Last Updated on December 8, 2022 by admin
The Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort is one of the most popular hotels in Waikiki. The property is massive, with 8 different towers that total over 2,500 rooms. It’s actually the largest Hilton resort in the world. The property is right on the beach and has a number of amenities. We recently traveled to Hawaii, and after a lot of research, chose to stay at this property. In this post, we’ll share our full review of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
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The first thing that’s important to know is where Waikiki is in relation to other important locations in the region.
The city of Honolulu is located on the island of Oahu, which is one of the 8 major islands of the state of Hawaii. Waikiki is one of the neighborhoods within the city of Honolulu. Waikiki is approximately 1.5 square miles. It’s one of the most popular places for tourists to visit, and there are tons of hotels and trendy restaurants along Waikiki Beach. Kalakaua Avenue is one of the primary places to explore.
One of the best ways to experience Waikiki is by booking a tour to see Turtle Canyon! The tour departs from Waikiki, and you’ll get a chance to snorkel and see wildlife.
Tip: Take a look at the GoCity Oahu all-inclusive pass. You’ll be able to save money by bundling multiple attractions on the island!
Waikiki Beach is one of the best beaches in all of the Hawaiian islands. Each day, thousands of visitors head to the beach to sunbathe, surf, and swim. The two-mile stretch of beach has golden sand, turquoise water, and an impressive view of Diamond Head. See our full list of things to do at Waikiki Beach by clicking here.
|See our Hawaii itinerary to help plan your trip!|
Waikiki Beach is actually comprised of 9 distinct smaller beaches: Kahanamoku Beach, Fort DeRussy Beach Park, Gray’s Beach, Royal Moana Beach, Kuhio Beach, Kapiloani Beach, Queens Beach, Kaimana Beach, and the Outrigger Canoe Club Beach. (The Hilton Hawaiian Village is located on Kahanamoku Beach.)
Historically, Waikiki was a gathering place for Hawaiian royalty. You can read a full history of Waikiki here.
|See our free guide to Honolulu. We share over 50 things to do during your visit!|
About the Hilton Hawaiian Village
The first hotel located on this stretch of property was built in 1928. The Hilton Hawaiian Village was first built in 1957 with the opening of the Ocean Tower (now known as the Ali’i Tower).
In 1961, Elvis Presley filmed scenes from Blue Hawaii at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. (You can stream the movie here if you want to watch it before your trip!)
In 1968, the Rainbow Tower was added to the property. At the time, it contained the world’s largest ceramic-tile mosaic. (You can still see the mosaic today. It’s 286 feet high on both sides of the tower. Over 16,000 tiles were used to create it!)
Since then, the property has continued to expand with more towers and amenities. Today, the Hilton Hawaiian Village is the largest Hilton property in the world!
|Book your stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort here!|
How to Get to the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort
The Hilton Hawaiian Village is located directly on Waikiki Beach in the city of Honolulu. We were able to drive to the resort from Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in about 20 minutes. We used a private car transfer and we added the fresh-flower lei greeting. It was the perfect way to start off our trip! We were happy with our service from Charley’s Taxi and would recommend them to others as well. If you’re on a budget, a more affordable option is to book a shared shuttle service roundtrip.
Tip: I recommend checking the SkyScanner website to see the best prices for your dates of travel!
Duke Kahanamoku Beach
The hotel is located directly in front of Kahanamoku Beach. We really enjoyed this beach because it’s protected by an outer reef, which made the swimming area much more shallow. It’s the perfect beach for families with small children. (Our toddler loved it!)
Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon
Another advantage of the property’s location is the fact that it is located adjacent to the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon. Hilton manages the lagoon, but it’s free to the public. The lagoon is periodically partially drained and cleaned. It had crystal-clear waters and gentle water. We also took our toddler to the lagoon several times to swim and play. There’s also a number of rentals located by the lagoon, including standup paddle boards and aqua bikes. You can read our full review of the lagoon (plus see more photos!) by checking out our full article on the lagoon (linked here).
