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Reviewed April 19, 2012

This resort is very well-kept and very spread out. The trip from the Palace Tower to the registration building is a brisk 10 minute walk, plus two or three more minutes to your car. That is 25 minutes out of your day if you only do it once (don't forget anything in the car). The tram runs every ten minutes, and takes about 10 minutes to get from the Palace Tower to the registration building, too. But you can wait up to 10 minutes for it to arrive, so add the wait time to your tram trip. We didn't see the boats running while we were there.

There is only a small shop at the Palace Tower. The Lagoon and Ocean Towers are better, especially with kids. There are pools near each of them. With or without kids, the Lagoon Tower would be best, although they quoted us higher rates for that tower. There are activities near the Lagoon tower and you don't have much travel time to get to them.

Dinner for two, 2 drinks, and a tip was $90 at the Chinese restaurant. There is a Mexican food place at the end of the tram line that is less expensive, but there isn't much that is inexpensive at the resort or nearby. If you go to Kailua-Kona to eat, don't forget to factor in your travel time...it can take a big chunk out of your day.

If you stay at the Lagoon Tower with kids, and you don't plan to leave the resort, and the cost of meals is within your budget, you will have a wonderful time.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank jeremiahred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2012

May is a slower month in Hawaii, so there are fewer guests staying in the hotels. We visited the Hilton Waikoloa last May, and we specifically waited to write this review for readers traveling this May (hence the delay in submitting it). Because the Hilton was only filled at 20% capacity during our stay, they shut down 80% of the restaurants. For a mega-resort (often compared to a Disneyland), we found it extremely difficult to find food. The few restaurants that were in operation were closed between meal periods during the day too. By 9:00pm, the hotel felt much like a ghost hotel as we wandered through the halls. Similar to other reviewers' remarks, we agree that the pools were very cold. However, the hotel grounds can surely strike awe in its guests. Its a beautiful property set in an alien backdrop.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank mbseuf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonWaikoloa, General Manager at Hilton Waikoloa Village at Hilton Waikoloa Village, responded to this reviewResponded April 19, 2012

A lot has happened in a year. One year ago the economy and travel to Hawaii was severely down. We are thankful that we are not looking at the same conditions this year. Hawaii and it’s leisure travelers have rebounded and we are looking at positive forecasts well into the fall.
Late last year we opened a new dining concept located in the Ocean Tower called “Boat Landing Cantina”. It is a casual blend of island items with flavors of the Pacific Coast of Mexico. The tableside guacamole is a must as are the fresh island fish tacos. The margaritas are made with a variety of fresh island fruit.

Opening this weekend is Dona & Toni’s Pizza for family and friends styled dining. You can dine in and enjoy the patio or take out for a beach picnic. It is a very nice complement in evening dining for us.

This May we will have a total of 15 restaurants and lounges open to serve you.

Thank you for your comment, but we hope you will join us this May.

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Reviewed April 18, 2012

Welcome to the nearest place resembling Disneyland on the Big Island! The property is so large, it has both a monorail tram and a boat to ferry guests from building to building. The grounds contain African cranes, Asian sculptures and dolphins penned up for the onsite Dolphin Quest adventure.

The room we had in the Ocean Tower was large and well furnished. My only objection was the mini-fridge which was no colder than a cool ocean breeze. You could not keep anything longer then a day or it would spoil in this mini-fridge. The other inconvenience of staying at the Ocean Tower building was the annoying squawking of the birds just after sunset and at around 4:30am in the morning. Some one aught to give them a clock which tells them sunrise is a few hours later.

There are at least three formal restaruants and two causual dining options at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. None are cheap so be prepared if you plan to have all your meals on the property. Frankly, the food was average for a resort.

The grounds, pool and lagoon are huge reasons for staying at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. The grounds have several great spots for meditation, whale watching or sun bathing. For children, the pools are a water wonderland with their slides and multiple layouts. The sheltered lagoon also offers another water option. Good for those beginner snorkellers who get in early in the day before the waters become too crowded. Honu even wander in on occasion for a visit.

Overall a great choice if you have children or want a very comfortable environment with a few day trip adventures offsite. Note that it is a long way from Volcano National Park so if you want to spend time there, you should stay closer to the Park.

Room Tip: The Lagoon Tower has the rooms closest to the entrance for walking instead of waiting for the monorail.
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank freeamac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonWaikoloa, General Manager at Hilton Waikoloa Village at Hilton Waikoloa Village, responded to this reviewResponded April 19, 2012

Your review and comments of your experience with us and Hawaii Island are very much appreciated.

Regarding your dining comments, It appears that you may have not been informed of our Food & Beverage Discount dining program. It helps to stretch the vacation funds with a 10% discount when dining for up to 6 guests. The card is $29.95 and it includes, beyond the discount, two coupons each for $10.00 off a dining experience.

The birds settling into the trees at sunset and just as the sun rises are an issue we are working on. We are trimming the trees to minimize the area they have available. We are making some progress. Extermination is not an option.

Thank you for recognizing the 4 acre ocean-fed lagoon for its quality of activities including snorkeling. It is a centerpiece for the resort water activities experience.

Please return soon to experience the improvements we continue to make….Aloha.

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Reviewed April 16, 2012

Huge is an understatement. There are three main towers (ocean, palace, lagoon). We stayed at the lagoon; there's no pool there, but a short walk across the monorail and over the bridge to cross the river and down a hillside brings you to the main man-made lagoon. And another short hike over relatively flat grounds brings you to the dolphin activity pool and then the main fresh water pool complex a little beyond that.

