Aloha e komo mai! Why am I speaking Hawaiian? Well, I recently returned from an amazing trip to the island of Oahu! Specifically, I stayed at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, in the beautiful little town of Ko’Olina.
Talk about bucket list! My 6 nights there was simply too short though — I loved everything about Hawai’i and about this resort!
First of all, the theming was simply gorgeous! The Imagineers really tried to stay true to the Hawaiian culture, and since they were headed up by Joe Rhode, who grew up in Hawai’i, they did a fabulous job. It was a lovely blend of traditional and Hawaiian culture!
If I tried to write down everything about this resort, the post would be incredibly long, so I’ll try to highlight as best I can its amazing features!
You can’t talk Hawai’i without mentioning the BEACH. Just…. wow! The beach is a lovely private cove area. Rocks break the worst of the waves. and you can easily swim, boogie board, or snorkel in GORGEOUS blue water!
Seriously though — look at that beach!! That water!! Totally not edited. No filter. Make you want to exit the snow and cold immediately, doesn’t it??
There is also a beautiful pool area for families, an adult pool area, and even a pool that overlooks the ocean! There’s also a lazy river, and “Rainbow Reef”, which is a small enclosed snorkeling lagoon where you are guaranteed to see beautiful fish.
What about accommodations, though? Well, they were very comfortable! There are regular hotel rooms as well as Deluxe Studios, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom villas. There’s even an amazing 3-bedroom grand villa!
Below are some shots from the larger 2 and 3 bedroom villas.
Dining was also a treat! Makahiki serves a wonderful character buffet for breakfast with entertainment by Aunty (and the character aspect is available select nights for dinner as well). I also enjoyed the signature, open air dining of ‘Ama ‘Ama!
There are some great quick service locations too! There is the Ulu Cafe, featuring daily sandwiches, pizza, Poke Bowls, and more! There is also Mama’s Snack Stop (the coconut shrimp picture), and Paipalua Shave Ice (get the sweetened condensed milk on top)! There are several other quick serve locations throughout the resort as well.
In the evenings, you can enjoy apps, drinks, and live entertainment at the ‘Ōlelo room — featuring native Hawaiian speakers who will even teach you how to speak the language!
But what about the kids? Oh no worries there! Aunty’s Beach House has you totally covered! It’s a kid’s paradise in there!
Kids are occupied, so… why not hit the spa? The Laniwai Spa is a beautiful, relaxing spot complete with outdoor hydrotherapy!
There is also a Hawaiian version of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Painted Sky! This place was simply adorable!
The great thing about Aulani is that it’s located just across the street from a great little shopping center! There’s a small ABC/Grocery, several great eateries, and adorable boutiques! I bought my new favorite dress there, actually! There is also an Alamo car rental right on-site, making it super easy to drive the island for the day. We took a trip up to the North Shore via the quaint little town of Wahiawa (shout out to Surfer’s Coffee… BEST CHAI LATTE around!!). We also hit up Leonard’s Malasadas truck, Giovanni’s Shrimp truck (I’m drooling remembering this place), and Waimea Botanical Gardens! We got caught in a random rainstorm there, but we were awarded with a gorgeous full rainbow as a result!
What’s Hawai’i without a luau? Aulani had a beautiful show, which I was privileged to attend. I loved that in addition to the dancers, fire twirlers, and of course, storytellers, there were plenty of Hawaiian activities ahead of time! You could make a flower wreath, play the ukelele, get a stamp tattoo, stamp/paint a card, have photo ops, and more!
Of course, there are other touches of Disney magic throughout the resort, all of which only enhanced the magical storytelling of Hawai’i. We simply cannot wait to go back!!
Ready to get away to paradise? We would love to help! Ask your Upon A Star Travel expert for information!