Photo: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

Finding a vacation destination that offers the perfect balance of adventure and R&R for both parents and kids can be a tall order; but we can say with certainty: we’ve found your slice of paradise. The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa will delight everyone in your ohana (family) while immersing you in the blissful aloha spirit of Hawaiian culture. From its too good to be true oceanfront location, amazing swimming pools with waterslides and waterfalls and lush tropical setting teeming with wildlife, read on to see why you should book your next getaway at this magical locale that has it all.

Photo: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

A Room With a View
A range of various guest rooms are available and all are outfitted with a plush Hyatt Grand Bed® with luxury bedding that truly offers a sound night’s sleep and additional convenient amenities including WiFi. Booking an oceanfront room offers priceless experiences that are worth every extra penny. There’s nothing like falling asleep every night to the sound of the ocean waves and getting to simply walk a few steps out to your private lanai to watch the amazing Maui sunrises and sunsets during your stay. (See the pic of a sunset view below, taken from our oceanfront room).

Photo: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

Epic Swimming Pools
Pack plenty of sunscreen and multiple bathing suits because you’ll be living the high life at the Resort’s swimming pools every day! Water slides, swim-through caves and waterfalls offer endless fun in the water. Your family can make a splash at the Napili Pool which features a lightning fast 150-foot enclosed lava tube water slide as well as Ka’anapali’s only swinging rope bridge and a hot tub. The Lahaina pool (above) is more for R&R and leisure swimming or water basketball and your kids will LOVE swimming under the two waterfalls and through the Grotto Bar cave. You may have a hard time getting them to get out of the pool when it’s time to go!

Good to know: Rash guards, hats and high SPF sunblock are essential. Hawaii is located near the equator, which makes the sun’s rays stronger. Even if there’s a cloud cover, you’re sure to get a sunburn if you don’t lather up (and re-lather regularly) with sunscreen whether you’re at the pool, the beach or generally outdoors.

If your little fishies aren’t yet totally safe to swim submerged on their own, the Keiki Lagoon (above) is a huge relief for parents and a thrill for little minnows. This water wonderland has a 25-foot water slide that ends in shallow water, leaping water fountains to splash in and floating toy dolphins and turtles to ride on and climb.

Insider’s tip: The neighboring Hyatt Residence Club has a zero-entry Wailele lagoon pool perfect for tiny tots–– and guests of the Hyatt Resort are welcome to use it!

Good to know: You can rent rafts, pool noodles and small inner tubes to make pool time even more fun and accessible for kids.

Hit the Beach
Want to take a break from the pool to hit the waves? The beautiful Kāʻanapali beach is just a few steps away from the pool! A short walk south up the oceanfront path in front of the resort you’ll find the Beach Activities Center where you can rent or buy all kinds of ocean play equipment from snorkeling gear to boogie boards and kayaks. Walk north .8 miles on the path to reach Black Rock beach which is famous for excellent snorkeling. If you want to arrange surfing lessons, go stand up paddle boarding or book a snorkeling excursion to Molokini, there are two concierge/activities desks located inside the Resort and they’ll help you book these as well as many other Maui outings and tours.

Photo: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

Dining Options Galore
Unique and varied Dining options abound at the resort––from fine dining with ocean views to casual poolside service and cuisine ranging from Asian/Pacific Rim fusion to steak and seafood, there’s something for everyone. We found the most kid-friendly lunch and dinner options at ‘Ūmalu located next to the Lahaina pool. You can also order off this menu for food to be delivered to your lounge chair or cabana by the pool or ocean. Parents can opt for favorite fare: Uncle Kimo’s Ahi Poke Nachos and kids can mix and match a meal by choosing two options from the “fun fuel” menu for an unbeatable price of $7.95. Choices include gluten-free chicken tenders, parmesan baked zucchini fries and fruit & muffin skewers. If your picky eater doesn’t see anything they like on the menu, the resort is super kid-friendly and willing to accommodate reasonable requests when it comes to feeding your kiddos.

Son’z Steakhouse also offers a menu for kids 12 and under for $14.95 with offerings such as fresh Hawaiian fish and mashed potatoes that includes ice cream for dessert and a juice or soft drink.

