I’m going to provide a quick review of the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Remember that this review is colored a bit by the fact that we stayed on a timeshare preview deal and therefore did not get any Hilton Diamond benefits. We also did not spend much time hanging out at the resort as we wanted to explore the Big Island and spend time at the beach.
If you do visit the Big Island, especially without kids, I can not advise staying at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. It’s too big, doesn’t have a real beach on property (just a lagoon) and has ridiculous prices for food. There are many who would disagree, but they probably have young kids who like the lagoon as it’s not as dangerous as a real beach. There are also captive dolphins there, which we’re not thrilled with as a concept, but obviously young kids might also enjoy that.
Our room was unrenovated and too warm most of the time. The A/C struggled to get cool enough to be comfortable. The bed was pretty comfy, although we were pretty exhausted most evenings anyway thanks to the hiking and beach activities. The biggest grump was having to walk (or take the train when it happened to be there when we were making the trek) just to get to the main lobby and parking lot. At least most of the walk was in the shade of the buildings we walked past and there was an overhang to protect from the sun.
The food and beverage options were very expensive, even for Hawaii. A large pizza at the Italian restaurant was over $50! (We passed on that). The towels are dispensed via vending machine and must be returned, or you will get charged for them. The pool by the Ocean Tower was generally pretty quiet and had some good ocean views.
All that being said, if you decide to take advantage of one of these timeshare preview deals, it could be worth it. The included rental car alone was probably worth the overall cost of the package as there was a major shortage of cars last year and prices reflected this.
Conclusion: Stay elsewhere on the Big Island (unless you’re on a timeshare preview deal).