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“Belle Of The Ball” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa

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Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   2365 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815 (Waikiki)   |  
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4th Night Free/Breakfast
Ranked #29 of 82 Hotels in Honolulu
GreenLeadersSilver level
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Belle Of The Ball”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

The Moana is a classic hotel on Waikiki beach and now the only place I stay when I visit. I have stayed there now multiple times and have yet to be disappointed. The property itself is beautifully maintained, the staff is great and the rooms are nicely done if a bit small if you stay in the original wing (worth it). But the best part of the whole property is the banyan tree courtyard at cocktail hour - great entertainment every night and watching the sunset. Make sure to get there about an hour before sunset or you'll have no shot at getting a table. And look for the performers with a hula dancer as that will give you the best sense of Hawaii (ask the Concierge). Other than that it is well located to shopping, other beaches, great restaurants (a secret hole in the wall favorite of mine is Chuck's Cellar just two blocks away - straight out of 1970 steak house fame but food is right on and live jazz every night). Oh and there is a coffee shop in the building just outside the lobby which makes some of the best coffee I've ever had and you can get a decent breakfast for not too much $. Can't go wrong here!

Room Tip: Stay in the original part of the hotel - rooms are smaller like older hotels but it is beautiful.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MoanaSurfriderTeam, Guest Experience Team at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Aloha,
Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us and for being a loyal guest of the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. Our employees are filled with aloha and love treating our returning guests like ohana or family. We are so pleased to hear you enjoyed everything “The First Lady of Waikiki” has to offer. With our central location in the heart of Waikiki, world class shopping and dining is right at your fingertips! Mahalo and we look forward to welcoming you back on your next vacation to Hawai’i.
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3,003 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (667)
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Christchurch, New Zealand
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We went here a few times as it's great for people watching and it's a lovely setting to have lunch and a few adult beverages in. Very relaxing and the service is great. Wish we could afford to stay here!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MoanaSurfriderTeam, Guest Experience Team at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Aloha,
Thank you for sharing with us. We are so pleased to hear you enjoyed lunch here at the “The First Lady of Waikiki.” We were the first hotel built in Waikiki and are subsequently rich in Hawaiian history. A visit to our hotel is like stepping back in time. Next time you are in town, please join us for Afternoon Tea at the Veranda. It truly is a memorable experience! If you are interested, joining our Starwood Preferred Guest Program opens the opportunity for special rates here at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, as well as all other Starwood properties worldwide. Mahalo and we look forward to welcoming you back on your next vacation to Hawai’i.
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Tustin, California
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

The Moana is an adorable hotel right in the heart of Waikiki. It is gorgeous with an old fashioned plantation motif so as soon as you walk in, you feel transported to another world. The open air lobby is beautiful and overlooks the beach. Doesn't get much better than that.

There are two parts to the hotel, the original/historic side and the newer tower. The historic rooms are slightly smaller and a tiny bit tired but have a lovely, "old world" feel to them. The tower rooms are slightly larger and more modern. Both sides offer gorgeous waterfront views if you're lucky enough to get them. Currently, the hotel is in the process of renovation so soon both sides will be sparkling new. The renovation is tastefully done and the sweet sleeper beds are fantastic.

We were able to get an early check-in but were disappointed we couldn't get into the renovated tower section (we are SPG platinum). The sweet gal at the front desk (Irene) was kind enough to upgrade us to an ocean view room and told us if something on the tower side opened up, she'd give us a call. I walked away knowing we'd never hear from her and figured she thought we were lucky to get an ocean view room. Later in the afternoon, I was super happy to be wrong. Talk about excellent customer service. Irene looked up my phone number on file and ended up calling my home. She got my cell phone and hunted me down on the beach to tell me she was able to find us a newly renovated room in the tower. Kudos to Irene for amazingly excellent customer care. She is perfectly suited for the hospitality business and to be commended for going the extra mile. Thank you, Irene!

The location couldn't be better as everything you could possibly want is at your fingertips. Though the hotel is right in the heart of Waikiki, once you enter the tranquil grounds, the stress, hustle and bustle of city life melts away. They have clearly made an effort to preserve the Hawaiian culture which gives you the feeling you are truly "getting away" to a relaxing tropical paradise. Kehaulani (Thelma) Kam handles much of the cultural enrichment for the hotel and when we were amazed at the local talent she was able to provide. We enjoyed many shows and demonstrations of Hawaiian dancing, art, singing, weaving, etc. It really got us into the spirit of being immersed into another culture.

I have been coming to SPG properties in Hawaii for over 30 years. Kehaulani always goes out of her way to make us feel welcome and valued. We love Waikiki and we especially love it at the Moana. I highly recommend this hotel!

