Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Keri Stooksbury
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Hawai’i is the 50th U.S. state and by far the country’s most sought-after travel destination — and this beautiful vacation spot doesn’t even require a passport.
The Hawaiian Islands are a great place for a fun-filled and relaxing family vacation, as well as a popular honeymoon destination.
Getting to Hawai’i is a relatively short trek from the West Coast, but flights from the East Coast can take upwards of 14 hours from New York (JFK) to Honolulu (HNL). Luckily, just like how you can redeem airline miles for a flight to Hawaii, so too can you redeem hotel points for free nights.
There’s a lot to know about these hotels and the islands they’re on.
Just in time to plan your next getaway, here are the best hotels in Hawai’i for families that you can book with points.
Hawai’i is made up of 137 islands. Of those 137, only 7 of the 8 largest are inhabited. You can only visit 6 islands — the Big Island of Hawai’i, Kaua’i, Lāna’i, Maui, Moloka’i, and O’ahu. The seventh, Ni’ihau, has been nicknamed “The Forbidden Island.” Although there are no interisland ferries transporting tourists and no inbound flights, you can still visit Ni’ihau by taking a helicopter or snorkel tour from Kaua’i or through a hunting tour.
Each island is known for something unique:
No matter where you decide to vacation in Hawai’i, you can expect tropical weather, sunshine, and relaxing beaches to spend your days.
Hot Tip: Check out our ultimate Hawai’i travel guide to Oahu, the Big Island, and Lanai, with a separate detailed guide for Maui and Kauai.
Families shouldn’t be deterred by the long flight times required to get to Hawai’i. On the contrary, consider it absolutely worth it to spend your vacation in paradise. If that’s not enough reason to visit with your family, here are a few more.
It’s hard to believe that such a beautiful destination doesn’t require a passport to visit. Spending time in Hawai’i often feels like you’ve left the U.S. because Hawai’i is so unique, from its cuisine to its rich cultural history and traditions.
Though Hawai’i is a state, there are a few things to keep in mind when visiting that you may not have thought of.
Hawai’i has strict policies surrounding the fruits, vegetables, and plants that can be brought to the islands. Predatory plants and animals were introduced to Hawai’i decades ago and almost decimated the native plants. For this reason, you cannot introduce additional plants and foods into the environment.
Your sunscreen may not be allowed, either. Be sure that your sunscreen is reef-safe and doesn’t include 2 recently banned ingredients: oxybenzone and octinoxate. Hawai’i banned the sale of all items that contain these harmful ingredients in 2021.
Airlines such as Hawaiian, Southwest, and United all fly nonstop to the Hawaiian Islands from across the U.S.
This is important because most parents would agree that the best way to fly with young travelers is on nonstop flights. With a nonstop itinerary, you only have to get settled in once without the up and down of a layover.
Hot Tip: Our article on the best ways to fly to Hawaii with points and miles details nonstop routes by carrier.
Hawai’i is tourist-friendly, but don’t make the mistake of holing up at a resort for your entire visit. There are so many reasons to leave your hotel and explore Hawaii.
A great way to explore is by volunteering with the Mālama Hawaii program. In exchange for a free hotel night at participating hotels throughout the islands, visitors can spend part of their vacation giving back. Volunteer opportunities include a beach cleanup — which is what my family did — wildlife preservation, and reforestation.
Water activities include stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and surfing. Snorkeling is also popular from just about any beach.
A lot of resorts and hotels have their own luaus, too. Each event has its own signature style or story to tell, with usually fantastic dining.
If you prefer to spend your time in the great outdoors, there are several hiking trails to choose from on each island that you can visit. Or you can see the most secluded waterfalls with a helicopter tour or boat ride.
Animal lovers can spot thousands of humpback whales that migrate from Alaska to Hawai’i every winter or swim with sea turtles in the ocean.
The Polynesian Cultural Center on O’ahu offers visitors an opportunity to learn about the Polynesian culture in Hawai’i and beyond and is a can’t-miss activity on the island.
Tired of play and ready to eat? Try some of Hawai’i’s most popular food dishes such as poke, kalua or smoked pork, loco moco, or even spam musubi. And you’d be remiss not to try shave ice when visiting Hawaii.
The Big Island of Hawai’i is known for its active volcano Kīlauea. Thanks to its massive size in comparison to other islands, it offers several different natural landscapes to discover.
Hilton Waikoloa Village is located on the Kohala Coast near Wailua Bay, about 20 minutes from Kona Airport (KOA) and an hour from Hilo Airport (ITO), on the Big Island.
Hilton Waikoloa Village sits on 62 acres and has a tram to get guests around the resort. Guests have the choice to stay in 1 of 3 towers: Makai Tower, Ocean Tower, and Palace Tower. Makai is the premium option.
