On the hunt for the best Big Island resorts for families for your Hawaii vacation?
You have come to the right place! I visited the Big Island of Hawaii with my family recently and did quite a bit of research on the best resorts in Big Island that had the best family-friendly amenities.
My kids love resort pools, and we needed access to a nice beach nearby, so those two were high on my list, along with some good restaurants nearby. We also planned to explore the island, so accessibility was an important factor, too.
Big Island of Hawaii is becoming increasingly popular as a Hawaii vacation destination for families due to its stunning white sand beaches, excellent snorkeling, attractions like the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and an abundance of water activities like whale-watching, boat rides, kayaking, and swimming.
There are many world-class Big Island Hawaii resorts offering many activities to attract families, like special kid’s pools with waterslides, beach access, lagoons, kid-friendly restaurants, kids clubs with special classes and activities, and so much more.
I have rounded up the best resorts on Big Island for families and what kid-friendly amenities they offer. All the other resorts on this list are equally good and you cannot go wrong with any of these.
10 Best Big Island Hawaii resorts for families
Below are the top 9 resorts on the Big Island of Hawaii that are best suited for family vacations and boast excellent kid-friendly amenities.
1. Hilton Waikoloa Village (Best overall!)
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On my family trip to the Big Island, we stayed at Hilton Waikoloa Village and had an absolute blast!
Hilton Waikoloa Village is the largest resort in the Waikoloa region of the Big Island and my number-one recommendation for families! This is a 62-acre ocean-front property with numerous pools and a lagoon.
This resort is like a town on its own with everything you will ever need! The resort has a tram to transport guests between the various resort buildings! My kids called it the ‘Hilton train’ 🙂
The resort has two towers – Makai and Palace. Makai Tower has more upscale accommodation between the two, and Palace Tower is closer to the lagoon.
The resort has stylish rooms and suites, many with extra features like private lanais (balconies) and ocean views.
But the best feature of Hilton Waikoloa Village that attracts families is its massive pool complex and the huge lagoon with kayaks and dolphins!
There are two large family-friendly pools – Kona Pool and Kohala Pool with several water slides, including one that’s 175-foot long, a rope bridge, and hot tubs. There are lounge chairs throughout, and you can rent cabanas. There is an adults-only pool as well.
The saltwater lagoon has a sandy beach and is great for kayaking with kids. The lagoon is also nice for swimming and getting some snorkeling practice.
The lagoon is connected to the ocean, and we saw green Hawaiian turtles and several tropical fish. Every morning, my kids would go to the bridge over the lagoon and watch the trainers feed the dolphins. You can book the Dolphin Encounter and have an up-close experience with these majestic mammals.
The oceanfront is perfect for watching the beautiful Hawaiian sunsets while dining at one of the on-property restaurants.
Hilton Waikoloa Village is one of the best resorts on Big Island for families. I can go on and on about this beautiful Big Island resort!
Family-friendly amenities at Hilton Waikoloa Village
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Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa is a beachfront property right on Anaeho’omalu Bay, offering easy access to a beautiful sandy beach where families can swim, snorkel, and play in the waves.
This is a great choice if you are looking forward to spending the days at the beach in front of the resort and enjoying swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities like kayaking and paddle boarding.
Besides the beach, the Marriott Resort is very popular with families because of its multiple swimming pools, including a kids’ pool and a thrilling water slide and whirlpool that are sure to delight your kids.
The resort provides comfortable and spacious rooms and suites with modern amenities suitable for families of various sizes. The rooms offer either ocean, pool, resort, or mountain views.
While parents can indulge in rejuvenating spa treatments at the Mandara Spa, the resort also offers teen spa services for older kids.
The Hawaii Calls restaurant on-site has a breakfast buffet in the mornings, which is ideal for families. Kids menus are available for lunch and dinner.
The Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort hosts the Sunset Luau a few nights a week to enjoy live music and Hawaiian cuisine for the entire family.
Family-friendly amenities at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa
➡ Check rates and availability at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa – Great for pool, beach, and water activities right out front
3. The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort
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The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is a stunning beachfront hotel on the picturesque Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. It sits adjacent to the world-renowned Hapuna Beach, known for its pristine white sands and clear blue waters.
Hapuna Beach is also the best family-friendly beach on the Big Island and my family’s favorite one of all the Big Island beaches. Being right at the beach means chilling all day in the sun and enjoying swimming at the beach.
