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Westin Moana Surfrider, Waikiki Honolulu, Hawaii [Master Thread]

Westin Moana Surfrider, Waikiki Honolulu, Hawaii [Master Thread]

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Old May 1, 08, 12:30 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Programs: UA 1K / 1MM, Bonvoy Platinum, Amex Platinum
Posts: 229
Just got back from a 5-nighter (points) at the Moana Surfrider. As a Gold, I was given a standard room facing the street on checkin. The next day I was able to upgrade to a larger room with a lanai (balcony) facing the street for the remainder of the stay. However, to ensure late checkout on my final day, I had to change rooms back to a smaller room since they were planning to paint the lanai.

My girlfriend made a comment during our stay that the hotel staff were not really well trained in terms of consistent service. I would have to agree. While most everyone was pleasant, the hotel did odd and inconsistent things.

For instance, we received a knock on the door at 8:30am on the day of checkout, and someone opened the door and then shut it. When I called the service line to inquire, they said they thought it was housekeeping but did not know. It seems odd they would open the door at 8:30am, and even odder that they would come in early on the day I'm checking out, when the newspaper they put out was still sitting in front of the door -- so obviously I was still sleeping. This was a general trend -- there does not seem to be any coordination between various parts of the hotel service staff.

I used the gym twice. It is small, with some relatively good condition machines. However, the second time I used it (3pm on a Tuesday), it was so packed with people that every single machine was in use. The room was stuffy and not ventilated well. The windows are bolted shut.

Overall, I was satisfied with the stay, and the building and location were quite nice. However, if I were paying $300+ per night, I would certainly not feel satisfied. Most of the amenities of the hotel, on the ground floor, can be used by non-guests. This was my first visit to Hawaii, so I don't have much to compare with, but next time I'll be trying out one of the Sheratons or another hotel.
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Old May 1, 08, 1:32 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SFO/HKG/SIN - United 1K MM / SPG Lifetime Platinum
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Originally Posted by kniveton View Post
Overall, I was satisfied with the stay, and the building and location were quite nice. However, if I were paying $300+ per night, I would certainly not feel satisfied. Most of the amenities of the hotel, on the ground floor, can be used by non-guests. This was my first visit to Hawaii, so I don't have much to compare with, but next time I'll be trying out one of the Sheratons or another hotel.
The Moana is the best SPG option on Oahu. The W is off the beaten path. The Princess Kaiulani needs some work and has seen better days. The Royal Hawaiian will be closing at the end of a month as they undergo major renovations for the remainder of the year. The Sheraton is in flux at the moment with a renovation project that has come to a halt due to an issue with the contractor.
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Old May 1, 08, 10:04 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Alameda, CA, USA
Posts: 4,888
Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
We just had a wonderful one night stay. Hotel staff knew that we were celebrating my husband's birthday, and upgraded us to a suite in the tower building overlooking the beach and ocean. There appeared to be two suites on our floor, xx95 and xx96. These are at the end of the floor closest to the ocean. We had two balconies which was great as we always had one in the shade and one in the sun. My husband received a tiny birthday cake, which was really special.
We recently got back from a one night stay using the half off award from earlier this year. We were in 1595, which is quite nice. At noon, we had to move to a small room on the 5th floor of the tower since they needed the suite. We paid $25 for a 6pm check out. All of the staff were very nice and were great with our one year old.

The one disappointment to me was the breakfast buffet. We had the one at the Marriott at Ko Olina a couple of days before, and it just seemed a lot better. Rather than having an omelet station, the Surfrider lets you order waffles, omelets, and french toast from the server. Beyond that, the section just seemed a little uninspired.
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Old May 7, 08, 7:39 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Orleans LA
Programs: AA gold, Marriott, Chase UR
Posts: 18
Looking for upgrade

Status: Gold

My husband and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary and are due to check in on Saturday for a 6 night stay, the first on cash and points and the last five in a tower partial ocean view for $340 with 5th night free.

I want an upgrade so badly that I wrote a letter (on paper!) to the GM. His assistant emailed me back that they were sold out for full ocean view but that she would monitor availability.

Just reviewed availability, and see there are LOTS of rooms open. Theres a partial ocean view for $306 and a full ocean view for $332 (albeit without 5th night free).

Im fairly new to all this so was just hoping for some advice. Maybe I should just grab the $332 rate and not count on an upgrade? Or could conceivably use some points but dont know how many it would take. I keep reading here about fabulous upgrades but just don't know how to score that! Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
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Old May 7, 08, 7:53 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Philadelphia, LAX, Paris
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Originally Posted by lenoir View Post
Status: Gold

My husband and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary and are due to check in on Saturday for a 6 night stay, the first on cash and points and the last five in a tower partial ocean view for $340 with 5th night free.

