Without a doubt one of the most beautiful hotels in Hawaii is the Sheraton Moana Surfrider, a perfect example of the fairy-tale architecture of a turn-of-the-century building. The Moana is often referred to as the "First Lady of Waikiki" since it was the first true resort in Waikiki, built in 1901.
Even the Banyan Tree in the courtyard is old, planted in 1904 and one of Hawaii's first rare trees placed on the Exceptional Tree List, protected by state law. The hotel immediately attracted the attention of the very wealthy and/or very famous who could afford the luxury of sailing across the Pacific to visit the islands of Hawaii.
Over the years, the Moana kept its dignity, but seemed to have lost some of its luster. But then, after an award-winning renovation, the Sheraton Moana Surfrider was unveiled in all its splendor. The new owners imported craftspeople from Europe to renovate the hotel back to its original glory replacing floors, windows, the grand staircase and even going so far as to have the original carpets rewoven at great expense.
They said it was their gift to Hawaii and what a wonderful gift it has become. From the towering columns of the porte cochere to the front veranda with its row of rocking chairs, through the stunning lobby to the back veranda where you can sit and have Afternoon Tea, it is like entering another world.
The Moana Surfrider has once again just completed a $17 million rejuvenation with all Tower and Diamond Wing rooms as well as corridors and elevator landings upgraded while maintaining its historical and uniquely Hawaiian elegance. All rooms now have the new Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed.
As expected all the rooms are even more elegant, very Hawaiian and beautifully decorated. Rooms in the historic Banyan Wing feature antique furnishings in rare koa wood, oak and mahogany. Amenities include complimentary daily coffee, in-room voice mail, cable TV with in-room movies, refrigerator, hair dryer, make-up/shaving mirror and deluxe grooming products.
There is a swimming pool and private beach area, three lounges and beach/poolside beverage service and daily entertainment in the Banyan Court. There are also three restaurants, including the very popular Banyan Veranda, featuring elegant service and wonderful food in the shade of the famous Banyan Tree.
The Sheraton Moana Surfrider more than lives up to its nickname of "First Lady of Waikiki". It is a tribute to a by-gone era of graciousness and elegance that you can experience now for a truly remarkable and memorable vacation.
The Sheraton Moana Surfrider Hotel will become 100% smoke free by November 15, 2006. The new policy applies to all guest rooms, including balconies, restaurants, lounges, lobby, pools, public areas and meeting rooms.
A designated smoking area will be provided for guests that smoke in accordance to the new regulations. Transforming the hotel to smoke free is underway and the availability of smoking rooms will decrease accordingly.