Maui is an island playground for families: there are plenty of things to do in Maui with kids to easily fill every day of the week without any repeats, whether your kids want to explore natural wonders at the top of Haleakala or see what’s swimming below the vitrine waters of the Pacific Ocean. The best family resorts in Maui happily say aloha to keiki (children) with everything from free meals to water slides to hula lessons to babysitting (because parents should be able to fully enjoy their tropical island vacation, too). Here are some of the best hotels in Maui for families.
Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa
What’s better than a beachfront resort with nine sparkling pools, a spa, and multiple kids’ clubs and hang out areas (including one just for teens)? How about the most elaborate water park on Maui?
With myriad water slides, whitewater rapids, caves, a lazy river pool, rope swings, and a “water elevator” inside a man-made volcano, your kids will be anything but bored. All that plus a range of kid-friendly restaurants and large, swanky rooms make the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa an easy pick for a kid-pleasing resort on Maui’s southern coast.
Fairmont Kea Lani
On a secluded stretch of Wailea Beach, the Fairmont Kea Lani offers plenty of elbowroom, whether it’s on the expansive golden sand, the ocean-sized pools, or in the rooms, which are all family-friendly suites (a rarity in a luxury hotel).
The plush accommodations have pull out couches in a separate living room plus small kitchenettes with microwaves and fridges, so you can make quick breakfasts or have snacks for hungry kids that they can enjoy on your private lanai. The Keiki Lani Club offers up a mix of outdoor activities and indoor creative time for kids 5 to 12.
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa sits on 23 oceanfront acres at iconic Puu Kekaa (Black Rock) on Kaanapali Beach, known for its epic snorkeling and nightly sunset cliff diving celebration. The historic resort was the first to open in Kaanapali and celebrated its 55th anniversary last year with a $26.5 million renovation that included new Ohana (Family) Suites that include deluxe pull-down wall beds in addition to two double beds, so there’s plenty of space for the whole family.
Unique kids activities here include beachside tropical s’mores, the Shaka Shack for free ukulele lessons and lenders, and Maui Ocean Center’s Hawaiian Marine Life Hale, where marine naturalists provide insights into sea life and lead ocean-centric crafts for kids. Check out the various pools interconnected by lava-rock waterways, or take a ride on a lazy river or a waterslide; a shallow children’s area provides the perfect place for kiddos to splash around.
Kaanapali Beach Hotel
A prime location doesn’t have to come with a prime price tag if you stay at this classic property, which bills itself as the “best deal” on Maui, skipping the resort fee and including a wide range of authentic cultural classes and experiences gratis. The Kaanapali Beach Hotel, one of the most affordable hotels in Maui provides an oceans worth of freebies for families, including complimentary meals for kids 5 and under and an Aloha Passport for kids that grants them snacks and prizes around the property just for trying out fun diversions like printmaking and pineapple tastings.
There’s a small whale-shaped pool, but the prime location mid-Kaanapali Beach is the prize here with a location next door to Whaler’s Village shopping plaza with restaurants and shopping (including ice cream and pizza) at your fingertips.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
On the north shore of Maui known for its cooling breezes and white-sand beach, the The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua welcomes kids as soon as they walk in the door with a special check-in area and gifts.
The hotel also has one of the best family programs on the island, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment, which introduces families with kids 5 and up to the natural wonders and cultural traditions of Hawaii, including seasonal whale watching experiences, underwater photography, Cities Under the Seas snorkeling, coastal and rainforest hikes, and tide pool explorations. Big kids will probably surf straight to Burger Shack, and little ones 5 and under eat for free at the Ulana buffet with an adult.
Hyatt Regency Maui
Here’s a surprise you probably weren’t expecting at a Maui hotel: Penguins. That is, penguins from South Africa who love the sand and sea almost as much as your kids. They have a home here at the Hyatt Regency Maui, as do cotton-candy-hued flamingos, chatty macaws and parrots, and more subdued mallards and swans. In fact, you can take a wildlife tour worthy of many zoos without leaving the hotel if you stay here — a definite kid bonus.
There’s also Camp Hyatt for kids 5 to 12 and family activities to try out together, like lei making, weaving and hula. The 40-acre property not only has six pools to swim through, but also an outpost of frozen favorite Ululani’s Shave Ice. All rooms here are oceanfront and have private lanais, so you can watch the waves even after the kids hit the hay.
Montage Kapalua Bay
Located beachfront on the gentle shores of Kapalua Bay, the Montage Kapalua Bay feels like you’re staying at the upscale home of a friend with perfect taste, not to mention plenty of extra room for you and your Ohana to spread out. All accommodations are fully furnished residential-style suites with kitchens so large that the Montage actually offers Hawaiian family cooking classes (featuring poke, yum!) right in your own room.
In addition to cultural Hawaiian experiences with the hotel’s on-site cultural ambassador, kids 5 to 12 can enroll in creative camps at the Paintbox children’s program, while teens can check out the active group adventures (golf, snorkeling, tennis, hiking) at M-Teens.
The Westin Nanea
Located on quiet north Kaanapali Beach, this new 16-acre resort complex offers sleek modern apartment-style accommodations right on the beach and boardwalk. There’s a real sense of Hawaiiana at The Westin Nanea, from the open lobby filled with local art highlighting island culture to the Puuhonua o Nanea Cultural Center, where families can try out lei making and other Maui-centric crafts (there’s also a drop-off kids club for ages 5 to 12).
The multi-bedroom suites at this Maui beach resort are perfect for parents who want the kids to have a room to themselves, and in-room amenities, including a full-size, fully outfitted kitchen and washer and dryer, take a lot of the stress out of trying to keep up with your kids’ needs on vacation. Outside, the multi-tiered, lagoon-style pool has an interactive splash pad and a zero-entry beach play area that is perfect kids.
Follow the twisting turns of the famed Road to Hana to Travaasa Hana, the only hotel in the sleepy town of Hana. The property spills across large grass lawns straight down to the sea, and all the rooms are individual cottages (the waterside bungalows are especially impressive with lanais that stretch straight to the ocean).
There’s no kids club, but the resort offers a range of activities that make the most of its pristine setting, including pole and net fishing lessons and horseback riding. Skip the meal plan here in favor of the tasty and inexpensive food trucks that call Hana home — serving up everything from fish tacos to pizza to authentic Thai — and be sure to hit Coconut Glen’s on the way into town for an array of frozen coconut milk treats.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai
Half the fun of the remote Four Seasons Resort Lanai is getting there, since Lanai is part of Maui Nui, or the outer islands of Maui. First stop is a wind-in-your-hair catamaran trip from Lahaina harbor for a 45-minute sail filled with dolphin and whale sightings. The hotel itself is an oasis of lush tropical flowers, trickling waterfalls, and even the occasional chatting macaw. The beach is one of the best in Hawaii and often attracts frolicking dolphins; and the resort offers a number of adventurous ways to explore the secluded island including horseback rides, muddy UTV adventures, or sailing excursions to snorkel or watch the sunset behind the island’s iconic cliffs.
Spacious rooms come with high tech, in-room surprises (the hotel is owned by Oracle’s Larry Ellison) like bedside iPads that know your name, and a complimentary Kids For All Seasons Program for children ages 5-12 offers fun activities like exploring the tide pools and art classes.