Updated November 21, 2021 by Thiago Khoury
Whether or not I had a car on the Aulani was one of my main doubts before the trip. When I started writing about this I discovered that there were actually two questions that could be answered here: the first, “Is it worth renting a car at Aulani?” and the second “Is it worth renting a car at Aulani’s rental company?“.
I can already tell you that the answer is “It depends” for both, but I can develop my reasoning better than that, I just need you to check out my post about renting a car and driving in Hawaii before we continue.
Transport and car options at Aulani
Is it worth renting a car at Aulani?
Renting a car is silly if you intend to stay exclusively at Aulani, because in addition to the price of the car itself, you will still have to pay for parking, which is not cheap at all, on the contrary, it costs more than 37 dollars a day.
It is very unlikely that a person will fly to Hawaii to spend just two or three days there, but on the other hand it is very common to select two or three nights of a trip to stay at the Aulani – those who stay at the Aulani tend to split the trip. in two: first around Waikiki (or around the North Shore) and then at Aulani.
Entrance to Aulani with valets bringing and taking cars…
… including my navy blue Corolla waiting for me!
If you divide the trip in two, the part reserved for Aulani will probably be the “shade and fresh water”, in which case nobody really needs a car – especially if before check-in you make a pitstop at Kopolei’s Target: stop at the supermarket , “drop off” the car at Alamo do Aulani and, that’s it, Uber now only on the day of leaving.
For those who like me and stay exclusively at Aulani (especially if this is your first time in Hawaii), having a car is essential: consider the parking fee as part of the daily rate and have it available whenever you need it.
Is it worth renting a car at Aulani’s rental company?
Only if you are sure that you will be using it for a very specific period of time, like one or two nights – in short, if you have an itinerary planned, because in general renting and returning the vehicle at the airport is much cheaper than that rent and return at Aulani.
Another expensive thing is to rent at Aulani and return at the airport: it is better to plan so that your itinerary allows you to stay without a car during your days at Aulani or, for those like me who stay exclusively at Aulani, remember that being without a car will make you hostage to Uber.
What are the parking options at Aulani?
There’s no escaping it: at Aulani, parking costs 37 dollars/day, tax included. Whether stopping the car on your own or handing the keys over to a valet, the price is the same.
At first I didn’t understand how both options could have the same value, but I ended up concluding that what makes someone choose self parking when the valet has the same price is wanting to save on tips.
It’s just that those who choose the valet service are usually willing to tip for it, which I didn’t do – and I never deny a tip, but at Aulani it never crossed my mind to reward anyone who wasn’t a waiter in a restaurant, let alone valet.
update: I just found out that parking at the Four Seasons next door can be even more expensive: $45 plus tax.
Is there a way to park on the street?
That was the first question I asked myself, haha! No, at Aulani it is impossible to park on the street.
Maybe (and when I say maybe I imagine it’s very unlikely) it’s possible to park at the Marina of Ko Olina, but I imagine that eventually they would tow the cars that spend the night there. Apart from that from the Marina to Aulani it is at least a 20-minute walk and you would reach the beach, which after a certain time is impossible.
Uhm, did you think about leaving the car in Ko Olina Station & Center? Damn, you seem to have done the same research as me! haha, joking aside, unfortunately the answer is “no”: there are several signs saying that this is prohibited and that your car can be towed if you try.
Take it from me: having a rental car towed is much more expensive and laborious than paying the inevitable $37/day.
Other blog tips for planning your trip:
Already know where to stay in Honolulu? One of the best beaches to look for is Waikiki, which is central and great for first-time travelers. I suggest you take a look at the Outrigger network, such as the Outrigger Beachcomber and the Outrigger Reef.
Have you already purchased travel insurance? Insurance is essential in the United States, especially in times of covid! The Insurance Promo comparator offers at least 10% off for blog readers and even pay on the card!
Can you travel without a cell phone? Do not forget to leave Brazil with your American SIM card with real unlimited internet – and through the blog link you will take at least 15% off and free and unlimited calls to Brazil!
For rent a car in the usa for the lowest price search all rental companies at once on Rentcars. They have an office in Brazil with service in Portuguese!