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Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa
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Reviewed August 2, 2010

I was there for my 20th wedding anniversary and as Starwood platinum members we were upgraded to an oceanfront suite! The management also arranged to have champagne, chocolates and fresh fruit waiting for us in our room. Very nice touches and much appreciated. This hotel is adjacent to the Royal Hawaiian and Sheraton and I must say, I enjoyed this so much more than my stay at the Royal Hawaiian. Aside from a nicer room, the public areas of the hotel seems better updated and classier. Across the street at the international Marketplace there are numerous stalls at the food court. We especially enjoyed Biue Water Shrimp and Seafood Company. Twin lobster tails for about $25 were delicious! We ate there 3 times during our 3 night stay! Great snorkeling from the beach if you swim out a little bit toward the Sheraton side.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Travelbug4321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MoanaManagementTeam, Manager at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 13, 2010

MAHALO for staying with us at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa to celebrate your 20th wedding anniversary! We are truly delighted to hear you enjoyed your time at the Moana and thank you for your kind compliments. As you experienced, Waikiki Beach fronting the Moana is a fantastic spot to enjoy snorkeling – sea turtles are often seen swimming around these spots, too! Again, MAHALO for allowing us to be part of your celebrations and we look forward to welcoming you back to create many more beautiful memories at the First Lady of Waikiki. Until then, Aloha.

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Reviewed August 2, 2010

I did not stay in the hotel, but i did come for the spa. it was top of the line! right on the ocean, any amenity once may need, clean luxury decor, my massage was amazing, i got a healing stone to take with me as a gift! only downfall,,,,, if you come with a member of the oppisite sex, there is no co ed relaxation areas. but the facilities and beachside spa and relaxation lounge were top notch!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled solo
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Thank jennykae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MoanaManagementTeam, Manager at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 13, 2010

Our Big MAHALO for spending time at the Moana Lani Spa & also for your enthusiastic review. While it is always nice to receive industry recognitions including being named one of the Top 50 Spas by Spas of America and named the Readers Choice for Best Spa by Honolulu Magazine, nothing is more inspiring than hearing from our guests about their personal renewing Moana Lani Spa experiences! Again, MAHALO for allowing the Moana Lani Spa to be part of your island getaway and we look forward to welcoming you back. Until then, Aloha.

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Reviewed August 1, 2010

My partner and I chose the Moana Surfrider, firstly because we are SPG members and secondly, after reading TripAdvisor reviews, felt this was the best alternative for us of all the Starwood hotels. Not too many kids and stately.

Let me start by saying that every comment we have is merely based on our experience and as industry people, reflects what we view as important in a hotel.

We arrived on a busy Saturday afternoon and weren't overly impressed by our welcome. I know it's corny, but we were looking forward to receiving a lei for our photo opps. We had to ask several people before we were given one. Our checkin was handled easily.

I was nervous about our room, wondering if it would be truly oceanfront. It was, but did not have a balcony, one of the few rooms that didn't have one. At $325 a night it would have been nice to have this feature. The room itself was in the original wing of the hotel (which I was aware of when I made the reservation). The room was clean, but a bit old looking and spartan. But, since we only sleep in the room, clean is the most important thing.

Most irritating feature: $14 a day for internet access. Use your cellphone to browse.

We didn't use the spa service at the hotel, even though I thought I would. The prices were just too high. As far as overall service, the hotel was good, but you can't help but feel that the service would be better if you are Japanese. The hotel obviously caters to the Japanese clientele and go to great strides to be of service to that segment. The concierge wasn't especially helpful when we had some questions. Although, they seemed very attentive to the Japanese guests.

The activities desk helped us with some tours and made recommendations and that went well.

The beach access is phenomenal for the hotel. The pool is a joke. Small and old.
We could easily leave the beach for a drink at the Beach Bar. Beware...the drinks are very expensive and not too good. Very weak on the alcohol. The mai tai was the best of the lot, though. Your best bet is the beer. The food options at the bar were average. Expensive and mediocre in taste and quality. We had to send back old tomatoes.

We decided to splurge one night at the Veranda for fine dining. The setting is wonderful and comfortable. I will admit as Food Industry people, it makes us a bit more critical. We don't know everything about food, but know good food when we taste it. The food here was bland and boring. All of our selections looked nice to the eye, but were so bland. A few nights later, we went next door to another hotel which houses Dukes, which may not be as upscale, but the food was seasoned much better at half the price.

