Rainbow Bazaar entrance Waikiki

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

Honolulu is home to The Hilton Hawaiian Village. This is a world class hotel, of course with the Hilton name behind it. This is where I stayed during our recent vacation to Hawaii. We loved it and had a terrific time.

The official name of this beautiful resort is Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort and it sits in front of the world famous Waikiki Beach.

You will find peace and relaxation are some of the best attractions. Everywhere you turn, you find serene gardens, water features and the beach is just a stone's throw away. This is also a perfect spot to vacation with kids. They have a kids program unlike any I've ever seen. The only downside is that the age restriction for the kids' program is five years old older. I guess we'll have to come back soon when Claire is a little older.

Located in the middle of downtown Waikiki, the Hawaiian Village is close to all of Honolulu's main attractions. You can easily take a cab or bus and go to the famous Diamond Head crater and take a long hike to the summit, or go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. At night, you can join the vibrant nightlife at any of the popular spots along Kalia Road or Kalakauana Avenue.

panorama view of ocean waikiki beach
Ocean front view at the Hilton Waikiki Hawaiian Village

If you feel like staying in, you will be able to dine and shop without ever leaving the property. If you make it to the lobby and just cross the street, your shopping options expand at the Rainbow Bazaar.

The suites feature amazing views of the iconic Honolulu skyline or incredible ocean views spanning most of the coastline. We booked a jr. suite and it featured an awesome balcony, a separate living room and all the comforts you have at home.

We went during late winter, early spring and had a total blast. The weather was a little bit on the cooler side but it warmed up towards the end of our stay.

If you are considering visiting Hawaii,  go to Honolulu and stay here. I would go back in a heart beat. I loved the grounds of the hotel, I like how close it is to the beach. And all the staff was attentive, friendly and helpful.

I liked the fact that we could walk to the main strip and shop around or eat at some familiar places like Yard House, The Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang's and more.

Rainbow Bazaar entrance Waikiki
Rainbow Bazaar with shopping and dining

As you roam the grounds of the resort, you'll find various sculptures and monuments that tell some of the local stories about Waikiki beach and the area. It's fascinating to read these as you explore and take in the sights and sounds of the area. This is one that you'll find near the Rainbow Tower in the resort:

One of the stories, this describes part of the story of Duke Kahanamoku and Waikiki Beach
One of the stories, this describes part of the story of Duke Kahanamoku and Waikiki Beach

The legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku often strolled the sands of Waikīkī Beach fronting what is now Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa, 1959.

In ancient times, the coastal plain where you now stand was known as Kālia. Water from the Ko‘olau Mountains flowed in streams into the ocean through what is now world-famous Waikiki Beach. The Kālia area was served by the Pi‘inaio Stream and several freshwater springs. Early Hawaiian farmers developed complex irrigation systems that converted the marshes into lo‘i kalo (taro patches) and loko i‘a (fishponds). Taro was the staple food and spiritual center for ancient Hawaiians. The productive fishponds and the abundant coral reefs meant fresh seafood was always available. Ho‘okipa, the Hawaiian concept of hospitality, maintained that passers-by, whether friends or strangers, were always welcome and fed. In the early 19th century, social and political change brought about by Western contact altered the intricate Hawaiian way of life. Foreign diseases and epidemics decimated the native population. By 1866, Mark Twain would note that Waikīkī was a “historic area,” with the remnants of an ancient village. Over the next century, Waikīkī evolved into a resort area.

When industrialist Henry J. Kaiser opened the Hawaiian Village in 1955, the complex of twenty-four thatched roof guest houses featured three ocean water swimming pools and a long house, a common area modeled after a Polynesian chief’s dwelling. The Hilton Lagoon was created by dredging and filling what were once mud flats. Bob Paoa, a relative of Duke Kahanamoku, recalls that shrimp were once so plentiful that the people would scoop them up from the mudflats with rakes. In 1961, Conrad Hilton acquired Kaiser’s interest in the property and began the expansion of the present day Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa. The Barefoot Bar was familiar to Americans who tuned into the television series “Hawaiian Eye.” Its walls and ceilings were lined with lauhala mats, which were woven from the leaves of pandanus trees. The Hilton’s Rainbow Tower is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the two largest murals in the world. Millard Sheets created them in 1968, using over 8,000 ceramic tiles on each mural. The Rainbow Tower offers unparalleled views of Waikīkī Beach and Diamond Head.

Overall, we had a great experience in Hawaii and we have our hosts at the Hilton to thank for a fantastic experience at the resort. The only thing I wish is that I had more time to spend there, a few weeks might be enough time for the next time we visit.

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