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The Ultimate Oahu Family Guide

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Hilton Hawaiian Village

There is no hotel of that compares to the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Oahu.  The hotel has grown over the years to become a mega complex with multiple towers. It sits on 22 acres of beachfront property and many of the rooms have incredible ocean views and views of the rest of Waikiki. The hotel also encompasses a large open air shopping area and many restaurants. There are several pools, including one with waterslides and another called the Super Pool which is the largest hotel pool in Wakiki.


The Views

The family of four stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in August 2009. We had reserved a standard guest room with two double beds and a partial ocean view. Open check-in, which was a relatively smooth process, we were upgraded to a full ocean view (but not ocean front which is a completely unobstructed view) in the Tapa Tower.

The Grounds

Our breathtaking view from the 34th floor of the Tapa Tower.

General Location

The location of the Hilton Hawaiian Village is mostly good. It has a generous amount on beach space but is too far to be within walking distance of much of the livelier part of Waikiki. While there is bus and trolley service to the heart of the action, these services can be costly for a family and there can be a long wait. The Village is much closer to Honolulu though than the other Waikiki hotels. What it lacks in proximity it makes up for in the large beach that fronts the property. No other Waikiki hotel has as much sand and surf area.


The hotel is run like a mini-city and we never made contact with any one member of the staff more than one time in our ten day stay. The employees are there to get their job done, not to make you feel welcome. This type of service is generally just fine, but many travellers have a higher expectation that they will become more comfortable with the staff and when a problem does occur, there will not be a familiar face to turn to.

The Pools

The three main pools at the hotel are the Tapa pool, the Superpool and the Paradise Pool. The Tapa pool is right next to the Tapa Tower and it was open the latest of the three pools. There is live entertainment every night at the adjacent bar which guests may enjoy as they swim. Like the other pool areas, lounge chairs are very difficult to procure.

The Superpool is in the middle of the resort and is the largest pool in Waikiki. There are no jacuzzis here and there is a smaller pool adjacent to the Superpool which is good for families as it is not as deep. It is nearly impossible to get a lounge chair at this pool. We always had to leave our towels and belonging on the rocks landscaping. The Superpool is also home to the Friday night Hawaiian entertainment show and there is a $15 cost for seating. The pool is closed early for this each Friday and remains closed after the show.

The Paradise Pool is at the far end of the resort near the entrance to the property and to the Diamond Head and Grand Waikikian Towers. It was newly constructed and has three waterslides and the resorts only jacuzzis. Children are allowed to go on the waterslides provided that they are wearing a life vest or flotation devices arounf their arms. These are both for sale at the nearby towel stand but not provided for rental, only sale. Our children loved these pools and the slides as well as the jacuzzis which were extremely crowded no matter when we visited the pool. The Village needs to add addtional jacuzzis to accomodate the thousands of guests. We also were never able to get lounge chairs here until our last day wen the pool was about to close.

It’s important to note here that the towel stands at both the Paradise Pool and Superpool close earlier than the pool closes. A good tip is to stop by the Tapa pool to get towels is you plan to spend time at the end of the day at the other two pools. Also, the Paradise Pool closes at 6 pm, which means that there are no jacuzzis available for guests to use at night at the resort.

The Lagoon and the Beach

The beach at the Village is large and great for families with very little surf. The rental prices are steep: $30 for an umbrella and an additional $15 for two lounge chairs. The prices are for the whole day and you cannot rent by the half hour. While the surf is calm, there are no lifeguards at this beach. Many of the other beaches along Waikiki’s coast do have lifeguards including the beach adjacent to the one at the Village.

The Lagoon at the hotel has been cleaned and fixed up recently and is gorgeous. The kids really enjoyed playing here. There was no shade though which is unfortunate and if there had been we would have stayed for longer.


There are several restaurants at the hotel. Three restaurants, Bali Steak and Seafood, Tropics Bar and Grill and Rainbow Lanai have an ocean view. We ate at Tropics Bar and Grill. The service was lackluster but the food was tasty and we loved the convenience and view. Special note here: the staff are very specific at this restaurant about wearing cover-ups. Even young children must be dry and have t-shirts and either shorts or a skirt on.

In the Rainbow Bazaar shopping center there is a Round Table Pizza that was very popular and yummy. Many families would order take-out to eat by the pool or in their rooms. We ate there for dinner one night and had a wonderful server who was friendly and efficient. There are other options including a noodle house, a sushi restaurant, a Benihana and a deli. There are no inexpensive quick dining options for breakfast but there are two Starbucks at the Village which had the typical pastries and hot drinks to choose from.

Wi-Fi Fees, Parking, Timeshares and Shopping

There is wi-fi access from the hotel rooms and pool areas but be prepared to pay $15/day. This was disappointing as many hotels have started to include this in a resort fee which also includes parking. Parking fees are separate and costly as well. Valet parking is $30 per day and self-service parking is $24 per day.

There are many desks and offices scattered throughout the resort that are staffed all day and into the evening with employees who are interested I signing up guests for timeshares at the resort., The timeshares are located in the Grand Waikikian Tower which is right next to the Paradise Pool.

There are plenty of shopping opportunities at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, mostly located in the Rainbow Bazaar. The children’s store was stocked with all kinds of licensed character products and toys. There were several clothing stores, mostly chains that could be seen elsewhere in Waikiki as well as jewelry stores and of course an ABC store which was always crowded.