Best Kid-Friendly Hotels in Hawaii

A team of Oyster reporters spent a month exploring 92 top resort hotels on the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. We slept in the beds, lounged on the beaches, ate in the restaurants, and even danced some hula, all with an eye toward selecting the most distinguished properties. Here's a list of our favorite child-friendly hotels. All these places offer solid value, but families that are particularly budget conscious might also check out our list of the best value hotels in Hawaii.

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

1.

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Rating: 4.5 Pearls

At this gorgeous property in the Ko Olina resort complex, service is excellent, the food is delicious, and the kids always come first. The pool area is gorgeous, boasting a lazy river, two waterslides, and a manmade reef, and the coved-in lagoon offers calm waters. It should come as no surprise that Disney delivers when it comes to family fun. Classic movie characters wander the grounds, posing for photos with kids of all ages, decked out in aloha shirts for that extra island flair. Dance parties at the pool happen daily. Keiki (kids) menus are available at every restaurant, be it sit-down or quick-serve. The spa offers treatments for everyone in the family (even toddlers!), or the whole family can enjoy a treatment together in the 'Ohana suite. Rooms are also incredibly family-friendly, with spacious layouts and mini-fridges in every room.

Hilton Hawaiian Village

2.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Rating: 4.0 Pearls

The largest resort in Hawaii, the amenities-packed Hilton Hawaiian Village has more to offer families than any other property on Oahu -- or Maui or Kauai for that matter. The crowds are big. But if you can make a pre-breakfast detour to stake out chairs by one of the four impressive pools -- one is Waikiki's largest-- your kids will be thoroughly entertained. Among the top-shelf attractions are the dozens of species of animals on the grounds, including parrots and penguins, and the calm, coral-reef-protected waters at the beach. What'll you love? A chance for kid-free relaxation, thanks to Camp Penguin, which plans field trips to the aquarium or zoo and activities like sandcastle building, for kids ages five to 12. (The per day cost is half of the price of Sheraton Waikiki's kids club.)

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

3.

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort Rating: 4.5 Pearls

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 system with some pretty awesome features. Its biggest selling point has to be the one-of-a-kind pool system with a lazy-river pool, four waterslides, a rope swing, and a water elevator at the center of a faux volcano. The resort also has one of the best kids camps we've seen. Camp Grande is a 20,000-square-foot facility with a video arcade, pingpong and foosball tables, a PlayStation room, a mini movie theater, and an activity room for kids 5-12 (seasonal activities available for teens). As if that's not enough to keep your kid busy, the beach has great waves for body-surfing and stiller areas for snorkeling. Even the rooms are geared towards families: standard rooms are huge and connecting rooms are available. There are also great kid options on restaurant menus.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

4.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa Rating: 4.5 Pearls

The Grand Hyatt Resort seems to have been built with its younger guests in mind. Kids who attend Camp Hyatt will not be entertained by typical video games, board games, or computers, but with a program designed to teach kids about Hawaiian culture. There are also kids menus available at many restaurants (even a room service kids menu). The hotel also offers free rollaway beds and babysitters, with enough notice. If that's not enough to keep the kiddies busy, take them to one of the four pools, open 24 hours. They can kayak (yes, kayak) in the saltwater lagoon, hang out in the lazy river, play volleyball or basketball in the freshwater pool, or take a ride on the waterslide.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort And Spa

5.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort And Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls

Guests never run out of things to do at the Hyatt Regency, which can feel like a zoo, waterpark, mall and food court all wrapped into one (crowds included), making it the perfect place to bring your kids on vacation. With flamingos, cranes, parrots, and penguins on site, great beach activities like kayaking, snorkeling, and windsurfing lessons, and various Hawaiian-themed kids activities, children will never be bored. And, like many other resorts on our list, the pool complex is impressive, to say the least. There is a children's area, rope bridge, and 150-foot waterslide. Most of the hotel's restaurants provide kid-friendly options and rollaway beds can be provided in the large standard rooms.

Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club

6.

Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club Rating: 3.5 Pearls

Categories: Beach, Kid-Friendly, Resort

If you want a family vacation without feeling like you're at a megaresort, be sure to check out the Ko Olina Beach Club. It still offers plenty of fun kids activities, minus huge lines and screaming kids. Snorkel boats and sunset cruises, great for the young and young-at-heart alike, regularly take off from the resort's marina. The four man-made lagoons make snorkeling and swimming safe for young kids. If a pool is more their speed, check out the two most kid-friendly pools of the four on-site: The Lagoon Pool with a volleyball net and basketball hoop and the Nai'i Pool with a waterslide and waterfall. Having a poolside emergency? The resort offers poolside MAZE huts ("Marriott Activity Zone Experience") that provide everything from towels (free) to shave ice or swim diapers (both at a cost). Kid-friendly menus and plenty of kids activities (and childcare options) will give you the quiet time you need. Most of the rooms are apartment style with full kitchens, and cribs are free, making bringing the kiddos along even easier.

Hilton Waikoloa Village

7.

Hilton Waikoloa Village Rating: 4.0 Pearls

The Hilton Waikoloa Village is the largest and most family-friendly resort in the Kailua-Kona area, and is often referred to as the “Disneyland“ of the Big Island. With 1,200 rooms, three large pool areas, extensive outdoor grounds and a variety of on-site dining options, the Hilton Waikoloa is indeed a small village in and of itself, and a tram and canal boats help guests travel across the sprawling property. Family-oriented amenities include free meals for kids four and under, discounted rates for the Seaside Putting Course, the only interactive dolphin program on the island, a spa program just for kids, and a comprehensive club for children 5 to 12.

Sheraton Waikiki

8.

Sheraton Waikiki Rating: 4.0 Pearls

The Sheraton Waikiki is the place to be if you're an avid people watcher. The second largest hotel (with an astonishing 1,636 rooms!) in Hawaii means huge crowds, but amenities a-plenty. Even better, children under 17 stay for free; however, rollaway beds are pricey. If you can get over the incredibly packed pool (get there before 7 a.m. for a spot) the pool complex is impressive, with two connected pools, fountains, a Jacuzzi and a waterslide. Children can also enroll in the kids camp where they make leis and go to an aquarium, among other activities. Have a picky eater? Don't worry, because the Sheraton has some of the best kid-friendly options of any Hawaii hotel.

Marriott Kauai Resort And Beach Club

9.

Marriott Kauai Resort And Beach Club Rating: 4.0 Pearls

The Marriott Kauai is a beach bum's paradise. With the best beach on Kauai, kids will never be bored body surfing, snorkeling, taking surf lessons, or just playing in the waves. And that's not the only reason this is a great hotel for families: It also has the biggest single-level pool (26,000 square feet!) in Hawaii, with five Jacuzzis and waterfalls. The Marriott also makes it easy to stay with your kids; the standard room can sleep up to four people, rollaways, cribs, and high chairs are free, and Marriott's Activity Zone Experience offers age-appropriate kids activities.

Four Seasons Maui

10.

Four Seasons Maui Rating: 5.0 Pearls

This hotel breaks the mold of the typical, crowded, noisy and bustling kid-friendly hotel. Come for a relaxing escape your kids will love also. While parents indulge in the great adult amenities the hotel offers, kids can participate in the resort's free kids club, go to the game room for video games, ping-pong, and pool, golf, or play basketball, tennis, or croquet, and swim in one of the resorts three pools. It also sits on one of the best beaches (they even groom the sand) that is great for body boarding, paddle boarding, Hobie Cat sailing, and snorkeling. Even better, kids under five eat free at two of the resort restaurants, and all restaurants, plus room service, provide kids menus. There is also a children's welcome program that includes free cribs, high chairs, toiletries, and bathrobes, and a room can be child-proofed in advance upon request.

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