Which hotel was once home to the popular radio show Hawaii Calls?
Hint: This hotel is known as "The First Lady of Waikiki."
If you guessed the Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa (1901), you guessed correctly! Opened on March 11, 1901, the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, originally the Moana Hotel, was the first hotel built in Waikiki. Wealthy Honolulu landowner Walter Chamberlain Peacock incorporated the Moana Hotel Company in 1896 in an effort to establish a luxury hotel in a deserted area of Waikiki. Waikiki hit its stride in 1934 when Harry Owens and his band became icons of popular Hawaiian music and launched the world-acclaimed radio show, Hawaii Calls. Broadcast from the courtyard of The Moana, the show created new stars and attracted luminaries to the hotel.
In the 1920s, Waikiki experienced a new age of urbanization and previously rural areas were divided into suburbs. By 1927, Waikiki was slowly developing into a vacation destination with the building of Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial and the Honolulu Zoo. With Waikiki becoming a growing tourist attraction, the Moana became the choice accommodations for visitors. During World War II Moana became a rest and recreation area for soldiers and sailors, often serving as the last stop for those heading to war or the first stop on American soil on their way back. After the war, the introduction of regular airline service to Honolulu revitalized Waikiki's tourism industry and the Moana quickly regained its popularity with travelers.
In 1952, the Surfrider Hotel was built east of The Moana. When the Moana was sold to the Sheraton hotel chain in 1969, a new tower was built on the west side of the hotel and the Surfrider became a wing of the Moana.
Through decades of excellent service and luxury accommodations, the resort has experienced several renovation, expansion, and restoration projects that have allowed the hotel to maintain its reputation as a refined destination. Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Learn more about Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa and book your next stay.