Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
One of the things traveling parents learn early on is that a resort with all of the features you need in a family vacation is the key to a vacation that is as much fun for parents as it is for kids. In Hawaii, ‘ohana (family) has special meaning so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are a wealth of fabulous family hotels and resorts on the islands.
Whichever Hawaiian island you choose, these 16 TravelingMom-tested and recommended family-friendly Hawaii resorts offer luxury ocean views, immersive Hawaiian culture, some of the world’s best beaches and a relaxing getaway for parents, and plenty of fun for kids.
Oahu Resorts for Families
Hawaii’s third-largest island offers a wide variety of fun things to do with kids. From the laid-back North Shore — famous for its giant waves and laid-back surfer vibe — to bustling Honolulu, Oahu’s Hawaiian food, activities and attractions reflect the island’s diverse Hawaiian population.
Here are our favorite resorts for families visiting Oahu.
92-1185 Ali’inui Dr.
Kapolei, Hawaii 96707
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is the creation of Walt Disney Imagineers who worked with Hawaiian artisans and cultural experts to create a special Disney experience with Hawaiian culture at its core. Accommodations range from standard rooms that sleep four to three-bedroom villas with a full kitchen.
Look at the Daily ‘Iwa to find out what activities the resort offers each day and take advantage of the countless free things to do at Aulani, from canoe races to ukulele lessons. Aunty’s Beach House Kids Club also offers free experiences for children ages 3-12 years old. If you have children 12 and under, they will want to stay a long time and never go home, so plan on staying at least five nights.
TravelingMom Tip: You can save a ton of money by booking this resort using DVC points! You can rent DVC points from David’s Vacation Rental. They’re the key to having a luxury Disney vacation on a budget.
2005 Kālia Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
TravelingMom Mimi Slawoff has vacationed here with her parents and returned to stay with her family. Encompassing 22 oceanfront acres, the resort has six pools, more than 18 restaurants/lounges and about 100 shops. Beautifully landscaped pathways with waterfalls and a penguin exhibit invite strolls.
The Camp Penguin Kids’ Club for children ages 5-12 entertains kids with storytelling and Hawaiian cultural activities like lei making. Evening entertainment includes outdoor movie nights and the Waikiki Starlight Hawaiian Luau.
TravelingMom Tip: Staying at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach makes it easy to visit some of Oahu’s family-friendly attractions, such as the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium. Or just walk outside the oceanfront resort and dip your toes into the calm waters of Waikiki Beach.
Join our Private FB Group for more travel inspiration and tips! JOIN HERE
57-091 Kamehameha Highway
Kahuku, Hawaii 96731
Named for the resident sea turtles, the oceanfront Turtle Bay Resort is situated on 850 acres with five miles of beaches and a tropical forest. Turtle Bay offers many amenities and activities, such as golf, horseback riding and surf lessons. It also has a spa.
The resort is located on Oahu’s rustic North Shore. But when TravelingMom Mimi Slawoff stayed there with her family, they hardly roughed it. They easily fell into a comfortable rhythm of rest and activities, including a family surf lesson from the onsite Hans Hedemann Surf Center. Downtime found her kids by the pool while she and her husband walked along the beach.
Their Turtle Bay accommodations were ideal for a family of five: two adjoining, oceanfront rooms and a living room. They had coffee on their lanais each morning and were lulled to sleep by the surf each night. Resort accommodations also include beach cottages and ocean villas. The resort has several restaurants from casual pool-side eateries to the upscale Roy’s Beach House, serving a farm-to-table cuisine.
TravelingMom Tip: You may recognize this property from movies such as “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”
92-161 Waipahe Place Marriott Vacation Club Kapolei
Oahu, Hawaii 96707
This resort 30 minutes west of Honolulu is next door to Aulani in the lush Ko Olina resort community. The guest rooms are large and some have kitchenettes. The one-, two- and three-bedroom villas have full kitchens.
The three heated pools onsite feature an array of water features, including hot tubs, a volleyball net, waterfalls, waterslides and a sandy zero-entry area for little ones. There are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas, although the hotel charges a rental fee for umbrellas on the beach. When the kids get waterlogged, dry them off and head for one of the other entertainment options: a weekly Hawaiian luau dinner show, movie nights, painting classes, stargazing tours and kids’ club activities.
TravelingMom Tip: The hotel’s Stay & Play program allows guests to check out but continue using the property’s amenities until it’s time to leave for the airport.
