our home resort and I am wondering if we should have bought resale at the GCV. We may add on 100 pts there at some point. We didn't go resale because being DL regulars we wanted the option to stay at the DLH or PPH if needed.

03-25-2012, 09:55 AM
Yep I agree with you on the resale topic plus the factors in booking cruises. Well I've said it before, we will love it when we go in 2013 and I'll learn to love whatever I get in WDW at 7 month windows. Maybe if they ever build more DVC units in Anaheim we can afford to add more points there. "Someday."
I will have more info on "good rooms" when DH gets home. He took a bunch of notes from a friendly DVC guide while he was there.
Aulani needs to get a move on with more open phases in my opinion. ;-)