In the Know

July 1, 2014 | By Tasha Mero

Get the inside track on what to see and do straight from the experts—the concierges working in Waikiki.


Kawai Yamashiro
Chef Concierge, Les Clefs d’Or,
The Concierge Association of Hawai‘i President
Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk

Years working in Waikiki: 5

Three words that describe Waikiki: Iconic, evolving, magical

What do you think makes Waikiki such a unique place?

Waikiki’s history creates a unique sense of place for both locals and visitors alike. Many of us grew up hearing our grandparents’ stories about how Waikiki used to be their own water park when they were children. Likewise, some of our return guests who have been visiting since the 1950s and ’60s share stories of their travels where they recall being stage-side to the famous Don Ho, or when the former Hanohano Room was the place to be seen. You see their eyes light up as they recall their cherished memories of Waikiki, and it is a truly heartwarming feeling.

Where is your favorite place to eat?

My favorite time of day is sunset, so my favorite places to eat include great food and a great view. Wai‘olu Ocean View Lounge here at Trump Waikiki is the perfect location to view the sunset and Friday night fireworks. My preferred combination of offerings would be the chef’s signature Fire Cracker Roll accompanied by a chilled Kubota Manju sake. Another venue for sunset dining would be House Without a Key at the Halekulani. The picturesque location near the ocean with their signature kiawe tree and Hawaiian music makes for a beautiful ambiance.

What is your favorite activity to do in Waikiki?

One of my favorite pastimes is shopping, and Waikiki has some of the most amazing shopping just steps away from the beach. Whether it be Luxury Row, T Galleria Hawaii by DFS, Royal Hawaiian Center or the smaller boutiques and stores, I would say Waikiki’s retail offerings can be paralleled to famous shopping destinations, such as Rodeo Drive (Beverly Hills) and The Magnificent Mile (Chicago).

What do you love best about your job?

I feel fortunate to work with such an amazing team and a supportive company. We collaborate to create unique and memorable experiences for our guests. We take pride in our services and strive to offer each guest an ultra-luxury experience, so by the time they depart, they will have embraced Trump Waikiki and our associates as part of their extended family.

In the Know features members of The Concierge Association of Hawaii, which provides educational and professional growth among its members and those aspiring to pursue a future in the concierge profession. The Concierge Association of Hawaii has developed a professional network among hotel concierges, the surrounding communities and local businesses to improve the Hawai‘i guest experience and stimulate a consistent level of service excellence.