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“The Rainbow Tower”

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Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
Ranked #42 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“The Rainbow Tower”
Reviewed February 24, 2013

We stayed in the Rainbow Tower shortly after Christmas. The room was ocean-view but on the back corner of the building across from the Luau and the Lagoon. Hilton has been in Hawaii since the 60s so you can appreciate that it really is a "village" around the hotel. There is a massive shopping centre 5 minutes away. The prices were higher than a typical suburban mall on the mainland US.

Hints:
* If you want to get free luau tickets you can attend a 1.5 hour presentation on the Hilton Grand Vacations.
* You need to plan roughly $75 extra per day on your stay for things like resort fees and little incidentals that come up.
* We really recommend the Italian Sausage pizza and garlic sticks w/ ranch combo at the Round Top Pizza Bar across the road from the Rainbow Tower. We were obsessed with this place and ended up eating the same thing for three nights over the course of our stay.
* We booked a day-trip flight to Kauai and a coach tour. This cost $400 per person but it was a great way to see the island in a day.
* Pearl Harbor and the USS Missouri is a must-see. Watch "Tora Tora Tora" first to get the right context. We would give the Dole Plantation a miss.
* You can drive over to the north side of the island and see film locations for Lost and Jurassic Park. We also parked the car and watched some of the surfing.

Room Tip: A lot of people say that the Rainbow Tower is the best - but the Aa'lia tower is more central.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank JeremyK116
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cambridge, Minnesota
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013

My husband, 10 year old niece and I stayed 10 days at the HHV this past Christmas! I will admit it, I'm a bit of a resort snob, meaning, when I go on vacation I want a clean and comfortable room with a good view. We stayed in the Partial Ocean/Lagoon/Harbor View room in the Rainbow tower and I have heard that this tower is nicer than some of the others...I was not disappointed and the view was well worth the extra money! Although the beds were not as comfortable as I hoped for the room was clean and met all of our needs. HHV grounds were very well kept!

The resort is HUGE and BUSY; however, if found comfort next to the Lagoon where our niece could paddle board, snorkel, kayak, and swim. The rental prices are a bit high for chairs and equipment but we didn't skimp because after all...you are on vacation to enjoy your time and loved ones! Enough about the resort...I would stay in the Rainbow Tower again!

The area...you don't need a car if you just plan to shop, eat, and lay by the beach; however, if you do plan to get out and sightsee, there is a National Car Rental within walking distance of the resort which we found had the best rates in the Waikiki area. We rented a car for three days and the extra fee for valet parking at the resort is well worth it and we had quick service!

Shopping...there are ABC stores on every corner for food and drink and there is one right on the grounds of HHV. The refrig in your room is a small cub frig (or at least in ours) but we only needed it for drinks and snacks. There are 100's of eating options outside of the resort within walking distance from subway to high end. We ate both on and off the resort...the food we had at the resort was great and we never waited long to be seated and served. Tropics Bar has the BEST blueberry colada's!

The Island is very easy to get around (we rented a GPS from National Car Rental...highly recommend it), I always worry about navigating a new area and we had no problems! We drove the North Shore circle and made a few stops to watch surfing competitions, for shaved ice, Polynesian Center, and multiple beaches. The hike up Diamond Head was a great experience and our favorite drive was south circle...beautiful! We made stops at Huma Bay (get there early), Blow Hole, Sandy Beach, Pali Lookout, etc. Everything is well marked and if you have the GPS it will give you a tour of the Island and announce when you are coming up to tourist destination. We also spent a good chunk of a day at SeaLife Park due to reservations we had for the Royal Dolphin swim, if you don't plan on doing any of the attractions at SeaLife, I don't know that it is worth it...although we have great zoo's in Minnesota so maybe I am spoiled by those. SeaLife Park area is beautiful and a must drive! We also went to Paradise Cove for a Luau which was great, we did the VIP seating and it was well worth the money...food wasn't much but the experience was awesome and the setting beautiful. However, I would try a different Luau next time just to try something new.