I want an upgrade so badly that I wrote a letter (on paper!) to the GM. His assistant emailed me back that they were sold out for full ocean view but that she would monitor availability.

Just reviewed availability, and see there are LOTS of rooms open. There’s a partial ocean view for $306 and a full ocean view for $332 (albeit without 5th night free).

I’m fairly new to all this so was just hoping for some advice. Maybe I should just grab the $332 rate and not count on an upgrade? Or could conceivably use some points but don’t know how many it would take. I keep reading here about fabulous upgrades but just don't know how to score that! Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
You are indeed in a tough spot, since as a Gold, you have a good chance, but not an excellent chance (and certainly not a guarantee) to score an upgrade. This hotel has become somewhat of a favorite with SPG Platinums due to the recent rave reviews on FT

Since you will be paying anyway (instead of using an award) and the rate of $332 for a full ocean view is quite reasonable (IMO, since I have seen those rooms go for as much as $500), I suggest that you grab the full ocean view now if it is IMPORTANT to you to have that for your 30th anniversary.

The potential bonus for you would be that you could be upgraded to a SUITE with full or partial ocean view, and it could happen since you are already talking to the hotel management. The lenght of your stay works a bit against you, however, for a suite upgrade.

Having stayed in a full ocean view suite myself at the Moana Surfrider, I can tell you that it would be worth every penny, and I imagine that the full ocean view room would be just as nice.

Last edited by sapguy; May 7, 08 at 7:58 am
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Old May 7, 08, 8:49 am
  #21  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Posts: 1,889
TO LENOIR:

Firstly, congratulations on reaching your 30th wedding anniversary.

As this is a very special occasion, I would defiinitely choose & make a reservation for the ocean front room at $332 per night. (I assume this is in USD)


(hopefully I can) HELP reduce your cost by recommending you to submit a Best Rate Guarantee claim immediately you make your reservations that you have found a competitors website showing a cheaper rate.

I have sent you a Private Message showing the competitors website at a much lower rate.

I apologise if it is not succesful.

Last edited by alanslegal; May 7, 08 at 3:51 pm
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Old May 8, 08, 7:48 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Orleans LA
Programs: AA gold, Marriott, Chase UR
Posts: 18
Many thanks to you both. I did indeed snag the $332 full ocean view in the tower. I think the extra cash is worth the possibility of a suite upgrade, not to mention the better view. I'll make a note to come back and let you know what happened!!!
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Old May 8, 08, 12:06 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SAN
Programs: AA PP, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Nat ExecElite, WN CP
Posts: 419
Probably a good move lenoir. I stayed there for 5 nights as a Plat last month and the place was nearly full so upgrades were slim. Apparently the Moana is a hot spot for Japanese weddings - never expected to see so many white tuxedos in Hawaii!! This also made valet a tremendous pain in the butt as the driveway is tiny to begin with and when you add limos and wedding photos to the mix it is a real cluster - just park at the Sheraton.

Enjoy your stay!
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Old May 8, 08, 2:12 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: australia
Posts: 5,529
Stayed yesterday - booked city view historic wing and told at check-in that as a Platinum I had been upgraded to an ocean view room. Well room 615 allows you to see the ocean if you stand against the window between the desk and the luggage rack. Unless you are opening or closing the shutters you would not see the ocean at any time in this room.

In my view if something is sold as an ocean view room it should allow you to see the ocean from a spot you would normally occupy in the room, whether it be sitting at the desk,lying in bed or sitting at the table - but then again I'm not a hotel room marketer.

For a 1 night stay if this was the best available room, I certainly wouldn't be encouraged to return to the Moana Surfrider.
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Old May 8, 08, 2:16 pm
  #25  
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Just back from a 3 night stay at the Moana using the Platinum 50% Off Redemption.

This is a beautiful hotel, no doubt. Probably the only hotel in Waikiki which *matched* history with class and quality. About 5 days before arrival, I couldn't access my reservation online - the hotel had taken it and upgraded us to an Tower Ocean View room overlooking the water and Diamond Head - perfect!

Upon check-in, they missed us for the welcome lei greeting and tea, but that's OK, I've already collected enough hotel leis to last a lifetime. The room was comfortable and clean. With access to the Memories Lounge, we never had to buy breakfast, as a few muffins with fruit and juice was sufficient, although I feel instead of a juice dispenser, they should have a supply of different Hawai'i-centric juices (guava, pineapple, etc.) available for pouring.

