The Ultimate Hilton Hawaiian Village Review (2024)

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Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort Review Hawaii

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Inside: An in-depth review of the Hilton Hawaiian Village and what to know before you book.

Commanding 22 acres of prime beachfront property, the sprawling Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is a beacon of luxury and relaxation in the heart of Waikiki.

Since opening in 1955, it has gradually evolved into Oahu’s largest resort by a mile with more than 2,800 rooms. 

With its iconic Rainbow Tower a fixture of the Waikiki skyline, this massive resort has welcomed guests from all corners of the globe. The Hilton’s fantastic beach area, including the sparkling Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon, plus 18 restaurants and bars, keep guests coming back again and again. 

I admit it, my husband and I are regulars at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. We can’t help it, we live down the street.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to book through these links, I receive a small commission, which I will likely blow on mai tais, poke, and shave ice.  All of this internet voodoo takes place at no additional cost to you. 

And we’re not alone, the massive Hilton Hawaiian Village resort is a magnet for visitors from around the United States and beyond. But it’s not just about the beach; there’s a genuine historic charm to this hotel that keeps us coming back.

If you’re planning a Waikiki family vacation and considering this resort, you’ve probably read a barrage of Hilton Hawaiian Village reviews by now. But don’t worry, I’ve got everything you need to know right here in one place.

So you can decide if this Waikiki mega-resort is right for you.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Overview & History 🏨

The massive Hilton Hawaiian Village isn’t just the largest hotel in Hawaii, it’s the largest property in the entire Hilton Hotels chain. But that hasn’t always been the case.

The hotel had a modest start with just 70 thatched-roof cottages and 3 pools when it opened in 1955. In 1957, the Ocean Tower was added (which was completely rebuilt in 1987 and is now the exclusive Ali’i Tower).

Hilton took over in 1961 and in 1968, the hotel’s iconic Rainbow Tower was added to the Waikiki skyline. The tower’s famous rainbow facade required more than 16,000 tiles and was the world’s tallest ceramic tile mosaic at the time. 

But perhaps the hotel’s most intriguing claim to fame is its connection to Elvis Presley, who stayed here while filming Blue Hawaii, adding a touch of rock ‘n’ roll glamour to its storied past.

Over the years, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort has continued to evolve, expanding its amenities, shops, and restaurants to cater to the modern traveler yet it still retains its historic vibe.

Why You’ll Love It ❤️

I love this resort because it’s a hub of activity in Waikiki.

From the lagoon to the Friday night fireworks, it’s a popular destination for both locals and visitors. Also, Lappert’s Hawaii serves up some of the best ice cream in Waikiki. It’s always worth a quick stop, even when we have to wait in line. 

Lapperts Hawaii Ice Cream Nene Tracks Hilton Hawaiian Village
Nene Tracks (my favorite) at Lappert’s

But it’s not just about the ice cream. The resort’s five pools, easy beach access, and diverse dining options create an environment where relaxation and convenience go hand in hand.

Whether you’re here for the sunsets or the sushi, there’s something about this place that feels like home.

And you’ll never get bored.

Why You Might Not 👎

Despite all of its charms, the Hilton Hawaiian Village isn’t for everyone.

Some might find the size of the 22-acre resort overwhelming, with its multitude of towers. It can indeed take a bit of time to navigate, especially if you’re looking for a more intimate hotel experience.

Tip: For a smaller, boutique hotel experience, head just down the beach to the Halekulani or try one of These 7 Waikiki Boutique Hotels So Chic You’ll Forget You Saved a Fortune.

Additionally, while the variety of activities and dining options means there’s always something to do, it can also mean that the resort feels busy, almost bustling, which might not be exactly what you’re looking for.

This is a BIG hotel and it’s a popular choice for meetings and conventions.  

Location & Accessibility 📍

Hotel Address: 2005 Kalia Road, Honolulu, HI 96815

Hotel Phone: (888) 949-4321

Located near the popular Ala Moana Shopping Center, the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s enviable position combines the best of both worlds. It’s got the serenity of a beachfront resort and the convenience of city life within easy walking distance.

