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“Upscale In Classic Va Beach”

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Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Ranked #13 of 109 Hotels in Virginia Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 1, 2008

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.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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Thank ScottDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,900 - 1,906 of 2,059 reviews

Reviewed September 1, 2008

We stayed at this hotel three weekdays leading up to the labor day weekend 2008. We paid $345 per night for a standard double room with a balcony facing the beach.

PROS:
Great location off Laskin Road. Parking garage opposite the hotel. Pool is small but nice view. Marble floors in the lobby with nice lighting (for the few minutes you walk thro it).

CONS:
1. We paid big bucks for a room and amenities as you would find at a Ramada/Holiday Inn express class hotel (2-3 stars)
2. Got no 4 star class amenities, not even a robe and slippers.
3. Rooms were small and cramped
4. After paying this high room rate we had to pay $9.95 per day for WiFi wireless access (every hotel in the world provides this free nowadays, duh)
5. Front desk staff were OK, one was surly
6. Food at Catch 31 (the restaurant) is very pricey but mediocre
7. Breakfast at Catch 31 (included in our rate) was unimpressive - no healthy choices, no variety though the wait staff were friendly
8. Room service wont deliver to the pool, you gotta go pick it up

As a Hilton Honors member upon reservation I received an email promising a complimentary pair of slippers. When I asked the management, they said they dont do it.

I emailed Hilton Honors providing my feedback and got the standard reply that management would contact me. I am still waiting after having finished my trip.

Overall, we wasted hard earned money on a mediocre hotel with a supposed 4 star rating. Every hotel on the ocean front offers rooms with an ocean view. There are scores of other hotels which offer much much more value for money. I talked to atleast three other families/couples staying at this hotel and everyone had the same feedback.

SAVE YOUR MONEY and book elsewhere, unless you are a billionaire who cares only about staying in a mediocre but brand name hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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Thank Dustoff_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2008

I booked a room at the VB Hilton for one night with the hope of proposing to my GF during the VB fireworks. Well, needless to say the staff at the VB Hilton were nothing short of spectacular!!! The Empyrean Club staff took care of our every need and made sure our room was on the top floor with a perfect view of the fireworks. Lars and Rachel (I will never forget these two) could not have been more kind and accommodating. Yes, the room was a bit pricey for VB, but with the rooftop infinity pool and the wonderful amenities of the Club lounge, I cannot complain too much. Well, everything went off without a hitch! We had a WONDERFUL dinner at Catch 31. Our oceanfront balcony was great and I could not have paid for a better view of the fireworks. Of course she said yes!!!! We will never forget the VB Hilton. I highly recommend this hotel!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled on business
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1  Thank breakdwn0219
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2008

Overall we had a fantastic weekend here and would recommend for any VA beach visitors. The room was a bit pricey for it's size, but we had a balcony that overlooked the park/stage outside which had live music every night, a musical church service sunday, and music sunday afternoon as well. This end of the beach (north) is much nicer than the southern end. Very family friendly hotel. Music was great, and you could listen from your balcony but not hear in your room, which was perfect!

The beach is very nice here, although crowded. The beach is all public--no private beach for the hotel.

NOTE: thank you to other reviewers who mentioned the concierge!! We checked in and went to take a walk. We got accosted by the concierge as we were looking at a menu for Salacia posted outside. He tried to lure us in to "get a welcome packet and free beach chair rental" and simply said "no thanks" and walked away as he tried to convince us to. About 2 hours later he called our room and we told him 'we already talked to you. stop bothering us" I've made comments to the hotel about how obnoxious this is.

Restaurants. Don't bother with Salacia!!! We had an okay dinner there, but it was highly overpriced and our service was poor. They did bring us comped glasses of wine,but only after the server brought the wrong bottle we ordered and we still had no bottle when our meals arrived. the filet at Catch 31 was likely the same steak, but cooked much better, as was the lobster. Salacia had nice private atmosphere, but food and service fell far short of their claims.

