Ava and I had the opportunity to stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort recently, and wow were we impressed. Our family’s rating system on favorite hotel stays is usually focused on the fun things we could do there. We found tons of activities for kids at Hilton Hawaiian Village. The resort is among the best family hotels in Honolulu, and that is saying a lot.

Hilton Hawaiian Village entrance night

All lit up at night, the entrance to the Hilton Hawaiian Village is impressive.

This is the first time we’ve stayed in Honolulu or even on the island of Oahu. Oh, we’ve been to Hawaii many times and love it here. We’ve just always visited Kauai, Maui of the Big Island of Hawaii – but never Oahu until now. We discovered so much family fun at Hilton Hawaiian Village. Guests can find entertainment in every corner of this vast beachfront property.

lagoon dad and daughter Hilton Hawaiian Village

As soon as we checked in, Ava and I went down to the lagoon at Hilton Hawaiian Village.

If you haven’t seen a photo of this hotel, it’s iconic and highly recognizable. One of the towers sits right on the beach, and sports a very distinctive rainbow design on two entire sides of the building. In every single photo of Waikiki Beach from this angle looking towards Diamond Head, the Hilton is prominently featured and you cannot miss that rainbow.

Activities for Kids at Hilton Hawaiian Village

We traveled to Honolulu direct from San Diego via Alaska Airlines, an easy hop over from the mainland. As our taxi neared the Hilton Hawaiian Village property, Ava got all excited because she had seen the hotel on her favorite TV show: Hawaii 5-0! The girl is obsessed with this show. She could probably recognize any number of sites where the production has shot in location across the island.  The girl was beyond thrilled.

There is something for everyone at Hilton Hawaiian Village, and it’s a giant playground for families. We did so many fun things, it’s hard to prioritize all the favorites.

kids with koi pond Hilton Hawaiian Village

Some of these koi are massive at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Waikiki Beach at Your Feet

I don’t care how hard you try to convince me. People do not come to Hawaii to sit inside a hotel room. They come for the beach! And the Hilton Hawaiian Village is positioned on some of the best sand on all of Waikiki. The ocean waters are clear and blue, and the sand is pristine white. On this end of Waikiki, the beach gets very wide and there is a lot of room to situate yourself.

balcony view Ali'i Tower

The view from our balcony in the Ali’i Tower was not bad at all.

You can literally walk out of the hotel and on to the sand. In front of the Hilton, the hotel sets up chairs and umbrellas for a fee, and drinks are available from the nearby bar. Guests made themselves comfortable on the sand as well, laying on towels provided by a shack at the nearby pool. Nearby, the boat harbor sends sailboats and others out into the ocean from the docks. This makes for great photos and a picture-postcard worthy view. When you add in all the sights and sounds of Hawaii that abound, it’s a very nice beach experience.

It Has It’s Own Lagoon!

On one side of the beach in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village, there sits a massive saltwater lagoon. The Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon was made specifically for waveless swimming and watersports. What a great place to splash around. Rentals include paddle boards, pontoons and more on this 5-acre tropical water playground.

Six Fantastic Pools

If the beach doesn’t do it for you, then there are six pools at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Each with its own personality, the pools at Hilton Hawaiian Village offer fun for the entire family. There is literally something for everyone, even if you want seclusion from the masses.

Hilton Hawaiian Village lobby view at night

From the Hilton Hawaiian Village lobby, looking out towards pool and ocean.

Paradise Pool – A family activity pool that boasts the longest slide in Waikiki and overlooks the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon.

Super Pool – This beachfront pool is located in the center of the resort, right on the beach. In the middle of th eaction, Super Pool has plenty to offer the entire family.

Keiki Pool –A tiered pool off the Super Pool, providing a shallow swimming pool for the little ones.

Ali’i Tower Pool – A private sanctuary with sun-deck and whirlpool, this pool is exclusively for the guests of Ali’i Tower. Since we stayed in this tower, this was our pool to use but we never did. We opted for the larger pools on the main level.

And there are at least two more!

snorkeling at Waikiki with Diamond Head

With Diamond Head behind us, snorkeling off of Waikiki Beach was a bucket list experience.

Snorkeling With Turtles

The hotel owns a catamaran, which docks on a short pier right off the beach in front of the property. Running two or three tours a day, the Spirit of Aloha Catamaran is fully outfitted with snorkel gear for the entire family. We loved our experience snorkeling with sea turtles right off the coast of Waikiki Beach! There were a ton of sea turtles all just hanging out in the clear blue water. We even swam with them as they paddled around us, careful to stay at a respectful distance without touching them.

Ava said this was her favorite snorkel experience ever. I have to admit it was pretty darn cool.

Catamaran snorkeling Hilton Hawaiian Village

Snorkeling from the catamaran at Hilton Hawaiian Village was a great experience.

Luau Under the Stars

The Hilton also offers a great luau on property. Held on the roof of one of the resort buildings, the Waikiki Starlight Luau is literally the only outdoor luau in Waikiki. We dined on delicious Hawaiian dishes while watching a great hula show. This luau features the dances and costumes from each of the Polynesian Islands, and it was pretty elaborate and well done. A few of us even got into the act, and I was asked to jump up on stage to blow the conch shell greeting that traditionally marks the beginning of a luau ceremony.

Everyone got a lei, and the kids were thrilled that they had free henna painting so they could get their hands done. Although they used Sharpie instead of real henna, the artists were really good and the kids could care less.

hula dancers Hilton Hawaiian Village

Luau under the stars at the Hilton Hawaiian Village

Hotel Rooms at Hilton Hawaiian Village

There are several hotel buildings at Hilton Hawaiian Village, and each offers different advantages. We stayed in the Ali’i Tower, which is positioned right on the sand of famous Waikiki Beach. Our room was on a high floor facing the ocean, and we had a balcony with unbelievable views from Diamond Head. In the other directions, we could see  all the way to the boat docks nearby.

Ali'i Tower at Hilton Hawaiian Village

Our room was on the top floor of the Ali’i Tower at Hilton Hawaiian Village

One of the things I love about hotel rooms in Hawaii – they smell just like fresh tropical flowers. Since they presented us with orchid leis when we arrived, it was only fitting that we added this great aroma to our room. We immediately went straight to the balcony, opened the giant sliding door and stepped out into the warm sun to enjoy the breathtaking view.

registration desk Ali'i Tower

Even the registration desk at the Ali’i Tower is impressive.

More Stuff to do in Waikiki

We had a blast exploring the Waikiki area! There are so many activities for kids at Hilton Hawaiian Village, and you can read more about our best family fun activities in Honolulu.

Duke statue Waikiki Beach

Just a walk down the beach from Hilton Hawaiian Village sits this famous statue of Duke Kahanamoku.