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Helumoa Coconut Grove and Royal Hawaiian Hotel
Waikiki Historic Trail Marker 12

Marker 12 on the Waikiki Historic Trail highlights the Helumoa Coconut Grove and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. It is located on the Ala Moana end of Waikiki in the triangle park at the intersection of Kalakaua and Beach Walk.

Helumoa Coconut Grove and Royal Hawaiian Hotel - Marker 12
Copyright ӵ Kathleen Walling Fry

<-- Marker 11 | Marker 13 -->

Description Printed on the Marker


The ancient Helumoa Coconut Grove still graced the royal acreage of Waikiki in the 1870s.

Surrounded by this open landscape, one can imagine the huge coconut grove known as Helumoa. Planted by Chief Kakuhihewa around the 15th century, the grove once had nearly 10,000 trees. Kahuamokomoko was an area nearby that served as a sporting field. Boxing, wrestling, foot races and other games were played there. 'Ulu maika, the round stones used for a bowling-type game, were discovered on this site during excavation and construction of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Kamehameha the Great and his warriors camped near here when they began their conquest of O'ahu in 1795. Later, he would build a stone house for himself, as well as residences for his wives and retainers in an area known as Pua'ali'ili'i. Kamehameha ended Waikiki's nearly 400-year reign as O'ahu's capital when he moved the royal headquarters to Honolulu (known then as Kou) in 1808.

Eventually, Kamehameha V, Lot Kapuaiwa, built his modest residence here among the palms. The property was inherited by his half-sister, Princess Ruth Ke'elikolani, who later willed it to Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Much of Helumoa is still owned by Kamehameha Schools, a Bernice Pauahi Bishop legacy and institution that educates thousands of Native Hawaiian children across the State.

The nearby Royal Hawaiian Hotel, also known as the Pink Palace, was completed in 1927 at a cost of $5 million. With 400 lavishly decorated rooms and Spanish-Moorish style architecture, it was then touted as the "finest resort hostelry in America."

This beautiful park is owned by the City & County of Honolulu. It was developed by Graham Murata Russell and Mutual of New York Life Insurance Company in 1989 and is privately maintainedfor the residents and visitors of Hawai'i. The tallest coconut palms in the park date back to the 1930s.

This marker is sponsored by the City & County of Honolulu, Waikiki, Kapahulu and Diamond Head Community Vision Group.

See also:
- Other Sites on the Waikiki Historic Trail
- Photos of the Waikiki Historic Trail
- History of the Waikiki Historic Trail
- Introduction to the Waikiki Historic Trail
- Downtown Honolulu Historic Tour
- Other Attractions on Oahu

Related Links
Oahu Island - Main Menu
Islands of Hawaii
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