Room Tip: If you'd enjoy an old-fashioned, plantation feel, go for the historic side. If you'd like a...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MoanaSurfriderTeam, Guest Experience Team at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Aloha,
Thank you for such a wonderful review! We are so thrilled you enjoyed your stay with us here at “The First Lady of Waikiki.” We always strive to provide upgrades to members of our Starwood Preferred Guest Program, and we are so thankful our occupancy allowed us to do so. Our employees are filled with the aloha spirit and are more than willing to go above and beyond for our guests. Both Irene and Thelma will be commended for their stellar customer service. Our credo is “First Lady, First Class” and we are so pleased you received royal treatment. Mahalo and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa.
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mindytini
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We are currently enjoying this hotel and planning to extend our stay! The staff is so hospitable and our oceanfront room in the historic wing is wonderful! The sounds of the ocean outside our window provide unsurpassed tranquility! The beauty is amazing!!! Have been coming to Waikiki since the 1970's and this property is the best yet! The Beach House fine dining and the Beach Bar are great! Can't say anything negative....... Positively wonderful! Super and deluxe! Will return as soon as possible!

Room Tip: Oceanfront, higher floor, if possible!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MoanaSurfriderTeam, Guest Experience Team at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 15, 2013
Aloha,
Mahalo for choosing the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. Our oceanfront hotel in Waikiki has stolen the hearts of guests for over a hundred years and we are so thrilled to hear that your stay here surpassed your expectations. We are pleased you enjoyed your stay and hope you return to “The First Lady of Waikiki” upon your next visit to the islands.
Mahalo
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Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Waikiki definitely is not our thing (we look for quieter spots) ...but we had a family reunion there so we decided to make the most of it and stay at the Surfrider. I was impressed with the level of service from everyone on staff (with slight exception of the breakfast team...but I'll get to that)... The valets, the housekeeping staff, the front desk, everyone was interested in us having a great trip. We did have a ocean suite in the tower, which helped with our young son (21 months).

The breakfast was nice, although a little unorganized...service was always attentive...the problem was that we would have 4-5 people stop at our table each morning deciding who was going to help us. The person who brought us to the table each morning would say, "your server will get you a high chair" - but then we would ask several of the next servers to stop by, and each morning it would take 5-10 mins to get a high chair. The other issue was around ordering espresso, which is on the menu. Apparently there is an issue there - I'd order my espresso each morning, and the staff always seemed a little unhappy about that. I found out the last day that the machine is clear on the other side of the building (or so I was told), which is why each morning it took 10+ min to get and it was cold each time (at $5 per shot). The coffee was hot and there...but if like me, you want espresso, go to the coffee bar in the lobby. However, that being said, the food was great.

Pool bar food and service great too.

We didn't take advantage of the wine bar...but it looked fantastic... but that's more for a trip without a toddler :-)

My wife used the spa and seemed very happy with it.

Room Tip: Only stayed once and was very happy with the 1 bdrm ocean suite.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MoanaSurfriderTeam, Guest Experience Team at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 15, 2013
Aloha,
Mahalo for taking the time to share your experience. We pride ourselves in excellent customer service and are so pleased you enjoyed your time here at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. We are thrilled to hear you enjoyed our world famous beachfront Moana Lani Spa. We apologize for any inconveniences you encountered during your breakfast and have notified our Food and Beverage Management Team so corrective action may be taken. We look forward to your return and would love to welcome you back to “The First Lady of Waikiki.”
Mahalo
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New York City, New York
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

Guess what, Waikiki beach is extremely famous and this is one of the original hotels on the beach. That means it's usually busy/crowded. Though, that doesn't mean it's bad. The atmosphere can't be beat - once you walk in, you go straight through to the beach. Partially open air lobby with comfortable seating, computers and great decor.

We stayed on the banyan side with a front view facing the street. It wasn't too noisy, but we're not light sleepers. The street is definitely busy as it's on the main shopping strip.

Rooms are great - they seem like they were recently renovated. We had a nice balcony with palm trees blocking for privacy. The room was not large but we were too busy out eating or on the beach to notice.

There are robes and slippers, parking was included in the resort fee and so was wifi and water. All great things.

Service was great. Husband forgot his wedding band in the room and they mailed it back to the mainland for $20.

Room Tip: Banyan side is the original hotel renovated. The rooms are not large, but the hallways are nice and...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MoanaSurfriderTeam, Guest Experience Team at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 15, 2013
Aloha!
We are thrilled you enjoyed such a pleasant stay here at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. We are delighted that you found the Resort Charge of value. There are many inclusions that our guests enjoy, specifically the use of our parking garage and wifi. Also we are so glad to hear our staff was able to assist you in retrieving your wedding band! We look forward to your return to “The First Lady of Waikiki.”
Mahalo
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Las Vegas
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

Overall I loved this hotel. There were a few negatives. I'll start at the beginning.

