Spotlight: Historic Hotel — Hawaii’s Moana Surfrider
Beachside history and luxurious accommodations on Oahu
What You’ll Find
Opening its doors in 1901 the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa has been the gold standard of hospitality in Hawaii for over a century. Known as “The First Lady of Waikiki,” guests are charmed by its beachside location and luxurious accommodations. Though much has changed since those first days on the Hawaiian beach, guests are still drawn to the unique combination of natural and man-made beauty of Waikiki.
Historically significant, Moana Surfrider’s Banyan Wing is listed on the National Register of Historic Places — an official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.
The Moana Surfrider is located on the shores of timeless Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Less than five miles from Honolulu International Airport which accesses not only the mainland but smaller shuttles to the other Hawaiian islands.
Make Sure You
Set aside some time to visit the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites about a 30-minute drive northwest of Honolulu. Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona, along with relatively new additions of the Battleship Missouri Memorial (1999) and the Pacific Aviation Museum (2006), help make this the top tourist destinations in Hawaii. Visitors can also visit the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum Park. Advance tickets are sold here, and there are also a number of first-come, first-served tickets available at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
Get to know your ocean dwelling neighbors! Opportunities for exploring the islands’ landscape vary from volcanoes to pineapple fields: the options are nearly endless. But when you grow tired of exploring paradise by foot, look to the water. Few places allow you the up-close-and-personal interaction like the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. There is an office located in Honolulu, but the visitor center is located on the island of Maui. Take it all in as you boat, dive and snorkel in the 100-fathom area.
A visit to Hawaii’s most recognizable landmark Diamond Head State Monument is a must while on Oahu. Diamond Head is a prominent feature near the eastern edge of Waikiki’s coastline and may be easily accessed by a 10-minute drive to the monument parking lot. Once you are there, a hike to the summit will reward you with stunning coastal views and fascinating military history.
Did You Know?
From 1935 to 1975, the Moana’s hosted the “Hawaii Calls” live radio broadcast. Though the first show reached only the West Coast through shortwave radio. At its pinnacle, the program was heard on over 750 stations internationally. Host Webly Edwards is credited with choosing to open the show featuring the very shores of Waikiki: each transmission would begin with him proclaiming "The sound of the waves on the beach at Waikiki," as the microphones soaked up the ambient ocean’s soundtrack.
Famous former guests of the Moana Surfrider include Shirley Temple, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Clark Gable: even the King himself was known to spend a little time in the Banyan Courtyard. During WWII, the movie stars were replaced with soldiers, who made the spacious Moana their home as they prepared for deployment.