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Kahala Neighborhood In Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Known as the “Beverly Hills of Hawaii”, Kahala is a prestigious neighborhood in Honolulu, Oahu. As expected for a neighborhood of this class - it has no shortage of outstanding features. The homes are a mixture of modern design and the quiet beauty of traditional Hawaiian beach bungalows.

Homes in Kahala tend to have bigger lots than other neighborhoods in Honolulu, mostly ranging from 9,000 sq ft to 20,000 sq ft. These properties go for a minimum of $1.5 Million for just the land and can easily range upwards of $20 Million. While there are about 40 oceanfront  lots, these are the mostly 1 acre estate lots, are easily the most expensive and don’t go on the market often.

Kahala is located east of Diamond Head and is home to some of the most expensive and coveted real estate in Hawaii. With wide, open roads, underground utility lines in some places, and a convenient location, it’s easy to see why. For those who want to taste before they buy - Kahala is also home to the world famous Kahala Resort and Hotel which has several great restaurants.

Within this prestigious neighborhood there are 16 distinct micro-neighborhoods, or “microhoods”. They can be seen below on the right side of this map, labeled Kahala 1 through Kahala 16. All homes have access to the beaches in Kahala through 6 public access right-of-ways.

Kahala - Location & Neighborhood Amenities 

Kahala is just east of Downtown Honolulu, Oahu. It is on a flat section of Oahu between the east side of Diamond Head Natural Monument and the south shoreline. Each of its 16 microhoods have something making it distinct, but the entire neighborhood has a pristine reputation and nearly 1,500 homes make up the Kahala area.

Kahala is built for luxury and prestige balanced with a healthy lifestyle. Residents can always feel safe taking a stroll along the ample sidewalks to the grocery store, then setting off for a jog around the 4 mile base of Diamond Head. Afterwards, cool off by surfing along the shoreline - or going for a swim.

Conveniently located about 10 minutes away from Waikiki and Downtown Honolulu, Kahala is known as the best neighborhood in Honolulu for a reason.

Parks And Other Outdoor Activities

Kahala boasts easy access for anyone seeking to live a healthy lifestyle. 

There are 6 public right-of-ways allowing pedestrian and bike access to the beaches, so the shore is always there for surfing on days off. Diamond Head Natural Monument is another option, with a four mile circumference running and biking trail around its base. With its wide streets and sidewalks, even an afternoon stroll is always a pleasant experience. I enjoy walking and riding my bike through Kahala as it is quiet and peaceful and I love being able to check out the beautiful architecture that makes up Kahala.

When looking to take the family out, Waialae Beach Park is perfectly suited for swimming or picnics - and is the only public beach park in the area with a restroom and shower. The parking spaces allow for about 30 cars, and there is a gazebo with an eating area. 

Kahala Community Park is right next to the Kahala Elementary School and is very active. It has 2 basketball courts, 2 tennis courts, 2 baseball fields, a community rec room, and a playground area. Local little league baseball teams use the fields for games and practices.

Bringing it back to exclusivity - Wai’alae Country Club is a high-end country club on the east end of Kahala. It hosts the Sony Open in Hawaii every year, a professional golf tournament on the PGA tour’s FedEx Cup Series. Membership costs a nice penny per year and brings many luxurious benefits and exclusive networking with some of Honolulu’s most affluent members.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Honolulu Marathon is one of the world’s largest marathons. The finish line is in Kapiolani Regional Park, but the marathon itself weaves throughout multiple neighborhoods including Kahala. Residents are perfectly located to join this world-class marathon, or cheer on its participants.

Shopping & Restaurants

Kahala is home to the famous Kahala Mall, located in the shadow of Diamond Head Natural Monument. Established in the 1950s and renovated in the 70s, it has over 100 local shops and many national stores such as Whole Foods Market, Apple, and Macy’s.

Back to local, Foodland Farms is constructing a new grocery store in Kahala. This family-run local grocery chain is firmly committed to building a better shopping experience and better Hawaii. Once completed, Farmland Foods will bring even more convenience and luxury to Kahala. 

