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View Full Version : Best ukulele shopping in Honolulu?



kendra
03-30-2011, 05:32 AM
Hello - I am soon going on a vacation to Oahu and will be forced to shop for ukuleles while I'm there. ;)

Any recommendations on the best shops? I've done some internet research, but would love to hear opinions from the uke community.

Thanks!

lkdumas
03-30-2011, 05:42 AM
Call Ko'olau and make an appointment to look at all their Ko'olau and Pono ukes in the shop store. Very friendly and helpful folks who know ukes as well as anyone in Hawaii. The shop is about 30 minutes drive from Honolulu.

Kanaka916
03-30-2011, 06:32 AM
See this post (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?16519-Ukulele-Stores-USA&p=178190#post178190) . . . check out the listings and while you're there, check out each one. Personally and being born and raised there, I don't shop in Waikiki or tourist spots. I'll go down to Easy Music, Hawaii Music Supply, Harry's, MGM or the factory shops to compare and see what's available. If I'm looking for something specific, I'll contact some of the builders for availability. Just my dos centavos.

DeVineGuitars
03-30-2011, 06:51 AM
Ukulele Puapua has two great shops in Waikiki. One in the Sheraton and one in the Moana surfrider hotel. Ask for Tyler, he is the man. Here is a link (http://ukulele.pua2.com/) to their website.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-30-2011, 06:53 AM
For the widest selection of ukes you'll find anywhere, check out Ukulele PuaPua--two locations in the heart of Waikiki.

janeray1940
03-30-2011, 06:58 AM
Here's a list from my recent trip. I liked the selection and service at Aloha Ukulele best (longneck Kamaka concert!) but their prices were a bit steep. Bob's had a decent selection too, but depending on who is there when you go, you will either be welcomed warmly, or treated poorly, from what I hear (my experience there was good, but others have told me differently). And Pua Pua was good too, but - no Kamakas at the time, so they didn't make the top of my list :)

Aloha Ukulele
2005 Kalia Tower
Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort
Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Phone: 808-955-5295

Bob's Ukulele
2552 Kalakaua Avenue
Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii 96815
Phone: 808-372-9623

Ukulele House - Waikiki
Waikiki Shopping Plaza
2250 Kalakaua Avenue
Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Ukulele PuaPua
Sheraton Waikiki 2255 Kalakaua Ave. #18 Honolulu, Hawaii 96815 U.S.A. (808)923-9977
Moana Surfrider 2365 Kalakaua Ave. DHW #5, Honolulu HI. 96815 U.S.A. (808)923-9977

Hawaiian Ukulele Company - Aloha Tower
Aloha Tower Marketplace
1 Aloha Tower Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: 808-536-3228

Island Guitars - Ward Warehouse
Ward Warehouse Shopping Center
1050 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii 96814
Phone: 808-591-2910

Dan's Guitars
2000 South Beritania Street
Honolulu, Oahu Hawaii 96826
Phone 808-942-2900

Easy Music Center
1314 South King Street
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawwaii
Phone: 808-591-0999

Goodguys Music and Sound
619 Kapahulu Avenue
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii 96816
Phone: 808-732-4663

Hawaii Music Supply - Wahiawa
Kamehameha Highway
Wahiawa, Central Oahu, Hawaii 96786
Phone: 808-622-8000

Easy Music Center - Pearl City
98-425 Kamehameha Highway
Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii 96782
Phone: 808-484-1360

Hawaii Music Supply
101 N. Kamehameha Hwy., Wahiawa, HI, (808)622-8000

Honolulu Nuts and Ukulele Co.
41-1537 Kalanianaole Hwy
Waimanalo, HI 96795
(808) 259-7880

hopkid
03-30-2011, 07:10 AM
I was in Honolulu this past February. Easy Music Center on S. King Street had a great selection of ukes (from low-end to high) and the folks there were really friendly and knowledgeable. I got my wife's Kala Pineapple there. (Side note: You can get great sushi across the street at Izakaya Gaku.) I loved oogling and handling the ukes at Aloha Ukulele at the Hilton. Lots of high-end to choose from but I didn't get the most warm and fuzzy feeling from the personnel there. I wish I had taken the time to go to Pua Pua.

And I'd also recommend checking out the KoAloha factory which is in Kalihi a bit west of Chinatown/downtown. The folks there are really friendly and they have factory tours and a wall of finshed products that you can check out.

molokinirum
03-30-2011, 08:27 AM
...at Aloha Ukulele at the Hilton. Lots of high-end to choose from but I didn't get the most warm and fuzzy feeling from the personnel there.....

This is the truth!! I went there, had already bought a Kamaka in Maui and wanted to check out not only their price but maybe pick up a nice concert. That woman who was in the store kept giving me the eye like I was going to steal a uke! She was not helpful at all :mad: and I had to ask to see a uke and she held it like it was glass and not let me take it from her. Nice displays though....but go to Hawaii Music, very nice folks there and a great selection. Everybody gave you the top shops. Also...go to the swap meet at the Aloha stadium. Some very good ukes can be bought there and it's fun walking around, stopping at a uke booth and playing!!!!

