Where to Stay on Maui with Kids: 10 Best Resorts and Vacation Rentals

by | Feb 20, 2020 | Maui, Planning, Where to Stay

Let’s start with this: Maui is a very family-friendly island. I’d go so far as to say it’s the most family-friendly Hawaiian island. From a huge number of activities for kids to the great options you have for safely enjoying the beaches, Maui caters to families. 

But that doesn’t mean that every hotel or vacation rental is created equal. Not even close. And if you want to pick the best spot for your family vacation, we have you covered with this guide. 

The best family-friendly resorts on Maui are:

  1. The Fairmont Kea Lani 
  2. The Grand Wailea
  3. Four Seasons
  4. Wailea Beach Resort
  5. Westin Maui Resort and Spa
  6. Ka’anapali Beach Hotel

The best vacation rental communities on Maui for kids are:

  1. Ka’anapali Alii
  2. Puamana
  3. Wailea Ekahi Village
  4. Wailea Elua Village

Read on as we dish all the details on these resorts, give you our favorite picks in the luxe and moderate category, and give you some great condos to stay in (if your family would prefer to skip the resort). 

Maui Wailea Fairmont Kea Lani kids pool

The Best Maui Resorts for Kids

Let’s get this out of the way first: staying at a resort on Maui with kids is going to be expensive. In 2019 the cost of a hotel was around 10% more than the cost of a vacation rental

The average cost of a hotel room in November 2019 was $205 per night while the average cost of a vacation rental was $180 per night. And that’s not considering that most resorts come with a per-day fee, which can range from $30 – $70, and you’ll be spending a lot more eating out.

That aside, there’s a reason more people stay at resorts when they visit Maui. According to travel data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, in November 2019, 44% of visitors stayed in hotels only and 13% stayed in vacation rentals only when visiting (the remaining stayed in a combination of both or timeshares). 

Why do more people stay at resorts on Maui? 

Depending on the resort, the amenities for kids (and adults) can be fantastic. Water slides, lazy rivers, hula lessons, star gazing, and kids eat free. Plus daily housekeeping and kid’s clubs can make it a relaxing vacation for parents as well as the kids. 

While all but one hotel on the island welcomes kids, there are a few hotels on the island that stand out as the best family-friendly resorts.

Maui Wailea Fairmont koi pond for kids

Get your bearings on where they best family resorts and vacation rentals are located. Wailea is located in South Maui and Ka’anapali is located in West Maui. These are the resort areas because they are drenched in sun and hardly ever rain. 

Maui Areas Map The Hawaii Vacation Guide

Fairmont Kea Lani (Wailea)

First, to any parent who knows the pain of squeezing into a tiny hotel room with our kids, the Fairmont hears you and is here to fix that. The Fairmont Kea Lani is an oceanfront luxury resort that only offers one-bedroom suites and two to three-bedroom villas. You will have space, a designated bedroom (or more), and you won’t trip over each other during your stay. 

The Fairmont is located at the southern end of Wailea on Polo Beach and has a less busy vibe than the other resorts in the area. The beach is beautiful and offers great snorkeling when the water is calm. 

While this is a luxury, expensive hotel, it offers more value for a family than the other luxury hotels on the island. The kids club is included, there are plenty of family activities, and you’ll be staying in a suite or a villa. 

Fairmont Kea Lani Beach Villas for families

The Fairmont Kea Lani Beach Villas.

But here’s why I really like the Fairmont: compared with the other family-friendly resorts on the island it feels calmer and less crowded. Its location at the southern end of Wailea means you’re not sandwiched between the other resorts and you get a little more space to breathe and explore. 

