A few weeks ago Ruby and I were lucky enough to visit the Disney Aulani Resort nestled on the shores of O’ahu, Hawaii. With her teenage siblings still in school term this was a special treat for the minniest member of the family, I love to grab one on one with each of my kids when I can, and this trip was a great opportunity for Ruby and I to do just that. My only regret, not staying longer and getting the rest of the family to join us when school term finished! The resort was a family paradise with a side of magic – the Disney characters are all on vacation, and you get to holiday with them! The relaxed vibes and gorgeous setting full of activities and seaside adventure make for an ideal family focused escape.
Getting there was a breeze, an over night 10 hour flight, Ruby slept pretty much the whole way and was fresh and ready to go as soon as we arrived. Here she is straight off the plane discovering our gorgeous homely room for the first time!
The rooms were so comfortable, we were in an ocean view villa, with a fully functioning kitchen and living space it was a complete apartment and I found the abundance of space so useful. With so much on each day Ruby needed the occasional nap, I loved that I could chill in the living room or on the balcony in the sunshine while she slept in the separate bedroom. And check out this view!
Brimming with waterslides, a water playground, diving, several pools and that stunning private beach our days were jam packed full of fun in the sun! We travelled with our gorgeous friends Pete and Harlow (@thedaddyfashionstylist) . Ruby and Harlow had so much fun exploring the resort and playing all day together!
Ruby was SO excited to find this special treat waiting for her in our room after a morning by the pool!
And that was all just in our spare time! The activity choices were endless one of our favourites was the catamaran experience. Dolphins galore, a spectacular tour of the coast line, and swimming with the turtles – this outing was an absolute treat.
Another favourite was the Aulani Luau! A bountiful feast of traditional food, music and activities for the kids. The girls loved meeting other children from the resort and making their own frangipani necklaces and bracelets with their gorgeous hosts. After a great meal (and delicious cocktails for the adults) the concert began. Those following on our instagram stories may have seen the girls dancing with Minnie and Mickey and completely captivated by an appearance from Moana herself! Followed by stories of local legend and traditional music, the Luau did not disappoint.
With jam-packed days full of activities the girls were always keen on some extra swimming time before or after dinner, sometimes both! Sunset swims would have to be some of my favourite childhood memories , and it was so nice watching Ruby and Harlow laugh themselves silly swimming until the sun went down creating memories they’ll also treasure for life.
One of our favourite places to eat at the resort was AMA’AMA, the perfect venue to watch the sunset and if timed well kids could enjoy stories with Uncle and appearances from Moana by the fire pit which were held both pre and post sunset every night. This was our view from dinner, take me back!
Breakfast at AMA’AMA were also amazing and a beautiful way to start the day with a consistently sunny and spectacular view of the resorts private beach
The characters breakfasts at the Makahiki restaurant were an absolute hit withRuby and Harlow, such a great way to get up and close and play, sing dance and take photos with all their favourite Disney friends! We went twice in the end, I’m pretty sure the girls would have happily gone every day! And at a totally reasonable price ( $20 per child for full buffet breakfast and character meet and greet!) you really could! Ruby was a bit nervous about having a photo at first but was so happy joining in the activities and dancing with the other kids at breakfast. By the end of the trip she was courageously taking pictures with them all. She is so thrilled with herself looking back on the pictures, she has brought them out proudly every morning at home to show her siblings! 🙂
Ruby’s absolute fave activity of all was probably the Moana ‘transformation’, one of many gorgeous Moana themed activities available at the resort . Ruby and Harlow had so much fun and their little faces when they saw themselves ‘transformed’ in the mirror will stay with me forever. Walking around the resort afterwards I think they were actually convinced they will the REAL Moana. It was the most gorgeous thing. Of course two hours later they wanted to go swimming, how could we say no we were in tropical paradise ha ha! But the photos are Ruby’s favourite to look back on now we are home.
Other experiences we adored were of course Aunty’s Beach House – possibly the most gorgeous, tranquil and homely ‘kids club’ we’ve ever visited. Ruby and Harlow loved the comedy night and also just playing with other kids from the resort. The staff were so friendly and kind and the space had the happiest vibes. It was the perfect place for Ruby to play while I visited the spa! Again if I had stayed longer ( no less than 7 nights next time!) I would have treated myself to the spa more than once. Superbly designed the Laniwai Spa offers a huge variety of relaxation and luxury treatments. So brilliantly designed you would have no idea you were within a resort heaving with excitement and children’s activities! The perfect place to rejuvenate!
Over all we just had the best time. Not once did we feel stressed or exhausted. The breezy resort made a family / child focused holiday literally feel easy. No stress, no rush, no long lines. The entire thing was so well done. We will definitely stop by again next time we are in Hawaii!