I hope I have provided useful information for you to plan your Waikiki vacation! It's depend on Trip Advisor reviews to make my vacation choices so I hope anyone who uses my information to make their decision experiences the same great experience that we did! Aloha!

Room Tip: Rainbow Tower...Partial Ocean, Harbor, Lagoon View...won't be disappointed!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Heather W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cochrane, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013

Before our trip to Oahu this year read all the reviews of the Hilton, good, bad and really ugly. But as we were in Waikiki for only one night before heading to Kailua, decided to give it a try. After much reading and research, came to conclusion that a room at the Ali'i Tower was the only way to go. Well, our expectations were met and exceeded not only at the Tower but everywhere at the resort. We ended up spending that night there and coming back during the day several times during our trip to enjoy the beach at the Hilton and various eating establishments. We arrived to the usual busyness at the main entrance but were treated promptly and very courteously and were soon directed to check in at the Ali'i (nice to bypass main crazy busy check in desk). We had booked an ocean view room in the Ali'i but were told at check in that we had been upgraded. Okay sounded fine. We were totally not prepared for the massive corner ocean front room we were shown to. Double lanias facing diamond head on one side and miles of ocean on the other, beautifully renovated room with king bed, large seating area with full size couch, beautifully appointed bathroom. Okay, great start to our vacation! But that was only part of it: staff was extremely welcoming from the front desk to servers at the bar, to the man who runs the pool on the second floor. At no time during that night's stay or over the week when we returned for the day were we treated with anything less than wonderful service! But the Hilton is a huge and daunting place and you have to be smart. Ali'i Tower is great for a couple: feels like a calm oasis inside all that noise and busyness. Pool on second floor is private and not very busy. Nice and relaxing, not many kids, they are in super pool and lagoon pool. There's a bar there too to have a quiet drink and contemplate life. Food at the resort can be expensive so if staying there for a few days, our advice is to leave the premises once in a while. Breakfast across the street was $12 for two people. Lots of choices in Waikiki, walk down the beach and sample some or get a car and drive out of town! Also one major quibble: resort fee of $25 is crazy! Too bad parking can't be included in this!! But back to our stay, we had a great time and will definitely consider the Ali'i Tower next time we are in Waikiki. There was nothing like watching the fireworks from our front row lanai! Hope we get upgraded again!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Dave183732
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
42 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013

I love Waikiki, it has been a part of different events in my life over the past 10 years. Getting to stay right on the beach is always very special. As part of my trip I got to spend about a week at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

This was a very special time, I'd just got engaged on Maui and it was my partners first time in Hawaii. Upon arrival it was found we had booked one night short, given the time difference it seems I stuffed up the booking. The staff were great about it and sorted it for us right away.

Having never walked this far down Waikiki beach I have to say the beach at this end is a bit more man made then I enjoyed. The sand was very rough on the feet but still fairly enjoyable. I also believe the lagoon was too man made.

What I did enjoy was the great staff, the feeling of being on holiday and the Friday fireworks. This place is very much a family friendly place, I'd suggest that couples stay else where, this place has a lot of families and kids running around.

Also, it is a bit of a walk to the main Waikiki strip Kalakaua Ave.

Anyway, I am returning to Hawaii at the end of the year and will return here for the Friday fireworks! Mahalo!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank iac0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surfers Paradise, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2013

My husband & I recently stayed here for our 20th wedding anniversary. I have to stay this is the best holiday we've had away from our kids. The resort is beautiful , the grounds are well looked after (there is some construction on site but didn't effect us). We stayed in the Rainbow tower facing Diamond Head. I seriously would never get sick of the view. My husband is a member of Hilton honours so we were fortunate to get an upgrade for our whole stay that included continental breakfast in the VIP lounge & free wifi. The staff were very friendly. We enjoyed eating a few times at tropics bar & grill. Food was good, we shared a meal each time (huge serves). This made it not too pricey. One of their servers Josephine was fantastic & was very attentive to our needs. Friday fireworks were fantastic. Recommend the Spirit of Aloha dinner cruises.
Location was great for us as we enjoy walking & it's only 15 mins into the heart of Waikiki or the Ala Moana shopping centre.

