Planning Family Vacation

If you’ve traveled with kids, you can testify that staying at a family resort can make or break your experience. And when I say family resort, I mean a resort that knows how to entertain kids while having all the amenities that allow parents to relax and enjoy their vacation. This is especially necessary when visiting paradise, Kauai, Hawaii. Let’s just say the family resorts in Kauai did not disappoint, making it hard to choose just one as Kauai’s best family resort. So, here is a list of the best family resorts in Kauai. 

To be clear, I’m a Marriott girl, so I stayed with hotels under Marriott Bonvoy. For the price of the hotels, I needed to get my 6X points per dollar with my Marriott credit card. She who feels it knows it.

We traveled to Kauai for my twin toddler’s fourth birthday. We were determined to make it as memorable as possible. If you missed the blog, check it out here.

Family Resorts in Kauai

During our stay in Kauai, we stayed at three family resorts. They all offered a different experience, but I had favorites. We stayed in different parts of the island to ensure we got the full vibe. We chose one near the airport, one in Poipu (south of the island), and one on the North Shore.

Marriott Vacation Club Lagoon in Kalanipu’u: The Best View

Best Family Resort in Kauai_Lagoon Kalanipu'u
This view is to die for in person.

This was the first of the family resorts in Kauai that we stayed at. Originally we planned to stay there for three nights because of the view. But before we arrived, they sent us an email reminding us there wasn’t a restaurant on the property and construction was taking place nearby. As soon as I saw that I tried to get out of it but if I canceled, I would have paid the fee, equivalent to one night’s stay. I managed to change the reservation for just one night, without incurring additional fees. I am so glad we experienced this Kauai resort. It was breathtaking.

Our accommodations were a 3 bedroom, 3 bath ocean view that we found at a decent price, compared to the other Kauai resorts. The villa was huge. Bigger than my house. The kitchen was modern, the living room was spacious, and the bedrooms were beautiful. The view was unlike anything I had seen before. The balcony was the size of the living room and the doors opened up completely to the breathtaking view of the ocean nestled between mountains. I wish I could wake to this view daily. Of course, the kids didn’t appreciate the view, but they loved the space of the balcony and living room. It gave them plenty of space to do their favorite activity, running around. 

The downside to this beautiful hotel was, of course, not having a restaurant, but the pool was also relatively small. Although they did have a water slide. There were activities available in the center for the kids. But as a traveling family, when there is no restaurant, it means you have to go off the resort daily or cook. This may work for some people. For me, it’s a no.

On the flip side, the resort was a thirty-minute walk, a six-minute drive to a larger Kauai family resort, Marriott Kaua’i Beach Club. If you decided to drive, valet parking was free when you showed you stayed at the Lagoon in Kalanipu’u.

This Kauai family resort not only had a restaurant on-site but also had direct access to the beach and activities for kids. However, the rooms were significantly smaller and the view was not as impressive. 

Koloa Landing Poipu: The Overall Best Kauai Family Resort

Best Family Resort Kauai-Koloa Landing

This was overall the best family resort in Kauai. It struck the perfect balance of having the amenities that would make the perfect adult-only accommodation, and having plenty of activities to entertain kids. 

At this Kauai resort, we also had an ocean view villa, but it was smaller. Everything was half the size of the Marriott Vacation Club Lagoon, down to the balcony. Each bedroom had a small balcony, leaving the only view in the living room through the windows. The view of the ocean was beautiful, but there were small houses in the front, so the opportunity to take it all in was lost.

Did you know that America’s largest swimming pool is located at this hotel? On top of that, there were multiple slides, multiple pools, and splash pads for kids. The food was delicious and if you wanted to venture to the beach; you had the option of walking, or taking the resort shuttle, which included car seats. Talk about service! Speaking of service, I loved that they catered to you in a way that you didn’t have to stop relaxing to order food or drinks. They took our drink and food orders at the pool and served them there. 

Plus, the resort activities were fun and created cute family memories. We roasted marshmallows, and they also had a side for shaved ice and snorkeling materials. And if you’re a lover of a spa, they have you covered in this area as well. 

If you want the best of both worlds- decent accommodations and awesome amenities, Koloa Landing is for you!

Westin Princeville: The North Shore Resort

Best Family Resort in Kauai
Jam showing off his lei that he made at the Westin Princeville

Both the first and second hotels are ten or fifteen minutes apart. The Westin, however, is on the North Shore and about 1 hour away from both hotels, depending on the traffic. 

The Westin has super high accolades. For example, people always have this unexplainable reaction to people staying there (I think it’s the golf course). Personally, our experience there was mid. The ocean view accommodations were limited, as you have to book these rooms far in advance. We didn’t get one, but we did get a 2 bedroom villa. 

The room was a little different from the others as one room was a bedroom studio with no living room. There was a bedroom, a kitchenette, and a bathroom that was connected to a one-bedroom villa that had a living room. If it was just us and the boys, we would have been on one side and the boys on the other. A very weird setup.  Luckily my boys stayed with my mom and her husband in the one-bedroom side, while my husband and I stayed in the studio. 

If I had not stayed at the Marriott Vacation Club prior, I would’ve thought the view of the ocean was spectacular as nothing was blocking it. I didn’t notice any large balconies, but I still think it would have been a nice view. The pools were incredible. It kept my boys entertained all day. There were different water slides and Marley enjoyed every inch of the pool. 

This hotel had a lot of fun interactive activities. We did a lei-making class together, which was both educational and fun. And the boys took their turns learning how to play billiards and corn hole. 

The downside of this hotel was it had one restaurant option, and the food was trash. It was also only open for lunch and dinner. Breakfast was served at the marketplace and the options were limited, think coffee shop options.  

The service was similar to the food, bad. Every time we wanted food at the pool, we had to mask up, go inside to order, and go to pick it up, twenty to thirty minutes later. If you can eat a frozen pizza and be happy, then you would find no issue with this hotel. We’re a foodie family, so it did not work.

Lastly, there was beach access, but you had to walk down a very steep decline to get there and it was secluded, with no beach amenities. So you were better off at the pool.

If you’re staying on the North Shore of the island and you like to hang out at the resort, then this is your place. Just have a plan on what you’ll do for food. 

Should you consider a Marriott Kauai Resort?

If you’re a Marriott girl like me, then definitely! As mentioned, all three gave me very different experiences. 

But in my honest opinion, the Marriott Vacation Club had the best rooms and views. The Koloa Landing had the best amenities by far and the Westin was the worst, regardless of the accolades. 

Honorable mention is the Grand Hyatt, located on Shipwreck Beach. We went there for brunch and the food was delicious. We also visited their beautiful pool, and I can attest that it’s one of the best family resorts on Kauai. 

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