Hotel Review of the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Another one of our favourite family Hawaiian hotels has to be the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu. It is Waikiki’s largest resort, 22 acres right on the famous Waikiki Beach strip. This resort has just about everything you need in a family friendly hotel.
Yes it is a big hotel, but we stayed during the off-peak season and found it easy to get around and didn’t find it at all overcrowded. We stayed in 2 interconnecting rooms in the Tapa Tower with our 2 boys who were then aged 6 and 8. We arrived on an early flight from Australia and were given an early check-in which was much appreciated. The rooms were nice and we had a great ocean view looking along Waikiki Beach.
The location is fantastic, right on the beach and easy walking distance to all that Honolulu has to offer. It is just a 10 minute walk one way to Ala Moana shopping centre and 10 mins along Waikiki Beach in the other direction to get to the heart of Waikiki. There is a pink line trolley stop at the hotel (if you are not much of a walker) which goes between Waikiki and Ala Moana and only costs $2 per person one way.
There are quite a few pools at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, we mainly used the Tapa pool, the Super pool and the Lagoon Pool. A few of the other towers within the hotel have their own pools as well. The Lagoon Pool was our boys favourite as it had the water slides. As well as the beach, there is also the lagoon which you can swim in and try a few other water activities. We did the paddle boarding in the lagoon (cost was $35 for 1 hour or $55 for 2 hours). We were beginners and it was a great opportunity to try it out on nice calm waters.
There are plenty of restaurants and bars on the property (20 in fact!!) and we loved CJ’s Deli the best for great family value meals. Most of the bars have happy hours as well as nightly entertainment. As we were staying in the Tapa Tower, we would always stop by the Tapa bar for a couple of drinks and to enjoy the different musicians who would be playing each night.
If you are a Gold or Diamond Hilton Honours member, the Hilton Hawaiian Village provides a complimentary continental breakfast in the Rainbow Terrace, which we took advantage of and it was sufficient enough for us. It is mainly cereals, toast, bagels, muffins, pastries, fruit, juices and coffee. It gave you a great view overlooking the lagoon, just watch out for the birds (which is the same all over Hawaii though!). Diamond Hilton Honors please note that there is no executive lounge for cocktails at this hotel though.
There are so many shops at the Hilton Hawaiian Village to choose from, from the high-end Louis Vuitton & Co. shops to the market type Rainbow Bazaar stalls – there is something to suit everyone’s budget. If it is a shopping mall you are after then definitely walk down or take the trolley to the Ala Moana Shopping Mall. There is a fitness centre as well as the Mandara Day Spa if you looking for some pampering and a nice relaxing spa treatment.
On Tuesday and Friday nights the Hilton Hawaiian Village puts on a great fireworks display and some Hawaiian Dancing around the Super Pool (although I wouldn’t pay for the seats as you get a great view of the fireworks from the beach). The resort also provides plenty of other free daily activities at various times throughout the day such as Yoga, snorkelling lessons, hula lessons, ukulele lessons and lei making. Our favourite one was the free outdoor kids movie night that they have on Wednesdays and Saturdays at sundown near the Tapa Tower. There is a kids club (we didn’t use however as it was a bit expensive for us) called the Camp Penguin which you can use for full or half day programs. Cost for a full day (8.00am-3.00pm) is $85 or $90 with excursion. Half day program (8.00am-12.00pm or 11.30am-3.00pm) cost is $60 or $65 with excursion.
The kids did love continually walking past the Penguin and Turtle enclosure. If you are up by 8.00am (Mon-Fri) one of the keepers gives you an information session and they allow a photo opportunity with one of the Penguins (no touching allowed though).
You can also just walk straight out onto the famous Waikiki Beach. If you want to spend the day on the beach, there are beach umbrellas available to rent at an extra cost from the hotel. Another fun thing to do with the kids is the Atlantis Submarine ride which leaves from the Hilton Pier. There are other boat cruises that leave from the Hilton Pier as well which is now and handy.
For those looking for a wedding venue, the Hilton Hawaiian Village has the most beautiful wedding chapel here as well. Definitely worth taking the time to go in and have a look.
The one thing we didn’t like as mentioned on other Hawaii hotel reviews was the resort fee, especially as for Gold or Diamond HH members, we get free internet anyway so you don’t really feel like you are getting anything for the $25 per day on top of your room rate. Also the internet can cut in and out a bit and the daily re-logging in is a bit annoying. We would definitely recommend this resort though and will be back on our next trip to Hawaii – Mahalo!
For more information go to www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com
While we were in Honolulu we also stayed at the Embassy Suites Beach Walk – you can read our review here