Review: Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, Honolulu

Posted on January 15, 2014 by in Hilton Honors

Book the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, Honolulu here.

The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, Honolulu is labeled as the only resort in Waikiki. I had two expiring 2 free weekend certificates from The Hilton Reserve Credit Card (no affiliate link). The only hotel that showed availability for standard rooms (which is what you want for using the certificates) was the Hawaiian Village.

Booking needed to be done over the phone but eh Diamond Desk was really quick and extremely friendly.

The hotel is at the beginning of Waikiki beach (if you come from the airport). The public buses stop just about 100 yards from the lobby and taxi will cost you abut $40 from Honolulu airport. As mentioned in many reviews the check-in situation is a major letdown. The lines during my stay was never less than 10 people deep – often 50!! However there is a an area for Hilton Honors members (no status required) which has a much smaller number of people. My wait wasn't bad with less than 5 minutes but the situation seemed VERY chaotic in the beginning.

The check-in agent is best being described as grumpy. I was sure she wished I'd have no status and she'd be done quicker and not look for upgrade options or other Diamond amenities. As I read while being in the check-in line – the difference is in the towers. You want to be in the Ali'i Tower (which has a separate reception) or Rainbow Tower as they are recently remodeled. The other rooms are quite old.

The upgrade for Gold & Diamonds is $50. I refused but after seeing more pictures I realized I should have taken it. The rainbow tower wasn't horrible but it just wasn't very luxurious.

There is usually a $30 resort fee but it's waived for award redemptions.

Check-in took forever and I settled on a room with a fantastic view over Waikiki beach toward Diamond Head on the 16th floor in the Rainbow Tower. I also received a stack of paper incl. a voucher for a 5oz bottle of water (which you had to line up separately – no joke!). The DVD card which allows you unlimited DVD rentals (but only one at a time) was not in it though.

The property has a VIP lounge in the Rainbow Tower. However as noted in other reviews it's not worth showing up there as its VERY crowded and the food is as cheap as it gets. There are a number of options just outside the property (including a famous Pankae house) that will bring you more enjoyment.

The room itself was spacious and modern. It was very clean and airy. However it was a simple as it gets for a hotel – almost spartan.

The WiFi was just about ok – much slower than in most Hyatts or Starwood properties. Uploading pictures needed lots of patience!

The view though was fantastic – the sunrise and sunset pictures turned out very well! That was easily the highlight of my stay.

The hotel pools and beaches were full but it did not feel unreasonably crowded. It seems everybody was in line at check-in 🙂 The beach was as good as anywhere on Waikiki and perfectly swimmable. The water was clear and rather warm.

There also was an artificial lagoon for stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking.

There is a mixed shopping mall incl. ABC General stores in the Hilton complex which has food and drinks for fair (but not cheap) prices.

Since this is a resort – there is often an evening program like Luau and fireworks (on Friday nights).

In conclusion:

The hotel certainly suffers from size. The staff is at best indifferent about you – you may also say they could not care less. The check-in process is a shame and could easily be better organized. On the pro side the property is very clean. The views and the relative privacy for crowded Waikiki is a clear advantage. Downtown Waikiki can be reached by a quick beach walk – so location is a win too.

I would not return – especially not when paying high room rates & resort fee for a hotel that has completely forgotten about customer service. There is zero VIP recognition. I almost felt that a Diamond status was an unwelcome annoyance in the eyes of the hotel staff.

Book the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, Honolulu here.

About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]

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