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Old 12-04-2011, 05:41 PM   #1
spleen
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Aulani 1BR Pool View stay 12/3 - 5, 2011 TR

Decided to do a trip report for our Aulani stay so I can share the many photos that we took along the way. We like to eat and so many of the photos will have to do with food - hopefully you'll join us for the adventure!

We checked into Aulani on 12/3/11 for a extended weekend stay. We had a late start getting there because my daughter goes to Saturday school and ended that day at 1:20 PM. It had been a big secret that we had kept from the kids that we were going to Aulani. They LOVE going to hotels and the fact that this was a Disney hotel would make it extra special!

My wife and I had done such a great job of keeping it from them until the day of the trip. My mother had dropped her off at school that morning because I had to work that morning and on the way to school, my daughter mentioned to my mother that I was picking her up from school afterwards. To which my mother said, "Oh, that's right, because you're going to that Disney hotel, right?" My daughter responded to this with "WHAT??? REALLY!??"

In all fairness, I hadn't told my mother specifically not to tell the kids about the fact that we were going to Aulani but really didn't think that it would have come up during conversation … My fault (kicking myself under the table)

In any case, we picked her up from school and headed off to Aulani after two stops at Foodland (local supermarket) to pick up some odds and ends and Costco to pick up steaks, eggs, and milk. After which, we were headed to our home for the next 2 days! We had rented points to stay at a 1 BR pool view villa since we had tied up all of our points for a 1 wk stay at BLT this summer. We had done online check in 10 days prior and once we got there, after the customary lei greeting, they handed us our room keys which were all ready to go and we headed off to our room with bellman Jonathan with our luggage.

We quickly unloaded our groceries into the kitchen while Jonathan brought in our bags. At the end, he asked whether we had any reservations for dining for our stay. I mentioned that I had checked online for reservations for the character breakfast at Makahiki for tomorrow morning but everything seemed to be sold out. He offered to check with the concierge to see if there was anything that could be done and we quickly agreed. I headed off to self park the car (valet had graciously offered to keep the car on the side for the short time while we checked in and brought up our bags) and when walking back to our room, ran into Jonathan who was walking back to our room with a 8:15 AM reservation at Makahiki for the next morning! Needless to say, we tipped well, lol!

While the family continued to unpack, I rushed around the villa to take pictures before we totally destroyed it.

Kitchen:


Bathroom with rain shower:


Close up of shower:


Bath with look through into the master bedroom:


Close up of bath:


Vanity in master bath:


Bed in master bedroom:


Living room with bunk bed under the TV pulled out:


Dining table with kitchen in background and two munchkins eating a snack of cinnamon rolls brought from home:


Living room with the sofa bed (folded up):


Balcony in living room:


View from balcony (pool view room):


View from balcony (pool view room) - looking to left:


View from balcony (pool view room) - looking to right:


View from balcony (pool view room) - looking up at the Ewa tower:


Details of columns along outside of building by our balcony:


More to come!
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:56 PM   #2
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Wow, thanks for the wonderful pictures!
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:22 PM   #3
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Wonderful pictures! Looks amazing.
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:26 PM   #4
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Thanks for sharing your photos! Aulani looks great! Could you see the sunset from your balcony?

Which floor were you on? I know the Ewa Building has Pool View rooms on the 3rd and 4th floors, but the second building is suppose to have pool views on floors 1-5.
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:27 PM   #5
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Wonderful pictures, especially of your beautiful children. Thanks for posting a TR. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your long weekend.
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:29 PM   #6
spleen
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Thanks Doug for following along!

After hanging out in the room for a while, it was getting close to dinner time. We had decided not to eat dinner at Aulani since it had sounded like that they were still working out kinks in dining and instead had made reservations at Azul next door at the J.W. Marriott Ihilani. But before we headed there, we had decided that we were going to have the kids eat dinner and hang out at Auntie's Beach House (kids club) to give us adults some "adult time" while eating dinner. Imagine, dinner without having to worry about the kids spilling and making a mess, making too much noise, getting bored with the meal

So we headed out of the room and through the lobby. I have a new fascination with light fixtures after reading lisaviolet's trip reports. Here's a random wall sconce I found:


And another light fixture that's mixed in a flock of paper (?) birds:


We took the stairs down past the lobby that leads to Makahiki on the way out to the pool area:


Walking through the pool area:


Something about this view struck me so I took a pic of it:


Then we arrived at Auntie's Beach House. Can you believe, we spent the next 30 minutes here getting the kids set up for their kids club visit and I didn't take a SINGLE PICTURE that entire time? I promise that I will get more pictures of this area before we leave.

