Published: August 31, 2011 at 1:19 PMNo, thanks. I'd only pick somewhere that's clean and has free breakfast. I wouldn't pay $400 a night, then pay extra for breakfast. That's insane!
Published: August 31, 2011 at 2:46 PMI remain partial to Hilton Hawaiian Village, but I'm willing to try new things. Unfortunately, the hotel rooms are twice as expensive as the cheapest hotel room on Waikiki. It's not even on a beach. The lagoon has calm waters for water activities, but its a bit of a disappointment to go further to enjoy the beaches, which are marvelous in Hawaii.
The look of Aulani is very much like Animal Kingdom Lodge. I'm not so convinced that Aulani is an accurate presentation of Old Hawaii (as other bloggers claim). The lobby structure reminds me of the City of Refuge in the Big Island, but everything inside is very much decorated in a Tiki Bar style, although an upscale version. The rooms are comparable to other resorts. Overall, it is a chance for Disney to offer a new location to DVC members. I think they will succeed, but thus far, I'm not impressed with the property despite the amount spent.
Published: August 31, 2011 at 4:57 PMDisney's very much positioning Aulani as a "family friendly" resort and citing the lagoon as a feature. They're trying to appeal to families who want a beach but don't want ocean waves or undertow.
One of the reasons I like Ka'anapali is Black Rock, which houses an amazing local ecosystem. Stick your face underwater and say hi to the tropical fish and sea turtles. It also breaks the waves a bit, but not so much as to make the water feel like a swimming pool, as lagoons often do.
Published: September 1, 2011 at 2:28 AMIsn't Aulani basically Loews Royal Pacific Resort but with hidden Mickeys?
Published: September 1, 2011 at 8:59 PMIf I won the lottery I would stay here. I would also consider it for a few nights for a honeymoon or anniversary if I got married.
Published: September 2, 2011 at 5:29 PMWe are using our DVC points to stay at Aulani in a one-bedroom for 8 nights, checking in in just 4 weeks time! :D I have only been to Oahu once almost 20 years ago, but have been to Maui 3 times and the Big Island once since then. I'm looking forward to truly exploring Oahu this time. From the photos and videos I've seen, I think Aulani looks absolutely amazing. I can't wait!
Published: September 3, 2011 at 9:59 AMI'm surprised they didn't put the resort in touristy Waikiki Beach (lack of space, I suppose). That being said, if you weren't confined to Waikiki, why wouldn't they choose a nicer location with an actual beach?
I'm interested to see if the Disney service changes things. Most of the best beach locations on the island are owned by independent, not chain, hotels, meaning that there's no exceptional service guarantee. That Disney brand name and service may be enough to justify the $400/night for wealthier families.
Published: September 3, 2011 at 5:20 PMIf I could afford it, I would go. That being said, I'd prefer a more reasonable priced hotel closer to Waikiki. But heck, that's just me!