First off- this is a wonderful location if you want to get into the beat of Waikiki. Beyond that, much of the experience was tarnished by some unpleasant staff members. This was our fifth trip to the hotel. Previous visits have all been excellent, however, this visit left much to be desired.
Sometime in the past 2 years, Westin determined this property is now a resort and now charges $25 a day for benefits that include Internet and bottled water, along with a pool that has always been there and a beach that has been there even longer..... Interestingly, I used to get bottled water and Internet service for free due to a status level with Starwood program. The point- there were no improvements to make this hotel "a resort"- they just did it to get more revenue per room, per day.
The pool- there are roughly 100 chaise lounges around the pool area and a few scattered tables. Get there around 7:00 AM to 'reserve' your space with a towel. If you don't occupy by 8:00 AM, you lose your spot. We followed these rules but also discovered there are 'hidden rules' that apply to special customers. 10-12 choice spaces are reserved for "10 year" customers we were told. The pool staff closes these off to other guests by reserving them before the 7:00 AM. We watched one table and four chaise lounges sit empty for 5 hours. Other hotel guests that paid $25/day had to sit on the beach or pay $50 for an umbrella (not included in the resort fee). So- not every guest is treated the same. Also- the one-hour time-frame seems to be completely ignored by pool staff and chairs sit empty for hours after guests abandon them and no one gets to use them.
Non-paying guests. We watched with humor as two guys staying at their own condo would waltz in every day like they owned the place, setting up their beach chairs just outside the ropes of the 'umbrella area'. When they needed water, they moseyed up to the towel service counter, got their water, chatted with the staff, then would casually wander over to the restroom, eventually making their way into the pool. This happened every day we were there (6 days). They did utilize the restaurant so perhaps that makes them 'resort guests'.
Pool service- slow and with attitude. I asked on lady for a few drinks and she tartly replied "I am not your pool server". "Who is?", I asked. "She's around here somewhere" and she walked off. Finally, we got the attention of our server (I had to track her down), and after about 20 minutes the drinks arrived, where she promptly asks "cash or credit", as we're sitting there as "resort guests" in our bathing suits. "How about a room charge?", I had to ask.
Desk clerks- it's apparent looking at this group of people that the recent changes have taken there toll. Somehow they have to manage to sell the 'resort' fee with a smile, which is apparently not something they can do. In previous visits, a lei and a fresh iced beverage were brought to each guest in line. No more.
The rooms- we saw four different rooms during our 7-night stay.
Let's start with Banyan Wing- if you are on the street side, well, you look at the street. If you happen to get the Banyan tree side, there are no decks so it's just a window with plantation shades. These rooms are very small and wouldn't accommodate more than two people for a short visit. There used to be suites but Japanese travel companies have consumed one or two of them.
City View Tower with miniscule ocean view- if you are higher up, you get a good view of the mountains and the city streets. It does get quite loud, especially early in the morning when the garbage trucks are operating. If you must be on the City view side, try to get a room number 85 or above. You will be looking directly at the Outrigger next door, a quasi-decent beach view and the noise is lessened from the city streets.
Ocean View Tower- Good stuff here- Great views of the beach and Diamond Head, minimal street noise. If you are below level 7, try to get numbers 78 and higher so you won't be looking directly at the Banyan wing wall or roof. Floors 9 and higher all have decent views so you'll just have to deal with more noise the closer to the street you are.
There aren't many ocean view suites but if you're fortunate to get one, these are the best.
The decor of all the rooms are in need of an update. The carpets are dirty and furniture is worn.
Needless to say, it wasn't our favorite hotel and certainly didn't live up to it's hype or perceived value. Previous visits will have to do with regard to memories because this last one was one to forget.
Something has gone awry with the management of this property. The attitude of the several front-line staff we encountered was lousy and we really felt like they couldn't care less if we were there or not. "If you have a problem, talk to the manager", I heard them tell other guests more than once while at this hotel.
I've read other recent reviews and it's obvious the management knows they have a problem. I won't be contacting them directly however. They should be fixing them and it's apparent they aren't. We're left with with less than good things to say. Yes- in real estate it's location, location, location but in hospitality it's the service that counts. This hotel needs a service makeover.
- 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