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In Honolulu, Oahu:
Royal Hawaiian Center
Renovation Brings a New Focus
by Gail Jennings

The exterior of the Royal Hawaiian Center in Honolulu, Hawaii
The exterior of the Royal Hawaiian Center at night

The first incarnation of the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center opened in 1979 on land owned by Princess Pauahi Bishop, a great granddaughter of Hawaiian King Kamehameha I. As the years passed, the luster of the facility waned with age and visitors' tastes and interests changed. A multi-million dollar renovation was undertaken to modernize the facility and to bring a new emphasis to the important cultural and historical significance of the property. Its new name, Royal Hawaiian Center, reflects this broader vision. Inveterate shoppers and diners will find a whole host of stores and eateries, ranging from large to small as well as expensive to affordable. But it is the embracing of the very spirit of the Hawaiian people that exists as the main draw to the RHC.

A statue of Princess Pauahi, who established Kamehameha Schools, at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Honolulu, Hawaii A bebe store at the Royal Hawaiian Center
A statue of Princess Pauahi in The Royal Grove
A bebe store at the Royal Hawaiian Center

At the heart of the center is The Royal Grove, a beautifully lush tropical garden which features a lovely bronze statue of Princess Pauahi. Surrounded by flowing waters, this exact spot is where she penned the final codicil to her will establishing Kamehameha Schools, which are dedicated to educating children of Hawaiian descent. Complimentary cultural classes including hula, Hawaiian quilting and ukulele are offered on weekdays at the center, and there is live Hawaiian music and entertainment nightly in The Royal Grove.

For shoppers, there are more than 100 retail stores, which range from exclusive European luxury brands like Bvlgari and Ferrari to popular American brands like Juicy Couture and Excel. Numerous local shops offer Hawaiian jewelry, surf apparel and handmade island goods like soap and candles. And there is no need to go hungry here either, with more than a dozen restaurant choices, including the ever-popular Cheesecake Factory, Japanese favorite Restaurant Suntory and Doraku Sushi, a trendy hot spot from South Beach featuring a fusion of Latin and Asian flavors.

Royal Hawaiian Center
2201 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI, 96815
808-922-2299
www.royalhawaiiancenter.com

Going to Hawaii? Check out our guide.
The Best Restaurants in Hawaii


PKR071808
(Updated: 03/02/11 BH)

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