Aulani Disney Resort vs. Hilton Hawaiian Village: Choosing The Perfect Oahu Retreat
Planning a dream Hawaiian vacation? Two premier destinations on Oahu that stand out are the Aulani Disney Resort and the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. These are two of the main hotels/locations that my photography clients go back and forth between when deciding on which resort to stay at for their trip to Hawaii.
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, nestled in Ko Olina on the western side of Oahu, is a haven for families seeking a touch of Disney magic in a tropical paradise. The resort boasts a perfect blend of Hawaiian culture and Disney enchantment, offering themed rooms, character breakfasts, and a host of family-friendly activities. The Aulani experience is characterized by its lush landscaping, stunning ocean views, and a focus on creating magical moments for guests of all ages.
The Hilton Hawaiian Village stands as an iconic resort offering a diverse array of experiences. This expansive property features multiple towers, each with its own unique charm. From the sprawling lagoon to the vibrant Rainbow Tower, the Hilton Hawaiian Village exudes luxury and convenience. With a variety of dining options, pools, and activities, it caters to couples, families, and solo travelers alike, providing a quintessential Hawaiian resort experience.
Aulani offers themed rooms and suites with Disney touches, providing a whimsical atmosphere for families. On the other hand, Hilton Hawaiian Village offers a range of accommodations, from standard rooms to spacious suites, catering to diverse preferences and budgets. If you’re a Disney fan, Aulani is definitely a great option that I highly recommend!
Aulani is specifically designed with families in mind, offering kid-friendly pools, character meet-and-greets, and activities for children of all ages. Hilton Hawaiian Village, while family-friendly, also caters to couples and solo travelers, making it a versatile option for various types of guests.
Entertainment and Activities:
Aulani is known for its Disney-themed entertainment, including live shows, character experiences, and a splash-worthy water park. Hilton Hawaiian Village, with its extensive grounds, offers a multitude of activities, from water sports and cultural experiences to world-class dining and shopping.
Aulani provides a more secluded and tranquil experience on the western coast of Oahu, away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. The Hilton Hawaiian Village, centrally located in Waikiki, offers easy access to the beach, shopping, and dining options.
Both of these resorts offer unique experiences, blending luxury with the natural beauty of the islands. Here are some reasons why my clients decide on one resort or the other.
Why my clients choose to stay at the Aulani resort in Koolina:
If you’re looking for a beautiful and dry location away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki this is the perfect spot because 1. its more secluded in comparison to Waikiki; 2. Aulani is in a drier part of the island so it is likely that you’ll be able to enjoy the pool and beach throughout your entire trip without too many passing showers.Waikiki is also fairly dry but not as dry as Koolina; 3. The beach at Aulani is more kid friendly than the beach in front of the Hilton which is pretty rocky unless you swim in the man-made lagoon
Why my clients choose to stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village:
If you’re looking for a location in Honolulu and do not mind being in a city, the Hilton Hawaiian Village is a great spot! My clients love the Hilton for its location- staying closer to Alamoana mall is a little less busy and more relaxing than staying in the heart of waikiki (anywhere from the Duke statue near the Moana Surfrider to the zoo). That specific area gets very very busy. My clients also love staying in Waikiki because they are able to access the beaches on the windward side, Kualoa Ranch, hanauma bay, diamond head crater hike, as well as ALL of the AMAZING food and shopping options that Honolulu has to offer.
The Perfect Spot:
I would recommend staying on both sides of the island – if you can – during your trip! That way you’ll be able to enjoy it all! Kualoa Ranch, Honolulu and the East beaches are easier to access when you’re staying in Waikiki as its a little closer and more convenient. And then I recommend staying in Koolina because you’ll also be able to experience pure relaxation away from the busy city while also being not too far from the North Shore.
Capture photos of your trip to Oahu:
If you’re looking for a photographer to capture your partner or family during your stay I’d love to be considered! I am from the island of Oahu, and I’ve been photographing families and couples in Waikiki and Koolina for about 4 years now (although I have been a photographer for about 7 years now). Waikiki and Koolina are 2 of my most favorite spots because they are so convenient for clients. If you’re open to driving to a want to find a more secluded location I am happy to recommend some areas away from these areas as well! I hope this blog post has been helpful! Please reach out if you have any questions and i’d be happy to answer them!
You can reach out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or you can CLICK HERE to inquire. Hope to photograph you on your next trip to Hawaii!
Enjoy these photos that were taken at Koolina!