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Reviewed April 14, 2013

Waikikis oldest hotel, we thought it would be great to stay in the banyan wing being the historic part of the hotel, not a great move, we booked a large city view room, yes it was larger than the other rooms but we were in room 238 2nd floor right on top of the main entrance. We had no idea just how busy the street in front of the hotel could be, both traffic and pedestrians, across the road there are street vendors we had the joys of 3 youths doing a dance routine from 1600 to 2200 every night same load music and screaming crowds, mixed with the piano playing down in the hotel lobby, it's good that things settled down by 2200. But then traffic starts again at 0500! We could hear the valets shouting to each other early morning. We did have issues on 2 nights with overnight maintenance, huge air blowers downstairs drying carpets, what a noise, when my husband went down to complain the duty managers just said they have to do it sometime and no one usually complains, this at 0200!
The best thing about the hotel is it is right on the beach front, amazing views whie having breakfast or drinks. Didn't like sitting at the beach bar with a group and the waiting staff asking us to settle our bill as her shift had finished and she wanted her tip, and no this wasn't late and the bar closing it was at 1730, just seemed rude, I know you need to tip in the USA but demanding one is not good. Also some prices seemed outrageous you already have to pay $31 above room rate as a resort charge, but if you want to reserve a beach umbrella it's $60 a day. That's a crazy charge.
Overall we did like the hotel, the staff were mostly helpful, but with it being so busy, it felt it didn't really matter if we were satisfied or not as there was someone to take our place when we leave they are not that worried about return bookings I think

Room Tip: Stay away from the street side rooms
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Jo L
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 reviewResponded April 29, 2013

Aloha,
Thank you so much for taking your time to share with us. We are so sorry to hear you experienced noise disturbances during your stay. This is not representative of our standards and the departments mentioned have been notified so that corrective action can be taken. In addition, our Beach Bar staff has been reminded about proper protocol during shift changes. Thank you for bringing this to our attention for we are always looking for ways to improve our guests’ experiences. Here at the Moana Surfider, A Westin Resort & Spa, we aim to provide a refreshing and rejuvenating vacation with our Westin Heavenly Beds, Moana Lani Spa and Westin Workout. Our daily resort charge of $31.41 includes a number of beneficial opportunities such as daily yoga and aqua aerobics classes, daily parking for one vehicle, two glasses of wine at bin 1901 and daily cultural activities such as lei making. Our staff is filled with the aloha spirit and we are happy to hear you found the staff helpful. Mahalo and we hope to welcome you back to “The First Lady of Waikiki.”

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

We wanted to get married in Hawaii so we decided on the Moana Surfrider. We were not disappointed!
We stayed for a week here and we were just in a standard room, it is small, but totally lovely, we were in the historical part of the hotel, so has a lovely charm to it with a modern splash. We over looked the courtyard and banyan tree, only dissapointment was if you wanted an early night, not possible as the hotel entertainment runs until 10pm. But after that, no noise, so peaceful all night.
Reception staff were lovely as were the wait staff in the restaurant and the bar.
We had our wedding here in the Roof Garden. It was fantastic. The team here did a fantastic job. Thanks to Toni and her team. The food was great and all our guest said how perfect everything was from the view to the service and food.
The night of the wedding we upgraded to a larger room in the new part of the hotel. Again, amazing huge room. We had two balconys looking over the street and one with a great view of waikiki beach.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Nikki L
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 reviewResponded April 24, 2013

Aloha,
Thank you for sharing with us. First of all, on behalf of everyone here at “The First Lady of Waikiki,” congratulations! We are so happy to be a part of such a special time in your life, and we are thrilled you had such a wonderful experience. We love to making our guests happy and creating special “Moana memories” that our guests will fondly remember. We will acknowledge Toni and her team for their exceptional service. Mahalo and we hope you will return to the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa soon.

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Reviewed April 13, 2013

First, we liked the Moana Surfrider. It was charming, convenient, comfortable, and had a wonderful staff. Access to the beach was immediate and sitting at the bar as the sun set was idyllic. We stayed in the high-rise western wing. The heavenly beds of the Westin chain were delightful and the "partial ocean view" from the balcony of our room was as described and it was quiet as long as the glass door was closed. Waikiki Beach was a few steps away and the water was perfect. (Though we've seen photos of a overcrowded beach at some times of the year).Sitting for an evening drink we met many non-guests who frequently come to the Surfrider for a drink because it is their favorite hotel on Waikiki. We walked up and down the beach several times at sunset and enjoyed the colorful setting sun. We started with valet parking at $15/day but quickly switched to the free self-park option. It was a little under five minutes to walk to our car.

Lots of good restaurants are within a short walk of the Surfrider, but none are cheap. This is where our disenchantment with Waikiki begins. Walking Kalahaua Ave. can be like walking the Las Vegas Strip--dense crowds, bright lights, high prices. For sure, some people will like that; there is Tiffany's, Bvlgari, Cartier, Prada, etc. For us, though, the "luxury" of the area was overwrought. It also somehow makes the area seem like every other city, or as if you're in a giant shopping mall rather than a special place.

