A Gift Made and Grown in Hawaii

This only-in-Hawaii material has a loyal (and royal) following.

Koa is not your run-of-the-mill wood. On the showroom floor of elegant Martin & MacArthur, the price tag on a hefty dining table reads $38,000. While this is one of the more expensive pieces in the Honolulu store, what you pay for is a slice of something special. This rich-brown-colored wood, once harvested for alii (Hawaiian royalty) only, is endemic to these islands.

A single craftsman is commissioned to work on each piece, and that person signs into the wood, says Thelma Alvarado of Martin & MacArthur. The koa for the six-digit table is estimated to be over 80 years old, she says. (The store uses only foraged koa; it does not cut down trees.) “In the 16 years I’ve been here, I’ve only seen a table like this twice.”

Those who spring for furniture get a bonus: a koa tree planted in their name, along with the coordinates to track the growth of the tree.

Prince Albert II of Monaco is a regular. But for the non-alii, we suggest a solid koa pen, starting at about $40.


Photos courtesy of Exploration: Hawaii

If you're not already a member, sign up now to start earning points toward incredible Joie de Vivre experiences and free air miles with your very next stay at one of our boutique hotels, each with its own unique brand and personality.