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“Resort village hotel with If's”

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Hilton Waikoloa Village
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Waikoloa
GreenLeadersSilver level
Level Contributor
60 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Resort village hotel with If's”
Reviewed 19 April 2014 via mobile

If you like to swim with turtles in a semi-natural pool ...
If you like to see and play with dolphins ...
If you like to have the kids roaming around freely and safely ...
If you have extended family and need to cater for all ...
If it is your first trip ever to a beach location ...
If you like to stay in one place, looking for small adventures, boat trip ...
If you develop an eye for the beauty of the location ...

You will find a good place worth to stay a couple of nights.

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Gogohan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Huntington, New York
Level Contributor
142 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2014

We traveled here in July of 2011 knowing it is a resort geared toward families with children, and we wanted our kids to have a good time right here on the property. It was nice to take a dip in the man-made lagoon because there are only one or two beachfront resorts on the Big Island (like the Waikoloa Marriot on A-bay where we stayed for our honeymoon when it was the Royal Waikoloa). My kids had access to stand up paddelboards, hydro-bikes, kayaking and snorkeling in the lagoon where I almost swam right into a huge turtle! With a wristband they could make use of all the activities on their own. The pool was fun, had one big slide, and the kids enjoyed crossing the Indiana Jones style bridge over the pool. The hot tub smelled off to me so we skipped that. We did Dolphin Quest and got to snorkel with water scooters which was fun. It was nice to walk pass the area where the dolphins were every day.

The lagoon area is small and packed with people, and I still remember smelling a dirty diaper that someone must have buried in the sand.

The resort is huge, and we don't mind walking but I didn't care for the indoor walkways which housed museum pieces--I'm just not interested in a museum type atmosphere when I'm on an island vacation. We preferred taking the slightly longer paths along the coastline.

My kids enjoyed taking the tram and the boat to travel around the resort, and we were lucky enough to find a quiet place to eat lunch every day at the Boat Landing Pavilion, which never seemed to have a crowd but had delicious salads (and my son could get a gluten-free salad!) and sushi. Big Island Breakfast had about the worst ambiance of any vacation I've ever taken--long lines for a buffet in a huge cafeteria that had ceiling to floor windows which were never opened. On the plus side, if you asked, they could provide gluten-free pancakes although it was not on the menu.

We had dinner at both KPC, an outdoor restaurant and Imari, a Japanese restaurant. The former had gluten-free bread which was a bonus. Both restaurants were good and we had a lovely table in the corner at Imari surrounded by open windows.

We stayed in Ocean Tower, which was further away from the main activities of the lagoon, but we did this to avoid hearing the deafening screech of the miner birds every evening.

Kohala Spa...ah, this was the highlight of this place for me and my 12 year old daughter. They have a "Keiki Spa", keiki meaning children, and we were able to get a massage together and it was the best massage I have ever had--so relaxing. Next time 90 minutes! The facial was okay--the woman doing mine seemed very mechanical. We still use the Kohala Spa Coco-Mango moisturizer--worth every penny and smells delicious. When my husband uses it after shaving it takes me right back to Hawaii.

The kids really liked the Kona Mocha Freeze, a chocolaty frozen non-alcoholic drink that they could get on their own at the Kona Pool bar.

All in all, a great vacation for our kids, but for me and DH, we wouldn't return. We visited the Fairmont while on the Big Island, and although that looked perfect for the two of us, the teenagers in the pool there looked incredibly bored. This vacation was intended to be fun for our kids, and Hilton Waikoloa Village provided them with fun.

Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank fireflymd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
135 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2014

Pros:
Beautiful location.
No lack of things to do.

Cons:
Mind-bogglingly expensive.
Inconsistent customer service.

For planning purposes, here are some of the prices we experienced: Valet Parking ($22/day); Self parking ($17/day); Breakfast sandwich ($9); chips and guacamole ($12); 12” pizza ($26); luau ($112); 3-oz Mai Tai ($12); 12-oz Budweiser ($6); 8” x 11” photograph of family at luau ($40);

Check-in: We valet parked the car ($22 per day) and checked-in. Check-in was smooth and the front desk agent was very efficient, cheerful, and helpful. As HHonors Diamond members, we received free internet, one $10 food coupon per person per day, waiver of the $25/day resort fee, and other perks. We waited 8 minutes for the tram and were delivered to the Ocean Tower about 5 minutes after that. The property is huge, but the tram's schedule promotes walking. It's not a bad walk and the corridors are lined with ancient local art.

