Where to Stay on Oahu with Kids: The 7 Best Family Hotels

by | Feb 28, 2020 | Oahu, Planning, Where to Stay

Picking a hotel for your family in Oahu is a big decision. There are so many to choose from and they all offer different amenities at different price points. But there are a few hotels on the island that stand out as being the best places to stay with kids. 

The 7 best family hotels on Oahu (in no particular order) are:

  1. Royal Hawaiian Hotel (Waikiki)
  2. Sheraton Waikiki
  3. Hilton Hawaiian Village (Waikiki)
  4. Disney Aulani Hotel (Ko Olina)
  5. Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club
  6. Four Seasons Ko Olina
  7. Turtle Bay (North Shore)

 

You’ll find our reviews, plus we have a video tour of each hotel to help you make the absolute best choice for your family vacation. 

Where to Stay on Oahu With Kids: A Video Tour of the Best Family Hotels

Before you read the detailed descriptions of each Oahu kid-friendly hotel, take some time to watch the video and get an overview of what every Oahu family hotel has to offer.

The resort and friendly family areas of Oahu are Waikiki, Ko Olina, and the North Shore.  There are other nice places to stay on Oahu but they don’t offer a selection of family-friendly resorts or lack activities for that the whole family can do.

Oahu Hawaii Where to Stay

 

Royal Hawaiian Hotel (Waikiki)

While there are plenty of luxury resorts on Waikiki, this one comes with perks that make it hard for the others to compete. 

Dubbed the Pink Palace of the Pacific, when you stay at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel with your family, you stay in luxury. 

Royal Hawaiian Kids Hotel Oahu

The hotel offers five-star accommodations in the heart of Waikiki and everything you’d expect along with that. 

🍍 Immaculate grounds

🍍 Great restaurants

🍍 Room service

🍍 Live entertainment

🍍 A spa

🍍 Large rooms 

🍍 Lush gardens

 

Plus, you get a voucher for a free bag of pastries at the hotel bakery. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the stay just that much better. 

The Royal Hawaiian is a quiet retreat in the middle of not-so-quiet Waikiki. 

But they also offer something that some other luxury resorts lack: access to the kid-friendly amenities at the Sheraton Waikiki hotel next door. Your kids can splash at the Helumoa Playground, with two pools, a waterslide, and a fountain. If your kids want some time alone, they can join the kids club at the Sheraton Waikiki.

So if you have kids that love the big (fun!) resorts and parents that want to be able to step away from the kid-packed ambiance and relax, this is the spot. This is truly a resort that will appeal to the entire family.

Family Hotel Oahu Royal Hawaiian Beach

Biggest pro: This resort appeals to all ages. A serene luxury retreat for parents (a reminder of where we used to stay before Henry) and amenities kids will love. 

Biggest con: There were moments that we felt out of place with our toddler (rather loudly) enjoying himself. 

Fast Facts: Staying at the Royal Hawaiian with Kids

🍍 Activities: Fitness Classes, Resort Cultural classes (lei making, Yoga, Hiuwai-Cultural Ocean

🍍 Activities, hula lessons, Weekly Diamond Head Hikes

🍍 Kids Club: Poppins Keiki Waikiki available at the Sheraton hotel next door for children 3 months – 12 years and is available to anyone, not restricted to just hotel guests 

🍍 Restaurants: children under 5 eat free surf lanai breakfast buffet

🍍 Pools: access to the Sheraton family pool with a full and mini waterslide overlooking the ocean

🍍 Location: Right in the heart of Waikiki

Day 3 Oahu Itinerary Waikiki Beach

Henry enjoying the beach in front of the Royal Hawaiian (Waikiki).

 

Sheraton Waikiki

Towering above the Royal Hawaiian Hotel is the Sheraton Waikiki. This 32 story hotel has over 1,600 rooms and is located right on the water, in the heart of Waikiki. 

Compared to the other hotels in the area, the Sheraton feels like a mega hotel at times, but with the size, it does come with amenities that others don’t have. 

