Big Island-Hilton Waikoloa Village

Old Jun 28th, 2005, 05:35 AM
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Big Island-Hilton Waikoloa Village

Planning to visit Big Island (middle age couple, no kids) and the Four Seasons seems to be getting the BEST reviews, but thought about saving a few bucks and staying at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Thinking maybe the Four Seasons is very expensive, much more "formal" and geared for honeymooners. We really just want a fun and lively atmosphere but wondering if the rooms at the Hilton are "decent"? Or should we just go and splurge on the Four Seasons? Planning to visit Volcano National Park so want to stay someplace within reasonable driving distance.
GailLK is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 11:50 AM
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Rooms at Hilton Waikoloa are lovely...and large.
auntiemaria is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2005, 04:20 PM
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Aloha....we're middle aged and travel to the BI without kids. Have stayed at Hilton Waikoloa several times. We usually go off-season, and that makes a difference because for the most part other people aren't around with their kids either.

The Hilton is extremely kid friendly, 4S not so much. The Hilton is a huge property, has wonderful pools, lots of places to take walks. 4S is lovely, just has a different, quieter atmosphere. If the pool matters to you go to Hilton. If not then it's a matter of sedate, lovely, quiet, refined and catered to vs a faster pace and dolphins. Both properties sit ocean front. I prefer restaurants at the 4S, but others might have different preferences. Hilton cheaper as far as rooms and food. Food better at 4S, especially Pahu I'a breakfast buffet. Having said that the Hilton buffet is perfectly respectable. We try most of the buffets -- after all somebody has to sacrifice to be a reference on this board,and we're willing to do it.

Rooms at Hilton are fine. They have three towers and each has a different feel to it. I prefer the Ocean Tower, furthest from the lobby (feels like miles actually, but I like the exercise I get walking it and there is a tram and a boat ride if you prefer to sit rather than walk) and furthest from the bigger pool. I don't care much for the Palace Tower, strikes me as a bit gaudy and I didn't like the shape of the room we had there. Haven't stayed at Logoon Tower but there are threads all over this board discussing it. As auntimaria said, the rooms are large, well appointed. 4S is likely to be nicer, we've seen some of the Travel Network "Top 10" shows featuring 4S and it doesn't seem you could go wrong there.

If distance is a problem -- you can stay at Hilton saving some big bucks, then stay overnight at VNP one or two nights. Kilauea Lodge has a good rep, haven't stayed there.

CT Lady
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Old Jun 28th, 2005, 07:57 PM
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The Hilton is nice and you will enjoy it. The Four Seasons is absolutely incredible. If you don't go to the 4S, you won't know what you are missing and you'll be just fine.

I still suggest spending most of your time on the Big Island at the Hilton, driving around the island and spending a night at Volcano Village and then ending the trip for at least 2 nights at the 4S with plans to go absolutely nowhere off property. Schedule a spa treatment at the 4S. I've stayed at hotels elsewhere on the islands and have stayed at other 4S. The 4S Big Island is pure casual tropical elegance - without being stuffy at all.
It is expensive, but not formal and although honeymooners may be there you won't feel like it's geared to honeymooners.
starrsville is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2005, 12:29 AM
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Gail, I have to buck the trend in this thread and recommend against the Hilton, especially if you're traveling without kids, and especially if Volcanoes Nat'l Park is your primary interest. The Hilton is as far away from VNP as one can get on the Big Island.

Other responses have mentioned the Hilton's advantages, but you should also know about its disadvantages as well:

-- The Hilton is HUGE. Count on a 15-minute adventure every time you need to get from your room to your car.

-- It's CROWDED. Once the novelty of the tram and boat ride wears off (which takes about 1 day), what you're left with is lots and Lots and LOTS of people.

-- The Hilton's pool are unheated, which may not sound like much of an issue in Hawaii, but trust me it can be.

-- The Hilton has no natural sand beach, just jagged lava coastline, a tiny man-made sandy area and algae-filled (yuck) lagoon.

If VNP will be your primary activity on the island, consider a B&B on the east side of the island. There are dozens of great ones within 30 minutes of VNP, and you'll save 5 or 6 hours of driving each day. Most of the best B&B's are linked to from here:

Look on the right side of this webpage, towards the bottom for a list of B&B's.

If your heart is set on a resort instead of a B&B or condo, much better alternatives to the Hilton exist on the Kohala Coast. Look at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Mauna Lani, Marriott Waikoloa or Fairmont Orchid. All of these are superb but still much less expensive than the Four Seasons.
fdecarlo is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2005, 09:12 PM
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I agree with the last poster -- the Hilton is large and filled with children. A little too Disney-ish for my liking.

The Fairmont Orchid is lovely, and is Mauna Kea. The Hapuna Prince is lovely in an understated way -- more adult.

I would love to stay at the Four Seasons, but it is above my price range.
luvtotravel is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2005, 09:18 PM
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A comment on the posting suggesting you save money by staying at the Hilton but book a spa treatment at the 4Seasons. Last time I checked you can't book a spa treatment (or golf) unless you are staying there. They are VERY exclusive. Their restaurants are open to outsiders, however. Kind of a funny story (I live on the island), a family who stayed there and ate in the open air fine dining restaurant said roaches crawled onto their table and on their food and the waiter was uncaring, even rude, when they complained. The roaches didn't care that the 4Seasons is excusive! (You can't get away from them here-the big ones fly.)
tartangal is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2005, 09:24 PM
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Stayed in a condo at the Waikoloa Village and had the best sunsets...!
Very convienent for touring the island.
Also, did three nights at the Kilauea Lodge near Volcano Natl Park. Had some of the better dinners on the island there, which btw, are very overpriced in most hotels.
VNP was truly amazing and we later did a helicopter tour of the volcano which was awesome.

I love the BI..there is so much to do there and so much less tourism in the off season.
wallybrenda is offline  
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