Is Aluani worth the money?

StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
Well...
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Hot tub...
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Lazy river/pool
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Most definitely yes.
 

StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
Just in case you weren't convinced, some photos of the pool area.

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Above is the adults only infinity hot tub overlooking the ocean

Next we have our enclosed body slide...
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Above is the lazy river. An inner tube slide dumps you in

Kids water play area
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Above is the adults only pool

And last but not least, we have our infinity pool which features ocean creature sounds underwater
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And the beach for good measure...

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Aulani is easily the best Disney Resort. It trumps Poly, Contemporary, Yacht/Beach, Grand Californian...all of them. It is so worth it, even if you're only able to spend a few nights there and move someplace cheaper for the rest of your stay.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
For Oahu, Aulani is nice enough, although it's far from town so dining, shopping and nightlife are very limited. But the three times I've stayed on Oahu I've always been at the Halekulani right in Waikiki, so I'm spoiled by real service and rather jaded. :cool:

But compared to the mega-resorts on Maui or the Big Island, Aulani pales in comparison. There are better beaches, better amenities, better service, FAR better restaurants, better design and better facilities at swanky hotels on other islands, and at the same prices Aulani is charging.

My go-to resort on the Big Island is the fabulous Hilton Waikoloa Village, and not just for the Hilton points I earn so I can get an upgrade at the Tokyo Conrad. It has that combination of mega-resort on a pristine beach all connected by Jungle Cruise-esque launches and Epcot-esque monorail trains gliding along perfectly manicured grounds with excellent service and truly great restaurants. The Hilton Waikoloa is the resort Walt Disney himself would have built had he looked west across the Pacific in 1965 instead of east to Florida.

How to get around the Hilton Waikaloa on the Big Island: Launches or Monorails?
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But none of those Hawaiian resorts have the "Disney's" tagline before their name, and none of them have a college kid in a mouse suit prancing around the breakfast buffet. So Aulani remains popular with certain folks, even though it's not the biggest, best or most sparkling of Hawaii's many mega-resorts.
 
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Chef Mickey

Well-Known Member
I don't think so. I'd stick to higher end resorts. I'd say Disney AT Disney, Ritz, Four Seasons, Shangri-la, Penninsula, etc outside.

Honestly, those pics above don't seem that nice...the beach is not ideal, the ammenties seem old, the property seems dark and dingy, and the location is meh.

Ritz Maui:
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R W B

Well-Known Member
This is all about persoanl perspective to be honest. Some people may think you can get more for your money else where and they would rather do that but at the same time, you may stay here and feel you got your money's worth and be ok with it. The same thing can be said about WDW. My fiancé and I could of done a lot more with the $4500 we just spent last month at WDW if we went someplace else but we're fine with our choice.
 

StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
Just to make myself clear: I would encourage you to try a variety of resorts in Hawaii. I like Aulani not just because it's Disney (honestly, I couldn't care less about the characters). The pool is absolutely fantastic. The lagoon is nice (although yes, the beach on Waikiki was nicer; they called it the beach of kings for a reason). I went snorkeling there for the first time, and it's an excellent location to learn how to snorkel because there are no waves and the currents aren't super strong, but you'll still see a lot. I've seen a sea turtle and a shark in there, among the various gorgeous fish. Waikiki's waters tend to be harder to swim. Doable if you're a strong swimmer, but you have to be careful, and you won't see as much. Aulani also has a secluded feel on the most developed of the Hawaiian Islands.

I've also stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. I personally don't like Waikiki very much. I like the fact that Aulani is located on a more secluded part of the island. Waikiki is in Honolulu, and it's basically a beach front city. Some people like that. I am not a city girl and like very much spending the day in the city and then getting out of the city. While the Hilton is a fabulous resort with plenty of shopping and dining and a lovely beach, I find it wearing after a few days. The pools over there also aren't nearly as nice as at Aulani, and the beds at Aulani were much more comfortable. Last time we were there, no one in my group really felt rested until we got to Aulani. In spite of the fact that I could walk downstairs in the morning and get a Chai Tea Latte with fresh coconut milk (yum) from one of the two Starbucks locations on property, I definitely enjoyed Aulani more.

Aulani is also going to be your more family-friendly resort. The first time I went to the Hilton, I was 17 and hated it. When I was 20 and went, I had a bit more appreciation for it. My younger brother was 10 and then 13 when we stayed at the Hilton, and both times, he said he liked Aulani better. There's a lot to entertain kids, but there are also adult areas (Three words: Infinity hot tub). If you decide to do a one or two bedroom in the DVC section, you can also cook some of your meals in (there is a Safeway 10 minutes away that delivers). We first stayed there in 2012, and there were fewer restaurants around the area then, but the area is becoming more developed, so there are a few more spots. The two restaurants on property are also very good.

If you look at hotel rankings, Aulani is highly rated. It is ranked #2 in Oahu, #7 in Hawaii, and #1 as a Disney resort by US News and World Report. Here is the report (only thing is got wrong is Aulani is now within walking distance of restaurants and there are now more pools, including an infinity pool)

http://travel.usnews.com/Hotels/review-Aulani_A_Disney_Resort_Spa-Kapolei-Hawaii-128332/

If it's your first time to Hawaii and you're just doing Oahu, I would advise you to try both someplace in Waikiki (the Hilton, fyi, trumps all the other hotels in the area) and Aulani. I would also advise you to rent a car and really see the island, especially if for some reason you're just doing a hotel in Waikiki. There is so much more to Oahu than just Waikiki, and you're really missing out if all you do is stay at your hotel. Every beach in Oahu is unique. The colors of the water vary. The size of the waves vary. You really need to go explore. Get that rental car and just drive.