Have fun!!

janeray1940
03-30-2011, 08:36 AM
This is the truth!! I went there, had already bought a Kamaka in Maui and wanted to check out not only their price but maybe pick up a nice concert. That woman who was in the store kept giving me the eye like I was going to steal a uke! She was not helpful at all :mad: and I had to ask to see a uke and she held it like it was glass and not let me take it from her.

How odd... when I was in there, am older gentleman was working and he had no problem at all with letting me fondle the longneck Kamaka concert uke that was on display. I played it for quite some time and he didn't seem worried about it at all. He even played a lovely version of Stardust for me :)

molokinirum
03-30-2011, 08:38 AM
How odd... when I was in there, am older gentleman was working and he had no problem at all with letting me fondle the longneck Kamaka concert uke that was on display. I played it for quite some time and he didn't seem worried about it at all. He even played a lovely version of Stardust for me :)

You got lucky!!! When I was there, it was a woman. In fact Wicked Wahine had the same lady and got the same treatment. It was also killing me because we were staying in that same tower and I had to walk past the store all the time!!!!
They do have some awesome ukes though!!!

janeray1940
03-30-2011, 08:47 AM
In fact Wicked Wahine had the same lady and got the same treatment. It was also killing me because we were staying in that same tower and I had to walk past the store all the time!!!!
They do have some awesome ukes though!!!

I think I remember WW telling of this. Between that and the prices I almost skipped this shop entirely! I'm glad I didn't though :)

I was in Hawaii with 4 friends this past trip, and one night 3 of us went to Bob's and spent waaaaaay too long there chatting with the shopkeeper and trying ukes without buying. A couple days later my 2 other friends went, and got treated like dirt (by a different employee). So I guess you never know...

kendra
03-30-2011, 09:12 AM
Wow! Thanks for all the great recommendations!

Now I just have to convince my husband that ukulele shopping is the main reason we are going to Hawaii. :)

mds725
03-30-2011, 09:23 AM
Thanks for the great recommendations! I'll be on Oahu (and Kauai) next week, and I'll be looking at ukuleles on both islands.

hopkid
03-30-2011, 09:29 AM
How odd... when I was in there, am older gentleman was working and he had no problem at all with letting me fondle the longneck Kamaka concert uke that was on display. I played it for quite some time and he didn't seem worried about it at all. He even played a lovely version of Stardust for me :)

I guess I should clarify my statement by saying that the personnel there just weren't very chatty. Of course I had only been playing for all of 8 days at that point so I may not have been the best person to talk to regarding ukuleles. But both staffers (a woman and a man) who were there on separate visits had no problem letting me handle the Kamakas and KoAlohas. And they let me take photos (see my profile pic) so that was pretty cool of them!

hopkid
03-30-2011, 09:30 AM
Wow! Thanks for all the great recommendations!

Now I just have to convince my husband that ukulele shopping is the main reason we are going to Hawaii. :)

Just say that you're going out shopping to find the perfect ukulele for him!

Big Bob
03-30-2011, 11:44 AM
Just take any bus to the Ala Moana shopping mall ask for a transfer then from the mall take bus I believe 65 it will take you to kaneohe, Get off at the windward mall the kanilea factory is about 10 to 15 minutes walk.Take the tour and see how they make the best ukulele . I have 2 and I purchased my last one there.Joe souza and Krista and all the employees are just fantastic. Google this address and print it out and take it with you.46-216 kahulipa street Kaneohe HI 96744 Also here is the phone # 808-234-2868

countrybumpkin
03-30-2011, 07:38 PM
I like Dan's, Goodguys, Easy Music on King, Harry's, Puapua in no particular order.

Gillian
03-30-2011, 08:03 PM
Ukulele PuaPua is also located in one of those shops on Kalakaua Avenue located between the Moana Surfrider hotel and the Honolulu Police Station.

If you are renting a car, it is a quick drive on the Pali Highway into Kaneohe to see the Kanile'a factory. Joe gave my husband and I a private 2 hour tour (because no-one else was there). Joe doesn't have many ukes in his office but you might get lucky and find a uke that speaks to you. That's where I bought my deluxe concert.

I also went to the KoAloha factory to see their factory seconds. It might just have been bad timing, but IMO, the flaws were just too obvious to overlook, even with the discount.

lancemanion
03-30-2011, 08:31 PM
Don't miss the KoAloha factory. I would also recommend heading over to Music Guy Mic's, tons of ukes and very friendly. Also, you can't beat the set up he will do on the ukes for you.

have fun

rayray
03-31-2011, 04:18 AM
I recommend some of the pawn shops, Always find hidden gems there, Also, Island Guitars at Ward is one of my favorite shops to visit whenever Im back home. Have fun!

