Hawaii Family Hotels – Tips & Advice
- Honolulu Best Hotel for Families: Moana Surfrider
- Oahu Best Hotel for Families: Turtle Bay Resort
- Maui Best Hotel for Families: Grand Wailea
- Big Island Best Hotel for Families: Hilton Waikoloa Village
- Kauai Best Hotel for Families: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa
- Maui is the most versatile island for families, with white sand beaches, natural wonders, and great food, but it is also one of the most visited, so many attractions will be crowded. Book tours in advance here, especially for large groups.
- Oahu offers a great combination of the big city convenience of Honolulu (plenty of food options for picky eaters, lots of cultural/historical activities) and accessibility to the sleepy surf towns on the North Shore.
- The Big Island is excellent for adventurous families, with its active volcano, manta ray snorkels, lava rock deserts, and huge rainforest. Its large size, though, means lots of time spent driving, and the volcanic fumes are not healthy for infants or pregnant women.
- Kauai is fantastic for a less crowded vacation with gorgeous rainforests and waterfalls. On this island, you’re really getting away from it all: expect fewer conveniences, frequent rain, and spotty cell service on much of the island.
- Plan for a few rainy day activities, just in case. Hurricane season is June through November, and much of the islands are covered in rainforest. Museums, aquariums, cultural centers, and historical sites are excellent options.
- Be sure to pack pants, sweater, and light jacket if you’re venturing away from the beach. Many of Hawaii’s attractions, such as Kilauea Volcano or the Haleakala Crater are at high elevations that run about twenty degrees cooler than the surrounding areas.
The 14 Best Hotels & Resorts in Hawaii for Families
1. Turtle Bay Resort – luxury – Oahu
Hotel phone: 808-674-6200
My favorite family resort in Hawaii. Awesome location among the north coast villages with a private beach and huge pool. There are surf lessons for all ages, a golf course, bike rentals, and snorkeling. The 3-bedroom villas are fantastic, sleep 8, and come with full kitchen and barbecues. Roy’s Beach House has great food, drinks, beer, desserts, and a fun beach-bar vibe. This is a wonderful kid-friendly beach resort for people who don’t really like resorts. (The hotel is the setting for the romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which depicts the layout and vibe fairly accurately. The film is not for kids but the resort is.)
2. Grand Wailea – luxury – Maui
Hotel phone: 808-875-1234
Classical luxury with tropical touches, perfect for families. Each generous room, suite, and villa has a private balcony; connecting rooms are available. The beach fronting the resort is perfect for swimming, standup paddleboarding, snorkeling, and boogie-boarding. There’s an amazing water complex with nine pools connected by a lazy river, four waterslides, a rope swing, and a water elevator – plus complimentary scuba lessons. Their kids camp area is gigantic, with an arcade, mini cinema, kids’ activities year-round, and seasonal programs for teens. A waterfront path runs in front of the hotel and offers scenic walks to several restaurants and beach coves – you can actually walk along the coast all the way into Kihei to the north. (For me, staying on or near this walking path is one of the highlights of a stay in Wailea.) Other kid-friendly hotels that sit directly on this walking path: Four Seasons Resort at Wailea • Fairmont Kea Lani • Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort (All of these are fantastic beachfront luxury hotels.)
3. Four Seasons Hualalai – luxury – Big Island
Hotel phone: 808-325-8000
Spacious, bungalow-style accommodations in several variations with the option of adjoining rooms. King-bed rooms can also fit a rollaway bed, if families prefer to stay together. The resorts littlest guests are offered child-sized amenities, bathrobes, and milk and cookies upon arrival. Their “Kids for All Seasons” activity program runs year-round, with cultural and ocean adventures from sunup to sundown. Grounds feature seven pools, including one stocked with wildlife, a safe way for beginning swimmers to snorkel. The resort sits on a stunning white sand beach with manmade coves and gentle waves.
