Fun For All

Waikiki’s Royal Hawaiian Center gives clients the chance to experience local food and culture

By: By Marty Wentzel

The Details

Royal Hawaiian Center

Smack dab in the heart of Waikiki, the Royal Hawaiian Center couldn’t be more convenient. Shoppers, diners, entertainment lovers and culture buffs can find a world of options within its newly renovated walls, arcades and open-air promenades.

Fun for All // (c) 2009

 Waikiki, the Royal Hawaiian Center // © Royal Hawaiian Center

Clients with a serious urge to shop will find what they need at the center. For upscale duds, designer brands like Bebe, Fendi, Hermes, Kate Spade, Salvatore Ferragamo and White House/Black Market stand ready with elegant and exclusive wearables. Pleasing the pickiest of shoppers are specialty stores like 7 For All Mankind, featuring designer denim jeans; Hat Shack, with its sports and fashion toppers; and Koi Boutique, known for its trendy accessories. Hawaii-inspired clothes await at Crazy Shirts and Royal Hawaiian Boutique, and clients can buy handmade Navajo jewelry, sterling silver and turquoise at Western Classics.

For health and beauty buffs, agents should suggest Lotus Natural Beauty, L’Occitane and Lush, which sells handmade products fashioned from organic fruits and vegetables. Clients eager to add some sparkle to their wardrobe can stop by Cartier, Kobe Jewelry, Komang Jewelry, Laki Hawaiian Designs, Philip Rickard Honolulu, Pick a Pearl, Rolex Kaimana Kea and Tourneau, which boasts the world’s largest selection of fine watches. To keep the feet happy, Leather Soul and the Walking Company present footwear brands from around the world. ABC Stores, Hawaii’s foremost purveyor of sundries, holds forth on the ground level of the center.

The center’s roster of restaurants is equally eclectic and satisfying. Clients can savor eastern flavors at Beijing Chinese Seafood Restaurant, Doraku Sushi, Okonomiyaki Chibo Restaurant, P.F. Chang’s Waikiki and Restaurant Suntory. Paradiso Seafood and Grille serves upscale American cuisine, while Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener specializes in steaks. Villa Paradiso pleases palates craving northern Italian fare, and Senor Frog’s keeps Mexican food lovers happy with enchiladas, margaritas and tacos. At the end of the meal, the venerable Cheesecake Factory tempts the sweet tooth with 50 types of desserts, while Honolulu Cookie Company sells fresh-baked treats in exotic Hawaiian flavors. For drinks and happy hours, the center’s Grove Bar is a popular open-air gathering place. Late-night revelers should head to Level 4 Nightclub, one of Waikiki’s hottest nightclub scenes.

Cultural activities enliven the center throughout the year, and many of them are free. The historic Royal Hawaiian Band performs Hawaiian songs and other classics on the first Wednesday of each month in the Royal Grove. The same venue also hosts various special events each month, with performances from local bands to piano concerts. In the center’s Kaulani Heritage Room, clients can watch three free short films on the heritage and history of Hawaii. When they’re ready to get hands-on, visitors can take part in the center’s cultural enrichment programs focusing on the arts of Hawaiian quilting, lomilomi massage, ukulele playing, hula dancing, lei-making and kapa cloth-making.

For a complete list of stores, restaurants and activities at the center, visit