The "First Lady of Waikiki" is undergoing her next rebirth on June 1, 2007 as the Sheraton Moana Surfrider is officially re-branded as the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort. The resort is undergoing a complete transformation. It will be the first Westin property on the island of Oahu.
Brief History of the Moana
It was at the beginning of the last century when, on March 11, 1901, the first beachfront resort on Waikiki opened its doors. The Moana Hotel had 75 guest rooms, telephones and private baths, a billiard room, saloon, parlor, library and the first electric-powered elevator in the Territory. These were true innovations for its time. It was and is the only resort hotel in Hawaii that reflects the Beaux-arts design of the early 1900's.
Over the years the hotel has been through many changes and yet still retains much of its Victorian charm and historic beauty.
The hotel underwent a $50 million historic restoration in 1989 as a result of which it has received numerous local and national awards including the President's Historic Preservation Award, the National Preservation Honor Award, Hawaii Renaissance Award, and the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association International Golden Bell Award.
In May of 1999 the resort undertook a $2 million completion of its historic Banyan Wing exterior enhancement project. The Banyan Wing is the Moana's main building, easily recognizable from Kalakaua Avenue by its grand white colonnade, colonial banisters and archway picture windows at the porte cochere.
The Resort Today
Today, the resort has expanded to accommodate 793 guest rooms, including 46 suites, two restaurants, a freshwater swimming pool, snack bar, beach bar, cocktail lounge, its own Historical Room and historical tours, a beauty salon, travel desk, more than 15,000 square-feet of function space, and a diversity of boutique stores.
On June 1, 2007, guests will enter a revitalized lobby featuring hardwood floors, new furniture and lighting fixtures. Work is already underway to prepare all of the Moana’s guestrooms with Westin’s signature Heavenly Bed® and Heavenly Bath® amenities, as well as new flat-screen televisions by the June transformation date. Upgrades to guestrooms in the historic Banyan Wing are also planned for later this year.
Waikiki’s first and only beachfront spa will open in the Moana in early 2008. The new spa will feature 14 treatment rooms, including two couple’s massage rooms and a 1,400 square foot Westin Workout® Powered by Reebok fitness facility.
In addition, the resort will offer Westin’s signature Service Express program and a new Westin Kids Discovery Club. In the evening, guests can decompress during Westin’s new take on happy hour - "Unwind: A Westin Evening Ritual."
The spacious courtyard, new outdoor tables, chairs and umbrellas in the updated beachfront Banyan Court will invite guests to relax under the shade of the hotel’s historic banyan tree, while the Moana’s signature Banyan Veranda restaurant is poised to launch a stylish, new concept and exciting menu.
Historical Tours Will Continue
Hotel guests and the general public can experience ten decades of Waikiki's history with the resort's Historical Tour. The tour originates on the second floor of its main building, the historic Banyan Wing, twice a day, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The second floor features its own historical room to house and display memorabilia dating back to the early 1900's. The historical tour is a free program provided by the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort to educate the general public on the history of this turn-of-the-century resort as well as the evolution of Waikiki as a leading travel destination. The tour lasts approximately one hour.
When visiting the hotel, be sure to visit the Banyan Tree. Among one of the first to be listed on Hawaii's Rare and Exceptional Tree List, this Indian Banyan tree was planted at the hotel in 1904 by Jared Smith, Director of the Department of Agriculture Experiment Station. When planted the tree was nearly seven feet tall and approximately seven years old. It now stands 75 feet high and stretches 150 feet across.
The Moana Surfrider Banyan tree has been selected by the Board of Trustees of America the Beautiful Fund as the site for a Hawaii Millennium Landmark Tree designation. One tree in each state that holds important national and local historic value receives this designation, with the pledge that it will be protected and preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.
For more information on the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort you can visit their website at www.moana-surfrider.com.