Fast facts: staying at the Fairmont Kea Lani with kids

  • Activities: Koi feeding, nightly torch lighting, croquet, corn hole, Mermaid University, Ninja zone obstacle course
  • Kid’s Club: Yes, for kids 5-12 years old. Cost included in the resort fee
  • Restaurants: Kids under 5 eat free off the kids’ (keiki) menu at the Ko Kea Lani Restaurant and AMA Bar & Grill. Kids 5-12 can eat off the kid’s (keiki) menu for full price or the regular menu at 50% off regular prices. 
  • Pools: Two kid-friendly pools with 140’ water slide and basketball hoop. Separate pool for small kids and pool toys are available. To help you stay out of the sun, cabanas can be rented. Plus, complimentary sunscreen is available by the pools, to keep your kids covered all day. 
  • Nearby: Polo Beach

If you want to stay in Wailea on Maui with your kids, the Fairmont is our first choice for the best kid-friendly luxury hotel. 

Wailea Fairmont Kea Lani Polo Beach for families

Polo Beach in Wailea, in front of the Fairmont Kea Lani.

Ka’anapali Beach Hotel (Ka’anapali)

There is something about the Ka’anapli Beach Hotel that will make you feel like you’re transported to the 1960’s Ka’anapali. It might be the decor, the building design, or the wide-open space, but the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel has a retro charm. Don’t expect to see many (or any) updates here. 

This is a mid-range hotel so you won’t have the luxury amenities that you’ll find at some of the other hotels on this list. Eating at the restaurant isn’t a memorable experience and you won’t find plush linens. But if you’re looking for a place where your family can get the best value for the location, this is the spot.

The Ka’anapali Beach Hotel is in a prime spot along Ka’anapali beach — in between Whaler’s Village and Black Rock with a huge beach outstretching in front of the resort. The area is sprawling (great for kids that want space to run), and the service is extremely friendly. 

Kaanapali Beach Hotel big beach for kids

Kaanapali Beach Hotel has an expansive beach for kids to run.

The downside is that you won’t find a kids club or an exciting pool (no waterslide, lazy river, or waterfall in sight). But if those things don’t matter to your family, the price here is hard to beat. 

Kaanapali Beach Hotel Maui Big Lawns for Kids

Fast facts: staying at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel with kids

  • Activities: Hula, Hawaiian language, lei making, ukelele lessons. See the entire cultural activities schedule. There are also ocean activities available through the ocean activity center.
  • Kid’s club: No
  • Restaurants: Kids under 5 eat free at the Tiki Terrace
  • Pool: Yes, but small an unexciting
  • Nearby: Ka’anapali beach and Whaler’s Village

The Ka’anapali Beach Hotel is our choice for a mid-range hotel on Maui to stay with your kids.

Kaanapali Beach Hotel family focused

Big lawns and open spaces in this retro resort.

Grand Wailea (Wailea)

If pools are a draw for you and your kids, this is the place to stay. This is the most elaborate system of pools you’ll find on the island: nine pools, four waterslides, plus a lazy river. 

Plus the grounds are huge and offer something different to explore at every turn (think: lush gardens, small waterfalls, and koi ponds). Your kids won’t get bored walking around the grounds. But, the elaborate grounds can feel crowded, which is why we think of this as more of a luxury hotel for kids than for adults. 

Grand Wailea Child Friendly swimming pools

The Grand Wailea also has an impressive kid’s club with a video arcade and a movie theater. But the luxury club comes at a cost: $65 for a half-day and $125 for a full day. 

Fast facts: staying at the Grand Wailea with kids

  • Activities: Scuba training program (for 12 and up), kayak, paddleboard, aqua glider tours and rentals (through an outside vendor), gaming lounge, sunrise chant, botanical tour, sunset torch lighting, lei making, hula lessons, lego wall. 
  • Kid’s Club: Camp Grande for kids 5-12, additional fee ($65 – $125 for half or full day)
  • Restaurants: Separate kids menu available. Kids 5 and under receive a free breakfast in the Grand Dining Room and free dinner at Humuhumu. 
  • Pools: Four pools, five intertwining slides, whitewater rapids slide, Tarzan pool and rope, waterfalls, caves, jacuzzi’s, water elevator, and swim-up bar. Cabanas can be reserved. 
  • Nearby: Wailea Beach

Grand Wailea Fountain is fun for kids

Westin Maui Resort and Spa (Ka’anapali)

The Westin is probably our favorite resort in Ka’anapali. The location is right next to Whaler’s Village, which is convenient, but we worried it would make it a little too busy. Luckily, the Westin somehow manages to keep a somewhat serene environment in the midst of a very busy area. 

