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Reviewed November 29, 2015

The Ali'i Tower is supposed to be the luxury wing of the sprawling mega-resort called the Hilton Hawaiian Village on the western edge of Waikiki. Sure, I appreciated the private pool and modestly equipped exercise room that is for the exclusive use of the Tower's guests, but c'mon, NO ROOM SERVICE? A "welcome gift" that was a cheap Hilton-branded tote bag and a book of coupons to encourage you to spend money at the resort's many shops and restaurants? Being told by the car valet that they "don't do call downs" when I called from my room to retrieve my car, forcing me to go down to the valet stand and wait for as long as a half hour in the chaotic porte cochere to wait for my car -- and being charged $36 a day for the privilege?

As an HHonors Gold member, I've come to expect at least a modest recognition of my loyalty to the Hilton chain, but there was none here. Not only was I not given an upgrade of any kind, but I was assigned a room that was probably at the very bottom of the room category that I booked; my view of the ocean could not have been more "partial" from my partial-ocean-view room, whose primary view was of other towers at the resort, with only a slice of ocean visible when I went onto my balcony.

And what bugged me the most was the way in which the hotel seemed to try to squeeze a buck from you whenever they could: There was that aforementioned book of coupons with tiny discounts to the resort's restaurants and shops, so you end up spending much more money than you had intended in the interest of saving money. The $30 daily resort fee, whose primary appeal was the "free" wifi, which I would have received as an HHonors Gold member anyway. The $36 daily valet parking fee, which aside from the extremely long waits to get your car came with the prominently printed note that stated the charge didn't include gratuity (but of course you have to tip the valets, who probably depend on tips for their income). A hearty but unremarkable eggs-starch-and-meat breakfast (not a buffet) for $27 before tax and tip. The $125 surcharge for a 4 PM late checkout, which I have come to expect as a gratis HHonors Gold benefit -- so it's available, but they charge you for it.

The atmosphere of the resort is suited more for activity than relaxation. The Hilton always seemed crowded and bustling, no matter what time of day. With literally thousands of rooms spread among its multiple towers on 22 acres, the place really lives up to its name as a "Hawaiian Village," with dozens of shops, twenty bars and restaurants, beautifully landscaped grounds populated by fascinating birds and fish, multiple pools, "free" activities and classes covered by the resort fee, aquatic adventures for a price, and the very large population of occupants. The fitness facility in the Kalia Tower that apparently serves the entire resort (aside from those Ali'i Tower occupants who choose to use their own exercise room -- I went to see if it was better) is hopelessly under equipped, with just six treadmills, a scattering of weight machines, a dumbbell set fought over by too many users, etc.

The hotel's pluses are its location on a wide stretch of Waikiki Beach, its many onsite dining and retail options in the event that you don't want to venture off the property, the lovely grounds and resident menagerie of birds and fish, and the smartly neutral decor of the Ali'i Tower.

Even when staying at the Ali'i Tower, however, one cannot escape the resort's crowds, which are everywhere. And that is just one reason why I would never recommend it to anyone seeking a luxury getaway, which is what its marketing materials suggest is on offer here. At a luxury resort, I expect the front-desk attendants to look up from their monitors and greet me when I walk into the lobby; I expect bottled water in the hotel gym, not a dispenser replenished with tap water and ice; I expect a special bar or restaurant that is a true destination; I expect to feel like a guest, not a customer. The Ali'i Tower is simply another gear in the bottom-line-driven machine of the Hilton Hawaiian Village; it cannot have its own identity as a luxury property.

  • Stayed: November 2015, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank travelerhnl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hhvguestservices, Manager at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 30, 2015

Aloha travelerhnl

Thank you for continuing to share your reviews and for staying with us. We regret to hear about the various disappointments that you experienced during your stay here at our property. HHV is dedicated in providing our guests with exceptional service and creating a memorable stay and are truly sorry that we did not succeed in fulfilling our promise. You are loyal to our brand and specifically chose our exclusive Alii tower and we let you down. For this we express our sincere apologies. We are continuously striving to perfect our services to our valued guests and will certainly look into all the areas that you provided feedback on. We are grateful for the time you took to provide your review. We hope you will return to HHV and provide us with another opportunity to share a true Hilton experience