Best Hotels for Families on Kauai
Kauai, known as the garden isle, is the place for outdoor adventure, great beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. Explore the lush Napali coast by boat or splurge on a helicopter ride over the rugged interior of the island to see the majestic Manawaiopuna Falls, a backdrop in the film “Jurassic Park.” Both spots are largely inaccessible by land or water.
Our favorite family-friendly resorts on Kauai are:
1571 Poipu Road
Koloa, Hawaii 96756
Famous for the kids’ swimming pool that has slides, a volleyball net and a lagoon, it was the rooms that TravelingMom Founder Kim Orlando and her family loved. They stayed in a two-room suite adjoined by a living room. Her son and husband, both avid golfers, headed to the nearby Poipu Bay Golf Course while Kim and her daughter spent time in the spa. Grand Hyatt Kauai is close to Shipwreck Beach and the stunning Makawehi Lithified Cliffs.
One of the best features of Grand Hyatt Kauai is the saltwater lagoon. The beach area near the hotel can be rocky and the lagoon is a perfect compromise for those who enjoy the beach but do not want to deal with the ocean and sea life. It’s especially nice for families with little ones. When TravelingMom Gwen Kleist visited, her toddler son was able to play in the sand while she and her husband watched. And the whole family enjoyed the hotel’s luau.
Children ages 3 to 12 years old can participate in Camp Hyatt activities, like making leis, shell bracelets and volcanos.
TravelingMom Tip: Kim recommends hiking along Kaua‘i’s four-mile Māhā‘ulepū Heritage Trail on the southern coastline, starting at the Grand Hyatt Resort and stretching from Keoneloa Bay to Kawailoa Bay.
3-5920 Kuhio Hwy
Kapaʻa, Hawaii 96746
is the only Hilton property on Kauai, so it’s the go-to for Hilton Honors members. The Hilton Garden Inn Kauai is located in the central area of the eastern shore, only about 15 minutes from the Lihue airport. That means it’s a great jumping-off point for exploring Kauai. Head south to visit Poipu or venture to Waimea Canyon, or north to the famed north shore of Kauai. Plus, the hotel sits adjacent to Lydgate Beach and Park. That means you have a state beach with lifeguards right outside your door.
The hotel has an onsite restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner; two pools; a poolside bar; and rooms with balconies and ocean views. There are many room configurations, but the basics are standard, suites and cottages. Standard rooms feature Suite Dreams by Serta beds, 46-inch LCD TV, complimentary WiFi access, a mini-fridge, microwave, Keurig coffee system and an iron/ironing board. Suites have the same amenities, with more space, which makes them great for families.
TravelingMom Tip: Free cribs/infant beds are available upon request and connecting/adjoining rooms are available.
Best Family Resorts in Maui
Perhaps most famous for its Road to Hana drive to see the sunrise (a good option for jet-lagged kids who are up early anyway), Maui also is home to Haleakala, a dormant volcano that sits at 10,023 feet above sea level; the charming village of Lahaina; and the gorgeous Kaanapali Beach resort area with lots of fun things to do with kids.
Maui also is where you’ll find the Myths of Maui luau. It is the longest-running Polynesian show on the island and one of the kid-friendliest we have tried. It has everything you want in a luau: the aloha shell greeting, imu ceremony (unearthing the roasted pig from the ground), an entertaining show and a Samoan fire dance. Best of all for families with picky eaters, the buffet is very Keiki-friendly.
Here are our favorite resorts on Maui for families:
3800 Wailea Alanui Dr.
Kihei, Hawaii 96753
There’s a reason the Los Angeles Times nicknamed this resort “the Beverly Hills of Maui.” This resort boasts 12 breathtaking acres of tropical foliage and waterfalls along Wailea Beach, rated one of the top beaches in the world. The resort has two gorgeous pools, a beachfront infinity pool and jacuzzi, and a kid-friendly pool with a waterfall; both offer amazing views of the ocean.
Former TravelingMom Amy Barseghian says her family loved their two-bedroom two-bath penthouse with a full kitchen, living room, den and two outdoor spaces. Even better, she says, they got all of that room for the same price as a traditional hotel room just steps away. There are three-bedroom penthouses and four-bedroom villas for larger travel parties, too.
TravelingMom Tip: If being on vacation means never having to say you cooked, head to the nearby resorts for gourmet dining like Wolfgang Puck’s Spago Restaurant at the Four Seasons.