The convenient location means that guests can enjoy a morning swim in the Pacific Ocean and then stroll to nearby shopping centers without ever needing a car.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Beachfront Hawaii
Hilton Hawaiian Village Beachfront Hawaii

The accessibility of the resort is a significant plus. It’s also just a 20-minute drive from the Honolulu International Airport with no traffic (which is almost never the case in Honolulu).

Parking & Transportation 🚗

If you have a rental car, it’s worth noting that the parking garage at the Hilton Hawaiian Village comes with a hefty price tag (like most resorts in Waikiki). Parking rates are $68 per day for self-parking and $78 per day for valet parking. 

Tip: If you’re staying in Waikiki, especially at a resort with a super convenient location like the Hilton, I’d strongly advise you NOT to rent a car for your entire stay. The parking fees just aren’t worth it!

Just rent a car for the day when you want to head up to the North Shore or the Windward side of the island for the day.

When it comes to finding the best deal on a rental car, Discount Hawaii Car Rental is my go-to.

MY Pick
Driving on Molokai Hawaii

Discount Hawaii Car Rental

For rental cars in Hawaii, go to the local experts. They’ll find you the best rate among all the major companies with no booking fees. And their customer support is top-notch.

What are the check-in and check-out times? 🕒

Check-in begins at 4:00 PM, and check-out is at 11:30 AM. Late check-out may be available upon request and subject to availability.

How much does it cost to stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village?

Nothing in Waikiki is cheap these days and the Hilton is no exception. Room rates at the Hilton Hawaiian Village can fluctuate based on the time of year, tower, room type, and how far in advance you book.

Rates start from around $450 per night but expect higher prices during peak seasons. 

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Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort Review Hawaii

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

There’s plenty to love about this iconic Waikiki hotel. Rates vary depending on room type and the time of year, check your dates here.

What’s the Resort Fee & What Does It Include? 💸

No one likes a resort fee but unfortunately, they are standard issue at Hawaii’s lovely resorts. Even if you used Hilton Honors points for your stay, you’re still stuck with the daily resort fee (that also goes for elite Hilton Honors members).

My advice is to pay careful attention to what the fee includes and take advantage of as many of those amenities as you can. At least try to get a little bit of your money’s worth!  

The daily Hilton Hawaiian Village resort fee is $50, which covers a range of amenities including:

  • Internet access
  • Cultural activities 
  • Fitness classes
  • Outdoor movies
  • DVD/game use
  • 20% off Adventure Sail & Elite Beach Package
  • 2-day car rental discount or upgrade
  • 10% off beach activities/services
  • A Waikiki Aquarium “offer

The 5 Guest Towers of the Hilton Hawaiian Village

The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is a complex of different towers, each offering its own set of perks and views.

There are actually a total of 8 towers across the property. However, three of them – the Lagoon Tower, the Grand Islander, and the Grand Waikikian – are Hilton Grand Vacation Club properties and not bookable as part of the hotel. 

Here’s a quick overview of the 5 hotel towers:

  • Rainbow Tower – The hotel’s most iconic tower. Located closest to the beach, this tower has the best views.
  • Ali’i Tower – The most exclusive tower with a private pool, gym, and bar.
  • Tapa Tower – The largest tower, a central location with easy access to the quieter Tapa Pool area.
  • Diamond Head Tower – Quiet ambiance set back from the beach. 
  • Kalia Tower – Geared more toward business travelers with a conference center on the 2nd floor. The spa is also located here.

What is the best tower to stay in at the Hilton Hawaiian Village?

They all have their own charm but, for me, the legendary Rainbow Tower is my favorite. Especially those rooms facing toward Diamond Head because they have incredible views of both Waikiki Beach and the Friday Night Fireworks. 

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Views Hawaii
Views from the Hilton Hawaiian Village Rainbow Tower

Rooms & Suites – An Overview 🛌

Rooms at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort vary a bit by tower but all come with the amenities you’d expect from a 4-star hotel.

Standard guest rooms have either a King or double beds and feature air conditioning, a mini fridge, a coffee machine, and an in-room safe. 