Amenities at the Hilton Hawaiian Village
The Hilton Hawaiian Village property is really beautiful. We really liked the koi ponds and fountains that were spread throughout the main area of the resort!
|Click here to see current room rates for the Hilton Hawaiian Village!|
One of the major advantages of staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village is the fact that the hotel is one of only a handful of hotels that is directly on the beach. The hotel is located on Kahanamoku Beach, which is one of Waikiki’s main beaches. We recommend staying at the Ali’i Tower or the Rainbow Tower if you want to have ocean front rooms and the quickest access to the beach. We stayed at the Ali’i Tower and we only had to walk 30 seconds to reach the beach.
If you’re planning to spend some time at the beach, we think it’s worth it to rent an umbrella and lounge chair. They were kind of expensive, but we liked having the shade since we were with our toddler. Of course, you can also bring a couple of towels and enjoy the beach for free!
The Hilton Hawaiian Village has 6 separate swimming pools! We really enjoyed that there were lots of different pools to explore.
- Super Pool: This is the resort’s largest pool and it’s over 10,000 square feet. There are plenty of lounge chairs at this pool, and you can reserve private cabanas. We took our toddler to this pool and we really liked it because there was a ton of space to spread out.
- Keiki Pool: The word Keiki in Hawaiian means child, so the Keiki Pool is the kid’s pool at the resort. The Keiki Pool is located right next to the Super Pool. The pool is a bit more shallow and is perfect for younger kids.
- Tapa Pool: This is a rectangular pool located between the Tapa Tower and the Diamond Head Tower.
- Paradise Pool: This pool is 5,000 square feet and is perfect for families because it has a water slide. The Paradise Pool is right next to the Kahanamoku Lagoon.
- Kalia Tower Pool: This is an adults-only pool (18+ years old). If you want a more relaxed pool experience, this is the pool to visit.
- Ali’i Tower: If you’re a guest at the Ali’i Tower, you can access the tower’s private pool. We stayed at the Ali’i Tower and we really liked having our own pool. (More on that below!)
The resort had an activities schedule and each day there was something fun to do. We tried out most of the activities during our week-long stay!
To access the activities, you just need to show a special card that you get during check-in. There’s no additional cost to participate in the resort’s scheduled activities. (They’re covered under your daily resort fee.)
Because of the time change, our daughter woke up super early on our first day. One silver-lining of that was the fact that I was able to try the sunrise yoga class! The class started at 6:30am and took place on the Village Green. They had yoga mats and towels for each guest. It felt really nice to stretch my muscles after a day of travel on the plane. I had limited yoga experience and I really enjoyed the class. I had practice yoga using an online app, but this was my first real class. The instructor was supportive and I felt like it was challenging but do-able. It also helped that there was a beautiful rainbow in the sky for most of the class!
We headed over to the Rainbow Tower one afternoon to try our hands at lei-making. The instructor had kits prepared for each person. Our toddler was too young to use the needle and thread, but we really enjoyed making ours! After we finished making our leis, we took some photos around the resort.
One of my favorite memories from this vacation was watching my toddler daughter hula dance! The instructor was very kind and it was really interesting to learn about the meanings of the dance moves.
One evening during our stay, the resort had an outdoor movie night. They blew up a big screen and set up folding chairs. We got some dinner to-go and watched a movie under the stars. Our daughter loved it!
Our daughter really enjoyed seeing the koi ponds throughout the property, and she was delighted when she got to feed the koi fish herself! A staff member gave her a cone of fish food and she had a blast feeding the fish.
Our daughter also loved the structured children’s games. The teacher divided the children into two groups and taught them two traditional Hawaiian games. In one game, the kids tried to throw a disc between two cones. In another, they threw a wooden object that looked kind of like a bowling pin between two cones. After the games, the second half of the class was arts and crafts. Our daughter made a flower crown and it was adorable. The teacher ended the class by giving her crayons and some coloring pages.
