The Moana Surfrider is the oldest hotel on the island of Oahu and apparently one of the most expensive. Never having been to Hawaii before we were both amazed and a little disappointed. Not sure what we expected; perhaps something a bit more laid back, but it was beautiful none the less. The main issue is that the Moana sits on the most busy section of Waikiki Beach on Kalakaua Avenue. The best way to describe the action at the front of the hotel is to compare it to being on the strip in Las Vegas. The sidewalks are packed with tourists, mainly from Japan and Asia, and the traffic is horrible. Seems Honolulu has made some progress recently dropping from #1 to #2 as the city with the worst traffic in the U.S. Getting anywhere is a nightmare. The ocean side is a different story. Yes, it's a bit crazy during the day with a massive amount of people, but early mornings and evenings are peaceful and beautiful. Finding yourself a shady spot with the cool trade winds blowing and you can spend the entire day enjoying the incredible blue water and ocean views.
As for the hotel itself, we found the staff very nice and helpful. We stayed in the smallish historic rooms because we like that kind of thing, but the newer tower might have been a bit more relaxing. In any case, at night we opened the windows and feel asleep to the sound of the waves crashing. Very, very, nice! Like most reviewers, I'd recommend staying away from rooms on the street side of the hotel. Really noisy on that side. The best part is the courtyard and veranda at the rear of the hotel that sits in the shade of a giant Banyan tree. Very relaxing! Overall, it reminded me of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island or the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego with regards to atmosphere. Regardless, a wonderful old hotel, attentive staff, great views and access to the beach, and a bit of history, albeit a bit pricey.
Historic rooms are nice but small. Stay away from rooms facing the street.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for taking the time to share with us. We are delighted to hear you enjoyed your stay here at “The First Lady of Waikiki.” We were the first hotel built in Waikiki in 1901 and subsequently rich in Hawaiian history. It is this history that sets us apart from neighboring hotels. We try to remind our guests of a simpler time with charming services such as Afternoon Tea at the Veranda. If you are interested, joining our Starwood Preferred Guest Program opens up the opportunity for special rates here at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, as well as all other Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Mahalo and we hope you return to “The First Lady of Waikiki” on your next trip to Hawai’i.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.