Hilton Hawaiian Village Turns 50

Since the launch of Hilton Hawaiian Village, the brand has bonded with the islands By: Marty Wentzel
The modern-day Hilton Hawaiian Village. // © 2011 Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa
The modern-day Hilton Hawaiian Village. // © 2011 Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa

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The Details

Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa

50 Years of Aloha Package
Conrad Hilton knew a good thing when he saw it. That's why, in 1961, the legendary hotelier bought a majority of a 1,100-room beachfront Waikiki resort called Kaiser Hawaiian Village Hotel and renamed it Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Today, the Hilton brand maintains a strong presence in the 50th state. Its portfolio includes the original property -- now known as Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa -- plus Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio and Hilton Waikoloa Village on Hawaii's Big Island. In honor of its anniversary, Hilton Hawaiian Village is presenting special dining offers, merchant discounts and musical tributes, and Hilton is offering a themed package called 50 Years of Aloha.

With 3,627 guestrooms, suites and timeshare units, Hilton Hawaiian Village has grown considerably. By 1968, it laid claim to four guest towers. Within the next two years, it opened the Mid-Pacific Conference Center and Rainbow Bazaar, with 40 shops and restaurants. In 1988, it completed a $100 million architectural renewal, which opened its lobby to views of its super pool and the ocean. More recent milestones include the 2001 addition of the Kalia Tower with its full-service spa; the 2007 reopening of the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon following a $15 million restoration; the 2008 debut of the Grand Waikikian timeshare tower; and the 2009 opening of the Paradise Pool, with the longest water slide in Waikiki.

"Hilton Hawaiian Village is Waikiki's only true destination resort," said  Hilton Worldwide area vice president Jerry Gibson. "We offer guests a private oasis where everything they need is at their fingertips, yet they are steps away from the center of Waikiki."

The property features such amenities as the Camp Penguin children's program; a $6 million freestanding Ocean Crystal Chapel; a rooftop Waikiki Starlight Luau; and a Friday evening poolside musical revue, culminating in a fireworks show over Waikiki Beach.

Timed with its 50th anniversary, Hilton recently unveiled a master plan to rejuvenate the village. The project focuses on expanded retail and restaurant space, an improved guest arrival experience, upgraded amenities and the construction of two new timeshare towers.

In the next five decades, Hilton may not grow as much in Hawaii as it did during the previous 50 years but, clearly, the brand is committed to the islands.

"Our three properties have become top destinations largely because of the success of Hilton Hawaiian Village," said Hilton Hotels and Resorts global head Dave Horton. "It is recognized around the world ...  as a landmark that's part of the local culture in Waikiki. This is a tremendous milestone for Hilton."
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