Best Waikiki Hotels for Families

by Malia Yoshioka on September 13, 2011

by Malia Yoshioka | September 13th, 2011  

Waikiki is a great family-friendly destination, packing tons to do and see within a two mile strip right on the beach! If you’re traveling with children, the hotels on this list will give you options to keep your keiki and the whole ohana happy, fed, and entertained! You may want to call ahead to inquire about basic amenities like the availability of cribs, extra beds, and babysitting options. Some hotels (especially the luxury properties) may even have extras like video games in the room, baby monitors when you book a suite, and robes or welcome toiletries just for your kids!

Family Friendly Hotels in Waikiki: On the Beach

Waikiki Beach is a popular draw for many, and the following list of hotels are beachfront so that you can take full advantage of this natural playground. If your family doesn’t need to be right on the beach, you can save money by booking a block or two away from the beach on Kuhio Avenue – many condominiums, vacation rentals, and hotel rooms that aren’t right on the beach often include kitchenettes which can save you money and hassle in eating out.

Hilton Hawaiian Village

Hilton Hawaiian Village is probably the first hotel that comes to mind when people mention coming to Waikiki with your family. This mega-resort has just about everything you could possibly need without ever having to leave the property, including pools, slides, a lagoon perfect for stand up paddling and wading, a kids program, and a menagerie of animals like penguins and flamingos! Plus, if you stay on a Friday night, you’ll likely get a great view of the weekly fireworks display.


Hyatt Regency Waikiki

The Hyatt is located in the middle of the main Waikiki strip, going towards the Diamond Head end of Waikiki Beach, and closer to the Waikiki Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, and Kapiolani Park. Although it is technically not ON the beach, you’ll just need to cross Kalakaua Avenue to be at a beautiful, calm stretch of beach. The Camp Hyatt program (for kids 5-12 yrs old) costs $85 per day, including lunch and snack. Babysitting is also available.



Family Friendly Hotels in Waikiki: Luxury

While luxury hotels may be most popular with the honeymoon set, others consider the money well spent when traveling with kids because of the extra touches that allow you to thoroughly enjoy your trip with your children. Some of the restaurants at these hotels are fine dining only, although some will have kids menus, crayons, and activities to accommodate the whole family.

Trump International Hotel Waikiki

While the location isn’t beachfront, it is across the street from the beach and nearby Fort de Russy Park. The Trump Kids program offers special touches to keep the kids busy, including Nintendo Wii, kids robes, board games, and milk & cookies. Baby cribs with linens, baby monitors for multi-room suites, and babysitting or nanny services can be arranged in advance as well.



The Royal Hawaiian

The Royal Hawaiian brings a touch of class to your family vacation, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The Keiki Program includes on-site cultural activites like lei making or hula lessons, 24-hour dining, “kids eat free” benefits at many of the Starwood properties in Waikiki. The sister property next door, the Sheraton Waikiki, also has a children’s center which can be used by guests at the Royal Hawaiian. Plus, the “Pink Palace of the Pacific” sits right on the beach with excellent Diamond Head views.



Family Friendly Hotels Just Outside of Waikiki

There are some great hotel options close enough to Waikiki, but away from the main strip, that you’ll also want to consider. There are pros and cons about staying “off the strip” – you’ll have more peace and quiet and the beaches will be less crowded, but you will also need a rental car to get around and will be a bit more limited in your dining and activity options.

Kahala Hotel & Resort

The luxurious Kahala’s location ten minutes’ drive from Waikiki proper can be a heavenly escape from the crowds when you’re looking to relax with your family. The Keiki Club includes full and half day activity programs (with or without lunch) where kids will be able to learn about Hawaiian culture, crafts, and marine life. The hotel’s lagoon is also home to bottlenose dolphins, always a popular draw for the kids, as is the beachfront location and pool.



New Otani Kaimana Beach

The star attraction of the New Otani Kaimana Beach is the prime beachfront spot right on Sans Souci beach park, a favorite with local families. There is no pool, but you won’t need it with the beach right outside and Kapiolani Park right across the street. The Waikiki Aquarium and Honolulu Zoo (as well as “the rest” of Waikiki) are also within walking distance or a short cab ride away.



>> Read more on the newly opened Aulani – A Disney Resort & Spa at Ko Olina.

Vacation Rental, Condo, or Hotel?

Keep in mind that Waikiki is home to all kinds of accommodations, and hotels are not for everyone. Families who travel together will often look into vacation rentals or condos, especially those that come with kitchenettes. These are often found a little further from the beach, bringing the price down drastically. So if you are on a budget, you may want to save some money on location and walk the block or two over to the beach.

Tips for Traveling with your Kids

Dining Options – Many Waikiki hotels are known for their fantastic fine dining options. This, of course, isn’t always the best dining choice for families with small children, and you may find yourself ordering expensive room service or trying to hush the kids to keep quiet in a fancy restaurant. However it can be done, and as expert traveler Jennifer Miner puts it, “We don’t travel to eat at McDonald’s and Subways, I hope. There are some really wonderful restaurants in Honolulu, that are organized around the principle of locally harvested ingredients. I urge families to try fine Hawaiian dining with their kids as part of the overall Oahu vacation experience.”

Room Service in Paradise – If you just can’t bring yourself to attempt fine dining or if you’re craving something beyond what your hotel room service offers, another great option is Room Service in Paradise. They deliver lunch Monday through Friday and dinner daily from a variety of restaurants all over the island. You can even place your order online and have your food in about an hour. Talk about convenience!

Make use of the ABC Store – ABC stores are found on just about every corner in Waikiki. These convenience stores can be handy pit stops for loading up on snacks, sunscreen, and inflatable toys for the kids. They’ll likely be hungry after working up an appetite surfing, swimming, and playing in the ocean. One mom even mentioned that you can ask the ABC stores to inflate your toys that you buy there for free. Great tip!

Housekeeping – If you’ll be asking for extras from housekeeping (small fridge, rollaway bed, extra linens, etc.) be sure to request them early as you don’t want to be stuck without if they run out. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for help and recommendations from your hotel staff, front desk, and concierge. They can be invaluable resources to help you plot out your activities and to make your stay more pleasant.

Ohana deals – If you are traveling with extended family, many hotels will offer discounts on multiple rooms booked together and can often put you in adjacent suites.

>> Destination Guide: Honolulu
>> Explore the island of Oahu

{ 5 comments }

jenjenk September 13, 2011 at 4:30 pm
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Great hotel suggestions – with or without kids!!

one other hotel in Oahu [but definitely not waikiki] the Aulani Disney Resort is open now near Ko’olina…

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Malia Yoshioka September 13, 2011 at 5:09 pm
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Yes, Jen! I will definitely be checking out Aulani soon so that I can do another article on family-friendly hotels outside of Waikiki, including the Ko Olina resorts… Have you been to Aulani yet? Mahalo for reading!

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Ramona October 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm
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Thanks for the info! We love visiting Hawaii. We love Royal Hawaiian. It’s one of our favorite hotels in Waikiki – sort of like a fairy tale hotel for kids.

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Malia Yoshioka October 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm
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Mahalo for reading Ramona! I love the Royal Hawaiian as well – it’s a fairy tale hotel for all ages. ;)

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cleaning Oahu January 19, 2012 at 5:37 am
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There are many hotels that you could choose from that would certainly give many alluring offers. They all look enticing because you can easily see that everything is in order. Another factor to consider would be the quality maintenance of the hotel.

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