Makai Tower is located near the saltwater lagoon and the Legends of Hawaii Luau. It has a digital concierge available 24 hours a day, and large studio-sized guestrooms. Ocean Tower and Palace Tower feature garden and mountain views, the wedding chapel and gazebo, and Buddha Point, a lookout with ocean views.
There are 3 pools on the property, one of which is an adult pool located near Ocean Tower. Kona Pool has a 175-foot waterslide, a rope bridge, and a sandy children’s beach. Kohala Pool features junior water slides connecting 4 smaller pools.
Cabanas can also be rented for the day.
Guests interested in learning more about Hawaiian culture can spend time at the Hawaiian Cultural Center in Makai. Family-friendly experiences like these and others are included in your resort fee.
Hilton Honors Points Required: Starting at 75,000 Hilton Honors points per night
Cash Rate for a Base-level Room: $395 to $650 per night
Daily Resort Fee: $45 plus tax (waived if you book with points)
Points Value: ~0.5 to ~0.87 cents per point
The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, located on the Kohala Coast, was renovated in June 2018 to include 4 dining venues, an 18-hole golf course, a 6,800-square-foot family pool, and more.
This Big Island hotel even has a kids’ club for the youngest members of your family when they aren’t having fun by the pool.
The Hapuna Beach Activities Hut allows guests to rent paddle boards, kayaks, and snorkel equipment. You can even participate in the resort’s manta moonlight night snorkel led by researcher James Wing.
The Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail crosses part of Hāpuna Beach, known for being one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Guests can hike the trail from the hotel.
The Hapuna Spa by Mandara features sound wave therapies in addition to unique massages such as a fire and ice massage and a cool thermal massage.
The golf course was designed by Arnold Palmer and sits among a dark lava field and ocean views. Throughout the course, the elevation rises to 700 feet above sea level where, on the 12th hole, you can see as far as the island of Maui in the distance.
Marriott Bonvoy Points Required: Starting at 53,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
Cash Rate for a Base-level Room: $569 to $783 per night
Daily Resort Fee: $30 plus tax
Points Value: ~0.88 to 1.47 cents per point
Kaua’i is known for its natural landscape, amazing beaches, and dramatic scenery. It’s also easily navigable with kids and not too large that anyone should feel intimidated to explore. These are the best resorts in Kaua’i for families — and you can book them using points.
Located near one of Kaua’i’s most popular family-friendly beaches, the Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay is a fantastic family hotel thanks to its ideal location on the island. This hotel also participates in the Mālama Hawaii volunteer program.
The hotel is about a 15-minute drive from the airport, close to restaurants, and right in front of Lydgate Beach and Kamalani Playground. Lydgate Beach has calm, shallow waters, perfect for young swimmers. And the playground more than makes up for the lack of a kids’ club at the hotel.
Hot Tip: Don’t be surprised to meet wild chickens throughout this resort (and the island in general).
Families can choose between spacious guestrooms, suites, or cottages. When my family was there in early 2022, we found the 2 queen bed guestroom to be perfect for our family of 4. In addition to 2 beds, it also came with a pull-out couch and plenty of space for my toddlers to run around.
There is only 1 restaurant at this hotel, but there are great dining options in the area (plus, remember I said that Hawai’i has lots of great food options to try).
And lastly, parking is free at the Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay, a generous perk for the inevitable Jeep rental that’s so popular with visitors.
Hilton Honors Points Required: Starting at 60,000 Hilton Honors points per night
Cash Rate for a Base-level Room: $232 to $349 per night
Daily Resort Fee: $25 plus tax (waived if you book with points)
Points Value: ~0.39 to ~0.58 cents per point
The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa is a popular family hotel in Kaua’i thanks to the activities available on and near the property on Kaua’i’s South Shore.
There are multi-level pools, a saltwater lagoon, and a lava-rock-lined lazy river. Guests don’t even need to leave the pool to play water volleyball or water basketball.
The resort is located near Poipu Beach, which has shallow and protected waters safe from large swells and great for young swimmers.
There’s an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. where it was host to the annual PGA Grand Slam of Golf for 12 years.
In addition to in-room dining, guests at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa can choose between 6 restaurants and bars throughout the resort. There are 2 restaurants open most of the day: poolside Hale Nalu which services burgers, fish tacos, and other delights, and Ilma Terrace where you can have à la carte or buffet breakfast and lunch. Tidepools restaurant serves modern Hawaiian cuisine and Stevenson’s Library features fresh sushi and spirits. These restaurants are open for dinner nightly.
Finally, this hotel has its own luau. Grand Hyatt Kauai Luau grants visitors an opportunity to learn more about Hawai’i’s cultural history and traditions through music, dance, and food.
