PHOTO: Dreamstime

Fodor's Expert Review Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel

2500 Kuhio Ave., Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815, USA See on Map

Two blocks from Kuhio Beach, this 37-story high-rise, located on the Diamond Head end of Waikiki, is great for travelers who want to be near the action, but not right in it. You enter through a lobby of rich wood detailing, contemporary fabrics, and magnificent tropical floral displays whose colors match the hibiscus reds of the carpeting. The Lobby Bar mixes up tropical cocktails and an Island-style pupu menu and has Wi-Fi and a wide-screen plasma TV for sports fans and news junkies, while its restaurant MAC 24-7 Waikiki offers its version of modern comfort food 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Try the MAC ginger ale made fresh at the bar. If marriage is on your mind, note the wedding gazebo anchoring the hotel gardens. Book on an upper floor for an ocean view from your lanai.

YOU SHOULD KNOW A daily resort fee is added to the room rate for internet access, unlimited movies, two daily waters or sodas, pool toys and activities, and discount savings on local attractions. This fee is a new addition to hotel policy so beware of outdated websites listing no resort fee.


Guest rooms at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel have been renovated with vibrant island colors and contemporary decor that utilizes exotic Zebrano and Wenge woods from South America. Whether guests have a city, mountain, or ocean view, all rooms feature private balconies. Other room options include suites and executive rooms. Suites feature ocean or mountain views, a large living room, wet bar, dining table, and a separate private bedroom. Executive rooms, meanwhile, are located on the top several floors of the 37-floor hotel and grant guests the most amazing ocean or mountain views. Executive level floors include access to a private lounge (the only Hilton executive lounge on Waikiki) which offers light breakfast and non-alcoholic drinks and hors-d'oeuvres in the evening.

Book a seven night stay and get the seventh night free, plus two welcome cocktails.


The hotel’s luxurious guest bathrooms are accented with Crema Marfil marble and natural stone. The executive level bathrooms include cracked glass panels which allow views of the room and mountain or ocean view.


The two-story lobby is bright and spacious with modern, understated elegance. It provides guests with multiple ways to relax while waiting for a room, fellow guests, or a tour group.


Complimentary cabanas are offered, though cabanas at the 10th-floor pool are set back from the pool edge. The pool area includes a towel dispenser, jacuzzi, and poolside bar with city views. If guests prefer to hit the beach, towels are available in the lobby via a machine that allows access with your room key.


There is a fitness center which offers a handful of machines and free weights. The fitness area includes water and towels, though the space is small and relatively dark.


Guests can dine 24/7 with the award winning M.A.C. Restaurant + Bar’s round-the-clock menu. Room service is also available at any time in addition to a convenient M.A.C. 2-GO which offers Starbucks Coffee, fresh baked pastries, and house-made sandwiches. Many of their ingredients in their American cuisine dishes are locally sourced, including breads, fish, and pineapples. In addition to M.A.C., the Altitude @ 37 is located 37 floors above Waikiki and offers striking views. Ideal for private events for parties up to 30, guests can dine without distraction in an elegant setting with contemporary details.


Live music happens nightly in the lobby bar, open from 5 to 10 p.m. Music starts at 6 p.m. and concludes at 9 p.m. From 5 to 7 p.m. guests can enjoy happy hour with half-priced signature drinks. Poolside bar Hang 10 Bar & Grill can be accessed with a guest room key from Noon to 6 p.m. In addition, M.A.C. 24/7 has a great bar. Last call is at 3:30 a.m., so you can enjoy a nightcap with your late-night pancakes before heading back to your hotel. Fruity cocktails like the Frozen Mo’o and Lava Lava Rocks fill that island cocktails craving. They also have a great reverse happy hour from midnight to 3 a.m. (except Friday and Saturday), as well as a regular daily happy hour from 2 to 5 p.m.


Getting Around

Waikiki and surrounding areas are easily reachable from the airport by cab or rideshare. There is plenty to do in these areas without ever leaving (walking, biking, taking the bus, or hailing a car), so a rental car is only necessary if you want to explore other parts of the island.


You may find the staple Hawaiian food poi cooked many different ways during your travels, but you’ll rarely find it in as intriguing and utterly satisfying a form as in the donuts at Liliha Bakery (19-min drive). Sadly, once you try them, you’ll regret every morning that you don’t wake up to these chewy, sweet purple treats. If you’re in the mood for something besides donuts for some reason, find some incredible offerings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at their coffee shops. Pro tip: Grab a dozen poi donuts to take home--one of the locations is between Waikiki and the airport.

Venture outside of your ramen comfort zone at Agu Ramen (7-min drive) by adding their signature “hot mess” – a heavy dose of parmesan – to your bowl. No really, it works! Their offerings include classic ramen bowls, options for vegans and vegetarians, and a ridiculously unctuous curry that will have you thinking about it for days. They also have a great happy hour at their multiple locations that includes 50% off appetizers and draft beers.


Visit the oldest sports pub in the entire state at Legends Sports Pub (3-min drive) for great deals (especially on their Mai Tais), a variety of screens, and a chance to watch NFL games at 7 a.m.! House Without a Key (9-min drive) inside Halekulani Hotel provides some true upscale island ambiance along with its dinner and cocktails. The restaurant has a dedicated portion of its service area for those looking to enjoy a drink and an appetizer along with their nightly music and hula performances. Their signature drink is the mai tai but take our advice and try the off-menu “Lost Passion,” a tequila/passionfruit/champagne concoction that will get you in the island spirit.


Though not located directly on the beach, the Hilton Waikiki Beach is just one street back and close to everything. If guests forget an item at home, there are many stores nearby to fulfill any needs. The Expedia Local Expert concierge desk in the lobby makes it easy to book day trips and excursions and though the hotel does not have a shuttle, transportation is easy to find due to the hotel’s central location.


Near the beach


Phones: 808-922–0811;888-370–0980

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