The Best Hotel on Waikiki Beach
Let me just begin by saying that I am soooo glad Honolulu was the last stop on our tour of the Hawaiian Islands. We saw so much nature and had plenty of adventures on Kauai (see here and here), Maui (see here and here) and the Big Island (see here). By the time we arrived in Oahu, all we wanted to do was relax.
Thankfully, I had booked a room at the gorgeous Moana Surfrider Resort on Waikiki Beach. I had been eyeing this historic hotel for some time, and I'm so glad we ended up staying here.
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Yes, it's touristy. But you won't escape that anywhere in Waikiki. It is simply a place to see and be seen. Let's just say I wasn't the only one taking glamour shots and you're guaranteed to see a wedding party or two. Besides this, the hotel's history dates back to 1901 with well preserved Victorian architecture and classic Hawaiian hospitality. Be sure to take the stairs in the lobby to view all of the old photographs of Waikiki before it was overrun with development.
I highly recommend booking a room with a view of Diamond Head, as it is definitely worth it. The rooms are average (with quite small bathrooms) for a Marriott property, but the view is incredible. I don't mind heights at all, but even I felt dizzy looking over the railing at the busy beach scene.
We really enjoyed our meals at The Beachhouse at Moana, which offers ocean front patio seating. You do not have to be a guest to eat there, but I definitely recommend making a reservation whether you go for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Order a glass of rosé paired with the ahi tuna salad, and finish with the strawberry guava vacherin for dessert, all with a view of the clearest blue water.
The location of the Moana Surfrider Resort is amazing, right on the water and central to everything in Waikiki. We lounged on the beach, browsed the endless shopping right outside of the hotel (at least go get a free sample from the Honolulu Cookie Company), and joined the masses to watch the sunset each night.
If you have time, be sure to check out the North Shore, as well. Lahaina beach and the nearby Pillbox hike are two popular things to do in Oahu, as well as the Diamond Head hike which is only a few minutes from Waikiki.