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Top 15 Hilton Properties in America

(that we've actually stayed in!)

· Destinations

Thanks Hilton

There are a few travel brands that we stick with and for hotels, we like Hilton. They have a bunch of different brands in their portfolio that each have a fit for different types of trips. Their rewards program, Hilton Honors, is straight forward and has excellent redemption opportunities. They have hotels everywhere. We've stayed in Hilton properties around the world and only very rarely have we ever had an issue with any of them. For accommodating us everywhere and anywhere, we have to thank Hilton- you're the best.

For this ranking we have some personal priorities that influenced us- we really like being by the water and we appreciate a walkability factor. You may have different preferences that don't make this list jive with yours, but hopefully you find a hotel here that someday makes your top list, too.

There are certainly better Hiltons out there that aren't on this list, but maybe we haven't stayed in those(yet). So here are our favorite Hilton brand hotels that we've actually stayed at, counting down...

#15 Hilton Garden Inn Riverhead

The Hamptons: Riverhead, New York

Gateway to the Hamptons

This location is a supercentral hub to explore the Hamptons from. It's not in the heart of any of the villages, but it's a good gateway to the hotspots. The Hilton Garden Inn Riverhead has shopping outlets conveniently nearby and there is a bus from New York City that drops passengers off in the parking lot. It's not all convenience, though, as it offers a very cozy patio with a chiminea fireplace and pool for cooling off after a hot day of touring. Eastern Long Island has a lot to discover, and with a lack of big brand hotels to choose from, this Hilton Garden Inn delivers.

#14 DoubleTree Suites Santa Monica

Santa Monica, California

Get your walking shoes and get to the DoubleTree Santa Monica. Walk out the doors and down the hill to the world-famous Santa Monica Pier for Pacific dips, sandy trips, and sunset sips. Or north a few blocks to spend the evening strolling through the world class shopping district of 3rd Street Promenade. Or head to the beach and powerwalk south all the way to the oddities on offer in Venice Beach. Take the inland route back along the canals of Venice. And when you get back, try the rooftop pool to cool down after wearing down your treads on all those sizzling sidewalks.

#13 DoubleTree Suites Tampa Bay

Rocky Point: Tampa, Florida

Very close to the airport, but feels like you're away on an island (you are!). The DoubleTree Suites Tampa Bay is parked right on the top of Old Tampa Bay with a bayside pool with sunsets to boot. The surrounding Rocky Point area has restaurants and bars within walking distance, and the hotel shuttle will take you to anywhere you want to be in the surrounding area (including the airport). The all-suite hotel may not be the hottest hotel in the area, but the setting, the stayability, the convenience, and the comforts there make it a top Tampa pick.

#12 Millenium Hilton

Downtown Manhattan: New York City, New York

Best Hilton Views in NYC

Choose your view in this downtown tower- no matter which way you look, they're all stunning. This hotel is in the middle of it all. Immediately adjacent to the World Trade Center site and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, next door to the Financial District, and walking distance to Battery Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and everything Lower Manhattan has to offer.

#11 The Palmer House Hilton

The Inner Loop: Chicago, Illinois

Best Travel Back in Time

From the moment you walk into the Palmer House Hilton's grand lobby, you know this place has stories to tell. Everything is spectacular. The brownie was born here. Yes, that brownie. The brownie.

#10 DoubleTree New Bern

The Inner Banks: New Bern, North Carolina

photo by Melanie E. on trover

Best Boaters' Paradise

This small town Inner Banks spot is stationed right up against the marina. If you find yourself in a waterfont room you will feel like you're staying on one of the many weekend cruisers gently docked outside your door. The riverfront is lined with a paved pathway all along and under the bridge to Union Point Park. Walk into town to visit cute coastal shops and indulge in down country cuisine. "Brad's Drink" was born here as a mix of sugar, water, caramel, lemon oil, nutmeg, and more- this was the precursor to Pepsi-Cola (maybe we'd prefer the original "healthy" version since soda doesn't make it onto our menu). This visit left us wanting to board a boat and explore every southern inlet and intracoastal town from North Carolina to Georgia.

