The Hilton Waikoloa Village Hotel is located just outside of Kona, Hawaii. Although it’s a bit far from the heart of Kona, this hotel has so much to offer that you won’t even know what you’re missing. It is a huge, sprawling property that covers over 60 acres and is complete with multiple restaurants, winding hallways which are filled with impressive sculptures and other works of art, a lagoon made for paddle boarding or kayaking, waterfalls which splash into a wildlife preserve pond, putt-putt golf course, and more.
In fact, this resort is so big, it has a train that will take you around the property. If the train doesn’t “toot your whistle”, you may want to hop in the boat that motors up and down the resort’s waterway delivering guests to various locations on the hotel’s grounds.
The large pool is perfect for relaxing by with a Lava Flow – a local specialty drink. Or, if you’d rather, you can meander across the suspension bridge, lounge under the waterfall, hang out in one of several grottoes, or bring out your inner kid and spend the day going up and down the slide.
One of my favorite things about this property was the Dolphin Quest Center. Not only do they operate it as a discovery and encounter opportunity, but they staff the center with marine biologists and veterinarians. They teach all visitors a bit about dolphins, so it’s a great learning opportunity.
Prior to our arrival, a baby dolphin was born. As a result, the marine biologists were monitoring the baby to make sure it was healthy and also as a learning opportunity for the staff. They had a marine biologist in the water with a mask and snorkel tube 24 hours a day, 7 days a week observing the little guy.
*Update – As of 2018, we have learned so much about interactions with dolphins and other wild animals. While we want to be up front about our experience here, we no longer support activities of this nature.
Surprisingly, the room rates for this hotel are not too expensive, especially considering everything you get. With all it has to offer, it is totally worth the price. We actually checked out of one hotel in Kona and checked into the Hilton Waikoloa instead, which turned out to be one of the best decisions we made during our time in Hawaii. If you’re on the Big Island, stay at the Hilton Waikoloa – you won’t be disappointed!