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“It's Disney Hawaii - and not a bad place if that's what you want”

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Hilton Waikoloa Village
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Waikoloa
GreenLeadersSilver level
Laramie, WY
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“It's Disney Hawaii - and not a bad place if that's what you want”
Reviewed June 28, 2014

Stayed here for a meeting and stuck around for three days of fun afterwards. It's a nice place - come on folks that complained, it is. Rooms are large, clean, in good shape, comfortable beds, good environmental controls (I could turn my AC unit on constant to get my critical white noise to sleep at night and it was perfect), grounds are beautiful, pools are nice, some nice amenities. Definitely a Disney-esque vibe (and not by mistake, Disney had a role in the whole area), and yes, it is very "touristy". Don't like touristy? Not for you. Like a little touristy feel (especially for families/kids) - could be your place. It's big. Really big. Lot of walking, tram riding, and boat riding to get around - I liked that. I enjoyed the walks around the grounds (you should too, get off your butts people). Food is very expensive. Eat there once and then get out and see the Big Island and eat with the locals in Kailua-Kona, Waikoloa Village, and elsewhere. Parking also is expensive, but it's quick in and out and a quick drive out to the highway. It's fairly convenient to a lot of things (the airport, snorkeling/dive trips in Kailua, the Mauna Kea summit tour, the north coast, etc.) and not a bad place to stay to see the west/north end of the Big Island. Kids seemed to love it - it is family friendly. For adults/couples seeking a more intimate experience I'd recommend looking for B&Bs or smaller more "local" places, but yeah, overall, I had a good time here (I spent most of my time out doing things on the island, not at the hotel, but I did use the pools, the lagoon - there are green sea turtles in the lagoon for goodness sakes, and their guest services people were very helpful in setting up trips - service in general was friendly, professional, and helpful). Bottom line: No risks here - it's a safe bet for families and folks new to Hawaii - but few of the rewards of a small local place either.

Room Tip: I stayed in the Palace Towers. It was more than adequate - don't know what the other rooms are...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
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Helpful?
3 Thank WyoDoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Truckee, California
Level 6 Contributor
269 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2014

This place is big, but it is pretty amazing. Perfect for folks traveling with kids, like us with our 4 year old. Awesome water features with lots of fish. The lagoon is awesome and offers paddle boarding, snorkeling, and swimming with lots of wildlife such as turtles and fish. Food on site is great and the dolphin experience, while costly, was a highlight for sure.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade, especially if you have any HHonors status.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank TruckeeTroutTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carol Stream, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2014

Visited for 5 days (1st half of a 10 day trip to Hawaii), with my wife and two 7 yr olds. The hotel is clean, lots to offer, but some very strange things would keep me from coming back.

The Good:

- Clean rooms with nice beds.
- staff was really nice, great friendly people!
- 2 really nice pools that the kids loved
- Lagoon was nice to do some basic snorkeling
- River boat transportation, fish in the rivers, and tram rides kept the kids engaged.
- we called and asked where we could reheat some food and they sent a microwave to our room for the remainder of our stay

The weird:
- Parking is not free, you receive a key card if you are a guest, or you get a ticket from the machine if you are visiting (its open to the public). 75% of the time, our key card either didn't let us in the parking lot, or didn't let us out of the parking lot. I had to have it reprogrammed 2 additional times. Then I realized, one can just push the communication button, complain and they open the gate! Plus the gate for exiting was often just sitting open while we were exiting. With this many holes in the parking arrangement, why charge money at all? Seems to be there only to annoy the paying guests. Oh yeah, if one wants to visit without paying for parking, there are 2 shopping malls within a 10 minute walk!

- Towel and pool wristband: This hotel treats their pool towels like they are made of solid gold. They issue you a towel card, and you trade it for a towel, and then you can trade the towel for a clean towel or your card back, You have to turn in those cards when you check out. Anyway, this is very annoying as you need to keep going to one of two specific places for your towels. You are also nervous to leave the towels by the pool chairs because it costs you $10 if you lose one! The funny thing is, when you trade in the towel, they tell you to go throw it in a big bin nearby. One can easily dip into the bin and grab a towel, the return it for a new towel. My point is, its really easy to get around this, and its just an annoyance for the paying guests. Perhaps even more annoying was the wrist bands, every day you have to go to the towel office and get a new wrist band for the day. if you forget, the slide watchers scold you and you can't slide until you get one. All of this is to prevent someone from driving up to the hotel and spending the day by the pool. My problem with all of these annoying security measures is that anybody who is willing to attempt to swim unregistered, is certainly going to not ride the slide, or they will be willing to grab somebody else's towel from a poolside chair or from the soiled bin, and return it as their own. More annoyance for the paying guests.

$25 fee: each rooms pays a $25 guest fee on top of the room rate for extras (movies are available for free rental, stuff like that). However, the pool table usage, for example, costs $5.00 per person, why isn't that included? I also thought it was very odd to have such a children-oriented hotel, charge this fee, and then make people pay for all sorts of things like child activities, snorkel rental, etc.

Food prices: We ate some meals at the hotel the 1st day, wow, $17 for a hamburger, $37 for a pizza. I thoughts "wow, Hawaii is really expensive". then I visited some regular restaurants outside of the resort and prices were much more reasonable, the resort food is unbelievably high priced. Worse than Disney World! We mostly stopped eating at the resort. Also, buy some cereal and stuff from Safeway in town and you can skip the $$$$ breakfast.