🍍 The pool, shared with the Royal Hawaiian, is excellent. 

🍍 There’s a kid’s club (for an additional fee) and regular live music. 

🍍 Central location, you’re in the center of everything but you’re paying far less than you would if you stay next door at the Royal Hawaiian or down the block at the Moana Surfrider, the other nearby Marriott properties. 

 Sheraton Waikiki Kids Slide

 

Biggest pro: Location. Right in the heart of Waikiki and provides easy access to everything you could want in town. Makes getting to places with a family in tow that much easier. 

Biggest con: It’s an oceanfront hotel with no direct beach access. The beach has eroded away and you can no longer access it, which means no hotel beach chairs if you want to enjoy a day at the beach. 

Waikiki Beach Erosion

A breakwall sits where the beach used to in front of the Sheraton Waikiki

Fast Facts: Staying at the Sheraton Waikiki with Kids

🍍 Activities: Ukulele Lesson, Flower Lei Making session, hula lessons

🍍 Kids club: Poppins Keiki Waikiki available for children 3 months – 12 years and is available to anyone, not just hotel guests (though it is located within the Sheraton)

🍍 Restaurants: One child under five eats free with each paying adult at the Kai Market

🍍 Pools: Adults-only infinity pool and pool area for families, including a “big kids” waterslide and a small water slide for “little kids.” 

🍍 Location: Right in the heart of Waikiki

Hilton Hawaiian Village (Waikiki)

The Hilton Hawaiian Village is the most family-friendly hotel you’ll find in Waikiki. And it’s not really a hotel. 

As their website says, “we’re the only resort in Waikiki.” After staying at multiple hotels in the area, I agree with that statement.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Family Resort Waikiki

Set on 22-acres on the edge of Waikiki, this is the largest Hilton and one of the largest hotels in the world. There are 3,386 rooms, so this place is always busy and bustling. It has five pools, multiple waterslides, and a man-made lagoon that novice swimmers can splash around in without a problem. 

I should note that I thought the man-made lagoon was going to be terrible — I love the beach! But taking our toddler to the lagoon was the best. There was no worry about waves, it wasn’t crowded, and he had the best time running into and out of the water. You don’t have to be a hotel guest to use the lagoon. 

Hilton Hawaiian Village Lagoon for Kids

The Hilton is located on the edge of Waikiki, so you’re a bit removed from the action. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you’re looking for. 

It’s a bit of a walk to get to the heart of Waikiki, which can be difficult if you’re having to wrangle children together to get them walking. But it’s also removed enough so the resort feels slightly more secluded. There’s plenty to do so if you can’t leave the resort for the afternoon (or the day), no one will be bored. 

 

Biggest pro: If you’re traveling with young kids or people who aren’t great swimmers, the lagoon provides a safe and fun way for them to enjoy the water.

Biggest con: The resort is located on the edge of Waikiki so if you want to go to dinner or do anything more central, it’s a bit of a walk to get there. 

Fast Facts: Staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village with Kids

🍍 Activities: Hula and ukulele lessons, lei making session, yoga or tai chi classes, kid-friendly move under the stars Wednesday and Saturday, fireworks on Friday, daily torch lighting

🍍 Kids club: camp penguin for kids age 5-12

🍍 Restaurants: kids five and under eat free at Big Island Breakfast and Lagoon Grill

🍍 Pools: five pools including the longest waterslide in Waikiki and a man-made lagoon

🍍 Location: The edge of Waikiki 

Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club

Ko Olina is located 30 minutes from Honolulu. Its draw (aside from the weather) is the four man-made lagoons, which make swimming here perfect for even a nervous swimmer. 

The Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club offers regular hotel rooms, one-bedroom or two-bedroom villas, making it easy for you to find the right accommodation. Located on lagoon 2 in Ko Olina, the Beach Club feels less crowded and hectic than what you’ll find on lagoon 1. 