Upon check out I had to remind the front desk that I was supposed to receive a $500 resort credit that was promised upon making the reservation. I did have a copy of my reservation otherwise I probably would have had to fight for it.

To sum it up, we did enjoy our stay at the Moana. It's location and overall appearance and offerings make it a solid 4 star. The mediocre F&B and lack of value are what prevented us from rating it higher. The service was good, not great. Without the $500 credit, we would have rated it lower. If we return, we would stay in a tower room, which all had balconies. Have fun on the Beach. Skip the Food outlets. Enjoy a beer at Beach Bar.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank bigworldlittletime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MoanaManagementTeam, Manager at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 13, 2010

Aloha & MAHALO for staying at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa during your recent visit to Waikiki. First off, we would like to thank you for your loyalty to Starwood Hotels & Resorts. We appreciate all guest feedback and we certainly appreciate how thorough and constructive your comments are. Our management team will be looking into each of the areas mentioned in your review – again, thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. I hope your travels will bring you back to the island of Oahu soon and we will have an opportunity to welcome you back. Until then, Aloha.

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Reviewed August 1, 2010

So , I'm guessing your checking out trip advisor while planning your trip to Hawaii , you noticed that 84 % of travelers recommend this and want to see what the few " terrible " people have to complain about. I did the same - I read each of the bad reviews and decided that those people were crazy and the type that just can never be satisfied . I hope you find this review both informative and entertaining ... I am not gonna' give every detail - just will break down some good and bad points to help you out if you stay here.
The GOOD
1) Best thing about this place is the property - we stayed in the Banyan wing in an original room from 1901 - ( Ocean Escape ) this is the best spot on Waikiki beach and the hotel building is just amazing.
2) The management is good , they ( for me ) addressed things very fast as I brought items to their attention. Janice , Charlotte and Taash are very helpful .
3) TEA TIME , was awesome - great server - my wife loved it
4) Only other nice positive thing I can say is a lot of people wrote about the chairs at the pool / beach in the roped off area being unavailable and costing $40.00 - etc... while this is true you can easily overcome this by getting a towel / umbrella and grabbing a spot on the beach directly in front of the roped off area - plenty of space on the beach - no need to get up at 6:30 and wait in line to fight for an umbrella.

The BAD

1) Arrival , unacceptable ... I live in Las Vegas and had a 2:40 am flight which arrived around 6:00 am at HNL - So I had requested an early check in through expedia when I booked - guess that was not passed to the Hotel . I arrived at around 7:00 and attempted to check in - the receptionist first offered to downgrade me to a city view room which was available (problem is I spent an extra 80 dollars a night for an Ocean view room - second , when I asked for a room for my child to sleep until my room was open I was told YES , for $295.00 I could buy a room for seven hours . So I opted to wait at the pool - as they told me as soon as someone leaves they would clean a room for us - 7 hours later after checking back at the desk 5 times and being told were working on it - decided to call the hotel from my phone and ask for management . Janice ( a manager ) apologized and offered us a room in the Diamond wing until ours was ready which was cool - do not stay in the Diamond wing - nothing historic or special / they should name this the 1970s little box wing.
2) Our room , finally we get our room - beautiful Banyan wing great Ocean View... Except - sorry but you need 2 know before you go ... I went to take a shower and a giant pubic hair was on the wall of the shower - like 7 feet up ... How did it get there ? I almost threw up . In housekeeping's defense I can see why the filipina lady may not have noticed it. But this is attention to detail - a big problem here .

3)The SYsTeM... So I cleaned up and hit the beach with my kid - went to the beach bar at the Moana for lunch and got some food / drinks totaling around $40.00 - next day I was on line and checking my US BANK account and noticed a $410.00 charge from the Moana Surfrider - Yep , if your like most people and use a Visa which also works as a debit card with the PLUS logo there computer will take your first room charge / multiply it by the number of days your staying and deduct it from your checking account ... This resulted in a - negative $100.00 balance for me as I left about $300.00 bucks in my account for sport fishing and the rest with me $4000.00 in amex travelers checks / cash . There system also charged me $127.00 two days later and they could not explain why but fixed both charges after I brought them to managements attention. Do not give them a credit card - instead leave a cash deposit - every other hotel I have stayed at takes your CC # for incidentals and lets you square the bill when you leave - not here .

