There's something "classic" about the Va Beach experience -- traditional fast food, ice cream, fudge shops and salt water taffy, t-shirt shops and funny souvenirs, cheesy restaurants, franchise hotels, and a great melting pot of tourists, with lots of families with cute toddlers coated with sand. Plopped into this a few years ago was the upscale Hilton, with (are they real?) Chihuly like glass sculptures in the lobby, upscale dining, and, a bit over the edge, a members and guests only Sky Bar around the rooftop pool (adults only and no swimming after 9, sorry children...) with, I kid you not, "beds" around the bar like the high end oceanfront clubs along South Beach. For those of us who've been going to Va Beach over the years, it's a bit jarring...
We just returned from a Labor Day getaway at the Hilton, though, and for the most part the place works. The hotel is quite pleasant, clean, and comfortable, with many of the amenities of a higher end establishment -- flat screen tvs in the rooms and bathrooms, first rate linens, beds and toiletries, a small but well-equipped modern gym, an attentive and always helpful staff, the aforementioned pool area (with one outdoor "infinity" pool, the other indoor), an outstanding bar area, and two excellent restaurants (though see below...). The oceanfront rooms all have balconies, and it has always been one of the great aspects of Va Beach that such balconies are right on top of the beach and the ocean. True, the hotel can be crowded at peak times, and the elevators can be overburdened when the place is full, but it's not that bad. This is probably, and easily ,the most "luxury" oriented hotel on the beach.
A couple of quasi-criticisms relating to the restaurants. Catch 31, the no-reservations only restaurant, is wildly popular and nearly impossible to get into over a weekend like Labor Day. Although we were staying on the Club Level of the hotel, we were told that the best they could do was allow us to call in our name to be put on a seating list, and then show up later. When we were told at 8:30 on Sunday night that the wait was 2+ hours, needless to say we ate elsewhere. We've eaten at Catch 31 before, and had lunch this go round --- the food is first rate and I guess there's not much one can do about the crowds, but some accommodation to hotel guests for dinner seems in order. The other restaurant, Salacia, takes reservations and sports a more "resort casual" (i.e., collared shirts required...) atmosphere. It was overpriced and pretentious, but given the crowds, having a guaranteed table, and the law of supply and demand, it was a fine meal.
One tip -- if you self park, be sure to bring your room key with you when you leave for good...you will need it to avoid paying parking charges.
All in all this is a great place to stay. I'd like to come back when VaBe is not as crowded for a quieter beach experience here, and so I can have some fresh seafood at Catch 31. The apparent success of the Hilton no doubt presages additional high end hotels on VaBe, which may represent progress, but one hopes such progress does not diminish the VaBe's status as a good place to eat fudge and Dairy Queen, buy a silly t-shirt, and watch lots of kids roll around in the sand.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the perfect beach destination for your vacation getaway - where you can unwind in luxurious accommodations, dine at oceanfront restaurants, listen to a live concert in the park or relax in a cabana on the beach.Situated on the city’s famed boardwalk adjacent to Neptune’s Park, the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront features a collection of 289 upscale guest rooms and spacious suites. Our exclusive Empyrean Club, located on the top three floors, features personalized concierge service, complimentary breakfast in a private lounge, private key card access and refined amenities.Though Virginia Beach boasts a number of exciting activities and attractions, our luxury hotel is a landmark in its own right. With two award-winning restaurants onsite, Catch 31 and Salacia, you won’t have to go far for fresh fish or the only 4-Diamond steakhouse in Virginia. Our resort is also home to Sky Bar, serving creative cocktails with panoramic views 21 stories above the beach.The Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront is also the ultimate destination for meetings and weddings, with over 12,000 square feet of flexible event space. Other onsite amenities include our 24-hour business center, our inspiring fitness center and Virginia’s first rooftop infinity pool overlooking the Atlantic. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel Virginia Beach