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Best of Honolulu 2020: The Best Services on O‘ahu

The 99 editorial and reader picks for the places and businesses in Honolulu that make our lives just a bit easier.


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best of honolulu services

 

Best Pet-and-You Photos

best services in honolulu

photo: Courtesy of Hawai‘i Pet Portraits

 

Paws down, one of the coolest ways to capture the bond between you and your fur baby is with a Hawai‘i Pet Portraits photo session. Shutterbug Ashley Smith’s résumé includes 10-plus years of wedding and family photography, and three years of being hooman to her poi dog, Blake—translation, she’s got killer lighting skills and is aces at getting pets to unleash their inner adorableness. Each session includes a makeup artist and animal handler, and Smith keeps her studio well-stocked with stylish décor and seasonal props. All creatures are welcome, as long as they can fit in the studio—Smith once had to say no to a horse, but has snapped doggos, cats, bunnies and birds, and is currently planning a session for a pig. —Brie Thalmann

521 Ala Moana Blvd., M-423, (808) 306-7066, hawaiipetportraits.com, @hawaiipetportraits


 

Way to Learn Hawaiian Online for Free

Learning a language can be fun, especially when you’re following along with an entertaining teacher who’s always smiling. In Kamehameha Schools’ free ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i videos called Kulāiwi, ‘Ekela Kanīaupi‘o Crozier, a Hawaiian studies resource teacher, takes us through 24 lessons, 12 of which come with downloadable workbooks. Although the videos are a tad dated—they were produced in the mid-1990s in partnership with the state Department of Education—they are interactive and easy to follow for beginners of all ages. The lessons start with slides that Crozier uses to teach us the proper pronunciation and meanings of words and eventually evolves to using those words to carry on conversations in different real-life scenarios, such as going shopping and visiting a friend. By the end of it, you’ve (hopefully) learned the basics of the Hawaiian language. —Jayna Omaye

ksdl.ksbe.edu

 


SEE ALSO: 4 We Tried: We Search for the Best Ways to Learn Hawaiian Online for Free


 

Best Sustainable Hair and Waxing Salon

best services in honolulu

photo: COURTESY OF sustainery hair studio

 

For those who refuse single-use straws with pride, stroll around with reusable iced coffee tumblers and always have a tote ready to carry their weekly farmers market haul, environmentally conscious salons are the next obvious step. Enter: Sustainery Hair Studio in Mānoa. This green-chic modern studio comes with eco-friendly Davines hair care products (all have natural, eco-certified or organic materials), and practices sustainability. It uses paper instead of single-use plastic, and filtered recycled water—plus, it’s part of the Green Circle Salon initiative, which repurposes cut hair. And it has uber-talented stylists and colorists. Oh, and there’s an adorable leafy Kim Sielbeck mural. But of course! Katie Kenny

2752 Woodlawn Drive, Suite 5-209, (808) 724-4297, sustaineryhairstudio.com, @sustaineryhair


 

Best Solar Company

Reader Pick

When HONOLULU introduced this category in 2012, RevoluSun was the first winner. Since then, as dozens of other pop-up PV businesses folded, the locally owned company marked its 10th anniversary in a new Kaka‘ako location, added air conditioning and roofing services, and opened franchises in other states. Beyond that, RevoluSun has organized beach cleanups in Waimānalo and hosted everything from Naked Cow Dairy cheese-making classes to succulent classes with neighbor Paiko and ImprovHI comedy shows in its innovations space. —Christi Young

660 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 220A, (808) 748-8888, revolusun.com, @revolusun_smarthome


 

Best Adult Day Care

best services in honolulu

photo: courtesy of the Arcadia Family of Companies

 

Often, finding care for mom and dad as they age isn’t just about keeping them healthy; we want to keep them engaged and entertained too. And if they can pick up a new skill like painting or even shooting hoops, even better. Central Union Church Adult Day Care & Day Health Center offers a variety of activities to more than 100 seniors. Run by Arcadia Family of Companies, the program offers different levels of care, anywhere from a few hours to all day depending on what is needed. That care can include physical and speech therapy; two to three meals a day; showers, which can be stressful for caregivers; daily walks around the campus; and monthly outings to places including Dave & Buster’s, The Alley at ‘Aiea Bowl, and Gyotaku. “Each situation is unique and each client’s needs are unique,” says Jennifer Souza, the day care’s program director. “Because we’re part of the Arcadia Family of Companies, we can pull from people, social workers, health care administrators, nursing supervisors and administrators. There’s an opportunity to share and talk about experiences and get ideas for how to manage certain situations.” One such idea was the day care’s virtual caregiver support group, which became an essential resource for families when the state closed businesses because of COVID-19. —CY

