Hawaii

8 Maui Family Hotels for Bonding with Your Ohana in Paradise

Here are eight family-friendly Maui resorts that your ohana (family) are sure to enjoy.

Even someone who lives on Maui needs to get away from it all occasionally. Between cell phones, deadlines, and after-school activities, we realized we weren’t making enough time to connect as a family. So, we decided to book a short staycation at the Grand Wailea Resort for some fun and downtime—together.

My daughter’s eyes grew wide when she saw the resort’s waterpark-like complex of blue pools, twisty slides, and cascading waterfalls, and she hurried to jump in. Together, we enjoyed swimming and sliding from one pool to the next, all without ever having to get out of the water. By the time we floated along the lazy river and held hands as we were rushed down the whitewater rapids, all of our school and work stress had been forgotten. “Let’s do it again!” she called, and I followed her smile from pool to pool for the rest of the day.

There’s no better time for families to relax and reconnect than on vacation. And with its natural beauty, variety of beaches, and a culture that values keiki (children), there’s no better place than Hawaii.

A Fun-in-the-Sun Maui Resort with Family-Friendly Suites

A beachfront resort in sunny Kaanapali, the Honua Kai Resort and Spa boasts three acres of aquatic playgrounds for the whole family to enjoy, including pools, five hot tubs, a waterslide, waterfalls, a shallow wading pool with a sandy beach that’s perfect for little ones, and a children’s play area with fountains to splash in.

For families who crave beach time, Kaanapali’s white-sand North Beach is just a few steps away, with a beach activities desk where you can buy or rent floaties, water toys, snorkel gear, and boogie boards to play in the waves. During the winter, migrating humpback whales frequent the area, and these majestic sea creatures can frequently be seen splashing and breaching just offshore.

When the kids are ready to get out of the water, they’ll enjoy exploring the resort property and feeding the koi in the koi pond. Rooms and suites can accommodate up to eight people, making this fun-in-the-sun resort is a great option for large families looking to relax together. With a fully equipped gourmet kitchen in each suite, along with a washer and dryer, it’s also easy for families to pick up groceries and save money by eating in.

Honua Kai Resort & Spa

Top rated
9.3 Excellent (5129 reviews)
Excellent Comfort 9.3 / 10
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Plenty of Activities to Keep Little Ones Busy

Studios and villas at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort offer families up to 1,230 square feet of space to spread out, with in-room washers and dryers and a fully equipped kitchen to prepare everybody’s favorite meals in a relaxed environment or share breakfast on a private lanai.

Parents can relax while keiki (children) play at the Westin Family Kids Club, a childcare option for youngsters ages 5 to 12, which includes activities like animal expeditions, creating an ocean in a bottle, experiencing life under the sea, learning about Hawaiian cultural practices like lei making, and arts and crafts, with lunch and a snack included.

There are plenty of other activities around the resort for the whole family to enjoy, from feeding fish in the koi pond, to candy lei making, a tie-dye creation station, soap making, henna tattoos, and a hula hoop contest.

Of course, the most popular family activity on Maui is hitting the beach, and with the waves breaking just a few feet away, there are plenty of opportunities to get wet. Build castles or bury your legs in a mermaid tail in the white sands of famous Kaanapali Beach, splash in the shore break, or don a mask and snorkel to swim with colorful reef fish. At the end of the day, watching the sun set over the Pacific makes the perfect family photo-op.

The Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Top rated
9.3 Excellent (7160 reviews)
Excellent Comfort 9 / 10
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A Luxurious Resort in a Spectacular Natural Setting

The luxurious, 54-acre Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, is located within the much larger 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort, which features one of Hawaii’s largest nature preserves, and two marine sanctuaries. With such a large area to explore, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoorsy and active families to enjoy snorkeling, surfing, and outrigger canoeing, as well as hiking and mountain biking on the resorts miles of forested trails. In fact, the resort’s beach and rugged terrain draw professional and amateur triathletes each year to compete in the XTERRA World Championship.

Rooms and suites are spacious and family-friendly, ranging from 900 to more than 2,500 square feet, and offering either a partial or full kitchen to allow families to prepare their own meals in a relaxed environment.

While the kids are playing in the pools or beach, there are also plenty of opportunities for parents to enjoy some downtime, with two 18-hole championship golf courses, including the Plantation Course, which hosts the PGA Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Champions and is consistently voted the best golf course in Hawaii. When it’s time to relax, the Ritz-Carlton Spa, Kapalua, incorporates Native Hawaiian traditional healing practices into healing spa treatments, using herbs and botanicals grown in the resort’s garden. Between treatments, you can relax in a tranquil and secluded outdoor setting in a lush, tropical garden.

Hotel The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (2878 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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Tropical Oasis on America's Best Beach

Once named America’s best beach, sun-kissed Kaanapali offers three miles of pristine white sand and sparkling blue water. With gentle waves and colorful sea life, it’s the perfect place for families with kids of all ages to enjoy ocean activities like surfing, canoe paddling, snorkeling, or just playing in the sand and splashing in the shallows.