World of Hyatt Category: 7
World of Hyatt Points Required: Starting at 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night
Cash Rate for a Base-level Room: $720 to $1,236 per night
Daily Resort Fee: $45 plus tax (waved if booked with points)
Points Value: 3.06 to 5.12 cents per point
Maui has a lot of beautiful and upscale properties to choose from. Popular with honeymooners, it’s also a great place for families to visit, especially if you don’t mind spending a bit more money.
Maui’s famous Road to Hana isn’t for the faint at heart, but if you can stand tight turns and 2-lane roads, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most gorgeous views the island has to offer.
Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort is one of Maui’s premier resorts as well as one of the best Hawai’i luxury resorts for families.
The resort is located on Wailea Beach which features 5 crescent-shaped beaches along 1,500 acres of land. Other luxury resorts found near this resort include the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea and the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort.
The resort has a lava tube slide that’s 3 stories high, making for a 14-second ride that dumps into a separate pool just for the slide. There’s also Wailea Canyon Activity Pool where you’ll find 5 more slides, a Tarzan Pool with a rope swing, 6 waterfalls, and other attractions. Hibiscus Pool is reserved for adults and comes with 2 Jacuzzis. Guests can also reserve cabanas for the day.
The Grand Wailea does a great job of engaging even the youngest members of your family. At check-in, kids are given a passport with a resort map and a list of educational opportunities throughout the resort. As kids complete each activity, they receive a stamp in their passport.
Cultural experiences and activities that guests can participate in include ukulele and hula lessons as well as resort tours with the in-house cultural ambassador. The resort’s cultural calendar has activities to choose from every day of the week.
Hilton Honors Points Required: Starting at 110,000 Hilton Honors points per night
Cash Rate for a Base-level Room: $932 to $1,332 per night
Daily Resort Fee: $30 plus tax (waived if you book with points)
Points Value: 0.85 to 1.21 cents per point
Hot Tip: Check out our in-depth review of a family stay at Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.
There are 3 pools at this resort: the adults-only Maluhia Pool, the ‘Ohi Pools which are 2 oceanfront pools for all ages, and Nalu Adventure Pool which features family-size cabanas, splash zones, and 4 water slides.
Beach and ocean activities offered by the hotel include a guided Outrigger canoe tour and equipment rentals such as stand-up paddleboards and kayaks.
Potential guests of this resort might be happy to know that there’s a Starbucks on the property. Other dining options include the Mo’Bettah Food Truck which serves lunch at Wailea Beach, poolside Kapa Bar & Grill, and Humble Market Kitchen by Roy Yamaguchi serving a Hawaiian-inspired menu.
Other exciting features of the resort include the on-property Te Au Moana Luau and Olakino, a wellness pool opening in 2023. The adults-only wellness sanctuary will offer sensory experiences to relax the mind and body, spa treatments, and wellness workshops.
Marriott Bonvoy Points Required: Starting at 80,800 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
Cash Rate for a Base-level Room: $823 to $1,028 per night
Daily Resort Fee: $35 plus tax
Points Value: ~1 cent per point
The family-friendly resort features amenities such as a water playground, a nightly luau, and a beachfront spa. The resort pool features a 150-foot lava tube water slide, a rope bridge, and an interactive children’s pool.
For lounging on the beach, guests can request complimentary backpack beach chairs from the Pool Desk. Or spend an afternoon being totally pampered by reserving an oceanfront cabana with dedicated food and drink service.
Kamaha’o Spa is available for guests 12 years and older and offers body treatments, individual and couples massages, facials, and more.
Dining options include often sold-out Japengo, an Asian restaurant with beachfront views. The resort recommends making reservations for Japengo well in advance of your trip to the island. Other options include Umula which serves American cuisine and Son’z Steakhouse. Drums of the Pacific Lu’au takes place every evening.
World of Hyatt Category: 7
World of Hyatt Points Required: Starting at 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night
Cash Rate for a Base Level Room: $664 to $749 per night
Daily Resort Fee: $45 plus tax (waived if you book with points)
Points Value: 2.84 to 3.18 cents per point
O’ahu, though not the largest Hawaiian Island, is home to the state capital Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, and Waikīkī Beach. The legendary father of modern surfing Duke Kahanamoku hailed from the island of O’ahu. He was also a world-class Olympic swimmer, winning gold and silver medals before Hawai’i became a U.S. state.
Visitors to O’ahu should make time to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center. Here you can explore the recreation of 6 island villages and learn about the cultures of Hawai’i as well as Fiji, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga.
Built in 1901, the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach is O’ahu’s first hotel built on the famous Waikīkī Beach.
The hotel was originally 2 properties, the Surfrider and the Moana. When Sheraton purchased the property in 1969, a tower was built that brought the 2 hotels together.
Today, the Moana Surfrider is a Westin Resort on one of the most popular and well-known beaches in all of Hawai’i. Its location on this beach makes it ideal for those who love to spend time at the beach thanks to plenty of things to do.
