Your complete guide to the best pools in Hawaii.
There's something about huge and fun filled pool areas that just makes or breaks a resort for me. Sure, you're in Hawaii to see the sites, learn about the history and culture, and to play on sandy beaches and in clear ocean water. I get that, but spending time relaxing and unwinding at a resort is also part of a complete vacation experience.
So what better way to unwind than in a pool? Of course, not just any pool will do. Yes, any pool can cool you off and will work in a pinch. But this is your Hawaiian vacation and you want to spend your relaxation time in a proper pool.
What's A Proper Pool Anyhow?There is no exact formula to a proper pool, it's one of those "you'll know it when you see it" things. It needs to be large, ideally with several pools. Slides are incredibly important, but not always required. It should have some sort of theming, tropical being my favorite theme since this is Hawaii. It should have plenty of places to sit, ideally with shaded areas. Drink and food services is a huge plus as are waterfalls of some sort.
Top 12 Hawaii Resort PoolsStarting in reverse order, let's go through the best resort pools that Hawaii has to offer you.
Excellent theming and tropical vibe get this Hilton Grand Vacations resort on our list. You'll find it on the Big Island, in the Waikoloa resort area.
This one is located on Oahu in the Ko Olina Resort and is not very well known yet but the pool area here is nice. There are two main pools, one of which is more of an adult quiet pool. But when Marriott opened their latest tower here it included another pool with a lava rock theme and water slide. There are frequent mermaid sightings here thanks to Mermaid Kariel. Ko Olina Lagoon 3 (Nai'a Lagoon) is located right here as well.
The Ocean Club is located right on lovely Ka'anapali Beach on Maui. The pool here is massive and sprawling. It's just steps away from the sand as well, bonus!
This Marriott, located on the island of Kauai, gets on our list due to the huge size of this pool. It's more on the elegant side and includes hot tubs and a center island area where you can kick back and relax. When you're ready for the beach, Kalapaki Beach is just steps away.
You'll find this Westin on the island of Maui, right on Ka'anapali Beach and right next to Whalers Village. Blue waters, fun rock work, waterfalls, and a great slide make this a truly fun pool.
Oh Andaz, you're a special place with a special pool area. You break many of the rules on my "must have" list for being a great pool area. You're not tropical, you don't have waterfalls, and there are no slides. So what's so great about the pools at this Maui resort? There just so nice and peaceful and well done. Kids won't appreciate these pools, but adults will. Many levels of pools, all with amazing views of the excellent Mokapu Beach and a fun and modern design. Elegance defined. PS - I wouldn't mind if you added water slides.
This Hyatt Regency is located on the island of Maui, right on Ka'anapali Beach. The pool area is massive and sprawling. It really has everything you would want which includes a slide, waterfalls, hot tubs, a kids pool area, and a great tropical theme. What's not to love about this place? I've spent many days relaxing and playing here.
This is Hilton's mega-resort that's located in Waikiki (see Waikiki Guide) on the island of Oahu. This property is so large that it includes the Hilton Grand Vacations Suites At Hilton Hawaiian Village and the Grand Waikikian Suites by Hilton Grand Vacations as well. It's a huge property that's hard to grasp until you experience it in person. But that means they have plenty of room for several pools and slides as well as the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon which is open to the public.
Not to be outdone by their sister property, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, this village is located on Hawaii's Big Island in the resort area of Waikoloa. The property is so large that they have a monorail system to take you around. That means the pools are huge, and there are several of them. There are also several water slides and hot tubs to choose from. It's an all around excellent pool area.
This one is located on the island of Kauai and has it all. It's really the perfect pool area in every possible way. First off, it's huge and sprawling. Second, it has an awesome slide. Third, it has excellent lava rock theming and the best color palette of any pool I've ever seen. The blues, blacks, and greens are amazing here. Add in colorful flowers and you have paradise. There's even a salter water lagoon / pool with sand bottom, mainly because the beach here, Keoneloa Beach (Shipwreck's Beach), isn't the best place to swim. The only improvement I'd like to see here are a few more slides and a bit more shade.
This is a big one and, until recently, this was the pool that all others would be judged by. This Maui property is really big and much of that area is used up by the pools. This is the type of place you could spend days at without every leaving the pool area. It's that good. Why? Well, many of the various pools are at different heights and each one dumps into the next via a small water slide. That eventually leads to a really fun and wide slide at the bottom which then leads you through a lazy river for a while. Along the way you'll find a rope swing and plenty of places to explore and swim around in.
When you're ready to do it all again you make your way back up to the top. Sure, you could take the stairs which lead to the top pool but why do that when there is an elevator. It's not a regular elevator. No, it's a water elevator. Basically, you enter a cave, a door behind you shuts, you sit on a large tube with several others, and water fills the cave. You rise up to the top. You're correct, it's not for claustrophobes! You'll basically find yourself repeating this process for days on end. It's good exercise to help burn off all that poolside food.
They also have hot tubs and a couple of huge water slides. Borded of the pool? Well, you won't be, but if you were you can hit the awesome Wailea Beach Park which is just steps away.
Disney has set the gold standard with the Aulani pool area and that's why it earns our number one spot for best pool in Hawaii. You'll find it in the Ko Olina Resort on Oahu, right on Ko Olina Lagoon 1 (Kahola Lagoon). This is Disney at its best. The most detailed theming you could imagine and it feels like no expense was spared.
It includes several large pools (including an adult only pool, zero entry pool, and infinity edge pool), several hot tubs, two great slides (with and without inner tubes), a lazy river, a huge kids play area, and a toddler splash zone. There are tons of counter service food and beverage options and if you want a real beach it's right there. They even have a huge, saltwater aquarium that's filled with tropical fish that you can snorkel in.
Disney fans will love seeing Mickey and the gang walking around for photo opportunities. There's even a fun and interactive adventure game along the lines of the Kim Possible / Phineas And Ferb game at Walt Disney World in Florida.
Aulani A Disney Resort And Spa truly has something for everyone, unless you're looking for peace and quite. That's a bit harder to find here!
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