Few spots in the US are better for a tropical vacation than Hawaii. It’s so remote that you’ll feel like you flew your family to a different country when you’re technically still in America. You won’t even need a passport!
The only thing that could make your Hawaiian getaway even better is hands-off planning, right? Well, you’re in luck. Hawaii has a wealth of all-inclusive resorts with family vibes to keep the kids entertained all day long.
Here is a quick and easy list of my top five all-inclusive resorts in Hawaii for chill vibes and family time.
Disney magic has come to Hawaii at Aulani Resort. This breathtakingly beautiful resort in Kapolei is inspired by Hawaiian culture. The name of the resort translates to “messenger of a chief.”
Aulani has charmed families since it opened in 2011. Many immersive, incredible activities are included with your stay for planning your entire vacation close to the resort.
Guests are always welcome to the Pau Hana Room, a community hall with movies, crafts, games, fun, and friends. It has entertainment for kids of all ages so that you can mingle as a family.
The walking tour Maka’ka’i introduces you to the wonder of the wildlife and nature on the Hawaiian islands. You can also take a guided walking tour to explore the island’s culture and art, two trademarks of this amazing resort.
The Menehune Bridge is an interactive play area with dual slides. The kids can also busy themselves with a scavenger hunt on the Menehune Adventure Trail.
Beat the relentless heat at the Keki Cove Splash Zone, which has a tidal pool style and plenty of jets blasting water. The Ka Maka Grotto is an infinity pool with views of Ko Olina Beach. After dark, the pool lights come on, giving the water an enchanting feel.
The Ko Olina Lagoon’s beach features a paved trail for easy access. This Disney beach has received awards for its quality. The kids should be happy to go paddleboarding, snorkeling, boogieboarding, or swimming. Equipment rentals are available for a fee.
Your kids will even get to meet their favorite Disney characters, with meet and greets always on the calendar.
Every night, the Mo’Olelo fire pit comes alive when a storyteller known only as Uncle sits by the roaring flames and tells stories with effects, props, and puppets.
Oh, and did I mention you can even take ukulele lessons at Aulani? They’re included with your stay.
Should you have a bigger vacation budget, you can spend additional money on activities like nightly luaus, horseback riding, family spa days, 18-hole golfing, an aromatherapy garden, T-shirt stamping, and face painting.
The dining options range from quick service to sit-down meals. You can expect the charm of Disney cuisine fused with the authenticity of Hawaiian ingredients. International flavors are also available for more advanced tastes.
Lounge in a single- or double-bedroom suite or expand your horizons to a villa. The two-bedroom villas have enough space for nine adults, so they should suffice if you have a larger family (like I do!).
These rooms include a single pull-down bed, two queen-sized sleeper sofas, one queen-sized bed, and one king-sized mattress. Some have mountain, garden, or sea views.
Family togetherness begins at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. This oceanfront family resort has experiences and activities that dreams are made of.
For a separate fee, you can book a private snorkeling tour at Kealakekua Bay, which has warm, crystal-clear waters. You’ll receive a ride to and from the bay, light refreshments, snorkeling equipment, sunscreen, and towels. Kids must be six or older to participate.
How does a two-hour helicopter ride over the stunning Hawaiian islands sound? Or perhaps ziplining? At the Kohala Zipline Adventure, you and the children can experience six unique skybridges and eight different ziplines with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. Kids must be eight or older.
The eight-hour Kohala Waterfalls hiking adventure takes you across valleys, coastlines, streams, and waterfalls with private views.
These activities are just scratching the surface! You can also go canoeing or paddleboarding, take a boat tour, lounge by the pool, or play golf or tennis. The marine experiences are led by a professional junior marine biologist who can teach you about the rigors of the job and the wildlife that live here.
Mom and Dad, feel free to spend some time by yourselves, as Four Seasons Resort Hualalai will take care of the children. Kids’ camps are designed for groups five to 12 and nine to 17. The younger kids’ camp features swimming, outdoor sports, and arts and crafts.
Older kids can snorkel, stargaze, learn about waterfalls and lava tubes, and see private beaches.
Sumptuous resort dining encompasses the authentic flavors of Hawaii. Taste seasonal and regional flavors at the ‘Ulu Ocean Grill, sit down to fresh seafood at the Residents’ Beach House, fill up on fish at the ‘Ulu Sushi Lounge, or request in-room dining.
Suites and villas are spacious enough lodging options for larger families to feel comfortable and enjoy their privacy. The deluxe and superior suites offer more than 1,000 square feet, with the largest suites close to 1,500 square feet.
Cribs, a sofa bed, and one king-sized bed are your sleeping options for groups of three or more.
Waikiki is one of the best parts of the Hawaiian islands to visit, especially for the Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk. This gorgeous hotel overlooks the south shore of Honolulu and Oahu.
The resort puts you near many great area attractions that I’m sure are already on your must-see list.
For instance, you can easily visit Iolani Palace from the resort, a fascinating piece of Hawaiian history dedicated to the state’s long-gone royalty and monarchs. You can bookend that with an afternoon at the Bishop Museum.
