Family-friendly resorts in Kauai that make you feel right at home. By Mimi Slawoff
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas (Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas)
From plantation-style condos and villas to full-service resorts, Kauai — the Garden Island — has an array of family-friendly hotels. Enjoy the comforts of home with fully-equipped kitchen, laundry facilities, and private lanai steps from the beach in a plush villa. Or, leave the dishes to someone else and book a room in a resort complete with children’s programs, swanky pools, room service, and an assortment of onsite restaurants. Here’s a sampling of 5 resorts that welcome families with open arms, the aloha way.
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, Princeville
Daily Koi fish feedings, Wednesday night movies, and the Westin Kids Club (for ages 5 – 12) are just the beginning of family fun at the Westin, located 200 feet above the Pacific. Laua‘e fern stamping, lei-making, and nature walks are among program activities for kids 5 – 12. There’s something for everyone at the 18.5-acre resort’s four pools, 20 self-serve BBQ grills, a restaurant, poolside bar, and a general store (plenty of breakfast and lunch items). Kids love the keiki (kids) pool with spouting honu (turtles) and water slide. Enjoy laid-back luxury in studio, one-, or two-bedroom villas with fully-equipped kitchens or kitchenettes and in-unit washer/dryers. Note: Active families can hike down a steep path to the ocean. Worth the walk!
Nearby: Anini Beach and the historic Kilauea Lighthouse.
(MORE: Find wonderful kid-friendly attractions in Kauai.)
Aston Islander on the Beach, Kapa‘a
Aston Islander on the Beach (Aston Islander on the Beach)
Tucked behind the Coconut Market Place, the Aston is a casual, beachfront plantation-style resort. Barbecue your meals by the pool, lounge under a thatched hut, listen to live Hawaiian music, and learn to play the ukulele. Best of all, fall asleep to the sound of the waves. Note: A visitor center, Whalers General Store, eateries, and boutiques are just steps away.
Nearby: Bubba’s Burgers is worth the short drive.
Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation, Koloa
Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation (Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation)
Stroll along lush pathways with swaying palms and scented plumeria blossoms on the 35-acre Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation, situated on the grounds of a 19th-century plantation. You’ll feel at home in the bright and airy beachfront condos on the sunny shores of famous Poipu Beach. One- and two-bedroom condos have fully-equipped kitchens, spacious living areas, and private lanais ideal for family dining with ocean or garden views. Pick up complimentary beach chairs and towels, and for a small fee rent boogie boards and snorkel gear at the activities desk. Some condos provide boogie boards for guests (check the closets). Note: No elevators, free parking.
Nearby: Shop and dine at the Poipu Shopping Village, a short walk from the resort. The open-air Keoki’s Paradise is a delightful family-friendly restaurant.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, Koloa
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort (Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa)
The moment the kids see the pools, they won’t want to leave. Neither will you. Float down the Grand Hyatt’s lava-rock lined lazy river past waterfalls and caves to the 150-foot waterslide. Swim or kayak in the saltwater lagoon. But don’t miss a chance to enjoy the beach (although no lifeguards) and stroll along beautifully-landscaped pathways. While you take in a spa treatment, your kids can play and learn about Hawaiian culture through hands-on activities at Camp Hyatt for ages 3 – 12. With several onsite restaurants, no-one will go hungry. From poolside burgers to traditional Hawaiian fare at the cozy Tidepools restaurant (check out the koi pond), there’s something for every budget. Gather the gang for the nightly torch-lighting ceremony followed by music, keiki hula, and various entertainment. Note: There’s an onsite luau.
Nearby: Take an easy hike along the sea cliff adjacent to the resort for spectacular views. You might even see endangered humpback whales, green sea turtles, or monk seals.
(MORE: Find more kid-friendly hotels in Kauai.)
Kauai Marriott at Kalapaki Beach, Lihue
Kauai Marriott at Kalapaki Beach (Kauai Marriott at Kalapaki Beach)
A prime swim beach, a 26,000-square-foot pool (Hawaii’s largest single-level pool), and five whirlpools ensure family fun all day long at Kauai Marriott. Kids will beg to stay by the pool. And with an assortment of onsite restaurants, there’s no reason to leave. Among numerous onsite eateries: the poolside Kalapaki Grill, serving pizza, burgers, and snacks. Kukui’s serves breakfast (try the strawberry waffles), lunch, and dinner sure to satisfy every palate. Enjoy fresh fish and other tasty plates at Duke’s Kauai. The seasonal Kalapaki Kids Club entertains ages 5 – 12 with Hawaiian games and activities. Cultural activities for all ages includes lei-making, basket-weaving, and more. Note: Buy a raft from an ABC store and float in the surf.
Nearby: Around the corner are a few shops ideal for souvenirs and trinkets.