Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii, the Hotel Review

For our trip to the Big Island, Hawaii, we opted to stay at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Located on the Kohala Coast on the eastern side of the Big Island (a 30-minute drive from the Kona International Airport), this oceanfront property boasts 62 acres of land and has 1,113 spacious guest rooms.

This hotel offers everything you need for a relaxing day on the Hawaiian shore, from spending some time by the pool and enjoying delicious food to encountering sea creatures up close. Let’s take a closer look at Hilton Waikoloa Village and explore all the amenities this property has to offer.

Beach Bag, Large Beach Bags for Women Waterproof Beach Tote Bag with Zipper, Sandproof Canvas Large Tote Bags for Pool Travel

What to pack for Hawaii?

To help you prepare for your journey to St. Kitts and Nevis, we’ve put together a comprehensive family packing list that covers everything you’ll need to make the most of time on the islands.

Booking

For our stay, we booked a Standard Room using 70,000 Hilton Honors Points per night and redeemed 350k for 6 nights in total. The great news is that when you book a Standard Room reward stay, every 5th night is free, so to make the most value out of your points – book at least 5 consecutive nights! 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

American Express Hilton Honors Aspire

Right now, it’s an incredible opportunity to earn a signup bonus of 150,000 Hilton Honors Points and get an automatic Diamond status with Hilton when you signup for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card!

REWARDS RATE

3x-14x

BONUS VALUE

$1,500

SIGN-UP BONUS

150,000 points

ANNUAL FEE

$550

In addition to that, we took advantage of the 30% transfer bonus when transferring Amex Membership Rewards to Hilton, which Amex was running at that time, to top up our account!

American Express Business Platinum

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

American Express Business Platinum

Unleash the ultimate rewards experience with the American Express Business Platinum card! Get 120,000 Membership Rewards Points by spending $15,000 on purchases in your first three months as a new cardmember. Redeem your points for a world of travel and lifestyle opportunities – the possibilities are endless!

REWARDS RATE

1x-5x

BONUS VALUE

$1,900

SIGN-UP BONUS

120,000 points

ANNUAL FEE

$695

Check-in

Lobby at Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii
Lobby at Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii

We arrived at the Hilton Waikoloa Village around 11 in the morning and made our way to the check-in area. Since Hilton Honors Aspire credit card automatically gave us the highest Diamond tier status with Hilton, we wondered if the hotel could offer us an upgrade from the Standard Room Golf Course View we initially booked.

The concierge was accommodating and kindly offered us a few options – a complimentary upgrade to a 2 Queen Beds Room in the MAKAI building, a Garden View Lanai with 2 Queen Beds Room in Palace, and a paid upgrade to a Palace Tower One Bedroom Royal Suite.

After negotiating a daily fee of $150 for the suite upgrade, we accepted the offer and were happy to find out that the room was ready to move in already at 11 in the morning.

💡 Good to Know

Since it was an award stay, a daily resort fee of $45 was waived for us.

Parking at Hilton Waikoloa Village

Hilton Waikoloa Village has a nearby parking lot and offers self-parking with a daily fee of $48 and valet parking – with a daily fee of $55. The parking fees were not waived for the Diamond members, but valet parking was offered for the price of the self-parking instead.

Diamond member Upgrade

We got upgraded to a 1,895 sq. ft. Palace Tower One Bedroom Royal Suite. The cash rate per day would have been almost $3,000! A great deal, I might say!

Palace Tower One Bedroom Royal Suite at Hilton Waikoloa Village
Palace Tower One Bedroom Royal Suite at Hilton Waikoloa Village

The suite featured a spacious living room with a complete dining set, a King Bed bedroom, and two bathrooms. The room may have looked a bit dated, but clean and nice looking nevertheless. The last renovations took place in 2015, and we are not sure if all the buildings underwent the process.

The queen-sized pullout couch in the living room was perfect for our oldest daughter (or any extra companions), so we did not have to request a rollaway bed. We also asked for a crib for our youngest, and the hotel staff delivered it promptly.

The room was also equipped with a small desk, a mini-refrigerator, and a coffeemaker.

Palace Tower One Bedroom Royal Suite at Hilton Waikoloa Village
Palace Tower One Bedroom Royal Suite at Hilton Waikoloa Village

💡 Good to know

An interesting fact about Hilton Waikoloa Village is that it initially welcomed its first guests in 1988. At that time, the hotel was actually owned by Hyatt and operated under the name Hyatt Regency Waikoloa. However, in 2002, Hilton acquired the resort from Hyatt, bringing it under their brand.

