Family Hideaways in Hawaii

Kapalua Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Kapalua Beach, Maui, Hawaii // Photo by cullenphotos/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images


Swimming pool at Four Seasons Resort Lana’i
Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay has a large swimming pool with two adjacent whirlpools.


Luxury Travel Advisor breaks down four luxurious options for VIPs jet-setting to Hawaii.

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Looking to book a family-friendly resort in Hawaii that doesn’t compromise luxury to appease the little ones? Luxury Travel Advisor takes a look at a quartet of high-end options in Hawaii that are sure to please VIPs with children.

Wailea Beach Villas

This haven for families making the trip to Hawaii is set along the Wailea Beach Walk on Maui, a two-mile coastal path that meanders through the beachside resorts, cultural sites, native plant gardens, and views of Kahoolawe and Molokini islands.

Nice Touch: The resort has a private area on Wailea Beach, reserved exclusively for its VIP guests. Beach chairs, umbrellas, towels and cold water are provided by a personal beach attendant.


Napali Kai Beach Resort
Napali Kai Beach Resort studio includes a king-size bed and a twin sofa sleeper. Larger units are available.

The best rooms at Wailea Beach Villas are the two- and three-bedroom Penthouse Suites in the main Penthouse Building at the top of the property. This place also houses the lobby; a billiards room, which is popular with teens; and a small business center. Across the lobby is a private pedestrian access to The Shops at Wailea, exclusively for VIPs of Wailea Beach Villas. The Penthouse Building is also home to the resort’s family pool, which has its own waterfall, shallow end, towel station, cold water, sunscreen and closet of pool toys. Note: This is significant because resort pools typically do not allow flotation devices.

Accommodations are in two- and three-story villas, with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Families seeking privacy will appreciate that each bedroom has its own private or semi-private bathroom. The garden-view villas occupy the ground level and each one has its own private plunge pool in a private garden setting. Families that don’t want to trek back and forth to the family pool really like this amenity. The Wailea Beach Villas can arrange a nanny or it can outfit an entire room as a nursery—crib, high chair, playpen, bouncer, swing, indoor doors and beach toys. Talk with Head Concierge Tracy Dill ([email protected]; 808- 891-4506) in this regard.

There are no restaurants on the hotel premises, but dining reservations can be made at several neighboring hotels. The nearest gateway is Kahului Airport, about 20-30 minutes from Wailea Beach Villas, which can provide private limousines or vans for VIPs.


Luxury travel advisors can address their queries to Senior Rental Manager Lisa Carson ([email protected]; 808-891-4516).

Napili Kai Beach Resort

This resort is situated on a reef-protected, family-friendly beach suitable for snorkeling, swimming or sunbathing. Facilities include four swimming pools, a large oceanview whirlpool spa, two shuffleboard courts, two putting greens (one for adults, one for children), coconut checkers, a fitness room, boutique spa, and guest barbecue facilities.

The best rooms for families at Napili Kai Beach Resort are the one- or two-bedroom suites; the latter should be booked six to 12 months in advance, depending on the season. Tip: For families booking four or more rooms for a minimum of five nights at Napili Kai, the resort provides tropical flowers in each unit upon arrival, a complimentary one-hour session with a professional photographer, and Napili Kai T-shirts for all family members. In addition, the resort will guarantee specific room locations at the time of booking so families can stay at rooms situated close together, if desired.

Luxury travel advisors should reach out to Sales and Marketing Assistant Faith Ompoy ([email protected]; 808-669-9540) with any queries.

If mom and dad don’t feel like cooking, the full-service, oceanfront Sea House Restaurant is literally on the water’s edge. Hint: We were told that the most recommended dining option at the hotel is the Na Hoku (Under the Stars) Private Dining, a torchlit dinner. This includes a five-course menu paired with wines, at a private location with a private server. Advisors should book these reservations at least three days in advance.

The point of contact for luxury travel advisors is Concierge Karen Wood (; 808-669-0572).

Nice Touch: Many complimentary services and activities are offered to VIPs, including free parking, use of the 18-hole putting greens (putters provided), shuffleboard equipment, the garden-view fitness room, beach towels, beach chairs and mats, swim masks and snorkels. Free weekly activities include a seasonal putting party, poolside mai tai party, lei making, hula lessons, cultural seminar and guided horticultural tour. Each morning, guests can enjoy complimentary coffee, iced tea, lemonade and fresh pineapple juice at the Beach Cabana.

Good to know: Family reunion dinners can be “no host” with the family gathering on their own to use the on-property barbecue facilities or in-room kitchens; or dinners can be catered by the Sea House Restaurant. Tip: The resort can also organize games or even a “Family Olympics” with a series of games such as bocci ball, horseshoes, putting and shuffleboard.

During the most popular family vacation periods (Easter, spring break, summer, Thanksgiving and Christmastime), VIPs can also enjoy the complimentary Napili Kai Keiki Club. This daily program features two hours of activities for children age six to 10 (Sundays excluded). The fun includes hula and lei-making lessons, crafts, pizza and a movie, sandcastle building, fun on the putting green and more.

