Shangri La (built between 1936 and 1939) has long since been a mystical place as described in a book called the Lost Horizon (1933) written by James Hilton. Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, Shangri La features an architectural and decorative style that roots from Morrco, India, Turky, Syria and Iran. Home of the heiress, Doris Duke (1912 – 1933), this structure holds a breathtaking view of Diamond Head due to its oceanfront location. Guests are welcome to feast their eyes on the beautiful Islamic Arts throughout this impressive home.
What to Expect
Tours are offered through the Academy of Arts for those wishing to explore through the many rooms of the main house, along with lectures, exhibitions and films about Islamic arts and culture. Many events are held at Shangri La ranging from guest artist speakers to various exhibits that visitors with a taste for the arts are sure to enjoy. This tour features several flights of stairs but there are wheelchair tours available. Those who are handicapped should call a week in advance to make special arrangements. Shangri La has something for everyone, kids, adults and families alike. With over three thousand objects to soak in, it is sure to be a cultural and unforgettable experience.
Preservation and Conservation
Thanks to the the public rooms of the house being restored to reflect the era of Doris Duke, key elements can be experienced by any and all. The landscape surrounding the house has been preserved by many workers. Efforts to keep this important structure in a state which emphasizes the natural beauty and artistic style of the heiress have been duly noted by all who visit Shangri La and is considered one of the largest exhibitions of Islamic arts in the United States.
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Operation and Admission
For those interested in touring Shangri La, office hours are Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Admission is $25 for the general public and $20 for those who can show proof of residency in Hawaii. It is recommended that you plan your tour so that you are able to enjoy lunch in the academy’s wonderful courtyard. Included in your fee is transportation by van from the Academy of Arts. For questions, stop by 4055 Papu Circle.