Ko Olina Marriott Family Hotel Lagoon

The resort is immaculate with sprawling grounds that are busy, but also somehow calm. The pools are what you’d expect from a great resort: multiple pools, waterfalls, and a waterslide. Plus, there are complimentary beach chairs available — something that you won’t find with the resorts in Waikiki. 

Also, there’s no resort fee, which is uncommon for Hawaii. 

Biggest pro:  Though this is a family-friendly, large resort, it doesn’t feel as jam-packed as many other spots on the island. 

Biggest con: The hotel is a long walk from Ko Olina Station, where you’ll find most restaurants and the lowest-cost store in Ko Olina, Island Country Market. 

Fast Facts: Staying at Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club with Kids

🍍 Activities: Mermaid swimming, lei making, aqua bingo

🍍 Kids club: No kids club

🍍 Restaurants: Nothing noteworthy for kids but they do have BBQ grills available for use

🍍 Pools: Waterfall, waterslide, kids pool, quiet pool, and whirlpool spa

🍍 Location: lagoon 2

Disney Aulani (Ko Olina)

The newest addition to Ko Olina is the Disney Aulani hotel. The hotel has 351 hotel rooms and 481 villas, making it the biggest resort in Ko Olina. 

As you would expect, this place is extremely kid-friendly. From the plethora of activities to the characters that walk the grounds, this is the place to be if you have a Disney loving kid. 

But, it may not appeal to all parents (or even older kids). 

The pool is fantastic — it has a lazy river, waterslides, and it’s huge. And they do a great job entertaining pool-goers with a pool party. When we were there, the pool party was with Goofy and included an emcee, dancing, and pool games. It was FUN, but it was also the most crowded pool scene I saw at all of the resorts. 

Disney Aulani Kids Pool Family Resort Oahu

Disney Aulani Pool for Kids

The lagoon was also equally as crowded, but that could also be because it’s a shared lagoon with the Four Seasons.

This won’t be the right spot for everyone. If you’re looking for a more relaxed Hawaiian holiday, this probably isn’t the hotel for you. But if you want a hotel where kids are catered to, this is the spot. 

It’s also worth noting that there is no resort fee at the Aulani hotel. 

Biggest pro: Kid-focused resort with enough activities to keep your kids occupied for weeks.

Biggest con: The resort was the most crowded and hectic of all the resorts in Ko Olina (and actually all the resorts on this list). 

Fast Facts: staying at Disney’s Aulani with Kids

🍍 Activities: kids pool parties, complimentary boogie boards and beach toys, scavenger hunt, firepit storytelling, Disney characters, sunrise yoga on the beach, stargazing, movie nights

🍍 Kids club: Aunty’s Beach House, complimentary for ages 3 to 12, must be pre-registered

🍍 Restaurants: Disney character breakfast

🍍 Pools: 8,200 square foot pool with waterslide, lazy river, and an adults-only pool

🍍 Location: Lagoon 1 in Ko’Olina and across the street from Ko Olina Station

Ko Olina Lagoons are for Kids

Four Seasons Ko Olina

The Four Seasons is the most luxurious hotel on this list, with a price tag to match. While none of the hotels on this list are cheap, this one feels like it’s in its own league. But, if you have a budget that allows, the Four Seasons Ko Olina doesn’t disappoint.

When we lived in Ko Olina, this hotel was the beautiful and peaceful Ihilani Hotel. Coming back, I was worried that I might be disappointed with it now that it’s a Four Seasons. But, it was better than I remember. 

The Four Seasons, like the Royal Hawaiian, is a luxurious hotel that happens to offer amenities that are great for families. It will have things that both parents and kids will love. But just like the Royal Hawaiian, you won’t find as many kids here. 

The pool is fairly quiet — when we visited there were two kids swimming. The restaurants are lively because of the live music, not because they are filled with kids. 

Ko Olina Four Seasons Pool Oahu

This gorgeous hotel shares a lagoon with the Disney Aulani hotel (next door) and the two hotels couldn’t be more different. One isn’t better or worse, it just all depends on what you want from your Hawaiian vacation.