For special requests, advisors can contact Diane Farnsworth ([email protected]; 808-669-9502), director of guest operations.

The Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay

While it’s really based on guest preference, most families and groups opt for connecting rooms at the Four Seasons Resort Lana’i and typically enjoy the Garden Terrace Rooms or Garden-View Suites. The best rooms overall, however, are the Prime OceanFront Terrace Rooms, which afford the nicest views. The Hulopoe Suite, Ali’i Suite and Manele Bay Suite are also very impressive.

The Spa at Manele Bay has 11 indoor treatment rooms and two outdoor Oceanside Hale cabanas. Sessions are available to guests under 18; however a parent or adult guardian must be present. Nice Touch: The spa can create a variety of offerings, including an “after hours” treatment for the group, or a custom perfume blending session.

Advisors should reach out to Spa Manager Katie Godwin ([email protected]; 808-565-2099) with any queries.

As far as dining goes, we were told the Ocean Hale is a must. Overlooking pristine Hulopoe Bay, Ocean Hale experiences range from a sunrise breakfast to sunset cocktails or a romantic private dinner by candlelight. It comes complete with personalized touches such as a private server, customized menu, and a tailored musical playlist. Tip: Nobu Lanai also recently opened here— the first Nobu in the Four Seasons portfolio.

Luxury travel advisors should contact Emily Littlepage ([email protected]; 808-565-2595), director of guest experience.

It’s a 25-minute flight from Honolulu to Lanai’s only airport. For a more scenic transit, VIPs can take the 45-minute Expeditions Ferry ride from Lahaina, Maui. Hint: During winter, guests can spot whales from the ferry. Tip: The resort also offers private VIP transportation in Mercedes SUVs. Note: Island airports offer private jet services, including Honolulu International, Maui’s Kahului International and Kona International on Hawaii Island.

Luxury travel advisors should get in touch with General Manager Tom Roelens ([email protected]; 808-565-2397) for more information.


The Kahala Hotel & Resort


Kahala Hot el & Resort
Kahala Hotel & Resort has Dolphin Quest, where guests can experience these aquatic mammals up close in a natural lagoon.

This Oahu hideaway is one of the best luxury resorts for families. Case in point: everyone can swim with dolphins. Set on a white-sand beach just 10 minutes from the shopping and entertainment center of Waikiki, The Kahala Hotel & Resort in Honolulu’s Kahala district is a favorite with presidents, international royalty and celebrities.

The Kahala Towers and Dolphin Lagoon Wing feature 338 rooms with contemporary comforts such as complimentary Wi-Fi access, dual vanities and closets, 40-inch flat-screen Sony LCD TVs, and more.

The Kahala Kai and Kahala Beach suites offer maximum seclusion and privacy near the Dolphin Lagoon and are only steps away from beautiful Kahala Beach. Nice Touch: The Kahala Beach Suite is complete with a dining table and an outdoor barbecue grill, good for entertaining family or up to 50 VIPs.

On the second level, the ocean-views Kahala Kai Suite, with its cozy beach cottage décor by Ralph Lauren Polo Collection, is chic and trendy. The Presidential Suite, where chief executives and royalty have stayed, combines luxury sleeping accommodations with amenities for business and private entertaining. It has separate master bedroom, living room, and office spaces designed with Hawaiian residential sensibilities.

The Kahala Spa has both couples’ massage and treatment rooms, and exclusive brands of spa products. Each unit spans 550 square feet with such amenities as private infinity tubs, part of many of its signature treatments. Note: Sessions should be booked at least one month prior to the VIPs’ stay.


Advisor Insight

“The best place for families, bar none, is Napili Kai Beach Resort,” says David Lowy of Renshaw Travel and Cruises. “It is not for people who want the glitz of Wailea, but we send families with significant means there year after year. All the Four Seasons properties are great for kids, but Manele Bay on Lanai is my favorite. Ritz-Carlton Kapalua also has a great kids’ program and what I like is they have a Hawaiian cultural advisor so kids can really learn about Hawaiian history and get involved.”

 Luxury travel advisors can reach out to Flora LaMontagne ([email protected]; 808-739-8931), director of guest services, with special requests.

The excellent sushi bar at Hoku’s has Japanese-trained chefs, while the newly redecorated Verandah lounge has introduced a trendy menu with global cuisine. Hint: Arancino at The Kahala, opening in March or April, will serve Napoli-style Italian cuisine.

Note: While the resort is pet-friendly, there is a $150 fee for pets 40 pounds and below. However, Hawaii has a strict quarantine requirement for any animals entering the state because it is a rabies-free location. Guests must put their animals in quarantine straight from the airplane and provide a rigorous set of documents.

Fun Fact: Both the original Hawaii Five-O TV series and its current reboot have used The Kahala for location shooting, and the hotel has been featured in many works about architecture, travel and life in Hawaii.

Luxury travel advisors should direct any queries to General Manager Roseann Grippo ([email protected]; 808-739-8882).

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