While one might think that a Hawaiian destination designed by Disney would be for kids, think again. Disney’s Aulani, a family resort in Oahu, Hawaii, is actually more of a vacay for moms and dads. Yes, Goofy, Pluto, Stitch, Mickey Mouse and his main girl Minnie all are in residence at the lush resort and yes, there are kid-centric activities such as character breakfasts, pool parties and a resort wide interactive scavenger hunt, but there is also so, so much for parents, especially moms.
During the month of May, the Aulani is celebrating mothers via their Mahalo Mama promotion with special treats to spoil moms (who always deserve to be spoiled no matter what time of year). How does Disney weave magic for moms into their popular family destination? Here are 10 ways!
Nestled in a corner of the expansive resort you’ll find Auntie’s Beach House, a whimsical kids’ club modeled after a Hawaiian home. There is a living room where characters come to visit, a entertainment room where kids can watch cartoons or play dress up, and a sprawling backyard. Best of all, Auntie’s Beach House is complimentary with your stay and you can drop off your kids (ages 3 to 12) from 8am to 9pm.
The Laniwai, the only spa in the world designed by Disney’s Imagineers, is a must for any mom (or dad) visiting the Aulani. The goal of the spa is to “soothe and rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit,” all in a luxurious and beautiful environment. One of the highlights is the Kula Wai: Outdoor Hydrotherapy Garden with six unique waterfall rain showers, vitality baths, soaking pools and hot tubs.
The signature massage therapy at the Laniwai is the traditional Hawaiian Lomilomi. The treatment consists of a rhythmic massage incorporating lomilomi sticks as well as warmed river stones and is used to release tension, pain and fatigue. A perfect way to start your vacation.
The Laniwai doesn’t just offer massages, they also have a full range of spa services. You can choose a soothing facials from their Certified Organic to the Hāweo Magical Glow or perhaps you’d want a manicure and pedicure that features a foot soak, deep cleanse, nail grooming, exfoliation, massage and polish. They also do waxing, hair cuts and other salon services. Basically, you can walk into the Laniwai and come back out a new woman.
While there is much in the way of family fare available at the resort from hot dogs to Hawaiian ices, adults with a sophisticated palate will be delighted with the menu at ‘AMA‘AMA. The beachside restaurant, housed under a traditional thatched roof, offers up stunning views of the lagoon (a magical spot at sunset) as well as spectacular food inspired by classic Hawaiian cuisine. Menu highlights include AMA`AMA Seafood Ramen, their daily sustainable fish, and a perfectly cooked Colorado Rack of Lamb.
Mom doesn’t need to get up for a delicious breakfast, the delicious breakfast can come to her! The Aulani whips up a yummy morning treat—a Hawaiian-style French toast stuffed with chocolate and strawberries and then topped with warm strawberry compote and whipped cream. A perfect way to start the day.
While the kids are playing at Auntie’s, a perfect escape is to go sip on a Topical Mai Tai ,a Mango Mojito, or a classic Blue Hawaiian at the Olelo Room. While indulging in a beautifully crafted cocktail, you can learn a bit of Hawaiian. Everything, from the table and chairs, to the waitresses’ dresses to the collection of wooden statues that decorate the walls, is labeled with the Hawaiian name.
Kids will love the splash pools, the water slides and the pool parties with Goofy but moms will love the chance to relax. Choices include riding an innertube down the lazy river, enjoying the view from the infinity edge pool, lounging in a hot tub, or escaping to the adult only pool area.
While all the rooms at the Aulani are beautifully appointed and offer gorgeous views (especially the ones that face the ocean), the suites and villas are a roomy and very comfy option. Along with private bedrooms, they can offer swank living spaces, kitchens and even your own washer and dryer.
While it’s a treat to get away from the kids and rest, relax and get rejuvenated, one of the most special things about the Aulani is the time you spend together as a family be it by the pool, at a family friendly buffet at Makahiki, or at their modern Hawaiian nighttime show Starlit Hui. One thing for sure, the Aulani offers fun for the whole crew. The kids might very well think this vacation is for them, but really, it’s for mom.
There are always great deals to Hawaii that you can take advantage of at a moment’s notice.
Photo credits: Sunny Chanel/ Disney Aulani