Ronnie Aloha
03-31-2011, 05:19 AM
Here's a list from my recent trip. I liked the selection and service at Aloha Ukulele best (longneck Kamaka concert!) but their prices were a bit steep. Bob's had a decent selection too, but depending on who is there when you go, you will either be welcomed warmly, or treated poorly, from what I hear (my experience there was good, but others have told me differently). And Pua Pua was good too, but - no Kamakas at the time, so they didn't make the top of my list :)

Aloha Ukulele
2005 Kalia Tower
Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort
Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Phone: 808-955-5295 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 808-955-5295 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Bob's Ukulele
2552 Kalakaua Avenue
Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii 96815
Phone: 808-372-9623 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 808-372-9623 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Ukulele House - Waikiki
Waikiki Shopping Plaza
2250 Kalakaua Avenue
Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Ukulele PuaPua
Sheraton Waikiki 2255 Kalakaua Ave. #18 Honolulu, Hawaii 96815 U.S.A. (808)923-9977 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (808)923-9977 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Moana Surfrider 2365 Kalakaua Ave. DHW #5, Honolulu HI. 96815 U.S.A. (808)923-9977 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (808)923-9977 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Hawaiian Ukulele Company - Aloha Tower
Aloha Tower Marketplace
1 Aloha Tower Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: 808-536-3228 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 808-536-3228 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Island Guitars - Ward Warehouse
Ward Warehouse Shopping Center
1050 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii 96814
Phone: 808-591-2910 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 808-591-2910 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Dan's Guitars
2000 South Beritania Street
Honolulu, Oahu Hawaii 96826
Phone 808-942-2900 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 808-942-2900 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Easy Music Center
1314 South King Street
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawwaii
Phone: 808-591-0999 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 808-591-0999 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Goodguys Music and Sound
619 Kapahulu Avenue
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii 96816
Phone: 808-732-4663 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 808-732-4663 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Hawaii Music Supply - Wahiawa
Kamehameha Highway
Wahiawa, Central Oahu, Hawaii 96786
Phone: 808-622-8000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 808-622-8000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Easy Music Center - Pearl City
98-425 Kamehameha Highway
Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii 96782
Phone: 808-484-1360 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 808-484-1360 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Hawaii Music Supply
101 N. Kamehameha Hwy., Wahiawa, HI, (808)622-8000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (808)622-8000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Honolulu Nuts and Ukulele Co.
41-1537 Kalanianaole Hwy
Waimanalo, HI 96795
(808) 259-7880 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (808) 259-7880 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

You went to ALL of these shops??? Wow!

janeray1940
03-31-2011, 06:45 AM
You went to ALL of these shops??? Wow!

Oh, we tried our best but probably only hit half of them :) We ended up not making it to the ones outside of Honolulu proper, and I'm pretty sure we missed Dan's Guitars and Easy Music Center.

Nickie
03-31-2011, 07:25 AM
What about Joe's Hot Dog and Ukulele stand on the beach?
JK, seriously, I've never been to the islands, got no money. I'd probably be confused and spend the whole trip ukulele shopping anyway. Not that that's bad... hee hee

janeray1940
03-31-2011, 07:27 AM
What about Joe's Hot Dog and Ukulele stand on the beach?


Funny thing is that's not such a stretch from reality - e.g. Honolulu Nuts and Ukulele Co., which is a real place :)

olgoat52
03-31-2011, 07:32 AM
How odd... when I was in there, am older gentleman was working and he had no problem at all with letting me fondle the longneck Kamaka concert uke that was on display. I played it for quite some time and he didn't seem worried about it at all. He even played a lovely version of Stardust for me :)

He probably thought you were hot!! :)

janeray1940
03-31-2011, 07:36 AM
He probably thought you were hot!! :)

Oh, please :)

I think he was just happy to have an appreciative audience listening to him play.

ceviche
03-31-2011, 12:31 PM
I've been to both The Hawaiian Ukulele Company and Ukulele PuaPua (Waikiki). You will find a vastly larger selection at PuaPua, but I give my favor to HUC. I've written on this in the past. HUC is a one-woman (Mamiko Nelson) show that sells KoAloha, Kamaka, Sonny D, Lanikai, and many other makes of ukes. They are also the first music store dedicated to only ukuleles in Hawaii--and maybe even in the world.

The service I've received there was way beyond generous. Mamiko once hand-delivered my standard uke to the KoAloha for adjustments, because the only day my ship was in Honolulu was on Sundays and the factory is closed on that day. My other choice was to have my uke shipped to and from Seattle. And that's a very grim prospect!

Another secret about The Hawaiian Ukulele Company: Mamiko is close friends with the Okami family: Like, Ohana. If there is a specific KoAloha uke you are wanting and you contact HUC early, you can expect to find it there waiting for you. The only limitation might be if KoAloha doesn't happen to have your particular wish-uke completed in the factory. If there is one short-coming with HUC, it is the limited number of ukes Mamiko can keep on hand at any given moment. The shop is much smaller than PuaPua. Still, like I said, if you call or email ahead with a serious request, Mamiko is likely to have it ready for you. Especially if your wish-uke is a KoAloha.

On the other hand, HUC's own line of mahogany ukes are a real bargain. I've checked them out, and you get a lot of bang for the buck.

--Dave E.