In addition to the outdoor pool, the Moana Surfrider features special kids’ programming called Storytelling with Tutu (grandmother), which takes place every Monday and Thursday. Storytelling with Tutu teaches kids about the history of Princess Kaiulani, ocean preservation, and Hawaiian culture.
The Moana Surfrider offers several dining options, too. Beachhouse at the Moana serves island-inspired classic seafood dishes, Vintage 1901 in the historic lobby serves artisan wines and cocktails, and Afternoon Tea at The Veranda serves a Victorian-era tea service on the weekend.
Marriott Bonvoy Points Required: Starting at 66,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
Cash Rate for a Base Level Room: $350 to $822 per night
Daily Resort Fee: $42 plus tax
Points Value: ~0.53 to 1.25 cents per point
Hot Tip: Just a few properties away from Moana Surfrider is another Marriott Bonvoy property, the Sheraton Waikiki. Read more about a family stay on points at that property in our detailed review.
Located on Duke Kahanamoku Beach, not far from Waikīkī, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort boasts the only saltwater lagoon in Waikīkī, a draw to families hoping for calm waters for young swimmers.
The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki has outdoor pools with water slides (pictured above) and water equipment such as an aqua-cycle that you can rent and take out on the lagoon. You can also take surf lessons on the beach.
Daily family-friendly activities hosted by the resort include lei-making and hula lessons. Waikiki Starlight Luau takes place Sunday through Thursday on the resort’s Great Lawn and features fire knife dancers and traditional Samoan, Tahitian, and Hawaiian dances.
There are more than 18 restaurants at and surrounding the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. The 2 eateries and bars on the property are Bali Oceanfront serving fresh seafood and the poolside bar Hau Tree Bar.
Hilton Honors Points Required: Starting at 70,000 Hilton Honors points per night
Cash Rate for a Base Level Room: $236 to $371 per night
Daily Resort Fee: $40 plus tax (waived if you book with points)
Points Value: ~0.34 to 0.53 cents per point
The North Shore of O’ahu is a quieter side of the island and home to Keiki Beach, a popular beach for families with fewer crowds and calm waters, and the Polynesian Cultural Center. The waves attracts some of the best surfers in the world in the winter months, while gentler waves great for families can be found in the summer.
While there’s a pool at the Courtyard Oahu North Shore for guests to enjoy, Courtyard hotels are usually low-thrill hotels great for families on a budget. At this hotel, the highlight is its activity desk.
The activity desk helps guests navigate this part of the island to places like Sunset, Pipeline, and Waimea Bay Beach Park. Off-property activities include ziplining and surfing, but you can also rent stand-up paddleboards, boogie boards, and even surfboards for use at the beach.
In addition to the hotel’s Bistro open for breakfast and dinner, there are plenty of dining options not far from the resort. Tita’s Grill, best known for its garlic shrimp, serves plate lunches and sandwiches, hamburger and milkshake eatery Seven Brothers, and Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck are just a few of the options within a 3-mile radius of the hotel.
Marriott Bonvoy Points Required: Starting at 52,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
Cash Rate for a Base Level Room: $273 to $440 per night
Daily Resort Fee: No resort fee
Points Value: 0.53 to 0.85 cents per point
Hot Tip: Note that the islands of Lāna’i and Moloka’i do not have hotels that can be redeemed for points through traditional means. As always, you can reserve a hotel through your credit card’s travel portal and pay with points that way. Alternatively, you could book a hotel on one of these islands with a Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and redeem your Capital One miles to cover travel expenses from the previous 90 days.
Hawai’i is made up of 8 distinct islands, 6 of which you can visit. From there, 4 of those islands have points hotels where you can redeem free nights for your next family vacation. This guide lists the best use of points for hotels in Hawai’i.
Check out Hawaii’s active volcano on a visit to the Big Island, explore the dramatic natural landscapes of Kaua’i, and relax in the lap of luxury on Maui. Finally, O’ahu — home to the famous Waikīkī Beach, the capital city of Honolulu, and the Polynesian Cultural Center — is a can’t-miss with lots to see and do.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Oahu is the best Hawaiian Island because it’s the most affordable. There are also plenty of things to do and see on this island that are sure to keep your family entertained.
Summer is the best time to go to Hawai’i. Specifically, early June is the best month. To see humpback whales that migrate from Alaska, the best time to visit is January.
These islands have distinct features that will appeal to different wants. O’ahu is more affordable and is best for those who are into museums, cultural experiences, and history. Maui is better for families who prefer more luxury accommodations and ocean activities.
Kids of all ages will enjoy their time in Hawai’i. From lagoons with gentle waters to pools with 3-story waterslides to learning about Polynesian history and culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center, there’s no shortage of age-appropriate activities in Hawai’i.
O’ahu is ideal for families and has the best beaches for kids. Specifically, Waikīkī Beach is popular with kids.
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This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.