We arbitrarily picked Ocean Tower--name sounded nice. Overall, we enjoyed our stay a lot. However, this building is a brisk 10 minute walk from the reception area which is itself a few minutes walk from the parking area. The Tower can also be reached by tram which is a ten minute ride and usually the trams come every ten minutes unless one is out of service. The walk between the reception area and Ocean Towers is along a covered outdoor art gallery, really a lovely walk. However we are used to parking our rental car right next to where we stay, so if you get to your car and realize your forgot something, it's going to be atleast half an hour to go back to your room and pick it up. If this bothers you, pick one of the other buildings.
A potential upside of Ocean Towers is that it is probably less crowded and noisy. We paid for a partial ocean view room and were upgraded to a full ocean view room. The ocean is maybe a good block away. We were on the sixth floor and turned off the AC/heating and lived and slept with the balcony door open, altho after the first night we closed the screen door at night to keep out flying insects which were not very numerous.
We picked this general location (Kohala Coast north of Kona airport) because one of the best swimming beaches on the island is Anaehoomalu Bay (abbreviated as A-Bay at the resort) which is reached either by a beautiful seaside walk from the reception area, the resort's free shuttle, or your rental car. We also picked this location because it is North of Kona airport and the main traffic on the western side of the island is south of Kona airport so by being north of the airport the whole Kohala coast is accessible w/o traffic.
A person or a family could spend days at the resort with all the pools. There is a super large salt water swimming lagoon as well as tons of swimming pools. (No matter what building you stay in you are within a stone's throw of a pool.)
Overall we enjoyed our stay a lot. Why didn't I rate this 5/5 instead of 4/5? At times the bigness of the resort was a disadvantage and at other times an advantage. The restaurant on the terrace overlooking the ocean was good and the price was okay considering the wonderful view. The informal restaurants by the pools or at Ocean Tower served microwave bar food. In fairness we didn't try the other high end restaurants. (We ate a lot fresh fish in small town restaurants.) The tram between the reception area and Ocean Towers (actually the tram for the whole complex) had pretty chilly air conditioning and riding it got boring fast. The resort ran a boat along the tram route for several hours in the evening and this was a much nicer conveyance, but to save money the resort only runs one or two, despite having a fleet so we only took the boat if it happened to be there when we got there. For the bigness of the resort the lack of modest priced eating was a drawback.
It must cost a phenomenal amount of money to maintain this breath taking resort and it was beautifully maintained. This is far classier than your usual Hilton. So if all the pools and lagoons and the porpoise pool and the art work and boat rides impress you this is great value because the room rates are Hilton rates, not luxury resort rates. If you are not captivated by the whole resort, then it is easy to complain about waiting for a tram or spending a lot of time getting to a modest priced attractive dining option.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hilton Waikoloa Village is located within the Waikoloa Beach Resort area on the sunny Kohala Coast on Hawaii's Big Island - just 18 miles from the Kona International Airport. It is a unique 62 acre oceanfront resort with trams and canal boats transporting you throughout the resort. Enjoy a serene snorkeling lagoon, interactive dolphin encounters, spectacular pools with waterslides, the Kohala Spa, exciting shopping and dining, and golf at one of two championship golf courses. ... 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