For date nights, restaurants in Kahala bear a sterling reputation. Assaggio Bistro is one such example, an intimate Italian dining experience just off the Kalaniana’ole Highway. Highly rated, you can be sure that your date will be happy.

If you want to continue the date in Downtown Honolulu, Waikiki is only around 5 minutes away by car. Kahala is the heart of luxury, and its convenient location helps it live up to that.

Schools in Kahala

Kahala is the best neighborhood on Oahu to raise a family in. With easy access to parks and shopping opportunities both in and around Kahala, it is ready to meet your family’s needs - whatever they may be. Keeping along with this, Kahala boasts access to excellent schools, both public and private.

Kahala Elementary School is right next door to the Kahala Community Park and is highly rated. Established in 1954, this school boasts numerous online programs and is dedicated to the social and emotional learning of their students. It has an active parent-teacher organization enthusiastic about enriching the curriculum of its students.

Kaimuki Middle School is northeast of Diamond Head Natural Monument. Established in 1939 as an intermediate school and transformed into a middle school in 1997, KMS has been around for over three quarters of a century. Kaimuki Middle School has won multiple Hawaii Distinguished School Awards in the past few decades.

Kalani High School is just north of Kalaniana’ole Highway, and serves high school students of Kahala. Their vision is to imbue their students with Character, Compassion, and Community. Kalani High School helps its students learn how to be Self-Directed Learners, Community Contributors, and Quality Producers.

If private school is more what you’re looking for, Kahala has that too. Mary, Star of the Sea is a highly rated Catholic K through 8 private school located just northeast of Whole Foods Market.

A Brief History of Kahala

The name “Kahala” comes from the Hawaiian name for a fish common in the waters. This area in particular saw an abundance of them, and so the name was born. The native Hawaiian communities first started settling here in around 1795. 

Throughout the 1800s, much of the area that is now Kahala belonged to livestock farmers. After the Great Mahele land division in 1848, the land went to Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. When she died, the land was transferred to the Bishop Estate Trust.

After World War I and towards the middle of the century, Kahala real estate was ‘found’ by those in the upper class. The flat landscape, rare on Oahu, made it appealing for homes. Farms started shutting down and mansions started popping up. 

Doris Duke, a wealthy socialite of the early 20th century, was an early adopter just on the edge of Kahala in Diamond Head. Often called the “Richest girl in the world” during her lifespan, her Honolulu home completed construction in 1938 and today we know it as The Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design. This former home in the most exclusive spot on Oahu reflects the luxury we know Kahala for.

In November 1954, the Waialae Shopping Center first opened its doors. Now known as the Kahala Mall, this iconic feature of Kahala is right in the shadow of Diamond Head. It features over 100 local shops, a Whole Foods Market, and multiple restaurants.

Throughout Kahala you can still find hints of its history. Farmers’ Road is one such example, hailing back to its days of being lined with cattle farms. 

Prices And Property 

Kahala is one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in all of Hawaii, and for good reason. With its wide roads, underground utilities, and quiet streets, it’s built around feeling safe in an exclusive environment. Cost of entrance is the only barrier keeping people away.

Lots are on average around 12,000 sq ft, much larger than other areas on the island. This usually includes a sizable house and a yard. Beaches in Kahala catch the morning sunrise and at low tide you can almost all of the kahala coastline. Once in the ocean in Kahala there is an inner protected area from the outer reef for wading and swimming that goes out roughly 100 yards.  Many parts of this inner area are rockier or have reef rather than sand like other parts of the island, but the view remains gorgeous.

Pricing for homes in Kahala starts off at a minimum of $1.5 million for just the land itself. Investors may be able to get an older home and remodel it for a profit - but they can still expect to pay a pretty penny.

For more information about properties, pricing, and a recommendation on which microhood is best for you - contact me, Scott Startsman, Realtor Associate at 808-291-5441, scott@hiestates.com. I’ll help you learn more and guide you step by step through the process.

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