Explore Shangri La
Fiercely independent, rich beyond avarice, an international celebrity and socialite, activist and philanthropist, Ms. Doris Duke was one of the wealthiest people in history and was certainly a force to be reckoned with! Unbeknownst to the world, Ms. Duke inconspicuously created a veritable palace of treasures on the southern shore of Oahu in her home, “Shangri La.”
During her round-the-world honeymoon after marrying would be Senator James “Jimmy” Cromwell, Ms. Duke fell in love with the gentle people and tropical haven of Hawaii. Vowing to return and make a home in the islands, Ms. Duke acquired nearly 5 acres on Diamond Head’s south shore where her dream home would be built. Although her marriage to Mr. Cromwell did not last, Ms. Duke created “Shangri La” on this site and embarked on a 60-year journey of collecting what would become the largest private collection of Islamic art in the world.
Upon her death in 1993, Ms. Duke’s last will and testament called for the creation of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. As her collection grew during her lifetime, Ms. Duke realized that these treasures must forever remain intact as a collection and serve to educate the public in the manner in which she so diligently displayed them on the grounds of her lush estate.
You will begin your visit at the Honolulu Academy of the Arts where you will be shown an orientation video of the “Shangri La” residence and get a first peak at the treasures housed on the property. From there, you will be escorted via minibus to the estate located in Diamond Head’s exclusive Black Point district. Upon completion of the tour, guests will then be returned to the Honolulu Academy of Arts where they may experience the museum’s revolving collection at their leisure.
Notes: The climate at Shangri La is usually hot and sunny, and the house is not air-conditioned. Comfortable walking shoes, lightweight clothing, and sunglasses are recommended. Photography and videotaping are not permitted inside the house. Cell phones and pagers must be turned off during the tour. All bags that are brought to Shangri La will be inspected by security staff. Visitors are required to check backpacks and any items larger than 11″ x 17″ x 8″. The tour can accommodate 22 people only, so book early.
To register for this tour, visit our tour company’s Web site.
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