You can order dinner to be served to your kids while they're at Auntie's and we had planned on doing this. Unfortunately, it turned out that the time deadline to do so is by 4:30 PM the day of so we had missed it by around 1 hour This was going to cause a problem because we had dinner reservations in about 45 minutes from now and we had to figure out how to feed the kids. For anybody else who wants to order dinner for their kids at the kids club, REMEMBER TO PUT IN YOUR ORDER BY 4:30 PM that day.

So frantically, trying to come up with options, we rushed over to the next door One Paddle, Two Paddle to order some take out food for the kids.


We ended up ordering the angus cheeseburger kids meals for them and sat down to wait. My daughter decided to try to amuse me while we were waiting by making faces at me:


I don't have any pictures of the cheeseburgers - let's just say that they were pretty forgettable and the kids didn't finish them (though my son did finish off the fruit cup that his meal came with). May have something to do with the fact that the burgers had the consistency of hockey pucks. :roll eyes:

After the kids were safely deposited at Auntie's (they tore through the door like there was a lion after them or something), we headed off to the Ihilani. A dusk view of the Aulani main hall:


We walked down to the lagoons and took the short (2-3 minute) walk to the Ihilani. Beautiful pool that they have but nothing at all like what Aulani has.


The main dining room at Azul at the Ihilani:


Azul apparently recently changed their menu. They used to be a Mediterranean restaurant but now have turned into an Italian restaurant (which doesn't quite fit with their name Azul which is "blue" in Spanish but oh well). My wife's parents had joined us for this meal so we had a relaxing meal sans kids.

Carpaccio:


Lobster bisque:


Seafood risotto:


Lobster pasta:


Maui prawns in white wine sauce:


King crab ravioli:


We were all full at this time but figured to go for the gusto so ordered dessert as well.

Tiramisu:


Maui gold pineapple tart:


More to come!
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:41 PM   #7
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Wonderful pictures! Looks amazing.
Thanks arthur06 - so far it's been pretty amazing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdrl View Post
Thanks for sharing your photos! Aulani looks great! Could you see the sunset from your balcony?

Which floor were you on? I know the Ewa Building has Pool View rooms on the 3rd and 4th floors, but the second building is suppose to have pool views on floors 1-5.
Thanks for following along, wdrl! We're on the 3rd floor (i.e. lobby floor) of the Waianae building so we're facing the wrong way to see sunset.

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Wonderful pictures, especially of your beautiful children. Thanks for posting a TR. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your long weekend.
Thanks DenLo for the compliments on the kids and the pictures! Of course, my wife and I are sort of biased but we agree with you!
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:16 PM   #8
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After dinner, we were stuffed! We waddled back to Aulani, following the same path that we took to get to Ihilani. The gates that lead into Ihilani from the lagoons are key card operated. It's sort of a challenge to do this at night when you can't tell which way your key card is supposed to go in and after drinking wine!

More light fixtures on the walk back in Aulani:


And walking up the staircase by Makahiki and admiring the Xmas decorations:


We had to get a receipt for $35 to get my in-laws parking covered so we decided to peek into the resort store to see what damage we could do. First thing I saw were these Mickey dolls in Hawaiian (local) theming:


And these lunch? boxes also caught my attention:


More colorful clothing for sale along with mugs and water containers


And the infamous Aulani Dooney bags:


After all of this, we spent enough to EASILY get their parking covered and we saw them off. On the way back to the room, we walked through the lobby again and I liked the lighting enough to take more pictures.









And last but not least, a picture of one of Aulani's Xmas trees:


Thus ended our first (short) day at Aulani!

More to come when I get the pictures from today loaded and edited!
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:02 PM   #9
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Menu prices at Mariott?

That food looks great!!! How were the menu prices?

Thanks for all the beautiful pictures of the resort. I wonder when they take the Christmas decorations down? Hoping to maybe catch a glimpse when we get there early January. Love the pics of your kiddies at the table in your room. Is there only one bathroom in the one bedrooms? I was hoping for a BLT-type set-up...but I am thinking "no".
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:39 PM   #10
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Your pictures are great. I can't wait to go just to take the pictures!! I have no plans to go just yet, but these are great. Christmas at Aulani sounds like something to think about!
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Maui gold pineapple tart:


More to come!
How was this? I'm a sucker for tiramasu, but I'm trying to branch out and when we go to Aulani in Feb, this might be tempting!
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:44 PM   #12
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What gorgeous shots! My goodness, it all looks like an Aulani brochure.