Room: We were in the Ocean Tower facing Buddah Point. The room was nicely sized, not small, not big. The Ocean Tower is definitely dated. Popcorn ceilings, small bathrooms, worn wallpaper are the norm. But, we had a beautiful view, a comfortable bed, and A/C that blew cold.

Day 1: We had a very early breakfast at the coffee shop in the Ocean Tower. Two small breakfast sandwiches, coffee, and an ice water rang up at $20. We grabbed some chairs near the pool and were relaxing by 8:00AM. Oddly, pool food/drink service doesn’t open until 11:00AM. It was a minor inconvenience, but c’mon Hilton. You have a pool deck full of relaxing and vacationing customers. Don’t make them wait until lunch time to grab snacks.
Lunch at the Ocean Tower Cantina was nothing special. The restaurant opened at 11:00AM, but we were told the kitchen didn’t open until 11:30AM. Really, Hilton? We split an order of chips and single guacamole ($12). We were charged $17 for a “double guacamole” which, on the menu, is $15. The server was playing games with our ticket and we caught her. She promptly removed the incorrect pricing.

We discovered that the adults-only pool in the Ocean Tower closes at 5:00PM every day. It’s a small pool located in a quiet corner of the Ocean Tower atrium. I can’t believe it closes before dinner each day. It must be a noise issue or something.

Day 2: We spent much of the day out on the island. We had dinner at Dona and Toni’s Pizza. Service was slow and inattentive. Our glasses of water were frequently empty. We ordered breadsticks ($8) and a 12” pizza ($26). We appreciated that the server warned us that pizzas take 25 minutes. The breadsticks were microwaved lukewarm and covered in butter. The pizza arrived in about 12 minutes, which means it was heated from frozen in a toaster oven. There were no bubbles in the crust, golden-brown cheese, or other signs of fresh ingredients cooked-to-order. The waitress apologized for the slow service because they were “slammed”. Oddly, eight of the 12 tables in the dining room were empty. Five of those eight remained unbussed and covered with left-over food and dishes throughout our dinner.

Day 3: We spent much of the morning in the shade near the big waterslide. There are a ton of nooks and crannies where you can relax in/around the pool and waterfalls. We each had a sandwich for lunch, and I had a Mai Tai. The total for two sandwiches and one drink was $39. The food was pretty good and I would consider it one of the better meals at the property.

I hope the GM reads this, but if I could recommend ONE thing….put some anti-slip strips on the stone bridge under the waterfall near the bottom of the big waterslide. In the span of 2.5 hours, I saw two kids fall completely down, and one elderly person slip on the wet surface.

We attended the luau that evening. The luau costs $112 per person and includes an open bar, buffet of local foods, and a show. The food was good, but felt very much like a banquet. There was salad, steamed vegetables, chicken, ribs, etc. I enjoyed the local foods which included poke, pork, plum sauce, etc. The show felt like a review on a cruise ship. It was very touristy, but the families and kids around us enjoyed it. Was it worth $112 a person? Probably not. But, we can say we’ve enjoyed a luau in Hawaii. On the way into the luau, your picture is taken with a plastic lei around your neck. You can purchase a single copy of the picture for $40 when the luau is over. Forty. Dollars. That’s double what a cruise ship charges.

Day 4: We had all meals and events planned outside of the hotel.

Day 5: My wife indulged and had a wonderful facial at the spa. We had lunch at the Lagoon Grill which overlooked the DolphinQuest pool. I had a fish sandwich that was pretty run-of-the-mill. My wife’s burger and fries were very good. Two sandwiches and a glass of tea totaled $41.

Day 6: Check-out was quick and efficient. You can dial the front desk and used Express Check-Out. We didn’t have to stop by the front desk or wait for an updated folio statement. This is a great program that allows you to maximize your time on your day of check-out.

Overall Impressions: You really can’t beat the location and the sheer quantity of things to see/do at the resort. However, make sure you’re financially prepared.

