(Written By Maureen M./Photos Courtesy of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa)
Aloha! Few things in this world can get better than a Hawaiian vacation – unless it’s a Disney Hawaiian vacation! Imagine, the beauty of a tropical paradise with that distinct Disney difference. This is exactly what you’ll get when you visit Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa located in Ko Olina, on the coast of O’ahu, a little over 30 minutes from Honolulu.
From the moment you arrive at Aulani, you feel surrounded by the spirit of aloha. The resort truly celebrates and embraces the rich culture of the native land and its peoples. The lobby has stunning stonework, indigenous carvings and local paintings. In fact, there is even an Art Tour to go through all the works of art at Aulani and their meanings – which are all steeped in the history of Hawaii.
As you cross the lobby and walk out onto the patio, you are greeted with a view that will first, leave you breathless and second, make you wonder what to do first. Are you going to dive into one of the many pools, the slides, the lazy river? Perhaps take a stroll over to the peaceful and serine pool for adults only to relax? There’s even a private saltwater snorkeling lagoon! You might even spot Mickey or his friends around the resort engaging with guests past the sprawling pools you get a view of the ocean – crystal clear water with an alcove for swimming, paddle boarding and numerous other water activities offered at Aulani.
After a big day of travel, my first stop was the ‘AMA’AMA for a late lunch and a cocktail. This beachfront restaurant offers contemporary island cooking with picture perfect ocean views. Personally, I recommend the Cucumber-Lychee Fizz to go with that view. It’s the perfect cocktail to welcome you to vacation. Dining at Aulani has everything; from quick service to character dining – there’s even a shaved ice hut.
The list of activities at Aulani to keep you entertained is expansive, with something for kids of all ages. There’s Aunty’s Beach House – where kids can play and sing – fireside storytelling, a spa and various wellness offerings. Perhaps the most sought after experience would be KA WA‘A – A Lū‘au. The luau is a trip through Hawaiian history, not to mention all the fantastic food.
However you chose to spend your day, you return at the end of the night to a resort room like only Disney can do, with specific attention to every detail. Aulani takes an already amazing vacation and makes it truly magical. No matter if you are traveling with your family or just the grown-ups, Aulani has the perfect combinations to make your ideal getaway.