Good to know: Kids between the ages of 5 and 12 “pay their age” at the buffet breakfast at Swan Court. (Children 4 and under are free.)

Insider’s tip: Indulge in a Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice in every flavor imaginable at the stand located next to the pool. Voted the best shave ice in Maui, lines for this cool treat are usually endless elsewhere on the island.

Photo: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

Regency Club
Speaking of dining, let’s talk about why Regency Club is a must for families. We all know kids snack all day and keeping them fed on vacation can be a full-time job––not to mention cost a fortune. It’s a well-known fact that food in Hawaii is very expensive. (We’re talking triple what you pay back on the mainland for some items). This is why adding the Regency Club to your reservation is a no-brainer. This exclusive lounge, accessible via your Regency Club room key card, is a lifesaver for parents. The Regency Club offers a daily continental breakfast with fresh cut fruits including succulent Maui pineapple and guava, an array of pastries from muffins to croissants, a hot food item such as French Toast or scrambled eggs, tropical juices, coffee and espresso drinks, bagels with all the fixins’ and more.

Throughout the day you can stop in for tea or soft drinks, another latte (key for a parent’s caffeine-fix), chocolate chip cookies, granola bars, mixed nuts and fruit. In the evening they serve crudités, gourmet cheeses and hors d’oeuvres, salads and fare such as build your own nachos, penne pasta with marinara, tempura shrimp, etc. Honestly, you and your kids can easily make a substantial dinner out of the offerings most nights. Alcoholic beverages are also available at a minimal charge compared to what they cost in other areas of the Resort. Later in the evening, go back for desserts and cordials––kids will love the pie and petite cakes in flavors ranging from rainbow to chocolate to strawberry shortcake. During our weeklong stay we were delighted by different offerings daily––variety is the spice of life!

Bonus: The Regency Club hosts are beyond lovely, friendly and accommodating. They make you feel right at home each time you visit.

The fee for Regency Club starts at an additional $120 per night’s stay, which is a bargain given the fact that one meal out for four can cost that or more and two lattes cost about $15 a pop.

Camp Hyatt
If you and your other half want to go on a tour, excursion or date night sans kids, the resort’s Camp Hyatt for guests ages 5-12 is a wonderful offering. Day Camp ($85/first child; $70/siblings) from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Half Day Camp ($55/child) 9 a.m.-noon or 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. include lunch and Night Camp ($85/first child; $70/siblings) from 5-9 p.m. includes dinner. Each day of the week offers a completely unique, Hawaiian theme full of fun activities and crafts. Kids will make fish prints or a canoe, create a paper lei and learn to hula dance or go on a moonlight safari to search for nocturnal creatures to collect in their own critter box. Kids will also get to go swimming or depending on the day, fishing or to build a volcano. This beautiful, thoughtfully curated program will keep your kids happily entertained while educating them in Hawaiian culture. Our kids talked about what they learned at Camp Hyatt for the rest of the trip and gave their experience there two huge thumbs-up.

Wildlife Tours, Penguin Feedings, Turtle Talk, Hula Lessons and More!
The friendly, welcoming vibe of the Hyatt Maui is enhanced with the offering of so many activities that invite guests to dive deeper into the Resort’s environment to learn more about Hawaiian culture and their surroundings. Throughout the week you can attend Wildlife Tours to learn all about the exotic animals that call the Hyatt Maui home: swans, flamingos and talking parrots to name a few! Or head to a Penguin Feeding every morning at 9:30 a.m. to watch the adorable African Black-Footed Penguins dine on fish and to see the colorful Koi fish get fed as well. At Turtle Talk, a marine expert from Maui Ocean Center will give you a host of interesting info on the Hawaiian green sea turtle. Cultural activities such as Lauhala bracelet making, lei making and hula dancing are also part of the fun. All of these activities are complimentary offerings for resort guests.

Drums of the Pacific Lu’au 
Just a quick elevator ride away from your room is the spectacular, award-winning nightly performance of the Drums of the Pacific Luau at the Hyatt Maui. This luau is on fire––literally––featuring a three man fire dance! Akin to a Broadway production with elaborate costume changes, singing, dancing, chanting and of course, death-defying fire twirling, this exciting cultural performance tour of the islands of Polynesia teaches you about the authentic stories that inspired each song and dance. The exquisite dresses, flowers and headpieces that adorn the hula dancers will surely delight kids who will be thrilled to be invited on stage for a hula dancing lesson taught by the expert dancers themselves. The action-packed show keeps audiences young and old enthralled and in a constant state of awe.

