Unique Sleeps: Amazing hotels hand picked by Expedia Experts. Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa, Hawaii

There are two things that set the Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa apart from other luxury hotels on Honolulu’s famous Kalakaua Boulevard: location and architecture.

Set smack-bang in the middle of Waikiki Beach, this historic hotel enjoys gun barrel views of Diamond Head and the sweep of Hawaii’s most iconic stretch of sand. One of the oldest buildings in the territory, the hotel is a classic example of late 19th century plantation design and harks back to an era when life and travel was infinitely more glamourous.


Built in 1901, the Moana Surfrider was Oahu’s tallest building at the time. It was the first hotel to provide guests with private baths and in-room telephones and boasted the island’s first electric elevator, which still services the heritage tower today. Over the last hundred years, the hotel has played host to kings, Presidents and movie stars. It’s an exotic legacy, which is embedded in the wooden panels, soaring ceilings, wrap-around verandas and sweeping staircases of the property. The Moana Surfrider has an elegance and allure that you just can’t find in modern hotels.

Divided into three quarters – Diamond, Banyan and Tower Wings – the Moana offers different levels of accommodation, which are based on the views of the beach. If you want to stay in the older section – Banyan – it’s advisable to book an Ocean room (not City) well in advance as they book out years ahead. Be aware that the older rooms, while gorgeous, are smaller than those in the newer sections of the hotel. In the Diamond and Tower wings the rooms are generous and most offer balconies. When you book in the Tower Wing, the higher the room the better – because they capture epic views of the beach and the volcano. If you’re scared of heights, you’ll be better off in the Diamond section, which has impressive views without the vertigo.

The décor of the entire hotel was recently upgraded to a luxe colonial aesthetic. Think dark wood against lots of neutral fabrics mixed with Hawaiian art and accessories. It’s incredibly chic and I particularly love the pink and green palm print carpet, which has been recreated especially for the property from a classic 1920’s design.