I recommend booking at least a partial ocean view room but a corner room in any tower offers a great combination of privacy, space, and views. 

Beach Access & Activities 🏖️

 The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort sits on a prime stretch of public beach, offering guests unparalleled access to the sand and surf. This distinct advantage over other Waikiki hotels means that the ocean is just steps away, ready for you to dive in at any time.

There are only a handful of Waikiki hotels that are on a spacious, wide stretch of beach like this and the Hilton is one of them.  

The Hilton Lagoon

Sure, the beach area is great, but it’s the stunning Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon that elevates the Hilton Hawaiian Village beach experience.

The 5-acre saltwater lagoon features a state-of-the-art water circulation system that recycles the lagoon with fresh seawater every single day.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon Hawaii
Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon

The lagoon is perfect for families because it’s a safe and calm lagoon for kids to play. And the waves at Waikiki Beach can sometimes be a little rough for younger kids.

We recently had friends visiting with small kids and the Hilton Lagoon was the first place we took them –  the kids loved it!  

And luckily all beaches are public in Hawaii so this lovely lagoon is open to anyone. 

Pools & Amenities🏊

Get ready to park yourself in one of many lounge chairs because the Hilton Hawaiian Village features an impressive array of pools including the kid-friendly main pool called the Super Pool.  

Here’s a quick rundown of the resort’s 5 pools (most with hot tubs):

  • The Super Pool – The largest and most popular, the Super Pool with its fun water slides and abundance of lounge chairs is also closest to the beach.
  • The Paradise Pool – Another popular spot for kid-friendly water fun near the Lagoon Tower.
  • The Tapa Pool – Between the Tapa Tower and Diamond Head Tower (but not exclusive to those guests), this is a quieter option away from the beach to settle in with a good book.
  • The Kalia Adult Pool – Restricted to guests 18 and over, this one is perfect for couples.
  • The Ali’i Pool – Exclusively for Ali’i Tower guests.  

Whether it’s a fun kids’ pool or an adults-only retreat you’re after, the resort’s multiple pools mean there’s something for everyone. 

Does the Hilton Hawaiian Village Have a Spa? 🌸

Indeed it does! And it’s a good one.

Located on the 4th floor of the Kalia Tower, the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Mandara Spa offers a range of Balinese-style treatments designed to rejuvenate and relax.

From massages (including the local favorite Hawaiian lomi lomi massage) to facials, the spa is a tranquil escape for those looking to unwind and indulge. 

It’s also one of my picks for a fun couples activity on Oahu.

Read More: 12 Fun Activities on Oahu for Couples (#9 is a MUST!)

Fitness Center 🏃‍♂️

Part of the Mandara Spa, the Hilton’s fitness center is also located on the fourth floor of the Kalia Tower. It’s got all the usual suspects including cardio machines, weights, and fitness classes to help you stay in shape on your vacation.

Of course, if you’re looking for a good workout while on Oahu, I much prefer one of the island’s fantastic hikes.

Tip: For a great workout with a view, try the challenging Koko Head Crater Hike.

Shopping, Bars, & Restaurants 🍹

When it comes to great shops and restaurants, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort truly shines. The resort complex boasts an impressive array of nearly 100 shops and restaurants within easy walking distance.

So many options that you might never need to leave the property. 

Tip: While the Hilton does serve breakfast in several places, three of my favorite Waikiki breakfast spots are just a short walk away – Goofy’s Cafe, Aloha Kitchen, and Sunny’s.

Read More: 7 Divinely Delicious Waikiki Breakfast Spots

From gourmet restaurants like Bali Oceanfront to casual eateries like Roundtable Pizza, there’s plenty to choose from.

There are even two well-stocked ABC Stores for a quick snack. And also a brand-new Island Country Market (an upscale ABC Store with a full deli counter and ready-made meals) just across the street.

