Hilton Waikoloa Village Review – Best Family Resort on Hawaii’s Big Island
Last summer, our family of four had the pleasure of spending two weeks in Hawaii; one of them on the Big Island, staying at Hilton Waikoloa Village. The resort was the perfect choice for us, a true heaven for our children that made for a very memorable vacation experience. While the rooms are not the most modern (we stayed in the Ocean Tower), they are spacious and comfortable. Given all the resort and the island have to offer, we found ourselves spending very little time in our room and we loved our stay at the property.
In this review of Hilton Waikoloa Village, you’ll learn the top 10 reasons why we enjoyed our visit and why we think it’s the best family resort on Hawaii’s Big Island.
1. A Variety of Pools
Hilton Waikoloa Village has a number of impressive pools equipped with waterfalls, slides, a hanging bridge and even a sand bottom area; all guaranteeing hours of fun for adults and kids of all ages.
2. The Lagoon
If you prefer saltwater, there is a four-acre lagoon with a sand beach in the middle of the resort. It is a great place for snorkeling (which we loved!) and all kinds of water sports like kayaking, hydro biking or simply swimming.
3. Dolphin Quest
Imagine swimming with dolphins? You can, at Dolphin Quest, which is located on the Hilton property. They offer several different programs (depending on age and preferences) where you can come face to face with these beautiful animals — to play with them, pet them or feed them. While this adventure does not come cheap and should be reserved well in advance, it was without a doubt one of the highlights of our trip, not only for our children, but also for our entire family.
4. Fun Family Activities
The resort offers a myriad of fun kid/family oriented activities. We especially liked classes that helped our children immerse themselves in the local culture: lei making, hula dance, ukulele, conch shell blowing — to name just a few. Turns out, our daughter is a natural at hula and our son made an impressive lei.
5. Club Keiki
The Club Keiki (“keiki” means “kids” in the native Hawaiian language) offers more fun activities for children ages 5-12 led by enthusiastic counselors, as well as a welcome break for parents. Our family was too busy partaking in the many activities the resort has to offer or taking trips around the island to personally try the Club this time, perhaps on our next visit.
6. Unique Resort Transportation
The sheer size of Hilton Waikoloa Village is astounding. If you get tired of walking, the property is connected with a tram and water taxis. How exciting, especially for the little guests! Our kids loved the water taxi rides we took back to our room every night after dinner, tired, yet happy after another great day of Hawaiian adventures.
7. Fascinating Art Collection
Take Hilton “public transportation” too often, however, and you might miss the amazing art collection (valued at over $7MM) comprising of statues, paintings, wood carvings and more, that is scattered all around the resort. We all marveled at the masterpieces and even our kids loved learning a bit of art history from the description of origin/artist, accompanying many of them.
8. The Variety of Nature
Another reason to walk around the property is the colorful flora and fauna that can be found everywhere. We admired colorful tropical fish while eating lunch at the Ocean Tower lagoon and beautiful tropical birds in the gardens. However, our children were most mesmerized by the koi pond next to the Japanese restaurant Imari. The giant colorful fish were truly impressive and made for quite a spectacle every morning during feeding time.
9. Great Restaurant Choices
There are many excellent restaurant options at Hilton Waikoloa Village, ranging from very casual to high end with several choices in between. They are all very family friendly and as parents, we appreciated that our children were celebrated as guests. For our children, the real draw were the colored bracelets given out at each restaurant upon arrival. Every restaurant had a different color. Collect all eight (and you bet our kids did!) and they get a free photograph with a beautiful giant parrot at the resort lobby.
10. The Luau
Hilton Waikoloa Village also offers its own luau show and dinner, Legends of Hawaii, a very convenient option for guests of the resort. The show, also open to the public, offers an opportunity to try an elaborate buffet with delicious authentic Hawaiian cuisine and marvel at graceful hula dancers. Our favorite part, hands down, was the daring fire dance performance which capped off the show.
Hilton Mom Voyage writers receive free night certificates to use at Hilton Hotels & Resorts worldwide. To learn more, visit our About Us page.
Know Before You Go
- Hawaii consists of eight main islands: Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Kahoolawe, and The Big Island.
- Hawaii has its own time zone (Hawaiian Standard Time). This time zone is 2 hours behind Pacific Standard Time. Hawaii also doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time!
- It is considered rude to refuse to wear a Lei if someone offers it.