The Royal Grove at Royal Hawaiian Center – Waikiki's largest retail complex – has begun a five-month makeover to enhance the 30,000 square-foot garden and heighten the pedestrian and visitor experience.
Inspired by Waikiki's historical Helumoa coconut grove, which once had more than 10,000 coconut trees, the Royal Grove was completed in December 2007 as part of a $115 million revamp of the center. The garden links the center to the ocean by the Royal Hawaiian hotel. It hosts performances of Hawaiian storytelling, dance and music, and it serves as a venue for special events such as Aloha Festivals and private functions.
After five years of operations, however, the center identified several areas for improvements including pedestrian circulation and flow, visibility of the Royal Grove from Kalakaua Avenue, and more seating in the Kaulani Heritage Room. As a result, the current project will include a water feature comprised of two ponds with lit fountains and a broad bridge-like walkway; an expanded guest services center with Hawaiian hospitality, program and tenant information, and cultural interpretation; a new multi-purpose performance stage; and new landscaping and signage.
“The enhancements to the Royal Grove will offer our customers and visitors greater access and inducement to stroll its beautiful grounds whether they are here for shopping, dining or entertainment, or just to enjoy a welcoming and tranquil tropical environment,” said Marleen Akau, general manager of the center. “Ultimately these improvements will provide a stronger business platform for our merchants to increase sales.”
During the construction period, access through the grove and pathways to the Sheraton Waikiki and Royal Hawaiian hotels will remain open for foot traffic.