While much of Hawaii’s hotel news was overwhelmed by the drama at the erstwhile Waikiki Edition, Disney's Aulani Resort opened without a hitch, nearly a month before its official Grand Opening. Jennifer Ginn, a Hawaii specialist with Kansas-based Hyperion Travel, told Travel Agent that she has heard "nothing but good things" about the nascent property. "The resort is beautiful, and it attracts not only Disney fans, but island-lovers too."
Bruce Fisher, a Hawaii-based agent with Hawaii Aloha, visited the nascent resort over the weekend and had high praise for the rooms, the activities and the amenities. He did, however, point out the rather high price point of the property: "Rooms start at about $400 per night. Parking cost $127 for 3 days, The spa was $399 for a 50 min couples massage. You'll have to pay for snorkeling, kayaking, umbrella & chair rentals and more. A short ride on an outrigger canoe for 30 minutes is $90." He also noted that the menus were still being perfected.
Tamara Aalto, product manager at All About Hawaii, a mainland tour operator specializing in Hawaii vacation packages, noted that the resort was sold out with people lining up before sunrise. “I think Disney's done a phenomenal job on this new hotel!” she told Travel Agent via Twitter. “With features like private swimming lagoon, teen spa and Character Breakfasts, Aulani is built for families and is unique on Oahu.” Aalto noted that availability might be tight in Suites and Villas since the property just opened, “but we have a free sell through Ocean View and availability in several categories thorough the end of the year.”
All About Hawaii is offering a fall special at Aulani that includes discounted mid-size rental car with a seven-night stay. The package is valid now through 9/28, 10/9-11/18 and 11/28-12/14/11 in select categories.