Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa for Families (Review)

The best thing about the Sheraton Maui is its meandering, waterfall-bedecked lazy river. But the laziest of rivers is just one reason to book a stay at this hotel. The 508-room resort has an open, expansive feel with plenty of grassy spaces dotted with tall palm trees. It’s located on 23 oceanfront acres in Kaanapali, which was recently named one of America’s best small towns by Budget Travel. Here’s what to expect when you book a stay at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa.

Sheraton Maui Review - A Place for Families in Paradise
Sheraton Maui – A Place for Families to Laze in Paradise (Photo credit: Sheraton)

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Sheraton Maui Pool and Lazy River

Climb aboard one of the resort-provided floating bean bags or purchase an inflatable inner-tube from the poolside shop and dive in. My favorite memories from my stay at the Sheraton Maui with my mom and son involve poolside pina coladas and swimming lap after lap along the manmade river.

Sheraton Maui's meandering pool and lazy river
My son loved floating about in the Sheraton Maui’s meandering pool and lazy river (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

It was a fun way to work off some of those vacation calories because, as one of the resort’s bartenders put it, “Our river is so lazy, you have to make the current yourself.”

Sheraton Maui pool
There’s plenty of space for lazing about in the Sheraton Maui pool (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

The Beach

It’s not just about the pool — Sheraton Maui offers direct beach access for ocean lovers. It was hard to get my son to leave that glorious pool but once we lured him to the beach, he was hooked. We had lived in San Diego since his birth, so his idea of the beach meant big, intimidating, cold waves. Here, however, the water was delightfully warm, with a long break to the shore.

Sheraton Maui beach fun
Sheraton Maui beach fun (Photo credit: Ellen Lanin)

Ohana Suites

It can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep when traveling with children. That’s why, whenever possible, I book a suite or connecting rooms. If you’d like more space and privacy during your Hawaiian family vacation, book one of the 20 Ohana Suites at the Sheraton Maui. Not only will you get two separate rooms with a total of three beds, but also a mini fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and double sinks in the bathroom. The third sink at the minibar makes it easy to prepare snacks, or bottles if traveling with a baby. Two showers (one with a tub) in the bathroom made rinsing off sandy bodies a breeze.

Ohana Suite at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
Ohana Suite at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa (Photo credit: Sheraton)

Our lanai was outfitted with a table, two chairs and a chaise lounge so we could relax and take in the ocean view without going far. This would be a double bonus if traveling with a child who still naps midday.

Palm trees galore at the Sheraton Maui
View from our Ohana Suite lanai (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Sheraton Adventure Club

The Sheraton Adventure Club offers a plethora of daily activities for various ages such as an outrigger canoe tours, pilates and yoga classes, Hawaiian arts and crafts, hula dancing and more. Many activities are included in your resort fee while others require an additional fee.

The Westin Maui Kids Club Discover Room
The Westin Maui Kids Club Discovery Room (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Shuttle Off to Fun

Although the Sheraton Maui does not offer a kids club, its sister property, Westin Maui Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas does. You can sign your kids up for a half-day or full-day (9 am – 4 pm) of fun at the Westin Kid’s Club, for children ages 5 – 12. Take the complimentary shuttle over to drop them off and continue on to one of three shuttle stops in Lahaina: Hilo Hattie’s and the Outlets of Maui, Lahaina Cannery Mall and Lahaina Gateway.

Spear-throwing was just one of the fun activities at the Sheraront's Maui Nui at Black Rock
Spear-throwing was just one of the fun activities at the Sheraront’s Maui Nui at Black Rock (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock

Hawaiian-themed activities for kids and adults alike set the Sheraton’s Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock apart from other luaus I’ve attended. Local Hawaiian artisans also peddled their wares, like faux flower hair pins and beaded necklaces. All luau-goers receive a flowered lei at check-in.

Traditional Hawaiian foods at the Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock
Traditional Hawaiian foods at the Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Next up? Food, of course! The kalua pig is unearthed and then it’s game on to pile up plates with tasty traditional dishes such as sweet taro rolls, Hawaiian style fried rice, lomi lomi salmon, and fresh pineapple. For dessert, expect an array of goodies like guava chiffon cake, chocolate macadamia nut cream pie, cookies and more.

