A luxurious beachfront hotel located in the center of Waikiki, the Moana Surfrider offers high-style accommodations with a price tag to match. Fortunately, I recently discovered a unique and fun way to experience an afternoon of luxury at the Moana Surfrider without breaking the bank. For a little over $30 one can enjoy a lengthy afternoon tea on a picturesque veranda overlooking Waikiki Beach.
I was expecting something somewhat buffet-style, but was impressed with how personal the afternoon tea experience was. Just moments after I was seated, a server presented an array of seven teas, ranging from a caffeine-free herbal tea to a more heavily caffeinated black tea. Each guest is allowed to choose his or her own tea selection, and is encouraged to smell each tea as the server briefly explains the main ingredients in each of the seven loose leaf teas. I had a tough time making a decision, but settled on a black tea with a rich, fruity aroma. Shortly after, I was delivered my own teapot filled to the brim with freshly brewed tea. While each pot only holds two cups, the leaves can be steeped several times, and the server is glad to refill the teapots whenever necessary.
The food courses begin with a delicious bowl of soup. This is followed by an array of finger sandwiches and a small tower of pastries. All three sandwiches were unique and flavorful, and the pastries included cookies, cream puffs, and scones with lemon curd and clotted cream. Lastly, once tea cups are drained and plates are empty, guests are served a small scoop of green tea sorbet to cleanse the palette.
Although the food and drinks were great, the atmosphere was really what made the experience so memorable. It’s apparent that tea time guests are encouraged to relax and enjoy themselves, rather than rack up a hefty bill and shovel in as much food as possible. Although I only stayed for about 90 minutes, I could easily have stayed for another hour without a problem. If you are planning a busy, action-packed adventure in Hawaii, afternoon tea is definitely a great way to step away from the action and unwind.
Afternoon tea is served on the veranda every day between noon and 3 pm. Reservations can be made by phone or online via the hotel’s website