February 15, 2010

Disney's Aulani Resort at Ko Olina

The Ko Olina beaches must be one of the most beautiful stretches of sand in Oahu, if not in all of the Hawaiian islands! It is here that the Walt Disney Company has wisely chosen to build a new Vacation Club resort.

My wife and I were at Ko Olina just a couple of years ago. The beach was fairly secluded, undiscovered by most tourists but known to the locals- and we were blessed to be staying with a local who loved the area and knew it would be the perfect place for a day's getaway. We'll see how long this area will stay feeling intimate. (Search "Ko Olina" on this blog for some photos.)

From looking at this skyview, it is clear that this will be a magnificent property!

The following tour of the resort is all based on the delicate renderings done by the famous Disney Imagineers. Joe Rohde, the genius behind the lush and detailed Animal Kingdom theme park, has the much coveted role of leading the design for the project. If it is anything as beautiful as his previous work or even slightly resembles Walt Disney World's Polynesian Resort, we are in for a treat.

Let's begin our tour with the rooms themselves. As you can see from the renderings above, the rooms at Aulani will have all the modern amenities required by today's demanding travelers with the charm of the island's culture.

A view of the lobby shows the incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail. In some ways reminiscient of Florida's Animal Kingdom Lodge, its an appropriately grand scale. But who comes to a lovely place like Hawaii to stay indoors? Let's go outside through the doors seen below.

Needless to say, the pool and surrounding gardens will be the showpiece of the resort. Of course, the gorgeous stretch of beach on Disney's 21 acres will give the manmade pools some fierce competition.

Being Hawaii, land is at a premium as with any island property. Therefore, as you can see in the rendering below, the resort will mainly consist of a series of towers. This enables a Disney to provide guests with over 350 rooms and more than 450 timeshares. And the requisite convention center, mini water park complete with a lazy river, and other outdoors attractions.

Since this is a family resort, activities for children will also abound beyond what is offered at the pools. Games, crafts, and storytelling are sure to please. To please adults needing a little time alone, babysitting services will be readily available.

Should some adults need to create a storybook ending all there own, weddings in the gardens overlooking the Pacific can be arranged as well! (There is also an existing and quite beautiful chapel on the Ko Olina grounds right next door to the Disney property.)

Come 2011, Disney's Aulani Resort will be the place to go! Hawaii in any form has always held me fascinated, so I know it will be difficult not to be dreaming of some time away at Disney's small piece of paradise.
(Concept art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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