We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Incredible Experience with the Dolphins!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dolphin Quest

Dolphin Quest
425 Waikoloa Beach Dr, at Hilton Waikoloa Village, Waikoloa, Island of Hawaii, HI 96738
+1 808-886-2875
Improve this listing
Book ahead on Expedia
Book a Tour
Ranked #1 of 23 things to do in Waikoloa
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Swimming with dolphins
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Dolphin Quest Hawaii, located at the spectacular Hilton Waikoloa Village, brings people and dolphins closer than ever in fun, interactive dolphin encounter programs for all ages. This unique experience is on-of-a-kind on Hawaii's Big Island and is great for kids, adults or the entire family! Reservations can be made a year in advance. Dolphin Quest's Learning Center Lagoon, opened in 1988, was the first of its kind and inspired a new generation of large, natural habitats for marine mammals. A portion of the proceeds from your Dolphin Quest encounter program supports vital marine education, conservation and research.
Lawrence, Kansas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Incredible Experience with the Dolphins!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I had the incredible opportunity to interact with some of God's most fabulous creatures! Dolphin Quest is an awesome experience and I highly recommend it to anyone. This Dolphin Quest location did an outstanding job of making everyone feel at home and included in the experience. The dolphins were terrific and seemed to really enjoy the trainers and the visitors. The dolphins appeared to be very well taken care of and the trainers were very forthcoming about the meticulous care given to these wonderful creatures. Several babies had been born and were swimming in a nearby pool with their mothers; what a heartwarming sight! I was allowed to pet the dolphin, kiss the dolphin, and feed the dolphin. What a treat! The trainer also gave terrific and detailed information about how dolphins function and live as well as answered our questions. Very educational. There is also a professional cameraman snapping many pictures so you can select some memorable keepsake photos of your experience. Dolphin Quest was a highlight for me in my Hawaiian trip.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

401 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Encounter Deluxe was amazing!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

Highlight of our vacation. The Deluxe was more expensive but totally worth it. It was the highlight of our vacation and the dolphins seemed incredibly well cared for.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princes Risborough, UK
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Excellent Hotel Facilty”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

We had rooms immediately over the Dolphin pools and had views from first thing in the morning. They always seem to put on a show for us and as a real bonus a baby was born during our stay.
The staff make themselves available to answer any questions and are very knowledgable , we learnt a great deal, we will visit the hotel again and will certainly have a dolphion view room.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pahoa, Hawaii
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Fun dolphin swim...pricy!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

This is done at the Waikoloa Hilton Resort on the Kona side. The trip is worth seeing the Hilton as it was built as a Hyatt regency originally for several hundred million Dollars. Called by locals the Disneyland of resorts. A must experience!

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting, but not happy with staff”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

I visited in September 2012 and participated in the Encounter Deluxe

Two years ago I went to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to swim with Dolphins and was looking forward to another opportunity.

The setting is nice. At the facility there are 3 buildings. As you enter, there is a building where you check-in and gift shop. The gift shop is nice and cool with a variety of dolphin memorabilia. Besides t-shirts and plush dolphins they also sell jewelry! Next to the check-in building/gift shop is another building where there are a couple of bathrooms stalls and changing rooms. It was very CLEAN (compared to Cabo). Then there are shower heads on the outside of the building to rinse off. The 3rd building, is a lounge area and kitchen/break room. The provide free water in the 3rd building and lockers upon request.

First, everyone gets a life jacket fitted and snorkel mask. Then every sits in the lounge area and listens to introductory educational talk. My sister and I wear eye glasses and the masks do not fit over our glasses comfortably. We could not wear them. I was really worried being able to see. It was ONLY AFTER the FACT that our trainer, Danielle said, "Don't the masks magnify a bit?" the snorkel masks were ok for us; because SECONDLY the staff did NOT check each mask like the life jacket. I repeatedly had to ask for assistance for my mask. I recommend BRING YOUR OWN. I was not happy when the trainer and intern were SLOW at noticing that my sister started to feel overwhelmed in the setting.

There are total of three holding areas where the dolphins live. The first is where you wear the mask and the last 2 are for touch, feed, and play. One of the exciting things for me was asking questions to the trainer. I asked about the dolphin's tail movement and moved my hand how a dolphin would and how fish moves their tail. The dolphin started to follow my signal.

There is no riding the dolphin. I was disappointed that I only got to feed the dolphin only once and the youngest participant fed the dolphin twice. My trainer, Danielle said that not everyone can feed the dolphin or the dolphin will expect it every time. She also did not WARN us that the dolphin will splash back at us.

I would only do it again if I had a different trainer or book the whole family as one group.

I give the setting a 4.5/5
Service 2/5
Overall 5/5

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Dolphin Quest also viewed

Waikoloa, Kohala Coast
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Island of Hawaii
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii

Been to Dolphin Quest? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Dolphin Quest, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.