A Family Affair
Any vacation that involves a swimming pool is likely to please the little ones in the family. When waterslides are involved, so much the better. Add long stretches of white- sand beach, a warm ocean, and whales frolicking offshore during winter months, and you get a vacation that the entire family will thoroughly enjoy.
Such a place is Waikoloa Beach Resort, where two hotels and a host of condominium accommodations offer pools, places to splash and play, and easy access to the Pacific Ocean.
“Waikoloa was designed with kids and families in mind,” says Scott Head, Vice President of Resort Operations. “The vision of the developers more than 30 years ago was to create a place where families could spend quality time together, play together, and create lasting memories. We have preserved and enhanced that vision over the years, and we are very proud to offer such a variety of family experiences to our guests. Waikoloa is really very unique on Hawai`i Island, as it is in the entire state.”
At the Hilton Waikoloa Village, visitors will find one of the most distinctive water experiences in Hawai`i at Dolphin Quest. Whether you are simply enjoying lunch at the Lagoon Grill overlooking the dolphins playing in their lagoon, or participating in an actual dolphin encounter, the experience is thrilling. Several encounter programs are offered, ranging from a 10-minute introductory experience for toddlers (ages 2-4) to longer snorkel encounters for older kids and adults.
The Hilton also offers three freshwater pools, including one that features a popular 175-foot twisting waterslide…talk about keiki fun!
Next door at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, families can gather for the day at two meandering swimming pools, one of which includes a shallow, sandy-bottom kids area; while the other is where the waterslide is found. Or, you can stroll down to ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay and the half-mile long swimming beach that fronts the hotel. On this protected beach, older kids can snorkel or ride boogie boards; or the whole family can sign up for glass- bottom boat rides, hydro-biking, or kayak adventures.
If your family enjoys playing golf together — or if you are looking for a great way to introduce your kids to the game — a special experience awaits at Waikoloa Kings’ Course. Called Family Golf Days, during the summer months (May through August), families can play the Kings’ Course after 3:30 p.m. for only $50 per adult and $25 for juniors including complimentary junior Nike rental clubs. One of the most scenic courses on the island, there’s no better way to spend a few hours playing together than on the Kings’ Course.
If sailing, scuba diving, or whale watching excursions are of interest, Ocean Sports has multiple locations around Waikoloa Beach Resort to get you going. This company has been specializing in family recreation on the Kohala Coast for more than 30 years. In addition to ocean excursions, they can also give you a lesson and get you set up on a stand-up paddleboard. “Every day is an adventure!” says Kay Brooks, director of sales and marketing for Ocean Sports. “Come and have your Big Island adventures with us!”
“The range of activities we offer is what sets us apart,” Head says. “From learning to dance the hula to playing a round of family friendly golf, from a trek through historic petroglyph fields to an ukulele lesson, Waikoloa Beach Resort offers something fun for everyone. You can even arrange a helicopter tour to fly over the lava flow at Kilauea…now that’s an experience everyone remembers.”
Once the sun sets, activities give way to entertainment. Both Hilton Waikoloa Village and Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa offer exciting luau several times a week, replete with great food and traditional Polynesian dancing and story-telling.
Plus, at the Kings’ Shops and Queens’ MarketPlace, live music, cultural shows, and entertainment is offered almost every night of the week. Movie nights are popular, as are free monthly concerts, and seasonal activities from Easter to Fourth of July to Christmas are celebrated with fun events and festivities.
“Waikoloa is a special place,” Head says. “Our primary goal is to provide families a retreat, a safe place where they can enjoy one another, enjoy the environment, and create memories that last forever. If we can do that, our guests will want to come back year after year.”