Aulani Trip Report – Part 4
BY MARY WARING – JANUARY 2012
Aulani Trip Report: Day 4 (Friday)
Pools and Loungers; Papalua Shave Ice; Olelo Room
We got off to a late start, but fortunately we had no firm plans. We figured this would be a rest-and-relax day by the pool.
At about 10:30 we collected our towels and the required pool wristbands from the centrally-located towel-and-wristband tent, and walked over to the Wailana Pool (a smaller, “leisure” pool that tends to be a little quieter than the main Waikolohe “family fun” pool). As we passed through the pool areas, we could see there were still plenty of loungers open, including many in the shade. Of course, this was an off-season time and a weekday, so the resort was not at capacity.
The pool temperature was lovely. I floated around and chatted with some very nice women while Mike read his book in the shade. It was a great way to spend a few hours. I was loving Aulani at this point.
By the time we left the Wailana Pool, at 1:00 pm, seemingly every lounger in the whole complex was “taken” – not in the sense that anyone was sitting on them, mind you, but in the sense that they were all “saved” with towels. 90% of them were not occupied. This is an issue at any resort with a pool. I hope Disney will address it aggressively, because once the resort is at full capacity, it will become a huge problem that will make guests very unhappy.
For lunch we made chicken salad sandwiches, using part of our leftover rotisserie chicken. We also shared a shave ice from Papalua Shave Ice down by the pools. It was quite good, and the price wasn’t outrageous ($3.75).
Around 3:00 in the afternoon I went down to the Kalepa Store in the lobby. I noticed lots of big local families were arriving. It was check-in time on Friday afternoon, and kama’aina (locals) rates were available because this was a slow time. Naturally locals were coming for the weekend to enjoy the pool, and bringing their extended families – I would do the same! But I wondered how crowded the pool area would become over the weekend.
The balcony of our villa offered a great view of most of the pool areas, so I started looking at the lounger situation periodically. Around 4:00 pm, a lot of loungers had opened up again. It gets hot in the pool area in the late afternoon, since the opening to the lagoon faces west. There is virtually no shade to be found at that time of day. I think most people start tiring of the heat and sun, so they head back to their rooms.
In the evening, after enjoying an in-villa meal of steak and stir-fried veggies, we decided to try the Olelo Room for a nightcap. We sat down and waited quite a while before the server took our order. Mike got a mojito. I had a Bailey’s on the rocks, figuring that would be hard to screw up. Good call. Mike hated his mojito, which was sickeningly sweet and had no discernable lime juice and very little mint in it. He had a sip or two and set it aside. 30 minutes later, we finally managed to grab the server and get our bill. She didn’t ask why Mike had left most of his drink untouched.
As we walked out, Mike grumbled that all the Aulani bartenders need to be retrained. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve come to the conclusion that the cocktails at Aulani consist primarily of sugar syrup on the rocks.