Waikiki – Summer Homes of Hawaii’s Royalty
Just two miles long and five blocks wide, Waikiki is home of Hawaii’s most popular vacation destination. Hardly a resort but more of cluster of hotels, condominiums spread along busy streets. The area is filled with restaurants, spas, nightclubs, shops and walkways that provide at least a week of relaxation and excitement. Waikiki also is the location of the island’s only Zoo and only Aquarium.
Historically, Waikiki was immensely popular with Hawaii’s royalty. Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani had two homes in Waikiki. The largest was located where the Waikiki Library stands. It was called Paokalani. It was the home where she entertained dignitaries from all over the world including the Duke of Edinburgh. The second was a smaller home called Kealohilani located across from Kuhio Beach.
Also across the street from Kuhio beach was the home of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole. Visitors to the beach can visit his statue. The statue faces his seaside home named Pualeilani. The property was deeded to the city of Honolulu when he died in 1922.
King David Kalakaua also has a home in the Uluniu district near the shores of Waikiki Beach. Sheltered in a large grove of towering coconut trees, the house was a two-story structure that was known to host many parties. His estate was left to Princess Kaiulani upon his death.
The most elaborate royal estate in Waikiki was that of Princess Kaiulani. Ainahau was located where the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel now stands. The estate consisted of 10 acres of flower gardens, peacocks, mango trees and a giant banyan. The princess died at the estate in 1899, she was just 23 years old.
What is now the International Marketplace was the summer home of King Lunalilo. The area was known as Kaluaokau. The estate was not large, but it did include the banyan tree that today is the centerpiece of the Marketplace. The home was given to Queen Emma when Lunalilo died in 1874.
Hawaii Travel Advice: Visitors are welcome to visit the statue of Princess Kaiulani at the corner of Kaiulani and Kuhio Avenues in Waikiki.
Lottie Tagupa is a native Hawaiian, born and raised on the island of Oahu. She has been writing about Hawaii for over 10 years and currently lives in Waimea on the Big Island
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