Whalers Village Maui Great for Kids Activities

Whalers Village offers kids activities and events for families, along with shopping.

The key to the Westin feeling not too overwhelming might be their pool layout. They have five different pools on different levels overlooking the beach. That’s 87,0000 square feet of pool for your kids to splash around in. These pools really give the Grand Wailea a run for their money. They are outstanding and on each of our visits, haven’t been overcrowded. 

Westin Maui waterfalls for family fun

The hotel has 770 rooms — the same number as the Grand Wailea — but somehow manages to feel like a smaller hotel than that. While the hotel is going through a number of renovations (currently in 2020), the rooms are still dated and not on par with what you’ll find at some of the luxury hotels on this list. 

One big plus to point out here is that at the Westin they have a night camp for kids. So if you’d like to head out to dinner and leave the kids back at the hotel, the night camp runs from 5:30 – 9:30 pm and costs $60 (which includes dinner for your child).

Fast facts: staying at the Westin Maui Resort and Spa with kids

  • Activities: on-site luau and Waterman Program
  • Kid’s club: Day and evening camp for kids 5-12 years old. 8:30 – 12:30 $55 8:30 – 3:30 $80, 5:30 – 9:30 $60
  • Restaurants: a Kid’s Eat Well Menu with nutritious options for kids
  • Pools: Five pools including a waterslide and waterfalls stretching over 87,000 square feet
  • Nearby: Whaler’s Village and Ka’anapali Beach

The Westin Kaanapali Kid Friendly Resort

Four Seasons (Wailea)

To us, this hotel comes in at a very close second to the Fairmont Kea Lani in the luxury family hotel category. The Four Seasons combines everything parents and kids will love. 

The rooms are spacious, which is a big bonus when sharing a space with your kids (and all their stuff). There are a fantastic number of activities to keep everyone entertained well into the evening. And the service is outstanding, which it should be at all luxury hotels — the prices here are steep.

There are three pools, and while they may not be as exciting as some other hotel pools nearby, they offer one huge benefit: complimentary cabanas. Yes, your napping child can snooze out of the sun and it’s not going to cost you $150 per day. 

The kids club, open from 9 am – 5 pm is complimentary. And, as an added bonus, there is no resort fee. The included amenities make it easy to see why this is the most expensive hotel on the list but also an incredible place to stay on the island. 

Fast facts: staying at the Four Season with kids

  • Activities: aside from their list of daily activities, you’ll have access to a game room, croquet, bocci ball, and a putting green.
  • Kid’s club: The Kids For All Seasons club is complimentary for kids age 5-12 (under 5 are allowed with an accompanying adult). Activities include gecko hunts, hula lessons, lei making, sandcastle building, Hawaiian bowling and more
  • Restaurants: Free meals for kids five and under at Ferraro’s and DUO
  • Pools: 3 pools, including an adult serenity pool as well as a waterfall family pool with a slide. Pool attendants come around with Evian spritz and frozen cherries to help cool you off during your day at the pool.
  • Nearby: Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach Resort (Wailea)

This is the best Marriott property in South Maui. While compared to other hotels on this list, it does lack in many areas when it comes to being kid-friendly, it makes up for it with the longest waterslide in Hawaii. Yes, that’s right. When you stay at the Wailea Beach Resort, you can ride the longest waterslide in the entire state. 

They also have a game room for kids and movie theater showing kids movies in the evening — free lemonade and popcorn included. 

The drawback is that the kids club is open seasonally, so there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to use that amenity. 

Fast facts: staying at the Wailea Beach Resort with kids

  • Activities: Lifesize chess and connect four on the oceanfront lawns, a movie room, and an escape room (this is probably not going to be appealing to your young kids). 
  • Kid’s club: The kids club is open seasonally; $125 for full day and $75 for half
  • Restaurants: Restaurants and food truck options
  • Pools: three pools and the Nalu adventure slide with the longest waterslide in Hawaii
  • Nearby: Wailea Beach

The Best Maui Condos and Vacation Rentals for Kids

Let me start by saying this: Maui is expensive BUT if you’re traveling with a family, a vacation rental will give you more for your money. We have an article helping you decide whether a hotel or vacation rental is better for your trip to Maui. 

