12.17.2010

Feature Friday: Aulani Resort, Hawaii


Oahu is receiving a new family-targeted resort by noneother than Disney. On August 29, 2011, the Aulani Resort will open its doors to Disney fanatics and those eager to breath in some island air. The Aulani is located in Ko Olina, in West Oahu (which in my opinion, happens to be next to the best Luau that all the islands have to offer). Ko Olina is out of the hustle and bustle of the tourist and resort covered Waikiki, setting a different pace than most Oahu tourists are used to. In Hawaiian, the word Aulani means, "the messenger of a chief" or "the one who delivers a message from a higher authority." Disney wanted the Aulani to be a place of story telling; a place of sharing and honoring the people and nature of Hawaii to those visiting.




The Aulani truly does do its best to incorporate ancient Hawaiian design and tradition into its rooms and architecture. The structure of the resort lends itself to canoe and ancient Hawaiian woodwork. A major element that is found throughout the Islands is lava rock, which is also scattered around the resort. Disney would not be Disney if there were no signs of Mickey. Although the guest rooms may have traditional Hawaiian quilts, they also have hidden mickeys on them. Hawaiian Mickey lamps can also be found in the gift shop and in rooms. Overall, I do belive that Disney could have gone terribly wrong putting such a large resort in a territorial and yet kick-back place like Hawaii. However, the renderings and images seem to prove that Disney can respect the culture and history of the Hawaiians and incorporate that into their design. 


There isn't a whole lot of subtlty when it comes to fun with Disney. The pools and activities for children (and some adults) look to be like endless fun. With gigantic pools, volcano waterslides, lazy rivers, and a kids clubhouse, it is obvious that this is a family oriented resort. The hotel will also offers several packages for the family to explore the culture, history and land of Hawaii.
 
Just because this is a family geared resort does not mean that adults don't get to have fun and relax. Enjoy a true Hawaiian healing massage outdoors or visit the spa's reflection pool - designed to mimick an ancient Hawaiian mirror (water in a black lava pool ).

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