1660 S. Beretania St., (808) 533-5416, arcadia.org/central-union, @arcadiafamilyofcompanies


 

Gas Station/Convenience Store

Reader Pick

In 2016, when a few dozen Tesoro and 76 gas stations were renamed Hele, Hawaiian for “to go,” it didn’t really seem like huge news. After all, these are still just gas stations we’re talking about. What’s in a name (change)? In just a few years, Hele Gas—and its partner, convenience store brand Nomnom, named for the sound made when chewing something tasty—has established itself as a distinctive local brand offering savory snacks like manapua and musubi, kama‘āina-exclusive deals on gas and big giveaways like free gas for a year. —James Charisma

Multiple locations, helegas.com, @helegas


 

Credit Union

Reader Pick

In 1936, the Hawai‘i State Federal Credit Union was founded by 15 local government workers who wanted to help people and look out for each other. More than 80 years later, the organization is the biggest credit union in Hawai‘i, with more than 100,000 members and more than $1.6 billion in assets. And Hawai‘i State FCU is investing in Hawai‘i’s future: Since 1996, the credit union has awarded over $600,000 in grants for local high school students to attend college. It’s also given $20,000 in grants to Hawai‘i’s public school teachers every year for the past decade. —JC

Multiple locations, (808) 587-2700, hawaiistatefcu.com, @hawaiistatefcu


 

Best Employment/Staffing

Reader Pick

best services in honolulu

Barron Guss (left), president and CEO of ALTRES Inc. with Kerry Kopp, president of ALTRES Staffing.

 

More than 50 years ago, Oscar “Bill” Guss moved to the Islands from New York City and saw the need for reliable manpower to unload containers at O‘ahu’s shipyards. Temp workers eventually knew to show up at Guss’ new office at 6 a.m. He’d get calls from companies—“Send me three guys”—and Guss’ team would drive them to whatever business needed them. It got to the point where, from his office balcony in Waikīkī, Guss would raise a blue flag as a signal to early risers and surfers on dawn patrol to indicate whether there was work that day. Today, Guss’ son, Barron, runs ALTRES (short for “alternative resources for business”), Hawai‘i’s largest locally owned staffing company which screens more than 20,000 applicants every year. —JC

Multiple locations, altres.com


 

Moving Company

Reader Pick

Let them lift it. Let them load it. They can truck it anywhere. Even if you’ve never hired Island Movers to help move your home or business, you probably know the company’s jingle. Local entrepreneur Donald Takaki started the moving company more than 60 years ago. It’s since grown to include courier services, business records storage, trade show and convention rigging, furniture home delivery and installation, even armored car services. In short: These guys in the green shirts know how to move. —JC

4397 Lawehana St., (808) 832-4000, islandmovers.com


 

Best Mobile ...

 

Flower Shop

best of honolulu services

PHoto: cOURTESY OF CHELSEI LAI

 

To add a little bloom-bloom-wow to a private event look no further than the Pua Blooms flower truck. Last October, owner Lynette Yi, who also owns North Shore boutique Isla the Shop, put petal to the metal and revamped a vintage 1968 Volkswagen pickup truck, adding a sweet fabric awning and flower boxes brimming with rustic pails. Guests can take their pick of seasonal protea, lush ferns, and classic and tropical blossoms sourced locally and from around the globe, then cozy up in the tailgate’s boho-inspired seating area for a photo op. You can also create and purchase bouquets from the truck at local outdoor markets and shopping events throughout the year. —BT

puablooms.com, @puablooms

 


SEE ALSO: Local Lei Shops Are Blooming All Over Town and We Found 3 That Are Flourishing


 

Animal-Shaped Cotton Candy

best of honolulu services

Photo: Katie kenny

 

When HONOLULU Magazine held its big Burger Bash last November, one treat caught the eye of most kids (and adults, if we’re being honest): adorable duck, bear and pig cotton candy characters by Aloha Sweet. On a trip to South Korea, Amy Shin saw fluffy animal-shaped sweets, which her niece and nephew loved, so she started her own business in the Islands last September. Think bunnies done up with keiki-friendly light blue and lavender ears, a pink bow and an oh-so-sweet smile on top. Shin can spin up more than a dozen different looks including Yoda, pumpkins for Halloween, snowmen for winter festivals and even perfectly positive baby sharks. —CY

lovealohasweet@gmail.com@alohasweet


 