Thank you so much spleen. Truly. I can't wait to go one day. I have to save up for THAT airfare. One day!

Now I'm going back to actually read the TR. I was so distracted by your beautiful photographs.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
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We like to eat and so many of the photos will have to do with food - hopefully you'll join us for the adventure!
For food, outstanding photos and Hawaii? What a very difficult decision spleen.

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Originally Posted by spleen View Post

In all fairness, I hadn't told my mother specifically not to tell the kids about the fact that we were going to Aulani but really didn't think that it would have come up during conversation … My fault
This killed me. You didn't think it would come up in conversation? I love it!

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At the end, he asked whether we had any reservations for dining for our stay. I mentioned that I had checked online for reservations for the character breakfast at Makahiki for tomorrow morning but everything seemed to be sold out. He offered to check with the concierge to see if there was anything that could be done and we quickly agreed.
How lovely. Truly. It's wonderful to feel like you're being looked after. On this last trip a CM met us at the door to BCV and took us directly to a check-in CM - it's a lovely touch that makes you feel very special.

Nice!

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While the family continued to unpack, I rushed around the villa to take pictures before we totally destroyed it.
I never get that picture on any trip. I must get it in the first ten seconds or not at all.

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Bath with look through into the master bedroom:

I ADORE this shot. Totally looks like professional adverstising.

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Bed in master bedroom:

Wow.

I'm not a fan of the kitchen but this is lovely.

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Munchkins. What a perfect name.

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Living room with the sofa bed (folded up):


Lovely.

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More to come!
Can't wait to read more and take in your photographs. Hope you're having fun spleen.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:27 PM   #14
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But before we headed there, we had decided that we were going to have the kids eat dinner and hang out at Auntie's Beach House (kids club) to give us adults some "adult time" while eating dinner. Imagine, dinner without having to worry about the kids spilling and making a mess, making too much noise, getting bored with the meal
Nice!

I hate to ramble on YOUR TR but I think I will. Adult time - lost these days. My parents have been married for 55 years. I'm sure their marriage wasn't perfect but I truly believe that it was successful because they ALWAYS had them time. Always. Full social life without the kids.

Back then I often wondered why I couldn't go here or there (they took us many places as well). But now I understand the importance.

So good for you guys.

Hope you had a lovely dinner.

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So we headed out of the room and through the lobby. I have a new fascination with light fixtures after reading lisaviolet's trip reports. Here's a random wall sconce I found:


And another light fixture that's mixed in a flock of paper (?) birds:

So funny!

And fine work.

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Originally Posted by spleen View Post

We took the stairs down past the lobby that leads to Makahiki on the way out to the pool area:



Great shot! Love the wood carving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spleen View Post

Then we arrived at Auntie's Beach House. Can you believe, we spent the next 30 minutes here getting the kids set up for their kids club visit and I didn't take a SINGLE PICTURE that entire time?


Quote:
Originally Posted by spleen View Post


We ended up ordering the angus cheeseburger kids meals for them and sat down to wait. My daughter decided to try to amuse me while we were waiting by making faces at me:

What a great photograph. Cute.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spleen View Post


A dusk view of the Aulani main hall:

Breathtaking. My goodness - do you do this for a living? What a gorgeous photograph.


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King crab ravioli:


!
Yum.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:29 PM   #15
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Maui gold pineapple tart:
Great photograph.

And I too would like to know how it was - lovely presentation that's for sure.

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It's sort of a challenge to do this at night when you can't tell which way your key card is supposed to go in and after drinking wine!
Funny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spleen View Post



More light fixtures on the walk back in Aulani:

And now you see why I have the light fixture FIXATION. SEE!

So pretty.

Quote:
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First thing I saw were these Mickey dolls in Hawaiian (local) theming:




More colorful clothing for sale along with mugs and water containers

Loved these shots.

Quote:
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Wow, the lighting is gorgeous.

Quote:
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Thus ended our first (short) day at Aulani!

More to come when I get the pictures from today loaded and edited!
I wish you were staying for a week. I guess you do too, eh?
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