It had been two years since our last stay and when I reviewed the resort in Dec of 2007. Since my last review I have noticed several improvements:
Staff: A much better attitude overall. In speaking with an employee who we have grown to know during our four visits over the last eight years, he remarked that there was a well needed management change that created much more of a focus and a more positive atmosphere. Everyone we encountered was quite friendly and actually seemed pleased to serve.
Grounds: The renovation of the dolphin area is completed and this place is the cleanest that I have seen it. Twice in the early morning, I witnessed staff using a power floor cleaner on the paver stone walk ways. The spa/locker rooms are remodeled.
Food service: -Yeah, I know, it's expensive. Welcome to Hawai'i... However, they did add some options to take the bite off of families through the addition of a cereal bar open in the AM next to the dolphin pond and kiddie lunches at the grill. Also, the italian restaurant is open and renamed during busy periods serving more modestly priced dinners (think Olive Garden.)
Lagoon Area: Again the waterfront staff seems to have undergone an amazing attitude improvement; they used to be kind of nasty and now they are fun. They added several of the paddle surf boards that are kind of fun.
Tram: Brand new trains!! They have three, two in service and one backup. Best of all they were working the entire time we were there!!
For the many folks who are here via HHonors Diamond 175K Award, the free breakfast bar in the Ocean tower is closed and I say 'good riddance.' The place was inconvienent for those in Lagoon or Palace towers, crowded and you don't have to guard a stale dry muffin from the flocks of birds. The best part is that it was replaced by $10 chits (coupons $10/night X 2 for double occ.) meaning that you have $20/ day per room to spend whereever you'd like. While this doesn't cover a full breakfast, it does cover some food, drinks at most bars, coffee etc. It is not nearly as complicated as one previous reviewer remarked. Just read the coupon for where it can be used and pretend it's a $10 bill. The water bottle coupons are just as simple: There are two bottles of hideously overprice Fiji water in your room, take a bottle, leave a coupon and it's all good. Two bottles per day per room. Also to my fellow diamond friends, room upgrades are much easier if you are a friendly, charming guest who would be willing to provide the front desk clerk with a small token of appreciation. $20 got us an upgrade to an ocean facing 2 room suite in Palace. (Just please be discrete, check out a website called "thetwentydollartrick" ) A small price to pay for a very nice room for six nights.
We were there before Christmas and it was kind of quiet. The Ocean tower restaurant was closed as was the Italian place. As we got closer to the holiday, they opened the italian place, added a few more taxi boats that matched the occupancy of the hotel. Again, this just seems like smart management.
Some of our favorite things to do... Happy hour on the boats: We mix up a cocktail or two and ride the boats for a couple of laps, nice and relaxing. Sunset at Buddah Point: uncap a bottle of vino and enjoy the show that God puts on every night. Time your visit around sunset and you'll get to see the final stop on the tiki-torch lighter's run. Lagoon: This is the best chance you'll have to snorkle up close and personal with turtles as well as some tropical fish. Go early in the morning before the kiddies get the water all stirred up and murky. Boatlanding Pavillion: On the weekends they have live guitar music and some very good sushi.
There is no beach on site, however Hapuna Beach is just six miles north and repeatedly listed in the top ten American beaches.
This is a great hotel for kids young and old, romantic couples and anyone with a sense of fun. Not a good place for people who don't like to walk, don't have money, are freaked out by dolphins or are expecting a Four Seasons level of resort.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Let the aloha spirit wash over you in one of the world's largest and most beautiful resorts: Hilton Waikoloa Village. 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