Really far walks, even for ICE: we were in the ocean tower, and as I mentioned before, the room was very nice, however, the design of this hotel is horrible, the tram and boats come so infrequently that you end up walking to the building, which is really far from the front desk! then the building is set up like an almost-complete circle, with elevators and ice and all that on one side, so, if you end up with a room on the other end of that almost-complete circle, you have to walk forever to get there, around the entire circle, 2 times if you want to get ice. I honestly don't understand why they didn't put ice and elevators on both sides.

Internet service: luckily the fee "includes" the internet services, because nobody in their right mind would pay for the service. the wifi doesn't work at all, I gave up trying to connect to my tablet. We had our laptop too and the ethernet cable connection did work, but wifi is beyond unusable.

No real beach: this hotel has no real beach, they have a lagoon on some interior water inlet, and its nice, but its not a wavy beach front like you would expect at waterfront Hawaiian resort.. The west is completely lava rocks, no beach. My wife was very disappointed with that.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room on the elevator side of ocean tower, or not in this building at all.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Daniel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, California
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2014 via mobile

This is our third visit to the Hilton Waikoloa and we still love it. The grounds are stunning and the new Makai rooms are beautiful. I highly recommend staying in the Lagoon Tower (Makai). It is close to the pools and the main lobby. The views of the ocean and dolphins are also stunning.

Many reviews complain about the size of the resort. It is a large resort and I love that. If you do not want to walk this might not be a good choice for you. We love the walks. There is so much to see and experience. Everything is beautiful and all the walking routes have art or landscape to enjoy. It does take time to get around so if you are in hurry this might not be the place for you. We come to Hawaii to slow down so we enjoy the walks, team and leisurely boat rides. I recommend taking a boat ride around the resort during sunset at least once. It is beautiful and relaxing.

Food is expensive here. If that is a concern there is economical and good food at the Queens marketplace. We stop in Kona and stock up on drinks and snacks at Target.

Overall, this is a fabulous place and I highly recommend it. I think it is especially well planned for families with kids of all ages.

Stayed June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank AV409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2014 via mobile

This is my second stay and probably the last. While my vacation was nice I feel two visits to this property is enough. We came with all three of our children in 2004. Had a wonderful time. This resort is perfect for families. 10 years later I came for a relaxing vacation with my adult daughter. The staff were friendly and helpful from the start. We are Diamond level so we received some nice perks. One is an upgrade at no charge if available. I booked an ocean view hoping we'd get upgraded to an oceanfront room. Upon check-in I was told we did receive an upgrade to oceanfront but when we got to the room it wasn't what I'd consider oceanfront. More like ocean view. Either way we didn't say anything because once we were settled we didn't want to move and the view was beautiful anyway. The room was outdated but clean. We did have three issues with the room, two which were fixed by the second day. Our sink "gurgled" horribly and the air conditioner "ticked" throughout the night. When I called the next morning they offered us a new room but we were settled and didn't want to move if they could fix it. They had maintenance come and it was fixed that day. Thank goodness. The only other issue we had with the room was the very thin walls which obviously cannot be fixed. We could here everything all around and above us. Especially the very loud birds that chirp starting at
4:30am. Beware if you are a light sleeper which I am! Food is so so and very expensive. We left the resort for about half our meals. Yes the resort is huge and the walk is far if you stay in the Ocean Tower but it's good exercise.
One thing that bothered us is that we decided to splurge and paid $50 plus tax and tip to reserve a cabana the day before we left. Sitting there we noticed people that didn't reserve one using the other cabanas around us. When we questioned the assistant she said that most of the cabanas were first come first serve and
FREE! So basically we paid for something we could have had for free had we known. That was a hard pill to swallow. Live
and learn I guess.
All in all a nice place but be prepared to spend a lot of money for food and amenities.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CAgirl2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irving, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
203 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2014 via mobile

This hotel is set in such an idyllic setting lots of beaches with great ocean pools, many pools and a train running through the lobby to take you to your room. What more. Could you ask for ? Three towers of rooms spread apart so you don't feel like there are too many people at the resort

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank srwemail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mesa, Arizona, United States
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2014

A great value as we booked through Costco Travel. The view is amazing and the grounds are beautifully landscaped and cared for. The customer service was fantastic. I have to give an extra thanks to Desiree at the Big Island Breakfast. We had mentioned we were leaving early the following day for an adventure in Hilo. The next morning when I walked in, the hostess greeted me and said she had my boxes prepared, reached under the counter and offering to go boxes, cup holder, two insulated cups with lids and of course plastic utensils! I was pleasantly surprised and very appreciative! There are many choices but if you are looking at this hotel the view of the dolphin quest is worth booking alone for that. You will not believe how close you get to the dolphins on the walkway. That may have been my highlight of the stay. :-) My husband enjoyed the lagoon. Fantastic resort!

Room Tip: We enjoyed the ocean view room but would not recommend it for travelers with children or disabilitie...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kari M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Waikoloa Village

Property: Hilton Waikoloa Village
Address: 69-425 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa, Island of Hawaii, HI 96738
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kohala Coast > Waikoloa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Waikoloa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton Waikoloa Village 4*
Number of rooms: 1240
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Let the aloha spirit wash over you in one of the world's most beautiful resorts: Hilton Waikoloa Village - Lagoon Tower and Palace Tower. Experience the magic of Hawaii at our hotel, an oasis dotted with lagoons, pools, water slides, a wide variety of restaurants and bars, and staffed by a team of accommodating hospitality professionals who are here to make sure you're enjoying your island time. Settle into your well-appointed guest room, explore all that we have to offer, and soak up the Hawaiian sun. ... 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

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