4) Breakfast in bed - they have this card saying something like get off to a great start with in room breakfast . I thought - wow , this is cool - I can surprise my wife and kid and selected a Japanese style and an american style breakfast - checked the time for 8:00 am and left it on my door. Big problem - I get a call at 6:59 am from a southeast asian member of the staff who barley speaks english , " sir I just need to clarify your list for breakfast - you chose an english muffin and toast - you can only have one or you will have pay extra charge , sir , sir you also ask for cream cheese that will also need to be extra charge - sir you asked for 3 over easy eggs on the side?" - at this point my family is awake and my wife is wondering who I am talking to , so I said Ok Ok - thats fine - and how much for the extra eggs - get this $6.00 US dollars PER egg - OMG are you kidding me . I even wrote on the top of the card - this is a SURPRISE - can you give a flower for my wife ... HAHA so I just got upset and told her to cancel it - cancel the whole thing ... I wonder if that was the unexplained $127.00 charge ??? This hotel can not handle the complexities of serving breakfast in bed - has to be a big deal / again - attention to detail - FAIL - Oh , here is a simple request - day we arrived ... I call service express , can I please have some extra hangers - " yes sir , how many do you need " - me - 15 , 1/2 hour later a guy arrives with 5 hangers - attention 2 detail .

5) Peace and quiet - FAIL , if you stay on the city side - you will have to listen to the street performers drums / music until 12:00 am or later , EVEN worse - if you stay on the Ocean front side you will have to listen to the nightly band destroy great songs like Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash - I swear 2 god if I heard their whiney version of Hotel California 1 more time my head would explode . Same sets night after night - very loud through your windows , I would much rather hear the waves crashing and enjoy peace - silence and tranquility for $300.00 + a night . But they need to sell their $14.00 Mai tais all evening .

6) STAFF , the service level staff is horrible - there was a few nice people who worked there so I will not say all of them are bad . Take Cerfino the toilet cleaner for example , my wife walks into the poolside bathroom and is greeted by a man with " HELLO , I AM CLEANING - CAN'T YOU READ THE SIGN" , ah yes - that's what it must have been - my wife can not read - our mistake . Or could have been the fact that the bathroom cleaning sign looks just like the wet floor / surface signs all around the pool area . Oh , do not ask the servers for more than 1 Orange Juice if you are eating the breakfast buffet , you will be told " Stop ordering - How many are you going to order , how many do you need ?" that's only because you asked your server for OJ 15 minutes ago and he brings it 2 seconds before the next server you asked brought some . It's clear all staff is on Hawaiian time - I am used to las vegas and fast service so I guess it's my bad . Breakfast is not worth it at all , $5.00 an egg - that sure beats the room service eggs at $6.00 though - will set you back around $60 bucks - save your money go to Dukes at Outrigger next door . The front desk staff is very very unhelpful - ( the 3 that I dealt with ) - do not expect a great arrival outside either - I unloaded my cab cause the driver was old - no one was outside to greet me - later they gave me some wooden necklace - I left that in the room - meaningless . The beach bar - yeah the area under the huge banyan tree in the front - they have like 6 to 8 servers who enjoy standing around the register area talking to each other . It takes so long to get a drink - they all have their own areas and like a union will not WORK in other tables - just say I will tell your server ? I am sorry - I thought you were all here to serve me and the other guests that paid $3000.00 +++ for 10 nights - a lot of that going on at this property . The staff I encountered for the most part are there for the PAYCHECK - period . Lots of fake ALOHA here : ) That is why I gave this hotel a terrible - the staff , I bet it was not like this in 1901 and I think the founder Mr W C Peacock would be rolling in his grave if he knew how westin / starwood is exploiting his historic resort in this way . Staff needs to be retrained to focus on the customer , this could easily become a 5 star hotel if they exploded the diamond wing into pieces and trained the staff properly . It's a shame , I would say pay the few extra bucks and stay at the Royal Hawaiian if your looking for that classic / romantic luxury feel . Yes I know they are owned by the same company but like I said there is a fine line between 3 , 4 and 5 star hotels - it is the experience - It is also what you make of it - do not come with high expectations like we did . I have stayed at more relaxing and accommodating hotels in Thailand for 600 Thai baht ! Outrigger is awesome - next door - less money and a true 4 star hotel .

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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5  Thank camo11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MoanaManagementTeam, Manager at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 13, 2010

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your review. We sincerely apologize for the resort experience that failed to meet your expectations in many areas. We are certainly embarrassed to learn of these issues and would like to assure you that this is not indicative of the level of service we strive to provide here at the Moana Surfrider. Personally for me, your observation on the lack of Aloha Spirit among our staff was very difficult to take in, as that is one thing we take a great pride in here at the Moana. Please know your review has been shared with our management team for immediate actions and again, we deeply apologize for this experience. It is our sincere hope you will allow us an opportunity to redeem ourselves and welcome you back to the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. Until then, Aloha.

