STORY BY: Veronica Hill PHOTOS COURTESY of Aulani Resort
Summary: Escape to the islands for a Hawaiian vacation at Oahu's Disney Aulani Resort, opening on August 29.
Location: The Aulani Hawaii Resort & Spa address is at 92-1185 Aliʻinui Drive, Kapolei, HI 96707. For Aulani reservations, call (714) 520-7001.
Price Range: $$$
Set on 21 acres of beach on the Ko Olina Coast, the new Aulani resort promises an Hawaiian island adventure in true Disney style.
Take your choice of 359 rooms and 481 two-bedroom Aulani timeshare villas, which offer scenic views of the nearby mountains, sparkling ocean and protected coves.
The Disney Aulani resort, set to open on August 29, is located away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki approximately 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport.
“We believe the tremendous beauty of Ko Olina provides the perfect opportunity to create a uniquely Disney experience for our guests in a way that is true to Hawai'i," says Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Aulani celebrates the best of Hawai'i and represents a new way to enjoy a family vacation with Disney."
In Hawaiian, Aulani means "“a messenger of a chief – one who delivers a message from a higher authority.” Disney translates this higher authority as Hawai'i culture, people and spirit.
During your stay at the Aulani hotel, you can enjoy a wide range of Hawaii activities, from evening storytelling around the fire pit to Menehune statue spotting (the hotel's version of Hidden Mickeys). At the conservation pool, you can book special interactive sessions with the hotel's collection of resident stingrays.
While mom gets pampered in the 18,000-square-foot Laniwai spa fitness center, children can play at the Aunty’s Beach House kids’ club while learning about Hawaiian culture and traditional Hawaiian games. The Laniwai spa boasts 15 treatment rooms and Hawaii's only outdoor hydrotherapy circuit. Teens can enjoy the spa's Painted Sky yogurt bar and mixology station.
Kids will dig the hotel's seven-acre water park, Waikolohe Valley. Here, kids can go snorkeling in the 3,800-square-foot Rainbow Reef lagoon, whisk down fast-moving watersides on the Tubestone Curl and Volcanic Vertical, or hop in an innertube for a leisurely float down Waikolohe Stream. Additional Aulani pools include an adult pool, wading pool and hot tubs with stunning sunset views.
Guided tours of Hawaii, offered through the Aulani hotel concierge, include North Shore surfing, Hawaiian cooking classes, swimming with dolphins, and guided hikes through nearby Hawaiian rainforests, pineapple plantations and mountains. Aulani weddings are offered on the oceanfront lawn.
There are two Aulani restaurants — 'Ama 'Ama and Makahiki. Both specialize in Hawaiian cuisine. Makahiki offers Disney character dining in a buffet-style setting, while 'Ama 'Ama serves up fresh island specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner along the oceanfront.
The Aulani Hawaii Resort & Spa address is at 92-1185 Aliʻinui Drive, Kapolei, HI 96707. For Aulani reservations, call (714) 520-7001 or click here.