Vintage Alohawear Shop

best of honolulu services

Photo: Courtesy of happy hale

 

Happy Hale’s wares splash out of the modest trailer and onto surrounding racks: aloha shirts and mu‘umu‘u dating back to midcentury, some bearing the iconic Primo beer patterns of the 1960s, others with Alfred Shaheen and other designer labels that trace a history of local fashion. Partners Angie Runyan and Jan Nagano, avid collectors, scour thrift stores and estate sales. “People give us their stuff because they’re downsizing and we have friends and family on the Mainland shopping for us,” Nagano says. “We love things that have a history or tell a story.” Happy Hale’s other wares have included handmade Hawaiian quilts and servingware made of monkeypod and koa. —Mari Taketa

@happyhalehawaii

 

Pop-Up Picnics

best of honolulu services

Photo: Courtesy of Mersadi Olson

 

Maybe you’re throwing an outdoor bridal shower, hosting a special homecoming, celebrating your 20th wedding anniversary or you’re just about to pop the question. Enter Samai Saechang. She’s the owner of Aloha Picnics, a mobile picnic-service company that can help plan and lay out the ultimate outdoor setup for your special day. From the place settings and fresh flowers, to your favorite finger foods and beverages, Aloha Picnics specializes in creating elegant environments worthy of your most special events (and Instagram). —JC

@alohapicnics


 

The Rest of the Best: Readers Picks

 

Best Adult Day Care

  • Finalist: Evergreen Adult Day Care

Multiple locations, (808) 946-7505, evergreendaycarecenter@gmail.com


 

Best Auto Detailer

  • Winner: Shea’s Luxury Detail

2908 Kaihikapu St., Suite 104, (808) 232-6502, autodetailhawaii.com

  • Finalist: Servco Toyota

Multiple locations, servcotoyota.com


 

Best Auto Insurance

  • Winner: Geico

711 Kapi‘olani Blvd., Suite 300, geico.com, @geico

  • Finalist: State Farm

Multiple locations, statefarm.com, @statefarm


 

Best Automotive Repair

  • Winner: Lex Brodie’s

Multiple locations, lexbrodies.com

  • Finalist: Kaimukī Auto Repair

3375 Wai‘alae Ave.


 

Best Bank

  • Winner: Bank of Hawai‘i

Multiple locations, boh.com, @bankofhawaii

  • Finalist: First Hawaiian Bank

Multiple locations, fhb.com, @fhbhawaii


 

Best Barbershop

  • Winner: Mojo Barbershop & Social Club

Multiple locations, mojobarbershop.com@mojobarbershop

  • Finalist: Premier Barbershop Hawai‘i

Multiple locations, premierbarbershophi.com


 

Best Car Rental

  • Winner: Enterprise

Multiple locations, enterprise.com, @enterprise

  • Finalist: Hertz

Multiple locations, hertz.com, @hertz


 

Best Catering and Event Planning

  • Winner: Tanioka’s Seafoods and Catering

94-903 Farrington Highway, Waipahu, taniokas.com, @taniokas

  • Finalist: Ige’s Catering Service Inc.

910 Māpunapuna St., igescateringservice.com


 

Best Cell Phone Service

  • Winner: Verizon

Multiple locations, verizonwireless.com, @verizon

  • Finalist: T-Mobile

Multiple locations, t-mobile.com, @tmobile


 

Best Chiropractor

  • Winner: Global Health Chiropractic

677 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 914, globalhealthchiropractic.com, @globalhealthchiro

  • Finalist: Hawai‘i Elite Chiropractic

99-128 Aiea Heights Drive, #404, ‘Aiea, (808) 445-3527, hawaiielitechiropractic.com


 

Best Cleaning Service

  • Winner: The Maids

Multiple locations, maids.com, @themaidscorp

  • Finalist: Maid in O‘ahu

307A Kamani St., #12, (808) 664-0036, @maidinoahu


 

Best Cooling

  • Winner: Alternate Energy Inc.