4. Montage Kapalua Bay – luxury – Maui
Hotel phone: 808-662-6600
An all-suite, beachfront, luxury resort. Suites range from one to four bedrooms, all with full kitchens. The largest are over 4000 square feet and sleep up to twelve, making them perfect for multigenerational families. Their kids club, Paintbox, plans a different theme every day and offers hourly, half day, full day, and evening programs. Their teen program runs three days a week with outdoor excursions in the mornings. The Montage has direct access to Kapalua Bay, a great beach for a variety of water activities. Fun and easy hiking, horseback riding, and ziplining are all nearby. Napili Bay Sunset Beachfront Resort is another wonderful kid-friendly hotel if the Montage is a bit too expensive. It’s on the neighboring bay south of Kapalua. It’s equally great for swimming and water fun and has one-bedroom and two-bedroom beachfront apartments.
5. Westin Resort & Spa – luxury – Maui
Hotel phone: 808-667-2525
This luxury resort on fantastic Kaanapali Beach is fully family and pet-friendly, even providing dog beds on request. Suites all include sofa beds; rooms have the option to adjoin. The resort has a mini water park with five interconnecting pools and a waterslide, plus hot tubs. Their kids’ program runs full day, half day, and night programs, where children can learn Hawaiian dance, crafts, and language, play games, and splash around in the pool. Scuba and surf lessons are available onsite for older kids. One-bedroom king suites comfortably sleep a family of 5.
6. Moana Surfrider (Westin) – luxury – Oahu
Hotel phone: 808-922-3111
A wonderful location right on Waikiki Beach with restaurants and shopping within an easy walk. A slightly cheaper option with a little less of a luxury vibe is the neighboring Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort. If both of these are fully booked (as can easily happen during high season) then the Sheraton Waikiki is another good kid-friendly beach resort. All 3 hotels have swimming pools and 1 or 2-bedroom suites that sleep families of four, five, or six. The photo above shows the Moana, the Outrigger just behind it (though mostly hidden), and then the Sheraton is the large complex at the end of the beach.
7. Mana Kai Maui – midrange – Maui
Hotel phone: 808-879-1561
Awesome location on Keawakapu Beach in Wailea. Nice beachfront pool and great sand and swimming. You can walk straight out of the hotel and along the beach to get to the trendy Wailea area to the south (eventually joining a separate beachfront walking path that winds through several hotels and beaches). Kihei itself is lowkey and friendly with a surfer vibe and several grocery stores. Shops, restaurants, and more beaches are a short walk or bike ride to the north. One-bedroom apartments sleep family of 4 or 5, two-bedroom apartments sleep family of 6 or 7. All apartments have full kitchens.
8. Grand Hyatt Resort & Spa – luxury – Kauai
Hotel phone: 808-742-1234
This sprawling oceanfront resort is exceptionally kid-friendly. All one-bedroom suites can connect with king studio rooms, and rollaways are available. The property includes freshwater pools with a waterslide and grottos. Their saltwater lagoon is ideal for scuba lessons, kayaking, or swimming, and has direct access to Po’ipu Beach and Shipwreck’s Beach. The resort’s kids’ program tailors activities to suit each particular group of children, whether arts and crafts, learning about animals, or cultural activities is preferred. Kids can hold a parrot during the Grand Hyatt’s complimentary “parrot talk” series, and the resort partners with the local humane society, allowing guests to borrow dogs for a day-long outing.
9. Hilton Waikoloa Village – luxury – Big Island
Hotel phone: 1-808-886-1234
Family-friendly, luxury resort with a busy vibe. With three waterfall-enhanced swimming pools, giant waterslide, and lazy river, this spacious beachfront hotel is ideal for water-lovers of all types. The property’s four acre ocean-fed lagoon has its own private beach, shielded from waves and safe for beginning swimmers. Several dolphins live onsite, and guests are offered interactive swims with them – older kids may even shadow a dolphin trainer for a week. Boats and trams transport guest through the resort, which is a fun and unique way to get around. The Palace Family Suites are roomy and comfortable.
10. Kaanapali Beach Hotel – midrange – Maui
Hotel phone: 808-661-0011
Billing itself as Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel, Kaanapali Beach Hotel is a family-friendly stay that emphasizes Hawaiian culture. They extend their cultural presence all the way to the water, by hiring beach alokai (leaders) who have extensive knowledge of all aspects of the water (culture, history, environment, and safety). In the evenings, they offer a magic show, reenacting classic illusions from six famous magicians who visited Hawaii in their heydays. Complimentary sunset hula shows, ukulele lessons, lauhala weaving, hula lessons, and cultural garden walks are all featured here. All rooms here can connect, and up to three can be joined together. Kids love their whale-shaped pool, and parents love that their property has no blind spots, so kids can run free.
