Maui is a popular Hawaiian island for families looking for luxurious resorts. The Valley Isle was voted "Best Island in the World" by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler and one of the "World’s Best Islands" by the readers of Travel + Leisure—two magazines loved by high-end travelers. Yet despite its upscale reputation, Maui also offers some affordable gems for families, including some that we've listed below.
Grand Wailea Resort & Spa
The luxurious Grand Wailea is set on 40 acres on the southwest side of Maui, which boasts the sunniest and driest climate on the island. In terms of providing a wow experience for families, this iconic resort is in a class by itself thanks to an elaborate nine-pool water park with four waterslides, a lazy river, rope swings, and even a "water elevator" inside a man-made volcano. There's also an enormous 20,000-square-foot kids club with a video gaming arcade, movie theater, and activities galore.
Sheraton Maui Resort
The Sheraton Maui Resort is set on 22 acres on Ka'anapali Beach overlooking the landmark Black Rock and offers a number of larger "Ohana" (family) suites. Children can hang out in the Westin Kids Club Discovery Room and enjoy supervised programs for ages 5 to 12. There is a lagoon pool and meandering lazy river, kids pool, and a full roster of complimentary activities such as family pool races, scavenger hunts, hula lessons, and more. Guests will find excellent snorkeling and scuba nearby at Black Rock, and December through April, you can go whale watching. Parents, meanwhile, will appreciate the spa and fitness room.
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Four Seasons resorts are known for luxury and above all for service. Maui's Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea—the first Hawaii resort to win the AAA Five Diamond Award and Mobil Five-Star Award—is located on a beautiful beach at Wailea. The Four Seasons Maui has a free kids' club and several complimentary services and nice touches for families, such as child-sized bathrobes, and milk and cookies on arrival. If you've got a baby or toddler, the resort can provide numerous support amenities at no charge, including strollers, playpens, baby monitors, and more. The family pool features a small waterslide, a waterfall, and a shallow kiddie area. More good news: Kids under age 6 eat free at two of the on-site restaurants. The resort is also a paradise for parents, thanks to a gorgeous full-service spa, fitness room, golf, tennis, and more.
Ka'anapali Beach Hotel
Billed as Hawaii's "most Hawaiian hotel," the 432-room Ka'anapali Beach Hotel has a great location on three-mile Kaanapali beach near excellent snorkeling at Black Rock. Rooms are generously sized and many have covered lanais. The Ka'anapali offers unique programs that support Hawaiian culture, such as lei-making, hula, and ukulele classes, and nightly Hawaiian entertainment. There is a whale-shaped pool and two restaurants, which can feel crowded at peak times. Kids receive a complimentary "Aloha Passport" that gets stamped with every activity they try, and kids age 5 and under eat free. Ask about the "aloha value" rates.
Napili Kai Beach Resort
Situated on 10 beachfront acres on Napili Bay, the Napili Kai Beach Resort offers 11 plantation-style buildings with 163 guestrooms and suites, some of which have full kitchens. The atmosphere is low-key and relaxing, with four pools and a large stretch of beach that is known for its great snorkeling. There are no kids programs here but plenty of old-fashioned family fun. Note that this is a quieter resort and best suited for families with older kids.
Kaanapali Alii Resort
If you love vacation rentals but also yearn for many services of a resort, the Kaanapali Alii might be just the ticket. This luxury condo resort offers huge units (1,500-1,900 sq. ft.) with kitchens and laundry machines as well as a spa, tennis, golf, fitness center, free kids' club, and oceanfront swimming pools with poolside food service and barbecue grills. What you won't find is resort fees.
Fairmont Kea Lani
Set on 22 lush acres on gorgeous Wailea beach, the all-suite Fairmont Kea Lani offers large one-bedroom suites and two- and three-bedroom villas with plenty of room for families to spread out in spaces that range from 840 to 1,000 square feet. There are multiple pools and water slides, and a separate kiddie pool for little ones. Multiple dining options keep families happy, and there is a nice kids' club and robust roster of kids' programs and family activities.
- Edited by Suzanne Rowan Kelleher