NEW Don the Beachcomber Tree House at the International Market Place

Real Estate Broker/Owner with (831) 626-4000 CA #01772851 HI #RB-21268

Don The Beachcomber's Tree House at the International Market Place Waikiki


Like many homes that were built of wood way back in the 50s, Don the Beachcomber's Tree House at the International Market Place in Waikiki needed work. So I went to check it out to see if they kept ANY of it with the reconstruction happening here in this block-wide shopping enclave that goes from Kalakaua Avenue to Kuhio Avenue.

International Market Place in Waikiki early on

I remember going to the Don The Beachcomber restaurant in the early 1960s and seeing the tree house perched in the huge banyan tree that covered a good part of the International Market Place. Back then, to my recollection, it was still used as a residence and office by Don. At some point it became a radio station and who knows what else in the intervening years.

By the way, I used to live just down the street in a 2-story place on Kuhio Avenue when I first came to Hawaii which now is the new Ritz-Carlton Residences. (See building in background.)  Spencer's popular Canlis Restaurant was across our back fence facing Kalakaua Avenue, now roughly where Miu Miu, Chanel, Gucci and Tiffany's is located.

The Ritz-Carlton Residences near Miu Mui, Chanel and Tiffany's in Waikiki

Incredible that the banyan tree, planted in the mid-1880s, survived all those years, especially the last 20 years or so when the International Market Place was crammed with all kinds of hand carts selling some pretty hokey touristy items. Many of them "knock offs" if you went by the low prices.

Don the Beachcomber's Treehouse in Banyan Tree at the International Market Place in Waikiki

Not any more. Now the actual BRANDS are leasing very high end retail space in the International Market Place, everything from DIOR  to SAKS FIFTH AVENUE. Even TESLA is opening up a retail store here.

International Market Place Waikiki

International Market Place Waikiki

Meet the NEW Don the Beachcomber Tree House.

Hella Rothwell at the new Don The Beachcomber Treehouse at the International Market Place Waikiki

Now you don't need to climb up the rope ladder to the tree house from the ground floor. Two elegant wooden bridges from the 2nd story sky walk (which is reached by escalators) now take you to this aerie in the banyan tree.

Don The Beachcomber's Tree House International Market Place Waikiki

Inside are photos describing the history of the tree house.

I'm so glad that the developers of the International Market Place built this little shrine to what used to be. There are many of us who remember those days fondly.



Posted by

Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Broker/Owner/REALTOR 


Let me be your independent real estate broker for oceanfront and oceanview property in California and Hawaii.  If you are a seller/owner, I will travel to your property to help get it ready for sale, then list and market it. If you are a buyer and we have a Buyers Representation Agreement in place, I will preview property on your behalf anywhere in California and Hawaii.  Please call me to discuss how I can help you.

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Hella Mitschke Rothwell (R)

Real Estate Broker/Owner/Realtor®
Licensed in California #01772851 & Hawaii #RB-21268

Tel. 808-226-1095 or 831-626-4000 

Fax 1-877-822-9332

HAWAII OFFICE: 1128 Ala Napunani Street, #1809, Honolulu, HI 96818

 CALIFORNIA OFFICE: Su Vecino Court, Lincoln & Dolores between 5th & 6th, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921

MAILING: P.O. Box 4554, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921


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Disclaimer: Hella Rothwell does not guarantee nor is in any way responsible for the accuracy of the information provided herein, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied.


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Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Hella, the developers were very wise to develop around the history of the tree. Some things just need to be preserved.  

Jan 19, 2017 04:07 PM #1
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Helga how wonderful to re-live your memories.  I remember going to that market - it was awesome!

Jan 19, 2017 04:21 PM #2
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

I always love developers that keep traditions, history and culture in mind...glad they saved this wonderful tree, Endre

Jan 19, 2017 10:48 PM #3
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hey Hella: Isn't Don the Beachcomber restaurant also at the Royal Kona Resort where we went for lunch on Big Island? Didn't you tell me that he invented the Mai Tai?

Jan 20, 2017 08:51 AM #4
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I guess ADA compliance has made it so everyone should be able to experience the view and moment. Have a happy weekend, Hella.

Jan 21, 2017 08:38 AM #5
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Lifetime Friend/Helper!

In the mid 70's Hella Mitschke Rothwell I was an assistant manager at Don the Beachcomber when it was in the Waikiki Beachcomber.

Feb 28, 2017 04:23 PM #6
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Hella Mitschke Rothwell

Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker
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