11. Aulani – luxury – Oahu
Hotel phone: 808-674-6200
This family-centric Disney resort offers luxurious, Hawaiian-themed rooms, suites, and villas; some with kid-sized Murphy beds built into the TV stands. The main attraction here is the extravagant pool area with two waterslides, lazy river, aquatic playground, and private snorkeling lagoon. Little ones love the Disney character breakfasts and complimentary kids club activities. This beachfront property also features great restaurants and bars.
12. Hilton Garden Inn – midrange – Kauai
Hotel phone: 808-823-6000
Great waterfront location on Wailua Bay. This hotel has direct access to the ocean and is adjacent to Wailua river. Suites and connecting rooms are available here, but for families, cottages are the best option. These units offer more privacy and open directly to Lydgate Beach Park, which has a lava rock wall protected area for beginning swimmers, a bike path, and an enormous wooden playground. Older kids may enjoy kayaking up the river to Fern Grotto and swimming under Secret Falls.
13. Coconut Waikiki Hotel – midrange – Oahu
Hotel phone: 808-219-0728
Family-friendly boutique hotel overlooking the Ala Wai Canal in a quieter part of Waikiki. Rooms and suites are available, with the largest sleeping up to six. All rooms include kitchenettes; barbecue grills are available near the heated outdoor pool. Continental breakfast is complimentary and includes a visit from their mascot, Bosley the Gorilla. Every Friday evening they have live music and a traditional plate lunch dinner. Special “Kids Rule!” package is available in spring and summer, where kids create their own vacation package. Great neighborhood, only three blocks from Waikiki Beach and three blocks from Luxury Row.
14. Maui Seaside Hotel – budget – Maui
Hotel phone: 808-877-3311
Family-owned, beachfront hotel, central to all Maui attractions and the airport. The exterior needs a refresh, but the rooms and lobby are bright, cheery, and clean. Most rooms have two double beds; accommodations are basic. Incredibly friendly and welcoming staff with true aloha spirit. The oceanfront pool is surrounded by grassy lawn. The beach itself is fine white sand and swimmable, even for beginners. Complimentary breakfast in the adjacent restaurant. For groups of four or more, bookings must be made by phone, not through the online booking system.
Family Apartments & Villas in Hawaii
Recommended apartment rentals for families in Hawaii. All units have kitchens and swimming pools. Most have washer/dryer, free parking, and free-wifi.
- Aston Waikiki Beach Tower – Honolulu, Oahu
1-bedroom suites sleep family of four, 2-bedroom suites sleep family of six. Fantastic location near beach restaurants and shopping.
- Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites – Waikiki, Oahu
2-bedroom suites have full kitchens, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. (This is where we stayed on our most-recent visit.)
- Mana Kai Maui – Kihei, Maui
1 and 2-bedroom suites for families of four. Great location right on the beach and on the border of Kihei and Wailea (you can walk to both). I love this place. One of our favorites.
- Aston Kaanapali Shores – Lahaina, Maui
1 and 2-bedroom suites sleep family of five.
- Kapalua Villas – Kapalua, Maui
1-bedroom villas have double and sofa bed and sleep family of four.
- Kings’ Land by Hilton Grand Vacations Club – Waikoloa, Maui
1-bedroom suites sleep family of four, 3-bedroom suites sleep 8.
- Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club – Kapolei, Oahu
1-bedroom suites sleep family of four, 2-bedrooms sleep six. 3-bedroom villas are huge.
- Banyan Harbor – Lihue, Kauai
1-bedroom suites sleep family of four, 2-bedroom suites sleep family of six.
- Castle Kauai Kailani – Kapaa, Kauai
1-bedroom apartments have a double bed and sofa bed and sleep family of four. 2-bedrooms sleep family of six.
- Aston Kona By The Sea – Kailua-Kona, Big Island
1-bedroom suites sleep family of four, 2-bedroom suites sleep family of six.
- Where to Stay on the Big Island
- Where to Stay on Kauai
- Where to Stay on Maui
- Where to Stay on Oahu
- Where to Stay in Honolulu