The unique feature of the Westin is that all of its spacious rooms and suites have ocean views and private lanais (balconies). The rooms are comfortable and large enough for families.
The Westin resort has a large outdoor family-friendly pool and an adults-only infinity pool. You can rent private cabanas at both pools or enjoy lounging at the plentiful lounge chairs by the pool. Enjoy Hapuna beach views from the pool!
You can rent water activities equipment like snorkeling gear, body boards, kayaks, etc., from the Hapuna Beach Activities Hut on the beach. In the evening, enjoy the spectacular sunset views from the beach.
There are several restaurants on-site with various cuisines; you will surely find something that pleases everyone in your family.
Adults can enjoy the Hapuna Golf Course and the Hapuna Spa. The resort has fitness and cultural programs, including lei making, Hawaiian changing, and hula lessons.
Staying at Westin, you can enjoy the amenities at the sister property of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Use the complimentary resort shuttle to Mauna Kea, which has an excellent beach and several restaurants.
Family-friendly amenities at Westin Hapuna Beach Resort
➡ Check rates and availability at Westin Hapuna Beach Resort – Great beach-front location directly on Hapuna Beach!!
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Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a luxurious beachfront resort on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. This elegant hotel offers a range of family-friendly amenities and activities to ensure an enjoyable stay for all ages.
This resort sits directly on one of the best white sand beaches of the Big Island- Kaunaʻoa Beach, also known as the Mauna Kea Beach. Mauna Kea Beach is a family-friendly beach with pristine, soft white sand!
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel includes all the amenities of a luxury resort, like championship golf, award-winning tennis, a full-service Spa, a fitness center, on-site restaurants, and much more.
The hotel provides comfortable and spacious rooms and suites, many with stunning ocean views, to accommodate families of various sizes. The Tower rooms are in the main building and have ocean or golf course views. The Beachfront Wing has all ocean-view rooms with private lanais.
Mauna Kea Keiki Club has half-day programs for kids ages 5 to 12 with various island-themed activities such as hiking, lei-making, treasure hunting, and more.
We didn’t stay here but enjoyed the fresh fruit smoothies and snacks at the Hau Tree beachfront restaurant when we visited Mauna Kea Beach.
Family-friendly amenities at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
➡ Check rates and availability at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel – Great beach-front location directly on Mauna Kea beach!!
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Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection is a luxury 5-star resort in the Waikoloa region of Big Island. This property is ocean-front and beach-front and has several luxury amenities like golf, spa, fitness, tennis courts, and restaurants.
The resort offers spacious rooms, suites, and private villas that cater to families of various sizes, ensuring everyone’s comfort.
The resort is big on luxury but also big on its family-friendly features. The biggest draw for families is the multiple swimming pools, which include a family resort pool and a kids-only pool. There is an adults-only pool as well for some quality grown-up time.
The expansive Great Lawn near the pool is also a family favorite, with ample green spaces for kids to run around and explore. Holoholo Kids Crew is a complimentary kids club with daily activities.
Mauna Lani resort has a variety of family-friendly restaurants with kids’ menus serving a range of cuisines to satisfy diverse tastes. The Surf Shack at the Beach is popular with families to enjoy casual food and have fun on the lawn and beach.
Mauna Lani features a world-class golf course and tennis facilities for sports enthusiasts of all ages, plus a spa.
Family-friendly amenities at Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection
➡ Check rates and availability at Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection – One of the best family-friendly luxury resorts
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Fairmont Orchid is a luxury 5-star resort located on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii and near the beautiful Pauoa Bay. This ocean-front and beach-front resort has several luxury amenities like golf, spa, tennis courts, six restaurants, and a huge ocean-front pool.
While the Fairmont is known for its upscale offerings, it also provides a range of family-friendly amenities and activities to make memorable family vacations.
The resort offers spacious rooms and suites with garden or ocean views and lanais, providing ample space for families of different sizes to relax comfortably.
The kids will enjoy the massive family-friendly outdoor pool and the beach at Pauoa Bay. Pauoa Bay has rich marine life, which is excellent for snorkeling.
The Fairmont Orchid offers daily family-friendly activities for guests, like complimentary canoe rides, outdoor yoga classes, Turtle Talk, cultural classes like lei making, hula lessons, coconut frond weaving, storytelling, and more.