The Lounge was very busy during the mornings, but fairly calm and quiet the couple afternoons we stopped by for snacks. Two computers and a printer were handy accessories.

The service was good, and we even did a touristy thing - a ride on an outrigger canoe, promising a surf down two waves for $10. We went in the early morning before they had customers, and were going to take us out anyway, but a few local folks on the beach who knew the beach service vendors offered to come along, which was fun. We never tried the canoe ride before, but it was certainly worth it.

Extended check-out was granted, although we were told we may have to change rooms, but we didn't in the end. I guess as a 'Resort', they could have denied the request altogether, but 4pm was late enough for us.

Now why did I write *matched*? Because I feel the Westin re-branding took too much individual character away from the Moana and appears 'heavy-handed'. This is not just another Westin hotel, resort or not - and many of the character details should have been either refined with the hotel's history and stature in mind, or left alone.

They can rebrand the resort as a Westin, and include things like the Westin bed and bath, or the Westin Workout room, etc., but the furnishings, toiletries, scents and other hotel/location-specific details should be left to local taste. The Sheraton Waikiki has (had) their own scented and branded toiletries, different than other Sheratons; why not the Moana?
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Old May 8, 08, 2:28 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Now why did I write *matched*? Because I feel the Westin re-branding took too much individual character away from the Moana and appears 'heavy-handed'. This is not just another Westin hotel, resort or not - and many of the character details should have been either refined with the hotel's history and stature in mind, or left alone.

They can rebrand the resort as a Westin, and include things like the Westin bed and bath, or the Westin Workout room, etc., but the furnishings, toiletries, scents and other hotel/location-specific details should be left to local taste. The Sheraton Waikiki has (had) their own scented and branded toiletries, different than other Sheratons; why not the Moana?
I have stayed at the property before when it was branded as a Sheraton. Truth be told, the Westin renovation made the hotel much nicer and more comfortable.

The toilettry items offered when branded as Sheraton/Moana were of an inferior quality, much like Sheraton Waikiki. They smelled pretty horrendous. So, I'd prefer the new bliss shine at Sheration for Sheraton Waikiki and the Westin Heavenly Bath for Moana.
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Old May 24, 08, 8:46 pm
  #27  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Orleans LA
Programs: AA gold, Marriott, Chase UR
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by sapguy View Post
Since you will be paying anyway (instead of using an award) and the rate of $332 for a full ocean view is quite reasonable (IMO, since I have seen those rooms go for as much as $500), I suggest that you grab the full ocean view now if it is IMPORTANT to you to have that for your 30th anniversary.

The potential bonus for you would be that you could be upgraded to a SUITE with full or partial ocean view, and it could happen since you are already talking to the hotel management. The lenght of your stay works a bit against you, however, for a suite upgrade.
Outcome: We did get upgraded to an oceanfront suite! We had a cash & points reservation for the first night and for the last night (7th), with the $332/night reservation in the middle for 5 nights. Management upgraded all nights, so we were in the same suite for all 7 nights. The property was not close to full, so I'm sure they couldn't do this at just any time of year, but I'll never forget their generosity!

x95 and x96 are the tower suites. We were in x96 and really liked that one since one side overlooked the Banyan courtyard instead of the Outrigger next door.

All in all, the stay was just fantastic. Absolutely loved the hotel.

I also toured a couple of Banyan oceanfront rooms just for fun and really liked them. #262 is a small corner room. #327 is a larger room and has a lanai. #325 is the same size as 327 but without a lanai. According to the front desk, all these are in the category of ocean view. You can request the lanai but may not get it. Whatever the case, I really loved the new Banyan rooms.

Thanks for the great suggestion!

Last edited by AZ Travels the World; May 24, 08 at 8:59 pm Reason: fix quote code
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Old May 27, 08, 10:53 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Philadelphia, LAX, Paris
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Posts: 2,641
Originally Posted by lenoir View Post
Outcome: We did get upgraded to an oceanfront suite! We had a cash & points reservation for the first night and for the last night (7th), with the $332/night reservation in the middle for 5 nights. Management upgraded all nights, so we were in the same suite for all 7 nights. The property was not close to full, so I'm sure they couldn't do this at just any time of year, but I'll never forget their generosity!

x95 and x96 are the tower suites. We were in x96 and really liked that one since one side overlooked the Banyan courtyard instead of the Outrigger next door.

All in all, the stay was just fantastic. Absolutely loved the hotel.

I also toured a couple of Banyan oceanfront rooms just for fun and really liked them. #262 is a small corner room. #327 is a larger room and has a lanai. #325 is the same size as 327 but without a lanai. According to the front desk, all these are in the category of ocean view. You can request the lanai but may not get it. Whatever the case, I really loved the new Banyan rooms.

