World famous Hilton Hawaiian Village is likely the most popular resort on Oahu. The expansive property is ripe with amenities, which is probably why you’ve chosen the accommodation for your stay. And while conveniently tucked along the quieter western shores of Waikiki, there are some things you need to know to make sure your trip from HNL to the resort goes without a hitch.
Tips for Visitors Arriving at Honolulu International Airport and Heading to Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki
Book a Direct No-Share Flat-Rate Shuttle
While the Hilton Hawaiian Village is an amazing place to stay, there is one thing that ruffles a few feathers, the resort check-in lineup. We’ve pulled up to the curb of the resort more times than we can count and without a doubt there is a larger queue to get your paperwork signed and room keys in hand than nearly any other hotel in Waikiki. This is the side effect of being so popular we suppose. The point here, is that you want to get to the property before the other HNL arrivals do.
The resort is in Waikiki, so there are more transportation options to get there than any other place on the island. And that is what makes it so confusing for new visitors. Let’s put it this way – if you make the wrong choice you can start your great island vacation off on the wrong foot when instead you should be enjoying the flip flop shuffle along Waikiki’s beach walk soon after your arrival. The best way to expedite this mission, is to skip the alternatives and book a direct, no-share, flat-rate shuttle.
There are six primary reasons why a direct, no-share, flat-rate shuttle is the only option for those of you arriving at HNL and heading to the Hilton Hawaiian Village:
- Driving a rental car from HNL to Waikiki can place in you a HI-92 E or the 1-H-1 E (to McCully St) traffic queue that will make your long wait to check-in seem more like a fun resort activity.
- Shared resort shuttles take too long. You’re waiting for all other resort-destined passengers to gather themselves from baggage claim, get lei’d, and get dropped off with their respective luggage. And when it comes to those getting off at the Hilton Hawaiian Village with you, be prepared for an all out battle to get off the bus/shuttle and in line to check-in.
- Traditional taxis are too expensive.
- Ride-hailing service pickup zones (Lyft/Uber) are harder to get too and can be much more expensive if you need a vehicle big enough for your entire party and luggage.
- The number of stops that the city bus takes from HNL to the Hilton Hawaiian Village is brutal. In addition, it comes with another set of challenges.
- The other options above don’t offer the same amount of ALOHA (lei greetings included).
What to Do if You’re Too Early for Check-In
Your flight may arrive at HNL hours before the Hilton’s 3 PM check-in time. Sure, you can leave your bags with the concierge while you hang out around the resort village (drinks at Tapa Bar or Paradise Lounge and a visit to Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon included), but given that you’ll be doing plenty of that on your stay why not take advantage of that in-queue time to explore the area?
With Ala Moana Center (the biggest shopping mall in all of Hawaii) a mere 15-minute walk from the Hilton Hawaiian Village, you can squeeze in a visit to the center to give yourself a head start on island shopping. There, you can also pick up essentials (toothpaste, sunscreen, snacks, beer/wine, etc.) which will be much cheaper at Ala Moana’s Longs Drugs or Target than any shop within the resort. After that (or alternatively) you can head across the mall to Ala Moana Beach Park (also just 15-mins from your hotel) where you’ll find Magic Island Lagoon, a magical place for exploration which is commonly visited by a large monk seal that seeks solace along the lagoon’s rock jetty. You can also walk over and check out the diverse selection of watercraft docked at Ala Wai Boat Harbor (5-min from the resort), or stave-off post flight hunger pangs at nearby Cheeseburger in Paradise or Red Lobster (on Ala Moana BLVD) or head over to a true local watering hole at the Harbor Pub, a quintessential nautical pub and eatery. You’re in Waikiki so indeed the possibilities are endless, but the above serve as a great start to your south shore experience. Check them off of your list before you even check-in.
If you have any further questions about transportation from Honolulu Airport to Hilton Hawaiian Village, do not hesitate to contact Honolulu Airport Transfer toll-free 1-800-929-1219 or locally at 808-227-1111 at your convenience.
~ ALOHA ~