Will definitely be heading back there in the next couple of years.

Room Tip: If in rainbow tower go for high floor & odd numbers, facing Diamond Head.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Francie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
84 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2013

There really isn't too much to say in a review of this mega resort that hasn't already been said. I'm a Hilton Diamond member and received a very nice upgrade to a corner suite from a standard room which was a nice surprise. The staff was also decent, which exceeded my expectations. This is probably because the last time I was in Honolulu (at another hotel) the staff was on strike and marching with bull horns and complaining about earning $19/hr with health benefits plus a pension.

The property is absolutely huge, with the hotel taking up four towers and a fifth tower for all the timeshare owners. There is a ton of high end shopping and restaurant choices, but remember this is in the middle of downtown of a big city, expect big city prices. If you live in a big city and want a vacation to get away, this is not for you. However, it you want to experience everything a big city has to offer on vacation, while being between the ocean and some lovely mountains, this is the place for you. They also have a substantial number of Asian visitors, it looks like the hotel does a good job of catering to these guests. They also have Penguins.... in Hawaii.

Two other comments:

The Hilton Honors continental breakfast was pretty limited, but I was able to find a bowl of raisin bran for breakfast. They didn't have orange juice, yogurt, or skim milk, which are staples of even a basic Hampton Inn breakfast. There was an option to pay $8 for the full breakfast, but we didn't attempt that during our stay. It also closes fairly early for a vacation destination (9:30). I also couldn't figure out the “2 person max” for this breakfast, there was nobody checking at the door was I was being run over by families with four children.

I have to give the gentlemen working the departing luggage room on the afternoon of February 22nd a special thank you. We were a bit annoyed because we went to the bell desk thinking that would be the place to check luggage, then dragged our luggage back another 100 yards to the outgoing luggage room. The gentlemen working the desk not only gave us a luggage ticket, but asked what time we'd be back, and our flight. We got back at that time and he already had the cab waiting, gave the driver all the instructions, moved our luggage from the room into the cab, and was thanking us for staying at the hotel. That was a superior last impression.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Chasesfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hhvguestservices, Manager at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, responded to this review, March 10, 2013
Aloha SPman00,

Mahalo for choosing the Hilton Hawaiian Village! We appreciate your feedback on our offerings and service as we continue to explore ways in which HHV can enhance our guests’ experience. Thank you for also sharing your experience on how our team member shined in his service to assist you. HHV is committed to providing our guests with the highest level of service and we look forward to serving you again.

Mahalo,
Hilton Hawaiian Village Guest Services Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herndon, Virginia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2013

Aloha! I spent a lovely week in Hawaii at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (HHV) with one of my best friends. This is a big busy resort filled with lots of people so if you are looking for a quiet place to unwind then this would not be the place for you.

We were on the 26th floor in the Tapa Towers, with a partial ocean view, overlooking the roof where the luau is held. We did not have issues with noise from the outside as the luau ended well before our bedtime and we slept with the balcony doors closed. However, the soundproofing between rooms and the corridor is not very good, so take this into consideration if you/your children are light sleepers. In such cases, I usually use the TV as white noise and I did not have issues sleeping but my friend did as she was awaken by a crying baby, crying wife and shouting husband ... yucks. The housekeeping was good and cleaned our rooms at a decent time - between 9:30 am and 11:00 am - in the morning. The Peter Thomas Roth bath products provided - facial soap, massaging bath bar, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion - were awesome. I love that they provide conditioner, which is frequently overlooked by hotels - but do wish that the conditioner bottle was slightly larger.

