Hilton Waikoloa Village’s four-acre, ocean-fed lagoon features three pools with waterfalls and slides. // © 2017 Hilton Waikoloa Village
Feature image (above): Wonders of the coastline await families at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. // © 2017 Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
Choosing Hawaii Island for a family vacation is easy; it’s a diverse destination with widespread appeal. However, picking the right resort is another matter. While most kids are satisfied with dawn-to-dusk pool and beach fun, many parents seek out properties with activities and accommodations that bring the whole gang together.
The following Hawaii Island hotels have all the ingredients to fulfill the clan, from toddlers and teens to moms, dads and any other relatives who crave the aloha spirit.
Fairmont Orchid Hawaii
At this Kohala Coast oasis, a protected cove offers plenty of safe family action. Here, guests can rent boogie boards, snorkel gear, paddleboards and kayaks. They can join outrigger canoe and fishing adventures as sea turtles float nearby. Familial love will grow stronger when everyone takes part in cultural classes, such as coconut frond weaving and ukulele playing.
During a kids-only program, participants might find themselves hunting geckos or exploring an ancient lava cave. Youngsters can even get their own turndown amenity.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai boasts seven pools, highlighted by King’s Pond. Carved out of lava rock, the pond is a mecca for swimming, snorkeling and snuba-ing with some 4,000 tropical fish and several eagle rays. Additional family pastimes at the oceanside resort include basketball, Hawaiian crafts and outdoor movies.
The complementary Kids For All Seasons program offers small-fry fare such as treasure hunts and volcano building, while teens bond over games at the Hale Kula activity center. The resort’s suites and connecting standard rooms are ideal for multigenerational digs.
Hilton Waikoloa Village
Families will find lots to love at this 62-acre resort with canal boats, trams and lagoons for kayaking, snorkeling, paddleboarding and water biking. A 175-foot-long pool slide provides splashy fun, as does the Fish Pipe, a rotating barrel ride. The swim-with-the-dolphins program will lead to lifetime family memories, and kids 10 years and older can shadow a dolphin trainer for a day.
A variety of room types caters to traveling families. Summer evenings bring outdoor movies, and the year-round luau regales all ages.
Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay
Sheraton Kona’s multilevel pool and its super slide will bring out the kid in everyone. However, this resort offers much more for sporty families, including sand volleyball, tennis and basketball. Little ones can get creative in the keiki activity area, and teens will gravitate to Club Lealea’s ping pong and air hockey. Evening manta ray presentations are a mesmerizing way to end the day.
One-bedroom, two-bathroom Ohana suites with sleeper sofas make a great choice for families. Guests up to age 5 eat free with paying adults.
Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa/Marriott’s Waikoloa Ocean Club
A major renovation has turned this property into two attractive options for families. Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa features hotel rooms, while Marriott’s Waikoloa Ocean Club has suites with kitchens, washer/dryers and multiple bedrooms.
Either way, guests have access to on-site amenities such as three pools, cultural activities and a luau. A big bonus is the resort’s proximity to Anaehoomalu Bay, where the young and old alike can while away the hours snorkeling, boogie boarding, kayaking, canoeing, experiencing glass-bottom boat rides and slurping shave ice.