Mahalo,
Hilton Hawaiian Village Guest Services

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 29, 2015

I have been staying at this hotel and resort complex on the Western end of Waikiki for over 20 years. With refurbishment programs in place the complex stays updated. You can stay here for a vacation in Honolulu and never have to leave, except for tours and other activities. There are five pools the beach and a lagoon. Restaurants and shopping, including at least two ABC stores. Staff is friendly and helpful. There are restaurants for all budgets with varied menus from fast food to fine dining. Ocean view
rooms can be pricy unless you are a repeat customer and get upgraded at no cost. I usually try to stay in the Tapa Tower since it is the most centrally located within the complex and the most convenient to the garage and to exiting the property if you are walking. Since there are several hotel towers and tourists and business travelers from all over, there is a constant flow of people. Resort complex is large so one does not feel crowded, unless you want to get away from it all--if that is the case go to the Neighbor Islands. A lot of activities and something for all age groups. There was a mandatory $30.00 Resort Fee.

Room Tip: Tapa Tower, higher floors. Two elevators, 19 and up are served by one set and the lower floors by another bank of elevators.
  • Stayed: November 2015, travelled on business
    • Value
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Thank Dionges1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 28, 2015

We stayed here a few nights in October and found it to tick all the boxes. The resort is well situated off the main drag at Waikiki and is littered with high end shopping. There are lots of good eating options close by and the walk along the beach to Diamond Head is a must. We paid extra for water views, but should we return in the future we would be just as happy without a view. Also, we enjoyed the Mai Tais at happy hour around the pool!

  • Stayed: October 2015, travelled as a couple
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Thank 90210MC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hhvguestservices, Manager at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 29, 2015

Aloha 90210MC

Thank you for providing another review on Trip Advisor. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your time at our beach front resort and at one of our Happy Hours that we offer at multiple locations here on property. Thank you so much for choosing Hilton Hawaiian Village and we truly hope to welcome you back again soon.

Mahalo,
Hilton Hawaiian Village Guest Services

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 28, 2015

... there are a couple of things we don't like, first off the beds should be upgraded to at least queens!!!!! When we visit Oahu, we usually stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, because its right on the beach, they have a couple small water slides for the kids and the location is fantastic! But the reason I only give it 3 stars is because the keep on building more towers further away from the beach and pool and you have to walk quite a bit if you wanna go to the room and get something. Also the beds are so small!!!! You can't fit two adults comfortably, when my husband slept with his elbow out it was halfway over my face. And even our children (12 and 15) weren't comfortable either!
And the rooms need a bit of TLC in the Kalia Tower, the bathroom fan wasn't working - paint and wallpaper is coming off.
And second the resort charge PLUS a $29 fee for parking. That's a bit heavy!!!!

Room Tip: We were right around the corner from the Elevator heard it through the walls, very noisy, ask first where your rooms are at!
  • Stayed: November 2015, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Austy25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hhvguestservices, Manager at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 29, 2015

Aloha Austy25

Thank you for continuing to share your feedback with other travelers. We are sorry to learn that we did not exceed all expectations in your overall experience here. Our rooms need to be absolutely 100% prior to being occupied by our guests. We sincerely apologize that this was not the case. We strive for perfection in all aspects of our guests stay and are very sorry if we let you down in any way. Your response is being shared with all our relevant management teams regarding the other comments you shared as we are always trying to improve our property and its operations. We hope to have you as our guest again in the near future.

Mahalo,
Hilton Hawaiian Village Guest Services

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 28, 2015

the main reason we picked this hotel was because it had the best reviews for being kid friendly, otherwise we would've stayed somewhere more centrally located. It rained the entire time we were there - obviously not hotel's fault - but the staff made no attempt to provide some activities for kids. nor did they provide complementary umbrellas like some other hotels in the area did. also, while the hotel has several restaurants and numerous shops onsite, since we didn't rent a car I felt really trapped and forced to eat at completely overpriced places on site. like even starbucks at the hotel was more expensive than elsewhere. one nice thing was complementary room to take a shower and change in the afternoon after we checked out since we has a late flight.

  • Stayed: November 2015, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Thank Sasha P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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