The staff at the Activities and Tours were very helpful in arranging tours. While one of them mentioned attending the timeshare presentation in exchange for a free tour to the Pearl Harbor, she did not push me when I declined.

Whenever possible, we did not eat at the HHV as there are cheaper options outside at the International Market Place or at the ramen noddle shops along Kalakaua Avenue. The HHV is also within walking distance to the Ala Moana shopping mall, which has a food court and other restaurants. A cup of tall mocha at Starbucks, which costs around $3.00 in the mainland is more than $5.00 in the HHV. I would recommend the Kona coffee shop (near the street at Hilton Grand Vacations, Grand Waikikian Tower) for a cup of great Kona coffee and muffin for breakfast as it is cheaper than Starbucks in the HHV. However, the restaurants and bars in the HHV do offer different band/singers/entertainment every night.

There are a number of pools at HHV. I believe there are four pools and the lagoon at the HHV. The paradise pool has water slides and that is where most families/kids are found ... read noisy fun-for-kids pool. The super pool near the lobby has a slightly larger pool. The tapa pool is a small pool with a shallow area with little/gentle jets on one end, which maybe comfy for toddlers to play in. I did not go to the Kalia Tower pool, which is on the fourth floor overlooking the rooftop/car park where the luau is held, or the Ali Tower pool, which is only for Ali Tower guests. I did not swim in the lagoon either but it is next to the beach and has pedal boats and younger guests can learn to paddle/boogie board/swim in it.

The beach at HHV has nicer sand as compared to the rest of the beach along Waikiki Beach. We walked along the beach from HHV to about the Honolulu Zoo. However, I prefer the softer/finer sand in Bermuda/Mexico/Caribbean. There is also a concrete/cement boardwalk but I like feeling the waves on my feet. HHV provide free beach towels through a towel card system and you can rent chaise lounges/umbrellas/tables for the beach. Ask for 2 towel cards at check-in for each registered guest if you prefer not to rent any chairs. The HHV keeps its beach pretty clean, while outside of the HHV area, we saw lots of cigarette butts and it can have lots of pebbles or small broken coral pieces. While we walked barefooted along the Waikiki beach, outside of the HHV area, be very careful, especially with kids, as we saw someone cutting their foot. If you are a surfer, the waves off the HHV beach are ok if you go further out but I think the more serious surfers prefer the waves off the beach closer to Diamond Head. I am not a surfer so my knowledge is limited.

We also used the Hospitality Suite as we have a late flight so if a late checkout is not possible, consider reserving a free Hospitality Suite. It was good for taking a shower and changing.

In summary, I would recommend the HHV despite some of its shortcomings, and hustle and bustle for its location on the beach and close proximity to the shops. While its service is not exceptionally friendly, it is efficient as it caters to many large tour groups. I would also return with my 9-year-old as I think that there are many fun activities for children. I would also prefer to return in summer as the ocean does not feel very warm in February.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank jlc81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

Property: Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
Address: 2005 Kalia Road, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu > Waikiki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#16 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#19 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#24 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#24 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#25 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#33 Family Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 2900
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on Waikiki's widest stretch of beach, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is nestled on 22 oceanfront acres offering the best value with more amenities than any other hotel in Waikiki. Imagine five spectacular pools and the largest beach front Super Pool, best waterslides in Waikiki, surfing lessons, Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon for kayak and stand-up paddleboard fun. We have the only pier on Waikiki Beach which provides easy access to catamaran rides and Atlantis submarine adventures. The resort is home to Waikiki's only 5 night a week Waikiki Starlight Luau, a full-service, award-winning children's program for kids ages 5-12. Mandara Spa and over 20 restaurants and lounges, 90 shops and services, daily cultural activities, nightly entertainment and lush tropical gardens, and waterfalls. Every Friday night we light the skies with our Friday Night Fireworks Spectacular! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Hotel Honolulu
Hilton Hotel Honolulu
Hilton Honolulu
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort Hawaii/Honolulu

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