Review: Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort on Hawaii’s Big Island

Lagoon

Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island is a massive resort.  How big is it? It spans across 62 acres. That’s big!

Some folks describe the Hilton Waikoloa Village as Disney-esque with the tram and boat rides that transport guests throughout the resort. Though we found it fairly walkable from one end to the other. Of course the tropical landscaping and corridors lined with artwork and artifacts certainly provide lovely eye candy as you move about.

Location

This Hilton resort is located about 30 minutes north of Kona airport in Waikoloa Beach Resort. We really love this spot on Hawaii Island and highly recommend it as a great place to stay on the Big Island. The shops, free entertainment, great restaurants and Hawaiian history are some of the reasons that Waikoloa Beach Resort is an excellent base for a Hawaii vacation.

Amenities

Hilton Waikoloa Village’s large area lends space for all sorts of water sports. One natural feature is the large salt water lagoon at the heart of the resort. The lagoon water is quite calm, making it a sheltered spot for kids to play. The lagoon is a great place to try kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and snorkeling. (One recommendation to share that we learned the hard way is that snorkeling visibility is best in the morning.)

Lagoon water toys at Hilton Waikoloa Village
Water fun at the Hilton Waikoloa Village salt water lagoon

On the southern end of the lagoon, you’ll find the Dolphin Learning Center where you can watch them swim and play. If you really want to get close to the dolphins you can book an experience with Dolphin Quest. We didn’t have the time to experience Dolphin Quest here, but we have enjoyed swimming with dolphins on Oahu with Dolphin Quest.

There’s a pool around every corner at Hilton Waikoloa Village. Some pools have waterslides and one has a lazy river attached. (Another recommendation is to make sure you get a wristband so that you can use all the pool amenities. We learned this the hard way, too. We literally only had enough time for one chance for a run down the waterslide, but the pool attendant refused to let us go down because we didn’t have wristbands on, even though we could show her our room key.)

Hilton Waikoloa Village
Kona Pool at the Hilton Waikoloa Village

Lounge chairs were easy to find throughout the resort.

Other nice amenities in this village are a spa, wedding chapel, tennis courts, shops, convention space and loads of restaurants including one of our Big Island favorites, Kamuela Provision Company.

Rooms

The rooms were spacious with a sitting area, desk space, lanai (balcony) and a walk-in closet. Some of the in-room amenities include a small refrigerator, coffee maker and tropical toiletries created by the spa.

Room in the Lagoon Tower of Hilton Waikoloa Village
Our room in the Lagoon Tower of Hilton Waikoloa Village

The bed was very comfortable and the linens seemed fresh and luxurious.

I think we were a little unlucky with our room as we felt like our room needed refurbishing. The sofa and carpet were noticeably soiled and stained.

Our room was located in the Lagoon Tower with a view of the lagoon. On the way to our room we could tell that sections of the Lagoon Tower had ah-mazing ocean views. From the looks of it, parts of the Ocean Tower have excellent ocean views, too. We’d love to come back during whale season and stay in one of those excellent ocean view rooms.

Luau

The onsite luau is excellent. The food and entertainment are very high quality. Some things I look for in a luau are traditional Hawaiian foods, imu ceremony and a fire knife dancer. The Hilton Waikoloa Village luau definitely ticked all those boxes.

We thought the luau staff was particularly friendly and helpful even though gratuity is included in the price.

The luau offers guests the option to upgrade to Ali’i seating. We think this option is worth doing for the relaxed table service and better seating near the stage.

Fireknife Dancer at Legends of the Pacific Luau
Fireknife Dancer at Hilton Waikoloa Village Legends of the Pacific Luau

See all our photos from the Legends of the Pacific luau.

Video Tour

Andy captured some excellent video to tour you around the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

(Email subscribers: click here to watch this Hilton Waikoloa Village video tour.)

Final Bits and Pieces

– We only stayed at Hilton Waikoloa Village for two nights, which really didn’t do it justice. We barely got to scrape the surface of the resort amenities.

– Rates are generally good value at this resort.

– I think families traveling with kids would particularly enjoy this resort. That being said, there’s enough relaxation and romance for adult guests.

– For more reviews, check out this link to TripAdvisor.

– For more photos, see our collection from our stay at Hilton Waikoloa Village.
Hilton Waikoloa Village

Mahalo to Hilton Waikoloa Village for hosting our stay.

Have you stayed at Hilton Waikoloa Village? How was your stay?

3 comments
  1. We stayed in the Ocean Tower for a week’s stay back in 2003. We loved the resort – it’s so beautiful, it never felt crowded, and my then 5-year old loved riding the tram. We even went to the luau but I don’t remember the details. The only drawback to the Hilton Waikoloa is the long drive to Kailua-Kona when we wanted to have a less expensive meal.

  2. We stayed here last year in the Makai tower (the upgraded section of the hotel with nicer rooms and benefits) and loved it here. The only downside is that there was this large tree right outside our hotel room where the birds would gather at 4AM. Chirping is not how I would describe this sound lol – it was maddeningly loud. After a few nights, we did get used to it, but it woke us up every morning.

    The waterslide was frequently closed for no reason so my kids were only able to go down the slide one day that we were there. The pool is gorgeous as well as the grounds. I loved walking from place to place inside of the resort and the restaurants were good. The boat ride was super fun and I agree with another comment that it never felt crowded there (we were there Thanksgiving week). It’s a quick walk down to the mall where we would walk every evening. There is a convenience store on-site and several shops.

    It’s about a 30 min drive to get to Kailua-Kona area and the hotel does not have beach access. The closest beach is Hapuna Beach is is AMAZING! It’s about a 7 min drive from the hotel.

    I would definitely stay here again.

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