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“Huge but great resort”

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Hilton Waikoloa Village
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Waikoloa
GreenLeadersSilver level
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
33 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Huge but great resort”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2014

After reading the reviews, I wasn't expecting great things and expected some aspects of the resort to be slightly disappointing as a large resort can be. I booked to stay here anyway because of the activities available to keep my young one happy.

To my surprise, the resort is great. Sure it is large but trams and boats are provided to transport you around. If you choose to walk, it is a pleasurable activity as the grounds are beautifully kept (if you walk outside). On your walk you can watch green sea turtles and fish in the lagoon while also burning some of those calories. Walking along the hallways, you'll be treated to a great collection of art, sculptures, statues etc.

The pools and slides were great, and you don't have to struggle to find a spot/lounger as there are plenty around. The salt water lagoon is great, with sea turtles coming in and out as they please.

Fitness Centre facilities are adequate with resistance and cardiovascular facilities available but I preferred running/jogging around the grounds in the morning when you can see the top of Mauna Kea, Mt Hualalai and even Maui across the sea.

My room was in the Ocean Tower with views into the ocean and across the lagoon. I loved the location as it was away from the busier area of the lagoon tower. However I would have preferred them to shut off the fountains at night (which was noisy) so that I can leave the door open at night to let in the sea breeze.

There is no sandy beach at this hotel, as is typical of many areas of this island (geophysical) but Hapuna Beach, one of the best white sand beach I have ever been to, is 15 minutes away by car.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dbnlau
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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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
94 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2014

AWESOME!! We recently spent 7 nights on the Big Island and LOVED our stay at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. The resort is HUGE - there is a monorail and canal boat to assist with getting around, although we tended to walk. Yet it didn't feel crowded even though we were there over 4th July weekend. We stayed with a 13 and 15 year in 2 Inter connecting Rooms in the Lagoon Tower - they were the front rooms called Makai-Oceanside. I would rate this the BEST Tower within the resort based on views and location. It is an easy walk from Reception area, located at the Dolphin Lagoon (our rooms on the 6th Floor - 6318 + 6319) overlooked the dolphins - beautiful. We also had 180 degree ocean views. Our other family stayed on the bottom floor (level 1) and their 2 interconnecting rooms had level access to the grassed area in front of chess set - great for those with younger kids (Rooms 1324 & 1325 from memory). You can watch the littlies play as you lay back on your private sun lounges, drink in hand, watching the beautiful sunset each evening.
RESTAURANTS: We dined within the Resort most nights. Lots of choice. The Mexican Cantina was our favourite, and we also liked the Italian (casual pizza night) and the Chinese. The Japanese looked great too, although we didn't go. We even ate in the Bar area near the pool tables (Malolo Lounge) one night, and the pork sliders were delicious! Grabbed fresh salads and snacks each day for lunch at the Orchid Market - so easy!
ROOMS: The rooms are a great size. Good size bar fridge to stock with supplies. Highly recommend catching the trolley to the Queens Marketplace and visiting the Island Market for all food & alcohol supplies. Top quality.
SHOPPING: A few shops on site for basic supplies, or head on the trolley to the Kings Shops and Queens Marketplace (a few minute scenic drive).
GOLF: My husband played a few rounds and highly recommends a visit to the Mauna Lani Course - worth the fee! His fave out of 3 he played.
TENNIS - Lianne the resident Tennis Pro runs a great clinic each morning. Highly recommend to hone your skills (racquets provided) - she is a real blast!! And a great workout.
SERVICE: Top notch. All Resort staff were friendly and went out of their way to help. Our room had a leaky AirCon Unit night 1 and we were promptly moved the next day to 2 more inter-connecting rooms with a great view. This was much appreciated.
TOURS: Make sure you do a volcano tour, and a helicopter one if the budget allows.
WE WILL BE BACK NEXT YEAR FOR SURE!!!

Room Tip: The Makai-Oceanside rooms in the Lagoon tower are the best location to access resort amenities, and...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Anita W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maspeth, New York
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2014

This hilton hotel was huge and you had to take a tran to get from one end to the other. The room they originally put us in had a musty smell to it and the sofa had a urine smell to it. In addition the bed was lumpy. The next day I asked and my wife and I were put in another room. This room was in the basement of one of there other sections of the hotel and the room was nice, however the hallways had a musty smell to them as well.

In addition, my wife is disabled so everywhere we went in the hotel we were taken underground the hotel. The smells down in the underground were either smells of things rotting or something spoiling. After two days of going with my wife underground with a security escort to get her from our room to either the beach or one of their restaurants, I finally walked to each destination upstairs. This hotel needs to refurbish itself.

Room Tip: Make sure your room isn't smelly.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank deemoy
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, 29 July 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your recent stay at our hotel. We appreciate your feedback and we’re very sorry you for the smells you encountered. Guest feedback is incredibly important to us and we are taking your comments into consideration as we improve our on-property experience. We hope to have another opportunity to serve you, if your travels bring you back to our area.

