Hawaii with kids
By Michelle Rae Uy
Beachfront Aulani is the ultimate resort for families visiting Oahu. (Courtesy Disney)
Oahu is a great place to start if you haven’t been to Hawaii. It has everything from kid-friendly beaches, shopping opportunities, animal interactions and outdoor adventures to water activities, amazing food and, of course, the fabled North Shore. And the island is small enough that everything is within a few minutes’ or a few hours’ drive. Still, picking the right hotel in Oahu matters, especially when you’re traveling with the kids in tow.
(MORE: 10 Free Things to Do with Kids on Oahu)
Wake up to an unobstructed view of Waikiki Beach at Park Shore Waikiki Hotel (Courtesy Park Shore Waikiki Hotel)
Park Shore Waikiki Hotel: The hotel’s sweeping, unobstructed view of nearby Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head in the distance, a vision especially spectacular during the golden hours, is its most notable feature. But there are other reasons for families to pick this hotel, including its location just across the street from kid-friendly Waikiki Beach and Honolulu Zoo, the complimentary use of beach chairs and beach towels, and an outdoor pool. Standard rooms and 1-bedroom suites with private balconies are available for families big and small.
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa: Only 30 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu in quiet Ko’Olina is Disney’s Aulani, a beautiful beachfront property that takes Disney’s knack for “happily ever afters” and blends it seamlessly with traditional Hawaiian culture. Kids adore the water park, the calm lagoon and the multitude of kid-friendly activities while parents appreciate that they can squeeze in some R&R without worrying about the kids getting bored. The onsite Laniwai Spa, which offers family and teen treatments, is a glorious feature. Standard rooms, suites and villas are available.
(MORE: Oahu’s Most Amazing Hotel Pools)
A one-bedroom suite with an ocean view at Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki (Credit: Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki)
Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki: We cannot decide whether the best things about this centrally-located hotel are its complimentary add-ons (think free breakfast, cooked-to-order breakfast, evening poolside reception, WiFi and Yoga classes) or the check-in process, which involves sitting in comfortable chairs and sipping on refreshing fruit drinks, and the welcoming staff. Perhaps they’re all of them. For sure, families will appreciate the spacious suites, the private balconies, and the mini kitchens. This all-suite hotel features one- and two-bedroom suites.
Michelle Rae Uy contributed this to MiniTime. She is a travel writer based in Los Angeles and MiniTime’s Head of Content, who spends her free time on adventures and film photography.