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In a nutshell: No frills historic hotel in a fantastic location, good for those looking for excitement and charm.
Overview of Hotel
If you appreciate the location, history of the “First Lady of Waikiki,” and you’re looking for a more lively stay to enjoy the nightlife, this is your hotel. Built in 1901, the Moana Surfrider is over 120 years old and has the architectural charm of the age. Due to the era it was built, the rooms are smaller than more modern hotels, but the location cannot be praised highly enough. Some rooms offer an ocean view, while others are partial ocean or city views. If you want a more mellow, updated, extra amenities experience you may want to look elsewhere.
Moana Surfrider Key Facts
Moana Surfrider Location:
The crowd favorite of everyone who stays at the Moana Surfrider, the hotel is sitting right on Waikiki Beach and is walking distance to everything you need, and a short drive to anything else you want. Snorkeling, surf lessons, luaus, golfing, and great food are all within reach.
Moana Surfrider Pool:
The Moana Surfrider has one decent size pool that is ocean front.
Moana Surfrider Review: why we love it
- Walkable in an unbeatable location: The location is worth mentioning yet again as it truly is fantastic and something every guest has to compliment
- Historic: While it may not have been the very first lodging on Waikiki Beach, the Moana Surfrider was the first to offer luxury accommodations for the age such as electric elevators and a spa. Standing tall for over 120 years the architecture is worth stepping back to admire.
- Beautiful views and grounds: The ocean view rooms are truly spectacular and areas throughout the hotel like the lobby and the patio by the banyan tree are frequently noted for their beauty and charm.
- Marriott Property: For anyone looking to earn Marriott points while you stay, this is a solid choice (among the many choices) in Waikiki.
Things to Know Before Booking Hotel
- Infants and accessibility: Due to the rooms being smaller, if you will have a crib and other larger baby equipment, be sure to mention this to the hotel staff to be sure you will have enough space. Additionally none of the rooms are hearing accessible, and not all of them are wheelchair and mobility accessible.
- Marriott loyalty doesn’t get you much here: When we dug into the bad reviews for the resort, it was clear that a lot of the disappointment came from Marriott rewards members. Unfortunately, having status in the Marriott Bonvoy program doesn’t go far here as it does for many other hotels. So room upgrades and other special perks are hard to come by.
- Noisy: This isn’t the place for a quiet Hawaiian retreat. Live music, luaus, and other activities can keep the area bustling sometimes until 10:00pm or later despite the pool closing at 6:00pm.
- Dated: Aside from being an old hotel with room sizes in line for the 1900s way of life, the last updates were in 2013, leading several guests to criticize the cost of rooms for the dated, sometimes worn furniture and decor.
- Resort, parking, and additional fees: Unfortunately, high resort and parking fees are par for the course in Hawaii. Like many resorts, the Moana Surfrider charges both a daily resort fee and a daily parking fee, which is not included in the room rate. This can be sticker shock if you’re not expecting it.
Want to check out other options on Oahu? Read our reviews:
- Queen Kapiolani Hotel: a little quieter in south Waikiki
- The Halekulani Hotel: elegant and oceanfront
- The Royal Hawaiian Hotel: a great Marriott property
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