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
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
27 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2014

Our fellow travelers said the resort had recently had 60% layoffs. While that seems implausible to me, the fact that more than one person was passing along this rumor as fact (indicating they believed it), said something about how very poor service was at the resort. There is more than one former restaurant now being used as lobby space. The lines for check in (or any issue with the front desk) never seemed quicker than 30-45 minutes. There was no manager available to deal with issues. Staff were very eager to point out the "great service" cards, as if they were indeed fearful of losing their jobs. Staff was pretty uniformly kind and trying to be helpful, but things just were not working right and they were clearly having to deal with a bunch of very upset guests. Who wants to spend their time in Hawaii standing around in lines? Lots of reviewers have likened the place to Disneyland. Disney is characterized by being artificial and working to keep people on property, so there is definitely a similarity. But Disney achieves being well run and efficient despite crowds, they have something for everyone, and when they state something will be running, it is. This place was a constant exercise in frustration for us.

As many have stated, this place is huge. They do have a tram and occasionally a boat system to transport people, but each goes slower than a toddler's walking pace (and yes, we know because we compared them all in our 6 day stay). We had to budget 45 minutes each way for trips from our room to the front desk, car, or Kona pool. Completely absurd. The boats taking people to rooms were a big attraction for us. In reality, the boats state they run from 2-10 PM, which really means 2:40-9:20 as they start and stop in the Ocean Tower and therefore don't get around the whole system during the stated operating hours. We frequently waited more than 20 minutes for a boat and on more than one occasion the boat that finally arrived was too full to accommodate more passengers. We asked to switch rooms to avoid the hours of time waiting for transportation or cajoling an uncooperative toddler to walk and were told there were no rooms available other than the ocean tower. I got so furious after one 30 minute wait for a boat that I tried to get a manager...eventually the transportation manager was called to talk to me and he insisted there were always 2 boats running [the staff on the boat the prior night said there was only one running, hence the delay and overcrowding], but when occupancy was "high" they would get out a 3rd boat. They have 10, so this seems to be a staffing issue. There's a big problem with us being told there was too high occupancy to allow us to switch rooms, yet the transportation being so disastrously slow because occupancy wasn't high enough to warrant sufficient service. When I commented about the operating hours he admitted that they had to start up and shut down the boats during the hours it said they were operating, thus indeed no guests anywhere on the property should expect to actually get to ride a boat during even the 8 hours they claim to be operational.

I appreciated the in room fridge and free option to ask for a microwave. We made a couple food runs to grocery stores and at least saved ourselves the ridiculous commute to an on-resort restaurant (or anywhere)

Dining options on property are absurdly overpriced. $20 for a burger at the burger place? Really? For $30 you can buy a card that gives 10% off at the restaurants. Of course, you have to wait in the 40 minute line at the front desk to get it, so in retrospect, we regret the purchase, for the time waste involved. Their restaurant menus are very limited (for example, the Italian place didn't even have fettucine alfredo, the thing our toddler wanted to get. They did give him and anyone else under 4 pasta for free, but it was highly spiced tomato sauce and he wouldn't touch it) Again, plausibly related to reducing staff-- simplifying menus.

All the rooms open directly outdoors, there aren't interior corridors, and there was a big gap under the door. Our room thus smelled strongly of bird guano-- there were some very nice trees just outside our door. Birds congregated there as an oasis from the ocean of barren lava around the resort. The room was large, though much of the space was in the closet which was as big as the bathroom, and the threadbare couch and peeling wallpaper combined with the smell did not make the place seem upscale. Birds were noisy all night and through the morning, stopping about the time the noise of the carts bumping over the brick walkways started (between 6 and 7 am)

There were many pools, but mostly poorly suited to us. The very small pool at ocean tower is for adults only and closes at 5PM. The Kohala pool relatively nearby was all waterslides. Waterslides are for kids 42" and over only...my son was hugely disappointed (the Hilton Waikiki Village has a 36" height limit for its slides and he loved them there). So we had to trek all the way over to the Kona pool at the opposite side of the resort. That he loved, with the swim through cave with waterfalls and bridges to swim under and the slide tucked into a corner that he seemed able to forget about. However, they turned the waterfalls off frequently during our stay and that triggered many unhappy discussions. On our treks we had to be careful to avoid the distressing dolphin lagoon where they've crammed a bunch of Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins into a very small shallow area (apparently the Hawaiian dolphins couldn't take the confinement and they had to start importing Atlantic ones)

The artificial lagoon and beach didn't work for us either. There was so little sand and it was so covered with beach chairs that our toddler couldn't find space. I was really surprised when the tide came in that the beach lounge chairs ended up underwater. Apparently there is too little beach even for the amount of furniture they put out, much less furniture and people.

