The picturesque Oahu island in Hawaii beckons travelers from all around the world with its pristine beaches, mesmerizing sunsets, and warm aloha spirit. While it offers a plethora of accommodation options, family travelers often seek establishments that are child-friendly, provide exceptional facilities, and offer activities that keep young ones entertained.
What Is Oahu?
Oahu, often dubbed “The Gathering Place,” is one of the eight major islands in the Hawaiian archipelago. Situated in the central Pacific Ocean, it serves as the political, cultural, and economic heart of Hawaii, with Honolulu, the state’s capital, gracing its shores. A nexus of pristine beaches, historical landmarks, and vibrant urban life, Oahu draws millions of tourists each year. Its unparalleled attractions range from the iconic Waikiki Beach, where surfers ride gentle waves against a backdrop of high-rises, to the solemn USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, which bears witness to a pivotal moment in world history. Moreover, the island’s lush landscapes, world-class dining, shopping scenes, and rich Polynesian culture make it an irresistible destination for travelers seeking both adventure and relaxation.
Why is Oahu Popular for Kids?
Oahu is popular for kids for a multitude of reasons, including:
- Beaches: Oahu’s beaches, such as the famous Waikiki Beach, are not only breathtakingly beautiful but also offer gentle waves which are perfect for children to safely frolic and play in. They can build sandcastles, go for a dip, or even try beginner’s surfing.
- Activities & Attractions: From snorkeling in the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, where they can encounter colorful marine life, to visiting the Honolulu Zoo or Waikiki Aquarium, there’s no shortage of fun-filled activities that cater to young minds and energy.
- Cultural Experiences: The Polynesian Cultural Center offers interactive experiences where kids can learn about Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures through dances, games, and crafts.
- Disney Magic: Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, located in Ko Olina, is a dream come true for many children. They get to experience Hawaiian culture combined with the magic of Disney, including meeting their favorite characters.
- Natural Adventures: Oahu’s natural sites, such as Diamond Head State Monument, offer relatively easy hikes leading to panoramic views. The island’s lush rainforests and botanical gardens introduce children to exotic flora and fauna.
- History Made Interesting: Pearl Harbor, while a solemn historic site, has been designed in a way that’s educational and engaging for older kids, giving them a glimpse into an important event in a manner they can understand.
- Water Activities: Beyond just swimming, children can engage in safe snorkeling, paddleboarding, and even beginner’s surfing lessons tailored for them.
The Best Family Hotels on Oahu
Without further ado, here is our list of the most popular family hotels on this island. We’re also including a list of hotels that venture outside of just being kid friendly, in case the adults need some inspiration for places to go.
- Description: Nestled in a secluded beachfront location away from the hustle and bustle, The Kahala Hotel & Resort provides a peaceful oasis for families. Known for its luxurious rooms and suites, the hotel also boasts a private lagoon with friendly dolphins, offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience for children.
- Facilities: Kid’s club, five unique dining venues, spa, swimming pool, and complimentary shuttle service to shopping areas.
- Average Price/Night: $550
- Description: A dream come true for young Disney fans, Aulani encapsulates the best of Hawaiian culture with Disney’s magic touch. Enjoy the themed pools, storytelling sessions, and a chance to meet favorite Disney characters.
- Facilities: Water playground, kids’ club, spa, dining options, and Disney character experiences.
- Average Price/Night: $750
- Description: Situated in the heart of Waikiki, this resort offers direct access to the famous Waikiki Beach. Families can enjoy surf lessons or just relax by the pool.
- Facilities: Swimming pool, spa, multiple restaurants, and cultural activities.
- Average Price/Night: $350
- Description: Spanning 22 acres, this expansive resort offers five pools, tropical gardens, and a vibrant ambiance perfect for family fun.
- Facilities: Kid’s program, daily activities, spa, shopping, and 20 restaurants and bars.
- Average Price/Night: $400
- Description: Located on the North Shore, this resort is surrounded by natural beauty. It’s perfect for families seeking adventure, with activities ranging from horseback riding to helicopter tours.
- Facilities: Pools, spa, kids’ club, golf, tennis courts, and dining options.
- Average Price/Night: $500
- Description: A blend of luxury and comfort, this resort offers panoramic ocean views and is just steps away from the beach.
- Facilities: Fitness center, spa, swimming pool, and multiple dining options.
- Average Price/Night: $380
- Description: Providing a blend of Hawaiian hospitality and modern amenities, the Hyatt Regency is a haven for families.
- Facilities: Cultural classes, kids’ camp, spa, swimming pools, and various dining venues.
- Average Price/Night: $420
- Description: A luxurious option for families who want spacious residences and top-notch amenities.
- Facilities: Infinity pool, spa, fitness center, and dining options.
- Average Price/Night: $700
- Description: With an infinity pool that seems to merge with the Pacific Ocean, Sheraton Waikiki promises an unforgettable stay.
- Facilities: Kids’ program, cultural activities, spa, restaurants, and bars.
- Average Price/Night: $360
- Description: Known as the “First Lady of Waikiki”, this historic hotel offers timeless elegance combined with modern comforts.
- Facilities: Spa, fitness center, swimming pool, and beach club.
- Average Price/Night: $400
|Hotel Name||Average Price/Night||Swimming Pool||Kids Club||Spa|
|The Kahala Hotel & Resort||$550||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa||$750||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort||$350||Yes||No||Yes|
|Hilton Hawaiian Village||$400||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Turtle Bay Resort||$500||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa||$380||Yes||No||Yes|
|Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort||$420||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|The Ritz-Carlton Residences||$700||Yes||No||Yes|
|Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa||$400||Yes||No||Yes|
What Have We Learned?
Oahu is a paradise for family travelers, with hotels that cater to your needs and provide amazing service to boot. Whether you desire beachfront access, world-class amenities, or cultural experiences, Oahu’s top family hotels have it all. Consider these exceptional options and enjoy a memorable Hawaiian escape when planning your next trip to Oahu.
Be sure to check out our list of top destinations in Hawaii for when you plan your journey to the West!