The Moana's architectural design demonstrate a profound European influence, with Ionic columns, elaborate woodwork, and plaster detailing. The hotel also included several modern and luxurious features for the era such as telephones and bathrooms in every guestroom and common areas that included a billiard room, saloon, main parlor, reception area, and library. Peacock also installed the island's first electric-powered elevator at the Moana.
Despite Peacock's efforts, business was slow at the opening of the hotel and he quickly sold the property to Alexander Young in 1905. Young was a prominent businessman and hotel entrepreneur. Though Young died in 1910, his Territorial Hotel Company continued to operate the Moana until the company went bankrupt during the Great Depression. At that time, the hotel became the property of the Matson Navigation Company. This company operated what became a famous fleet of White Ships that brought tourists to the island and were instrumental in developing Hawaii's tourism industry in the postwar years.
In 1952 and 1953, Matson built two new hotels near Moana. In 1952, the SurfRider hotel opened adjacent to the Moana on the southeast side. The hotel eventually became part of the Moana and was renamed the Diamond Head Wing. In 1953, Matson opened the Princess Kaiulani Hotel on the site. Since that, renovations and ownership changes have occurred, but the exterior and interior of the hotel appear much as they did in the early twentieth century.