Sure, Maui is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, but it’s also incredibly family-friendly. Its gorgeous sandy beaches, plethora of water activities, and large pools make entertaining kids a breeze. After visiting dozens of hotels in Hawaii, we compared and evaluated each to see which were best suited to vacationing families with children or teenagers in tow. Take a look at our expert picks for the best kid-friendly hotels on Maui and start planning your family getaway!
An extraordinarily elaborate pool complex -- a veritable water park, in fact, with four waterslides, whitewater rapids, caves, a lazy-river pool, rope swings, and a "water elevator" inside a man-made volcano -- puts the Grand Wailea in a class by itself when it comes to keeping the kids stimulated. Add in the 20,000-square-foot kids' camp, complete with video arcade, Playstation room, and a small movie theater, and the only open question is whether your family will agree to return to ordinary life.
The Hyatt Regency has it all. With a rope bridge, waterfalls, 150-foot waterslide, and separate children's area, the massive pool complex rivals the Grand Wailea's impressive water park. The large standard rooms can easily accommodate a family of four. There's no kid's club per se, but somewhat pricey supervised activities run throughout the day. Plus, kids will love the flamingos, parrots, and penquins on the grounds. This kid-friendly paradise is nipping at the Grand Wailea's heels -- and rates are lower.
Yes, the Four Seasons Maui is one of the priciest resorts on the island -- not surprising for a hotel that tops our list of Maui's best luxury properties. But the hotel deserves credit for throwing a free kids' club into the deal; most resorts, even some of the most expensive ones, charge a hefty daily fee to keep kids entertained while their parents enjoy some rest and relaxation. And the family pool, though not as elaborate as the Grand Wailea's, features a small waterslide, a waterfall, and a shallow area where the smallest kids can splash safely. Also worth noting: The resort's large standard rooms can easily sleep four; and kids under six eat free at two of the on-site restaurants.
A new kids' club and several pools -- including a long, twisting waterslide that runs between two of them, plus a separate shallow pool for small children -- would together make the Fairmont a strong contender in this category. And the suite-style standard rooms, ranging from 840 to 1,000 square feet, allow the grown-ups to stay up after the kids go to sleep.
The Westin Ka'anapali's condo-style units, which come equipped with full-size refrigerators, microwaves, stovetops, dishwashers, and sinks, are a good choice if you're traveling to Maui with a large brood and want to save money by preparing your own meals. The pools feature a waterslide, a pirate ship, and a basketball hoop; the resort sits directly on an uncrowded stretch of North Kaanapali Beach; kids under 12 eat free at some of the on-site restaurants; and the kids' club, for five- to 12-year-olds, is reasonably priced.
Families who prefer hiking and snorkeling to water parks and video-game centers will appreciate the Ritz-Carlton's low-key vibe and focus on the outdoors. The Ambassadors Center leads environmental education programs for kids; Koi-fish feeding and snorkeling lessons are free; and the remote, scenic location is minutes from a mile-long, white-sand beach. (One caveat: Rough surf at the beach isn't ideal for small kids.)
The Montage Kapalua Bay is a lush 24-acre luxury property that features 56 one- to four-bedroom villas and a world-class spa. The spa itself is on five acres with an infinity pool and hydrotherapy treatment rooms. This beautiful oceanfront location in Kapalua is situated on a point with dramatic ocean cliffs on one side and a lovely crescent-shaped beach on the other. Three restaurants, two bars, and an excellent, multi-level pool complex are spread across the expansive property, which can take some time to walk across. The excellent villas have gourmet kitchens and spacious lanais, many with great ocean views.
The Ho’olei at Grand Wailea offers luxury condos on a beautiful, relaxed property connected to the Grand Wailea, one of Maui’s most impressive mega-resorts. In huge villas that average 3,500 square feet, families will find all the comforts of a luxury home, including a decked-out kitchen, walk-in closets, a spacious lanai, a garage, and an elevator. While the property has its own lovely pool and fitness room, guests can access the main resort’s elaborate maze of pools and waterslides, enormous fitness center, and other activities. It’s perfect for visitors who want all the features of the Grand Wailea, but with a more peaceful atmosphere and more spacious accommodations.
The expansive Westin Maui Resort & Spa is an upscale property with direct access to swimmable Kaanapali Beach and popular Whalers' Village. There are a whopping 759 rooms with simple, Hawaiian-inspired decor (not quite as upscale as one may expect at a four-pearl hotel). With the number of guests and size of the resort, lines can be long and service is more efficient than personal. Prices here are lower than neighboring hotels, though, and this Westin offers a slew of above-average amenities like a five-pool aquatic playground, four restaurants, and a full-service spa and gym. Resort fees are annoying, but they're a common theme in Maui.
Situated right on the popular Kaanaapli beach with views of the landmark Black Rock, the location of the Sheraton Maui can’t be beat. And this upscale mega-resort fully takes advantage of its prime real estate, offering ocean views from a majority of its 508 sleek, contemporary rooms. Spanning 23 acres, the expansive resort features a full array of features, including a lovely spa, modern fitness room, five restaurants, and a large lagoon pool and lazy river. The snorkeling from the end of the beach is some of the best in Maui -- and it’s no secret, as this area is often crowded, especially in peak seasons.
Honua Kai Resort & Spa, made up of individually owned units, combines hotel amenities in an upscale condominium complex. The rooms are huge, with full modern kitchens and private lanais, though not all have the best ocean views, and different owners provide different decor and amenities. The expansive beachfront grounds have multiple connecting pools and hot tubs that can get overrun with kids making the most of the waterslide. Couples can find solace in the adults-only pool, but the laid-back vibe 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 product line whose ingredients are sourced from the islands. The steep prices and the daily resort fee might trigger a bit of sticker shock, but as family-friendly Maui destinations go, this one is highly recommended.
This 422-room time-share hotel at the southern end of bustling Kaanapali Beach has large rooms, suites with full kitchens, a modern gym, and a myriad of family-friendly features. It's a perfectly good choice for families -- a great one if you can score one of the new, stylish oceanfront rooms. But the heavy family vibe might not suit other guests.
The 316 condominiums in this mid-range beach resort are right across the street from the Pacific Ocean and close to beaches, restaurants, shops, and golf. The one -and two-bedroom condos have plenty of space, full kitchens, and private balconies, although few have Wi-Fi or Internet. Units are individually-owned, so amenities and decor vary, but unlike similar properties, visitors can choose which condos they want to book. Some units are impressively modern, the grounds are lush, and the amenities -- including two pools, a hot tub, tennis courts, and barbecue grills -- are plentiful. The most outstanding feature, however, is the stunning beach across the street.