Aloha Ali‘i

Hilton Hawaiian Village

We’ve arrived. After a short flight from LA, we landed in Oahu and spent the first day at Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki Beach. Exploring the grounds, we discovered two pools, a lagoon, the beach, and Bali Steak & Seafood. Today was just a taste of some of the amazing amenities here at Hilton, but stay tuned for a more in-depth look at what they have to offer. For now, I’ll show you some of the highlights. 

Our room is in the Ali’i Tower with a premium beachfront location. As soon as I walked in the room, I made my way to the patio to bask in the glorious view of Waikiki Beach. Check it out.

Hilton Beach View

One of the many pools is directly below us as well. Although we didn’t make it for a dip in this pool today, it’s definitely on the agenda.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Pool

Athena’s favorite thing to do is swim though so we explored the lagoon. We booked an afternoon to try out all of the water sports so that should be a blast, especially the water bikes. Athena had her eye on those all afternoon.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Lagoon

We tested all the waters by going from the lagoon to the beach to one of the pools. Surprisingly, the ocean was the warmest of the three.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach

We ended the first day with a sunset view of the property from Bali Steak & Seafood restaurant. I don’t know what was more beautiful – my steak and lobster or the sunset.

Bali Restaurant at Hilton

Sunset from Bali Restaurant

Tomorrow we are setting sail bight and early on the Spirit of Aloha catamaran tour so it’s off to bed for this gal.

Room at Hilton Hawaiian Village

We’re on Oahu for 11 days and we’re open to suggestions. We have a crazy packed schedule already but we want to fit in as much as humanly possible.

40 thoughts on “Aloha Ali‘i

  1. ‘Talk story’ with a beach boy (those awesome surf lifeguards on the beach) ~ ask them about the old days. Woohooo you are going to have a blast !


    • I loved the Big Island. That was our last vacation. I think we’re going to try all of the islands and then choose our favorite to visit again and again. 🙂 Have you been to all the islands?


    • Hi Clare,

      Athena travels with me regularly. We just returned from a trip together to St. Lucia. It’s great. You have to take the good moments with the bad but that’s no different from home. We want to show her the world and let her decide what she likes from there 🙂 You can see lots of posts from Germany and St. Lucia with Athena in tow. There are older ones in Curacao too. (They are closer to your daughter’s age.)

      Let me know if you have any questions or you’d like suggestions 🙂


  2. What a wonderfully written and inspiring story! Just proves that there’s always hope for all of us to have what we want. We just have to have faith and go for it. I’m 25 and i feel there’s all these things that I have to do before I settle down because when I do that is it, you’re locked in. That’s why I moved to Beijing, China for an adventure and in search of what is it that I really want in life. Yet you proved that no matter when in life you can take that step in a direction that you want, that brings happiness. Thanks for a great post!


  3. I definitely suggest Hanauma Bay as well. Some of the most awesome snorkeling I have every done and it is easily accessible from shore. You do not need to book in advance but the earlier you get there in the morning the better. It is basically first come, first served and there is limited parking. If you cannot find a parking space, then you could be out of luck. We were there last January and we arrived by 7:30am and we were among the first 20 people in the park. It was incredible! By the time we left at 10:00am it was filling up. Based on our experience I would recommend arriving by 9:00am just to be safe. Other suggestions – Kualoa Ranch (horseback riding (or ATV riding) – great views of the mountains and the ocean with the added benefit of seeing several movie/TV set locations), Haliewa (the town that is the gateway to the North Shore), Manoa Falls, Diamond Head, Pali Lookout (off of the Pali Highway), Byodo-In Buddhist Temple. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village last time we were there also and if your daughter does not mind fireworks (I know young children often do not) they have a nice fireworks show on Friday nights). Enjoy your time on Oahu!


  4. Ah, Hawaii. I haven’t been back for at least 8 years. i just love the way Hawaii makes your skin feel. Have a wonderful time and we so enjoy all your comments and photos. Your readers have some wonderful suggestions too. Thanks for sharing!


  5. Iolani Palace, Mac Nut Farm, Dole plantation (even if its just for the Dole Whip) North Shore shrimp trucks, Shark’s cove for snorkeling (Hanauama Bay is great but CROWDED!) Kaneohe Bay sandbar boat trip, kayak to the Mokes or Chinaman’s Hat, Halona Blowhole, Makapu’u Lighthouse Hike (easy!), Kaena Point Hike (see some Monk Seals) Shangri-La, USS Arizona, Kualao Ranch for 4 wheeling or movie set tours.
    Get out of Waikiki as much as possible! (your daughter would probably love the zoo and *tiny* aquarium though!)
    Lucky to live Hawaii!


  6. For us on Oahu, the Arizona Memorial is a must every time we visit the Island. Also the North Coast drive and Polynesian Cultural Centre.

    Favourite island is Maui, not as busy as Oahu, which we find has too much traffic.


  7. Shaved Ice, hike to the top of Diamond Head, snorkeling at Shark’s Cove (North Shore) and/or Hanauma Bay, wind surfing Kailua Bay, lunch at a shrimp truck, Chinatown, Pearl Harbor, blow hole, hike to Waimea Falls, golf at Turtle Bay, Polynesian Cultural Center, Iolani Palace, and lunch at Waioli Tea Room.


  8. Thank you for sharing your journey. I enjoyed reading about your stay at the Hilton. My great grand aunts and uncles once lived at the present hotel site in a cluster of homes. Some of them are still alive and have shared with us (the younger generation) about their time going holoholo (fishing) and swimming right in the waters that you and your family are swimming in. As a child my grandmother would take me swimming fronting the hotel and share her memories of visiting her family who lived there long before the hotel ever existed. Again, thank you for sharing and enjoy your travels!


  9. You are definitely in the best tower at this property. I stayed here last December and the “regular” rooms are just that…but I had a good time learning how to paddle board in the lagoon…much safer way to do it than just being “tossed into the ocean.” 🙂
    *My review of Hilton Hawaiian Village:*


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