The kids will go bananas for a chance to visit the Waikiki Aquarium, the oldest of its kind in the country (it opened in 1904). The aquarium features fishes, invertebrates, marine mammals, and reptiles. It’s also a resource for animal conservation.
The Grand Lanai at the hotel boasts a sundeck with access to private cabanas and daybeds. The area also has a whirlpool spa and heated outdoor pool. A children’s pool is shallow enough for the kids.
The activity calendar at Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk frequently updates, with something fun and exciting happening every day. Check it out and add an event to your travel plans.
Dine at the Pakini Bar and Lounge, which offers covered pavilion seating and a tropical menu.
Breakfasts are also provided through the hotel. You and the family can enjoy fresh-cooked omelets every morning, customizing your breakfast at the omelet station.
A nightly poolside reception includes light refreshments and drinks. You don’t have to be new to the resort to take advantage of this small event every evening from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
A stay at a high-style suite 21 stories up provides unmatched ocean and mountain views. All rooms include laundry, dry cleaning, a mini kitchen (with a coffeemaker, microwave, and fridge), a flat-screen TV with cable and pay channels, and one- or two-bedroom suites.
Everything your family craves is under one roof at the Turtle Bay Resort. The hotel sits on almost 1,300 acres of land, with seven beaches, five miles of coastline, and the richness of Hawaii around every corner.
Kids seven and up shouldn’t miss the private Oahu horseback rides at The Stables. The hourlong ride provides coastal views and nature trails. You can also opt for a group ride, which lasts between 45 and 75 minutes, depending on which package you choose.
When you’re done with your ride, Turtle Bay offers kids six and under an opportunity to feed and groom a pony. They can also go for a ride if they’re too young for the main horseback riding experience.
Hawaii is known for its shimmering seas and the watersports played upon them. You and the family can learn like the locals as part of the Jamie O’Brien Surf Experience. These one-hour lessons instruct you how to ride a surfboard or stand-up paddleboard, with group, semi-private, and private lessons available.
There are also separate children’s surfing lessons with plans customized to little ones.
Charter a helicopter ride through Paradise Helicopters. Kids eight and up and their parents can ride across the Sacred Falls over a tour that lasts 20, 40, or 60 minutes. There is even a door-free helicopter tour with an unimpeded view for brave vacationers.
It doesn’t stop there! Explore tide pools, bask on the beaches, walk the paths and trails, or have a relaxing day learning to hula, play ukulele, or make leis. Kids can take a fishing charter tour, the Banzai Divers Hawaii class (for children 10 and older), or a boat tour.
A stay at Turtle Bay Resort promises plenty of up-close-and-personal experiences with the aquatic wildlife. Kids can witness sea turtles and dolphins on a tour led by an island naturalist. They can even enter a shark cage or snorkel with sharks!
Savor the unique, encompassing flavors at Turtle Bay’s many restaurants. The sustainable, fresh cuisine comes from the nearby North Shore. I recommend the Paniolo Luau, as you can eat Hawaiian food such as roasted pig and smoked brisket while watching luau dancers.
You can select from rooms, suites, bungalows, guest rooms, and ocean villas. The latter are large enough for large groups, as you can choose three- or four-bedroom options with furnishings such as a double vanity, soaking tub, a private bathroom, a full kitchen, a dining area, and a living space.
Hawaii Magazine ranked the Royal Kona Resort as the best hotel restaurant, the best bar and lounge, the best luau, the best value hotel, and the best hotel for families in 2022 and 2023.
Part of the resort’s high marks undoubtedly comes from its eclectic but exciting range of activities, which run the gamut for families looking for adventure or a more relaxing experience under the Hawaiian sun.
Helicopter tours afford you majestic views of volcanoes, beaches, ravines, and jungles. You just might see a volcano erupting if you’re lucky!
Volcano fans won’t want to miss Hawaii Volcanos National Park, which is close to the Royal Kona Resort. The park is 13,680 feet above sea level and features Mauna Loa and Kilauea, two active volcanos.
The park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve. Besides sightseeing, visitors love Hawaii Volcanos National Park for its hiking and driving tours. It’s also an affordable spot to stay besides the hotel.
Nearby Seahorse Farms & Tours will be the highlight of your child’s vacation experience. They can see creatures like marine invertebrates, fishes, and seahorses in their natural habitats and even feed and pet them.
Royal Kona also has plenty of ways to keep your family busy, from hula lessons to an onsite open market, lei-making lessons, ukulele lessons, tennis, a saltwater pool, yoga, and live music. Luaus are a regular attraction at the resort.
Fall in love with Hawaiian cuisine at the Royal Kona’s incredible restaurant selection, which offers a tasty blend of Asian, European, and Hawaiian cuisines.
Voyagers of the Pacific Luau is a Polynesian culture and dinner extravaganza. Live music and dancers create a festive atmosphere while the family chows down on roasted pig and other Hawaiian delicacies.
The beautiful rooms come with your choice of double or king-sized beds. Spacious floor plans will create privacy, while the amenities cater to your every need. For instance, you can add cribs or a rollaway bed for a larger family.
Enjoy high-class amenities such as flat-screen TVs, connecting rooms, deluxe bath features, and a mini fridge.