I have only been two places - Honolulu and Maui. The Honolulu trip was for a wedding.A fun place- but it's a city. We found everything we were looking for on Maui. We always stay at the FairmontKea Lani- andusually stay in a villa. They have a couple of different pools and one that isvery fun for kids. Also, the beach is great and the waves are not too big for swimming. There are alot of funplaces to eat and you can walk down a pathalong the water for a few minutesto try other restaurants at places like the Four Seasons.There was great golf for my husband- and beautiful sightseeing. I felt like it is a verysafe place for kids - which is why we go back every year.
Maui is amazing! It is everything you picture when you think of Hawaii. You should definitely take your kids to a luau in Maui. We went to two while we were there. One very big and one that was small and intimate. Both times they called for the children in the audience to come up on stage and do a Hawaiian dance. Everyone had a great time. Most hotels are child friendly and have various activities for them throughout the day. i.e Lay making, beading, boogie board lessons...
you should also consider the big island of hawaii. the four seasons, mauna lani, and mauna kea resorts are all great self contained reosorts with plenty to do for everyone in the family. there is also plenty to explore on the island when you want to wander out of the resort. the island is not as built up as maui or certainly oahu, but there are some great restaurants (merrimans) and some really funky little villages to explore. the thing we like best about the big island over the others is that you get consistently great weather, which is important to us as we usually pop over for only 4-5 days and we don't want a few of them to be rainy.
I have always wanted to go to Hawaii but it is such a long way to travel from the UK. Ideally, I would either like to go to Maui or Kaui but that would mean travelling even further. I don't really want to stay in a high rise hotel likeI see in the photo's of waikiki so wouldone of the other islands be better? Also which time of the year gets the least rainfall? Any good recommendations for a resort which has rooms or suites with large balconies with wonderful views. When I choose a hotel my first priority is the outside space. I would love to have a balcony/lanai which has sunbeds on them to enjoy the sunshine and wonderful views. Thank you for your help in advance.
Maryj - you should definately consider the Big Island (Hawai'i) if you want to avoid a high rise hotel (and crowds). The Four Season Hualalai is my favorite along the Kona Coast, but most of the hotels along that stretch should meet your criteria. If you are bringing kids to Hawai'i, the Hilton Waikoloa has the most activities, but is also a zoo, so while the kids will be well-stimulated, it will be hard to find great places to go for downtime for the adults.
I'd recommend staying at either the Orchid at Mauna Lani, the Four Seasons, or if you want a bit of nostalgia, stay at the Mauna Kea hotel - the oldest and still one of the best hotels on the Kona coast.
The Mauna Kea is a short walk from Hapuna Beach, which is one of the best (and the most accessible) beaches along that coast.
I grew up in Hawaii and we go back every year or two for vacations (often with young grandchildren).
For enjoyable Hawaiian locations with children I would recommend Kauai and Maui.
On Kauai a great hotel is the Kauai Beach Marriott in Lihue - fantastic pool.
Also on Kauai the Hanalei Bay Resort in Princeville - shares beach with the Princeville Hotel but has own pool.
On Maui Kapalua can't be beat but seek out unit rentals at www.mauiresorts.com - Sullivan Properties. I have rented through them twice - good prices and good locations - Bay Villas and Golf Villas for about $250 for two bedroom units.
Personally I own two weeks at Alii Kai II - a timeshare in Princeville.
We have traveled to Hawaii many times but have taken our three children (15,8,6) only once. We decided to take them to the Big Island of Hawaii because of the varied activities available. We stayed at the Islands at Mauna Lani and it was fantastic! The townhome we had was beautiful and there was a beautiful pool just steps away. I did miss not being oceanside, as these are located on the golf course. There is a private beach club nearby that we basically had to ourselves. All of the beaches in Hawaii are considered "public" so we also went over to the Fairmont Orchid. We have stayed there many times before and love it...so we were familiar with the beach there. The Orchid is also a wonderful place to stay with children! The grounds have a lot to do and there are special activities for children...along with the Keiki club. They have beautiful tennis courts, golf courses, a "spa without walls" and the service is normally very good. The Hilton Waikaloa Village is another kid haven, but as previously mentioned can be a "zoo". Don't expect any private beach areas! Hope this helps!
We have been blessed with two trips to Hawaii, both to Maui. We stayed on different parts of the island each time, and each trip was totally different and wonderful. If your children are water-worthy, Maui has several beaches that you can enter easily and snorkle to your heart's content. My kiddos would leave only when their lips were blue from the time in the cool water! We took snorkle boat trips several days...one a repeat from the first visit and another to a near-by island. Our most extraordinary snorkle trip was on the morning we left the last time...a very clear memory...when we took a boat to where the giant sea turtles tend to stay at a remote part of the island. We were there with the turtles and no others for hours...incredible! Cheers...Marolyn