My final part talks about a few of the overlooked amenities on property at the Resort when you are having too much fun in the river or at the pools! We checked out the Laniwai Spa, the Painted Sky spa (for kids),and Aunty’s Beach House during our stay!
I am not a “hard core” spa person and it’s honestly not something I usually do on vacation, but from my tour of Aulani in 2015 remembered how beautiful the spa was here and it was something I wanted to check out as many of my guests ask about it! The spa is a true Disney experience – Laniwai (located on the bottom floor of the Wai’anea tower) literally means “freshwater heaven” in Hawaiian, and you enter the spa with an escort and the start of your story. You choose a stone from the basket which has a word on it in Hawaiian (with the English translation on the back) – mine was “strength” or “ikaika”. You are then walked down a long gorgeous hallway lit in blue water tones, where the sounds of rushing water slowly increase as you are “immersed” in freshwater heaven! You end at a beautiful reflective pool where you cast your stone and make a wish for your life with that word. It’s a very moving experience!
The journey into Laniwai takes you into freshwater rainfall and
ends at a pool of the story stones
Next, you are given a tour of the amenities, including lounges with snacks and water, a full bath/shower/changing area, and best of all the Rainforest Shower outdoor area, which has two warm bathing pools, a cold plunge, hot tub, and an circular area with every type of shower and temperature imaginable! You are also given a keepsake scrub as a gift! It’s recommended to go early to enjoy these amenities before your treatment, or you can hang around afterwards as well! However, you can’t come back once you leave and pay. When it’s time for your service, they will come and fetch you and your attendant (you can request male/female, massage style) will get you at the private lounge. I opted for a lomi lomi massage, which literally means to “knead, scrub or work out” in Hawaiian. It was a very soothing and relaxing experience, especially with the Hawaiian music I chose! Overall, this was a great mom treat that I’d highly recommend as a splurge or gift for an Aulani traveler!
The amenities inside the spa are gorgeous, from the lounge area to the snacks to the waterfalls and pools!
If that wasn’t enough, my daughter got her turn at the spa later – but right next door at the kids studio called Painted Sky for ages 3-12. There’s no spa here, but it’s a full beauty parlor with a variety of makeovers available to choose from. The services include outfits, hair, make up, and accessories. As we were attending the luau later, we opted for the new Luau Bound! package, which included a dress, bracelet, hair clips, awesome hair styling, make up and shimmering glitter. She was in absolute heaven! The Cast Members were super nice it took about 30 minutes for her transformation. I would definitely recommend this as a treat for a little person – there are options for boys, girls, and all kinds of choices and accessories!
The Luau Bound makeover includes a dress, hair clips, jewelry, full makeover and gift!
Finally, I want to give a shout out to the fun that is Aunty’s Beach Club. This provides everything from basic childcare services to premium activities for the little ones if mom and dad want some adult time, or if your kid is like my daughter and just likes to go make friends! It’s important to pre-register for Aunty’s before your trip (90 days prior you’re eligible to do so) in order to save time – you then print out the forms and bring them with you to the Beach Club upon arrival and registration is super easy. Each child is given a “Magic Band” bracelet (like WDW) that allows staff to track where they are within the facility at all times. You also are assigned a code word for the family and must show photo ID every time you pick up your child. General drop off and pick up starts at 930 AM until 9 PM, with Open House family time from 8-930 AM Daily. You also need to be down there early if you want to pre register for any limited activities (check the Daily Iwa) or pay $10 per meal if you want your child to have lunch/dinner at the Beach Club (if not, they are given goldfish and some water 🙂 ). General childcare and most experiences except food are included with your Resort stay, with the exception of the Premium Experiences. If you want to do one of several Premium Experiences, you can register before you go for Surfs Up (an educational show and dance party with Chip, Dale and Goofy – my kids loved this), Fish Are Friends (interactive feeding at the reef and info about fish), or Games with Moana – we did Surfs Up while we had dinner at Ama Ama, and both my 8 and 5 yo really enjoyed it. My 8yo didn’t have much interest in hanging at the beach club otherwise, but my 5yo went twice on her own just to play and do crafts and hang out! I deinitely recommend scoping out this safe and fun place for kids and using it as a chance for a date night or any excursions that don’t allow little ones.
Uncle tells stories at a bonfire outside Aunty’s Beach House (by Ama Ama) . Goofy greets Guests by the pool, but is also a headliner of the Surfs Up! premium experience! (Don’t have many photos inside Aunty’s out of respect for the privacy other kiddos)
All in all, Aulani is a fantastic family destination I’d encourage all to visit! It’s certainly not what I’d call a true “trip to Hawaii” and is more about Aulani than Oahu (not unlike other major Resort hotels in the islands), but it sure is a place that values Hawaiian culture and has a lot of Aloha to go around! Contact me to plan your stay!