Virginia Beach is a throwback to the kind of 1950’s beach towns one might have only see in movies. Miles of sand, a wide boardwalk filled with bicycles, oceanside amusements, a host of surfers, finger-licking seafood, and zero pretention all live together harmoniously in the state’s most populated city. The area boasts a supremely laid-back vibe – but it’s not in a California faux-hippy way; this audience is a genuine and relaxed “slice of Americana”.
Of all the hotels in the area, the Hilton Virginia Beach is by far the newest and most luxe, especially if you enjoy large-hotel conveniences and amenities. The location is perfect- directly on the sand, adjacent to a park, and within walking distance of restaurants, shops, bike rentals and even a Starbucks.
If you love the idea of visiting a charming beach area full of character, but prefer your hotel to be a bit more modern and sophisticated than the beach-casual town itself, this is the place for you.
What we loved:
- The cleanliness and newness, especially considering the very different atmosphere that exists outside the hotel.
- The friendly and knowledgeable staff.
- The dining and drinking options, even the most selective foodies need not leave the hotel if they don’t want to.
- The location – central to everything and adjacent to a small park.
- The Empyrean Club – worth it!
- The rooftop pool and bar.
The hotel, one of the biggest in the area, offers 289 rooms and suites. In a city full of mostly older and/or smaller hotels, this size is a major selling point. Most rooms have a balcony, and many offer a direct ocean view. All are equipped with modern conveniences like Wi-Fi, premium cable, coffee makers, full bathrooms, cozy beds, desks and On-Demand movies. Accommodations are clean, comfortable, and new. Suites are also available and can be reserved by calling the hotel.
The executive level, or the Empyrean Club, really takes the idea of vacation or business trip to the next level. Located on the top three floors, these rooms come with a host of amenities starting with a private check-in and meet and greet with the concierge, priority seating at the restaurants, and a dedicated staff. Possibly the best part of this club (or what we loved the most) is the happy hour from 5-7 pm (they call this evening hors d’oeuvres, but we simply yelled “snacccckkks” when we hit it up). Complimentary cheese and crackers, nuts, fruit, water, coffee and sweets accompany the premium bar (alcohol not included), making for the perfect start to your evening or end to any beach day. The club level also provides a very generous Continental breakfast from 6:30am-11:00am. Items like pastries, toast, juice, and espresso compliment the two hot dishes served daily. The Club Lounge also houses a nice sized conference room – perfect for business travelers and meetings.
The Hilton Virginia Beach is amenity-rich, a rarity for the area. As opposed to a small and rather disgusting indoor pool – which seems to be the norm at the local motels, the Hilton has a large outdoor, rooftop infinity pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Here, VIP chairs and cabanas can be reserved, and cocktails and snacks and be ordered. They also feature hot tubs and an adjacent indoor pool with fountains and handicapped access. (This rooftop area is transformed into a nightclub in the evening; see the dining section for more info). The highlight of this hotel’s location is obviously the beach, as the property is located directly on the sand. Beach chairs and cabanas are conveniently available through the concierge and can be charged directly through the room (ranging in price from $12-$20).
If you are staying at the Empyrean Club level, you are given two complimentary coupons for sand chairs per day. Bike rentals can be handled directly by the hotel and are highly recommended – it’s really the best way to get up and down the boardwalk to check out nearby bars, restaurants, and shops. The hotel also offers 12,000 square feet of meeting space, making it an excellent place for business conferences, weddings and events of all sizes.
Hilton Virginia Beach doesn’t only offer the best dining options of any other hotel in the area; it offers some of the best dining options in the entire city. With two, full-service award-winning restaurants as well as the Skybar, you’ll never go hungry on this property. Catch 31, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, is a lively and fresh seafood restaurant. The space is divided into three large sections, which creates multiple experiences within one eatery. The indoor area features soaring ceilings, a full raw bar, cool blue walls, and ocean-inspired décor, which make for a sleek but comfortable meal out. One of outdoor terraces directly overlooks Neptune Park and is furnished with casual seating, generous standing room, and numerous fire pits. It serves as an excellent outdoor bar in the summer months, especially when there is live music in the park. On the other side, overlooking the boardwalk, Catch 31 has an almost hidden dining terrace – surrounded by ivy walls and fresh flowers. It seems almost impossible that the same restaurant can create a celebratory vibe on one side and a romantic and intimate experience on the other, but they somehow pull it off. The food itself – which they call “dock to table” is fresh and creative. The raw bar is obviously quite popular (the Blue Point oysters were our favorite), while whole fresh fish can be served with a choice of sauces. We went with their classic bronzed glaze, which was blackened before being glazed with brown sugar. It was a perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Mahi Mahi hush puppies were a perfectly indulgent side.
The property’s other restaurant is called Salacia, and is Virginia’s only AAA 4-Diamond steakhouse. The award-winning location serves Wagyu beef, prime steaks, veal chops, rack of lamb, exquisitely prepared seafood, and more. The extensive wine list is sure to please drinkers of all kinds. We didn’t eat here ourselves, but the meats looked mighty fine and the diners looked very happy. If you’re looking for the party, it’s right upstairs. The aforementioned SkyBar rooftop turns into a hotel and members only nightclub with lots of energy and live music (usually DJs). Whether you like to stay out late or just grab a post-dinner drink, it’s night to have such an easy change of scenery – with breathtaking views – directly in the hotel.
WHAT WE LOVED ABOUT HILTON VIRGINIA BEACH OCEANFRONT HOTEL:
Oceanfront location close to everything Virginia Beach has to offer.
Newly renovated, exclusive Empyrean Club with truly special conveniences.
Lots of dining options, all of which are first-rate.
Adjacent park for playing with kids, listening to music, or just relaxing.
Beach chairs and cabana services Sky Bar – a seasonal, high-energy rooftop nightclub.