Island Gardens View?

bookbabe626

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
So, I just convinced DH that we needed to upgrade to a one bedroom villa from a regular hotel room for our 25th anniversary trip over New Years later this year. The trip includes three nights in Waikiki, followed by a 7 day NCL Pride of America cruise, followed by 8 nights at Aulani. So, we’re already stretching the budget a little bit.

I had originally had a standard view regular hotel room booked, and when I called today to switch to a one bedroom, there weren‘t any standard rooms available. So, I booked island gardens view. At a first glance through the views thread, there looks to be quite a variation in what that view entails. It’s our first trip to Aulani, but not our first Hawaii trip, and I’m okay without an ocean view but I would prefer to be looking at something nice as opposed to just views of neighbouring hotels if I’m paying extra for a view. We figured the one bedroom would give us a little more space to spread out plus a kitchen for a few meals in, since we’ll have a car to do a grocery run.

Questions:
Should I keep checking for a standard view? Or is the extra for the island gardens view worth it?
Or, should I be upgrading to a better view once the hopeful discounts come out later in the year?
Also, what things have you made in terms of a room request? Is there a particular location that’s nicer or more convenient?
Other thoughts or suggestions?

Yeah, it’s a long time out, but I feel safer thinking/planning this trip since it’s less likely to get cancelled than any of our earlier ones...hopefully the US/Canada border will be open by then and things will be starting to open up more.
 

FinnFogg

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 2, 2014
There are some island garden view rooms that are actually ocean view. We usually request those. They are on the higher floors (at least 9th floor up) on the long angled-balcony wing of Ewa tower. They look over the Halewai lawn, South towards the Ko Olina beach Villas and the Marriott vacation club property. They are (were?) supposed to build some huge Atlantis hotel between Aulani and the Beach Villas that will (would have?) obstructed the views, but for now they are lovely. As an added bonus, you may also get to see the luau (once it starts again) from your balcony.
 

DVC Doctor

Member since 2001
DVC Gold
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Well, if you are stretching the budget, I personally would like a 1 bedroom (cheapest version) rather than a studio ocean view as we dont spend much time on the balcony anyway. Thus, I advise keeping the lowest cost 1 bedroom.
 

bookbabe626

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Well, if you are stretching the budget, I personally would like a 1 bedroom (cheapest version) rather than a studio ocean view as we dont spend much time on the balcony anyway. Thus, I advise keeping the lowest cost 1 bedroom.
No chance of going down to a studio. We need a king bed, which is another big part of why DH agreed to swap from a regular hotel room to a one bedroom villa, it guarantees a king bed. My decision now is whether it’s worth sticking with the island gardens view, or dropping to a standard view, or maybe even bumping up to poolside gardens view or ocean view.
 

bookbabe626

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
There are some island garden view rooms that are actually ocean view. We usually request those. They are on the higher floors (at least 9th floor up) on the long angled-balcony wing of Ewa tower. They look over the Halewai lawn, South towards the Ko Olina beach Villas and the Marriott vacation club property. They are (were?) supposed to build some huge Atlantis hotel between Aulani and the Beach Villas that will (would have?) obstructed the views, but for now they are lovely. As an added bonus, you may also get to see the luau (once it starts again) from your balcony.
That’s really helpful...so I’d request Ewa tower, high floor, overlooking luau? Or is some other wording better?
 

DVC Doctor

Member since 2001
DVC Gold
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
the problem is that Disney will never guarantee a certain room and I would stick with the cheapest 1 bedroom as the inside of the rooms are the same and far superior to a studio. If you want a good view, just go outside
 

FinnFogg

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 2, 2014
That’s really helpful...so I’d request Ewa tower, high floor, overlooking luau? Or is some other wording better?
That sounds like a good request. Also check out the Aulani Rooms and Views Thread. It has the resort plan and some views from particular rooms. I’ve found that I (personally) have had more success requesting specific room numbers (or stacks ending on xx##).
 
  • Iceman93

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 2, 2004
    The views at Aulani vary widely within each category. Our first time there was the only time we sprung for "ocean view", which really turned out to be "tiny sliver of ocean if you leaned out over the balcony, but in reality it was just a view of the under-construction Marriott next door view". As others have mentioned, the interior of the rooms is exactly the same, and the amazing views from around the resort are available to all, regardless of room type.

    All that being said, I would never recommend a standard view room for a milestone trip like this. Even if you don't plan to spend much time in the room, it would still be nice to see something other than the parking garage or conference center when opening the curtains.
     

    corgi_monster

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2007
    Questions:
    Should I keep checking for a standard view? Or is the extra for the island gardens view worth it?
    Or, should I be upgrading to a better view once the hopeful discounts come out later in the year?
    Also, what things have you made in terms of a room request? Is there a particular location that’s nicer or more convenient?
    Other thoughts or suggestions?
    The extra money for a island gardens view is absolutely worth it, especially if you can snag one of the higher floors with an ocean view. I live in Hawaii so I booked a standard view room for my first staycation, thinking that I can see Diamond Head and the mountains out my bedroom window and the beach is 5 minute drive from my house. Ugh, NEVER AGAIN! My balcony overlooked the Four Season's tennis courts and some trees. For our last two stays, I booked ocean view and our whole family enjoyed sitting out on the balcony, listening to music drifting up from the Olelo Room, and just enjoying the ambiance.

    Book a refundable room and keep checking for discounts. Some of the best discounts start in early January. Public schools in Hawaii go back to class on January 3rd or 4th so you can expect discounts to start around that time.

    Do you have an ocean view or balcony room on the NCL cruise? If I were trying to save money and had to choose between a balcony room on the cruise or an island gardens view room at Aulani, I would definitely choose the balcony room for the cruise. The views of Na Pali are amazing. And if you're really lucky, you may even get to see lava flowing into the ocean.
     

    bookbabe626

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 25, 2006
    I should clarify...when I say we are watching our budget, it’s because the trip is getting up there in price. It’s not that I have a limited budget really, it’s more that I am looking to get bang for my buck. If I’m going to pay a fortune for this adventure, I want it to be a great trip. I have no problem paying for a better view if the view is actually worth it, I just have no interest in paying for a view that ends up being crappy or mediocre.

    The full trip involves three days at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach in a Diamond Head view suite pre-cruise, the cruise in a suite (on the port side to best see the coastline views) and then a week at Aulani.

    My real issue, I guess, is that I’ve read so many negative reviews about most of the view categories at Aulani. So many people complain that the ocean view only gets you a sliver of ocean, that the poolside view rooms are really loud from the activities there (which I get, because we stay at Yacht Club at lot at WDW, and the pool there is deafening) and that the island view rooms end up facing the hotel next door.

    I‘m really trying to figure out which view category has the most chance of getting a room with an actual good view. If it is just a crapshoot in any category, and the better view categories don’t all have a better view, then I might as well stick with whatever is cheapest. But if I can pay more and guarantee a great view, then that’s probably worth it for a milestone trip like this.

    We have WDW AP’s, and there’s usually a discount offer that comes out a few months before, so I’ll be watching for that, but I’m still stuck on which view category is our ultimate goal.
     
  • Pete W.

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 20, 1999
    I agree with previous posters who recommend Ewa long wing which faces the vacant lot between Aulani and the Marriot which eventually is where the Atlantis is supposed to be built. In the meantime, you can get a pretty decent view of the ocean from some of those rooms. We stayed in 1BR Island Gardens View room #1477 back in April 2018 and here is the "partial ocean view" we enjoyed from our balcony.

    1477.1.jpg

    And looking down we could see the Halawai lawn and here's a picture of it being set-up for the luau.

    1477.2.jpg
     


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