130 Kai Malina Pkwy
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
Accommodations at this resort are luxury studios and one, two and three-bedroom suites with full gourmet kitchens with Bosch appliances, large lanais and in-room washers and dryers. The grounds include pools, hot tubs, a waterslide, waterfalls and a splash pad area for little ones. If you don’t want to cook, head to Duke’s Beach House for Hawaiian-influenced cuisine focusing on fresh, sustainable seafood and premium steaks. The oceanfront restaurant serves breakfast, lunch or dinner daily and brunches on Sunday.
TravelingMom Tip: If you’re traveling with another adult, send him/her to the pool with the kids and book yourself a little me-time at the Ho’ola Spa.
6 Kai Ala Dr.
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
TravelingMom Dia Adams says The Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas has a nice balance between the independence of a self-catering villa property and the pampering of a full-service resort. Accommodations here are villas ranging from 480-square-foot studios to stylish two-bedroom 1,230-square-foot villas that can sleep up to nine.
This all-villas property has the Westin secret sauce: Heavenly beds. Plus, because it’s a Marriott property, you can earn or use your Marriott Bonvoy points for a stay at this luxury Kaanapali Beach resort. Kids can play in several pools, including one with a very cool pirate ship with a slide. The Westin Family Kids Club offers Hawaiian culture-themed activities such as lei making, where children can participate in activities like making leis and learning more about Hawaiian culture.
TravelingMom Tip: The pool area has a separate section for little ones, an important consideration if you’re heading to Hawaii with toddlers.
2780 Kekaa Dr.
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
This is the resort for families that are all about the beach. Water activities include stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkeling at nearby Black Rock. While you’ll find swimming pools at the resort, think basic. Here, the beach is the main attraction, including the ocean view from the rooms which left TravelingMom Julie Thompson-Adolf dreaming of ways to move her family to the island so she could take in the view every day.
In addition to the hotel, the resort offers cottages and suites, providing room for families to gather.
TravelingMom Tip: This is where you’ll find the Myths of Maui luau performances. Don’t miss it!
3850 Wailea Alanui Dr.
Wailea, Hawaii 96753
This lavish Waldorf Astoria Resort has an extensive water playground, beginning with nine pools, whirlpools, a lazy river, waterslides, caves and the world’s first water elevator that transports swimmers from one pool level to the next. Located on 40 acres of lovely Wailea beachfront property, this sprawling resort offers everything from luaus to Camp Adventures for kids ages 5-12. Activities are also available at the beach for older children and adults with kayaking, body surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. Or head to the southern edge of the bay to snorkel among the sea turtles.
TravelingMom Tip: This is a very large resort. You may have to walk a long way to get to where you’re going — a restaurant, the beach or even the pools.
Family-Friendly Resorts on the Big Island
The Big Island’s cultural sites include the sacred Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. The grounds were once the place of refuge for ancient Hawaiian lawbreakers. Resorts here often include lessons on Hawaiian cultures, such as ukulele lessons or learning how to paddle a traditional Hawaiian canoe.
This island is home to Mauna Kea (the tallest mountain in the world) and Akaka State Falls. Splurge on a Hawaii helicopter tour with the kids. Yes, it’s expensive. But it just might be the best thing you do on the Big Island. The Big Island has two airports: Hilo International Airport and Kona International Airport. Consider flying into one and out of the other so you can drive across and explore the entire island.
Here are our favorite resorts on the Big Island of Hawaii.
1 N Kaniku Dr.
Waimea, Hawaii 96743
The Fairmont Orchid is located about a half-hour north of Kona International Airport on the beautiful Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Its oceanfront grounds include a beach with a snorkeling lagoon, waterfalls and Koi ponds. Complimentary cultural activities include a hula lesson, canoe rides, lei making, Hawaiian language lessons to learn to say “Mahalo,” Hawaiian bamboo stamping and coconut frond weaving. Get another taste of Hawaiian culture at the Hawaiiloa Luau.
The Fairmont’s Keiki Aloha kids program is an interactive educational camp, for Keiki (kids) ages 5-12 in spring and on holidays where kids participate in fun activities like cookie decorating and family movie nights.
Water activities at the Fairmont include paddling in a Hawaiian outrigger canoe and stand-up paddleboarding. Those who like to get up close and personal with marine life can also go snorkeling while the beach area consists of a lagoon with calm water. There is also a pool for the guests who would prefer to avoid saltwater.
