Oyster journalists visited the best hotels on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai islands. We slept in the beds, lounged on the beaches, ate in the restaurant, and hula danced. Here is a list of our favorite kid-friendly hotels. These places present solid value, but particularly budget-conscious families could also check out our list of the best value hotels in Hawaii.
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
At this magnificent property in the Ko Olina complex, the service is excellent, the food is delicious, and the kids always come first. The pool area is beautiful, it has a lazy river, two slides, and an artificial reef, and the coved-in lagoon offers calm waters. So it should come as no surprise that Disney delivers when it comes to family fun. Classic movie characters roam the grounds, posing for photos with children of all ages, decked out in aloha shirts for that extra island flair. Dance parties in the pool happen daily. Keiki (kids) menus are available at each restaurant, either sit-down or quick-serve. The spa offers treatments for everyone in the family (even small children), or the whole family can enjoy a treatment together in the ‘Ohana Suite. The rooms are also incredibly family-friendly, with spacious layouts and mini-fridges in each room.
Located away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki in quiet Ko Olina
Beautiful beach with cove, perfect for swimming
Impressive pool system, with two water slides, a lazy river, and an artificial reef for snorkeling
Rooms are charming, with flat-screen TVs, spacious bathrooms, and tasteful Hawaiian decor.
Fun, family-friendly activities and services like character breakfasts.
A spa and gym offer extraordinary treatments and equipment
The most prestigious Ko Olina golf course and private marina are located within the complex
Not much activity or entertainment to be found nearby
A 40-minute drive from Waikiki
This beautiful property in the Ko Olina resort meets all the Disney basics but in a much more subtle way than destinations on the mainland. The service is excellent, the food is delicious, and the children always come first. The pool area is beautiful, it has a lazy river, two water slides, and an artificial reef, and the concave lagoon offers calm waters. The room decor is cheerful and bright, with a few touches of both the mouse that made Disney famous and the rich culture of Hawaii. Overall the resort is one of the best on Oahu for families, but those looking for more nightlife should stay somewhere closer to Waikiki.
Grand Wailea – A Waldorf Astoria Resort
The Grand Wailea Resort may be the most kid-friendly resort on Maui; Its biggest selling point has to be the one-of-a-kind pool set with some pretty impressive features: a lazy river pool, four slides, a rope swing, and a water lift in the center of a faux volcano. The resort also has one of the best kids’ camps. Camp Grande is a 20,000-square-foot facility with a video game room, ping-pong and foosball tables, a PlayStation room, a mini movie theater, and an activity room for kids 5-12 (seasonal activities available for teens). If that’s not enough to keep your child busy, the beach has excellent waves for body-surfing and calmer areas for snorkeling. Even the rooms are geared toward families: Standard Rooms are huge, and connecting rooms are available. There are also children’s options on the restaurant’s menus.
Massive complex with direct access to the beautiful Wailea beach
Two huge pools with the best waterslides and activities on Maui
Upscale rooms with spacious bathrooms and open-air balconies
Four restaurants, two bars, a cafeteria, and room service
The largest spa in Hawaii (50,000 square feet) and one of the best on Maui
A modern fitness center with daily group exercise classes
Kids’ club, teens’ club, and a family game room
Grand Luau is held on-site, plus tours through the hotel’s art collection
On-site wedding chapel, along with 22 banquet, meeting, and boardrooms
Accessible to other hotels and restaurants via Wailea Beach path
The Napua Club Tower offers a private lounge and personal concierge service
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Hefty daily resort fees, parking fees, and “extras” charges
While the resort is grand, it’s not necessarily luxurious
The massive size of the property (and the crowds) can be overwhelming
Couples may find an alternative too family-oriented
The Wailea Grand Wailea resort is packed with amenities and extras – the Waldorf Astoria Resort is an exclusive destination. With 780 rooms, two enormous pools, four restaurants, and a 50,000-square-foot spa, the Grand Wailea wows with its grandiose scale. The property attracts all types of travelers, from families with children to honeymooners to corporate and travel bloggers, so that guests can expect non-stop crowds any time of year. However, while the resort is undoubtedly upscale, it could be more luxurious than its neighbors, the Four Seasons and the Fairmont. In addition, fees for mandatory valet parking, access to the kids’ club, and “resort amenities” are adding to already expensive fees.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
Guests never run out of things to do at the Hyatt Regency, which can feel like a zoo, water park, mall, and food court wrapped up in one (crowds included), making it the perfect place to bring your children on vacation. With on-site flamingos, cranes, parrots, and penguins, great beach activities like kayaking, snorkeling, windsurfing lessons, and various Hawaiian-themed activities, kids are never bored. And, like many other complexes on our list, the pool complex is impressive. In addition, there is a children’s area, rope bridge, and 150-foot slide. Most hotel restaurants offer children’s options, and extra beds can be provided in the large standard rooms.