It was also hard to drive out of the area. We saw articles describing Honolulu as having either the worst traffic problems in the U.S. or the third-worst. Either way, plan on being in your car a long time for even the shortest of trips; sometimes it took 10 minutes to go one mile. Once you get out of Honolulu the driving is easier but the traffic can still get thick at times.

Anyway, the five stars is for the Moana Surfrider Hotel and its access to Waikiki Beach. The surrounding area is not so deserving.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Overlooker
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 reviewResponded April 24, 2013

Aloha,
Thank you for taking the time to share with us. We are pleased to hear you enjoyed your Tower Wing guestroom and Westin Heavenly Bed. Our beachfront location provides our guests with beautiful views of turquoise waters and colorful sunsets. Our Beach Bar truly is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail and relax under our iconic banyan tree. We aim to provide a relaxing haven in the heart of bustling Waikiki and remind our guests of a simpler time. Despite numerous renovations, “The First Lady of Waikiki” remains a charming romantic hotel reminiscent of “old Hawai’i.” Mahalo and we look forward to your return!

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Reviewed April 13, 2013

Let me start by saying the hotel is stately looking and has gorgeous public areas. The famous front porch rocking chairs set the tone as you enter as does the colonial feel of the lobby.
The courtyard's Banyan tree is amazing, a must see even if you aren't staying at the hotel.

We were underwhelmed by the room, however, even though we booked a 400.00+/night Diamond Deluxe Ocean. The room had a new Heavenly Bed with gorgeous linens. You are paying for the view, which is spectacular. Right on the beach you can watch the surfers and hear the waves. The carpeting is older and the bathroom needs replacing. It was a little bit disappointing. There is a huge deck though, we were on the 8th floor.

Very centrally located and great as you can walk to everything. All of the trolley's, buses etc are right in front of the hotel. The staff is amazing and do whatever they can to accommodate you.

The restaurant has a phenomenal buffet breakfast. Make sure to sit on the lanai. Gorgeous view of the ocean and the Banyan tree.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank jeffrey r
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 reviewResponded May 3, 2013

Aloha,
Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us. We are so sorry to hear you were underwhelmed by your Diamond Deluxe Ocean Room. We appreciate your valuable feedback and we apologize for any inconveniences you encountered while staying with us. Our Diamond Wing will be undergoing renovations later this summer to ensure customer satisfaction. Our Diamond Wing guest rooms are closest to the ocean and have stunning views of world famous Diamond Head. Guests can relax in their Westin Heavenly Beds and listen to the lullabies of Waikiki waves. Our beachfront location in the heart of Waikiki provides our guests with easy access to all that Kalakaua Avenue has to offer. Mahalo and we hope you will consider returning to “The First Lady of Waikiki” and give us the opportunity to exceed your expectations.

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Reviewed April 13, 2013

Before going to Hawaii I spent HOURS and HOURS researching where to stay. I ended up booking 4 hotels in Honolulu before I settled on the Moana Surfrider. I think for the price we were willing to pay compared to location, amenities etc, this was the perfect spot for us. We had a room in the tower wing with a huge balcony. It was a partial ocean view and yes, it was a partial ocean view room, with the Outrigger hotel beside us blocking much of the view. But that was ok. I could see ocean, beach and palm trees all by stepping outside. The hotel itself feels like a large plantation style house, with big porches to sit on. It is completely open so tropical breezes blow in. I love this style of hotel. For breakfasts we ate at the Veranda and let me tell you, they have the BEST Belgian waffles. You will read reviews that say the rooms are small, stay at the Royal Hawaiian or the Outrigger. Those places were both more expensive than what I paid and I had a HUGE room with balcony. If you are concerned about the room sizes then make sure when you book, book the tower rooms. You can see on their website where all the rooms are. The location they have can't be beat. Everything is within walking distance. We even walked to diamond head, although that took about an hour so most won't walk that far. We also had no transportation to Pearl Harbour. All we did was walk out front and a nice staff member arranged an immediate shuttle (much cheaper than a taxi) for us. I will definitely stay here again if I go to Waikiki again.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SputnikOntario
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 reviewResponded April 24, 2013

Aloha,
Thank you for such a wonderful review! We are so pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay here at “The First Lady of Waikiki.” Many of our guests find our lobby to be reminiscent of a “large plantation style house” and love relaxing on our rocking chairs. We offer a variety of different guestrooms, ranging from our historic Banyan Wing to our newly renovated Tower Wing, to suit the various needs of our guests. We were the first hotel built in Waikiki and needless to say, Waikiki literally developed around the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. Our beachfront location in the heart of Waikiki is second to none! Many attractions are within walking distance, including Diamond Head and the Waikiki Aquarium. As you have mentioned, our staff can arrange transportation for other nearby attractions. Mahalo and we look forward to your return!

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