TravelingMom Liana Moore says she could feel her breathing slow down the minute they arrived at the Fairmont Orchid and took in the sounds of waterfalls, birds chirping, waves crashing and the smell of the flowers and ocean air.
TravelingMom Tip: Book dinner at Brown’s Beach House at 6 p.m. to catch the nightly pū Kani, blowing of the conch horn and lighting of the tiki torches, and the amazing sunset.
72-100 Ka’upulehu Dr.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740
The spirit of Hawaii informs every detail of this luxurious property. And the pampering doesn’t stop with parents. Children are welcomed with a personalized welcome gift and child-sized bathrobes.
Unique experiences at the resort include snorkeling lessons with a marine biologist in the King’s Pond, the resort’s 1.8-million-gallon swimmable aquarium that is stocked with more than 4,000 tropical fish. An elevated swimming pool, lounge deck, and Marine Activity Center complete the King’s Pond.
Golf fans can head to Hualalai Golf Hale. The 3,000-square-foot instruction and practice facility includes state-of-the-art technology, entertainment and unique programming created by the golf professionals at the Hualalai Golf Academy.
TravelingMom Tip: Kids 4 and under eat free.
69-425 Waikōloa Beach Dr.
Waikoloa Village, Hawaii 96738
The mix of pampering, tropical gardens and beautiful vistas at this resort on Hawaii, the Big Island, melts a parent’s stress away while the kids zip down the 175-foot twisting waterslide at the huge Kona Pool, the largest pool on the island. The resort has two towers. The Makai tower is closest to the Kona pool — choose it if your kids will be spending their time on the slides, playing under the waterfall or in the sand-bottom wading pool. Choose the Ocean Tower if you have older kids or are visiting on a romantic trip. The Ocean Tower has a smaller pool, water slide and a lazy river as well as an adults-only pool.
The resort is home to Dolphin Quest, a dolphin experience and marine life research center. The dolphins in the lagoon are at play day and night, putting on an impromptu show when resort guests line up on the dock or at feeding time. If your room faces the lagoon you can watch the dolphins play from your balcony.
TravelingMom Tip: If you visit in the winter, head to Buddha Point near the Hilton’s Ocean Tower for whale watching.
2255 Kalakaua Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Located on the world-famous Waikiki Beach, the 31-story Sheraton Waikiki offers views of Diamond Head and the Pacific Ocean. Many of the recently renovated guest rooms and all of the one- and two-bedroom suites have ocean views and fresh air lanais.
But it’s the two pools that are the big draw here. Named the #1 Best Hotel Pools in the Nation by USA Today 10 Best readers in 2019, the oceanfront Edge Infinity Pool and family-friendly Helumoa Playground pool check all the boxes: waterslides, whirlpools, fountain area, poolside cabanas and food and beverage service.
TravelingMom Tip: Cribs and connecting rooms are available upon request.
69-699 Waikōloa Beach Dr.
Waikoloa Village, Hawaii 96738
The Waikoloa area of the Big Island is on the beautiful Kona Kohala coast just north of the small Kona International Airport. The coast is dotted with luxury resorts with plentiful amenities and pristine beaches with crystal clear waters. The Waikoloa area also offers plenty of dining and shopping options. Kings’ Land by Hilton Grand Vacations is one of a handful of Hilton Grand Vacations Club properties in the area. TravelingMom Liana Moore chose to stay there because of the excellent reviews and spacious suites.
The resort offers family-friendly one-bedroom, two-bedroom suites and three-bedroom suites. All suites have a full kitchen with an oven, stove, refrigerator, coffee maker and more. It was well equipped to make a gourmet meal, or just grab some cereal and coffee in the morning. The dining area is in the kitchen, but Liana and her family often ate out on the large lanai as they watched the sunset over a lovely championship golf course.
The large swimming pool at the main building is marvelous with multiple fun waterslides, a sandy entry area, hot tubs and a water volleyball area. The main pool can be crowded, especially on weekends. Head to the Serenity Pool. It is truly serene but still has multiple waterfall features, plenty of lounge chairs and shade.
TravelingMom Tip: The resort offers shuttle service throughout the resort property, to Queens Market, the King’s Shops and to the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Access to the Hilton Waikoloa pool and beach are included with a stay at Kings’ Land. This is a huge perk to be able to use the massive swimming pool at Hilton Waikoloa and to be able to go snorkeling at the beach.