Mommy Needs A Mai Tai

Last Updated on January 5, 2024 by Florabeth Coble

A graphic that reads: Where to Stay on the Big Island With Kids with a photo of a baby laying in a hammock

Curious about the best family resorts on the Big Island of Hawaii? You’ve come to the right place!

I’m a mama raising boys in Hawaii. We live on Maui, but the Big Island holds a special place in our hearts. We visit as often as possible, staying in a different hotel every time.

This family-friendly guide help you determine the best resort for your family. And trust me, there are plenty! Come for the volcanoes, stay for the resorts.

Two kids sitting in chairs at a resort on the Big Island of Hawaii

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Where to Stay on the Big Island

While the island of Hawaii actually has six distinct regions, most people will either reference the “Kona side” (west) or the “Hilo side” (east).

Kona is located on the island’s west side, and this is where I suggest spending most of your time. This side of the island is sunny and caters to tourism. While we love visiting Hilo, it rains a lot and doesn’t have as many creature comforts that parenthood can sometimes demand. Because of this, we prefer to make Kona or the Kohala Coast our landing pad and take day trips to places like Hilo and Volcanoes National Park

To deepen your research and understand more about exactly where you want to be, check out Big Island With Kids: The Ultimate Guide.

A lagoon duirng sunset at Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island of Hawaii

The Best Resorts on the Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii has many exquisite resorts, but not all cater to families with children. So I’ve taken out the guesswork and compiled a list of our favorite resorts on the Big Island, not just for your kids but also for you. Mommy needs a mai tai by the infinity pool, please, and thank you.

Hilton Waikoloa Village

Location: Kohala

Perfect For: Families Who Like to Stay Put

I don’t think I have ever visited a more expansive resort in my life! Hilton Waikoloa Village spans a jaw-dropping 62 acres and even has a tram service to transport you around. There are over 1,000 rooms, 14 restaurants, a lagoon stocked with sea life, and a wide variety of waterslides and pools. You could easily spend a week here and never leave.

Hilton Waikoloa Village offers culture classes, fitness classes, gear rentals, spas, and on-site luaus. You even have an opportunity to swim with dolphins. Unfortunately, there is no direct beach access. Instead, most people hang out by the lagoon. 

Staying at Hilton Waikoloa Village is a commitment, as it can take 10-20 minutes to walk from your room to where you want to be. If you don’t like big resorts, this can feel overwhelming. I don’t suggest staying here for only a night or two, as it can sometimes take that long to get your bearings.

Tip: If you’re traveling with other guests, specify the tower you want to stay in when you book so you don’t get split up. 

Pools: 3 separate areas

Kids Club: Yes

Restaurants: 14 (Kids Under 4 Eat for Free)!

Reserve Hilton Waikoloa Village

View of the Lagoon during the day at Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island of Hawaii

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Location: North Kona 

Perfect For: Families Who Want to Feel Pampered

Staying at the Four Seasons always makes me feel so posh, and the Four Seasons Hualalai is right on brand. So if you are in need of a well-deserved break, this is where to stay on the Big Island! They specialize in pampering adults and making kids feel at home with kids’ clubs, camps, and count ‘em-EIGHT outdoor pools! There’s even a 1.8-million-gallon swimmable aquarium with an activity center and marine biologists on-site. 

The Four Seasons Hulalai can provide anything from white noise machines to bottle warmers and babysitting services. By taking the extra step to consider children’s needs, I was given peace of mind and more time to get a spa treatment or hang by the adult pool. Four Seasons never disappoints.

Pools: 8

Kids Club: Yes, Complimentary 

Restaurants: 6 (Kids Under 4 Eat for Free)

Reserve Four Seasons Resort Huilalai

Mauna Lani

Location: Kohala 

Perfect For: Families Looking For Luxury

Mauna Lani is a five-star resort with understated excellence. It’s located right on the beach, with fine dining and three golf courses. It has been voted the #1 resort on the Big Island by Travel and Leisure, and it’s easy to see why. The rooms are spacious and chic, and 90 percent offer an ocean view. It’s hard to find a resort like this that also does a great job catering to families. 

