Overview: The vibrant heart of the Aulani resort is the Waikolohe Valley, an exciting oasis filled with some of the greatest pools, slides and water features in of all Hawai’i.
Nestled between Aulani’s two towers and flowing from the lobby down to the beachfront, the Waikolohe Valley magically mimics the Hawaiian landscape–wetter and more forested at the high end nearer the mountains, drier and more open as it approaches the sea. The Valley is home to three large pools, water slides, splash zones for kids, a relaxing lazy river and even a snorkel lagoon. “Waikolohe” is Hawaiian for “mischievous water,” and at Aulani there are refreshing surprises at every turn, unfolding as a journey of discovery around the Valley’s eye-catching lava outcropping called Pu‘u Kilo.
The interplay of the Pacific Ocean with the water and rock features of Aulani was carefully orchestrated by Disney’s famed Imagineering group. With lava formations, hot springs that blow off steam and misty caverns, the Waikolohe Valley landscape was designed to appear as if it has been here for many, many years.
Key Features: In Waikolohe Stream, the resort’s lazy river experience, guests drift peacefully by rock formations, through caverns and past “mischievous” fountain springs, surprising explorers with a bit of “refreshment.”
Waikolohe Valley is also home to the Waikolohe Pool, a massive 8,200 square-foot pool with a zero-depth entry edge and two thrilling waterslides. The Wailana Pool is the resort’s exclusive adult pool, featuring a bar and private poolside cabanas. The Ka Maka Pool features a spectacular view of the blue Pacific Ocean, with its unique infinity edge. Here guests may also tuck under the rocks of a misty grotto, which also has its own whirlpool to enjoy.
Rainbow Reef is a 3,800 square-foot snorkel lagoon where guests can get up close and personal with fish that inhabit the waters in and around Hawai’i.
A highlight for the young is the interactive water play structure known as the Menehune Bridge. The legendary Hawaiian Menehune (pronounced men-neh-who-neh), are said to be shy, diminutive beings who are gifted craftspeople, adept at building everything from temples to canoes. The experience brings the legend to life, featuring Menehune as statues … or perhaps frozen in plain sight in the act of cavorting, spilling and shooting water.
Aulani’s littlest guests will laugh and splash at Keiki Cove, which is designed specifically for small children and features alternating “pop jets” of water in which to play.
The gentle waves of the Pacific Ocean are only steps away as well. Aulani is located on a beautiful lagoon protected by a rocky breakwater, and provides the perfect location for swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding. Or, guests may just choose to lay out on the white sand beach, one of the most beautiful crescents of beachfront on the island of Oahu.