Multiple locations, alternateenergyhawaii.com, @aeihawaii

  • Finalist: AirMasters

1721 Republican St., (808) 848-2473, airmastersinc.com, @airmastersinc


 

Best Cosmetic Surgery

  • Winner: Asia Pacific Plastic Surgery

1401 S. Beretania St., #888, (808) 585-8855, drshimching.com, @shimchingmd

  • Finalist: Honolulu MedSpa

1650 Liliha St., Suite 102, (808) 528-0888, honolulumedspa.com, @honolulumedspa


 

Best Credit Union

  • Finalist: Hawai‘iUSA Federal Credit Union

Multiple locations, (808) 534-4300, hawaiiusafcu.com, @hawaiiusafcu


 

Best Day Spa

  • Winner: Heaven on Earth Salon and Day Spa

1050 Alakea St., (808) 599-5501, heavenonearthhawaii.com, @heavenonearthhi

  • Finalist: Elizaveta Neginskaya Signature Brows & Beauty Studio

627 South St., #3, (808) 797-5757, en-beauty.com, @signaturebrowshawaii


 

Best Drug Store/Pharmacy

  • Winner: CVS

Multiple locations, cvs.com, @cvshealth

  • Finalist: Walgreens

Multiple locations, walgreens.com, @walgreens


 

Best Dry Cleaner

  • Winner: Hakuyosha Clean Living

Multiple locations, hakuyoshacleanliving.com, @hakuyosha_hawaii

  • Finalist: Al Phillips The Cleaner

Multiple locations, alphillipshawaii.com


 

Best Eyelash Extensions

  • Winner: The Beauty Room HI

Multiple locations, thebeautyroomhi.com, @the_beauty_room_808 and @the_beauty_room_808_mililani

  • Finalist: Kristin Wood

Multiple locations, (808) 738-7386, kristinwood.com, @kristinwoodlashes


 

Best Financial Adviser

  • Winner: Edward Jones

edwardjones.com

  • Finalist: Ameriprise Financial

ameriprise.com


 

Best Flower Shop

  • Winner: Watanabe Floral

1618 N. Nimitz Highway, (808) 832-9360, watanabefloral.com, @watanabefloral

  • Finalist: Le Flowers

2567B S. King St.


 

Best Gas Station/Convenience Store

  • Finalist: Aloha Petroleum Ltd.

Multiple locations, alohagas.com, @alohagasltd


 

Best General Construction

  • Winner: Atlas Construction

2222 Kamehameha Highway, (808) 951-9500, atlasconstruction808.com, @atlasconstructionhawaii

  • Finalist: HK Construction

2046 S. King St., (808) 841-1800, hkchawaii.com, @hkconstructionhawaii


 

Best Hair Removal

  • Winner: Honolulu MedSpa

1650 Liliha St., Suite 102, (808) 528-0888, honolulumedspa.com, @honolulumedspa

  • Finalist: European Wax Center

waxcenter.com, @europeanwax


 

Best Hair Salon

  • Winner: Salon 808

1585 Kapi‘olani Blvd., Suite 710, (808) 942-7799, @salon808

  • Finalist: Color Box Hair Studio

711 Kamokila Blvd., Suite 102, Kapolei, (808) 674-1020, color-box-studio-hair-salon.business.site, @colorbox808


 

Best Handyman Service

  • Winner: Handyman Services Hawai‘i

(808) 358-9000, handymanserviceshawaii.com

  • Finalist: Handy Andy Hawai‘i

2646 Kilihau St., Unit B, (808) 285-3443, handyandyhawaii.com, @handyandyhawaii


 

Best Hardware Store

  • Winner: City Mill

Multiple locations, citymill.com, @citymill

  • Finalist: Home Depot

Multiple locations, homedepot.com, @homedepot


 

Best Home Insurance

  • Winner: State Farm

Multiple locations, statefarm.com, @statefarm

  • Finalist: Allstate

Multiple locations, allstate.com, @allstate


 

Best Home Painting

  • Winner: David’s Custom Roofing and Painting Inc.

96-1217 Waihona St., Pearl City, (808) 833-1633, davidsroofinghi.com

  • Finalist: Raymond’s Painting Co. Inc.

