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Refreshed and updated, the Moana Surfrider is Oahu's first Westin resort

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When the Moana Hotel opened in 1901, it was Waikiki’s first resort. With time and changing ownerships, it grew into the three-wing Moana Surfrider. In June 2007 it became the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort, bringing renewed decor and updated amenities.

 

Accommodations: Since the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort, has three very different wings — the Banyan, the Tower and the Diamond — the key to choosing a room is matching its style to your preferences. 

 

Rooms in all wings have the same amenities: a Westin Heavenly Bed (either a king or two doubles), flat-screen television, safe, mini-refrigerator and coffeemaker. Turndown service is available upon request. There is Internet access in the rooms and wireless connectivity in the public areas.

 

The Banyan and the Tower are the most appealing wings. The Banyan Wing is the original hotel. Its restored woodwork, high ceilings and myriad architectural details impart the feel of old Hawaii. Built in an H-shape around the large and historic Banyan tree and its courtyard, the Banyan wing has 220 rooms and four suites.

 

Room 612, in the Historic Banyan Ocean category, has pale-yellow walls, shiny white trim and shutters on windows and doors, a long cushioned window seat and tropical print carpeting. The granite bathroom is small, with only a bit of space on the sink for toiletries. There are no tubs in the Banyan Wing rooms. Two floors of oceanview rooms share a long balcony facing the Banyan Courtyard. There is an extremely limited inventory of these rooms, which can be requested but not guaranteed.

 

The 21-floor Tower Wing has 390 rooms and four suites, many with panoramic ocean and coastal views. Rooms there are considerably more spacious than those in the Banyan Wing, making them the better choice for families. The bathrooms are larger, with tub/shower combos and storage space on the counter. The decor is light and airy but generic. Only the view lets guests know that they are in Hawaii.

 

The Diamond Wing has 140 rooms and one suite. Deluxe Ocean rooms overlook a lawn area that is popular for weddings and events.

 

As neither the Banyan nor the Diamond wing have double-paned glass in the windows, their City View rooms will be subject to noise from busy Kalakaua Avenue.

 

Public Spaces: The Banyan Wing’s lobby is the central gathering place. Freshened by balmy breezes, it’s an inviting mix of contemporary tropical furniture in varied dark woods and textures, hardwood floors with tropical print rugs, and white columns repeating the pattern of columns along the exterior. Guests relax on rocking chairs on the porch in front of the hotel and on cushioned chairs on the veranda. The lobby’s grand staircase leads to the Historic Room, where intriguing memorabilia traces the story of the hotel and of Waikiki.

 

When it opens, Moana Lani Spa, Waikiki’s only oceanfront spa, will have 14 treatment rooms, including two couple’s suites with private oceanfront lanais and whirlpool tubs, and a 1,400-square-foot Westin Workout Centre.

 

Guests have access to the business center in the nearby Sheraton Waikiki.

 

Dining: The new Beachhouse is a stunning addition to Waikiki’s dining scene. Artfully combining the Victorian architectural details—pillars, paned and arched windows, elegant ceiling moldings—with casual contemporary decor, this spacious waterfront restaurant has the ambience of an elegant beachfront estate. Though steaks are the highlight, the menu also offers seafood. The same menu is available in a more casual setting on the veranda. The Beachhouse also serves breakfast and afternoon tea. The poolside Snack Shop offers continental breakfasts and casual lunches. The outdoor Beach Bar serves lunch and dinner.

 

Activities: Guests who want a taste of island culture can take lessons in hula dancing, lei-making and Hawaiian quilting, and take tours of the Banyan Wing. There’s also nightly Hawaiian entertainment in the Banyan Court. The Westin Kids Club (5 to 12) features Hawaiian arts and crafts, beach activities, and visits to the zoo and Sea Life Park. There’s a small private beach area, surfboard rentals and instruction, and outrigger canoe and catamaran rides.

 

For more information, visit www.moana-surfrider.com.--Mary Ann Hemphill

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