The resort fee supposedly goes to cover internet charges and cultural activities. They gave us a list at check in and explained that though the cultural classes listed fees, they were covered with the resort fee (in fact, the front desk person put an "X" through the fees). We tried calling the number required to register for the classes 4 times, but never got through and never got an answering machine. The concierge called for us and also could not get through (saying they had limited office hours). So, we showed up to the ipu class since it was one of the few that didn't have a pre-registration requirement. The teacher explained that this was the only cultural activity whose fee was not covered by the resort charge since the gourds are more expensive materials than the other classes require. Ugh, really? If so, why'd the desk person "x" it out? We complained and instead of all 3 of us making ipus as we had planned, only made one for my son. She didn't end up charging us, but it did really make us wonder about this fee-- it didn't cover the one class we went to and we couldn't successfully arrange to attend any other of the classes. Again, short staffing seemed to have bitten as nobody staffed the class registration phone (why don't they install voice mail if they're going to leave it unstaffed?).

The second night of our stay we were initially charmed to get to our room much later than we wanted (one of those 40 minute waits for a boat and then 20 minute ride on the boat) and have our son discover a stuffed turtle hidden among the pillows. That seemed such a nice touch and did much to assuage our transportation annoyance. Then after he ripped off the tag, we read that it was an advertisement for Club Keiki (their day camp program for which he was ineligible because he was too young which led to upset), and in the very fine print that there would be a $20 charge if we kept the turtle. How is one supposed to get a stuffed animal away from a child who has discovered it hidden in the pillows on his bed? Obviously that's a good way to get $20 more out of every family who stays. My husband was furious and tried to talk to a manager; yet again none was available, but they did eventually decide not to charge us for the turtle. Another night was ruined for us though, getting to bed 1.5 hours later than we wanted due to slow transportation and then dealing with a hidden fee and sobbing toddler.

If you can deal with lots of lines, the fees here, limited and overpriced dining options, and don't want a natural setting (everything from the lagoon to the vegetation is not natural here), this may be a good place for you. For us with a small child it was not a good fit for 6 days. We were much happier at the smaller Marriot on A-Bay next door.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank seastef
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, 29 July 2014
Thank you for staying with us at our hotel. I appreciate your honesty and I’m sorry you were disappointed by some of the long lines and travel time you had to endure while you were here. We look for reviews to provide insight into our hotel and your comments about your interaction with our staff and the dining options we have available here will help us improve the experience here for future guest. I welcome any additional comments or suggestions you would like to share.

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
Atlanta
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2014

Very nice hotel, perhaps a bit too big. The rooms are ok, decent size, nothing spectacular. Lots of on-site restaurants (with overpriced food). Not enough conveniently-located elevators on the higher floors, however. Our floor had only one elevator to serve 30+ rooms. I'd recommend it but be prepared to do lots of walking within the property &/ or have enough patience to wait on the tram or boat.

Room Tip: Higher floors have less noise from pools below
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ATLTravel15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chapel Hill, NC
Level Contributor
116 reviews
111 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2014

Yes, this hotel is huge and expensive, but there are so many good things about his resort! I was here with a group of 300. Our buffett lunches and dinners were excellent! Lobster, salmon, chicken and steak were terrific! I stayed on the 5th floor of the Ocean Tower and enjoyed the location. The room was huge with a king size bed, sofa, desk/chair and another chair. From our balcony, we had a partial view of the ocean and golf course. My front door faced the Cantina restaurant. This was great because I could hear the tram alarm warning me it was approaching. By the time I left my fifth floor room, it would be there waiting for me! The $30 per person breakfast buffett was worth it! The food was delicious and the selection was overwhelming with fruits, fried rice, omelet stations and more. Once I ate at the coffee shop near my room and the $8 ham and cheese quiche they warmed up was excellent. In room coffee and a fridge are always a must for me when I travel and they had both! An adult pool and ice machine were close to my room and I appreciated it. I used the $2 trolley ride to the small shopping centers daily. The Island Marketplace grocery store had excellent prepared foods and a great deli. The Stars and Stripes Salon, which was expensive, did a great job on my hair and was still $50 less than the hotel spa's price. Check-in and check-out at the hotel were easy. The bellman kept their word and arranged an on time departure for my taxi ride to the aiport. They also came to get my luggage in the Ocean Tower Sunday night within 10 minutes of being called...that I could not believe! One complaint I did mention to houskeeping was the only two towels per day in the bathroom and no turndown service. They provided extra towels without question when I asked. The Lagoon tower, farthest from me, seemed very busy at all times with its pools, restaurants, shops, dolphin exhibit and lagoon. I liked my Ocean tower's location even though it was far from the main lobby. The hotel lobby upstairs was very warm and constantly busy. The business center allowed computers for printing boarding passes free. If you have time for an excursion, I recommend Blue Hawaiian Helicopter trips. They are five minutes from this hotel and provide free pick-up and drop off service to the helicopter pad. One flaw I did find at this hotel was the problem of getting people to answer when using the phone in the room. I was on hold for several minutes when calling housekeeping and valet. I would recommend this property! We only chose this hotel because this is where our group held it's events...it was worth the $200 per night rate.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Isky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jarvenpaa, Finland
Level Contributor
72 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2014

Nice place to stay in e.g. honeymoon or anniversary. We stayed one week there and liked it a lot. The staff is friendly and the area is clean and well maintained. Area is huge, but you can always use monotrail (or something like that). The large area is not a problem or an issue at all.

We had a great time there.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jarkko17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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