Catch 31 was fantastic! We ate there several times: the panini, marguerita pizza, salad, burger, filet, lobster and scallops were all fantastic. Breakfast buffet was mediocre, but they let us use our certificates (we paid for bkfst w/ our room) to order and that was better. Sit outside for breakfast if you an wait until 8am when outside seating opens....the restaurant smells a bit fishy-not so great for breakfast. Outside seating is great for any meal/hour!!

Pool sand Skybar were nice. My biggest complaint of the hotel is that there are only 3 elevators, and a rooftop pool so you're always waiting on elevators! There was ample seating on the pool deck, and bar is open from 11am until 9pm, when they close for an hour to make it the skkybar lounge for evening. Drinks are overpriced, but they're served poolside, and the bartenders were by far the best peopel at the hotel to ask for any recommendations or hotel info.

Compared to any other hotel on the beach, Im confident we got the best one. Prices are always high in summer everyhwere, so it was worth it to have everything we needed right at the hotel. Some improvements could be made, but we'd certainly go back.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ejigga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2008

Long time patrons of VA Beach, wife and I stayed here September of 2007 - there's a lot to like about this hotel, but set reasonable expectations.

Recvd the level of service and quality of facility you'd expect from a Hilton. Ocean view view had an excellent view of park next to the hotel, great for people watching, and nightly bands. Nice appointments in room, good bed/linen quality. Room service and cleanliness above average.

Pros:
Nice room & appointments, but a tad on the small side.
Nice TV, bathroom, linens, etc.
Pool on the roof is amazing - small, but never crowed, never had trouble getting chairs.
Nice little bar/snack stand at roof pool.
Excellent bar/restrnst in hotel
Room service was good
Parking garage across street, attached by skyway.
Great location on boardwalk.

Cons:
This is not a "beach" hotel. Its a typical Hilton, dropped next to the ocean. No direct beach access or beach facilities for guests.
Expect to pay top premium prices at all in hotel restnts/bars.
Fitness room below par.
Elevators slow most of the time.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay, the pool facilities and the room. Its location is great, head south on the boardwalk for different bar/restrnt every night. Will stay again.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TravelingPhotogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2008

I thought the Hilton Virginia Beach was a wonderful hotel, although a bit pricey. I was there for a conference and the conference facilities were very nice. I was on the 11th floor and it did not rain, so I cannot comment about the leaky roof. I can say that my room was very large and extremely comfortable.

I ate at the onsight restaurant (Catch 31) and thought the food was out of this world. I had Grilled Ahi Tuna and it was cooked perfectly (seared rare). It did take a while for the food to arrive, but personally when in a restaurant of that type and paying that price, I want time to enjoy myself. Also, they make an absolutely awesome Mojito!

Sky Bar is on the roof of the hotel and was quite the experience. The bartenders were very good and really took care of our group.

I did not use the concierge so I can not attest to any attempts to sell time shares.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled on business
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1  Thank Shawn N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2008

Definitely not worth the price. The worst part was hearing the sales pitch from time share people at the concierge desk every time we stopped to ask for soemthing. we paid 330$ a night and from the pictures on the Hilton website they looked like luxury rooms. They were far from luxury. the carpets were dirty. We got a smoking room at first even though we has booked a non smoking and tehy claimed there were booked and when I complained they magically found a non smoking room. The food at the restaurant was awfyl. the tortellinin with crab was like a soup with lots of runny greasy creamy sauce with cold crab on top of it. and that was after one hour waiting for entrees to come. Pretty awful place. I tried contacting the hotel several times but didn't rally get an answer.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BitaM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Address: 3001 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451-3032
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Virginia Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Virginia Beach
#8 Business Hotel in Virginia Beach
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Virginia Beach
#33 Romantic Hotel in Virginia Beach
Price Range: $122 - $357 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront 4*
Number of rooms: 289
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 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel Virginia Beach

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