Words by Carlie Tucker
Overseas but not too far, white sand beaches, scenic helicopter flights, cultural sightseeing and deep sea diving, Hawaii beckons to all types of travelling families. That is if you can tear yourself away from the hotel. Hawaii is known for its sprawling resorts that offer more all-age activities than you could possibly complete in a single trip.
Let the little ones enjoy supervised exploration with engaging kid's clubs while you relax with a couple's treatment at the spa, or make it a true family affair as you explore everything these top family-friendly resorts have to offer.
Image courtesy of resorts.disney.go.com
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
When it comes to family holidays, no one does it better than Disney. This award-winning resort is a little bit tropical paradise and a little big magic kingdom, providing surprises for the young and young at heart around every corner. Along with varied rooms and villas that provide layouts to suit families of all sizes, your stay at this hotel comes with a number of inclusions to guarantee a great time for all.
For the kids:
Waikolohe Valley – the area between the hotel and the beach – has been transformed into an outdoor water paradise complete with water slides, lazy river and private lagoon. There is also a Keiki Cove Splash Zone for younger kids to enjoy.
For curious kids that love to explore, the Menehune Adventure Trail is a complimentary high-tech scavenger hunt in which young ones will have to solve riddles, search for clues and find enchanting surprises while learning about the legend of the Menehune people.
Aunty's Beach House is an exciting kid's club available for children aged 3 to 12 that teaches about Hawaiian culture, art and music with supervised fun and visits from some of Disney's favourite characters.
For the adults:
While the kids are relishing in the excitement of Aunty's Beach House, mom and dad can relax and rejuvenate with a decadent spa treatment at the Laniwai spa. Make it a couple's affair with a massage for two or choose from the extensive list of signature treatments available for men and women.
Waikolohe Valley may be brimming with fun for your kids, but it's not without a few perks for the adults. Private poolside cabanas are available, if you'd like to escape the sun while the kiddies play, or get to the Wailana Pool for some adults-only tranquillity. Guests aged 18 and over can take a dip or enjoy a beverage poolside from the Wailana Pool Bar.
Looking for other family-friendly travel ideas?
Image courtesy of Hiltonhawaiianvillage.com
Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort
Like many Hawaiian resorts, this award-winning Hilton hotel holds up a scenic spot along the waterfront; though, it couldn't be more different from other accommodation offerings. What sets it apart, and makes it especially exciting for families, is its unique village-style set up that sprawls across 22 hectares along famous Waikiki Beach. Everything you could possibly need is at your fingertips, including five pools, 20 restaurants and bars and exotic wildlife, gardens, ponds and waterfalls.
For the kids:
It's easy to keep the kids entertained at the Camp Penguin Kids Club. Providing supervised fun for children aged 5 to 12, this club offers daily activities that focus on Hawaiian culture, storytelling, games, music and arts. There are even off-site activities available, allowing children to get out and see island highlights such as Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium and the Children's Discovery Centre.
There are five pools at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, allowing your kids to choose between such exciting experiences as slipping down Waikiki's longest slide at Paradise Pool or making a splash in Waikiki's largest Super Pool. There is also something for younger toddlers with Keiki Pool offering shallower waters.
For the adults:
While available to the entire family, the Waikiki Starlight Luau is a chance for older family members to get a taste of traditional Hawaiian culture. Featuring extravagant Lei greetings, Hula performers, acrobatic fire dancers and authentic Hawaiian dining, it is a fantastic evening activity to cap off a the day.
For those that find solace in a little retail therapy while on holiday, you'll hit your stride in the extensive selection of unique shopping venues available at the resort. From designer duds to kitschy souvenirs, there are plenty of outlets to give the wallet a good workout.
As the second largest resort in Waikiki, the Sheraton knows a thing or two about accommodating families of all sizes. The hotel wins points by providing a diverse selection of rooms (from standard to suites) with first class amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. There are also plenty of activities, on-site and off, to keep everyone entertained, ranging from cultural fun to water adventures.
For the kids:
If your kids are still a little too young to hit the surf at Waikiki Beach, why not let them play to their heart's content at the Heloumoa Playground. There are no less than two fresh water swimming pools along with a 70-foot long waterslide, two large whirlpools and an interactive fountain area to splash and play.
Beginning at 8pm nightly, the Helumoa light show is the world's first permanent 3D pool mapping light show. This dazzling experience delights kids of all ages with a stunning 3D mapping digital storybook over the pool at Heloumoa Playground, teaching about Hawaii's culture and history.
For the adults:
If you're looking for an opportunity to relax while enjoying the incredible views of beautiful Waikiki Beach, look no further than the Edge of Waikiki. This adult oasis is a premier infinity pool open only to those 16 years and up.
For the chance to truly unwind, Sheraton's Spa Khakara is all about pampering. Along with a full menu of men and women's treatments, there are steam rooms, couples treatment rooms and a relaxation centre. Indulge in a massage, facial or body treatment utilising luxurious Amala skin products and personalised expert service.