Are you dreaming of visiting Hawaii or perhaps already have your trip booked and are looking for free activities in Oahu Hawaii?
The Hilton Hawaii Village Waikiki Beach Resort is not just a fantastic family hotel; a stop here is one of the most popular things to do on Oahu for Waikiki visitors and even locals. It’s especially true every Friday night when a crowd gathers on Duke Kahanamoku Beach for the free Hilton Hawaiian Village Fireworks show.
My Love for This Resort Goes Back to the ’80s
You can probably tell already that I have a love affair with this award-winning resort. It’s one that stretches back to August of 1989. That’s the summer that we moved to Hawaii for two years for my mother’s federal government job. It was also the first time I had been on an airplane!
Before this trip, we were a road trip vacation kinda family. While we looked for a house to rent and waited for our stuff to arrive, we lived for two weeks at the ultimate family resort – The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. I know, right?!?!?!
It was such a memorable experience to introduce us to Hawaii and take the sting out of leaving the only place we’ve ever lived. While now a part of my family’s folklore, I’ll leave out the story about how I got lost in the complex for ten minutes during the free Hilton Hawaiian Village fireworks show. I had to watch the fireworks display with a lovely security guard who helped me find my family once free fireworks were over.
So when I decided to write this article for my fellow travelers, I knew I needed some insights from people who have visited in this century. I’m not surprised to hear from my fellow bloggers that the Hilton Hawaiian Village has only gotten better with age.
It Really Is a Village
The Hilton Hawaiian Village opened in 1955 after the company purchased the property from another small, traditional beach hotel. Since then, it expanded to over 3,000 rooms across five highrise towers and grown not only into Hilton’s largest resort but one of the largest in the world.
In a state where land is hard to come by, this resort sprawls across 22 acres of beachfront property in Waikiki, filled with botanical gardens and amazing wildlife. You may recognize its iconic Rainbow Tower or Duke Kahanamoku lagoon, pictured in endless Waikiki beach photos.
Their accommodations vary from standard hotel rooms to 3 bedroom condos. Hotels in Hawaii can be very expensive, but there are five ways to secure a discount on Hilton Hawaiian Village rooms.
My fellow timeshare owners rate it as a favorite resort to exchange into. It also makes the top resorts requested list for timeshare rentals. If you can score a timeshare rental from an owner in one of the Hilton Grand Vacations Towers, it can make traveling to this expensive destination more affordable. With full kitchens, it’s perfect for families with picky eaters or those who want to make a Hawaii trip more budget-friendly by cooking meals themselves.
Take a look at the timeshare rentals inside various Hilton Hawaiian Village towers and the costs for a condo room may surprise you! It can be the same price as a smaller hotel room and secure rentals from Business Bureau A+ sites have never been easier.
- Hilton Grand Vacation’s Lagoon Tower
- Hilton Grand Vacation’s Grand Islander Tower
- Hilton Grand Vacation’s Grand Waikikian Tower
How Do The 8 Towers’ Accommodations Vary? Check out my resort guide: Hilton Hawaiian Village: The Ultimate Family Resort On The Best Part of Waikiki Beach
Location, Location, Location
Whether you stay here your whole vacation, start or end your trip here because of a direct flight out of Honolulu airport, their perfect location is one of the things that draws people to the resort.
“Hilton Hawaiian Village is located on a nice stretch of Waikiki Beach with gorgeous views of Diamond Head, one of Oahu’s best hikes. The resort is right beside Duke Kahanamoku Beach, deemed the #1 beach in America,” said Sydney From A World In Reach. “You’re also just a short walk away from great restaurants, activities, and the Ala Moana Center, the world’s largest open-air shopping center.”
Amenities Galore at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki
The Hilton Hawaiian Village is a wonderful family resort catering to the needs of kids and their families. That means activities, activities, activities!
“The fact that The Hilton Hawaiian Village is a resort and not just a hotel makes it really special for the Waikiki area,” says Alexa at 52 Perfect Days. “It has five pools! One is a 10,000-square-foot Super Pool and the Paradise Pool has waterfalls and the longest water slide in Waikiki.”
