Shopping Guide: International Market Place

By Olena Heu

Photo: International Market Place.

What once was regarded for it’s open air market of retail pop-up souvenir shops and an aging era of Hawaii’s past, has now reopened rejuvenated and restored. The reimagined International Market Place preserved it’s (more than 100 year-old) iconic banyan tree and launched an inviting tropical oasis centrally located in the heart of Waikiki. Luxurious retailers paired with fine global cuisine now call this notable destination location home.

A Cultural Journey

Photo: International Market Place.

Some might call it a rebirth while others say its remarkably restored. The transformation of International Market Place (originally built in 1957) to its current state created a walkable, inviting and beautiful paradise in the midst of Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues. From flowing waters to tropical gardens and living walls, the enhancements selected are refined, elegant and showcase the paradise that is Hawaii. The history and culture of the Hawaiian Islands are also apparent in the expertly designed architecture of the new center. And special attention and landscaping preservation was made to behold the historic banyan tree that remains untouched for more than a century. Take a moment to peruse the visitor’s center, walk the handcrafted tree house and gaze at numerous photos along the cultural journey of this special place.

Living the Lifestyle

Known for its world class shopping and lifestyle brands, the International Market Place is home to the first Saks Fifth Avenue in Hawaii. And upscale designers including Burberry, which is known for its timeless style; Christian Louboutin heralded for featuring recognizable footwear and small leather goods; while Vilebrequin showcases luxurious swim and beachwear for both him and her.

The Gift Giver

Photo: International Market Place.

With an array of specialty stores to browse through you’ll find unique items and simple sentiments to purchase. Island Art & Sole is the perfect spot to find decor for your home with elegant touches of Hawaii. Papyrus has long been known for its customizable greeting cards, invitations and gift wrapping. Meanwhile Sand People offers specialty gifts and decorative beach-inspired accents to add to your shopping collection.

The center boasts three levels of shopping, dining and adventuring and, while the number of recent store openings continue to unfold, you’ll find something new, specialty events and live complimentary Polynesian entertainment nightly.

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