Continuing our series on the best and worst aspects of the various Disney Vacation Club resorts; next up is Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas. Following the lukewarm response to resorts in Hilton Head and Vero Beach, DVC waited 15 years before opening their next non-park project. Although lauded for its design, Aulani is one of the most expensive--and remote--DVC properties.
Topic: What are your most favorite and least favorite aspects of Aulani?
Worst - There's no amazing Disney Theme Parks close by (But the Pacific Ocean is a nice substitute)
The only negative about Aulani is that its almost too good for its own good. At most Hawaiian resorts, guests spend the day away from the resorts doing excursions and visiting the attractions on the islands. But Aulani is the destination for many Aulani guests. A lot of guests seem to stay at the resort rather than venturing off property. Disney originally underestimated the appeal of the resort, but by 2013 it had added the Ka Maka Landing, which increased the number of pools, hot tubs, cabanas, and deck space.
Worst: The situation with the chairs and loungers by the pools. We were there for a week, and never were able to find an open chair or lounger. Wasn't that big a deal since we liked the beach, but it seems like there should be a better system. At any time, more than half the chairs weren't occupied by people, just towels and bags and whatnot. Unless you are going to get up at the crack of dawn, you won't get a lounger or chair by the pools.
Worst - Checkout. We were recommended to book a late flight back home so that we could use the resort during our last day as much as possible. That was nice, and we really enjoyed being able to spend some more time there, but we didn't realize (or know) that there were few showers that we could use to get ready to leave for the airport. It was the lack of information that bothered us because we couldn't plan accordingly. We had to rush at the last moment after what had been a great and very relaxing vacation.