A guided tour of Shangri La is unlike anything else on Oahu, where the sun and sand of tropical beaches are swapped for the lavish, luxurious world of heiress Doris Duke. Here on the slopes of Diamond Head, Duke designed a soaring mansion of exquisite Islamic design—inspired by her travels in 1935 through much of the Islamic world. Over a span of nearly 60 years, Duke continued her epic travels through Iran, Egypt, and Morocco, and housed the art she’d find on her travels right here at Shangri La. Today the Islamic Art Collection includes over 2,500 pieces from across the Islamic world, and introduces visitors to cultures and styles not normally found in the tropics. On a guided tour of Shangri La, visit inside the historic home that faces out toward the ocean, and hear as docents discuss the details of archways, tile work, sculptures, and fountains that form a sense of Islamic exoticism just minutes from Waikiki. Hear tales from the life of a legendary traveler and “richest girl in the world,” who scoured the world for artistic riches and brought them here to her home.
Guided tours of Shangri La depart from the Honolulu Museum of Art. Tours begin with video presentations, and the entire experience lasts two and a half hours, with a 90-minute tour of the home.