Designer labels for less—do you have any suggestions for the smart shopper?
Many people don’t know that the Hawaii store locations of luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Gucci, and Chanel are the most profitable in the world due to the low state sales tax of 4.712 percent. So be sure to take advantage of the low sales tax and shop! Hawaii is also home to many talented local designers. South Shore Market (1170 Auahi St. Tel: 808-591-8411. www.wardvillage.com/places/southshore-market) at Ward Village is home to many stylish boutiques led by local designers such as Salvage Public and Mahina. The streets of Downtown Honolulu are also lined with one-of-a-kind boutiques with trendy wear by local designers such as Roberta Oaks, The Fighting Eel, IN4MATION and Blank Canvas.
What are the best LGBTQ bars in the city?
Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand (134 Kapahulu Ave. Tel: 808-923-0669. www.hulas.com) is the iconic gay bar and lounge located on the east end of Waikiki—it’s been around for over 40 years. Not a lot of people know that before Hula’s moved to its current location in 1998, it opened in 1974 where our hotel property sits today. Today, it attracts a nightly crowd of locals and visitors because of its friendly vibe and stunning Diamond Head view. Located right behind our hotel is Bacchus Waikiki (408 Lewers St. Tel: 808-926-4167. www.bacchus-waikiki.com), which is small and cozy but very popular with visitors, with nightly drink specials (two for one on Wednesday nights). Also located just steps away from our hotel is In Between Waikiki (2155 Lauula St. Tel: 808-926-7060. www.inbetweenwaikiki.com), a fun karaoke bar; it’s small so it’s easy to make friends. Located right in the heart of Waikiki is Wang Chung’s (2424 Koa Ave. Tel: 808-201-6369. www.wangchungs.com),an iconic karaoke bar that attracts a nightly mixed crowd because of its fun atmosphere, friendly staff, and extensive song selection. On Sundays, guests can enjoy brunch and a drag show.
What are the most popular gay dance clubs in the city?
Scarlet Honolulu (80 S. Pauahi St. Tel:808-200-0910. www.scarlethonolulu.com) brought the gay community to Downtown
since opening years ago. It is our largest gay dance club open on Fridays and Saturdays and sometimes Sundays during holiday weekends. It hosts popular drag shows and go-go dancers. Start off with a drink in Waikiki and end the night dancing in Downtown.
Where can someone go at 3 A.M. for a good meal?
Zippy’s Restaurants (www.zippys.com) is Hawaii’s favorite 24-hour diner, with more than 20 locations on Oahu and others on neighbor islands. The menu has island comfort food, like the famous “Zip Pac” bento meal with teri beef, fried chicken, fried battered fish, and Spam over a bed of rice. On weekends, you’ll find the Honolulu locations packed with locals after hours.
What is the iconic tourist souvenir?
Everyone needs at least one aloha shirt in the closet. Long gone are the days of loud, obnoxious, and tacky aloha shirts—today you can find stylish and contemporary designs in Honolulu at brands such as Tori Richard, Reyn Spooner, and Rix Island Wear. My favorite is Sig Zane Designs that is based in Hilo on Hawaii Island. However, the founder’s son Kuhao Zane opened his own shop in Downtown Honolulu called Sig on Smith (1018 Smith St. Tel: 808-524-0071. www.sigzanedesigns.com), putting his own spin on his father’s designs. The brand put the aloha shirt on the map as the ultimate trendy, urban wear, especially for men in Hawaii.