There’s an onsite luau, kids activity program, daily lessons & classes, and one of my favorites as a kid – Duke’s Lagoon.
“The big lagoon overlooking the ocean is the best part, especially if you’re traveling with kids. On top of their various pools, you can rent a waterbike, stand-up paddleboard, or kayaks and it’s covered in the resort fee. Or try the adult activities such as yoga on the water like I did,” said Anna from Anna Everywhere.com
The resort offers so much right on-site. The Hilton Hawaiian Village includes 80 shops and services, 18 restaurants, lounges, and bars. Additionally, their property includes a rental car counter and doctor’s office.
You might have noticed in Hilton Hawaiian Village pictures that the resort has its own dock. Excursions leave right from the hotel’s beachfront, eliminating the need for a rental car.
- Atlantis Submarines – Since 1998, Atlantis Submarines take guests 100 feet below the surface in battery-powered ships that gently glide through the water respecting its animals and helping to keep the water clean.
- Spirit of Aloha Catamaran – If you know the lyrics “We read the wind and the sky when the sun is high; We sail the length of the seas on the ocean breeze,” then you have a Moana fan in your house. Sail the same waters at Moana and Maui on one of their popular cruises that leave right from the hotel’s dock.
- Surf School – Why not learn to surf, exactly legendary waterman Duke Kahanamoku and Hawaiian Royalty rode the waves. Talk about a bucket-list experience!
Hilton Hawaiian Village Fireworks: A Free Weekly Show
For more than 30 years, there have been Hilton Hawaiian Village Fireworks in Waikiki. Until I wrote this article, I didn’t realize that this free Friday night fireworks show started just one year before I stayed there as a kid. During the summer the show starts at 8pm while the rest of the year (starting in October) the show starts at 7:45pm.
“Every Friday, the hotel puts on a 10-minute fireworks show at the beach. They are so grand they can even be seen from the surrounding neighborhoods. Head to the beach at around 7:30 pm to get a good spot to see the 7:45pm weekly fireworks as it does get crowded,” said Victoria at Guide Your Travel.
“Our beloved Friday fireworks have become a tradition for more than 30 years, and thousands of visitors and residents come to the beach to watch the wonderful display,” said Debi Bishop, managing director, Hilton Hawaiian Village.
During the summer months, the fireworks show starts slightly later at 8pm rather than 7:45 pm.
Even the Locals Come Here
If you’ve ever lived in a tourist destination, you typically don’t go and hang out at tourist spots. Well, this place has so much to offer that locals actually do come to the hotel bars and enjoy the stunning views as it’s easy to get from other parts of Waikiki.
“This hotel goes above and beyond any vacation needs and expectations. As locals, we don’t frequent Waikiki much, but we do stop by here for drinks and to watch the stunning sunsets,” says Jacqueline at YourTravelFlamingo. “While the sprawling pool area and amenities make it easy never to leave the resort, the hotel itself is located ideally for exploring more of Waikiki when you do. It’s very close to the boarding location for the Atlantis Submarine tours, which you can book through the hotel!”
This Waikiki Beach Resort does hold a special place in my heart, and I can’t wait for our August 2023 trip to show the kids a place so special to me and my family! We secured a timeshare exchange into the Grand Waikikian tower via RCI. It’s one of the things I love about owning our Catskills, NY timeshare. I can take weeks of vacation there and swap them for vacations around the world in award-winning condo resorts from global brands like Hilton.
Did you know that the Hilton Hawaiian Village puts on Friday night fireworks for free? Have you enjoyed a trip to the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort? Please leave me a note!
It’s An Iconic Historical Place Worth A Visit
This award-winning hotel is also the site of history and pop-culture moments. Make sure to order the iconic Blue Hawaii cocktail, invented here resort in 1957 by bartender Harry Yee.
Did you know that four years later, Elvis filmed the famous movie of the same name at the resort? He also stayed on site in the Ocean Tower, now Ali’i Tower, in the 14th Floor’s Mahele Suite.