Sunday, July 13, 2008

Went to the Waikoloa Hilton, but not for scuba diving...

Pat and I went to the Waikoloa Hilton up north last night for a wedding reception for someone she works with. Very nice reception, very nice resort. I'd never spent any time up at the resort prior to this other than for a walkthrough or a brief visit with friends.

We spent the afternoon by the pool before going to the reception. The pool is quite nice. Pat took this pic with her cell phone this morning, it gets much busier in the afternoon. The photo shows only a part of the actual pool, it's got waterfall grottos, a decent water slide (which we enjoyed many times), and a bar... very important for vacationing sun worshippers. The resort itself is quite large, almost looks as though it was two or three resorts combined at a later point, and has a tram and water taxis to get you from one point to the next if you aren't into a long walk. In addition to the pool, there's a nice central lagoon which is hooked to the ocean, so it has live fish and turtles. The Waikoloa Hilton also features a dolphin habitat. Overall, I'd have to rank the Waikoloa Hilton as much more interesting and relaxing than the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu.

The Hilton does have an onsite dive operator, which I know little about. It seems relatively few divers dive both the Waikoloa area and Kona, usually sticking to one or the other so I get few real comparisons for the diving. One thing I have noticed from visits, and hear about from customers, is that the tradewinds do affect chop conditions up in that area as the day progresses... I can't say from experience how that affects the diving in A-bay (locals call the bay the Hilton is located on the edge of "A-bay" for short... I think the real name is "Abaywhosnameisnearlyimpossibletopronouncecorrectly Bay")specifically, but I've got to wonder if it disturbs the visibility at times. If you are staying up at the Hilton and scuba diving, do think about giving Kona diving a shot, especially if the afternoon winds are an issue as south of the airport there are few tradewinds. Most of us Kona operators leave out of Honokohau Harbor, which is roughly 25 miles to the south of the resort, just 4 miles south of the Kona airport. Feel free to click on my Wanna Dive link to the right of this post to find out about my dive operation.

This morning Pat and I took the time to check out the new malls... Queens Shops at Waikoloa and the Shops at the Mauna Lani. They're coming along, still adding businesses, but are nice shopping venues. It was nice to get away for a day.

Gotta go downstairs and clean the vacation rental... new vistors coming in tomorrow.




Laura said...

We usually do shore diving, so we dive Puako and Mahukona when we stay in Waikoloa. I've never gone on a boat dive in that part of the island. If we're staying in Waikoloa, we always end up driving down to Kona a lot, too, because there's just so much great diving in/south of Kona.

We've never stayed at the Hilton, but have stayed many times at condos right near the King's Shops, and have gone to the Hilton a lot just for fun because it's such an over-the-top place to visit and there are a couple of really good restaurants there. We also discoverd a great snorkel spot there that's actually really isolated even though it's right near the golf course (you have to climb over a bunch of rough lava to get to the entry). I think the Hilton's onsite dive operator is really expensive (not surprisingly).

Is the gourmet market at Queen Shops finished yet??

Steve said...

The gourmet market still has plenty of work to do. It's mostly boarded up and it appears the ductwork is either in or being put in. They do have a large "now hiring" sign out front.

The market up at the Shops at the Mauna Lani is open now, wasn't the last time I was up that way. Nice looking market.