Room Tip: Ocean Tower is DATED. Popcorn ceilings, dimly lit, few electrical outlets, tiny bathrooms. Can't...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank aww3583
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, United States
1 review
Reviewed 18 April 2014

The resort was wonderful for our family stay. The kids had a great time at the pool and snorkeling at the lagoon. Kids loved the Dolphin experience as well. Bring your own sunscreen and small groceries because if you buy it there it will cost you double.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Helpful?
Thank Timothy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sammamish, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2014

We stayed here for a week for spring break with my 14 and 10 year old kids. The resort is about 20 to 30 minutes from Kona airport.

It's a very large resort and takes about 15 minutes to walk from rooms in Ocean tower to the lobby and another 5 minutes to the parking lot. They have a train that takes guests from the hotel buildings to the lobby, they have valet if you don't like to walk to the parking lot. An artificial canal on the property has boat rides as well in the evenings, it runs parallel to the trains.

We stayed in the ocean tower, and was able to see a whale breach a few times in the ocean the first morning we were there. It never showed up after that. There is an adult pool as well as kids pool with slides near this building. There is also a laundry near the pool entrance.

The larger pool, dolphin quest and artificial lake is near the lagoon tower (at the other end of the resort). That pool has a big slide, a hanging bridge, water falls as well as a smaller area with sand that makes it look like a beach. The artificial lake has a kiosk where you can rent kayaks, pedal boat, snorkeling equipment and stand up paddle. Kids loved the stand up paddle. There is an artificial water-fall, some turtles and fishes in the lake. The lake is connected to the ocean, but protected from waves and currents.

The dolphins have a smaller pond, felt they were crammed in there, not a happy scene, we stayed away from that activity. Another low-light was the boat ride, the boat attendant, (an older gentleman said he was from Raleigh NC, and worked there for 20 years) appeared to be a bit grumpy. I noticed that on both days we took the boat ride, he does interact with some guests, but shun some others. [I was going to give this hotel a 5 star rating if not for the boat ride]

Food inside the resort is expensive. There are a few nice restaurants close by in Queens and Kings market. The Mediterranean restaurant at Kings market has excellent food.

We rented an SUV from the airport, this was a good decision as there are a lot of things to do outside the resort. There is a national car rental in the property, make reservations in advance. We rented a 4 wheel drive for a day to drive up to the observatory (our main rental was a two wheel drive).

If you are driving, google maps and Garmin gps may not be very accurate - it misses parts of the saddle road that goes across the island. Add an extra half hour to your plans if you are driving across the island.

Places we visited outside the resort area:
* Mauna Kea Observatory : By the time i called up tour operators, they were all booked up. We rented a 4x4 at the hotel and drove up to the observatory. It has some of the best telescopes on earth, and Mauna Loa is the tallest mountain if measured from the sea floor. There is a visitor center at around 9,000 feet where volunteers set up telescopes for visitors at night. We were able to see Jupiter and it's 4 moons. This was my highlight of the trip. Paved road ends at the visitor center, and it's not advised to take kids above that point as the air gets very thin (40% thinner than at sea level). Left my 10 year old and wife at visitor center and drove up a 4 mile gravel road and another 5 miles of paved road to reach the observatory. There was snow and ice at the submit, the road was clear so no problem driving with a 4x4. The observatory sits above the clouds, so watch out if you end up driving thru the clouds, it can be scary as visibility is about 1 to 2 feets and you have to drive very slowly.

* Volcanoes national park - stayed there for a day. Took saddle road, which goes thru the middle of the island. It takes about 2:30 hours to the national park from the hotel. It was very foggy for a few miles on that road at high elevation, and it is not advised to drive on that road after dark. We were able to see the 'glow' from the crater at night. The best spot to view the glow at night is at Jaggar Museum on Rim road. The crater lodge is over-rated, one can stay at a bed and breakfast in the Volcano village, which is just outside the national park and drive over to the park at night to see the crater glow. We hiked the Kīlauea Iki Trail, which takes you to a lava flow. We turned back after reaching the lava floor, as it was a hot day and we were not fully prepared for the hike thru the open area. Visited Thurston lava tube, which is near the IKi Trail. We took a helicopter tour with Blue Hawaiian, lava from the crater was visible from the sky.

