Step Back in Time
By Kathleen Wong
Take a break at Royal Hawaiian Center’s The Royal Grove and learn about the history of the area.
Steer away from the energetic Waikiki strip and enter the serenity of the Royal Hawaiian Center’s The Royal Grove, landscaped with shady trees, sitting stones and dangling lanterns. Sam Shenkus, marketing director of the Center, calls The Grove Waikiki’s piko, Hawaiian for “bellybutton.” “It’s like the center, but it’s also restful. It’s relaxing; you’re kind of out of the hustle and the bustle,” Shenkus explains.
Over a century ago, the area around the Center was Princess Pauahi’s summer home, Helumoa, surrounded by a legendary grove of 10,000 coconut trees. In 2013, a multi-million dollar renovation brought The Royal Grove on a fast track to Pauahi’s dedication to education. “It’s our commitment to honor and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture,” Shenkus says.
In The Grove is Helumoa Hale, where guest services and a culturally informative heritage room is located. Visitors can view paintings of the former summer home, photographs of the princess and several kahili, feathered poles used to frame the monarchs.
Daily activities offered include Monday lei-making to Thursday ‘ukelele playing, as well as nighttime entertainment with local bands under the spotlight of tiki torches.
The Royal Grove and Helumoa Hale
Royal Hawaiian Center
2201 Kalakaua Ave.
[C:8 Waikiki Map]