Skip to main content

Aulani = Paradise

I recently enjoyed 10 wonderful days at Aulani.  That sounds like plenty of time to experience the resort as well as see the sights of Oahu, Hawaii, right?  But it turns out that Aulani is like Hotel California; you can enter but you don’t want to ever leave!  

Upon first arriving, you’re presented with leis: flowers for the girls, kukua nut leis for the boys.   (Lucky them, theirs last longer than the flowers! But they certainly don’t smell as nice!)

The resort itself is impressive as you drive up.  It's sandwiched in between 2 other very modern looking resorts but is recognizable right away.  Aulani has that distinctive feel that only Disney resorts have.  The theming and architecture really help you feel that you’re in an authentic Hawaiian resort, rather than a high-rise apartment building in a metropolitan city.

If you're familiar with deluxe resorts at other Disney destinations, you know that their lobbies always make a grand first impression.  Aulani's does not disappoint.  Upon entering, you can see straight through the lobby to take in the expansive resort below, as well as breathtaking views of the beach and ocean beyond.  A mural wraps around high above the lobby, showcasing the heritage of Hawaii.  On one side, the mural shows the mountains of Hawaii, which blends seamlessly with the view of the real mountainsides of Oahu through the lobby entryway.  In the same way, the other side of the mural showcases modern Hawaii with images of the ocean, leading out to the actual ocean beyond the beach.  It all adds up to a very immersive, breathtaking experience.  I could spend hours sitting in the lobby at Aulani!  The doors all slide open so at any time there are fresh breezes blowing through.  At nighttime it is very relaxing to sit there on the comfy couches.

There are two towers at Aulani: the Ewa Tower and the Waia’nae Tower.  There are 359 hotel rooms, 16 suites, and 460 Disney Villas.  The lobby connects the two towers, and depending on which tower you stay in, there are beautiful views of the ocean, of the mountains, or of the valley below with the pools.

We had a one bedroom villa in the Ewa tower, facing the ocean.  It was relaxing to sit on our balcony and see catamarans, sailboats and other ships in the distance.  I loved having lots of green foliage as well.  I especially loved our location, as our room overlooked the Haniwai Lawn where the Starlight Hui is performed, as well as numerous wedding receptions and character encounters.

Aulani is an expansive property, and it took us a bit of time to get used to the layout.  But after a day or two, we had the terrain down!  We quickly discovered the meandering paths leading to the Ulu CafĂ©, where we ate breakfast every morning.

Our day typically began by finding lounge chairs together, putting our stuff down and going to eat.  Aulani has a smart policy for reserving chairs.  Guests put towels and other belongings down on a chair to “reserve” it.  If the cast members come around and notice nothing has been moved in a while, they fold the towel and put it over the back of the chair.  If after an hour the towel is still folded, they remove it to free up the chair for someone else.  Someone in our party usually made a point of going back to our chairs to make sure we used them throughout the day.  The same policy is used on the beach.

I fell in love with Aulani, and quickly understood why Travel and Leisure named it the 2014 Top Hotel for Families in the United States.  The property is beautiful to walk, there are plenty of swim areas and relaxation spots, and it never feels crowded.  We bounced around between the infinity pool, the main pool, water slides, the lazy river and the beach.  All pools were at a perfect temperature for just walking or jumping into, while still being very refreshing!  We found it to be the same with the beach: temperature was perfect, and the water was so clear.  The lagoon is man-made and designed to keep waves at a minimum, so it’s perfect for little kids.  Very little sea life gets in – only once did I see tiny little fish swimming around at my feet.  The lagoon looks small but the beach was never crowded!

We had excursions planned during our stay, and it was hard to force ourselves off property to go enjoy them.  However, we did leave and there will be more details on those excursions in future blog posts.  We were always happy to come back to Aulani, grab our bathing suits and take a dip in the refreshing waters of any of the pools or beach.  

As the perfect end to each of our perfect days at Aulani were magnificent sunsets to enjoy.  No matter where you were on the beach you had a fantastic view of the setting sun!

Stay tuned for future blogs about Aulani.  This agent has decided this is her new vacation destination!

Marla

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ears the News: September 27, 2019 Edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Ears the News
Brought to you by our friends at WDWMagic.com

The 6 mile long Disney Skyliner opens at the end of the month in Walt Disney World, and we are now starting to hear confirmation of some of the operational details.

As expected, lightning will be addressed by the Skyliner system closing when lightning is forecast. The system does feature lightning protection, but Disney will obviously be keeping guests out of the sky during bad weather. Bus service will be available during weather closure of the Skyliner.


Disney Skyliner is able to carry 10 guests per cabin, and guests may also travel with strollers, wheelchairs and service animals.

There are five stations in total covering the 3 lines - at Caribbean Beach, Pop Century/Art of Animation, Disney Riviera Resort, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot International Gateway. Caribbean Beach is the main gateway and you will transfer there to each destination.

Although Disney Riviera Resort doesn…

Ears the News: September 13, 2019 Edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Ears the News
Brought to you by our friends at WDWMagic.com

Mobile Order has come to Star Wars Galaxy's Edge. 
You can now use your phone and My Disney Experience to order at the Milk Stand, Ronto Roasters and Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo.

A crane is now in position behind Cinderella Castle to begin the installation of the Castle Dreamlights for the Frozen Holiday Wish show. 

During the work, the walkway alongside the castle is restricted, and the crane may be visible from Main Street U.S.A.

The crane will most likely be visible until shortly before the first Christmas party on November 8.



For the first time in many years, Disney's Animal Kingdom will be hosting a New Year's Eve party on December 31, 2019.

The park will be open until midnight and will offer DJ's in Discovery Island, Asia and DinoLand U.S.A., along with a New year's Eve countdown show on the Tree of Life. 
Unlike the Millennium celebration that held a fireworks show in …

Disney Villains After Hours Event

This summer, the Kingdom Konsultant Agents took on a full day of training followed by a late night Magic Kingdom adventure at the Disney Villains After Hours Event.  The night promised low crowds, special effects on attractions, specialty food items available for purchase, a unique stage show and PhotoPass opportunities, and Maleficent at night. In addition, there were complimentary soda, bottled water, popcorn and ice cream novelties with our event admission! We couldn't wait to see what we could accomplish! Pro tip: you won't be able to accomplish it all in one night, there is just too much to see and do!

Walking in to Main Street was a little hectic with the day guests leaving and the party guests arriving.  We almost missed the guide map but managed to double back to grab some so that we could all make a plan! You notice right away a different feel to the park with little hints of the villains all around.



The two main attractions with overlays were Pirates of the Caribbean…