#9 Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island

The Golden Isles: Jekyll Island, Georgia

Best Beach Cruiser Getaway

Jekyll Island has the best bike paths encasing the entire island. The Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island is connected to these paved paths but also gives you boardwalk steps through the oak trees onto a beautiful beach. The natural setting of the woods, the dunes, and the underdeveloped beach make it feel as this is your own private island retreat. Back at the hotel, the zero entry heated pool, the wooded backdrop patio, the friendly firepit, and the cozy bar inside make this place extra cozy all over.

#8 Hampton Inn & Suites Chincoteague Island

The Eastern Shore: Chincoteague Island, Virginia

Best Hilton East Coast Sunset

You may find it hard to believe there is a waterfront Hampton Inn & Suites as perfect as this place. The Hampton Inn & Suites Chincoteague Island has been rated the #1 Hampton in America. Since it sits on the eastern barrier islands, it faces west across the bay to see the setting sun pierce the calm cool waters nightly. If you're lucky enough, you may find yourself with a front row view of this splendor from your walk out balcony above their private boardwalk, which is also lined with gentle rocking chairs to take in the view. It is quiet, calm, and simply magical here.

#7 Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay

The Garden Isle: Kauai, Hawaii

Best Oceanfront Park

Immediately adjacent to Lydgate State Park, the Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay places the panoramic pleasures of paradise right at your feet. Lydgate lets you snorkel and swim in the crisp ocean water, but you are protected from the heavy surf by a rock wall jetty. Good thing it's there because the sea here can be relentlessly rough and the jetty gives you a chance to experience the ocean and explore the sea creatures below in the safety of this laid-back lagoon. There is also a historical Hawaiian temple here, a very sacred site where the Wailua River passes into the Pacific. Big buffet breakfast is served in the huge open air restaurant lobby with sea breezes blowing through. The complex does offer some decent duplex cottages with kitchenettes if you prefer a non-traditional hotel room. The pools are good and we had no complaints here, but we found ourselves spending most of our time walking off-property into the sprawling park next door, popular with locals especially on weekends for cookouts and birthday bashes.

#6 Hilton Key Largo Resort

The Keys: Key Largo, Florida

Best Lazy Beachfront Hilton

No plans. Just work your way along the trail through the woods down to the beach and let the day take you away. The Hilton Key Largo Resort lets you enjoy the Glades side of the Keys- implanted in a very natural setting with lush vegetation and shady palms all around. So often we're craving shade from the intense Florida sun and this place provides it. That calm water beckons you and floating never felt so good in this serene setting.

#5 Casa Marina Key West, a Waldorf Astoria Resort

The Keys: Key West, Florida

Best Beach in Key West

If you haven't been to Key West, you may be surprised to find out that there aren't many sandy beaches in the area. The Casa Marina delivers an oceanfront paradise with Key West's largest private sandy beach. You can spend a lifetime hanging in a hammock between the palm trees. While the resort isn't quite "in-town", the 10-minute walk isn't painful (everything's flat in Florida!) and also keeps the crazies out. The setting couldn't be better and the hotel embodies classic Keys.

#4 Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort

The Valley Isle: Maui, Hawaii

Best Hilton Hotel Grounds

I've got 2 words for you: Lazy River. The pool area at Grand Wailea is amazing, with lots of little nooks to explore, float through, and slide down. The oceanfront resort location is ridiculously pristine and perfect. The huge open air lobby draws you in and the cascading decorative pools pull you further towards the ocean. The grounds are immaculate and gorgeously groomed in every direction.