A couple of my favorite spots are the Fresco Italian restaurant (for a great happy hour) and Lappert’s for my favorite ice cream in Waikiki.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Shops and Restaurants Hawaii
Hilton Hawaiian Village Shops and Restaurants

There are also 3 main bars on the property including the Tapa Bar, Tropics Bar & Grill, and the Hau Tree Bar. The Tapa Bar is a great place for live music (and sports when there’s a game on).

The Hilton also offers room service (technically just food delivery, not traditional room service) if you want to enjoy the views from your oceanfront lanai after a full day at the beach. 

For more great food options nearby that won’t break the bank, here are a few of my favorites:

Read More: The 10 Best Cheap Eats in Waikiki (#4 is literally a hidden gem!)

Entertainment & Activities 🎶

This is another area where the Hilton Hawaiian Village really excels. As local Waikiki residents, we stroll over to the Hilton Hawaiian Village at least once a week because there’s always something going on.  

Here are a few of the hotel’s best activities:

The Hilton Friday Night Fireworks 🎆

Every Friday night at 7:45pm, the Hilton Hawaiian Village puts on a fireworks display that’s become a beloved tradition in our community.

It’s a wonderful way to end the week, gathering with friends and family on the beach to watch the sky light up with colors.

This weekly event showcases the Hilton’s commitment to creating special moments for guests and locals alike.

It’s also near the top of my list of 25 Awesome Things to Do on Oahu That Won’t Cost You a Dime🌺.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Friday Night Fireworks Hawaii
Hilton Hawaiian Village Friday Night Fireworks and Rainbow Tower

The fireworks are visible from various points around Waikiki, but there’s something magical about watching them directly from the Hilton’s beachfront with your toes in the sand.

It’s a weekly reminder of the beauty and spirit of the island we call home and we rarely miss it.

Here are all of my favorite places to watch, plus everything else you need to know: The Friday Night Waikiki Fireworks (by land, sea, or air!)

Hilton Hawaiian Village Luau

The Waikiki Starlight Luau at Hilton Hawaiian Village celebrates the heritage of the Pacific Islands with its popular “Voyages Across the South Seas” show.

Held every Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday, it’s the perfect way to add a luau experience to your Hawaii vacation without the hassle of spending an hour in the car to get there. 

Tip: They also have a Friday evening special edition of the luau on the beachfront Great Lawn (do this one if you can!). It’s a better location than the weekday luau and you’re in the perfect position for the fireworks afterward.  

Boat Trips from the Hilton Dock

The Hilton Hawaiian Village’s private dock is another perk of staying here. Atlantis Adventures offers a variety of boat trips including the Waikiki Atlantis Submarine Adventure, the Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Cruise Aboard the Majestic by Atlantis, and a Whale Watch Cruise Aboard the Majestic

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort Review
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FAQs 💡

Is the Hilton Hawaiian Village a good choice for families?  

Absolutely, with various children’s programs, family-friendly pools, a huge beach, and tons of activities, the Hilton caters to families of all sizes.

Does the Hilton Hawaiian Village have a Kid’s Club?

Yes, the Hilton Hawaiian Village offers the fantastic Camp Penguin Kids Club. The club has a range of half or full-day themed activities designed to entertain and educate young guests about Hawaiian culture and nature. 

Does the Hilton Hawaiian Village have laundry facilities? 

​No, but there are coin-operated laundry facilities not far from the hotel. The Hilton Grand Vacations Towers do have in-unit laundry.

​Does the Hilton Hawaiian Village allow pets? 

No, there are no pets allowed. Humans only at this Waikiki resort.

Wrapping up my Hilton Hawaiian Village Review

The Hilton Hawaiian Village is an oasis that caters to a wide range of guests, making it an ideal choice for anyone visiting the island of Oahu. With its vast array of amenities, entertainment, and dining options, it’s particularly well-suited for families but it’s great for couples, too. 

For another great Waikiki resort to consider, check out our Sheraton Waikiki Beach Resort review.

For more great things to do on Oahu, start here:

The 7 Absolute Best Things to Do on Oahu (if time is short!)

5 Easy Oahu Hikes for Those Who Love Nature But Hate Hiking

The Ultimate Guide to Hawaii’s Idyllic Island of Oahu

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