It’s not every day that I get to enjoy the other side of O’ahu. It has definitely changed! It is much more tourist-centric with the somewhat recent opening of the Disney Aulani Resort in Ko Olina. Although I’m almost a year late on the grand opening reviews of Aulani (hey a girl’s gotta work), I decided to sneak in through the side door and take a look at what the hype is all about. The tourist scene is a little more lax than the busy and cheesy Waikiki. No doubt this hotel is cheesy too, having that Chip and Dale are scouring the lobby hallways for a photo-op, but it’s a decent effort to welcome tourists with the Aloha spirit.
The one thing I really like is the lobby. It’s the closest thing to luxury accommodation on the west side of O’ahu. Unfortunately, the kama’aina rate is about $318 for the garden view and $418 for the ocean view. It’s definitely not enough of a discount for me to stay for one night.
The new resort is perfect for families who need to relax. Kapolei is hustling for some business down the road with tourist-friendly mainland giants Target, Costco & K-Mart. From a townie local perspective, I wouldn’t shell out the money to stay there for a night. If anything, I’d definitely take my dad during his business trips to O’ahu just to listen to the live music in the lobby lounge.