I went to Hawaii to get some sun and relaxation away from work and school by myself. Being that I had to squeeze this trip in between classes, I was here from Friday through Monday night. I booked online and saw a link for the recommended airport shuttle. For $12, Robert's shuttle will meet you at the gate, get your luggage, and walk you to the shuttle. A cab ride is about $40-$50, so $12 was a steal. I was the only passenger so direct to the hotel we went. The shuttle dropped me off on the main street rather than pulling into the driveway. I was okay with this as the driveway would be a tight maneuver with the shuttle van. This is my first issue with the hotel. They were not busy out front. No one offered to help me with my suitcase. You have to climb up a few stairs, through the portico and then up more stairs. There are not a lot of stairs, but they are there. There is no handicap accessible ramp (I believer there is a separate entrance, but I didn't see it at the time). Once I was in the hotel I had to stop and get oriented so I could find the front desk. It's all the way to the right. Not easily seen from the main doorway.

Check-in was fast and easy. I had room 661 in the historic part of the hotel. You will see from my pictures, that it was small, but it was just me and more than adequate. The closet was huge. The bed was comfortable. The bathroom was small, but for one or two people it's fine. There was a large "couch" that was really convenient for dropping packages and whatnot. This room was at the end of the hallway. Given the location it had ocean views from all three windows. Pictures will also be posted of the views. Two of the windows overlooked the pool and the banyon tree. Yes it was loud, there is a band during the day and night. However, this did not bother me as the band stopped playing around 11 or so each night. I could also hear the waves crashing all night long. While some reviews criticized these rooms for sound, I found it to be lovely. The only issue I had was the wind causing the blinds to rattle all night. Eventually I closed the windows and turned on the air conditioner. I did not hear any neighbors, nor did I ever see any for that matter. On one of the days, I saw a room door open down the hallway as it was being cleaned. The general size and amenities appeared to be the same as my room, but being that I was at the end of the hall, my views were 1,000% better. The other room faced another hotel tower. I'm assuming it was a partial view room if you hung out the window and peered left. I would take my room again.

A few hopefully helpful hints: The restaurants in the hotel are not inexpensive. If you go one street over there are less expensive alternative dining options. For breakfast, I would get coffee and food at the coffee shop in the hotel. You have to go outside and go to your left. I had a couple of lunches at the Beach Bar. They were okay. I only ate there due to convenience. In the morning, the pool area opens at 7 am. Guests will go down at 645 and start putting towels on chairs to reserve them. Knowing this ahead of time, I got up early my first morning and went down to the pool determined to get a good chair since sitting on the beach with a good spot was my whole purpose of this trip. For $35 a day, you can get an umbrella and two beach loungers or four chairs for the day. The area is roped off so people are not walking through the area unless they have one of the umbrellas. Sit to the left side, it's much more desirable. There will be food and beverage service all day long. You never have to actually leave your chair if you do not want to. For $50 a day, you can reserve your chair and umbrella the day before and pick your spot at that time. I did this for the second day and was able to sleep in. There were spots available on the second day so I could have waited, but I didn't want to chance it. The waitstaff was very attentive.

On my last day, I was able to arrange for a late check out (1 pm vs 12 pm). I was told anything past 1 would incur a charge. My flight wasn't until that evening, but I took the 1 pm checkout as I didn't want to pay more. I was able to spend time on the beach and then headup at noon to shower and finish packing. I went downstairs a few minutes before 1 and had a short wait to check out. I had prepaid my room when I booked so I was only expecting the charges for the pool and Beach Bar. Unbeknownst to me, they never actually charged my card, but instead had held the payment amount as an authorization, twice. So needless to say, my bill was much higher than anticipated. It wasn't wrong, but still a shock to see the higher amount. It took 50 minutes and multiple calls to my credit card company to get it all straightened out. The hotel gave me a $50 credit for the hassle. The woman helping me was very nice and apologetic for the issue.

I dropped my luggage with the bell desk. They held it for the day. This time they helped get the luggage to the shuttle as I was departing.

The return shuttle trip was a bit longer than the arrival trip. The shuttle was on time and picked me up where they dropped me off on Friday. We had a few more stops, and then off to the airport we went. My understanding is that the shuttle caters to the Starwood properties in the vicinity, as those are the only three properties we went to that evening.

So all in all, I had a lovely time. I would stay here again with no hesitation.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MoanaSurfriderTeam, Guest Experience Team at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 15, 2013
Aloha,
Thank you for taking the time to share with us! We are so happy to hear you enjoyed all that the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa has to offer, especially our exclusive beach chairs and umbrellas. There is nothing more relaxing than basking in Waikiki’s warm sun. Also, we are so pleased you enjoyed your oceanfront view from the Banyan Wing guestroom. Please, hele mai (come) back and stay with us again.
Mahalo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa

Address: 2365 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu > Waikiki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#10 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#12 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#13 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#20 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#23 Family Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 795
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa, in Waikiki Beach on Oahu, HI. Visit Moana Lani Spa; or host a wedding on our rooftop terrace, or a meeting in our 10,000sq ft of event space. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort And Spa
Moana Surfrider, a Westin Hotel Honolulu
Westin Moana Surfrider
Moana Surfrider Westin Resort
Westin Honolulu
Honolulu Westin
Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa Hawaii/Honolulu

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