Monday, August 09, 2010

Hilton Hawaiian Village: Good news if you like getting bent over with your pants around your ankles.


Here are some of the prices you can expect to pay if you ever stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village:

  • $24/day for parking.  ($30/day for valet parking).
  • $15/day for internet service.  (You can buy a week for $65 for the “basic” service and $85 for the “premium” service.
  • $5.95 for a bowl of cold cereal.
  • $6.25 for a 12oz. can of coke.

But the extortionate pricing was just the beginning of my complaints.  The HHV was crowded.  The common areas of the hotel were inadequate to give a peaceful experience to the people who wanted to use them.  Good luck getting a chair at the swimming pool, especially the swimming pool with the water slide.  Speaking of which, the requirement that my nine-year-old. has to wear water wings on their itty bitty water slide is absurd.  For one thing, she’s a good swimmer; for another, she’s ridden all but one of the slides at Blizzard Beach without water wings; why water wings on these? 

It’s the middle of Asia’s summer traveling season and most of the guests were foreigners.  I’m pretty sure the staff at the hotel were all LEPs.  Frankly, people spoke better English in Iceland.

To its credit, a lot of the detailing in the rooms was well done.  But the beds we had were doubles, not queens – and try sharing a room with a six and nine year-old with jet lag who don’t like sleeping together.  The balcony was especially pleasant, giving us a great view of . . . well, of that $24/day parking garage actually, but from the 26th floor or so it was a nice place to get some quiet.

All told, the experience was so unpleasant that we actually did something we had never done in the middle of a vacation:  changed hotels.  We walked over the Hotel Across the Street and found a world apart:  quiet, spacious common areas; reasonably-priced restaurants, queen beds in the rooms.  It was everything the HHV wasn’t.  Mrs. Φ and I looked at each other and said, “Why are we not staying here?”  Fortunately, they had space, so we packed up and spent the second half of the week at the HATS.


Anonymous said...

Man, you go on vacation a lot.

Φ said...

Well, like Iceland, it was a working vacation in the sense that I was there to attend a conference, with the hotel, my plane fare, and mi&e picked up by my sponsor. Come to think of it, I haven't been on a vacation that didn't involve either work or visiting relatives since 2004.

Sheila would say this makes me a prole.

Dexter said...

Don't stay at the HHV (or anywhere else in Hawaii) unless someone else is paying for it... that's my rule.

As for the water wings, curiously enough, where I live, water wings and other flotation devices are forbidden on grounds of safety. Supposedly they teach the kids bad habits, they provide the illusion of safety but aren't really safe, or some goddamn thing like that. (The bottom line is that daddy has to swim, too, and hold the kid who can't swim. But I'm OK with that.)

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the entire business model that expensive hotels follow. They're already charging an arm and a leg for rooms, you'd think that their other charges would be reasonable. Quite the opposite.


Dexter said...

The model is, in part at least, that business travelers will pay because they are on an expense account. I'd be pissed if I was on vacation and had to pay through the nose for parking and internet, but if I'm on business travel, not only is the company paying, but I *have* to have those services.