* Black Sand Beach, Green Sand Beach - both on the way back from Volcanoes National park to the hotel. It's a 3 hour drive and takes you thru the western cost line. Green Sand Beach is not accessible by 2 wheel drive. It's a 2.5 mile hike each way. There are locals on 4 wheel drive who are more than happy to drive you there and back for a fee.

* Umauma Zip Line & Botanical Gardens : These attractions are near to each other. We drove over the north shore to get here. The drive is beautiful, we also stopped by Waipio valley on our way. Kids loved the Zip lines.

Room Tip: Rooms in the ocean tower is a bit noisy, lagoon tower is a better option if you use the pool and lag...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank sdasan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debi B, General Manager at Hilton Waikoloa Village, responded to this review, 19 April 2014
Thank you for the great review of our resort and our island destination. There is definitely a lot to see and do here on the island and we appreciate that you took the time to detail it. We also encourage future guests to take a look at our website for more island information. We will take all of your comments into consideration and hope to be able to welcome you back for a true 5-star experience in the future.

Kind regards,
Debi
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2014

Such a great resort! It is absolutely massive, but provides train services to get to the many rooms, facilities, restaurants, shops and pools. They arrange external charters and activities, and have dolphins, waterslides, a little church, and just about everything really! Because it's so big, don't underestimate the time it will take to get to the exit.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ph0ebeBE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debi B, General Manager at Hilton Waikoloa Village, responded to this review, 19 April 2014
We are so glad that you enjoyed your visit to our resort! We work hard to maintain exotic landscaping, water features, art and all the items you mention, and have plans to improve service and products even more in the future! Mahalo for your review. We hope to welcome you back again one day!

Kind regards,
Debi
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2014

This hotel was not what was expected when we first arrived. First of all, if you do decide to stay here ask for a room in the Lagoon Tower. The rooms at the Palace Tower and Ocean Tower are extremely dated. I was told that the Lagoon Tower had been renovated. When we arrived, we were taken to our room at the Palace Tower. We were surprised by how dated the room looked so we asked for another room in another tower. The room just looked dirty even though it was cleaned. We were then taken to the Ocean Tower. Not that much better but we were tired at this point and could not get a room in the Lagoon Tower. When we got to our room at the Ocean Tower, there was mildew on the tub and shower head. My son found used baby food packets underneath the bed. We called immediately to have the room cleaned. They took awhile to clean it.

As others have said this is a huge property. There is not really a beach just swimming pools at Ocean and Lagoon Tower. Be warned the pools are COLD. I mean really cold. My son did not even want to stay in the pool for more than an hour.

The service was slow and unfriendly at times.
Also BE WARNED if you stay in the Ocean Tower, there is Bird Noise at night.
We will not be coming back to this hotel again.

Room Tip: Get a room in the Lagoon Tower. I have never seen the rooms there but heard it was recently renovat...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank newwalla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debi B, General Manager at Hilton Waikoloa Village, responded to this review, 19 April 2014
Thank you for your feedback of your recent stay with us at our hotel. I understand that you were not satisfied with the cleanliness of your bathroom or the items found underneath your bed. I am deeply disappointed by that and am glad we found you a nicer room to stay in. I sincerely apologize for your experience as the comfort of our guests is one of our highest priorities. We have reviewed your comments about the pool temperature and are taking them under consideration. Thank you again; I appreciate your honest feedback.

Kind Regards,
Debi
tripadvisor@hiltonwaikoloavillage.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hilton Waikoloa Village

Property: Hilton Waikoloa Village
Address: 69-425 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa, Island of Hawaii, HI 96738
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kohala Coast > Waikoloa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Waikoloa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton Waikoloa Village 4*
Number of rooms: 1240
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Let the aloha spirit wash over you in one of the world's largest and most beautiful resorts: Hilton Waikoloa Village. Experience the magic of Hawaii at our hotel, an oasis dotted with lagoons, pools, water slides, a wide variety of restaurants and bars, and staffed by a team of accommodating hospitality professionals who are here to make sure you're enjoying your island time. Settle into your well-appointed guest room, explore all that we have to offer, and soak up the Hawaiian sun. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Waikoloa Village Hotel Waikoloa
Hawaii Hilton Waikoloa Village
Hilton Village Hotel Waikoloa
Hilton Village Waikoloa
Waikoloa Hilton
Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort

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