The man-made lagoon is ocean fed, so water temp will be similar to ocean, if not a little warmer since it's much shallower. Because completely protected from ocean waves, etc...it's extremely calm. There's tons of fish - although not alot of variety and plenty of sea-turtles in the pond. It's great for snorkerlers and cannoing. I even got my 5 year old to tap on the turtles and glide along with them as we snorkel. The imported white sand on the lagoon beach was soft and nice enough to not draw complains. All beach chairs, etc are free of charge. Although the shaded spots may run out early, there were enough chairs most of the time we were there...and if there weren't, we could easily find spots along the lawn to spread out our beach towels for a relaxing day on the beach.

We tried the relative pool once - and only once. Relative to the lagoon, the water here was extra cold. My son couldn't stop shivering. Many adults, and especially the grand parents, were hopping mad to get out after getting in. But it was huge along with a water slide. There's also a shallower kiddy area with a sandy bottom...but unlike the lagoon, the sand here is brown and pebbly. Anyway, we don't know how good the rest of the pool complex is, etc...cuz it was just too cold for our taste.

Food wise, we ate at the breakfast buffet, the lagoon grill, and the luao. We love the papaya at the buffet, but otherwise, selections were not exciting relative to other similar hotels in this category. The lagoon grill was acceptable for pool side food, but service can be slow. The luao food was typical luao food; the performance was typical luao singing/dancing. If you've been to one, you've pretty much seen it all. We were duped into going this time because someone thought our kids (5 & 2) would enjoy the show - bleh! It was pretty windy the night were were there, so most of the kids who showed up had left by the time the main show started.

For $39/day, you can buy the Ohanna pass, which gives you free parking ($14/day), 4 free ice creams/day, unlimited sodas, and daily passes to the spa, and 50% discount on all rentals at the lagoon. Because we got the kayak atleast once a day at the lagoon, we thought the deal was worthed. Valet parking is $21/day, but you can subtract the $14 value from the Ohanna pass. Also, there's a 10% food discount pass that you can buy for apx $30 that also gives you $20 in immediately usable coupons. After spending the $20 coupon on breakfast, the amount that we spend on other food made that a well used investment.

The top floor room we had the palace tower wasn't spectacular - I'd say it's actually outdated. But as a sleeping pad, it was comfy .

The resort is setup up and geared toward families...i.e. kids. I'd definitely not come here as a couple or with friends for a hangout.

One last word of advice is the car rental companies want you to get a receipt from your last fill up before return and it "must" be from the Tesorro station a little south of the Kona airport due to it being the only gas station in proximity. But if you have costco membership, cheaper gas is only about a block away in the same complex as that fill up station.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank thec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2012

I just returned from a week long spring break vacation at the Hilton Waikaloa Village on the Big Island with two kids, ages 8 and 11. With a few signfiicant exceptions, it was a great trip.

On the plus side, we took advantage of a very reasonable Hilton Honors "upgrade" option to a suite on the fifth floor of the Ocean Tower and were very impressed with the room. The expansive living room had wood floors, updated furniture, plenty of lighting, and a large wet bar with refrigerator. The bedroom was also large, with updated furniture, lots of lamps, and good storage in drawers, even if closet is small. The bathroom was huge and updated with twin vanities, big shower and separate tub. A large lanai ran the length of both rooms and had comfy furniture for morning coffee and hanging out. Housekeeping was prompt and thorough.

This resort is huge and expect to do a lot of walking, as the water slide pools are located on opposite sides. The tram system is silly and slow, but most annoying is the loud beeping it makes at all stops until 11:45 p.m each night. It is a buzz kill when sitting on the lanai or with sliding door open. The kids adored the lagoon in the middle of the property, with sea turtles, fish and all manner of water sports activities. Get the all day "family pass" to minimize the cost of those water toys. The kids also loved both water slide areas. The Dolphin Quest adventure is pricey but pretty terrific and even if you don't do it, there is a nice grassy viewing area to watch the beautiful animals play. There is no real beach here; we drove up to the fantastic Hapuna Beach about 7 miles north.

That said, there are some major problems for a resort this large and at this price point:

1. No WiFi in any rooms. There are very limited hot spots in each building. This is unaccceptable (particularly to guests like my I1 year old daughter and her I-Touch.)

2. Inadequate staff at front desk and operators to handle phone calls. We routinely experienced long wait times to order room service, order a car brought around from valet parking, dining reservations or just about anything.

3. Inadequate restaurants. There are a few, expensive high end restaurants (Imari, Kirin) that were just okay. There really aren't enough family friendly options. We left the property several times for dinner, which was okay but shouldn't be necessary.

4. No jacuzzi on the "Ocean Towers" side of the property connected to any pool and only 3 tiny jacuzzis in the Kona pool area near Lagoon tower These got quite packed in an unpleasant way.

Overall this is a very nice, well maintained property that offers a ton of fun activities for kids and families. Base room rates are reasonable but the add-ons and extras add up fast. I would definitely return.

Room Tip: If you have young kids, Lagoon Tower is closest to the main pool and water slide area. We loved Ocean Tower views, but it is a walk to the lagoon and Kona pool.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank NBDad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonWaikoloa, General Manager at Hilton Waikoloa Village at Hilton Waikoloa Village, responded to this reviewResponded April 19, 2012

Thank you for taking the time share your insights on your recent visit to Hawaii and Hilton Waikoloa Village. Some of the items you enumerated are on the top of our list for enhancements that are coming this summer.

Our WIFI Hot Spots for FREE access have grown to nine in count. The free Hot Spots are throughout the resort, but one in particular is a favorite. It is located on the oceanfront patio at Kamuela Provision Company (KPC). It is the perfect place in the morning to catch up or get connected all while overlooking the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean.

This summer we will also be installing computer terminals with High-speed access for guests, just like you, that may choose to travel light and need to research their holiday plans. The three terminals will be in and adjacent to the main lobby.

Again, thank you for sharing your experiences and we look forward to your return.

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