A popular resort perfect for families and first-time travelers to the island
Exploring this 860-room property is as close to a hidden object iPad app as you’re going to find. Families can walk the resort and be on the lookout for penguins, koi fish, an African crane, a variety of talking parrots, and more. Or, simply take the resort’s wildlife tour and learn more about the animals that live there.
Outside, if you can distract yourself from the mesmerizing surf, is a large pool with Keiki Lagoon for tots and waterfalls and a 150-foot waterslide for older kids. The Hyatt Regency is popular with families and honeymooners alike.
Hyatt Maui is located in the Ka’anapali Beach Resort, about a 45-minute drive from Maui International Airport. It is only three miles from Lahaina and walking distance from Whaler’s Village with beachfront restaurants, shops, and a museum. The resort comprises five luxury resorts, six condo and vacation club resorts, two championship resort golf courses, tennis courts, and miles of glorious beach fun. Got little ones? We had some fun mother-daughter shopping time for toys and clothes at Hula Honey’s in Whaler’s Village.
Like many Hyatt properties, this property has a Regency Club that is worth the splurge. It is located on the 22nd floor with views of the golf course. It is a comfortable three-room lounge with complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and snacks, computers, newspapers and magazines, and a bathroom. They serve a deluxe continental breakfast, evening hors d’oeuvres and desserts, and, for a minimal charge, alcoholic beverages. We used the Regency Club most to grab a cool drink while our room was being serviced, as respite while one of the adults needed to have a private phone conversation in the room, and for their impressive breakfast spread that went way beyond muffins and fruit.
The pool’s reputation precedes itself. Known as Keiki Lagoon, the kids’ pool lived up to all the hype my friends had tipped me off to. There are sand bars, fountains, slides, and more. Kids loved running across the rope bridge above, too.
Whether you hire a babysitter or bring the kids, splurge on a meal at Japengo. Before you scare at the price of the food, know that it will be delicious and that you’re also paying for a stellar ocean view. Make reservations for sunset, and you can be one of the many guests who rush out to take their picture with the gorgeous backdrop. Waiters won’t shy away from taking the photo for you.
Good to Know:
There is a county ordinance in Maui with a strict age limit for Camp Hyatt participants (and other kids’ clubs at resorts on Maui). Only children 5–12 will be allowed to attend the camp. That said, there are kind and patient camp counselors, a fun rec room, and activities that change every day and range from playing sports, learning cultural activities, and fishing to meeting the hotel wildlife, crafts, and more.
If you’re looking for a unique experience, ask about the Hyatt Maui’s rooftop astronomy program. They have two programs—a Tour of the Stars for kids and a Romance Tour of the Stars for adults.
The ocean-front spa and fitness center have incomparable views of the Pacific. Trust me, you want to go to the gym while you’re on vacation here. It’s as easy as getting on the elliptical machine and watching the waves lap on the shore.
Although our trip was hosted, Kaanapali Beach Resort did not request that I express any particular point of view. All opinions are my own.
Jen Leo is an award-winning travel book editor, podcaster and problogger. She writes the weekly, nationally syndicated Web Buzz column for the Los Angeles Times travel section. You can also find her writing on CNTraveler.com, EpicMoms.com, Poshbrood.com and catch her co-hosting This Week in Travel on iTunes and YouTube. When not sampling indoor playgrounds with her preschooler, Jen can be found testing kids’ iPhone and iPad apps for BestKidsApps.com.