We ended up at Hilton Waikoloa Village, the best hotel on the Big Island, by chance. We had planned on staying at Volcano National Park but, the Kilauea volcano had other plans. It started erupting about 2 months before our trip and the park was closed. I had booked our trip 9 months before and was left with a 2 day gap in our itinerary. We had walked through the hotel on prior visits and knew it had many things to offer so, I checked my HiltonHonors Points balance and was able to get us 2 days in a King Bed suite for 174,000 points a savings of $735.58. The room itself was 281.43 per night but there is a $40 per day resort charge and taxes added another $92.72.
The Hilton Waikoloa Village, the best hotel on the Big Island, is paradise by the ocean. The grounds span more than 62 acres. There are three towers of guest rooms: The Lagoon Tower, The Palace Tower and the Ocean Tower. Hilton recently began renovations on the Ocean Tower and a portion of the building will be part of the Hilton Grand Vacations Club. Those condos should be ready by the end of the year. I am eager to give them a try! For this trip we stayed in an ocean view king bed room. Our room had a private balcony overlooking the lagoon, resort and most importantly the beautiful ocean complete with nightly sunsets. Each room in the hotel has a balcony, most with water views. I would have paid the nightly rate for the balcony alone. This view is beyond amazing. The room was large with king sized bed, desk, dresser, small refrigerator and fold out couch. The furnishings were a bit dated but frankly that added to the ambience for me. It evoked a feeling of the fifties and sixties, Elvis Presley movies and a time when people dressed to travel by plane.
We have made five trips to the Big Island in the last seven years. We don’t often repeat a trip so, I offer that as proof of how amazing this island is. The Hilton Waikoloa Village is every bit as special as the island itself. What makes the Hilton Waikoloa Village the best hotel on the Big Island? Everything about it! The resort makes great use of its 62 acres. There are several pools and a salt water lagoon for snorkeling, paddle boarding, and other water activities right outside your room. There were two pools within steps of our tower, an adults only pool in the center of the building and another pool with a slide on the grounds next to the water. Best of all there were lounge chairs set up on the grass in groups of two looking out at the ocean. Sitting in one of these chairs, looking out at the blue water and gentle waves is one of the most idyllic experiences of my life.
As if that was not over the top enough, there are dolphins! Yes this hotel has the only experience of its kind on the Big Island. There are many ways to interact with the dolphins for guests of all ages from 45 minute encounters to trainer for a week. Costs range from around $200 to $3500. You can also view the dolphins from the walkway to the Lagoon Grill. Their pool runs right next to the walkway with the dolphins so close you feel as though you can touch them.
The hotel itself takes your breath away when you enter. Like many buildings in Hawaii the lobby is open air with a soaring roof and walls on two sides. As you look across the lobby you see the grand staircase that crosses the canal that flows throughout the property. The walkways like the lobby are open on one side to let the refreshing Hawaiian breezes blow through. These are not just regular hallways. They contain over 1800 pieces of art from around the Pacific which adds to the elegance of the hotel.
There are several restaurants including Kamuela Provision Company which has outside tables by the water (for an extra fee) and Dona and Toni’s if you are in the mood for pasta or pizza. For more casual dining your choices are Kona Tap Room, Boat Landing Cantina and the Lagoon Grill. We tried each during our stay and found the food to be tasty and the service good. Probably the best culinary offering is Big Island Breakfast at Water’s Edge. Since we are Diamond Hilton members, this was complimentary for us, a savings of $37 per person. This buffet was enormous. They had an omelet station but unlike other omelet stations I have seen, you went to a salad bar type area to choose your own ingredients for your omelet. I really liked this since it allowed me to decide how many jalapeños I wanted. There are also hot stations that change daily. During our stay we had corned beef hash and biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage, potatoes and other options. There was plenty of fresh fruit and muffins for your sweet tooth. Word of caution, ARRIVE EARLY. By 8 am, this place is mobbed.
We thoroughly enjoyed our unexpected visit to the Hilton Waikoloa Village the best hotel on the Big Island and I am certain it will not be our last.