TOP HAWAII HOTELS
By Paula Hughes Court
The past few years have brought about a big change in Hawaii’s hotel industry.
The old Polynesian style tiki-hut hotels of the past are gone, replaced by Disney
World style tropical fantasylands. Featuring mini-zoos and aquatic playgrounds,
Hawaiian resorts today are a destination all by themselves. As an added bonus
for weary parents, almost all resorts offer children’s programs featuring a
variety of activities including koi-fish feeding, sand sculpting, beach games and
The following is a list of our favorites:
Hilton Hawaiian Village
Located oceanfront on famous Waikiki Beach, this 22-acre resort contains
everything you need without stepping off the property.
Pools-The Hilton boasts Waikiki’s largest pool, a 10,000 sq.foot, two-tiered
super pool surrounded by lava rock and tropical plants. A sandy beach and a
protected lagoon ideal for small children are located in front of the resort.
Children’s Program- The Rainbow Express Keiki Club accepts children ages 5-
12. The full day program runs 8:30-3:00 for $45. Half day is $25 and runs 8:30-
12:00 or 12:30-3:00.
Special Touches-Every child is given a cool sports bag with water bottle at
check-in. Don’t miss the Friday night King’s Jubilee, a free weekly celebration
with Polynesian dancers, fire dancers, and fireworks show. The resort is also
home to sixty varieties of birds, including warm-weather South African
penguins. Be sure to attend their daily feeding at 3:00 p.m.
Rates begin at $189 per night. Contact Hilton Hawaiian Village at (808) 947-
BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII HOTELS
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
This luxurious resort is located along a half-mile stretch of sandy beach on the
Pools-The Four Seasons features four pools; the lagoon shaped Sea Shell
Pool beside the beach, a nearby four-foot deep children’s pool with a sand
bottom, the ocean-front heated Beach Tree Pool and the adults only Palm Grove
Pool. A big hit with kids is the man-made King’s Pond. Stocked with over 3,500
fish, including spotted eagle rays, the pond is a safe place for children to
snorkel without waves or currents.
Children’s Program- The complimentary Kid’s For All Seasons program is
offered for children ages 5-12 from 8:00 to 5:00 p.m. The teen center, Tsunami,
houses a big-screen television, video game stations and computers for Internet
access as well as ping-pong and pool tables.
Special Touches-Children will find milk and cookies in their room upon arrival
and bath sponges spelled in their name. The resort also offers a
complimentary video library, children’s menus in all restaurants, and beach
Rates begin at $505 per night. Contact Four Seasons at (808) 325-8000
HILTON WAIKOLOA VILLAGE-KOHALA, HAWAII
Upon arrival at the 62-acre Waikoloa Village, guests are transported into a
Polynesian fantasy via mahogany water boat taxis along lush waterways or in
air-conditioned aerial trams.
Pools-The Kona Pool is almost an acre in size with a 175-foot water slide, a
swinging bridge, and jacuzzis hidden among lava rocks. The lazy river Kohala
Pool consists of three pools connected by waterslides and a moving current.
The ocean-fed saltwater lagoon complete with colorful fish and sea turtles is
ideal for young snorkelers.
Children’s Program-Camp Menehune offers day and evening camps for
children 5-12. The full day camp from 9:00-4:00 costs $65, including lunch.
Evening camp from 5:30-9:30 includes dinner for $50. Half day runs $50. The
camp also offers free drop-by activities for parents and children, such as shell
mosaics, floral leis and origami folding.
Special Touches-Make reservations early for the popular on-site Dolphin Quest
Rates begin at $189.00 per night. Contact at (808) 886-1234
Located on 12 acres fronting the world famous Kaanapali Beach, the Westin
Maui features an 87,000 sq. foot aquatic playground.
Pools-The gigantic pool area is made up of five free-form interconnecting pools,
waterfalls, river-like grottos and a thrilling 128-foot-long water slide with a
dramatic 23-foot drop.
Children’s Program-The Keiki Kamp introduces children to Hawaiian culture
through fun activities. The day camp runs 9:00-3:00 for $45 first child, $30
sibling. Half-day is $25.50 with lunch. The night camp is 6:30-9:30 for $20 first
child, $10 siblings.
Special Touches-Children under twelve eat free.
Rates begin at $239.Contact Westin Maui at (888) 625-4949
Location is the key here. The Sheraton sits along a white, sandy cove on
Kannapali Beach next to Black Rock, an ideal spot for snorkeling. Another great
plus for families is Starwood’s “Stay at One, Play at All” program. Stay here and
enjoy all the amenities (and pools!) of the other two Maui Starwood resorts,
Westin Maui (see above) and Kapalua Bay & Village.
Pools-The Sheraton features a new free form pool meandering past lava rocks,
wooden bridges, a basketball goal, and a whirlpool.
Children’s Program-The Keiki Aloha for children 5-12 is offered year round from
9:00-3:00 pm. Cost is $45 first child, $30 for siblings. Night camp is available 6:
30-9:30 for $20 first child, $10 siblings.
Special Touches-Not to be missed is the famous torch-lit ceremony and cliff
divers at sunset atop Black Rock.
Rates begin at $235. Contact Maui Sheraton at (800) 782-9488
FOUR SEASONS RESORT AT WAILEA-MAUI
This resort goes out of their way to welcome children. Child-size robes and in-
room video games are two of the extra touches you’ll find.
Water Sports-The large Fountain Pool has a whirlpool at each end and a central
fountain. The Upper Waterfall Pool is a free form lagoon pool featuring a
realistic waterfall, a small slide and a shallow end for children.
Children’s Program- Complimentary Kids For All Seasons program for kids 5-
12 every day 9:00-5:00. During peak times, the program offers night events for a
nominal fee. Past events include Pirate Night, Pajama Parties and Carnival
Special Touches-The complimentary scuba clinic for kids 12 and up is a great
bargain. The resort also offers complimentary use of water wings, smash ball,
Frisbees, flotation devices and even personal CD players.
Rates begin at $335 per night. Contact Four Seasons Wailea at (808) 874-8000
Hyatt Regency Kauai
The Hyatt is Kauai’s most luxurious hotel located near sunny Poipu Beach.
Water Sports-Pools are the big attraction here. There are two freshwater,
outdoor swimming pools connected by river pools, slides, waterfalls and a five-
acre saltwater lagoon. There is also a 500-yard white sand beach, but the surf
is too rough for most swimmers.
Children’s Program-Camp Hyatt is one of the rare programs that take children
under five. The minimum age is 3 ½ years old and child must be toilet-trained.
Open seven days a week for full day ($45) and half day ($25) sessions. Night
camp is available from 4-10 pm for $10 hour.
Special Touches-A safe location for snorkeling and young swimmers, Poipu
Beach, is located a short ½ mile away.
Rates begin at $355 per night. Contact Hyatt Regency Kauai at (808) 742-1557
FAMILY TRAVEL FUN