Intro to Surf Lessons
We personally didn’t do the surf lessons this trip, but I think it’s a great opportunity for guests who want to learn! I saw where the classes were taking place, and it looked like the students received a lot of one-on-one attention as they learned to surf.
The resort also offers a morning aerobics class. (I didn’t try this class so I can’t comment on it.)
Finally, the resort offers a Tai Chi class. (I didn’t try this class so I can’t comment on it.)
Traditionally, the Hilton Hawaiian Village would have a fireworks show every Friday night. That show has been suspended during covid, so we didn’t get to see fireworks during our visit. However, I’m hopeful the fireworks will be back again one day.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Restaurants
There are at least 15 restaurants and food counters at the Hilton Hawaiian Village! We’ll describe the ones that we personally visited during our stay below.
Tropics Bar & Grill
Our absolute favorite place to eat was Tropics Bar & Grill. We ate there at least once every single day. Every meal we had was delicious, whether it was for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We also really enjoyed their location. Many of the tables have direct views of the beach and ocean.
We also thought they served up some of the best cocktails! We especially enjoyed the Baked Dulce de Leche French Toast (breakfast), the Pupu Sampler (lunch and dinner), and the Poke Bowl (lunch). The full menu is linked here.
We had one meal at the Bali Oceanfront. This is probably the most fancy restaurant at the resort. Many of the tables also have direct views of the beach or the lagoon. I really enjoyed their avocado toast for breakfast! Their dinner menu is linked here. We think it would be the perfect place for a romantic dinner.
Hau Tree Bar
The Hau Tree Bar is located right next to the Super Pool and the beach. We found it to be the perfect place to eat if you spent the morning swimming and plan to swim some more after lunch. The tables are all located outside, so there’s no need to go back to your room and clean up before eating. We ordered cocktails and lunch during our visit. (I really liked the pina colada with a lava flow!)
Wiki Wiki Market
We frequently visited the Wiki Wiki Market because it was right next to the Ali’i Tower. We got the best shave ice from this market, and we also ordered snacks like malasadas (Portuguese-inspired fried donuts) as well as meals like pizza. The market also had some groceries you can buy. (But, like most things in Waikiki, the groceries were expensive! A bowl of cereal was priced at $7. I was glad we had brought our own oatmeal and cereal from home.)
|Tip: Buy individual servings of oatmeal in advance and pack it in your luggage. (Linked here!) We used the hot water in our Ali’i Tower room to make oatmeal a few times during our visit. It saved us money, and it was also a quick breakfast for when we were in a hurry to get somewhere.|
The property has a Starbucks if you prefer a fancy coffee in the morning. The lines were kind of long, so we recommend waking up early to beat the rush.
Aloha Bowls & Tea
We really liked Aloha Bowls & Tea for a quick breakfast or beverage. We ordered one of their Acai Bowls and it was so delicious. We also got a Thai Iced Tea and we really liked it because it had good flavoring and it wasn’t too sweet. Our daughter really enjoyed their fruit smoothies!
Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood
One of the things I wanted to do during this vacation was drink out of a coconut. (It’s one of my favorite things to do at tropical destinations.) We found the perfect spot: Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood! Not only did I get my coconut drink, but also a pineapple one! The pineapple smoothie was delicious and it was nicely decorated with a beach umbrella and flowers. It’s perfect for some Instagram-worthy drinks! We had lunch at the restaurant, and we really liked their fish tacos and coconut shrimp.
Tapas Bar and Grill
This outdoor bar often features live music at night. We grabbed dinner here a couple of times. We really liked the OG Burger and the Blanco Pizza.
Dairy Queen/Orange Julius
You know what’s better than Dairy Queen? Dairy Queen on the beach! The Dairy Queen counter is located right next to the lagoon and beach. I ordered an Oreo Blizzard and enjoyed the views!
I love visiting Hawaii because the sushi is just on another level. We went to Hatsuhana for dinner one night and I was in heaven.
After dinner, we walked to Lappert’s Hawaii to get our fill of delicious ice cream. Their ice cream was super creamy.
