Top family resorts in Hawaii for a beach vacation

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Hawaii is a clear destination choice for families in the market to take a tropical beach vacation in the U.S. Each Hawaiian island is unique, as are the family-friendly beachfront resorts on those islands. Whether you’re looking for an upscale luxury oasis or a laid-back beach retreat, you’ll probably find it among the islands’ varied options.

Related: The best ways to get to Hawaii using points and miles

No matter which Hawaiian island or resort you choose, you are guaranteed to experience Hawaii’s “Spirit of Aloha,” with island-inspired food made with local ingredients and opportunities to learn about Hawaii’s rich heritage and culture, with some educational activities that are designed specifically for kids.

Whether you are planning your first trip to Hawaii or just looking for the next spot to try, we’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing a resort with these 10 family-friendly resorts across Hawaii, from the Big Island to Kauai.

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If your family loves Hawaii and visiting Disney, you’ll likely enjoy visiting Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa on Oahu. And even if you aren’t a “Disney family,” you can love this resort just the same.

For example, you can spend your time meeting Disney characters, eating Mickey waffles and participating in activities like animation classes and watching outdoor Disney movie screenings, or you can just lounge by the beach, snorkel in the hotel’s private lagoon and participate in fun and educational activities like lei making and hula lessons led by local artisans and cultural experts.

Kids ages 4 to 12 can visit the 5,200-square-foot kids club called Aunty’s Beach House. Games, arts and crafts, movies and surprise character experiences are included in the cost of your stay, with some premium activities available for an additional fee.

The resort also has six pools with waterslides and hidden grottos, a full-service spa, two restaurants, three lounges and quick-service options when you are out and about by the beach or the pool. Guest rooms range from standard one-king or two-queen rooms to villas that sleep up to 12 guests with as many as three bedrooms.

Pro tip: You can even book some of the room types by renting Disney Vacation Club points for even less than the cost of booking directly with Disney with cash.

Rates at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa currently start at around $569 per night when booked with cash or from about $336 if booked with rented points from a site like David’s Vacation Club.

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The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa is regarded by many as one of Hawaii’s most beautiful and accommodating resorts for families. From the lush, tropical landscaping to the spacious guest rooms, multilevel pools and private saltwater lagoon, there’s so much for families to see and do at this beautiful resort.

The hotel has 605 rooms and suites, all with a private patio or lanai from which to enjoy your ocean or garden view. Outside of your room, the hotel has a massive pool complex with multilevel pools, a lazy river, “secret” caves, a saltwater lagoon and a 150-foot waterslide. There are also areas for water volleyball or basketball and a quiet adults-only pool.

The hotel also has a fabulous spa with private open-air treatment villas and six on-site restaurants, ranging from poolside grab-and-go options to modern Hawaiian cuisine at Tidepools, where you can dine in bungalows floating above a koi-filled lagoon. There’s also a club lounge, which is one of the best in the country. The hotel also hosts a twice-weekly luau on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Pro tip: You can use points to book access to the club lounge if you don’t have Hyatt Globalist status.

Rates at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa currently start at $700 or 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

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The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is a sprawling resort in the heart of Waikiki, with direct access to Duke Kahanamoku Beach and views of the iconic Diamond Head volcanic cone.

The hotel has eight towers (though three of those are dedicated to Hilton Grand Vacations) and more than 2,800 guest rooms, so you will want to build in travel time for traversing the resort — or choose a room in the Rainbow Tower, which is closest to the beach and pool area if that is where you plan to spend most of your time.

The resort has five outdoor pools, waterslides and a saltwater lagoon for swimming, paddleboarding and other water activities. If you can pull your kids away from the water, the hotel also holds hula and lei-making lessons, fitness classes, fish feeding and luau feasts with traditional Samoan, Tahitian and Hawaiian dancing every Sunday through Thursday.

In addition to the lagoonside luau feast, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort has nearly 20 restaurants, cafes and lounges, so you are never too far from your next meal or drink.

Rates at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort currently start at $250 or 70,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

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If your family is in the market for an upscale island retreat that fully embraces Hawaii’s natural beauty and rich culture, you’ll find exactly the vacation you crave at the Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.

Guest rooms look out over the ocean or the resort’s gardened grounds and all rooms have private lanais. Standard rooms are closest to the resort activities and restaurants, or you can upgrade to a Napua room or suite with contemporary Hawaiian design and access to a private lounge with three daily dining times and live entertainment.

Families can spend time together at the huge Wailea Canyon Activity Pool – a six-level pool connected by waterslides, a lazy river, waterfalls, caves, a rope swing and the world’s only water elevator. Kids can also pick up a “Grand Passport” that lists all of the kid-friendly cultural activities around the resort, including garden tours, kukui nut bracelet-making and more.

The resort’s dining options have something for all palates, from sushi in the Botero Lounge to tacos and wood-fired pizzas at Aloha Trick Pony and a luau on select nights. Breakfast is served buffet-style at Ikena, a unique indoor-outdoor restaurant space.

Rates at Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort currently start at $836 or 110,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

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Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa is directly on Waikiki Beach and within walking distance of the city’s open-air shopping and dining center, the Waikiki Beach Walk. While we encourage you to explore beyond just Waikiki, this can be the perfect location if you are looking for a beach retreat on Oahu that’s not too far from the excitement of the city.

The hotel opened in 1901 and its history shines through in the Victorian-era architecture and select guest rooms inspired by the hotel’s opening-day design and decor. The hotel has 793 rooms total, including 46 suites, divided between the historic Banyan Wing, the beach-adjacent Diamond Wing and the larger, modern rooms in the Tower Wing.

