Best Bet: FOUR SEASONS RESORT MAUI
From the minute you set foot in your room at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, you'll realize this is how Princess Di must have traveled with her kids. If you've ordered a crib, it will come occupied by a stuffed donkey (packs of wild donkeys still roam the lava flows on the Big Island). Arrayed around the edge of the tub in the sumptuous marble master bath (the size of my living room at home), you'll find brightly colored sponge letters spelling out the names of each of your children. Then there are welcome baskets for each child, and most important, the week's schedule at Kids for all Seasons. Your pixie pyrotechnics experts will adore erupting sand volcanoes under close staff supervision, swimming in the pool of Tarzan's dreams, and catching lizards and watching whales breach on the daily camp hikes. Did you forget anything diapers, stroller, car seat, children's videos? Relax. The concierge is falling all over himself to be your personal 7-Eleven.
Nuts and bolts: doubles from $310; Kids for all Seasons camp for ages 5-12 is complimentary; kids' lunches ordered from room service and added to your bill at checkout. Contact 808-874-8000, www.fourseasons.com.
Runner-Up: NAPILI KAI BEACH RESORT
Looking for a little less pampering and a little more laid-back attitude? Napili Kai Beach Resort, a classic beach hideaway, has great Hawaiian character on one of the best swimming and snorkeling bays on Maui. Your kids won't be overstimulated, but they'll have a blast going nose-to-nose with the reef wildlife and practicing to be the ball like Tiger Woods on the children's putting course.
Nuts and bolts: doubles from $185; complimentary Keiki Club for kids ages 6-12. Contact 800-367-5030, www.napilikai.com.
After bundling up to catch the sunrise on the rim of Haleakala's lunarlike crater, either hike or ride horseback to the eerily still valley floor studded with towering cinder cones. Check on weather conditions (808-871-5054) before you roll out of bed at 3 a.m.; a drizzly day will rob you of the slow symphony of colors you'd otherwise see beginning half an hour before the actual sunrise. Park rangers (808-572-9306) offer two-hour guided hikes starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. Pony Express (808-667-2200) leads half- and full-day horseback rides, novices welcome, for $145-$180 per person, including lunch (children must be ten or older and have some experience).