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Cabanas and Casabellas
Cabanas and Casabellas are premium seating areas that you reserve in advance. A cabana is essentially a tent with seating and some added luxuries, a casabella is like a two-seat lounge chair with a rounded hood that will shade your top half. If expense isn’t necessarily a concern for you, and you expect to arrive sometime after early morning, consider renting one of these for your first day. This is not cheap, but if you are looking for “magic,” few things can pop your bubble as fast as a tired family combined with your room not being ready and no available pool chairs. Since the cabanas and casabellas can be reserved in advance for the day, you will all have a guaranteed place to put your things and relax.
- To reserve, call the Lobby Concierge at 808-674-6200. Reservations can be secured up to 90 days in advance. A room reservation is required. Previously you could begin booking as soon as you had a room reservation (we’ve heard talk of up to 14 months in advance!) but this is no longer the case. We assume this change is to allow DVC members a fair shot at getting a reservation, seeing as they can’t get a room reservation sooner than 11 months in advance for Aulani home resort owners, or 7 months in advance for all other DVC owners, which gave a huge advantage to cash hotel guests. If you are already on-site, go talk to the Lobby Concierge to find out if there are any openings for your current stay.
- To reserve a Beachside Casabellas go to Makiki Joes. They are available for same-day reservations only on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Payment is due on the date you stay in the cabana.
- Cancellations must be made up to 24 hours in advance.
- You can request a location, but it is not guaranteed. Location requests are generally honored in the order they are received. You will not find out which location you are given until the day of your reservation.
- Half-day rates are not available.
- DVC blue-card members get 10% off cabana rentals. DVC members have sometimes been given a complimentary dessert tray, though this is no longer mentioned on the Aulani site. You will need to present your card.
- While Aulani says “full day” rental, usage is restricted to between certain hours. Last I checked it was 9AM to 6PM, but the hours change with the seasons. Note that there are signs with the assigned family’s name on it in front of the cabana much earlier than that and we’ve seen people drop off things in their cabana much earlier than the official start time.
- Poolside/Beachside dining cast members come around regularly but whatever you order is at your expense.
- We’ve seen snack bowls (basically bags of chips) delivered around 10AM, but it isn’t mentioned on the Aulani site.
Cabanas accommodate up to 7 guests. The cost for a cabana at any location is $550 for a full day. The Wailana Pool location used to be cheaper, but that is no longer the case. Reservations are required (see general information above). The Aulani site says it includes the following:
- 43-inch flat-panel TV
- Ceiling fan
- Wi-Fi access (this is available everywhere at the resort, so no biggie)
- Upgraded furniture
- Fruit bowl
- Complimentary bottled water
You can request specific locations, but your request is not guaranteed. They generally honor requests as the reservations are received. There are a total of eight cabanas in three locations: Menehune Bridge, Wailana Pool, and Ka Maka Grotto Pool.
There are 2 cabanas in this location and they are ideal if you have very young children who are likely to want to spend most of their time in the shallow water and structure. Given this is right next to the area designated for children under 48″, I wouldn’t recommend renting here unless you have little ones with you who would take advantage. The location is pretty noisy and active. These cabanas are tucked in to a corner so they are somewhat insulated from things, but it also means the vast majority of the play area cannot be seen while sitting here, so it’s hard to keep an eye on little ones from the cabana.
The first photo gives you some idea of the location with the cabanas in the back and Menehune Bridge on the left. The second is a close up of the two cabanas. The third photo shows another perspective of the Menehune Bridge area with the cabanas on the right edge of the photo, and the fourth photo shows the view you can expect from the chairs that come with the cabana.
These 3 cabanas are very popular. They are the only ones with any view of the ocean (just glimpses through all the trees and umbrellas) and they are right next to a pool bar and overlooking the the Ka Maka Grotto pool and hot tub. They are also the most conveniently located to the majority of the various pools/activities. While you can see parts of the pool from here, don’t rely on being able to stay in/at your cabana and keep an eye on your kids as there are a fair number of umbrellas and plants obstructing your view as shown in the second and third photo below.
These 3 cabanas are located in the most out-of-the-way and secluded/quiet area, so they are typically best for those visiting without children. While the nearby pool is no longer adults-only, it’s still the least chaotic of all the pools. These also back up near the Laniwai Spa, so Disney designed this area for maximum peace and quiet. If you book these hoping to keep an eye on your kids in the pool, they are set all the way in the back behind all other seating, so the view is insufficient.
In the second picture below, you can just see them waaaay in the back behind all the other chairs, look for the curtains. The third photo is a little closer and shows the cabanas behind the main section of chairs separating the cabanas from the pools. The fourth photo illustrates the view you can expect from the cabana area, keep in mind this was taken while standing, so the view of the pool while sitting is pretty much non-existent.
A casabella is a two-seater wooden lounge chair with a hood that can be pulled up to offer some shade. There’s also two cupholders in the center between the two seats, although they really are more “designated locations” as they are just inch high circular rings. They won’t prevent a drink from spilling over on to you or your companion if bumped. Pretty much every casabella has a view of the ocean. There are 4 types/locations: Beachside, ‘AMA‘AMA Upper Veranda, ‘AMA‘AMA Lower Veranda, and Executive ‘AMA‘AMA Lanai.
The first photo below shows a casabella located down at the beach. The second photo shows an example of where the casabellas are located. The panorama below those gives more context.
$175/day. Includes 2 casabellas, seating up to 4 people. You cannot rent a smaller amount here as this is all there is in this location and it’s rented as a set. Be aware the “lower veranda” casabellas are directly in front of you and only about a foot lower, so the view is obstructed when you are lying in your casabella.
$250/day. Includes 3 casabellas, seating up to 6. Like the upper veranda, you can’t rent just one. These are about 3 feet above ground level and are parallel to a walkway lining the beach. The upper veranda is directly behind you and there’s a staircase on one side that has openings to each veranda. There’s a plant border about three feet wide separating you from the walkway, so it’s set back a little but you are still visible, so expect a few curious looks from people passing by as you relax. The plants, while giving you some privacy, also obstruct the view of the ocean a little, but the view is still lovely.
The following photos are of both the upper and lower ‘AMA‘AMA veranda casabellas in the same pictures. It’s a fairly private, tucked away location. While the awnings aren’t displayed in the first photo, they are attached to the casabellas as illustrated in the second. The first photo also gives you a better idea of the layout of the two verandas. The third photo was taken from the top of the staircase leading to the beach entry/exit and the entry ways to the verandas, so it, combined with the fourth photo show the view you can expect.
$350/day. Includes 2 casabellas, 2 lounge chaises, 1 table, 2 chairs, 2 umbrellas, a locking cabinet, a fruit platter, towels, and 10 bottles of water. This area is completely separated from everywhere else as it’s surrounded on three sides by rock walls. While lovely and semi-secluded, we’ve heard it gets pretty hot in the afternoon as there’s really no shade. There’s a staircase along one side that allows access to the beach and to the rest of the resort. The stairway is used by other resort guests as well, but it’s not heavily trafficked. Still, you’ll notice anyone passing by as they’ll be eyeing you as they come in to the resort.
The first and fourth photos show you what you can expect to receive in terms of seating area, etc. The second photo is the view from the seating area and the third shows the area from above. You can see someone entering the staircase that leads to the lanai from the beach walkway.