We selected vacation rental communities based on their location (getting kids into the car all day long isn’t my idea of a vacation), their amenities (pools, tennis courts, and grills are a must), their green space (what kid doesn’t love to run), and size (there are plenty of smaller rentals but when traveling with kids, space is a premium). 

Ka’anapali Alii (Ka’anapali)

Staying at the Ka’anapali Alii almost feels like a hybrid between a hotel and a vacation rental. At the Alii, you can rent a spacious one or two-bedroom condos in the middle of Ka’anapali. These condos come with amenities you’d expect at a hotel: tennis courts, yoga, a spa, and a gym plus a daily maid service and concierge. 

But they also have the benefits of a vacation rental. For the price of a hotel room, you’ll get a one or two-bedroom condo. There are also multiple pools (including a designated kids pool) as well as gas grills available for BBQs. 

One note: because of the location, these are truly condos. Space is at a premium in the resort area. Where the other vacation rentals on this list have low-rise buildings and townhomes, the Alii is 11 floors high. 

Where to Stay on Maui with Kids best resorts

Puamana (Lahaina)

This is a hidden gem that I kind of feel bad outing, so let’s keep this between us, ok? Puamana is probably the best place on the island to book your vacation rental. 

It’s a gated community at the end of Front Street in Lahaina, so you’re about a mile from the hustle and bustle of the restaurants. It also has sprawling grounds (30 acres), a tennis court, three pools, and some of the best surfing on the island. 

The drawbacks? Some of the units are a bit dated (a risk you run with most vacation rentals), and they do have issues with mice activity as they are situated across the highway from a field. And some of the units do have trouble with noise coming from that highway. 

All in all, this spot is worth the slight premium that you may pay. 

Maui Condo Airbnb Cost

An example of high-end Puamana Maui condo with ocean views and a yard.

Wailea Ekahi Village (Wailea)

If you’re looking for a vacation rental community in Wailea, the Ekahi Village should be on your list. Just as with Puamana, each unit is owned separately so pay attention to whether the actual unit has been updated. 

The Ekahi Village is spacious and you’ll find four pools, one tennis court, shuffleboard, and bbq grills. You’re also a short walk to Keawapaku Beach and a one-mile walk to The Shops at Wailea. 

Wailea Elua Village (Wailea)

Another rental community in Wailea that is a wonderful spot for families is the Elua Village. The community is located on Ulua beach. Their website says they cater to an adult crowd (ie: quite), so you may not find as many young kids running around. That said when we visited we saw many kids — mainly older pre-teens and teenagers. 

The resort has two pools, a tennis court, a putting green, and BBQ areas. 

Glamping on Maui with Kids?

We’ve just gone through a list of very expensive places to stay. Sure, vacation rentals can be a better deal than resorts. But let’s face it: they are still expensive.

If you’re looking for something that fits your budget or something out of the norm, consider glamping on Maui at Camp Olowalu. We have a full review in our Glamping on Maui guide

Final Note on Where to Stay With Kids on Maui

Choosing the right location for your vacation to Maui can feel like a daunting task. But as Maui locals, we love helping people figure this out. After all, a vacation on Maui isn’t cheap and you should get your money’s worth. 

If you need more help deciding where to stay, these articles will help you dig into that:

Plus, check out our whole library of resources and browse all of our advice covering everything from picking the right rental car to finding budget-friendly activities. 

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

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.

Related Articles You Will Find Fascinating

Oahu vs. Maui (from someone who has lived on both)

Oahu vs. Maui (from someone who has lived on both)

The first big decision you have to make once you plan a trip to Hawaii is to decide what island to visit. Choosing between Maui and Oahu can be overwhelming, and everyone has a different opinion. As someone who has visited, lived on, and loves both islands, here is...