904 Hikina Lane, (808) 842-1117, raymondspaintinghawaii.com


 

Best Home Security Service

  • Winner: Alert Alarm Hawai‘i

3210 Ualena St., (808) 521-5000, alertalarmhawaii.com

  • Finalist: ADT Security Services

Multiple locations, (800) 521-1734, adt.com, @adtsecurity


 

Best Internet Service Provider

  • Winner: Spectrum

Multiple locations, spectrum.com, @getspectrum

  • Finalist: Hawaiian Telcom

Multiple locations, hawaiiantel.com, @hawaiiantelcom


 

Best Landscaper

  • Winner: Hapa Landscaping

3514 Wai‘alae Ave., (808) 732-4272, hapalandscaping.com, @hapalandscaping

  • Finalist: Landscape Builders Hawai‘i

(808) 781-2051, @landscapebuildershawaii


 

Best Locksmith

  • Winner: Salz Lock & Safe

3012 Wai‘alae Ave., Suite 100, (808) 734-6557, salzlock.com

  • Finalist: Pop-A-Lock

Multiple locations, (808) 923-5623, popalockoahu.com


 

Best Luxury Car Dealer

  • Winner: Servco Lexus Honolulu

650 Kapi‘olani BLvd., (877) 278-4715, servcolexus.com, @servcolexus

  • Finalist: BMW of Honolulu

777 Kapi‘olani Blvd., (808) 201-6026, bmwhawaii.com, @bmwofhonolulu


 

Best Mani/Pedi

  • Winner: Gradient Nail

745 Ke‘eaumoku St., (808) 745-0588, gradientnail808.com, @gradientnail808

  • Finalist: Heaven on Earth Salon and Day Spa

1050 Alakea St., (808) 599-5501, heavenonearthhawaii.com, @heavenonearthhi


 

Best Moving Company

  • Finalist: Two Guys & a Truck

(808) 542-3766, oahujunkremoval.com


 

Best Pest Control Company

  • Winner: Terminix

Multiple locations, terminix.com, @trustterminix


 

Best Place For A Massage

  • Winner: Massage Envy

820 W. Hind Drive, #1229-1229, (808) 524-3689, locations.massageenvy.com, @massageenvyhi

  • Finalist: Tiffany’s Thai Massage

1188 Bishop St., Suite 2808, (808) 688-8072, tiffanysthaimassage.com, @tiffanysthaimassage


 

Best Plumbing Service

  • Winner: T&C Plumbing

2472 Komo Mai Drive, Pearl City, (808) 456-2429, tncplumbing.com

  • Finalist: A-1 Budget Plumbing

131 Hekili St., #213, Kailua, (808) 526-3747, a1budgetplumbing.com


 

Best Real Estate Firm

  • Winner: Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties

1314 S. King St., Second Floor, (808) 596-0456, coldwellbankerhomes.com, @cbpacific

  • Finalist: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Advantage Realty

4211 Wai‘alae Ave., #96, (808) 738-3600, betterhawaii.com, @betterhawaii


 

Best Retirement Community

  • Winner: The Plaza Assisted Living

Multiple locations, (808) 377-5292, theplazaassistedliving.com, @theplazahawaii

  • Finalist: Arcadia

1434 Punahou St., (808) 533-5416, arcadia.org, @arcadiafamilyofcompanies


 

Best Roofing Company

  • Winner: Akamai Roofing

2222 Kamehameha Highway, (808) 486-5555, akamairoofinginc.com

  • Finalist: Kapili Roofing and Painting

252 Ipuhao Place, E2, Wahiawā, (808) 621-7663, kapiliroof.com, @kapiliroofingpainting


 

Best Solar Company

  • Finalist: Haleakalā Solar

Multiple locations, (808) 400-4181, haleakalasolarroofing.com, @haleakalasolar_official


 

Best Storage Company

  • Winner: Hawai‘i Self Storage

Multiple locations, (808) 949-7233, hawaiiselfstorage.com, @hawaiiselfstorage

  • Finalist: Public Storage

Multiple locations, publicstorage.com


 

Best Transportation Company

  • Winner: TheBus

(808) 848-4500, thebus.org

  • Finalist: Uber

uber.com, @hawaiiuber


 

Best Travel Agency

  • Winner: Panda Travel

1017 Kapahulu Ave., (808) 734-1961, pandaonline.com

  • Finalist: Non-Stop Travel Hawai‘i

615 Pi‘ikoi St., Suite #102, (808) 593-0700, nonstophawaii.com


 

Best Veterinarian

  • Winner: Kaka‘ako Pet Hospital

815 Queen St., (808) 592-9999, kakaakopethospital.com

  • Finalist: PetVet Animal Hospital

848 Ala Liliko‘i St., Suite 101, (808) 834-7387, petvethawaii.com, @petvethi

 


This story originally appeared as a section of the annual “Best of Honolulu” in the July 2020 issue of HONOLULU Magazine. Get your copy at shop.honolulumagazine.com and subscribe to the print and digital editions now.

 

 

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