After years of being known as a mass-market vacation spot rife with overcrowded beaches and waters, Honolulu is going luxe. The latest development? The Mandarin Oriental Residences, which launched sales just last month, and boasts a $35 million penthouse.
The 37-story tower, which has 99 residences in total, is a first for the Ala Moana neighborhood—and for Hawaii—for a few reasons: It brings the Mandarin to the islands for one, and it introduces a slew of high-profile design names for another, including Molteni&C Dada, Meyer Davis and Hart Howerton.
The $1 billion project will house a Mandarin Oriental hotel on the first 19 floors, with the top 17 dedicated to the residences. The project will be located on a prime piece of Oahu real estate: across the street from Ala Moana Center, the world’s largest open-air shopping mall, and a short walk away from the sought-after sands of Waikiki beach.
Prices for condos start at approximately $3.5 million, and, while thoroughly modern in their design, they still pay homage to traditional architecture. Each residence blends elements of indoor and outdoor living via a lanai, an open-sided, roofed porch that originated in Hawaii. The views are nothing to scoff at either—all offer Pacific Ocean vistas; some even with a glimpse of Diamond Head crater in the distance.
And the aforementioned penthouse, meanwhile, is set to become the priciest condo in Honolulu at its lofty $35 million price tag. The 6,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath unit takes up the entire top floor.
Amenities include a 20,000-square-foot spa floor—the largest in Oahu—a retail salon for guests who would rather skip the nearby mall’s crowds and multiple restaurants. One of these eateries will be speakeasy-inspired—its secret entrance hides somewhere beneath the tower’s floating garden.
A groundbreaking project for many reasons—and not just in the sense that it will shortly break ground—the Mandarin Oriental Residences is the first project approved under the Ala Moana Transit Oriented Development Plan. The mandate aims to create a stronger sense of connectivity via increased density, particularly towards the end of the Honolulu Transit Line, as well as an improved pedestrian experience.
“We had to make something catalytic,” Salem Partners president William Witte, who helped carve the Mandarin Oriental’s spot in Oahu, told Robb Report. He adds that its architecture alone will catapult the area into the future, as much of Ala Moana’s buildings still bear designs from the 1980s and 1990s.
When will the glossy, future-forward gates swing open? The project has an estimated completion date of 2022—but, if that sounds too far off, no worries—you can check out some more photos of the anticipated residences, below: