As timeshare owners, my wife and infant son stayed at the Grand Waikian earlier this year in January. While the vacation itself was nice, I figure it is about time that I listed my long standing grievances with this Hilton property.
The one constant detraction from this resort and my experience at Grand Waikian is the checking in and room assignment. Like most people, we had requested that where possible, we be put on a higher floor. We understand that this request cannot be accomodated all the times but asking for a higher floor at the Grand Waikikian is like dental surgery.
First of all, it was clear that the Hilton staff had absolutely no intention of even trying to accomodate this request. I received a brief nod and after various clicks on the keyboard, the Hilton staff provided me with a room key and tried to send me on my way. The fact that she made no mention of the room number as she attempted to send me off immediately tipped me off and when I checked the card holder, I think we had been assigned a room on one of the lowest floors possible. I immediately returned and asked about the high floor preference and was met with a most disgusted look and informed that "a higher floor is not a right". Arguing that the lower floors may make it difficult for my son to sleep, the Hilton staff relented and promptly put us on the 25th floor (which was obviously open). I can honestly say it appeared that this simple gesture for her was absolute torture for her and this is how we had to start our vacation. This was not first time having this type of experience with the Hilton staff and I suspect it won't be my last.
On that note, reading TripAdvisor and similar sites, I always thought it was funny how many people complained that Grand Waikikian (and other HGVC properties) was geared for Japanese tourists and Japanese tourists received preferential treatment. Speaking of my own experiences as a Japanese national and those of many of my friends here in Japan, I want to assure those reading this post that nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, due to the language difficulties and the cultural reluctance for Japanese people to complain, I would argue that Japanese tourists often get the short end of the stick.
Lastly, before I forget, my wife was 4 months pregnant during our time and was suffering from morning sickness on the day that we were checking out. I explained the situation to the front desk and asked for a delayed checkout and was promptly denied due to "being busy". As my wife was ill, I even mentionned that I was an Elite member, but once again, denied. I guess in that sense, the Hilton staff are consistent in treating both Elite and non-Elite members poorly.
As a HGVC owner, I am not happy having to post this negative review of a property that I own and frankly, I really do not expect that anything will change by this post aside from some template response from management. That being said, I really do believe that Hilton should make at least some effort to train their staff to provide even a minimal level of service.
In closing, oddly enough, in my experience, I thought that all of the other HGVC properties actually provide much better service. Considering the costs and popularity of the Hawaii properties, I certainly expected Hilton to better services its guests, regardless of nationality.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you very much for staying with us. We really appreciate the time you took to write up your thoughts and experiences while staying with us. I have forwarded your comments about room assignment and late check out requests and attitude of the staff to the appropriate department heads so we can all improve our service and be able to provide better guest experience.
Report response as inappropriate
In regards to both room assignments and late check outs, we are honestly hard pressed to provide all of our owners and guests with all of their requests all of the time. With the high occupancy we operate under and with the limited number of rooms in each category, we are not able to honor all requests. Unfortunately, at times for some owners and guests, we are not able to honor any of their requests. In your case, I am glad the front clerk was able to assist you by moving reservations around to be able to accommodate you on the 25th floor, and apologize for the way the clerk did not have the proper aloha spirit and welcome.
All Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Hilton properties are made to welcome all guests, regardless of their nationalities or race. We always try to help all of our owners and guests all of the time. Language can present a difficulty for some guests due to our staff’s different levels of language skills, but we try to assist and help all of our guests all of the time.
Thank you very much.
John R. Reagan
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.