Bedroom

Palace Tower One Bedroom Royal Suite at Hilton Waikoloa Village
Palace Tower One Bedroom Royal Suite at Hilton Waikoloa Village

The bedroom was equipped with a King-sized bed, a spacious walk-in closet, and an extra entrance to the balcony.

Palace Tower One Bedroom Royal Suite at Hilton Waikoloa Village
Palace Tower One Bedroom Royal Suite at Hilton Waikoloa Village

In addition to the soaking tub, the bathroom offered a shower cabin and a separate double-sink counter area. We were also provided bath robes and Kohala Spa Coco Mango bath products.

Patio

An oversized patio/balcony offered beautiful views of Waiulua Bay across the boat canal. Note that it was not even partially covered and offered no umbrellas, so there was no shade whatsoever during the day.

Now, the balcony was a great place to unwind, but unfortunately, we couldn’t use it for proper dining since there was no outdoor table available.

Palace Tower One Bedroom Royal Suite at Hilton Waikoloa Village
Palace Tower One Bedroom Royal Suite at Hilton Waikoloa Village

Dining at Hilton Waikoloa Village

Hilton Waikoloa Village offers several dining options – from a quick coffee from the coffee shop and poolside lunch to a fancy sunset-watching dinner at the restaurant.

Lagoon Grill

Lagoon Grill, Hilton Waikoloa Village
Shrimp Vietnamese summer roll at Lagoon Grill, Hilton Waikoloa Village

If you are looking for a place to grab a bite, check out Lagoon Grill! They offer a variety of lunch and dinner options, including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and drinks. The kid’s menu offered items like grilled cheese, chicken strips, and a side of fruit!

Lagoon Grill, Hilton Waikoloa Village
Lagoon Grill, Hilton Waikoloa Village

They offer a single menu available throughout the day and are open from 11 am to 7 pm.

Lagoon Grill, Hilton Waikoloa Village
Poke salad at Lagoon Grill, Hilton Waikoloa Village

Breakfast at Water’s Edge

💡 Good to Know

As Diamond members with Hilton, we got a daily $18 food credit per adult (so $36 credit per day for us).

Water’s Edge restaurant had a spacious room with floor-to-ceiling windows, but alas, the lack of open windows made the space feel stuffy. The restaurant served breakfast in a buffet style for $55 per adult and $26 per child (ages 5-12); kids under 5 eat for free. Even though the restaurant seemed to have so many options, we were not that impressed with them.

Breakfast at Water's Edge, Hilton Waikoloa Village
Omelet station at Breakfast at Water’s Edge, Hilton Waikoloa Village

Nui Italian

Nui Italian, Hilton Waikoloa Village
Nui Italian, Hilton Waikoloa Village

The Nui Italian restaurant is open every day from 5 pm to 9 pm and serves Roman and Neapolitan pizzas, pasta, and salads. Overall, I would describe the food as average and not particularly outstanding.

Nui Italian, Hilton Waikoloa Village
Nui Italian, Hilton Waikoloa Village

Waikoloa Coffee Co.

Waikoloa Coffee Co., Hilton Waikoloa Village
Waikoloa Coffee Co., Hilton Waikoloa Village

Waikoloa Coffee Co. coffee shop was our favorite breakfast spot. In addition to having a great coffee (or Hawaiian latte with macadamia nut syrup), they served amazing Açaí bowls. It was absolutely delicious and approved by all the family members!

Hilton had two Waikoloa Coffee Co. on the property – by Ocean Tower and at MAKAI.

Waikoloa Coffee Co., Hilton Waikoloa Village
Waikoloa Coffee Co., Hilton Waikoloa Village

Unfortunately, as Waikoloa Coffee Co. is an independent third-party vendor located on the property and not affiliated with Hilton, you are unable to utilize the $18 Diamond food credit there.

Kamuela Provision Co.

Kamuela Provision Co., Hilton Waikoloa Village
Kamuela Provision Co., Hilton Waikoloa Village

Kamuela Provision Co. is open nightly from 5 pm to 9 pm. The reservations are highly recommended, especially for outdoor dining. You could book a table on OpenTable for the same day.

The restaurant provided a choice between a three-course style or à la carte for its steak and seafood dishes.

We enjoyed our sunset dinner on the patio and recommend trying Kamuela Provision Co. out while staying at Hilton Waikoloa Village (you ought to try the Wagyu Beef & Truffle ravioli!). The restaurant even provided our little own with plain butter pasta (that was not on the menu), and she was pleased about it 😃.

