Hawaii’s most elegant neighborhood is much more than a serene beachfront paradise Kahala has become a favorite destination for East Oahu residents and wealthy visitors from around the globe.
Island shoppers and, increasingly, visitors from the Mainland and Japan looking for off-the-beaten-track boutiques and a touch of easygoing, upscale atmosphere are heading to Kahala Mall, the town square of the Kahala community. The mall’s approximately 100 shops, eateries and services range from national stores such as Macy’s, Banana Republic, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Whole Foods to local treasures such as The Compleat Kitchen, The Paperie, SoHa Living, Reyn Spooner and Magnolia. A multiplex movie theater, several banks, a post office and other businesses provide area residents access to everything they need. Neighbors mingle daily at the mall, dining with families and friends, playing scrabble or doing homework, enjoying a cup of coffee and simply relaxing pau hana style.
Less than a mile from Kahala Mall, the storied Kahala Hotel & Resort is a world-class hideaway for the rich and famous. Since it opened in 1964, The Kahala has hosted everyone from U.S. presidents to international royalty, business tycoons and Hollywood’s biggest film stars. Nestled within the exclusive Kahala neighborhood between a secluded white-sand beach and private country-club golf course, the hotel offers the well heeled a private taste of heaven only a short drive from the heart of the city. The Kahala’s award-winning spa and restaurants are popular with both visitors and local clientele.
A landmark property in the Kahala neighborhood is Shangri La, the former estate of 20th-century tobacco heiress Doris Duke. Once one of the world’s wealthiest people, Duke fell in love with Hawaii during her honeymoon in 1935. The following year she chose Kahala’s Black Point enclave as the setting for her new home, nestled among five acres of rich foliage and architecturally inspired by her travels in places such as Egypt, India and Iran. Over the next 60 years, she filled Shangri La with more than 3,500 pieces of Islamic art; today this unique and exquisite oceanfront property is open to the public as a museum of art.
Kahala residents have good reason to be proud their community, from its fashionable homes and exclusive attractions to its incredible natural beauty. No wonder Kahala is still considered Hawaii’s most desirable neighborhood.