#3 Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks

The Outer Banks: Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

Best East Coast Beachfront Hilton

The Outer Banks has a different feel than any other stretch of beach from Florida to Maine. The Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks gifts you a setting to take it all in. Indoor and outdoor pools when you don't want to venture the 3 minute walk down to the beach. Walk out on the iconic pier, just at the edge of the property. Some days the wild Atlantic waters can be rough, cold, and uninviting. Other days the salty air from the ocean draws you in to cool your soul.

The hotel is in a great location for arriving from the mainland and serves as a central home base for exploring up and down the barrier islands. Get a balcony overlooking the ocean and let the crashing waves soothe you to sleep.

#2 Sunrise Lodge, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club

Park City, Utah

Best Hotel Room I've Ever Stayed In

I know it's because it's a timeshare complex, but the rooms in this ski village are like mountain chalets. Warm fireplaces, smooth granite, big spaces, and balconies with mountain views. We spent a lot of time deciding between this and the neighboring Waldorf Astoria Park City. We made the right decision. The large layouts give you plenty of space to spread out your snow sports gear and dry out your gloves.

Walk the 5 minutes into the Canyon Village with restaurants, bars, ski rentals and lifts. Jump on the free hotel shuttle for a hop around the classic town. Wish for snow to embrace this landscape as it was meant to be.

#1 Hilton Waikoloa Village

The Big Island: Hawaii, Hawaii

Best Hotel Complex in America

The Hilton Waikoloa has a monorail. A monorail. To get to your room, you check in and roll your bag right onto the monorail tram. It's timely, efficient, has great views of the complex, and it's fun. Don't want to ride the rails? Just cross the tracks, step down some stairs, and board the boat. The boat ride cruises you through the canal running through the resort straight to your building.

This is a special place. Yes, it has these Disney-like monorail and boat rides, but it isn't overdone or flashy like a trip to a theme park is. The resort grounds are lush and relaxing. Everything is low key, tranquil, and laid back. The onsite restaurants are pricey but convenient. The rooms are generally big with lots of options for a view, often for an upcharge.

And the lagoon. You don't have to pay an extra cent to spend the week snorkeling around their ocean-fed waterworld lagoon filled with sea turtles and fish of every variety. The pools are plentiful. A zero-entry sand pool, waterslides from pool to pool, waterfalls, cave bars, and even quiet pools away from the crowded ones.

If you don't mind paying for extras, you can swim with the dolphins at the onsite Dolphin Quest, a sea-filled sanctuary guided by marine specialists and veterinarians. Spend an evening at the Legends of Hawaii Luau feasting on the traditional buffet with cultural song, dance, and storytelling.

Would we return again? In a heartbeat. For a month. The challenge with a long stay is that eating can be expensive- the onsite restaurant costs add up and most rooms are without a kitchen. Parking is unfortunately not free, so again for an extended stay these costs can be painful.

Overall, this is the place to be. We have been twice, both with and without kids. Both times we submerged ourselves in the slow pace of the setting. The palm trees sway, the ocean waves roll. You can lounge in the pools and drift in the lagoon endlessly. It truly is a village with so many areas to explore and activities to try. This is one resort we have no problem never leaving!


Top 15 Hilton Properties in America

#15: Hilton Garden Inn Riverhead / Riverhead, NY

#14: DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Santa Monica / Santa Monica, CA

#13: DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Tampa Bay / Tampa, FL

#12: Millenium Hilton / New York, NY

#11: Palmer House Hilton / Chicago, IL

#10: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Bern Riverfront / New Bern, NC

#9: Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island / Jekyll Island, GA

#8: Hampton Inn & Suites Chincoteague-Waterfront / Chincoteague Island, VA

#7: Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay / Kauai, HI

#6: Hilton Key Largo Resort / Key Largo, FL

#5: Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort / Key West, FL

#4: Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort / Maui, HI

#3: Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks / Kitty Hawk, NC

#2: Sunrise Lodge, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club / Park City, UT

#1: Hilton Waikoloa Village / Big Island, HI

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