Located in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, Orchid Court, is this great store which sells authentic Hawaiian crafts...everything from jewelry to handmade rosary beads, to masks and musical instruments.
We met the manager, Kim Nihei, who was an absolute delight. She answered all of our questions about the crafts that were on display. Kim is knowledgeable and well versed in Hawaiian lore.
I highly recommend you check this store out, you won't be disappointed!
What to buy: I purchased a beautiful pair of earrings, as did Kris, which were "Dichroic Glass". The artist applies thin layers of metals to a glass substrate in a vacuum. The color is totally structural as light bounces between the metallic molecules and then back to the eye. There is a lot of variation even in small bits of glass, like an earring. The pair I bought which is turquoise is stunning, I purchased another pair of the diachroic glass for a friend in Germany. Kris purchased a pair in the purple red tones, beautiful!
The artist uses local materials to make these earrings, pendant and bracelets.
What to pay: Very moderately priced goods, considering the authenticity of the craft work. I highly recommend this shop if you are looking for authentic Hawaiian crafts.
Located in the Ambassador Hotel Waikiki, Kimo Bean is a great place to stop and take a well deserved coffee break.
The smell of Kimo Bean's coffee is what first enticed us and I will tell you we were not disappointed. I discovered Kimo Bean actually on Maui (the location has since closed) but here on the island of Oahu they have 2 locations. The other is located in the Hyatt Waikiki. They also have a store on the Big island of Hawaii.
Addendum: I got to visit the Kimo Bean at the Hyatt Regency in Waikiki. They have a great selection of coffees and great tasting salads, pastas, and desserts.
What to buy: Kimo Bean offers different roasts of coffee. Try the Kauai blend for a smooth mellow cup that holds milk or cream well.
The Maui blend is back after a long hiatus and is a rich blend that is drinkable without cream or sugar!
I have been using Kimo Bean's online store now for years, it is our "Kimo-Therapy" :-)
What to pay: $18.00 a pound
When you walk through the doors at L'Epicier you are greeted by a lovely Japanease woman bearing a tray with small sample cups to taste the "tea of the day". L'Epicier means "The Grocer" in French.
With 200 different varieties of tea direct from plantations, you are sure to be drawn inside the store. The extensive range includes black, classical, herbal, green, Chinese, Japanese and flavoured teas to fulfill almost every need. You can make your tea selection at the counter by smelling the tea from special containers. Tea start from as little as $5.50 (50g).
One wonders though when smelling perfume one clears the "smell palate" by sniffing coffee beans, but with tea, you just "sniff on" to the next tea. No need to cleanse the "smell palate".
What to buy: I purchased the Lavender Tea for 50 grams it was $5.50.
Lavender is a very special herbal tea which has calming effects that helps relieve stress, fatigue, headache and insomnia.
One of my favorite places to haunt while in the islands is the ABC stores of Hawaii.
The stores can be found just about every corner depending on what town you are in. On Oahu, there are several per block, hence the "All Blocks Covered" reference.
ABC stores are like 7-11's, Circle K's, Turkey Hill's, and Wa Wa's, as they carry various snacks, sodas, water and juices.
They also carry sundry items such as sunscreen, film, sand mats, and first aid supplies.
But what I really like about the ABC stores is the wide assortment of gifts and souvenirs at very low prices.
What to buy: Pareaus (Pareos). These can be long or short pieces of fabric which can be worn as a skirt, a dress, or as a swimsuit cover up. They come in various colors and patterns. At the ABC stores you can sometimes find them for as low as five dollars apiece.
Coconut syrup. I bring back at least four bottles for pancakes, waffles, and French toast.
Coffee. ABC stores carry bags and bags of Hawaiian coffee. One of our personal favorites is "Lion Brand" the cup that roars.
Purple Gum. Choward's Scented Gum. This is an acquired taste. You either love it or you hate it. It is violet scented gum.
Aloe Vera Gel. This is great for sunburns and wind chapped skin.
Milk, bread, ice cream, alcohol, fruit, yogurt and prepackages sandwiches are in abundance at the ABC store.
Remeber, you can bring the islands home, log on to their website.
What to pay: Pareau's go for as little as $5.00 and you won't find better prices unless of course you go to Wal-Mart. Wal-mart?? In paradise??
…or simply a Flea Market. A great place for souvenir shopping. First of all, the choice is much bigger than anywhere else. There is really some creative merchandise to shop for.
Second, bargaining here is normal, so don’t feel ashamed.
Remember one thing, this place is huge and there’s more than one row of stands, so either you have a phenomenal memory or buy what you like on the spot, don’t full yourself by saying that you’ll come back, most likely you won’t find that same stand again.
Personally, I bought some very nice suitcase there, for a very reasonable price. And it was a kind of a souvenir for me too, because it has Hawaiian Island printed on it.
You can either get there by bus or by car. Car entrance and parking is $1 per person.
The market takes place every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm.
What to pay: Depends on what you buy, but feel free to bargain
If you happen to find a street corner without an ABC store, please let them know, they’ll open one in no time. A(ll) B(locks) C(overed) is Hawaii’s no’ 1 drug store, where you find everything from shoe laces to snacks and clothing. First I tried to avoid these stores, but there I realized that it’s impossible. When I needed repellent before going on a hike ABC became handy. The same happened when I was thirsty, when I remembered that there are still some souvenirs I forgot to buy, when I needed my contacts’ solution, and when I needed the only airlines’ security allowed 3oz. mouth wash, for my upcoming 32-hour trip home.
