After what seemed like throwing darts on a dart board, I ultimately chose to stay at the Hilton Waikiki Beach for a recent trip to Hawaii. Actually, I would have preferred to stay at the Hyatt that was just a few blocks away, but I decided against it since I’ve stayed at too many of those recently. I’m trying to be a diversified (and inclusive) hotel reviewer, but it’s really hard sometimes.

A full review of my 2 night stay at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel

The Hilton Waikiki Beach is centrally located on Kuho Avenue, just two blocks from the beach. But then again, what hotel in Waikiki isn’t? You really can’t go wrong with any hotel in this area (even the Vive Hotel I recently reviewed is good), but this Hilton was the nicest property I’ve ever stayed at while in Hawaii. No, it’s not super luxurious, but it is really nice.

Before proceeding with this review, it’s important to keep in mind that I’ve never cared to spend a lot of money on fancy hotels for my trips to the islands over the years. Maybe I’m just getting older (and softer), but I’m definitely starting to prefer the nicer properties these days. As you’re about to see, the Hilton Waikiki Beach did not disappoint.

Hilton Waikiki Beach exterior
The exterior of this Hilton is very unassuming – and you’ll completely miss it if you’re not paying attention. Don’t ask me how I know this…
Hilton Waikiki Beach entrance
The main entrance of the Hilton Waikiki Beach looks slightly less like the county jail than some of the other hotels in the immediate area. FYI, you can read my Sheraton Princess Kaiulani review if you’re feeling like reading a good old fashioned “Waikiki hotel that looks like a jail” review.

The lobby

I knew I was in for a great stay as soon as I approached the check in desk. The agent who checked me in was super helpful and very polite, and she did her best to make me feel welcome. Turns out she was a San Diego native, so we had lots to talk about as she prepared the paperwork.

All in all, I wouldn’t consider her professionalism to be on par with the staff at the Hyatt Regency in Hong Kong (for example), but she was friendly and helpful nonetheless and had me on my way in just minutes.

Hilton Waikiki Beach lobby
Whoa! The lobby is amazing, and the check in desk is on the back wall (to the left). A little more fancy than what you saw in my review of the Hilton at the Knoxville Airport, right?
Hilton Waikiki Beach lobby design
Slightly wider view showing the entire lobby. If you read my review of the Grand Naniloa Hotel in Hilo, you’ll immediately pick up on the fact that this lobby is far more worthy of the “grand” name.
Scott selfie
“Holy crap I picked a nice place to stay!”
Hilton Waikiki Beach bar
BTW, there were plenty of places to sit and relax in the lobby. And who cares if it isn’t as opulent as the lounge you saw in my Moana Surfrider review?  You will likely pay much less for a room here than you will at many of the more luxurious resorts here in Waikiki, so go ahead – make the gin and tonic a double. You deserve it.

Getting to my room

Hilton Waikiki Beach elevator
Yes, this is a big hotel! Just as it was at the Hilton at the O’Hare Airport (ORD), paying a bit extra for a room on a high floor is well worth it. You’ll see why in a moment…
Hilton Waikiki Beach guest room hallway
The hallway leading to my room. These corridors don’t look anywhere near as fancy as the lobby does.
Hilton Waikiki Beach room door
The door to my room. I’m digging the torch light (it’s very Hawaiian).

The room

I booked a high-floor room with a view, and I knew it was well worth the slight surcharge as soon as I stepped inside. The view was incredible, with a nearly unblocked view of Waikiki beach. It was exactly what I was hoping for, and I was not disappointed at all.

Hilton Waikiki Beach room patio door
My first view of the room as soon as I stepped inside. I immediately liked seeing that patio!
Hilton Waikiki Beach bed
I’ll show you the view in a moment, but first: here’s the bed.
Hilton Waikiki Beach room
Looking the other way, towards the bathroom. Interestingly enough, my room at the Westin Maui was almost exactly like this (the only difference was the materials). Must’ve been the same architect!
Hilton Waikiki Beach room overview
Looking towards the entrance.
Hilton Waikiki Beach in room desk
The desk. But come on…who comes to Hawaii to work?
Hilton Waikiki Beach room details
A painting of a pineapple would look good on that blank spot on the wall methinks.
Hilton Waikiki Beach furniture
Looking towards the back corner of the room. The “pineapple” vibe I’m getting is strong!

The view!

Hilton Waikiki Beach patio view
But then, pull open the curtains, and…what a view!!
Hilton Waikiki Beach view of the city
Looking west over all of Waikiki.
Hilton Waikiki Beach ocean view
The view of the ocean made it worth the cost. Definitely splurge if you can afford it.
Hilton Waikiki Beach looking straight down from patio
Unless you’re afraid of heights, that is. The view looking straight down is no joke.
Hilton Waikiki Beach view of city at night
For those of you not afraid of heights, the view of Waikiki at night from the balcony is amazing!

The bathroom

Hilton Waikiki Beach bathroom
The bathroom (no pineapple vibes in here unfortunately).
Hilton Waikiki Beach shower
Looking the other way towards the large shower
Hilton Waikiki Beach bathroom vanity
The vanity was rather plain, but…
Hilton Waikiki Beach bathroom details
…there were some really nice glass shelving units on both sides that were really nice.
Hilton Waikiki Beach bathroom amenities
Hawaiian-themed amenities in the bathroom.

Final thoughts

In summary, I thought the room was ok. The style seemed to be “identity crisis” more than anything else, with clean and modern furniture mixed with tropical themes. It wasn’t ugly, but it seems to me it could have been better if they would have chosen to go all tropical or all modern instead of an awkward mix of the two.

But an interior designer I am not, so I didn’t dwell on it since I knew I’d be spending most of my time outside on the patio anyway. And hey – at least the decor wasn’t as bad what I experienced at the IAH Marriott.

Hilton Waikiki Beach patio overlooking ocean
Who cares about the room when there’s a perfectly good patio overlooking the ocean?
view of rainbow from the room
You didn’t think I’d end this review without a Hawaiian rainbow pic did you? This is what I was greeted with on the second morning of my stay. Beautiful!

Would I stay here again? Absolutely. It was a very quiet and comfortable property with super-friendly and helpful staff, and the location was pretty much perfect. The only thing that would make me think twice about staying here again is my need to break away from Hilton for once in order to try different brands.

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