Families and Fairways: Hawaii’s Top Beachfront Golf Resorts

Stay here and play some great golf while your family enjoys the resort lifestyle.


Hawaii is home to some of the world’s finest and most scenic golf courses, and you’ve come to play. But if the family is along, you’ll also want to stay at a place that emphasizes the islands’ other great asset: the Pacific Ocean. And it wouldn’t hurt to add in some nice meals, a few beach games, some side trips to see the sights, and maybe a spa session for you and the significant other. Here are some of our favorite ocean-side resorts that combine great golf with an equally outstanding resort experience.


Stay At: JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina Play At: Ko Olina’s immaculately-maintained par 72 consistently ranks in the top 75 resort courses worldwide. As a bonus, there are a half dozen more first-class courses within a few minutes of the resort. Why Here: Sitting on Oahu’s sunnier western shore, the Ko Olina resort is within a half-hour drive of major attractions and Honolulu. Located ocean-side and shouldering the northernmost lagoon, the property provides panoramic water views, a range of water sports, spa services and walking access to the Ko Olina resort district. Another Favorite: Turtle Bay Resort is perched dramatically on a point of land that delivers ocean views from all rooms. You’ll find a top-rated golf course, a pair of great beaches and proximity to North Shore destinations and adventures.


Grand Wailea, Hawaii's best beachfront golf resorts

Aquatic elements at the Grand Wailea include adult and family pools, a water park and an expansive beach. Photo: Grand Wailea

Stay At: Grand Wailea Play At: Wailea’s trio of courses—Blue, Gold and Emerald—provide play that ranges from comfortable to challenging, but rarely frustrating. Why Here: Dominant views of Wailea Beach, ranked as one of Hawaii’s best beaches, are breathtaking from this Waldorf Astoria resort. Pool options include the signature Hibiscus pool for relaxation and a sprawling family pool complex and water park, with slides, rope swings and more. Everything you want can be found within the expansive resort, but you are also centrally located for day trips around Maui. Another Favorite: Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is a prime choice if you prefer a north shore location. Sitting above Honokahau Bay, it is surrounded by green lawns and the fairways of its two PGA-worthy courses, Plantation Course and scenic Bay Course.


Mauna Lani Bay Golf

Dramatic vistas, such as the South Course’s famous 15th hole, await golfers at Mauna Lani Bay. Photo: Mauna Lani Bay Resort

Stay At: Mauna Lani Bay Play At: The resort’s two scenic ocean-side courses, North and South, offer championship lay, plus there’s a junior- and novice-friendly nine-hole course. Why Here: It sits on a magnificent stretch of beach, with most rooms having at least partial Pacific Ocean views. In addition to golf, there’s an indoor/outdoor luxury spa, tennis club, an excellent fitness center and one of the island’s best restaurants, the Canoe House. Children’s programs include cultural activities and eco adventures as well as water sports. Another Favorite: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, an upscale yet tastefully subdued property on gorgeous grounds, is adjacent to the Jack Nicklaus-signature Hualalai Golf Course. Its refined yet family friendly, with numerous activities for youngsters and teens.



Located on the sunny side of the island, the Grand Hyatt Kauai offers activities and amenities for all ages. Photo: Hyatt Hotels

Stay At: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa Play At: Poipu Bay Golf Course, the resort’s championship links-style ocean course that consistently ranks in golf experts’ top-100 polls, is where you want to tee off. Spectacular vistas are mated with conveniences such as in-cart sat-nav systems for exact yardage information. Why Here: Located on the drier south shore, the Grand Hyatt Kauai is known for is ideal blend of upscale adult pampering and active, age-appropriate children’s activities. You’ll find multiple dining options from casual to memorable, the island’s largest spa, on- and off-site recreation programs, a white sand beach, saltwater lagoons and winding lazy-river pools with waterfalls and grottoes. Another Favorite: St. Regis Princeville, with its manicured grounds and oceanfront views, is the showcase property of the north-shore Princeville resort area. It’s home to the freshly-renovated Makai Golf Club and is just down the road from the award-winning Prince Golf Course.


Lanai Four Seasons Resort Hawaii

The Challenge at Manele Bay plays along the edge of towering lava cliffs. Shown here is the scenic 11th hole. Photo: Four Seasons Lanai

Stay Here:  Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay Play Here: The resort’s Challenge at Manele golf course delivers dramatic cliffside play that includes one of the most-photographed holes in golf: the par-3 12th hole. Scenery aside, it’s a demanding round of target-style golf with multiple carries over the island’s natural lava rock terrain. Why Here: This is Lanai’s premier oceanfront resort, sitting above the island’s finest beach and the underwater nature preserve at Hulopoe Bay. Several exceptional restaurants for the adults, beach games, surfing lessons and a teen center make it a good choice for a family vacation. Another Favorite:  The Lodge at Koele is Lanai’s other Four Seasons resort. It sits in the mid-island highlands, with commanding views and immaculate landscaping. In addition to playing the Experience at Koele golf course, guests enjoy a wealth of hiking, horseback and off-roading adventures.