As much as all the blocks are covered, your groceries’ list will be covered too. And don’t bother to look for one, it will find you :)
Lots of people have recommended me this place, but I found it a real tourist trap.
Yes, there are all the major brand names, but I didn’t notice that the prices were any different from regular shopping malls. After checking out almost every store in this place, the only bargain I found was at the Sckechers outlet, I needed new sneakers and this is the only brand I usually go by, so I did save about $20.
So, I guess if you’re patient enough you may come across some good deal, but in general it’s just another gigantic shopping area.
The Ala Moana Shopping Center is so popular it has its own magazine. We were not impressed with the shops, most of which are high end retail stores that we have in our malls back home.
Take the "Pink" shopping trolley from Waikiki to get to the Center. $2.00 each way, correct change is a MUST!
The Tea Shop is something that we cannot get at home. L'Epicier offered a room full of loose and bagged tea for an acceptable price.
What to buy: We went into the Hawaiian Quilt Collection, we were greeted by a bored young man who had little to do but talk on his cell phone. The merchandise was marked up well over what we saw at the Aloha Tower Marketplace.
We went to Sephora, a cosmetics store, no mark up here, I was able to purchase my favorite "RoseBud Salve" for what I pay at home.
The Longs Drugs had souvenier items priced moderately but most of what they offered was junk.
This is one of many places where you can get gifts for the unfortunate ones that you left home. The market is really big, stretching on one block connecting two main streets Kalakaua and Kuhio. By the way, if now all the street names seem strange to you, by the end of your vacation they’ll all look very normal.
However, all the wooden booths and shops around have to offer pretty much the same things: jewelry, wood crafts, and clothing such as sarongs, swimming suits, and hula shirts and 6 for $20 T-shirts. Occasionally you’ll run across some candles, glasses, and postcards.
There are, definitely, some bargains, but don’t rush to buy if you try to save money. Check the ABC stores for example, you can find the same things for cheaper prices. Some vendors will try to drop prices just to make you buy their stuff. Personally, I don’t bargain, but many times I was offered “discounts” without even asking.
Additionally, visit the Aloha Stadium flea market, a much bigger and better place for souvenir shopping (Oh yeah! I did bargain there)
This is a great place to wander and pick up some jewelry or some souvenirs to take back home. By no means are the prices less expensive here, but you have a wide range of items to pick from. I would recommend that you walk to the back of the market where prices are more reasonable, and don't forget to bargain down the prices.
What to buy: I purchased some beautiful bangle bracelets for my daughter, some leis, and ankle bracelet, some key chains and a few shark tooth necklaces and some really nice phone charms.
What to pay: Mid range but you can bargain the prices
I know I have quite a few shopping tips here, it’s because during my first visit I was on Oahu for 22 days and had enough time for pretty much everything, including shopping.
Ala Moana seems to be the most popular shopping place for both locals and tourists. Especially if you like when all the major stores are located in the same area, this place is very convenient. Many busses run there from Waikiki (actually I walked there, it’s very close) and there’s a huge free parking lot.
Everything you need can be found at Ala Moana. Brand name lovers can find their favorite stores on the top floors, lower lever is mostly occupied by souvenir shops, food stalls and some reasonably priced stores. The food court in the middle of the ground level offers enormous choices of dishes from pizza and Chinese noodle bars to steaks and fine sushi gourmet.
Sears, Macy’s, a huge supermarket, Barnes and Noble, oh well… I didn’t count exactly, but there are about 200 stores to choose from.
Ala Moana includes shops like: Nine West, GAP, Banana Republic, Guess, DKNY, Dior, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, oh well, you get the point. Plus, you can always check online.
The International Market Place is primarily an opportunity to purchase cheap souvenirs or inexpensive jewelry for yourself or those back home.
Booth after booth carried simple beaded necklaces and bracelets, earrings or rings, beach apparel or t-shirts.
We didn't spend too much time browsing amongst the '130 carts, shops and artisan stands' that comprise this area.
However, if you allow yourself a more leisurely search, you'll find beach and resort wear, gifts, candles, small toys and a food court. Perhaps, just what you've been looking for.
The International Market Place is opened daily from 10 :00 am-10:30 pm. with live music five days a week.
I always make time to shop around for some great shoes or sandals no matter where I travel to. While in Honolulu I walked into a few shops until I came across Nine West. Nine West is a national chain store and I can probably get the same shoes back home but sometimes locality makes the items more unique.
I've purchased quite a few pairs of sandals while in Oahu, there is something about purchasing a new pair of sandals at a tropical location.
The shoes are quite sexy!
What to buy: I've purchased many pairs of sandals at this location, most recently the tan colored wedge sandal, nice pair to add to my every growing stock pile of shoes.
What to pay: Anywhere between $29-$129
Ala Moana Shopping Center
Hawaii's largest shopping destination with approximately 230 stores and restaurants. U.S. Post Office on site. Entertainment activities regularly scheduled. International food court. Department stores: Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Sears.
What to buy: Clothes & gifts
Mum really liked this shopping centre. There were lots and lots of clothes shops and Sears and Macy's department stores. There are also lots of restaurants, even Jackie's kitchen. ( Jackie Chan Restaurant). There is a food court too and McDonald's . All the big designer label stores were here too.
Upon arrival to the Halekulani you are greeted at the desk and assigned a staff member to tour you...more
2417 Prince Edward Street, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815, United States
Good for: Business
1277 Mokulua Drive, Kailua, Hawaii, United States
Good for: Families