Thanks for the great suggestion!
I'm very glad that everything appeared to have worked out REALLY well for you. I am particularly pleased and impressed that you got the suite upgrade for 7 nights! Like I said, the Westin Moana Surfrider is now my favorite property in Honolulu.
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Old May 28, 08, 12:13 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: USA
Programs: UA 1K, Starwood Platinum, Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 975
I stayed at this property (and at the W, too) days ago and I had a great experience. I had booked an ocean front room in the tower. The room's balcony was litteraly on the water and the view was gorgeous. Because of the shape of the building, most rooms in the tower have corner balconies which feel very private.

I did get to enjoy the tea and little welcome ceremony from the staff at checkin, which was cute

I guess the funniest part of the stay was when I stopped by the Starwood Vacation desk. I had received a coupon for a "free gift" (and perfectly knew what this was all about--timeshares.) The guy at the desk was stoned, or high, or both It was hilarious. He was really focusing hard and crafting every sentence carefully. He wanted to sign me up for a SVO salespitch, which I did accept out of curiosity. It turned out there was some confusion (of course ) and when I received the confirmation letter I realized it wasn't the date that I expected, so I had to cancel. It was hilarious, though.

Overall, nice hotel all around. I heard too late that there are historical tours two or three times a week. I wish I had attended one. I did get to see the couple cases they have with memorabilia from this legendary place.
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Old May 28, 08, 5:38 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Starwood Platinum, AA Gold
Posts: 141
Originally Posted by lenoir View Post
Outcome: We did get upgraded to an oceanfront suite! We had a cash & points reservation for the first night and for the last night (7th), with the $332/night reservation in the middle for 5 nights. Management upgraded all nights, so we were in the same suite for all 7 nights. The property was not close to full, so I'm sure they couldn't do this at just any time of year, but I'll never forget their generosity!

x95 and x96 are the tower suites. We were in x96 and really liked that one since one side overlooked the Banyan courtyard instead of the Outrigger next door.

All in all, the stay was just fantastic. Absolutely loved the hotel.

I also toured a couple of Banyan oceanfront rooms just for fun and really liked them. #262 is a small corner room. #327 is a larger room and has a lanai. #325 is the same size as 327 but without a lanai. According to the front desk, all these are in the category of ocean view. You can request the lanai but may not get it. Whatever the case, I really loved the new Banyan rooms.

Thanks for the great suggestion!
We were not so lucky in the upgrade department.. seven night stay, cash booking for all seven nights for a Banyan oceanview room, received no Plat upgrade of any kind. I believe the hotel was somewhat busy during the Memorial Day weekend and that probably kept us from getting anything nicer.

However..

We did get one of the larger Banyan rooms (#429). It had a very good lanai with two lounge chairs, though not very private, since adjoining rooms share the space (with a see-thru barrier dividing it). It had a great view of the Banyan tree courtyard with peeks at the beach and the ocean.

This room was at least 50% larger than the smallest Banyan rooms, and the bathroom with new double-head high-tech shower (no tub) was somewhat nicer, in my opinion, than the bathrooms in the Tower or Diamond wings (suites excepted of course).

This room was also closer to the action at the Banyan courtyard, pool and beach. But if you're a Plat, it was not very close to the Platinum lounge on the top floor of the Tower wing. I guess I would've preferred a Tower Ocean View, but this larger Banyan room was pleasant, and my wife liked the location.

I think the Banyan wing renovation was done very well, aside from the small size of many of the rooms. Maybe the hotel made a mistake not gutting those small rooms to make them larger. But the overall effect in this wing with the wide corridors, the wainscoting and tropical carpeting is beautiful. Quite a contrast with the Diamond Wing, with its dark, dingy corrdors and old brown carpet.

We didn't try dinner at the Beachhouse - but I did sample the breakfast on the Moana's Veranda. IMHO the hotel has decided to go after the overseas clients, whose currency is worth more these days. The prices for breakfast and dinner are both on the high side - the $28 USD breakfast buffet is priced like the Halekulani's but not as nice. The buffet breakfast at Duke's next door is nearly as nice, for only $14.95. Duke's at breakfast is jammed every morning, unlike the Moana's Veranda. And if I want to spend Beachhouse prices for dinner, I'm more likely to go to Orchid's at the Halekulani or to Michel's at the Colony Surf.

It will be interesting to see how the Royal Hawaiian turns out after its upcoming renovations. But we've enjoyed the Surfrider on our last two stays very much, and I'm sure we'll be back.

Next time, I hope to get one of these spectacular suite upgrades I keep reading about on this Forum!
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