Expert Advice

Adventure Awaits You On The Big Island Of Hawaii With Hilton Grand Vacations

Hear why one Member loves staying at Ocean Tower, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club

Ben D
Aerial view of Ocean Tower, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club on Big Island, Hawaii

My fiancé and I just celebrated our second anniversary of becoming Hilton Grand Vacations Members.

Before I became a Member, I purchased a vacation package to spend a week at Ocean Tower, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, a resort in Waikoloa on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Akaka Falls State Park in Big Island, Hawaii 

The Big Island is the largest and youngest Hawaiian Island, offering diverse landscapes — snow-capped mountains, lush green valleys, raging waterfalls and vibrant volcanoes.

The island’s beauty and serenity were apparent from the airplane. Watching the red lava rock surface of the Big Island come into view after miles of ocean was truly a sight to behold — a far cry from the concrete jungle and fast pace of our home in Washington, D.C.

Once in Hawaii, it was our task to take in and enjoy as much as possible. And we were up to the task!

Here’s how we spent one of the grandest adventures of our lives together (so far).

Things To Do On The Big Island

We set off in a rental Jeep each day to explore the Big Island. Our game plan for adventure contained many of the Big Island’s most outstanding geographic features and experiences. One unique aspect of the island is the hardened lava flows that cover the landscape, not yet filled with iconic Hawaiian greenery.

However, you can still find lush greenery on the Big Island. Our first stop was Akaka Falls State Park. We observed two majestic waterfalls amid a gorgeous rainforest during a short hike.

A beach along Big Island, Hawaii 

We then visited the Lili’uokalani Gardens, the largest ornamental Japanese garden outside Japan.

Another glorious destination was Rainbow Falls, featuring another spectacular waterfall — no hiking required.

From there, we enjoyed a quick diversion to the Kaumana Caves State Park to explore a cave created from a lava flow.

Our next jaunt found us exploring Kilauea, home of the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele. Experiencing the size and breadth of the crater in person was magnificent and terrifying. Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes on the planet. Though it didn’t erupt during our visit, the size of the crater and noticeable heat from miles away drove home the planet’s beautiful yet destructive power.

Finally, no adventure in Hawaii is complete without experiencing its breathtaking beaches. What sets apart Big Island beaches is the varying colors of sand you can see — including Punalu’u Beach's black sands, Manini’owali Beach's white shores and Papakolea Beach — one of only four green sand beaches in the world.

Pool and palm trees at Ocean Tower, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club on Big Island, Hawaii 

Where To Stay On The Big Island

While many adventures await across the Big Island, Ocean Tower itself offers stunning views, beautiful beaches and extraordinary dining options that will redefine “staying in.” My home resort is nestled within the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Kohala Coast, right at the edge of Waiulua Bay.

There are many opportunities to enjoy the local cuisine, lay out in the sun, dip your toes in the water, savor a drink or relax by the lagoon. On-site transportation gets you around the expansive resort.

Reflecting on my first two years as a Hilton Grand Vacations Member, I am thankful for how easy it is for my partner and me to create memories around the world, thanks to a diverse portfolio of properties and locations.

Hawaii is pure magic, and I’m grateful we get to call it “home.”

Read “How To Spend 3 Unforgettable Days On Hawaii's Big Island” for more activities to add to your itinerary.

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Hilton Grand Vacations Owner Ben D. takes a vacation selfie

Ben D

Ben is a therapist and avid traveler who knows the importance of leisure and wellness. He and his partner enjoy exploring places off the beaten path in popular destinations like Hawaii, Las Vegas, California and Orlando. Ben has been a loyal Hilton Honors member for over a decade and became a Hilton Grand Vacations Owner in 2021. He is excited to share his adventures and remind Owners that vacations are a vital part of self-care.

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