When we first heard that Disney’s Aulani was opening we thought… nah. Not for us. We were wrong – and now in addition to this being our home DVC resort we are preparing for our FOURTH visit. To say we’re obsessed would be an understatement!
Aulani is a Disney resort tucked away on a quiet shore of Oahu, in a little community with everything you’ll need for a quiet and relaxing Hawaiian vacation. It is also our absolute favorite resort destination and in this post we’ll be explaining why. In future posts we’ll share our best tips, suggestions, and planning guide. We are lucky to go back in a few months – and after we do we’ll be sure to share a LOT of trip reports, favorites, photos, and more!
Ok so why is it our favorite? First my “planner mom” logistical reasons:
- Easy to get cab/shuttle from airport, and no need to rent a car
- Groceries available across street
- Variety of food from ready to eat groceries to fine dining within walking
- Kids club (no extra fee!!) with wristbands for kids that is very secure
- Entire resort amazing so you can just sit back, relax, and go nowhere else!
Let’s also talk about the on-site fun:
- multiple restaurants from quick service to fine dining
- snorkeling in ocean or their own stocked special area
- boat, paddle board, other ocean fun on site
- multiple pools and slides
- little kid areas (water play)
- kids club
- teen club
- walking distance to awesome Luau (Paradise Cove), and many more restaurants and services
- evening entertainment
- daily activities and character meet & greets
I spoke of the extra fees – many Hawaiian resorts charge for every little thing kids club to beach chairs to umbrellas – Aulani does a great job of including a LOT for your room fee. They have complimentary beach toys (and chairs & umbrellas), kids club as I mentioned before, ice water all over the place, exercise classes, family activities, and more. Yes, some things are an extra charge but it will be things like spa services, snorkeling, etc.
We love that you can get Dole Whip, awesome shaved ice, and a lot of other tasty treats too. My daughters have their own opinions on what is the best at Aulani and made this video on YouTube :
The rooms form a “U” around the majority of the resort with a wide variety of pools, slides, a lazy river, and areas for the tiny kiddies to enjoy splashing and playing with other little ones. This makes it easy to stake out a spot (depending on your family preferences) and relax! It also means even the most active folks can find tons to do.
They have (free!) fun activities such as the video game where you walk around with a borrowed tablet and solve mysteries as the resort comes to life and interacts with you. This can be borrowed from the rec room – another great place!
Aulani is also beautifully landscaped with pathways and details from the flowers to the architecture. You’ll find so many interesting things to look at, see, and do. There is no bad room at Aulani – even if your room faces the parking area it won’t matter. You’re steps away from tons of seating areas and relaxing tropical fun.
While this is a Disney resort and characters do show up, it is first and foremost a Hawaiian resort. The theming, colors, and feel is that of paradise – a paradise Mickey, Minnie, and their pals happen to be visiting too.
We will go over best tips for booking, suggestions for activities, food, and more in future posts. This is a DVC resort so if you are a member you can use points, or rent points if you aren’t. You can also watch for good discount deals, free breakfast, and other offers from Aulani directly if you are flexible with your dates.
If you want a resort to relax at with enough to keep everyone happy – for a truly relaxing just sit down and enjoy vacation – it doesn’t get better than Aulani. When we visit we tend to simply stay put. There are walking paths, golf, restaurants, and so much more to keep us relaxing, unwinding, and happy to simply stay at Aulani all day long.