Simply put Disney Aulani is amazing.
We have traveled to Hawaii to stay at Aulani 3 times, 3 years in a row. This Resort is one of the more expensive resorts compared to other resorts on the island. Its located in Ko Olina about 20 minutes from the airport. What sets it apart is the private lagoon, the man made snorkeling reef in the resort, and interactive games and treasure hunts for the kids and of course a resort full of disney characters in Hawaiian clothes, lots of little shops, themed dinners and over the top Disney magic. The resort itself is beautiful and you can tell they put a lot into making it look traditional to Hawaiian culture. It has a Disney vibe without being “over done”. My daughter loved the pool parties with goofy and loud music, and took advantage of Aunties Beach house with themed activities each day at no charge! She made slime with stitch and for a charge there are surf parties with chip and dale. She did do that and I felt it was worth the money. The characters are leisurely walking around the park and are eager to meet the kids and its not like disneyland where there is a huge line to meet and give hugs, they are always available for a high five or quick hug, which my daughter LOVED.
The pools at the resort are beautiful with a huge lazy river and waterfalls to float under complete with bubbling water in a large cave you float through, including 2 large very fast waterslides and giant spray park.
There are a lot of secluded hot tubs and special places that are adult only that were not crowded. We loved that the pools were open late and we didnt have a problem finding a lounger each day either poolside or at the beach. The beach offers paddle boards for a charge and snorkeling gear. Or you can buy your own across the street for much cheaper at the ABC store.
The rooms are huge. Our room had a large kitchen and dining room, washer and dryer and 2 bathrooms. We had 2 large balconies, a living room and kitchen with tons of room. The staff was very friendly and the housekeeping went above and beyond each day to clean the rooms, leave more laundry detergent, whatever you need they are available and very kind.
The resort has huge BBQ’s for guests to grill in a common area with a playground, which came in handy. We purchased food from a grocery store down the street so we could make lunches and snacks. The restaurants are typical disney fare. We bought disney mugs for $17 each and that gives you unlimited soda, coffee, tea the entire time with lots of filling stations. Aside from the snowcones that are huge and delicious the poolside food was decent, but spendy. We ate at the grand buffet which was about $50 a person and had everything your heart desires crab, prime rib, sushi, lots of fresh local fruit and desserts were wonderful it was a hit with all of us.
The Monkey pod across the street has amazing food and happy hour on drinks and brick oven pizzas in an open air deck with live music, and has charming shops and ice cream parlors- they also had a nice Mexican restaurant we frequented. We enjoyed walking over there every other night and looking at the other beaches in the area.
Can I just say Massage… the spa at Aulani is like none other we have ever experienced. Incredible. You first undress to a robe and choose your salt scrub and oils that you mix with a spa member that is made just for you. You then go out into the garden area where there are private pools and hot tubs, and different outdoor specialty showers, like rain showers, jetted showers, (all warm). Then after about 30 minutes they take you to a room with refreshments in your fluffy luxurious robe and you relax under blankets that feel like clouds.. then the massage. It is THE best massage I have ever had. After the treatment you can go into a eucalyptus sauna and freshen up in the bathroom that has, makeup, hair products, razors, everything you would need to get ready. We have gotten one each year and it has never disappointed.
We highly recommend Disney Aulani Resort for families with kids, teens or even just a couples getaway.