A Look Around Aulani’s Deluxe Studios

Staying at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii has been an absolute dream of mine for years now, and part of me still can’t believe that I’ve actually ticked it off the great Disney bucket list now.

During our stay in paradise, we actually stayed in two different rooms, both of which were Deluxe Studios, which is the second level of room at Aulani after a standard hotel room. There are several options in terms of the view you can have – standard view, garden view, pool view and ocean view – and we spent 6 nights in a standard view and our last night in an ocean view. Put simply, the better the view, the more you pay, whether that’s in cash or DVC points.

Each deluxe studio sleeps up to 4 people, with a regular double bed and a sofa that converts into a double bed, and there’s a large bathroom and a little kitchenette which is equipped with a fridge, microwave, coffee maker and toaster. They also all have a balcony/terrace area with chairs and a little table so you can sit out and enjoy the sunshine.

Of course this is still Disney, so the decor of the rooms perfect, including the amazing Mickey table lamp and hidden Mickey bedspread..

But also just look at the view that we had from our ocean view room on the last night:

Can I go back now please?

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My Aulani Haul

I swear the only things that I actually unpack when I get back from a Disney trip is the stuff that I bought, and I leave the rest as long as I possibly can before I finally tip it out of my suitcase.

Now I was pretty impressed with Aulani merchandise. I’d read somewhere while I was planning for this trip that about 90% of the merchandise sold there is Aulani exclusive, but I sorta didn’t believe that, thinking that as its still in the USA there would be a lot of the stuff that you see in most of the parks, but I was proven totally wrong. Aside from a tiny handful of products – classic Minnie ears, some keychains and a few kids things – the stores were stocked with totally unique stuff, or if the product itself wasn’t unique, it would have a little variation such as an Aulani print fabric.

Another great thing about Aulani is that quite a high percentage of guests are Japanese, so they’ve tailored their merch to be a little more in keeping with some of the wonderful things you can find in Tokyo Disneyland.

So what did I get?

Well, I couldn’t go all the way to Aulani and not get the spirit jersey to prove it, right? They had two styles of spirit jersey, this one and a green-y patterned design, but I liked the font on this one better and I’ve never suited green anyway!

My smaller purchases were the Aulani ear hat and exclusive tsum tsums, plus this adorable Shellie May pin and the most used buy of my trip, the amazing Gelatoni passholder which stayed firmly round my neck pretty much any time I wasn’t in water.

I also couldn’t resist this beautiful sundress, the fabric is so pretty and even though its got the Aulani logo all over it, the untrained eye would never spot it, or the hidden Mickeys for that matter!

The last purchase of the trip was the Shellie May backpack. I ummed and ahhed over it for the whole trip, and then on our last day I was filled with a serious feeling of merchandise FOMO and had to rearrange my whole suitcase to make it work, but I’m so glad I got it! This also has a unique Aulani fabric for the bow and the lining, and its so soft and I just love it!

One other purchase from my trip, although not from Aulani, was this cute little patch from the Walt Disney Family Museum. They didn’t have that much in the way of museum specific merchandise there, and as I’m not the biggest pin person I was about to leave empty handed until I spotted a couple of patches at the checkout so I treated myself to this one.

Not bad going for a non-Disney park trip, right?

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See ya real soon, Aulani

Well it’s that bittersweet time where I’m sat at an airport gate wishing I wasn’t about to board a plane, but here we are.

This morning we woke up with the sunrise through the balcony doors, went for a walk around the lagoon and then sat out eating pop tarts for breakfast in our dressing gowns for the last time. Once we packed up and dropped our bags at bell services, we headed down to the adult only pool to nab good sun loungers, then went for a loop round the lazy river.

After one circle, we took our tube up the mini volcano in the centre of the resort to try out the slide, which was actually really fun but man did we mess up the landing! We somehow managed to flip ourselves out of the double ring as we hit the water and both ended up with so much chlorine up our noses.. We recovered quickly with another loop round the resort, then got out and grabbed some lunch.

The rest of the afternoon was spent poolside, getting as much vitamin D as we could while it lasted, and then we went to the Luana Lounge, which is an area where guests who have had to check out of their rooms earlier in the day but don’t leave until later can go to shower, change etc, then we just went to sit on the big comfy outdoor armchairs situated on the big balcony overlooking the resort from outside the main reception area until it was time to catch our shuttle to the airport.

Aulani, you have been wonderful. It has been a dream of mine to visit here for so long, and I cannot tell you just how perfect it has been, and how much the photos don’t even do justice to this stunning place. There will be lots more Aulani content to come, but now we head back to San Francisco for a 12 hour layover until we fly home, so stay tuned to see what we get up to!

Ocean View

So there wasn’t a blog post yesterday as Matthew and I were both a little unwell, so all we really did all day was hang out and relax, which was pretty nice because it meant I spent most of the day drawing and designing, it just wasn’t really enough to write about!

This morning, we got up and packed up the room in preparation for changing rooms for our last night. There wasn’t a full week available in the standard view studios when we booked, but there was a night in an ocean view room which we wanted to see anyway so it was sorta win-win!

I left Matthew to finish packing and I headed down to the resort’s Laniwai Spa as I had booked myself a massage as a little treat from me to me. I got to the spa an hour before my time as they have a relaxation garden, which is an area of outdoor hot pools, loungers and other wonderful relaxing things which is only accessible to those having spa treatments, so I got to hang out there before I was called for my massage.

Now I have to admit, this was my first ever massage, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but wow has that set the bar.. I was made to feel so at ease by all of the staff, and the massage itself was incredible.

