The Hilton Hawaiian Village:
From its historic roots among mosaic lokoi‘a fishponds and cottages in the Pi‘inaio Stream Delta, to the present day, the resort is one of the world’s largest and most iconic hotels.
A quaint neighborhood welcomes it’s first guests
The Niumalu Hotel opens on the site where Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort now stands. It replaces quaint clusters of cottages known as Cressaty’s Court and Hummel’s Court at Kalia, in the gorgeous, historic Kalia section of Waikiki.
Tourism takes off
The post-war boom economic boom fuels interest in Hawaii as a vacation destination. Sensing an opportunity, Fritz B. Burns and Henry J. Kaiser purchase the Niumalu Hotel and eight oceanfront acres of the John Ena Estate. A year later construction begins on thatched-roof guest cottages with 70 guest rooms and suites.The Tapa Room, gardens and three swimming pools are also complet-ed in 1955.
Up, up and away
Ocean Tower, now known as Ali’I Tower, is completed. The Geodesic dome showroom is erected in just 20 hours! It opens on Feb-ruary 17 for the premiere of ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ and the Symphony Poly-nesia, starring the famed Alfred Apaka.
The King is in the building
Conrad Hilton, great-grandfather to socialites Paris and Nikki Hilton, purchases half of the Hawaiian Village Hotel from Henry J. Kaiser. That same year Elvis Pressley ﬁlms his hit movie, “Blue Hawaii” at the resort. The King stays on the 14th ﬂoor of the Ocean Tower (Ali‘i Tower) in the Mahele Suite.
The Rainbow’s beginning
Rainbow Tower opens featuring the world’s largest ceramic tile mosaic. 286 feet high by 26 feet wide, with more than 16,000 colorful tiles, the spectacular mosaic deco-rates both ends of the building. To learn more about the Rainbow Mosaic click here.
Everything gets bigger in the 80’s
Tapa Tower is opened on the site of the former Village Tower, bringing the total number of hotel rooms to 2,614. The Bali and Tapa Café restaurants also open in the Tapa Tower. Plans for a $100 million architectural renewal begin.
Excellent service gets an excellent upgrade
Ocean Tower is renovated and “rebuilt” with two additional floors. Renamed the Ali’i Tower, it becomes the Village’s exclusive “hotel within a hotel” for guests who desire higher levels of service, such as private con-cierge service and registration.
New century, new milestones
The 25-story Kalia Tower opens culminating what was the first major resort development in Waikiki in more than a decade. The tower offers tropical gardens, spacious walkways, waterfalls and Hawaiian art, creating a new gateway to the Village.
Going to the Chapel
After years of planning and nine months of construction, the $6 million Ocean Crystal Chapel opens with a lavish grand opening ceremony. Set amid lush landscaping and waterfalls, the chapel seats 85 people, offers stunning visuals and hosts countless Big Days.
The year we let it slide
The 5,000-sqare foot Paradise Pool opens, boasting the longest water slide in Waikiki at 77 feet. After splashing down, guests can partake in the The Waikiki Starlight Luau, which debuts on the Rooftop Garden. Featuring an expanded buffet dinner and Polynesian extravaganza, the experience is much more than “dinner and a show”.
The Hilton Hawaiian Village celebrates its 50th anniversary! Following its debut at No. 8 in 2010, Duke Kahanamoku Beach moves up five places to No. 2 on Dr. Beach’s annual Memorial Day list for America’s top 10 beaches. Some things just get better with age.
Rebirth of the Rainbow
Millard Sheet’s famous Rainbow Mural is completely renovated using 31,000 digitally-reproduced tiles and new LED lighting. The $4.25 million renovation takes more than two years to complete.
Signature skin care arrives
The Hilton Hawaiian Village develops and launches a signature skin and hair care line, anuenue Rainbow. Featuring beneficial botanicals such as mango, pineapple and ginger root, and an island-inspired scent, the Coconut Papaya collection is available in-room and at retail.