Recs for Aulani-like on other islands

Discussion in 'Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa' started by Sepo, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Sepo

    Sepo 11-3-2016 12:47 a.m.

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    Hello. Doing some research for possibly next summer. Seeking opinions on resorts similar to Aulani (especially for the kids) on Maui, Kaui, Big Island. Two young teens and a 9 yo. who couldn’t get enough of the pools and still rave about the trip 2 yrs ago.

    Specifically in search of:

    1) Family friendly pools that rival Aulani
    2) Pampered get away / destination feel
    3) Nice beach
    4) Clean / up to date

    We loved Aulani but now hoping to explore another island at least for part of a future trip. Maybe split w Aulani.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. alohamom

    alohamom DIS Veteran

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    The first that comes to mind is the Grand Hyatt Kauai.
    Although it is beachfront it is a very rough beach but just down the road (actually within a long walking distance) is Poipu beach which is stunning
    The pool system here is really nice but it has been about 15 years since we last stayed so it may have gone downhill. It is expansive with slides and sections that traverse through landscaped grounds gently sloping down to the ocean.
    There is a saltwater lagoon that you can kayak in.
    https://kauai.grand.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

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    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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  4. alohamom

    alohamom DIS Veteran

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    The next one I think of is the Grand Wailea on Maui

    I have never stayed here but I know that the pool system is cool, they even have a water elevator.

    https://www.grandwailea.com/
     
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  5. alohamom

    alohamom DIS Veteran

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    I have been to the Hilton Waikoloa Village on Big Island.

    Great pools but they are not heated which is fine in the summer but freezing in the winter.

    Hilton also has condos on site called "Kings Land" which allow you to use all the facilities of the resort but gives you the freedom and space of a condo. They are modern, clean and luxurious plus reasonably priced.

    No real beach but it is situated oceanfront. Up the road about 3 minutes is a decent swimming bay but up the highway about 15 minutes is one of the most beautiful beaches in all of the islands, Hapuna Beach. This beach is worth heading to the Big Island for, it is just incredible.

    http://www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/
     
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  6. charmed59

    charmed59 Mouseketeer

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    I’ve never stayed at the Aulani, but I have stayed at the Grand Wailea in Maui a ton, and yes it’s very family friendly. My kids loved it when they were that age. For that big of family you might consider their condos (Ho’OLei) Full use of facilities at the hotel with lots more room.
     
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  7. 94bruin

    94bruin DIS Veteran

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    We stayed at the Grand Hyatt in 2012 so things may have a changed or been built up a little more? While we loved the pools, be warned that there is little to do there in the evenings. Also, I don't recall the resort having any rooms with kitchen facilities. Dining out for 7 days got old really fast, despite the fact that I specifically requested that I wanted to avoid a condo so I wouldn't have to cook and clean (it was a milestone birthday trip for me.) There wasn't much variety at the hotel and really a big lack of restaurants nearby. Like I said, it is possible that things may have been more built up in the past 6 years - If I were to go again, I'd opt for a shorter stay. With that being said, Kauai is a such a beautiful island that it's worth going to at least once.
     
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  8. always

    always Mouseketeer

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    I second Waikoloa. We stayed in the condo like suites at Kohola and used the facilities at Waikoloa as well. Love the Big Island.
     
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  9. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

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    We stayed in Maui and Kauai on our honeymoon. We stayed at the Westin Maui and Marriott Kauai in Lihue. Both resorts were awesome and I would consider both family friendly, but can't speak to any specific offerings they had for kids, etc. Westin Maui also has a nearby timeshare property if you need something larger.

    The Westin Maui was in Kaanapali which is supposedly one of the nicest beach regions in Hawaii. It was about 45 minutes from the airport, and the Starwood properties in the area offered a free shuttle to Lahaina where shopping and "night life" are (including two of the best luaus around). The pool was amazing - waterfalls, slides, adult only section. It was also a small resort, smaller than Aulani and it never felt crowded. It was next door to the Whaler's Village which was an easy walk for shopping and dining.

    The Marriott Kauai in Lihue was a 5 minute drive from the airport. Huge resort, bigger than Aulani. Awesome round pool with fountains and tons of space to spread out. Never crowded. Really nice beachfront and a Duke's restaurant on property. Easy walk to a few other local shops and dining in the immediate area. We were about a 30 minute drive to Port Allen where we took the most amazing sunset dinner cruise around the Na Pali Coast!
     
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  10. Sepo

    Sepo 11-3-2016 12:47 a.m.

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    Thanks all. Very very helpful.

    At this point thinking split stay with something like an Airbnb at one of the other islands to allow exploring without paying so much per night while out and about, followed by Aulani to resort it up before flying home.
     
  11. ktlm

    ktlm DIS Veteran

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    We spent half of our Hawaii vacation at Aulani and half on Maui. DH had been to Hawaii before, but DD and I had not. We categorize it as "Disney Hawaii" and "real" Hawaii. Aulani is just perfect and is totally Disneyfied to be what your Hawaiian dream might be. I don't think you will find another resort like, or similar to Aulani. We looked at the Grand Wailea on Maui, but ultimately decided to go with the Hyatt at Ka'anapali beach instead of the Wailea area. We knew the Grand Wailea while extremely nice-- would be a let down as it was priced almost as high as Aulani, but would not remotely be the same or have all the same type activities- pool areas etc. We also liked the proximity of things in the Ka'anapali area. The Hyatt was significantly cheaper. The room itself was certainly not the best (old and outdated), but the view from the room was incredible and the lobby, pools and beach areas were great. They were refurbishing rooms when we were there- so maybe even the room itself would be better now. The beach right in front of the hotel is not the greatest, but you can just walk down a short ways from the front of the resort and find some really nice beach areas. We would stay there again. The Road to Hana in Maui was one of my absolute favorite things.
     
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  12. southerngirl528

    southerngirl528 Dreamin' of Maui

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    We go to Maui annually and love it. Pampered get away...... are you wanting a condo for the family? ( I've gotten very spoiled as a longtime TS owner to prefer condos to hotel rooms, no matter how lovely)

    Kaanapali Beach area is very nice and we own at the Marriott Maui Ocean Club in the new towers. The grounds are lovely and maintained wonderfully. The villas in the 2 new towers, Napili and Lahaina towers, are on the north and south ends of their property. There is a huge feature pool area (the main pool. there is a beautiful quiet pool at each of the 2 new towers), with a grotto and a water volleyball area, a little kids' area, and meandering pools, along with a slide, though it is not a huge slide. But the resort is on an enormous stretch of Kaanapali Beach and the beaches are very nice. Depending on the season, how swimmable.

    I also think you would like Honua Kai, at the north end of Kaanapali Beach. Newer resort, all condos. Westin's Kaanapali Villas, their Maui TS, are lovely and the beach in front of the resort there has some really great snorkeling. All these resorts are just a very few minutes from Lahaina town which has tons of places to eat, shops, art galleries, and historic locations to visit.

    Kapalua is a gorgeous part of Maui, at the northwest corner of Maui. If you watch golf, the PGA kickoff tournament (Tournament of Champions) is always played at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort. There is a Ritz Carlton there, the Montage (VERY luxurious condos), as well as the Kapalua Villas which are condos scattered along the hillsides of Kapalua. Kapalua has spectacular views of both Moloka'i and Lana'i.
     
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