Hula dancers at the Maui Nui Luau
Hula dancers at the Maui Nui Luau (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Since we had just attended a luau a few days earlier at the Hyatt Regency Maui, I worried that my 6-year-old son would quickly tire of the luau show. I fretted for nothing because when I tried to lure him back to our room mid-show to get to bed for the next morning’s flight, he refused. He sat rapt throughout and insisted we stay till the very end so he could see the impressive male fire dancers.

Grandson and grandma posing in front of yet another beautiful sunset at Sheraton Maui
Grandson and grandma posing in front of yet another beautiful sunset at Sheraton Maui (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Family Time

During this Maui trip we toured the Surfing Goat Dairy, visited Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center, shopped historic Lahaina, and sampled shave ice in Paia. But really, we could easily have stayed at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa the whole time, splashing in the pool, playing on the sandy beach shores, relaxing on our lanai, and maybe indulging in a spa treatment or two.

The point of a Hawaiian vacation is relaxation and connection with your travel mates. The time spent here with my mom and my son was special in so many ways, especially getting to watch the two of them play together in the pool without any distractions or worry. It was just sun, water, fun and love.

Have you been to Maui, or are you dreaming of a trip to the Valley Isle? Share your thoughts and questions with us in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: Thank you to the Kaanapali Beach Resort Association and the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa for hosting our stay! All opinions are mine, as always.

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  1. Wow, your post brought tears to my eyes! What wonderful priceless memories you were able to make with your mom and son. In August, my husband, 8 year old son, and myself, will be staying a couple of nights at the Westin Maui before a week long stay at the Westin Kaánapali Ocean Villas, and I came across your blog when googling “Sheraton luau black rock”. We made reservations for this luau and I can’t wait. Everything is so hectic and its so easy to become disconnected from each other; I really look forward to reconnecting with my loved ones in such an idyllic destination. Thanks for whetting my appetite, and many future happy travels!

  2. Hello! I see that you stayed at both the Sheraton and Hyatt. I will be traveling to Maui with my boyfriend and 2 girls age 8 and 11. I’ve narrowed it down to the Sheraton and have such a hard time deciding. Which do you think would be a better fit for my family? I love how the grounds of the Hyatt looks but I hear the location of Sheraton as far as beach and proximity to Whaler’s Village is a big plus.

    1. Wow – that’s a tough call! I loved them both, really. I think I preferred the grounds and pools at the Hyatt (even though the “lazy” river at the Sheraton was pretty sweet!), but I like the extra space that our Ohana Suite offered at the Sheraton. I believe the Sheraton is a less expensive option, making the upgrade to the suite about a wash in terms of pricing between the two but you’d have to check for their current pricing and availability. The Hyatt is only a 12-minute walk to Whaler’s Village, so both are walking distance to shops and restaurants. Truly, you can’t go wrong with either option. Have a wonderful time and let us know which one you choose!

  3. The Sheraton Maui resort, is for us the ideal destination for relaxation and holidays. The hospitality and our stay were more than pleasant, since both the staff and the facilities were excellent.
    Particular our impression caused by the exterior of resort, including beautiful gardens, trees, lawns, swimming pools with large spaces for play and the spectacular lazy river! The nearby sandy beach was very impressive.
    The Sheraton Maui resort enables the whole family to enjoy the holiday, as it has special facilities for leisure and recreation, exclusively for children. Our little ones were thrilled with the games and the large playground and had fun for many hours safely.
    Our room had all the facilities and I think that belongs to the category of luxury accommodation. The food was simply delicious, and overall, we were entertained with many events held during the period of our stay.
    It is certain that our favorite destination will have us again as visitors!

    1. Yiannis – Sounds like you had an incredible stay at Sheraton Maui! It really is a beautiful resort.

  4. What wonderful memories I have of this trip. In addition to the water fun, Leo and I played ping pong beside the beach. The weather was perfect.