Mauna Lani does just that with unique welcome gifts and various activities. They offer a kid’s club that provides your little ones with opportunities to fish, garden, make art, and learn about Hawaiian Culture. If you’d rather spend the day with them, explore the kid’s pool, snorkel at the beach, take hula lessons, or walk to see some ancient petroglyphs!

Pools: 3

Kids Club: Yes, Complimentary With Stay

Restaurants: 5

Reserve Mauna Lani 

Birds eye view of the pool at Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa on the Big Island of Hawaii

Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa

Location: Kona

Perfect For: Families on a Budget Who Want a Large Resort Experience

Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa is an excellent choice for families who don’t want to pay an arm and a leg but still want to stay at a resort with plenty of amenities. Located in South Kailua-Kona, this is a very convenient place to be.

The best part about Outrigger is the multi-level pool area, which includes a shallow, sandy bottom pool perfect for toddlers and a 200-foot waterslide! 

Kona is one of the only places in Hawaii where you can swim with Manta Rays. Outrigger Kona Resort has its own manta ray viewing area, cultural tours, and luaus. 

Beachside access is not immediate, but the hotel is perched above a cliffside ocean which provides killer views and is only a 10-minute walk to Keauhou Bay Beach Park

It’s not the fanciest resort. The rooms feel a bit outdated, and the service isn’t what you would expect at a deluxe resort. Still, the rooms are clean, the property is gorgeous, and it could be the perfect fit to make everyone happy while still saving a buck. We had a wonderful stay!

Pools: Multi-Level

Kids Club: No

Restaurants: 2

Reserve Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa

Baby playing in canoe at the Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel

Location: Kailua-Kona

Perfect For: Families on a Budget With Young Children 

The Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel is located in the heart of Kailua-Kona, right off walkable Ali’i Drive. Surrounded by shops, farmer’s markets, and restaurants, it doesn’t get more convenient than this. 

My favorite thing about this hotel is that it’s nestled in Kailua Bay, a protected cove free from waves and perfect for babies and toddlers. So instead of packing up the car with 100 things, you can step outside and be ready for a day at the beach. This is also a fun spot to watch outrigger canoes come in and out. 

Courtyard King K offers an infinity pool, cabana and gear rentals, and an on-site Ululani’s Shave Ice. (Order with ice cream!)

The rooms are simple and non-pretentious, with housekeeping offered every other day. If you want to feel pampered, this may not be your place. But it could be the perfect fit if you want to save a buck while experiencing Kailua-Kona with little ones. 

Pools: 1

Kids Cub: No

Restaurants: 2

Reserve Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel

A Dad and Baby relaxing in a chair in a condo on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Other Family-Friendly Accommodations on the Big Island

If staying at a resort is not your thing, consider renting a house or condo for your whole crew! This is a smart way to vacation comfortably and on your own terms.  In addition, having a kitchen at your disposal can help save a lot of money! 

If you’re down for an adventure, pitching a tent is another great way to pinch pennies. The Big Island is one of the best Hawaiian islands for camping, with numerous stunning sites to rest your head. And consider putting your home on wheels to sleep in style! More info on camping in state parks can be found here

Woman Standing in front of pool with a drink in hand at Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa.

When deciding where to stay on the Big Island, you’ll want to consider your family’s budget, proximity to kid-friendly activities, and what kind of experience you want to have. Whether you decide to prioritize spas, waterslides, or condos with a view, you will wake up in paradise!

Helpful Resources

Big Island With Kids: The Ultimate Guide 

Flights: Expedia 

Cars: Discount Hawaii Car Rental

Houses and Condos: VRBO Kona

Baby Gear Equipment: Baby Quip

Big Island Babysitting Service: Big Island Nannies Aloha

Picture of Aloha, I'm Florabeth Coble

Aloha, I'm Florabeth Coble

Most people call me Flo. I'm a busy mama raising two young boys in Hawaii. We share our adventures, travel tips, itineraries, and honest reviews so that you can plan your own family-friendly trip to Hawaii.