The hotel’s pool is simple compared to some of the large pool complexes in Hawaii, but it has some pretty fantastic beach views. You can easily pop back and forth between the pool and the beach all day long, especially if you rent a poolside cabana or an umbrella and chairs on the sandy beach. You can also take to the ocean on a surfboard, stand-up paddleboard or bodyboard. Outrigger canoe charters and surf lessons are also available. All of these can be booked at the Aloha Beach Services kiosk at the hotel.

The Moana Surfrider also has a spa, beachfront yoga classes, historical tours, hula classes and more. And your family will never go hungry with the hotel’s five restaurants and handful of lounges and cafes.

Rates at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa currently start at $296 or 69,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

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The Wailea Beach Resort offers a laid-back, casual retreat with access to not one but two beaches. The resort has a long list of family-friendly features, including multiple pools (one of which has kid-friendly splash play areas and Maui’s longest waterslide), a kids club for children ages 5 to 12, a movie screening room with giant beanbag chairs, a game room and complimentary cultural activities.

Guest rooms are simple yet stylish, with ocean-inspired artwork and neutral-colored furnishings. Each of the resort’s 547 rooms has a lanai, and select ground-floor rooms have large furnished lanais with direct access to the hotel’s outdoor areas.

Families can dine on Hawaiian-inspired fare at the poolside open-air Kapa Bar & Grill or the Mo’ Bettah Food Truck. Parents can get their caffeine fix at the resort’s Starbucks location or have a romantic evening away from the kids at Humble Market Kitchin, which offers panoramic views of the beach. The resort also hosts a luau five nights a week.

Rates at Wailea Beach Resort currently start at $807 or 71,500 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

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Located on Kauai’s beautiful, tranquil north shore, The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas is just as serene as its island location. The resort grounds more than live up to the island’s “Garden Isle” nickname, with towering palm trees dotting the landscape and colorful tropical foliage around every turn.

The resort has a long list of family-friendly amenities, including lei making, fish feeding, a children’s pool with splash features and a mini waterslide, a larger cliffside plunge pool, multiple dining options and a grab-and-go market with snacks, Starbucks coffee and essentials you may have forgotten at home, like diapers or sunscreen.

Because of the resort’s cliffside location, there is no direct beach access, but beautiful Hanalei Bay is only a 10-minute drive away.

Unlike most resorts, The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas does not charge resort fees and offers complimentary internet access. Guest room sizes range from studio villas to two-bedroom villas, and all suites have separate sleeping and living areas and private outdoor lanais.

Rates at The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas currently start at $398 or 62,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

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Your kids may not have seen the first season of “The White Lotus,” but there’s a pretty good chance you’ve heard of it. Now, you can stay at the very hotel where the show was filmed and enjoy the same luxury accommodations, world-class amenities and delicious local dining … without any of the drama.

The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is a luxury beachfront resort offering an idyllic escape that is still family-friendly. Like all Four Seasons properties, this resort participates in Kids for All Seasons, a complimentary, supervised program for kids ages 5 to 12. The hotel also has a counselor-led program for tweens and teens where they can participate in outdoor activities like outrigger canoe paddling.

While the kids play the day away, parents can participate in yoga classes, indulge in a spa treatment (or two), relax on the beach or swim in the adults-only pool. From fine dining at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago to casual fare at the pool bar, all of the resort’s restaurants are open-air so you never have to leave behind the ocean views.

The 383 guest rooms and suites are stylish and sophisticated, with views of either the ocean or the radiant gardens. From the hotel’s elevated location, you may even be lucky enough to see whales splashing in the ocean from your lanai during wintertime.

Rates at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea currently start at $1,750 per night.

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This recently renovated luxury hotel boasts 446 guest rooms and suites across 54 acres of vibrant green gardens, crystal-clear pools and turquoise ocean waters. Because the resort is so large, there are plenty of dining options and activities to choose from around the grounds.

You can choose to spend your day swimming in the massive three-tiered, heated pool with a kids splash area, hiking the area’s coastal trails, surfing or paddleboarding at one of six nearby bays and beaches, or participating in cultural programming, including a nightly sunset ceremony, hula lessons, origami classes and more. There’s also environmental children’s programming for kids ages 5 to 14 available for an additional cost.

Guest rooms have lavish marble bathrooms, dark wood floors, neutral furnishings and pops of colorful, island-inspired decor. Rooms have large soaking tubs (always a favorite with kids) and private lanais, some with fire pits.

Rates at The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua currently start at $800 or 80,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

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As the only luxury resort on Oahu’s North Shore, Turtle Bay Resort has no choice but to deliver on its promise of luxe accommodations, authentic Hawaiian experiences and dining options and unforgettable tropical adventures. Luckily, it delivers on those promises … and then some.

Families visiting the resort can experience the true essence of Hawaii with beachfront horse and pony rides, surf lessons, a “surfing with dogs” experience (yes, you read that right), canoe tours, scavenger hunts and more. Some experiences require an additional fee.

The hotel’s pool deck has large family-size cabanas available to rent, giving parents a comfortable place to lounge and kids a shady spot to relax before hopping back in the main pool or the kids pool with waterslides.

Guest rooms are bright and airy, with ocean views and large murals depicting beachy scenes. Suites and oceanfront bungalows are also available.

Rates at Turtle Bay Resort currently start at $706 per night.