Convenient and scenic location on the beach in Kaanapali
Comfortable rooms and suites with lanais and beautiful ocean views
Huge kiddie pool complex with a 150-foot waterslide and rope suspension bridge
Two freeform pools with waterfalls and a grotto bar
Oceanfront Marilyn Monroe Kamaha’o Spa and Fitness Center
Five restaurants for a wide variety of good food, from sushi to a cafeteria
Free transportation anywhere in Kaanapali
An accents gift shop sells snacks and beach gear
Entertainment includes luaus, lei-making classes, and hula demonstrations.
Long lines for most services and restaurants
Narrow beach with limited lounge space
Resort fee per day plus breakfast and parking fees
No adult-only pool area
Noise complaints from nearby construction
Some partial ocean views include parking
One of Kaanapali Beach’s top resorts, the four-pearl Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa has an endless list of amenities — restaurants, a vast pool complex, modern rooms, and nightly luaus –. Still, there are big crowds, extra parking and resort fees, and construction noise. Overall, the Hyatt Regency’s massive grounds and friendly but impersonal service are similar to its Kaanapali competitors like the Westin Maui. The big difference? While they’re technically located on the same great four-mile stretch of Kaanapali Beach, the Hyatt faces a much narrower margin and is less convenient for swimming.
The Sheraton Waikiki is the place to be if you are an avid people watcher. Hawaii’s second-largest hotel (with a staggering 1,636 rooms!) means huge crowds but amenities a gallon. Even better, kids 17 and under stay free; However, extra beds are expensive. If you can get over the incredibly crowded pool (get there before 7 am for a spot), the pool complex is impressive, with two connecting pools, fountains, a jacuzzi, and a waterslide. Kids can also sign up for the kids’ camp, where they make leis and go to an aquarium, among other activities. Do you have a picky eater? Don’t worry; the Sheraton has some of the best kid-friendly options of any Hawaiian hotel.
Elevated beach property with spectacular ocean views
Central Waikiki location near numerous attractions
Restaurants specialize in locally grown food
Rum Fire Bar, with ocean views and classic rum, is a popular local spot
Two large freshwater pools and a 70-foot (21-meter) waterslide
Adults-only “endless” pool with a breathtaking view of Waikiki Bay
Huge lobby full of shops
Brimming with local activities and events
A crowded atmosphere can feel like being in a mall
Crowds can generate party noise in the evenings
Daily fee for standard services
A high-end beachfront hotel’s features can be found here, including multiple restaurants, stunning ocean views, and activities for the whole family. What makes the Sheraton Waikiki stand out is its size; It’s got plenty going on, from shopping to nightlife packed with Honolulu guests and locals alike. The location, amenities, and views are hard to beat but come at the expense of crowds that can sometimes be overwhelming. Service is generally good, but with over 1,600 rooms and so many guests, it’s only sometimes on time. Those looking for a more relaxed stay might find it at the similar Outrigger Reef on Waikiki Beach, a slightly cheaper alternative on the same stretch of sand.
Kaua’i Marriott Resort
The Marriott Kauai is a paradise beach haven. With the best beach on Kauai, kids are never bored with body surfing, scuba diving, taking surf lessons, or just playing in the waves. And that’s not the only reason it’s an excellent hotel for families: it also has the largest single-level pool (26,000 square feet!) in Hawaii, with five Jacuzzis and waterfalls. The Marriott also makes it easy to stay with your children; The standard room can sleep up to four people, rollaway beds, cribs, and high chairs are free, and Marriott’s Activity Zone Activity offers age-appropriate kids’ activities.
In a safe, sheltered bay that’s good for swimming and surfing
One of the largest pools in Hawaii, plus five whirlpools
Spacious rooms with lovely decor, plus balconies and giant flat-screen TVs
Beautiful gardens with museum-quality statuary
18-hole golf course and six tennis courts on the resort grounds
Stylish, larger-than-average rooms with balconies or terraces
Five restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, including the island-favorite Duke’s
Well-equipped 24-hour gym and free classes
Full-service spa and salon
Water sports rentals and classes, and cultural events
Free 24-hour airport shuttle service
Beach subject to runoff and pollution in rainy weather
Sprawling grounds can be daunting for those with limited mobility
Busy location not as secluded or romantic as pricier Hyatt or St. Regis resorts
There is no babysitting service or daily supervised program for children’s activities
The 356-room Kauai Marriott Resort is excellent in its own right. It has beautiful oceanfront gardens, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, and one of the largest pools in Hawaii. Rooms are sharp and spacious, with an understated business style, plus balconies, flat-screen TVs, and coffeemakers. With five restaurants and a full spectrum of water sports and other activities, this spot works well for families and couples looking for romance. In addition, several huge ballrooms make it popular for events and business meetings. Rooms here aren’t cheap, but guests get their money’s worth, and it’s more affordable than the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort, where rooms are pretty dated.
