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Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon (aka: The Hilton Lagoon), Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Posted by Jody on November 7, 2011

The Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon, aka: The Hilton Lagoon, is named for the “Father of Modern Surfing.”  Located at the far west end of Waikiki Beach (on the Hilton Hawaiian Village property), the public is welcome to enjoy this great big sandy “pool” in its beautifully landscaped, park-like setting. Frolicking children and families can spend the day splashing and playing in the inviting calm, clear water of this five acre saltwater lagoon.

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon, View from the Ilikai, Oahu, Hawaii (©Jody Diehl)

The man made Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon has its origins in the 1950’s as part of  Henry J. Kaiser’s Hawaiian Village complex. In 1961 the property became a Hilton resort and in 2006 the lagoon was closed for a massive $15,000,000 renovation project.  Our family has actually enjoyed the “Hilton Lagoon” both before and after its incredible transformation! According to the Hilton Hawaiian Village the 2006-2007 renovation included: “a state-of-the-art water circulation system featuring seven saltwater wells 195-250 feet below the surface of the ocean. The wells draw in about 15,000 gallons of water per minute from the ocean, helping to turn over the water about five times a day. The lagoon’s depth has gone from about 12 feet to approximately five feet, and more than 35,000 tons of sand have been used to replenish the beach and bottom of the lagoon.”  The unprecedented project added lovely Hawaiian landscaping and a boardwalk which skirts the lagoon. The boardwalk is quite popular with morning  joggers.  Newly placed benches are a great spot for those who just want to sip their coffee and enjoy a sunrise.

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon, aka: The Hilton Lagoon (©Jody Diehl)

The calm, cool water of the lagoon is perfect for swimming, wading, and tame water sports such as stand-up paddling. You can conveniently rent stand-up paddle surfboards, waterbees, kayaks, and aqua cycles lagoon-side. Don’t get your heart set on building sandcastles in the sand surrounding the Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon, though.  It’s rather hard and quite coarse.  No problem! You can easily cross over the boardwalk to the more beachy sand of Waikiki’s Kahanamoku Beach.

*The Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon is the setting of a free fireworks display, hosted by the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa, which takes place every Friday evening.  It’s one great show!*

For more on the beaches of Waikiki check out Beachcombing on Waikiki Beach.

Aloha!

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4 Responses to “Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon (aka: The Hilton Lagoon), Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii”

  1. I swam here first when I was twelve and again two years ago for my son’s college graduation present! Love your blog~

    • Jody said

      Isn’t it lovely? I think the Hilton Lagoon is such a wonderful gift tor the community and for visitors. ~Thanks, Cindy! I think your blog is absolutely super!

  2. Paula said

    Thanks for this! I will be staying at the hilton this July and wondered how they kept the water so clean when it wasn’t directly connected to the open ocean. Little did I know about the wells underneath! Cool! Still…since this lagoon probably draws a lot of small children, I would hope any ‘floating’ matter still gets cleaned out! It is, after all, still a pool.

    • Jody said

      Aloha Paula! I’m so glad you enjoyed learning a little bit more about the Hilton lagoon. Our experience is that the water is very clean, clear, and cool. The Hilton maintains the whole area quite well. Have a wonderful trip ~ Mahalo!

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