Monday, January 2, 2012

Hilton Hawaiian Village - Honolulu, HI

As promised in my last post, I'm going to start putting more of a review spin on things here.

I recently took one of the most amazing vacations of my life to Honolulu, HI. This wasn't just any vacation. My 15 year old brother plays the trumpet for the Danvers High School Marching Band, and they were playing in the Waikiki Holiday Parade, commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. The band also had the opportunity to play at the USS Missouri. My dad and I decided to tag along - tough choice, right?

Danvers High School Marching Band at the USS Missouri

For six nights, we stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. I had my doubts given that it's a Hilton (personally, I think Hawaii and think resorts), but this was definitely a resort and I was more than pleased with the accommodations. It was great arriving after an excruciating long travel day to having the room ready with some of the comfiest beds I've ever slept in at a hotel.

We stayed in the Rainbow Tower, which unfortunately was under construction, but was still nice. It allowed for a partial ocean view. It also had a nice view of the city, too, which was gorgeous at night.
View from the room during the day

View from the room at night

The food and drinks at the hotel were great - there wasn't a single drink or meal that wasn't enjoyable. The "Tropical" drink was my favorite - 1/2 ounce bourbon, 1/2 ounce Lemon Hart 80-proof rum, 1/4 ounce orange curacao, 3 ounces passion fruit juice, dash of Angostura bitters, topped off with 151-proof rum. One of those pool side was the definition of perfection.

As great as the trip and the stay was,, there are a couple of things that really could have made the trip better - the main thing being the elevators. I guess you wonder how an elevator could really make or break it for a hotel - I'll tell ya, this broke it for sure, mainly because the elevators themselves were broken for the entire time I was there.

In the Rainbow Tower there were 5 elevators. These didn't have the simple up and down buttons we're used to - in the elevator lobby you're asked to punch in your floor number. Out of the 5 elevators, only 3 were in service, causing there to be extreme delays as well as very packed elevators.  Not only did I get stuck in them one day and almost miss my bus to Thanksgiving dinner, but on our last day there, it took us nearly 40 minutes to get down to the pool - and we were then instructed to use the freight elevators for the rest of the day.

I was impressed though, by the power of social media in this situation. I had tweeted that I was disappointed with how the staff reacted and the fact that the elevators hadn't been up to par the entire week, and within 5 minutes I had a private message sent asking for my confirmation number, and asking for an email with more detail. In no more than 15 minutes from my original tweet, $100 had been taken off our bill and the hotel staff was made completely aware of our inconvenience and addressed it at check out. I was very impressed.

Palm trees at the pool...gorgeous
 That being the one snag of the trip, I'd say overall it was amazing. Grade for the Hilton Hawaiian Village - B. That's taking into account the elevator scenario, and the lack of  late night restaurants/bars on property. There were also a lot of weddings going on while we were there, and they didn't seem to be private enough. If I were at the wedding, I would want my ceremony/reception to be more private from the rest of the resort.

Eventfully Yours,

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