While the Four Seasons may not have as many pint-sized guests as the other resorts, it has great family-friendly amenities. Possibly the best is the kid’s club Camp Kohola, which is included in the resort cost. Add on a night of glamping — smores, stargazing, and stories around a campfire — and your kids might have more fun on vacation than you. 

Ko Olina Four Seasons Oahu Kids Resort

Biggest pro: a luxury resort that has amenities that will truly appeal to every single family member.

Biggest con: there aren’t many cons here, other than the price. But if you time it right, you might be able to find a room that fits your budget. Or, if you’re set on staying in Ko Olina, it might be worth the splurge. 

Fast Facts: Staying at the Four Seasons Ko Olina with Kids

🍍 Activities: Oceanfront yoga, glamping for kids, treasure hunt, lei making, tennis for kids, movies, board games, stand up paddle

🍍 Kids club: Camp Kohola, complimentary for kids ages 5-12

🍍 Restaurants: Five (excellent) restaurants on-site, but no notable kids offer

🍍 Pools: Separate family and adult pool

🍍 Location: Lagoon 1 in Ko Olina and across the street from Ko Olina Station

 

Staying in Ko Olina? Check out our full Ko Olina Guide to get the details on where to stay, what to do, and where to eat. 

Turtle Bay (North Shore)

This is truly our favorite place to stay on Oahu when we visit. Not only do we love the North Shore, but the hotel itself also couldn’t be better. 

Turtle Bay Oahu North Shore Family Resort

Turtle Bay somehow appeals to both families and honeymooners (a tough thing to do) and has something for everyone. Henry loves running around the sprawling lawns, splashing in the pools, and watching his parents go down the waterslide. 

North Shore Oahu Family Resort Pool

We spent evenings watching the blowhole (Henry’s favorite) along with the sunset. The hotel is removed from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the island, which makes it feel more like a getaway with your family.

Turtle Bay Oahu Family Resort Blow Hole

We love the large rooms (every single one has an ocean view and lanai), the great service, and the easy access to amenities. Not to mention, this resort has a calmness that other resorts on the island just don’t have.

The only thing we’d wish for is more kid-friendly eating options. The Kula Grille (closed for remodeling during our visit) is the only kid-friendly option at Turtle Bay. Roy’s is delicious, but taking Henry there isn’t high on our list. Lei-Lei’s is good, but in terms of healthy kids menu options, there’s not much. 

The general store (near the pool) is a great place to stock up on some of the essentials for kids (snacks and breakfast food) at a fair price. 

Turtle Bay also doesn’t have a kid’s club so parents who want some time alone will be out of luck.

Turtle Bay Oahu beach family resort

 

Biggest pro: An expansive property with plenty to do on-site to keep you busy for more than a week.  

Biggest con:  There’s no kid’s club so parents who want some time away are out of luck.

Fast Facts: Staying at Turtle Bay with Kids

🍍 Activities: Ukulele lessons, hula lessons, SUP demonstrations, free round at driving range, video rental, surfing lessons, canoe tours, golf, disc golf, horseback riding, walking trails.

🍍 Kids club: No

🍍 Restaurants: One free kid’s meal with paying adult at the Kula Grille

🍍 Pools: Splash pool for young kids, waterslide, two hot tubs, a separate pool for the villas, and main resort pool

🍍 Location: North Shore, a 20-minute drive from Haleiwa 

Related article:

Location, Location, Location

All of these resorts are located in one of three very different parts of the island. If you’re not sure where to stay yet, we have a full breakdown that will help you decide if Waikiki, Ko’Olina, or the North Shore is better for your Hawaiian vacation – Which Part of Oahu Should You Stay: Waikiki or Ko Olina Or North Shore.

 

Jordan Erica Henry Oahu Family Trip

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Erica Gellerman

Erica Gellerman

Author

I'm the co-founder, with my husband Jordan, of The Hawaii Vacation Guide. We live on Maui with our toddler Henry and our sweet but quirky dog Hattie. You will most likely find me on the water on a SUP or swimming in the waves.

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