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
This hotel breaks the mold of the typical, crowded, noisy, and boisterous hotel for children. So come for a relaxing getaway. Your kids will love it too. While parents enjoy the hotel’s adult services, kids can join the kids’ club for free, head to the game room for video games, ping-pong and pool, golf, or play basketball, tennis, or croquet, and swim in one of the resort’s three pools. It is also located on one of the best beaches (even the groom’s sand), which is ideal for body boarding, paddle boarding, Hobie Cat sailing, and scuba diving. Even better, kids under five eat free at two of the resort’s restaurants, and all restaurants offer kids’ menus in addition to room service. A welcome kids’ program includes free cots, high chairs, toiletries, and bathrobes, and a room can be child-proofed in advance on request.
Superb beachfront location with prime access to famous Wailea Beach
Impeccably decorated rooms with Nespresso machines and private balconies
Three pools with three different atmospheres, including a private area for adults only
Three restaurants, 24-hour room service, and a lobby lounge; Wolfgang Puck’s Spago is a highlight
Beautiful spa and an indoor/outdoor gym with top-of-the-line equipment
Two sand-filled synthetic grass Nova’Pro tennis courts with lights for nighttime play
Kids for All Seasons Kids Club and a large family game room
Immaculate grounds, with sculpture gardens and fountains
Accessible to other hotels and restaurants via Wailea Beach path
Free Wi-Fi, pool cabanas, Wailea car service, snorkel gear (and no resort fee)
Club Floor rooms offer a private lounge with complimentary breakfast, snacks, and drinks
Couples may find the resort a bit too family-friendly
The outdoor gym won’t appeal to everyone
Breakfast and parking charges
Guest rooms at the back of the hotel do not have sea views.
The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea established itself as one of Hawaii’s top luxury resorts when it opened its beachfront doors in 1990. Today, after a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2016, the 383-room beachfront stunner still maintains its elite status and does not charge a resort fee. The renovated rooms are spacious and superbly appointed, with marble bathrooms and deluxe amenities. Three restaurants offer varied dining options, and Wolfgang Puck’s acclaimed Spago is one of Maui’s best restaurants. Families and couples are catered to with two family pools, a game room, free kids’ club, an adults-only oasis pool, and a world-class spa. However, some couples may find the hotel too familiar. Travelers looking for a more modern, adult-focused property may prefer the Andaz Maui over the Wailea Hotel.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
Hawaii’s most prominent resort is a true four-pearl village with five room towers, 20 bars and restaurants, 90 shops, five pools, direct beach access, and a separate lagoon. Everything from surf lessons to a traditional luau to a kids’ club is offered here, and the garden includes exotic animals. For families looking for an independent resort with plenty to do, the Hilton Hawaiian Village is a top choice.
On a long, sandy beach a five-minute drive from downtown Waikiki
Spacious rooms with balconies, mini-fridges, and flat-screen TVs
Many rooms have fabulous sea views
Calm waters in the lagoon for stand-up paddle boarding
Five outdoor pools, including one with a giant slide
The 18 restaurants and bars offer Italian, Seafood, and Starbucks options.
Weekly fireworks display and a popular luau with buffet dinners.
Large, relaxing spa with an outdoor pool and extensive gym
The daily activity program includes yoga, hula dancing, and ukulele classes.
Kids’ club offers age-appropriate activities and off-site excursions (fee)
Lots of shops on site, from clothing to instruments and accessories.
Ample indoor and outdoor meeting spaces, including weddings
Daily resort fee (includes Wi-Fi, loaner DVD, PS3, and some activities)
Some rooms are showing wear
Fees for non-motorized water sports and beach chairs and umbrellas.
Crowded with guests, with lines for everything
Fee for the use of the kids’ club.
High fee for valet parking and parking
The largest resort in Hawaii, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, is a true luxury village with five towers, 18 bars and restaurants, dozens of shops, five pools, direct beach access, and a separate lagoon. Everything from surf lessons to a traditional luau to a kids’ club (for a fee) is offered here, and the garden grounds resemble a tropical mini-zoo, complete with exotic animals and lush greenery. The 3,386 rooms have solid amenities like mini-fridges, signature Hilton mattresses, and coffeemakers, but they range from contemporary to somewhat bland and dated, depending on the tower. The Ali’i Tower is the most exclusive section, with a private pool and concierge. The property is fun for families who want a stand-alone resort with plenty to do, but extra fees can add up, and the hotel can feel crowded. Travelers seeking a quieter spot may prefer the Hilton Waikiki Beach.
