I'm a DVC owner and I'm here, now, staying in a the 3 bedroom villa with other family members hanging out in a 2 bedroom down the hall. There are hundreds of reviews all generally/reasonably accurate so rather than re-hash all of it, I thought some core tips may be helpful to make your stay more enjoyable.
This is a nice property that does a good job of balancing the Disney rah rah with it being a Hawaiian Resort. The staff is good/helpful and if you are used to coming to a DVC location and using the "welcome home" aspect, you will not be disappointed. Rooms are well appointed, modern appliances, fully stocked like any other DVC property. In general, it's a nicely done DVC property given the DVC timeshare investment more value.
Tip 1 - Food
One exit down the highway is a full size, pretty new, Target with the Grocery section. There is a banner hanging off the side of building announcing its arrival so it's new and fully stocked. The prices are aligned with the island. Two exits down you will find an established Safeway. Both cater to locals and those who live in the many condos in the area. It is not like the grocery store across the way in Orlando. In addition, there is a Costco right by the Target. The Bell Desk has little cards with directions. Make your own meals is obviously the way to save money but you end up saving money just by getting a few cases of your favorite drinks and a 3 dollar big plastic cup as the all you can drink soft drink cup is 18 bucks.
Tip 2 - Utensils and dishes.
Simply put, ask for stuff and they will bring it up. Dishes, pitchers, whatever. Many people complained about it but they have a large stash and you can get pretty much anything on demand.
Tip 3 - Pool/towels/chairs
There is this rule where if you leave your seat for more than one hour, thy pack up your stuff and you collect it over where you get the towels. This is designed to deal with one and only one situation. People come out at 8a, grab seats, and leave for breakfast (or lunch or whatever). Some people have complained about this impacting the lazy river but in speaking to the workers, that rarely happens. If you have a reservation for breakfast at 8a, you can get towels, stake out chairs, eat and come back in an hour. More to the point the quiet pool is empty every morning so getting a nice spot over there is easy. Plus there is a great bar over there with poolside service. Go there, you'll like it. With kids, grab seats by the play area and you'll be set. This really is not a problem for the more sane of you. Lot's of high strung/high maint. people may get all cranky.
On the beach, simple stuff. Umbrellas are free. You go up, ask, they set up, you're done. The cove is public, no lifeguards, but totally calm for the kids. At the height of each day, chairs and umbrellas are no problem.
WiFi /Printing TIP
It's free. No sign up, no log in, nothing. Just Disney-Guest and you are on. It's spotty on the balconies but down by the pool Disney-Lagoon works fine. Fine means, you can get your Gmail, get CNN, etc, but download/upload, not so much. In the business center, they charge for stuff being printed by the page which blows. Each of the concierge folks will print something for you. Make it a pdf and email it to them. Specifically, Teresa, being super nice since she offered to do this for me when I asked where to get stuff printed. It's a nice touch.
Balconies don't have plugs. Ask for an extension cord, bring one, etc, and run it out there. Keep in mind the Air Conditioner goes off if you have the balcony door open for an extended time.
TIP/Caution: Room noise.
Apart from the main entrance to the condos, the doors inside are all doors with slats. It means that the kid who goes down for the nap, will here everything. It means in the 3 bedroom, big time suite, you can hear the bathroom at one end with every door closed all the way in the other end. Just saying. Light sleepers, etc, you can't really close a bedroom door and get a quiet. It's odd design but there you go.
We dropped 1500 points (DVC people know this is a huge chunk) via a combination of saving/borrowing, etc for the two villas we had here. It's very well done. DVC members get free parking, others pay 30 bucks a day which, by the way, is the same for valet. You will really like the place if you are looking for a combination of pool/beach time to relax. You won't like it, if you are looking for a "Disney" experience like Orlando or California. The Disney stuff is low key. I would come again.
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- Also Known As:
- Aulani, a Disney Resort And Spa In Hawai`i
- Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa In Hawai`i Hotel Kapolei
- Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Oahu, Hawaii - Kapolei