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Reviewed July 31, 2010

I travel over 100 days a year and try to stay at "Starwood" affiliated properties whenever possible. As a result I have accumulated 1.) Lots of "points" and 2.) Learned a little bit about what the general grade of Westin properties are worldwide. This hotel , although historically significant, is an embarrassment to the Westin brand. It is the worst Westin I have ever stayed at , despite being in the best possible physical location.

We used points for our stay at the Moana to celebrate for what was to be a 1 week vacation / celebration of our Anniversary. We were "upgraded" from whatever class of room the standard free night deal allows to a "Deluxe Oceanview" something or other room in the "Diamond Head Tower". On check in it seemed that the desk agent was more interested in trying to get us to use more of our points for a free i-pad than he was in answering our questions and welcoming us from a 9 hour flight. No real "Aloha" just a fast transaction and we were on our way unceremoniously. At most Westins that I have stayed at they give you a briefing of the lay of the land, offer directions to the lounge and generally take some time to get you oriented ( if you want to be oriented) but at the Moana it was all about i-Pads for points. Oh well. The walk from the lobby to the Diamond Head tower felt like we were being sent away to another darker and sinister hotel down the road. All of the opulence of the classic lobby in the historical wing disappeared and we wound up in an annex structure that had all of the charm ( and light) of a Soviet apartment block. The elevator frame up to our floor was badly rusted, the lift itself smelled bad and we wound up in a room that had only one redeeming quality : it was directly oceanfront. The Pacific Ocean was just outside our micro balcony. Other than this one , amazing , quality the room was horrible. The furniture was dated and worn, the bathroom and its fixtures were old and in poor repair and the size of the space was small. There was virtually no place to put any of "our" stuff, with every horizontal surface covered in either a clock, a tv or a weird coffee maker on a tray. We counted 2 power outletts in the room, and they were all being used by the rooms "base" electrical items. To run the free coffee maker you had to unplug a lamp. Given our high expectations , It was depressing. Add to this the problem of being in the room directly in front of the elevator , where we could enjoy the sounds of people loudly coming and going all day and night thru the poorly soundproofed door, and it was more than we could deal with.

The beach was not much better. As other reviewers have noted, and I wish that I had found this site BEFORE making our reservations, the beach situation and the pool situation at this property leaves much to be desired. It is CROWDED and there is a hand to hand combat feel when it comes to trying to "reserve" a beach chair or even a plot of sand to flop out on. Now if the guy at the front desk had said "hey our hotel is really full right now and we are expecting a full beach tomorrow would you like me to reserve you a special $40 dollar space to get sunburned for tomorow morning at 9 am" we would have probably taken him up on it but we didn't have a clue that it was even necessary so....we found out the hard way that there is no where to sit. When we asked the pool attendant what we should do we got a curt "first come first served" statement that appeared to be all to well rehearsed. The lack of space and the reaction to dealing with folks who figure this out late is a problem at this hotel.

I asked the front desk if we could change rooms , or hotels, and they showed me a room in a newer tower of the Moana Surfrider that had a great view of the hotel next door's bedrooms. All other Sheraton properties were full, so we checked out 5 days early and went elsewhere. Paying rack rates to stay elsewhere was better than using points to stay for free at this hotel.

I would not recommend this room to anyone who wants to feel that they are anything other than "a number". The shell of Aloha remains in the historical building but the spirit of Aloha has long departed this property.

Never again.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank Ashiyadudeman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MoanaManagementTeam, Manager at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 13, 2010

Thank you for staying at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. First of all, we would like to thank you for your loyalty to the Starwood Hotels & Resorts. As a valued SPG member, your feedback is important to us and we thank you for taking the time to post your review. Please allow us this opportunity to extend our sincerest apologies for the resort experience that failed to meet your expectations in many areas. We would like you to know that your comments are well received, and our Department Directors have begun looking into each item you brought to our attention. Regarding Beach & Pool areas, we certainly recognize that when our resort is operating at a high capacity, our beach & pool areas may not accommodate all our guests’ needs, and we are diligently and creatively working to remedy this situation. We believe that given another opportunity we will regain your confidence in our commitment to providing a quality guest experience. It is our heartfelt hope you will allow us an opportunity to redeem ourselves and welcome you back to the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. Until then, Aloha.

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