Gilligan’s Beach Shack
Right next to the lagoon we saw a food truck and decided to check it out for lunch one day. We ordered coconut shrimp and garlic shrimp and both were absolutely amazing. We definitely recommend this food truck!
Hilton Hawaiian Village Luau
The Hilton Hawaiian Village has their own luau, so you don’t even need to leave the property to attend it. We didn’t go to this luau because we ended up going to the Royal Hawaiian’s luau (you can read about it here), but here’s a few pieces of information about the Hilton’s luau:
- The Waikiki Starlight Luau takes place on the Great Lawn
- At the time of this writing, the luau occurs every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (weather permitting). Sunday shows are set to be added starting 6/5/22.
- The doors open at 5:30pm and the dinner is served at 6:15pm. There’s an optional group hula dance lesson before the dinner.
- The show, Voyage Across the South Seas, starts at 7pm. The show features hula dancers and fire knife dancers.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Map
The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is a huge property! We took a photo of the map and it was helpful to reference during our stay.
Which Tower Should You Stay In?
With lots of different options, we were a bit overwhelmed at first about where to stay. Once I did a bit of research, though, the Ali’i Tower was the clear winner for me! It’s a bit more expensive than the other towers, but in my opinion, it was 100% worth it.
About the Ali’i Tower
The Ali’i Tower is the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s luxury tower. The Ali’i Tower has 15 floors, and we stayed on the 10th floor. We stayed in an Ali’i Ocean View room, and we had beautiful views of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head. I originally wanted to stay in an Ali’i Ocean Front room, but they were sold out since we planned our trip last-minute. However, I’m really glad we got the partial Ocean View room, because I really liked seeing Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach. (And we still got to see the ocean from our room!)
Exclusive Check-In Desk
One of the best things about the Ali’i Tower is that there is a private check-in desk for guests staying at that tower. We saw extremely long lines at the check-in desk for the resort’s main lobby when we arrived, so we were so grateful we could skip that line! I’ve read from other travelers that they spent up to 45 minutes just to check-in to their room when they arrived at the main lobby.
The Ali’i Tower is the only tower with its own separate check-in desk. When we arrived to the resort, we walked to the Ali’i Tower and there was literally no one at the front desk at all when we arrived. We were able to check-in to our rooms in under 5 minutes. After a full day of travel with a toddler, we were grateful we could just go straight to our rooms to unpack and relax.
The Ali’i Pool
The Hilton Hawaiian Village has 6 pools to choose from, and one of those is the Ali’i Tower’s private pool. The pool is reserved for guests of the Ali’i Tower only. It has a sundeck and lounge where you can order beverages, cocktails, and even meals. When the other pools were crowded over the weekend, we were grateful we had the Ali’i Tower’s pool.
The pool is located on the second floor of the Ali’i Tower. To access the pool, you’ll need your room key and you’ll need to wear a special bracelet they provide for you. There are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas at the pool. There’s also a lot of towels and larger covers that you can place over the lounge chairs.
The pool was a great place to go for a snack, meal, or cocktail when the rest of the restaurants at the resort were crowded. If we ever felt like it was too crowded at the main resort, we could always retreat to the second floor pool.
Ali’i Fitness Center
Another advantage of the Ali’i Tower is that it has its own private fitness center. I walked frequently by the fitness center and it was never too crowded. If you plan on working out on vacation, it’s really nice that the Ali’i Tower has its own fitness center.
What to Pack for a Trip to Hawaii
When you visit Hawaii, expect to spend a lot of time at the beach! Here’s a few things I recommend bringing:
- Reef-Safe Sunscreen: You have to use reef-safe sunscreen while you’re in Hawaii, because other sunscreens can harm the waters. Make sure you buy yours in advance, as they tend to be more expensive on the islands.
- Portable Charger: We like this cell phone charger because the cord is embedded. (That’s one less thing to search for in your bag!) This charger will let you charge your phone when you’re out exploring. You don’t want to run out of battery while you’re on the go, because you don’t want to miss a photo opportunity.
