Best family and kid-friendly hotels in Hawaii

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When you’re looking for a great Hawaii hotel for the family vacation, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the choices. In general you can’t make a bad decision as most Hawaii hotels make great vacation bases whether you are looking for a romantic trip for two or a family fun vacation.

When planning a family beach vacation, we think one of the most important aspects to consider is to find a Hawaii hotel that offers safe and fun water sports. In this list, we’ve put an emphasis on hotels situated beside sheltered-ocean spots for swimming and/or have outstanding pools.

So there are a lot of great family-friendly Hawaii hotels, but the following hotels are the best of the best, in our opinion.

Oahu 

Aulani Disney Resort & Spa

Where: Oahu’s Ko Olina Resort is an outstanding resort for families.

Reasons families like it:

  • The resort offers an amazing waterpark that’s fun for kids of all ages.
  • Aulani was built by one of the sheltered Ko Olina lagoons which is much safer for kids to splash around in the ocean.
  • The resort operates a complimentary kid’s club plus activities for teens.
  • There’s a mix of rooms and villas at the resort. The villas have full kitchen’s and a washer and dryer.
  • They offer an onsite hula show.

Reviews: See our Aulani review and reviews from TripAdvisor

Nightly rates can be on the pricey side, however it’s worth noting that this resort offers many complementary amenities that are not provided in other resorts. Also this resort hasn’t charged a resort fee since opening. That’s subject to change, but if they continue that practice, it can save a lot of money.

Hilton Hawaiian Village

Where: Waikiki

Reasons families like it:

Reviews: See our review of Hilton Hawaiian Village and reviews from TripAdvisor

Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina

Where: Oahu’s Ko Olina Resort is an outstanding resort for families.

Reasons families like it:

  • Four Seasons Oahu is situated on one of the sheltered Ko Olina lagoons which is much safer for kids to splash around in the ocean.
  • This resort has a designated pool for children. It’s called the Keiki Pool.

Reviews: See our review of Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina as well as reviews from TripAdvisor

This resort is one of Oahu’s most luxurious, so nightly rates are much higher than average.

A sheltered lagoon at the beach front of Aulani Disney Resort at Ko Olina, Oahu

Kauai

The Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort Lihue

Where: Kauai’s east coast near Lihue airport.

Reasons families like it:

  • Located on sheltered Kalapaki Beach
  • One of the largest resort pools in all of Hawaii
  • Located on the east side of Kauai making it convenient for sightseeing around the island.

Reviews: For up-to-date reviews, see this TripAdvisor link. This resort is formerly the Kauai Marriott. When we stayed there, it was a Marriott property, so our review is somewhat outdated, however the “bones” of the resort and location remain the same. See our review of Kauai Marriott.

Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay

Where: Kauai’s east coast near Kapa’a and within short walking distance of Lydgate Park

Reasons families like it:

  • Located within a short-walking distance of Lydgate Park for sheltered swimming
  • Budget friendly

Reviews: See this link to TripAdvisor

Other noteworthy Kauai hotels/locations

– Hotels and vacation rentals in the Poipu area are worth considering because of the sheltered kiddie beach at Poipu Beach Park.

Hawaii, the Big Island

Hilton Waikoloa Village 

Where: Located on the luxurious Kohala Coast.

Reasons families like it:

  • This resort has many fun pools and one with a large waterslide.
  • The resort has a sheltered lagoon that’s fun for waters sports, snorkeling and seeing sea turtles.
  • Waikoloa makes a great base for a Hawaii Island vacation with several restaurant and shopping options plus free entertainment.
  • Dolphin Quest is located onsite where you can view and swim with dolphins.
  • They have a kid’s club available for a fee.
  • They have an onsite luau.

Reviews: See our review of Hilton Waikoloa Village and read reviews from TripAdvisor.

Fairmont Orchid

Where: Located on the luxurious Kohala Coast

Reasons families like it:

  • This resort has a sheltered swimming area.
  • Honu (sea turtles) often come to the shoreline to rest.
  • The hotel is within the in the Mauna Lani Resort where there are ocean activities, shops, restaurants and a small grocery store.
  • On-site luau

Reviews: See our review of Fairmont Orchid and read reviews from Tripadvisor.

Maui 

Grand Wailea

Where: in sunny Wailea on South Maui.

Reasons families like it:

  • The resort has very fun pools plus waterslides and a water elevator.
  • There’s an onsite luau.
  • The resort offers fun activities for kids and teens for a fee. See this link for more information.

Please note that there isn’t a sheltered location for ocean swimming at the beach fronting Grand Wailea. So check conditions before allowing kids to play in the ocean.

Reviews: See our Grand Wailea review and read reviews from TripAdvisor.

Other noteworthy Maui hotels/locations

– Honua Kai is an upscale condominium-style resort with full-sized gourmet kitchens and washer and dryers which families love. They have several pools including a fun pool with a waterslide. See our review of Honua Kai and more reviews from TripAdvisor. Please note that there isn’t a sheltered ocean swimming spot. So check conditions before allowing kids to play in the ocean.

What other family-friendly Hawaii hotels do you recommend?

2 comments
  1. We really liked the warm welcome given to our kids at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel. When they were younger, they received a welcome pack of beach toys, water bottle and activity books. I’m not sure if they still do the welcome pack, but the atmosphere was still very family-friendly on our second visit a few weeks ago. There’s no kid’s club, but the location right across from the beach means little legs don’t have to go very far to play in the waves! Tiki’s restuarant on site has a great kid’s menu, too. A definite reccommend!

    1. Mahalo Christine for adding your recommendation. I did consider listing the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel and the Marriott Waikiki, which is next door, because of the sheltered swimming that’s across Kalakaua Ave.

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