Located on 16 acres at the southern end of Kaanapali, Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club‘s beachfront location makes it a great spot for families looking to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf in Hawaii. The resort’s lush, tropical gardens and 3.5-acre “superpool” offer plenty of waterfalls, grottoes and waterways, along with a fun “Shipwreck Beach and Waterslide” for kids to explore, and a pool bar where adults can unwind.

The resort offers outdoor games like bocce ball, a basketball court, and slide races, as well as daily family activities like ukulele lessons. At the recreation activity center, kids can take part in a daily program of arts and crafts, video games, board games, and a kids camp.

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Molokai, Maui & Lanai Towers

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (617 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.3 / 10
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A Pool Paradise at this Maui Family Hotel

If your family loves to play in the pool, the Grand Wailea Resort and Spa is the place to be. This luxurious resort on Maui’s sunny south coast features its own water park, with a variety of fun pools, exciting slides, and water activities.

The Wailea Canyon Activity Pool boasts more than 25,000 square feet of swimming areas consisting of nine individual pools on six different levels. Kids (and parents!) can swim from pool to pool along with waterslides, rapids, and a lazy river, while checking out special features like waterfalls, caves, a Tarzan pool with a rope swing, a sandy beach, and the world’s first water elevator. Thrill-seekers will love the Lava Tube Slide, a 262-foot, three-story drop slide that takes riders on a twisty-ride at speeds up to 22 miles per hour before plunging into a splash pool.

When it’s time for a break from the kids, the 4,850-square-foot Hibiscus Pool features a tranquil swimming area and two Jacuzzis for adults only. There are plenty of options to keep kids occupied, including drop-off activity centers for children and teens, a gaming lounge, and Camp Grande, an interactive day camp for youngsters ages 5-12.

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

8.3 Very good (10673 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.3 / 10
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Kid-Friendly Dining and a “Mermaid University" at this Maui Resort

While many resorts offer childcare services for a fee, access to the Keiki Lani Kids Club, a supervised drop-in center at the Fairmont Kea Lani, is included in the daily resort fee. The club is open to keiki (children) between the ages of 5 and 12 and includes an elevated stage for a performance as well as a craft area and outdoor tables, and features activities like storytelling, games, and activities like building erupting volcanoes, hula lessons, and learning Hawaiian words.

Children are welcomed with a special “keiki amenity” when they arrive at the resort, and parents of the littlest ones get complementary baby care kits with no-tears shampoo, soap, lotion, and bubble bath. The resort offers a special keiki dining program, with children under 5 eating for free, and children ages 6 to 12 having the option of ordering from a keiki menu or ordering a half-portion of a regular menu item for 50% of the price.

There are plenty of activities that will appeal to kids, from seasonal holiday activities like lei making, stargazing, and a rubber ducky race; to family fitness programs and a Mermaid University where kids can share mermaid legends and learn to swim with a monofin with “coaching from a real mermaid.”

Fairmont Kea Lani

Top rated
9.4 Excellent (8203 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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Enjoy S'mores on the Beach at This Maui Resort

Buy a s’mores kit and roast marshmallows beachside at one of the Sheraton Maui Resort‘s five fire pits — you can opt for a traditional kit with graham crackers, cookies, and chocolate, or a local version that also includes macadamia nuts, li hing mui sugar, and tropical fruit.

Other family-friendly activities at this beachfront Kaanapali resort include opportunities to learn hula, ukulele and Hawaiian culture from the resort’s resident cultural advisor, as well as a special booth created by the Maui Ocean Center, where a naturalist shared information about some of the marine life swimming just offshore at Black Rock, a popular snorkel spot.

In addition to the many ocean activities available at Kaanapali Beach, this resort offers a 142-yard “lazy river” style lagoon pool, where guests can lounge in floating bean bag chairs or splash down in a water slide. Younger kids can play safely in a shallow children’s area.

Hotel Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

8.3 Very good (3910 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.2 / 10
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Say “Aloha" to This Spectacular Resort Luau

With crystal clear skies and minimal light pollution, Maui is renowned as one of the top locations in the world for astronomy. At the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, named the world’s top hotel for stargazing, guests can take a tour of the Milky Way, planets, and stars with the hotel’s nightly guided astronomy program.

Other family-friendly activities include six pools and waterfalls, wildlife tours, beach sports, and daily penguin feedings, where guests can watch the resort’s seven resident penguins dive and swim for their breakfast in the hotel’s atrium lobby, and children can help feed koi fish.

For a cultural experience and a sumptuous feast, families will enjoy the Drums of the Pacific Lu’au, a three-hour performance featuring a traditional imu ceremony, Hawaiian foods, and dances from Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, Tonga, and a three-man Samoan fire-knife finale.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

8.4 Very good (4975 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.9 / 10
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