A look inside the Aulani Resort Hotel
I already did a general breakdown of my favorite things about the Aulani Resort (in a nutshell: the pools, the lagoon, the food, and the somewhat understated Disney touches).
I could spend all day waxing poetic about the resort amenities, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty of choosing a hotel, the most important factor is really the room itself. So, as promised, here’s a closer look at the Disney Aulani Resort in Ko Olina, Hawaii, including a peak inside our spacious one-bedroom villa.
The One-Bedroom Villa
There are two main accommodation types at the Aulani Resort: a room or a villa. The rooms, which range from basic 4-person sleepers to luxurious signature suites, come with the standard bells and whistles. That is, a bed, a bathroom, and – if you’re lucky – a view of the ocean.
The villas, on the other hand, are decked out with all the amenities one might need to camp out for days, weeks, months. We’re talking a bedroom, bathroom, living room, full kitchen (with rice cooker!), dining table, and a washer/dryer. Oh, and a fabulous view of both the ocean and the resort pools.
We were lucky enough to stay in the latter: a gorgeous one-bedroom villa on the 14th floor facing the ocean.
As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted with a modest kitchen, living room, and a snazzy balcony with an even snazzier view.
The kitchen is fully stocked with cookware, coffee maker, rice cooker, etc.
And the fridge came with these adorably tiny complementary Hawaiian waters. (Yes, the water really does taste better in Hawaii.)
Like I’ve mentioned before, the Disney touches at the Aulani are subtle enough to be both cutesy and classy. This is the fabric on the booth seating around the dining table, for example. Look at those little hidden Mickeys!
We didn’t get turn-down chocolates like with most Disney Hotels, but they did leave us surprise Mickey Mouse macarons on our first night. I’d say that’s at least 34873924 times better than those boring little chocolate squares, right?
The bathroom is separated into two rooms. One has the toilet and shower, and the other has the tub, plus another sink and a window into the bedroom.
The bedroom is just off the living room area. It consists of a king size bed, TV, desk, and second balcony. Plus, the most adorable Mickey pineapple bedspread!
Fun fact: the Aulani robes are actually heaven. Most hotel robes are scratchy and uncomfortably, but not these guys. These ones are fuzzy, soft, plush, and just so dang cozy. Every year, Mark and I ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over them, and try to convince ourselves to bite the bullet (i.e., the $200 price tag) and splurge on a pair of our own from the Aulani gift shop.
Well, 4 trips later and we FINALLY did it. Partly cause Mark brought a checked bag so we actually had room in our luggage, and partly cause we got to take advantage of a Disney employee discount. In any case, way worth it!
Fuzzy robes aside, I think my absolute favorite aspect of the Aulani villa is the balconies. The room itself is stunning, but it becomes unbeatable once you factor in the warm breeze and happy island sounds that greet you once you slide open the balcony doors.
And that view! My goodness. If you’re coming to Aulani, you have to go for the ocean view accommodations. I honestly think being able to lean off the balconies and stare into ocean – or down at pools – made our entire Aulani experience at least 45% more remarkable than it already would have been.
It gives you the sense of being down in the thick of things, even when you’re sitting in your robe, 14 floors up, Mickey macaron in hand. How’s that for Disney magic?
Of course, at the top of the “Reasons to Stay” list for any Disney Resort Hotel is the room service. And by room service I mean Mickey waffles. Of the 5 nights we were at the Aulani, we ordered room service 3 times.
I’ll be frank – it wasn’t the most efficient room service we’ve ever experienced. We were usually on hold for about 10 minutes in order to even place an order, and then had to wait over an hour for the food to arrive.
It’s really the ever-so-tiny gripe about our stay, and it’s not even worth a blip on the Aulani Awesomeness Radar. Plus, hey, there’s no room for complaining when your Mickey waffles come with a side of macadamia nut butter and this view.