Disney's Aulani resort is located on a beautiful lagoon on the west side of Oahu, Ko Olina, about 30 minutes from the Honolulu airport. There are 4 lagoons in Ko Olina and Aulani shares one with the JW. This area has several good restaurants within walking distance and a golf course. Ko Olina is a great resort area away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki.
Upon arrival at Aulani you will be greeted with fresh flower leis and a delicious cold drink. The resort grounds are stunning. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed during the rest of my stay. The resort's two very large towers (819 rooms!), accommodate more guests than the outdoor areas can handle. Getting around the pool areas was challenging, as one needs to squeeze in between rows of very tightly packed lounge chairs.
The Disney characters make an appearance once in the afternoon in the pool area. There is also a character breakfast every morning.
Water sports are available for a fee at the beach, however, the lagoon is not very large and kayaking in such a small area full of kayaks and other water activities did not appeal to us. As I mentioned above, the number of guests Aulani accommodates is not appropriate for the size of the property or the beach.
Service was good but not great. Cleanliness and housekeeping was fine but nothing spectacular. The staff was polite and friendly but the level of service was not one of a 5 star resort or what you typically receive at the Disney World resorts and cruises.
The main restaurant, Ama Ama, had a spectacular view of the sunset, see below, but the food throughout the resort left a lot to be desired. There is a fast service restaurant that was fine for grabbing breakfast. They had a couple of hot dishes, French toast, bacon, etc., as well as croissants, bagels, and yogurt. They are also open for lunch with several hot options and flatbreads.
From my kids' point of view... they loved it! The resort has 2 large water slides, one with tubes and the other without. They could have done that all week without leaving the resort. My husband and I, on the other hand, would not recommend it. It is very overpriced for an incredibly large and crowded resort with mediocre service and food.
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