RHS'69

A Visit to Shangri-La

Monday, July 3 ,2017

We don’t think that our visit made us immortal or slowed our aging process, but we did appreciate being able to see the rare artwork and the estate as it was years ago.  Maybe from a different viewpoint, that could be considered similar.

If you're interested in more, here's the link to the Shangri-La estate website.

Once again, ’69 classmates from Kalani, McKinley, and Roosevelt shared another great experience and look forward to many more opportunities to enjoy their golden years together.

In the 1937 movie, “Lost Horizon,” Shangri-La was introduced to us as a utopian paradise, isolated from the world where people were almost immortal, living years beyond their normal expectancy and aging very slowly. For your viewing pleasure here is a small sample of the movie that set the vision for Shangri-La.

During the recent interisland cruise with our Class of ’69 joint reunion group, we participated in shore activities on every island visited except for our home base of Oahu.

So, on Saturday, June 24th the mixed group, joined by a few family and friends, participated in a field trip to our own “Lost Horizon.”

Built in 1937 as the Honolulu home of American tobacco heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke it was opened to the public as a museum in 2002.

Shangri La was inspired by Duke’s extensive travels throughout North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia and reflects architectural traditions from India, Iran, Morocco and Syria. The permanent collection features over 4,000 objects. 

The adventurous group of 25 souls left the Honolulu Museum of Art at 10:30 am on our own shuttle bus for a 1 ½ hour tour of Shangri-La .

Duke's Shangri-La estate sits on five acres on the black lava cliffs near Diamond Head with its beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.

The complex integrates a 14,000 square foot house, a playhouse, and a pool comprising of a series of interlocking spaces, rooms, courtyards, lanais, terraces, gardens, and numerous water features.

The group viewed about 2,500 objects, many of which are embedding in the structure of the house.

A few of the favorites were the Iranian ceramic tile panels, carved and painted ceiling from Morocco, jalts (perforated screen doors and windows) and the many textiles and carpets throughout the complex.

Afterward we returned to the Honolulu Museum to enjoy lunch together at the museum's Café and Coffee Bar.

Bobby Imoto (Kalani'69) led the Combined Class of '69 on a hunt for Shangri-La.

You know, that fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon.

He found something close and brought back lots of pictures.