But we’ve gotten ahead of ourselves. The luau starts with a mai tai and lei greeting, lighting of the torches, a traditional imu ceremony and an elaborate all-you-can-eat dinner buffet and open bar featuring Hawaiian fare including pounded poi and creamed taro in addition to macadamia nut crusted island fish and teriyaki chicken and a slew of other dishes. Save room for the delicious range of desserts including toasted coconut pineapple upside down cake.

Bonus: Placards at each dish on the buffet clearly label whether the food item is vegan, gluten-free or vegetarian. A great help for those with dietary restrictions.

Good to Know: At the end of the buffet line is a “kid’s table” with chicken nuggets and several dipping sauces and penne marinara pasta.

Luau tickets for kids are $70 and range from $119-$172 for adults depending on seating selected.

Online: drumsofthepacificmaui.com

Photo: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

The fiery finale battle dance will have little ones (and adults!) amazed at how unbelievably fast the warriors are able to twirl blazing knives.

Photo: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

Tour of the Stars
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort was voted the #1 hotel in the world for stargazing, and their Tour of the Stars takes you up to the rooftop and out of this world. The low light pollution in Maui makes the stars easier to spot and you’ll ooh and aah over constellations pointed out in the sky with a laser pointer by the Resort’s Director of Astronomy. You’ll get to behold the moon through a powerful telescope––a total thrill. We also spied Saturn, Jupiter and red and blue stars through giant astronomy binoculars and telescopes as well. It’s truly a stellar experience that will give visitors of all ages a humble glimpse into our place in the universe. Hawaiian culture is tied in to the learning as you hear how over 1,000 years ago Polynesians used the stars to guide their way to the Islands.

Good to know: Arrive 15 minutes before show time to join the group and be guided to the rooftop. Bring a light jacket. Shoes with heels aren’t permitted since you walk along a grate pathway on the roof to reach the observation area.

Photo: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

Kamaha’o Marilyn Monroe™ Spa
Fancy a spa treatment? The newly revamped Kamaha’o Marilyn Monroe™ Spa is Maui’s only oceanfront spa and you won’t believe the views. The vibe is one of serene elegance and images of the spa’s iconic namesake grace the walls, adding to the casual yet luxurious ambiance. Kids of any age can get their nails or hair done at the Spa when accompanied by an adult, so sign up for a mommy and me mani/pedi with your mini-me. All other spa services and facilities are for ages 14 and up.

Short on time but big on being pampered? Opt for the Hawaiian Facial Refresher or Sun Recovery Facial, both 25 minute services use fruit and plant ingredients to give your skin that Hawaiian-kissed glow! Both are on the new Hawaiian treatment menu.

Moana Athletic Club
Tennis anyone? How about a fitness class? Resort amenities include 24-hour access to the oceanfront StayFit™ gym which boasts high-tech cardio and strength training equipment and one-hour of daily tennis or basketball court time, including tennis balls, racquets and basketballs. Also on tap, daily group fitness classes including Aqua-Fit, Yoga by the beach, Pilates and Barre.

Note: Kids must be 14+ to use the gym.

Watch Spectacular Maui Sunrises & Sunsets
Talk about a room with a view-––no filter required! As mentioned above, an ocean front room provides incomparable, picturesque views that will take your breath away day after day.

As you can see, this dreamy family vacation will be treasured by everyone in your ohana and you’ll actually get to relax instead of feeling like you need a vacation from your trip upon returning home. Maui has so much to offer, but there’s no need to even leave the Resort––it’s your very own slice of island paradise. Aloha!

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
200 Nohea Kai Dr.
Lahaina, Hi
808-661-1234
Online: maui.regency.hyatt.com

Have you been to Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa? Tell us about it in the comments.

––Beth Shea

All photos by Beth Shea except where noted.

This trip was partially paid for by Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, but all opinions expressed here belong to the writer.