We love Aulani. It's actually one of our home resorts. I encourage everyone to try it. Odds are, you won't be disappointed.
 

Disneysea05

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
We loved it! We do some excursions on every trip but we always look forward to coming back at the end of the day.

Once we booked a Grand Villa which was fantastic! Stayed on the balcony for hours enjoying this view....
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alissafalco

Well-Known Member
When I was in Oahu for 10 days I stayed at a friends house so I don't have any experience with any of the hotels. All the hotel pics everyone posted look really nice. I do have to say Aulani looks a little crowded, but great for kids. If I do get the chance to go back to Hawaii I would probably do a split stay between Aulani and some place close to town.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
This is all about persoanl perspective to be honest. Some people may think you can get more for your money else where and they would rather do that but at the same time, you may stay here and feel you got your money's worth and be ok with it. The same thing can be said about WDW. My fiancé and I could of done a lot more with the $4500 we just spent last month at WDW if we went someplace else but we're fine with our choice.

Yeah, but unlike WDW... Hawaii is bigger than Disney. You goto Orlando FOR disney.. and the resorts are where you stay. Its the opposite in HI.. you go there FOR hawaii. And Aluani is not really in a great spot for Hawaii, and there is WAY more competition, at these higher levels in the area.

This isn't about 'paying for disney...' - it should be 'is aluani a good way to visit hawaii? and worth its price?'
 

hopemax

Well-Known Member
We're about to stay at Aulani for the 2nd time. For our purposes, it works. We need to be on Oahu for a family event with the in-laws. Family time is being spent in a vacation rental in Kailua. Before we do family time, we are going to the Big Island. Aulani is for the last 3 nights of our stay, when we are sick of people, tired, and want to do nothing more than float around in a lazy river. DH is not a beach person, and so snorkling, paddleboarding, and other typical water activities aren't what we do. Both trips we have rented DVC points, which avoids parking fees and Aulani doesn't have a resort fee. So pricing it out, it was actually the cheap option to Waikiki and you avoid all the traffic and people. We don't need to be near any tourist places, so Ko Olina is a pro not a con.

Aulani is very pretty, but it does come off as a bit vanilla. On our first trip, we went to Maui first, and by the time we got to Aulani and looked at the menus, I kept thinking, "All the amazing food, and this is what they chose." Even Ama Ama only has 3 seafood entrees (Roy's has 9) Stuff like that. If I could only do one resort in the islands, I don't think Aulani would be it.
 

Little Green Men

Well-Known Member
I had a great time when I stayed there. It was my first visit to Hawaii and I was still able to do other excursions. We went to the Dole Plantation, Pearl Harbor, a luau, beaches, all not too far from the resort. The resort itself was very beautiful; spacious rooms, beautiful lobby, and good restaurants.

For Oahu, Aulani is nice enough, although it's far from town so dining, shopping and nightlife are very limited. But the three times I've stayed on Oahu I've always been at the Halekulani right in Waikiki, so I'm spoiled by real service and rather jaded. :cool:

But compared to the mega-resorts on Maui or the Big Island, Aulani pales in comparison. There are better beaches, better amenities, better service, FAR better restaurants, better design and better facilities at swanky hotels on other islands, and at the same prices Aulani is charging.

My go-to resort on the Big Island is the fabulous Hilton Waikoloa Village, and not just for the Hilton points I earn so I can get an upgrade at the Tokyo Conrad. It has that combination of mega-resort on a pristine beach all connected by Jungle Cruise-esque launches and Epcot-esque monorail trains gliding along perfectly manicured grounds with excellent service and truly great restaurants. The Hilton Waikoloa is the resort Walt Disney himself would have built had he looked west across the Pacific in 1965 instead of east to Florida.

How to get around the Hilton Waikaloa on the Big Island: Launches or Monorails?
hilton-waikoloa-village-trains-and-boats.jpg


But none of those Hawaiian resorts have the "Disney's" tagline before their name, and none of them have a college kid in a mouse suit prancing around the breakfast buffet. So Aulani remains popular with certain folks, even though it's not the biggest, best or most sparkling of Hawaii's many mega-resorts.
That does look beautiful, I had no idea it existed.
 
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TP2000

Well-Known Member
That does look beautiful, I had no idea it existed.

The Waikaloa Village resort opened on the Big Island around 1990, as a Hyatt Regency property. I first stayed there around 1992 and loved it then, because it reminded me of something Walt would do. Hilton bought it from Hyatt about 15 years ago. It's fabulous, and quite famous. But then there's an entire planet out there full of fantastic experiences that are not branded with the corporate "Disney's" title.

The Hilton Waikaloa Village has always been an aesthetically and culturally impressive vacation destination, for over 25 years. Seriously, Walt would have loved this hotel!
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Their swim with the dolphins program, literally right outside your hotel room, is unprecedented.
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Back to "Disney's" corporate world... some people are more than happy settling for Aulani on Oahu, simply because it's got the word "Disney's" in the title. But if you absolutely need to be on Oahu instead of Maui or Kaua'i or the Big Island, I would strongly recommend the Halekulani in Waikiki proper. Truly stellar customer service and fine dining that blows anything Disney can do out of the water.
 
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