What’s your idea of a dream family vacation to Hawaii? Kid-friendly activities, Polynesian arts and crafts, elaborate luaus, epic pools? Whatever you’re seeking, these resorts on the four major Hawaiian Islands have you covered. From one of Maui’s original hotels to a magical Disney resort on Oahu, these are the best Hawaii resorts for families.
Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hawaii’s Big Island
Kilauea’s volcanic eruption did not affect most of the resort areas on Hawaii’s Big Island, and the Waikoloa resort community is unaffected and going strong.
Find diversions galore at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, which caters to both grown-ups (Kohala Spa, Kona Tap Room) and kids (Dolphin Quest educational center, Club Keiki children’s program).
Even getting around the resort is an adventure, as mahogany canal boats and trams (both inspired by Walt Disney World) transport guests across the property’s 62 acres.
Don’t miss the hotel’s Legends of Hawaii luau, where little ones get temporary Polynesian tattoos and front-row seats.
Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu
Turtle Bay‘s 850 acres make it a popular backdrop for filmmakers: More than 150 movies and TV shows, including Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Lost and Blue Crush, have utilized the site.
But this North Shore resort’s expansive size also makes it ideal for families, who can spread out in Ocean View Family Suites and try activities from mountain biking and horseback riding to paddling past sea turtles in glass-bottom kayaks.
Little ones can go for a pony ride, while older kids can take a surf lesson with surfing dogs (really). All ages love the hotel’s oceanfront pools, where kids shoot down an 80-foot water slide as mai tai–sipping parents look on.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, Kauai
There’s no need for parent guilt when you leave the kiddos at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa‘s Camp Hyatt. Between lei making, hula lessons, shell bracelet making, volcano crafts and parrot talks, they’ll hardly register your absence.
Counselors also supervise playtime in the multilevel pools, laced with lazy rivers, waterfalls, caves and a water slide. Once everyone’s back together, schedule a beach portrait-photo session to capture the memories of your unforgettable family vacation to Hawaii.
The Westin Maui Resort & Spa Kaanapali, Maui
The Westin Maui Resort & Spa‘s 87,000-square-foot pool complex is one for the books, flaunting five pools, two water slides and a swim-through grotto.
The good times continue after dark — cozy up for a family movie night under the stars, or join the Westin Family Kids Club on a twilight walk searching for geckos and toads. Little ones will also get a kick out of the resort’s resident parrots, flamingos and black swans.
Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection, Kauai
Find one of Hawaii’s newest pools at Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection, one of the best Hawaii resorts for families.
Debuted in 2017, the 350,000-gallon, multilevel aquatic playground has a feature for every age, from slides and waterfalls to an infinity pool, a grotto, cabanas and Jacuzzis.
Low-key family fun continues at the hotel’s fire pits, putting green and Holoholo Grill. Make yourselves at home in one- to four-bedroom villas with full kitchens, washers and dryers.
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Oahu
One of the best hawaii resorts for families is Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa on Oahu. Part of the Ko Olina resort complex, the Disney resort in Hawaii serves up family recreation with a side of pixie dust — think Moana makeovers and special effects–filled scavenger hunts.
Drop off children ages 3 to 12 at Aunty’s Beach House, a complimentary kids club featuring storytelling, video games, a movie room, dress-up costumes, character visits, Hawaiian crafts and a play structure. Or stick together for water play in the form of lazy rivers, pool parties and the Keiki Cove Splash Zone.
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, Maui
Kaanapali Beach’s first hotel, the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, still occupies the same 23 oceanfront acres. Its famous cliff-diving ceremony still takes place on neighboring Puu Kekaa (Black Rock), as it has since the resort opened in 1963.
But families visiting this Maui resort will find something new in 2018: the brand-new ROCKsalt restaurant, as well as a $26-million renovation of the guest rooms and Ohana (Family) Suites.
Keep your clan entertained with ukulele lessons, interactive sessions led by a marine naturalist, and beach s’mores with local toppings like macadamia nuts, coconut flakes and Maui cookies.