Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach

2365 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA

Built in 1901, the legendary “First Lady of Waikiki” blends Victorian architecture with a golden beach and turquoise seas. Putting a luxury hotel in a deserted backwater was a bold move—but one that paid off. Tourism took off here and the Moana remains its ruling monarch. One of the most lovely, historical hotels in Hawaii, it still has Ionic columns supporting an elegant porte-cochère, plus a long shaded gallery along its facade where rocking chairs encourage guests to watch the world go by. A $21-million renovation brought it up-to-date in 2014 and added a new beach club. But an exhibit room still honors its rich past on the second floor of the Banyan Wing, and serves as a jumping-off point for free historical tours (11 a.m., Mondays and Wednesdays).

More Recommendations

Lomi Lomi Massage on Waikiki

These days, any spa worth its sea salt offers Lomi Lomi massage, but knowledge of the technique was once restricted to five Hawaiian lineages. Westin Moana Surfrider therapists train with these families, keeping the tradition strong.

This appeared in the March/April 2013 issue

Hula at the Beach Bar

Just a few steps off the busy Kalakaua Avenue, the Moana Surfrider Beach Bar is my favorite place to unwind on Oahu. The best tables next to the beach are often taken, but worth waiting for at sunset. You’ll certainly enjoy the ambiance any place you can sit and hear the waves. The beach bar is sheltered from the sun by umbrellas and an enormous banyan tree that spans about 150 feet. In the evenings you will be treated to live Hawaiian music and hula dancing that sets a restful mood and seems to make time stand still. If you need a refreshing, minty, frothy, cachaça-enhanced beverage to cool off after a long day in the sunshine, order the Coco Freeze.

Coco Freeze for a Hot Evening

One of my favorite drinks in Honolulu is the Coco Freeze at the Moana Surfrider. While it is no longer listed on the menu, I have been assured that I can still order this refreshing cocktail while at the beach bar. Perfect for enjoying on a warm afternoon or evening, it’s a beautiful concoction made to sip while watching the clouds roll by and paddle boarders come in from their afternoon on the waves.

Information on this page, including website, location, and opening hours, is subject to have changed since this page was last published. If you would like to report anything that’s inaccurate, let us know at

Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More From AFAR