This hotel has undergone significant renovations since our visit.
We will update our photos and review as soon as we can.
Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
The largest resort in Hawaii has plenty of choices for sleeptime, mealtime, swimtime, and playtime -- and plenty of lines.
With five guest towers housing a total of 3,386 rooms, five pools, 20 bars and restaurants, nearly 100 shops, direct beach access, a lagoon, and even a few dozen species of animals in residence (including parrots, penguins, and turtles), the Hilton Hawaiian Village is in a class by itself. Covering 22 acres, it's the largest resort in Hawaii.
The western Waikiki location might seem out of the way on a map -- and in fact the hustle and bustle of central Waikiki is a 15-minute walk -- but it doesn't matter. Because this Hilton is virtually a small town, guests generally stay within the extensive grounds, enjoying the seemingly endless activities (kayaking, hula-dancing lessons) and entertainment (nightly music, Friday-night fireworks, the popular Starlight Luau). For a city hotel, it doesn't feel like you're in a city, especially as you stroll the lushly landscaped grounds. The rooms offer the comforts Hilton devotees expect (like large flat-screen TVs and Hilton Serenity bedding).
Above all, the calm waters, fine beaches, five pools, extensive activities, and reasonably priced rooms make the Hilton a favorite among families. (Vacationing couples and business travelers may want to seek refuge in the luxury Ali'i Tower.) And that family-friendly reputation is well deserved. Just keep in mind that with endless amenities and conveniences come endless lines. Long waits are par for the course throughout the village. Mobs gather every morning at the Rainbow Lanai, the breakfast buffet. Guests seem to stake out poolside lounge chairs at the crack of dawn (by 8 a.m., every chair had been claimed with a towel, T-shirt, or trashy beach read). And the half-hour line for the Starlight Luau snakes up several escalators to the roof of the hotel's conference center.
But for travelers looking for a self-contained resort on Oahu, especially families, the Hilton Hawaiian Village is a top choice. And it's generally a better value than the luxury mega resorts outside of Waikiki, such as the Kahala or the JW Marriott Ihilani at Ko Olina.
It's service for the masses, with staffers sometimes struggling to keep up with the crowds.
The service at this hotel depends largely on which tower you stay in. Guests at the luxury Ali'i Tower, billed as a resort within the resort, receive a higher level of service (the tower has its own concierge). But in the other four towers -- as well as in most restaurants, the main lobby, and poolside -- guests are a dime a dozen, just another pair of arms pleading for a cup of coffee or towel.
The main place where service for the masses comes up short is at the front desk. During my visit, the hotel was overbooked, and even with a staff of close to 80 the line wrapped around the the front desk and beyond. A staffer told me that guests staying at any tower can beat the main lobby line by heading to the front desks at the Kalia or Ali'i Towers, but be prepared to drag your luggage across campus if you're booked in a tower at the opposite end.
On the westernmost end of Waikiki, a 15-minute walk to the center of town
The Hilton Hawaiian Village lies on the westernmost end of Waikiki, an area known more for its business hotels and shopping malls than its fabled sand and surf. The entrance to the resort is on Kalia Road. Central Waikiki is a 15-minute walk along Kalia Road, though some prefer the more scenic beach route.
Loosely speaking, the entire 1.5-mile stretch of sand alongside Kalakaua Avenue is known as Waikiki Beach. In reality, it's more like three separate beaches, the borders of which vary depending on whom you ask.
The Hilton Hawaiian Village sits on a half-mile stretch of Waikiki's beautiful turquoise beach known as Fort DeRussy. Protected by a coral reef, this section is wider and calmer than the main beach, known as Queen's Beach. But the ocean bottom is a bit rocky, so tread gingerly. Unlike Queen's Beach, Hilton's beach tends to have more room for guests to spread out.
Rooms in all five towers are comfortable and clean. Price differences mainly come down to location.
The main differences among the standard rooms and suites in the Hilton Hawaiian Village's five towers are the decor (some have been renovated recently, others not) and price (for the most part, the closer you are to the ocean, the more you'll pay; the walk from one end of the 22-acre resort to the other is about 10 minutes). Rooms in the Rainbow and Alii Towers were renovated in 2012, sporting new furnishings, carpet, bathrooms, and decor.
Guests at the Hilton Hawaiin Village have access to a wide variety of services.
An impressive array of pools, including the largest pool in Waikiki, the 10,000-square-foot Super Pool.
The resort does lots to entertain guests, from Friday-night fireworks to the legendary Starlight Luau.
Like many big resorts, the Hilton Hawaiian Village has plenty going on. The most notable attraction is the Starlight Luau, which packs in close to 500 hotel guests and others five nights a week, Sunday through Thursday. This popular luau is a fine choice for first-timers, and one of the few luaus in Waikiki proper, but the locale -- the roof of the Hilton's large conference center -- will disappoint those looking for a more classic beachside experience. Budget a half-hour slow walk to the luau, via several flights of escalators.
This activity-filled resort is a top option for families.
Named one of the 10 best beach resorts for families on a budget by Parents magazine in 2008, the Hilton Hawaiian Village excels at keeping kids and adults happy at the same time.
This bustling village is well manicured and clean.
Surprisingly, this resort is littered mainly with people. For such a well-trafficked resort, the Hilton Hawaiian Village is also a fairly clean one. Waikiki is not known for its greenery, but this resort includes impressive landscaping, all of which is well cared for. All rooms in all towers are clean too.
The 20 restaurants and bars in the Village range from excellent to just edible.
With nearly 20 bars and restaurants, the Hilton Hawaiian Village offers a huge range of dining possibilities, from fine food with a view at Bali by the Sea and the theatricality of Benihana to quick sushi, noodles, and bites at the .
The largest resort in Hawaii is a veritable village, with five towers, five pools, 20 bars and restaurants, 90 shops, direct beach access, and a separate lagoon. The crowds can get big and the lines long. But for families and other Waikiki vacationers looking for a self-contained resort with loads to do, the Hilton is a top choice.