On Location: A First Look at Disney's Aulani Resort

Suggestion for your clients: If they are heading from the east coast to Hawaii, strongly encourage them to book a day to travel rather than flying across country overnight. They’ll arrive in the islands as the sun goes down, and can go to bed and wake up refreshed and ready to start their vacation in earnest.

And yes, I’m speaking from experience: To get to Hawaii, I flew out of New York at 9pm, transferred at Las Vegas (having to change terminals and go through security again—fun!), and landed in Honolulu at around 4:30am, so I’m dead tired. Really, it’s better to spend a day flying and then sleep all night. A friendly little tip your clients will appreciate…

I’m here to check out Disney’s new Aulani resort, which officially opens this weekend after a soft opening last month. And, granted, I’ve only seen it in the dark, but I feel pretty safe saying it’s a doozy: It towers over the other resorts on Ko Olina (about half-an-hour’s drive from Honolulu), has lovely views over the ocean and the nearby hills, and has a lovely understated sort of luxury.

The lobby is largely open to the fresh air, giving it a spacious ambiance. (Can’t wait to see the sun coming through those skylights.) 

Many of the rooms seem to be arranged in an inter-connecting suite-room pattern—ideal for families or groups. My suite is massive, with a king-sized bed that I’ll need a ladder to get into. The shower stall has a rainforest head and a sauna-esque bench. The living room has a kitchenette and a table that can comfortably sit four people.

And then there’s the balcony, which has amazing views of the surrounding landscape. I have every intention of sitting outside and working on my tan…as soon as the sun comes up.

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for more from Aulani!

Visit resorts.disney.go/aulani