Within The Rainbow State of Hawaii lies Maui, The Valley Isle. This nickname was given since Maui is located between two mountains, Haleakala to the east and the West Maui Mountains. Maui is the second-largest Hawaiian island and has been voted “Best Island in the U.S.” by Condé Nast Traveler readers for more than 20 years. So, where do you stay while visiting the “Best Island in the U.S.?” Here are three of the best hotels in Maui for families—one for each popular area, Kapalua Bay, Ka’anapali and Wailea.
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Montage Kapalua Bay
Kapalua Bay is located along the northwest coast of Maui. With picturesque views, palm trees, golden sand and excellent swimming conditions, it is easy to see why this is one of Maui’s most popular beaches.
There are many gorgeous resorts in Kapalua Bay, but the star is Montage Kapalua Bay. Guests experience a blend of relaxation and rejuvenation with every detail celebrating the richness of Hawaiian culture.
Families need space while on vacation, and to be one of the best hotels in Maui for families, resorts must offer it. The spacious one- to four-bedroom residential-style accommodations overlooking swaying palms and surf are what really set Montage Kapalua Bay apart.
There are casual eateries onsite for children, or they can be left at the activities-based children’s program while mom and dad enjoy one of the more upscale dining establishments. The children’s program is called Paintbox and is for children ages 5 to 12 years old. Children will enjoy thematically planned days that tie together arts and crafts, games and creative activities, both indoors and outdoors at the pool, beach, tide pool and events lawns. After spending time at Paintbox, children will have a deeper connection to the Aloha spirit.
With 24 acres of tropical paradise to explore, your entire family will be able to connect with Hawaii and understand the spirit of Aloha at Montage Kapalua Bay. A resort that gives you this sense of understanding is what makes Montage Kapalua Bay one of the best hotels in Maui for families.
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Ka’anapali is the beach to visit if you do not want to worry about a car during your stay. The Whaler’s Village is within walking distance to every hotel along the beach, and the entire area is connected via a footpath. After all, the best hotels in Maui for families offer plenty of options for activities and entertainment.
While not as luxurious as the other hotels on this list, Ka’anapali Beach Hotel is more Hawaiian. It has been named Hawaii’s “most Hawaiian” hotel and for good reason! In 1986, the hotel instituted a program called Poʻokela. This program reinforces Hawaiian values in the hotel’s daily activities. Each year, staff members are educated about Hawaii’s culture through classes that cover the Hawaiian language, history, local plants, arts, song, and more. Activities are offered throughout the stay to connect guests with Hawaiian culture.
Kids will enjoy the hotel’s passport program, which encourages children to get stamps by doing various cultural activities offered by the hotel. Prizes are awarded along the way, not to mention a grand prize for completing the entire passport.
There is more to this resort than just activities, though. Each room has a balcony that overlooks lush landscaping, many with the added bonus of pool and/or ocean views. The whale-shaped pool is a nice size for families, with the tail of the whale being a shallow area for young kids to play safely. The entire lawn of the resort is shaded by palm trees, and is the perfect spot for an afternoon nap as you listen to the waves crash on Ka’anapali Beach.
On your day of checkout, the staff of the hotel gathers for the Kukui Lei ceremony. Each guest is presented with a kukui nut lei. In the words of the hotel, the lei ceremony “exists to remind the new members of our ‘ohana (family) that we do not say ‘goodbye’ in Hawaii, instead we say ‘A hui hou’ (until we meet again), because once you are ʻohana, our door will always be open to you.”
When you say a hui hou to Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, you have a sense that you will be back. The staff senses it too and encourages you to bring your kukui nut lei on your return, so they can add a unique nut to your lei on subsequent trips. The staff also receives a special white nut for every year they are with the hotel. Many employees spend their lifetime at this hotel, which makes them feel like family on your return visits. This sense of belonging is what makes Ka’anapali Beach Hotels one of the best hotels in Maui for families.
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Fairmont Kea Lani is Hawaii’s only all-suite-and-villa oceanfront resort. It is located in the Wailea resort area, along Maui’s south coast. This luxurious resort community spans across 1,500 acres with amazing ocean views and is best known for its five beautiful, crescent-shaped beaches.
Fairmont’s Hawaiian culture offers a wide array of activities that ensure that families leave with a connection to Hawaii. These immersive experiences are also part of The Keiki Lani Kids Club, the resort’s activity center for keiki (kids) aged 5 through 12. Keiki Lani (Heavenly Children) offers supervised activities by accredited, experienced staff and is included in the daily resort fee.
Families will also enjoy the three pools surrounded by lush landscaping. For an extra dose of luxury, families can reserve poolside cabanas by the day. The service includes unlimited chilled water, tropical juice and soda of their choice. Cabana guests will also enjoy a sampler of Maui fresh snacks. We all know kids need plenty of snacks throughout the day, and Fairmont ensures they are satisfied as they splash the day away!
If your little ones love mermaids, then Mermaid University is a must. They’ll receive a pair of goggles and a proper mermaid tail after signing up. During the class, the mermaid will be carried into the pool (because clearly she can’t walk). She will teach all of the little mermaids how to swim with their new tails. It is such a sweet activity for kids and parents can even join in, if they’d like. Fins down, mermaids agree that this fun activity makes the Fairmont one of the best hotels in Maui for families.
Your family can feel good staying at the Fairmont Kea Lani because of their sustainability practices. Fairmont Kea Lani has installed solar panels at the resort, donates all used soaps and amenities to Clean The World Foundation, and sponsors reef and beach clean-ups throughout the year.
Without a doubt, Fairmont Kea Lani is one of the best hotels in Maui for families. The large accommodations and beautifully landscaped property, steps from Polo Beach, are perfect for a memorable family getaway in Maui.
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There is a reason that Maui is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. When you are ready to find out why, stay at one of the best hotels in Maui for families. Mahalo!
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