- Waterproof Phone Case: Protect your belongings with a waterproof phone case.
- Quick Dry Towel: This is perfect for hikes where you wouldn’t want to pack a bulky towel from the hotel. It’s easy to throw into a beach bag.
- Flotation Strap: If you’re going to be snorkeling or surfing, and you want to bring a camera or GoPro, you should make sure you have a flotation strap. That way, if you drop your equipment, it won’t sink to the bottom of the ocean.
- Water Bottle: Stay hydrated while you’re out in the sun! We like this water bottle because it’s insulated and will keep your water cooler for longer.
- Vacation Hat: Protect your face from the sun with a wide-brimmed hat.
- GoPro: A GoPro will let you take amazing underwater footage. We highly recommend getting one if you want excellent underwater photos and videos!
(Click on any of the above images for current pricing and shipping information.)
Frequently Asked Questions
How far is Hilton Hawaiian Village from the beach?
The Hilton Hawaiian Village is directly on Waikiki Beach (located on the Kahanamoku Beach portion). The beach has a protective outer reef so the beach by the resort tends to have calmer waves. If you want to have views of the beach or quick access to the beach, we recommend that you make your reservations for either the Ali’i Tower or the Rainbow Tower.
Does Hilton Hawaiian Village have an airport shuttle?
The Hilton Hawaiian Village recommends a few different shuttle companies on their website. We booked our shuttle through Charley’s Taxi and received good service from them. They picked us up reliably on time and the drive was comfortable.
Should you stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village or the Royal Hawaiian?
When we were planning our trip to Oahu, we considered both the Hilton Hawaiian Village (Ali’i Tower) and the Royal Hawaiian. After a lot of research, we ultimately chose to book our trip at the Hilton. However, we attended the luau at the Royal Hawaiian and we got to see that property up close. Because we were with our toddler, we thought that the Hilton Hawaiian Village had more child-friendly amenities (e.g., kids’ classes, lei-making, a calm lagoon, and lots of pools). However, if you’re traveling as a couple, the Royal Hawaiian would be a phenomenal place to stay.
How much is the resort fee at Hilton Hawaiian Village?
When we stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, we were charged a resort fee of $50 per day.
What’s the difference between the Rainbow Tower and the Ali’i Tower?
Both the Rainbow Tower and the Ali’i Tower are properties at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. Both towers are also located directly on the beach. We think that the Ali’i Tower has a slight advantage over the Rainbow Tower, however, because the Ali’i Tower has an exclusive check-in desk, pool, and fitness center.
How many floors is the Ali’i Tower?
The Ali’i Tower has 15 floors.
|See booking information for the Hilton Hawaiian Village here!|
We had a fantastic visit at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, and we would recommend it to other travelers as well! The resort is huge and there are several different towers you can choose to stay in. We recommend that you stay in the Ali’i Tower, if possible, which is the resort’s luxury tower. By staying at the Ali’i Tower, you’ll get all the advantages of staying at a large property (access to restaurants, pools, and cultural activities), without any of the hassles (long lines to check-in). The Ali’i Tower has an exclusive check-in desk, pool, and fitness center. We felt that it was worth the higher price.
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If you enjoyed this article, you might also be interested in the following articles:
- 53 Things to Do in Honolulu, Hawaii
- The Best Hawaii Itinerary for Your Trip to Oahu
- 22 Foods You Have to Try While in Hawaii
- Full Guide to Waikiki Beach
- 20 Things to Do in Honolulu with Kids
- The Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon: A Hidden Gem in Waikiki
- How to Spend a Day at the Dole Pineapple Plantation
- Our Guide to the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden
- Full Review of the Royal Hawaiian’s Luau
- Our Review of the Malasadas at Leonard’s Bakery in Oahu
- The International Market Place: An Outdoor Shopping Mall in Waikiki
Disclaimer: We always strive for content accuracy. Since the time of publishing, travel-related information regarding pricing, schedules, and hours may have changed. Please see individual websites embedded in this post for the most current trip-planning information.
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