Kamuela Provision Co., Hilton Waikoloa Village
Kamuela Provision Co., Hilton Waikoloa Village

💡 Good to Know

If you need to stock up on water, snacks, or souvenirs, head to Island Gourmet Markets, just a 4-5 minute drive from the hotel. They also offer a variety of food options, including pizza, sushi, poke, and salads.

The Beach

The beach at Hilton Waikoloa Village
The beach at Hilton Waikoloa Village

💡 Good to Know

For the whole week we stayed at Hilton Waikoloa Village, it was low tide in the morning and high tide in the evening.

Now, at Hilton Waikoloa Village, you won’t find a sandy beach suitable for swimming. However, they do have a beautiful snorkeling beach that is home to a variety of vibrant reef fish and sea turtles. Please be careful around triggerfish, also known as the humuhumunukunukuāpua’a, the state fish of Hawaii. They may perceive you as a threat and charge or bite first 😅.

If you prefer calm waters with a sandy bottom beach, the saltwater lagoon is a perfect place for it.

Turtles

Green sea turtles at Hilton Waikoloa Village
Green sea turtles at Hilton Waikoloa Village

Encountering wildlife in their natural habitat is a thrilling experience, and the green sea turtle is a particularly fascinating creature to meet.

Luckily, the Waiulua Bay at Hilton Waikoloa Village is perfect for spotting a green sea turtle! In fact, we had never seen so many sea turtles on any of our trips. The turtles would sunbathe on the shore or come and go as they please to the saltwater lagoon! Fascinating!

Remember that green sea turtles are animals protected by law, so please don’t try to get too close or touch them.

Towel vending machine

You could get your towels using your room key at towel vending machines located throughout the property (the closest to us was at the Palace Tower). You had to return the towels to one of these machines, and failing to return them may result in charges since they allegedly had microchips.

Saltwater Lagoon

Saltwater Lagoon, Hilton Waikoloa Village
Saltwater Lagoon, Hilton Waikoloa Village

The four-acre saltwater lagoon is connected to the ocean and is perfect for family swimming, snorkeling, and paddling. And yes, sea turtles come right into the lagoon and back to the ocean as they please.

You also have the option to rent paddle boats, kayaks, and snorkeling gear by the hour.

Saltwater Lagoon, Hilton Waikoloa Village
Saltwater Lagoon, Hilton Waikoloa Village

Amenities

Kona Pool

Hilton Waikoloa Village
Pool at Hilton Waikoloa Village

The Kona Pool is the largest pool on the island. It featured a 175-foot waterslide, a rope bridge, hot tubs, and a sandy beach for children.

Orchid Marketplace, located by the pool, offers sandwiches, salads, and local favorites including poke bowls.

Hilton Waikoloa Village
The pool at Hilton Waikoloa Village

Kohala Pool

Pool at Hilton Waikoloa Village
The pool at Hilton Waikoloa Village

The Kohala Pool is a complex of four interconnected pools with its own junior waterslide. Additionally, the walk-up Kona Pool Bar offers poolside drinks and snacks.

Ocean Tower Adult Pool

Hilton Waikoloa Village also had a third adult-only pool located by the Ocean Tower. Unfortunately, we did not have a chance to check it out.

Dolphin Quest

At the Hilton Waikoloa, visitors can experience the Dolphin Quest, which offers the opportunity to interact with dolphins in a tropical lagoon through touching, feeding, playing, and swimming.

Transportation within the hotel

Tram at Hilton Waikoloa Village
Tram at Hilton Waikoloa Village

One thing to keep in mind is that this resort is enormous, and it literally has its own transportation within it.

The hotel runs Swiss-made trams daily from 6 am – 1 am. The tram can take you from Makai to Ocean Tower, with stops at the Main Lobby, Convention Center, and Palace Tower. The usual wait for the tram was for about 10-15 minutes, so it did not make much sense to use this transportation all the time. Plus, they had temporary air-conditioning problems inside, so it was uncomfortably hot.

In addition, Hilton Waikoloa Village also had a boat canal with electric boats cruising along the property and making the same stops as the tram.

Boat service at Hilton Waikoloa Village
Boat service at Hilton Waikoloa Village

On Points With Kids Summary

For six nights at Hilton Waikoloa Village, we redeemed 350,000 Hilton Honors Points. The cash rate for six nights was $4,688.60 ($781.43 per night on average, including taxes and fees), which equals 1.34 cents per point (considering the average value of Hilton Honors points to be 0.5 cents per point), an outstanding value!

You can apply for the following credit cards to earn Hilton Honors points that can be redeemed at Hilton Waikoloa Village:

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