The resort has six on-site restaurants to pick from, and you will be spoilt for choices here! Fairmont has a Keiki Dining Program and offers kid’s menus at Binchotan Bar & Grill, Brown’s Beach House, and Hale Kai Restaurant.
Family-friendly amenities at Fairmont Orchid
➡ Check rates and availability at Fairmont Orchid – One of the best family-friendly luxury resorts
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Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is a 5-star luxury beachfront resort on the Kona-Kohala coast of Hawaii. The Four Seasons is as luxurious as it can get, but it is also big on family-friendly amenities.
The resort provides spacious rooms, suites, and private villas to comfortably accommodate families of different sizes. Many of these have stunning ocean views and lanais.
The resort offers a lot of amenities for grown-ups, like a golf course, fitness centers, and spa, but they also provide a lot of attention to detail for the little guests in your family.
Kids receive a personalized welcome gift and kid-size bathrobes in rooms. The resort has eight pools(!!!) and a children’s pool. Families can enjoy the complimentary beach and pool toys.
The Kids for All Seasons program offers supervised activities and educational experiences for children aged 5 to 12, allowing parents to relax.
The Kings Pond is a unique, huge aquarium where guests can swim and snorkel and interact with a variety of marine life in a safe and controlled environment.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai‘s proximity to Kona puts it in a great location to explore the Big Island with your family.
Family-friendly amenities at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
➡ Check rates and availability at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai – One of the best family-friendly luxury resorts with multiple pools
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Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay is a great, family-friendly resort south of Kona. This affordable resort sits on top of lava cliffs with excellent ocean views. This is a great pick for families looking for an affordable place near Kona.
The resort provides comfortable and spacious rooms and suites, accommodating families of different sizes. Many of the rooms are newly renovated.
The resort does not have a beach out front but has a massive lagoon-style pool with a 200-foot waterslide, which will keep kids busy. There are several activities like lei making and hula lessons for families.
The biggest draw of the Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa is the nightly manta ray viewing that can be seen from the oceanfront overlook. The on-property Manta Center is great for learning more about these majestic creatures.
The resort is home to several restaurants like Wailele Cafe, Holua Poolside Bar & Lounge, and the Feast and Fire Luau.
Family-friendly amenities at Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa
➡ Check rates and availability at Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa – Great for manta ray viewing and snorkeling
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Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel is a great pick for its prime location in Kona. The hotel is located right in front of Kamakahonu Beach and Kailua Pier.
This affordable beachfront resort has newly renovated rooms and suites with ocean views or resort views. The property has one medium-sized pool, but the beach is right outside.
Kamakahonu Beach is great for swimming, snorkeling, and water activities. The Ali’i drive starts from this property location and is excellent for strolling and exploring the town of Kona, historical sites, and local markets.
Family-friendly amenities at Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel
➡ Check rates and availability at Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel – Great beachfront location in downtown Kona
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Hilton Grand Vacations Club Kings’ Land Waikoloa is a great resort for families looking for one or two-bedroom apartment suites with full kitchens, but still wanting the amenities offered by a resort.
In one of our Big Island visits, we stayed here in a one-bedroom suite and really enjoyed the comfort of the extra living space and full kitchen. Our unit was on the third floor with a large wrap-around lanai with golf course views! The lanai was a great place to have our coffee in the mornings!
The resort has a large and inviting pool complex with multiple pools and water features, including water slides that are sure to delight kids and adults alike.
The resort does not have a beach, but there are several beaches in the Waikoloa area just a short drive away.
The resort features on-site dining options like Kings’ Bistro, serving a variety of dishes, including family-friendly options. Guests can also explore nearby restaurants in the Waikoloa Beach Resort area for a wider range of culinary choices.
Waikoloa Beach Golf Course, Queens Marketplace, and Kings Shops are nearby. A rental car will be helpful if staying here to explore nearby beaches and restaurants.
Family-friendly amenities at Hilton Grand Vacations Club
➡ Check rates and availability at Hilton Grand Vacations Club Kings’ Land Waikoloa – Great, affordable resort with large kitchen suites
Top things to do in Big Island for families
Big Island has a lot of unique, family-friendly attractions to experience during your vacation. So make sure to step out of your resort and explore some of these amazing activities and things to do in Kona and Big Island:
Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – A day trip to Volcanoes National park is one of the most popular family-friendly activities on the Big Island. You can take a volcano tour from Kona or Waikoloa to ensure you do not miss the top sights and get expert insights about the volcanoes from your guide. Make sure to hike the family-friendly Kilauea volcano hike in the National Park.