After I was done, Matthew and I took our bags to bell services to hold until our new room was ready, and we went to Ko Olina to get some pizza for lunch. When we got back, our room was ready so we collected our bags again and went up to the room.

Unfortunately, a lot of the afternoon has been spent dealing with a bit of an issue with our room charges, so that’s made things a little stressful this today and they’re not yet resolved, but hopefully we should get them sorted tomorrow, and we’re still here for most of the day tomorrow so we can fit in the things that we didn’t have time for today.

Our evening was spent enjoying the ocean view room and watching the sun set from the balcony. I don’t think I’m going to be ok leaving this place..

Hawaiian Rain

Today was the first day that we actually managed a lie in. Cue hallelujah chorus.

When we did get up, I went straight down to the pool, while Matthew had a bath. I got us two sunloungers by the resort’s infinity pool, and took in as much sunshine as I could until my heat rash started flaring up again, then had to cover it up with a towel – bah humbug – but we stayed there pretty much all day, so I don’t really have too much to report!

What we did experience for the first time, however, was Hawaiian rain. This hit us just after lunch, and much like Florida rain it just bombed it down nice and heavy for a bit, and then cleared up again, and then a few hours later did the same again. Being British, we were totally unfazed by the matter, especially as we were under an umbrella that was keeping all but the end of our loungers nice and dry, but other guests were grabbing all their stuff and running indoors! I mean, it was still pretty warm, so I don’t really get this reaction, but it did make the pool nice and quiet for us.

At about 5pm we went back to the room to shower and change then made a quick visit to the resort’s Laniwai Spa so that I could book myself in for a massage on Saturday, then we went over to Ko Olina Center for some dinner and ice cream. As the sun started setting, we walked back to the resort and took up a spot by the large fire pit to watch it disappear behind the palm trees.

At the fire pit we listened to Uncle Ophi tell a traditional Hawaiian story, then we went for a quick walk down to the now dark beach to look at the stars – there’s no light pollution here which is so nice. And that was pretty much it for our evening!

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

What can I say, it’s been another day in paradise!

This morning was the latest I’ve woken up all week, thank goodness, and I started off my day with a trip to the gym. Call me crazy but I love visiting gyms in Disney resorts, so this was another tick off the bucket list, although surprisingly I wasn’t overly impressed by this one as I thought it lacked some equipment that other gyms have had. The great thing about Aulani, however, is that they have a whole bunch of fitness classes, a lot of which take place on the beach, and while I won’t be able to take part in all the ones I had hoped to thanks to the recovering broken ankle, I plan on doing a few before we leave.

We had breakfast on the terrace again, and then headed down to the beach where we set up camp for the morning. The typical blogger in me spent a good amount of time utilising the beautiful scenery to get photos for some upcoming blog posts, much to the confusion of onlookers who were probably thinking ‘why is that girl arranging makeup in the sand?’ but hey ho.

Our plan for lunch was to eat the leftover pizza from yesterday, but on the way back to the room I had to stop for a Mickey snow cone! I mean, it’s shaved ice with some flavouring so it hardly spoiled my appetite for the pizza and it was so cute!

I accidentally had a little nap after lunch, although I’m starting to realise that this sort of thing is totally acceptable on a beach holiday. For the afternoon, we headed down to the pool, and it was so warm I could practically see my skin tanning by the second. We spent the rest of the afternoon and into the evening by the pool, just hanging out, drawing and doing a little planning, then finally headed back inside, via the shop, of course..

As well as my tan, I seem to have developed a kinda nasty heat rash down the side of my left leg, so I’m hoping that subsides by the morning!

Lazy Days

This morning started off with eating blueberry pop tarts for breakfast on our little balcony/terrace in the sunshine and it was wonderful.

After breakfast, we went for a walk around the lagoon to see the resort from a whole new angle, and wandered back slowly around the pool area before going to the market in Ko Olina again as we’d already run out of sun cream.. The market also has a huge range of hot food available to order, so we picked up a pizza to share, which we took back to the room to eat.

Considering I was up at 2.30am this morning, and then again at 5.30am, I thought that after lunch would be nap time, but I actually felt pretty awake, so I left Matthew to nap and I went to explore the resort with my camera. As soon as I stepped out of the building, there was Shellie May hanging out in the garden, so I stopped for a photo with her – my first time meeting one of the bears!

I spent a good amount of time exploring the resort taking photos, and also walked back around the lagoon and took a peek at the neighbouring lagoon, which was just as beautiful. I missed out on meeting Goofy at the pool on the way back, but there’s always another day for that! Of course I stopped by the shop on the way back to the room, y’know, just in case the stock had changed from yesterday..

When I got back to the room, Matthew was up and we packed a bag to take to the pools. We snagged some sunloungers in the adult only section of the resort, but then headed to the lazy river for a bob around in rubber rings to stay cool, and then got out and went to the adult only hot tub, a two tiered infinity pool looking out over the lagoon – bliss..

Back to the sunloungers to chill out, and after an hour or so of relaxing in the quiet over the 18+ zone, we got some dinner from Mama’s Snack Stop, sharing some coconut shrimp by the pool. We also decided to invest in a refillable resort mug to share because it seemed like a lot to get one each considering we don’t really drink many fizzy drinks, but the stations have iced tea options too so we figured it would one would be worth it.

I headed down to the beach for a little bit just before sunset – most of the families had left by then and there was only a small handful of people left in the water! As it got darker, we headed back to the room as finally my crazy early start was getting to me!