As I pull up to the hotel, I was star struck by the charm and grandeur of the timber colonial building with its classical archways, Goliath pillars and romantic verandahs.  “Wow I wish I was staying here… oh wait, I am!” (insert delirious jet-lagged laughter!)

There are plenty of hotels to choose from along iconic Waikiki Beach, but my absolute pick of all the options is…

 The Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. Here’s why I love it…

Moana-surfrider-image-by-societyofnow

photo by @societyofnow

After my initial excitement of realising I booked in to heaven, I entered the grand foyer to check in. I should be turning right, but was instantly sidetracked by the view of the Banyan Courtyard and Waikiki Beach.   Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, is definitely the place to stay on Waikiki Beach.  I’ve broken it down in to sections for those who are thinking of staying.  If you aren’t sure which room to book, I have included my review of the ‘Wing’ I stayed in.

The Banyan Courtyard, Beach Bar, Verandah Restaurant

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The Banyan Courtyard is dwarfed by Jurassic sized Banyan Trees, creating a sanctuary from the heat of the sun. a perfect spot for the Beach Bar where I spent many afternoon’s, romanced by golden sunsets, live music and Hawaiian dancers.

Moana-surfrider-beach-bar

photo by @societyofnow

Perfectly tucked along side of Banyan Courtyard, is the Verandah at the Beach House Restaurant with a 5 star vibe and spectacular views of the beach! Like a Hamptons inspired dream, the Verandah Restaurant is a stunning spot to dine!

verandah-beach-house-restaurant

Handy Tip: I can suggest a romantic dinner on the Verandah won’t disappoint. Bookings may be a good idea when it’s busy, but I just rocked up 🙂

The Foyer

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photo by @societyofnow

As I mentioned earlier, the foyer is grand and filled with beautiful architecture. It’s a place I enjoyed walking through but also quite happy to linger in.   The lure of the rocking chairs at the entrance to the foyer is just too good to pass up, especially with a morning coffee as I waited for friends.

The Pool

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The resort pool is located to the right of the Banyan Courtyard and is small but perfect for a dip after a hard day doing nothing… But seriously, with the lure of the aqua blue waters of Waikiki Beach to play in, I didn’t spend much time here.

Handy Tip: You can hire beach loungers and umbrellas (for a fee!), but I preferred to take a towel to the beach and connect with the sand.

 

The Location

moana-surfrider-view-photo-by-societyofnow

photo by @societyofnow

This is a prime location! Perfectly placed on the white sandy swimming beach of Waikiki. The good surf appears to be where my left foot lay on the sand, whilst the good swimming was where my right foot lay on the sand. The Corona Catamaran’s roll in and out between Moana and her neighbour the Outrigger (and the famous Dukes Bar and Restaurant).

waikiki-beach-photo-by-societyofnow

photo by @societyofnow

Shopping: The shopping strip starts from outside the door of Moana Surfrider and back down towards Ala Moana Shopping Centre. Everything from Surf Stores to Chanel.

vivienne-westwood-waikiki-photo-by-societyofnow

photo by @societyofnow

The Rooms – Which room to book?

The hotel is cleverly split in to three buildings that all link through the main foyer.  I like this layout as it made me feel like I was in a boutique hotel.

moana-surfrider-room-layout

The Diamond Wing

I chose to stay in an Ocean View room in the Diamond Wing. I think what swayed me to stay in the Diamond Wing (other than the views!), were the white rocking chairs looking out over the beach – and they didn’t disappoint!   This is where I sat with a drink after returning from the beach to watch the surfers ride waves. Something I never got tired of.  Oh and the bed was heavenly of course… it’s a Westin!

Moana-surfrider-view-diamond-wing-photo-societyofnow
photo by @societyofnow

The Diamond Wing sits on the Diamond Head side of the resort. It’s Ocean Front Rooms offer unbelievable views of the beachfront and my room had a sideways view to Diamond Head.

Handy tip: The non-ocean view rooms look out over the main shopping street.   Check for deals on Ocean View Rooms because it truly makes the experience well worth it!

The Tower Wing

The Tower Wing Ocean Front Rooms offer the option of views to Diamond Head or views down the beach – either way amazing! However, I didn’t check them out in person so do your research.

The Banyan Wing

The Banyan Wing is located within the original building, offering Ocean View rooms and City View Rooms.

All the room types are clearly marked on the Moana Surfrider website and tell you whether you are booking an ocean view room, a city view room and also which will have Diamond Head views.

Of course there’s always a few Penthouse options too!

Would I stay at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa again? … Without a doubt! And I’d stay in the Diamond Ocean Front room again too!

Handy Airport Shuttle Tip:

Sometimes a shuttle is included in your package deal but there is no need to book a shuttle before you arrive. Located at the baggage claim area you’ll see a couple of options for Airport Shuttles. The Speedi Shuttle Airport shuttle is the one I used and they run constantly. ps: Purchase a round trip to save time and money.

The History

In the late 1890s Waikiki was a quiet backwater area, surrounded by swamps, taro fields and duck ponds, but was also home to a beautiful beach. Waikiki was the site of homes of Hawaiian royalty and wealthy Kamaainas, including the magnificent home of W.C. Peacock, who became the Moana Hotel’s owner in 1901.

Visitors to the island at this time had to stay in Honolulu and venture out to the beaches of Waikiki daily as there were few accommodations in the beach area. With more visitors arriving to the islands by steamship, Walter C. Peacock proposed to build Waikiki’s first real hotel in Waikiki as a solution to the area’s main drawback – the lack of suitable accommodations on the beach.

Known as “the First Lady of Waikiki”, the original Moana Hotel has survived wars and tourist population growth, yet many of the original features (including the Banyan Tree), still remain.

In recognition of its extensive historic restoration project, the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, has received numerous local and national awards, including the National Preservation Honor Award, the Hawaii Renaissance Award and the Restaurant/Hotel Design International 7th Annual Design Award.

This snippet of history was taken from the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa website.

Ready, Set, Go!

If you are ready to escape to Waikiki I have found some great deals here…!

Best “Accommodation Only” Deals (from Australia)

Best “Package Deals” (worldwide)

 

society-of-now-natalie-winterNatalie Winter is an Australian Fashion and Travel Blogger. A storyteller of fashion trends and journeys discovered.
She’s a fashion industry professional. A qualified fashion designer and buyer. When she’s not the blogging, she a Stylist working for commercial and private clients.
She’s known as the Blogging Stylist.
Nat is also the Brisbane Ambassador for @theleaguewomen.

Society of Now icon photo by Kara L Way Photography

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