Take a manta ray snorkeling tour – Going on a snorkel tour in Kona with manta rays is one of the most unique activities of the Big Island and a bucket list item. Check out this highly rated Sunset and Manta ray snorkeling adventure tour to get up close to the magnificent manta rays!
Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Kona Coast – Experience the magnificent Hawaiian sunset by taking a sunset cruise in Big Island.
Go whale watching – If you are in Big Island during whale season which is November to May, make sure to experience a whale-watching cruise to see these majestic creatures and learn about their habits and migration. Check out this highly-rated whale watching tour on a catamaran boat.
Do a zipline adventure – Zipline over rainforests and waterfalls in this Umauma 9-Line Zipline Experience on the Big Island; this is a family favorite! Allows kids four years of age and up to zipline.
Take a chocolate and coffee farm tour – Big Island’s volcanic soil is great for growing coffee and cacao and the Kona coffee here is world-famous. Check out this popular Hawaii volcanoes and Kona coffee farm tour.
Experience stargazing at Mauna Kea Summit – Mauna Kea Summit is the highest point in Hawaii and a dormant volcano popular for stargazing from the summit. Check out this Mauna Kea sunset and stargazing tour, and remember to take warm layers as it is very cold up there!
Attend a luau – Attending a luau is one of the best ways to experience Hawaii’s culture, traditions, and Hawaiian food. The Voyagers of the Pacific Luau at Royal Kona Resort is one of the best luaus in Kona, with an outdoor oceanfront setting.
Visit Punaluu black sand beach – Make sure to visit a black sand beach while on the Big Island as it is unique to Hawaii. The Punaluu black sand beach in southeast Big Island is one of the best. A visit to the black sand beach can be combined with a trip to Volcanoes Park from Hilo.
Add some or all of the above excursions to your itinerary for Big Island!
Are you planning to drive yourself around Big Island? You will need a rental car! I recommend booking your rental car with Discover cars as they check the top rental car brands and offer the best rates!
Visiting Big Island with families: FAQs
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about visiting Big Island with families.
Which part of the Big Island is best for families?
Between Kona vs Hilo, the western Kona-Waikoloa region is the best place to stay with families with beautiful white sand beaches for swimming and snorkeling. This is where all the brand-name resorts are that offer a variety of family-friendly activities.
Is the Big Island family-friendly?
Big Island has some of the best world-class resorts offering a lot of family-friendly amenities. Big Island has a lot to offer for family fun like pristine white sand beaches, unique black and green sand beaches, and excellent snorkeling and water activities.
Big Island is also home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see volcano sightings and hiking opportunities. The eastern region of Big Island, Hilo, has several rainforests and waterfalls for families to explore.
Final takeaways: Best family resorts in Big Island of Hawaii
Big Island is a popular family vacation destination in Hawaii due to its great beaches, excellent snorkeling, volcanoes, rainforests, and waterfalls. Big Island is home to several amazing resorts that offer great family-friendly amenities like pools, beach access, water activities, kids programs, cultural lessons, and much more.
No matter which resort you pick from this curated list, I hope your family will have the most wonderful time on the Big Island!
Below is a summary of the 10 best resorts on Big Island for families:
- Hilton Waikoloa Village – Best overall, pools, waterslide, lagoon, ocean-front, dolphins, location
- The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort – Great beach-front location directly on Hapuna beach
- Mauna Kea Beach Hotel – Great beach-front location directly on Mauna Kea beach
- Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa – Great for beach and water activities right out front
- Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection – One of the best family-friendly luxury resorts
- Fairmont Orchid – One of the best family-friendly luxury resorts
- Four Seasons Resort Hualalai – One of the best family-friendly luxury resorts
- Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa – Great for manta ray viewing
- Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel – Great beachfront location in downtown Kona
- Hilton Grand Vacations Club Kings’ Land Waikoloa – Great, affordable resort with large 1-2 bedroom suites with kitchen
Visiting Big Island, Hawaii? Check out my other posts from my family trip to Big Island: