Friday, February 2, 2018

Venue Review: Update, Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel

Relaxing and Exploring is Easy at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel

Stay, Go, Eat, Swim, Workout...Do it all

Ah, Waikiki with its white beaches, iconic hotels, high-end shops and the aloha spirit.  I simply cannot get enough.  So, even though we recently visited via a cruise, I found we didn’t have enough land time, necessitating a Waikiki stay in one of our favorite hotels: Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel.  
As full disclosure is everyone’s friend, I must admit my rabid fandom for Hilton Honors and their various properties.   It’s for good reason though, as this post and many others will affirm.  Membership is free; most room upgrades—based on availability—is free; Free Internet access, and for many properties, a hot breakfast is included.  For this property, as Gold Honors Members, we were offered a free hot breakfast and an excellent evening appetizer buffet, which was more of a meal.  Coffee, tea, juice and soft drinks were available all day.
Please read my Hotel Room Review 

Food in the Executive Lounge
Excellent Service Creates Happy Guests 
Even though our flight was delayed, we still arrived at this Hilton hours early.  As is common with Hilton properties, but not many others, the front-end staff always does everything possible to find an available room that will be an upgrade.  Love that!  Jamie, the staff member who assisted us, searched and found one, but didn’t consider it the best room.  She offered us this choice, which was available at the time, or the best choice near the top of the hotel with an ocean view.  Uh...let me think about that for a second.  Obviously, we chose to wait.  She gave us a temporary card, allowing entry to the “executive lounge” so we could wait in comfort—great coffee and tea.    Additionally, she texted us when the room we ready.  Jamie is a gem.

Free Food in the Executive Lounge

As I mentioned above, this Hilton has an Executive Lounge which offers Hilton Honors Gold--and above--Members free soft drinks, coffee and tea 24/7.  Additionally, it provides a hot breakfast and evening appetizers, which is more of a light meal.  Most evenings, it was our dinner.  
How close are we to the ocean?
Although not directly on the beach, it is an easy two-block walk to the warm, white sands.
Is there easy-to-use public transportation?
Renting a car to explore the island is an easy task but finding parking isn’t always easy and isn’t cheap.  So, public transportation is key.  Staying in this Hilton property is much like being in a transport hub, but in a good way.  Numerous bus lines and various trolleys stop just steps from the front doors.  These traverse much of the island making this a great place to begin each day.  
What are the hotel activities and amenities?
Because this is primarily viewed as a business hotel, there aren’t the typical Hawaiian hotel activities, like lei making or hula lessons.  Nevertheless, there is a gym, executive lounge, pool, gift shop, gardens, multiple bars and a well-reviewed restaurant.  Get to know, Karin in the LBLE bar.  She is a sweetie with a wonderful sense of humor.  
Besides all these amenities, there are no daily resort fees, making the stay a great value.

When they say, “Anything. Anytime” they mean “Anything.  Anytime.” 
M.A.C. 24/7 is a casual restaurant/bar inside the hotel.  It is accessible from the street by a separate entrance as well.  This restaurant is well-known in Hawaii and well-reviewed--known for reasonably priced, enormous meals.  
I learned a very interesting fact about M.A.C. this visit.  Because they tout “Anything. Anytime.” on their menu, one can order something from one menu choice and something from another.  Or one can order something from the menu and alter it.  For example, what follows is a choice from their menu.

Kalbi Steak Salad

marinated boneless short ribs, local island greens, thai basil, mint, hamakua tomato, locally-grown papaya, avocado, crushed peanuts, fried shallots, cucumber, cilantro, sesame seed, thai lime vinaigrette
Now, say I only wanted the short ribs and side-winder fries—yep, I’m that weird.  It would be possible.  The price just may be less than the entire dish profiled above as well.  Cool, huh.  
Please read my post of my full review of M.A.C. 24/7 
Please read my hubby’s “Honolulu” reviews on TripAdvisor

2500 Kuhio Ave., Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815

Please share your experiences.