Honua Kai Resort & Spa
Honua Kai Resort & Spa combines hotel services into an exclusive condominium complex. Rooms are huge, with modern full kitchens and private lanais, though not all have the best ocean views. The expansive oceanfront grounds have multiple pools, water slides, and hot tubs.
Large apartments have full kitchens and private balconies
Great location on Kaanapali North Beach
Water sports and excellent diving
Outdoor aquatic space with several pools, slides, and jacuzzis
Ho’ola Spa for organic treatments and Himalayan salt room
Restaurants and cafes use locally sourced ingredients
Bars with outdoor terraces
24-hour fitness center
Wi-Fi (covered in resort fee)
Accommodation fee (includes Wi-Fi connection and valet parking); high global prices
Decor and cleanliness may vary between condos
Pools get noisy and overcrowded with children
Honua Kai Resort & Spa, made up of individually owned units, combines hotel services into a luxury condominium complex. Rooms are huge, with modern full kitchens and private lanais, though not all have the best ocean views, and different owners offer different decor and amenities. The expansive oceanfront grounds have multiple connecting pools and hot tubs that can get crowded with kids taking advantage of the waterslide. Couples may find solace in the adult-only pool, but the laid-back atmosphere may be lacking. Eco-conscious travelers will likely appreciate the restaurant and cafe’s focus on local produce — even the spa features an organic Hawaiian line of products whose ingredients are sourced from the islands. The high prices and daily rate might trigger a bit of a price shock, but as Maui family destinations go, this one comes highly recommended.
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
Situated on the famous Kaanapali Beach overlooking historic Black Rock, the Sheraton Maui’s location can’t be beaten. And this exclusive mega-resort makes the most of its prime real estate, offering ocean views from most of its 508 elegant, contemporary rooms. Spanning 23 hectares, this sprawling resort has many features, including a lovely spa, modern gym, five restaurants, and a large lagoon pool and lazy river. The snorkeling from the end of the beach is some of the best on Maui – and it’s no secret, as this area is often crowded, especially in high season. The resort is very kid-friendly and popular with families with plenty of activities (tennis, ping-pong, the giant Connect Four, putting green, ukulele, or hula lessons).
Located on the fantastic beach of Kaanapali
Great snorkeling straight from the shore
Large, lazy river pool with plenty of lounge chairs
of contemporary rooms
Rooms have comfortable terraces, many with great views of the ocean and beach
Five restaurants, with food ranging from fine dining options to creative hot dogs
Lovely spa and a clean, modern fitness center
dining options, nightlife, and shopping within a short distance
free shuttle to Lahaina
Busy beach and pool areas, often noisy
extensive property; it may take time to walk to some rooms
Located on the famous Kaanapali Beach overlooking the Black Rock landmark, the Sheraton Maui’s location can’t be beaten. And this exclusive mega-resort makes the most of its prime property, with ocean views from most of its 508 elegant, contemporary rooms. Spanning 23 acres, the resort has a full range of features, including a lovely spa, modern fitness center, five restaurants, and a large lagoon pool and lazy river. The snorkeling from the end of the beach is some of the best on Maui – and it’s no secret, as this area is often crowded, especially in the high season. Starwood fans may want to compare rates with the Westin Maui, which has an awe-inspiring pool complex.
Ho’olei at Grand Wailea
The Ho’olei at Grand Wailea offers luxury apartments on a beautiful, relaxed property connected to the Grand Wailea, one of Maui’s most impressive mega-resorts. In immense villas that average 3,500 square meters, families will find all the comforts of a luxury home, including a kitchen and cooktop. While the property has its pool area with waterfalls and two hot tubs, guests can access Grand Wailea Resort’s main elaborate maze of nine pools and slides, a massive fitness center, and other activities.
Beautifully decorated luxury villas include a garage and elevator
The expansive villas have sliding walls to create an indoor/outdoor living space
Large, modern kitchens and outdoor grills
The master bedroom has a soaking tub and a private terrace
Beautiful pool area with waterfalls and two jacuzzis
Excellent gym and poolside massage gazebo
Full access to all nine pools, slides, and activities at the Grand Wailea resort
Free shuttle service from the condo to the amenities
Free Wi-Fi and parking
It is not a beachfront property; limited sea views
A 10-minute walk from the beach (a shuttle is available)
Amenities at the Grand Wailea Resort can be loud and crowded
The Ho’olei at Grand Wailea offers luxury condominiums on a beautiful, laid-back property connected to Grand Wailea, one of Maui’s most impressive mega-resorts. In massive villas averaging 3,500 square feet, families will find all the comforts of a luxury home, including a fitted kitchen, walk-in closets, a spacious lanai, a garage, and an elevator. While the property has its own pool and fitness room, guests can access the complex maze of pools and slides, a huge gym, and other activities. It is perfect for visitors who want all the features of the Grand Wailea but with a quieter atmosphere and more spacious accommodations.