Fine & Dandy

May 1, 2014 | By Catherine Caldwell


Newt at the Royal charms patrons with simply the finest Montecristi Panamas and aloha wear.

Christian Dior reportedly told London’s Daily Telegraph, “Without hats, we have no civilization.” This framed memento greets visitors to Newt at the Royal as they step back to a more debonair era. Home to trademark tropical sportswear prints and legendary Montecristi Panama hats, Newt is a Pink Palace jewel.

Its genuine Montecristis, dubbed after the ancient Ecuadorian city, “are highly prized by international clientele seeking a lavish, ‘Brooks Brothers’ look with a tropical touch,” says JB Ross, Newt consultant.

As Hawai’i’s most exclusive retailer, Newt fashions “distinguished hats for distinguished people.” Price points range from $575 for a basic fedora to $22,000 for a wide-brimmed ladies’ cap. Hand woven from toquilla palm fronds, cost is dependent upon the breadth of the weave. The tighter the weave, the greater the labor and price tag. Fedoras with the finest construction take up to a year to manufacture.

While most famous for its standard Montecristi character, Fedoras, Optimos and Plantations offer additional personalities for men and women. Other charming finds include a collection of koa wood-brimmed hats, consignment jewelry, globally curated belts, hat boxes and Hawai’i-made, 100-percent long staple cotton fabric and aloha wear.

Celebrities capturing the allure of ’40s and ’50s crooners, including Pierce Brosnan, legendary surfer Eddie Aikau and Japanese movie star Hideki Takahashi, appear donning Montecristis in Polaroid snapshots mounted to Newt’s wooden walls adorned with vintage accents.

With proper care and cleaning, purchasing one of Newt’s whimsical tokens yields years of dapper enjoyment.

Newt at the Royal
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel
2259 Kalakaua Ave.
[C:8 Waikiki Map]
(808) 922-0062
*Multiple locations in Waikiki