Best of Honolulu – Services
It’s that time of year again. We’ve scoured the island, grilled the experts and enlisted your help to bring you the best “Best of Honolulu“ ever.
|Dr. Allen Takayama helps his patients get a new leash on life at his ‘Aina Haina practice. photo: Mark Arbeit|
Dr. Allen Takayama
“You know that show Cheers, where everybody knows your name? We’re like that; it’s a small practice,” says Dr. Allen Takayama, of ‘Aina Haina Pet Hospital. Takayama essentially grew up in the clinic, watching his dad, Dr. Al Takayama, who still has a limited practice. His mom also still works part-time in the office; his wife, Cathy, could, he says, “win awards if they gave them for office managers,” and his sister-in-law holds down the fort in reception. An Iowa State University grad, Takayama mostly sees dogs and cats, although occasionally he’ll treat rabbits, guinea pigs or birds. A pet owner himself (two cats and a black Lab), he knows how much people value compassionate care for their fuzzy family members. 5140 Kalaniana‘ole Highway, 373-2111.
Best Auto Detailing
Midas Touch Auto Detailing
When kids start leaving messages for you on your rear windshield, you head to Midas Touch Auto Detailing at Ala Moana Center. Prices start at $15 for a basic wash and vacuum and run up to $125 ($165 for vans and SUVs) for the granddaddy “24K” package, which includes three coats of wax, engine dressing and carpet steamcleaning. While you’re waiting for the shiny-as-new results, take advantage of the best waiting room in town (only Hawai‘i’s biggest mall) or Midas Touch’s free pickup and delivery service within a 2-mile radius. Ala Moana Center, across Zippy’s and Sears near the Pi‘ikoi intersection, 228-6755.
|photo: courtesy of Ihilani|
Locals tend to turn a trip to Ihilani Spa into an all-day mini escape. “People come and get a spa treatment, then use the lap pool, have lunch from the spa menu delivered out to the lanai, maybe take a yoga class out under a palm tree,” says the spa’s director, Robin Desha. The facilities also include sea-water therapies in one of only two Thalasso tubs in the United States, says Desha. Insider’s tip: There’s a 15-percent kama‘aina discount on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, excluding salon services. Ko Olina, 92-1001 Olani St., 679-3321, www.ihilani.com.
Best Cleaning Service
Cleaning house is a well-choreographed routine for the The Maids, your favorite service in town. A team of four employees tackles each home, executing a 22-step process that includes hand-washing floors, changing linens and cleaning appliances. The company only uses cleaning agents that are safe for kids, pets and the environment. “We run our business in a professional manner,” says service manager Arun Savara, whose wife, Mira, owns one of the company’s O‘ahu franchises. “We’re in people’s homes, and it’s important for them to have people they can depend on.” For the nearest franchise, visit www.maids.com.
photo: courtesy of Servco
Best Automotive Dealer
It’s probably no surprise that one of Hawai‘i’s largest automotive groups, Servco Pacific, is also the best, according to your votes. But the seller of such brands as Toyota, Lexus and Chevrolet isn’t resting on its laurels. Last year, the company opened its new $8 million showroom in Mapunapuna and is currently spending $12 million to renovate its Waipahu location. Multiple locations, www.servcopacific.com.
For custom-made suits and impeccably tailored pieces, you rely on Andy Mohan, who’s outfitted Hawai‘i governors going back to William Quinn. Topa Financial Center, 700 Bishop St., 531-1816, www.andymohan.com.
|photo: Mark Arbreit|
Best Hair Salon
Paul Brown Hawai‘i
With more than three decades in the business and 80-plus highly trained stylists at six locations statewide, it’s safe to say: Paul Brown Hawai‘i knows hair. What’s kept Islanders coming back again and again over the years? “It’s definitely because we love what we do,” owner and CEO Paul Brown says, “and we consistently upgrade our training to represent the latest techniques.” Multiple locations, www.paulbrownhawaii.com.
photos: courtesy of Watanabe Floral
On any given day, there are at least a couple of hundred types of flowers, imported from all over the world, on sale at Watanabe Floral’s main store on Nimitz Highway. The store is best known for its impressive array of cut flowers, but over the past few years, its eight floral designers have amped up its selection of arrangements—available for any occasion imaginable. According to your votes, you’ve taken notice. Main store: 1607 Hart St., 832-9360. Smaller locations at Don Quijote, 801 Kaheka St. (942-7670) and 94-866 Moloalo St., Waipahu (676-0192). http://www.watanabefloral.com
Best Custom Bike Builder
Roger Kuwahara of Kustom Fab Motorcycle Parts
|Roger Kuwahara builds some of Hawai‘i’s baddest bikes, hand-tweaking everything from the frame to the gas tank. photo: Olivier Koning|
If a standard Harley just isn’t cutting it for you anymore, it’s time to check out Roger Kuwahara of Kustom Fab Motorcycle Parts. “There are a lot of great builders in Hawai‘i, but there’s nobody who’s really got the gumption to do what Roger does,” says Hawaiian Chopper Magazine editor Steve Kalnasy. “He does it over and over again, and it’s always a different model. He stretches the limits.” Kuwahara says he keeps an edge by staying on top of new trends and styles. “We try to bring what is really current on the Mainland to Hawai‘i,” he says. Each Kustom Fab creation is a work of love, built from the ground up. Kuwahara crafts just three to four bikes a year, each one costing $30,000 to $70,000, but every one is a rolling piece of art. 80 Sand Island Access Road, Suite 228, 847-5322.
Best Dry Cleaner
Affordable rates and quick turnaround have made Caesars Cleaners your drycleaner of choice. Multiple locations.
|The USS Missouri, a fantastic venue for Kahala Caterers’ events. photo: courtesy of the USS Missouri Memorial Assocciation|
Unlike many caterers in town, Kahala Caterers doesn’t believe in offering “Package A, B or C” for your special event. “It’s not so much here’s what we have to sell, it’s what do you need?” says president Winston Gample, who co-founded the company with vice president Mitch Uyeno 20 years ago. “We really talk to people, find out everything we can about the event and generate ideas geared toward their needs.” Kahala Caterers doesn’t just do food, either. It’s a full-service event planner, coordinating about 500 corporate gatherings, weddings, blessings and other events a year. With the company handling almost any party need imaginable—location, tables, chairs, staffing, locations, flowers—hosts can simply enjoy the festivities. 3458 Wai‘alae Ave., 735-7775, www.kahalacaterers.com.
Ampy’s A Day Spa
photos: courtesy of Ampy’s
In the business of beauty, a model’s face is his or her main tool, so we asked local modeling agency director Doug Lange of Premier Models and Talent, where he sends his beauties to get scrubbed, toned, polished and perfected. Ampy’s A Day Spa got his vote for best facial. The 15-room Ala Moana day spa offers an affordable, basic facial as well as a variety of specialized skincare treatments, including facials for men, teens and those chasing the fountain of youth. In addition to scheduled appointments on weekdays and Saturdays, customers can rent out the entire spa on Sundays for private parties. Ala Moana Center, across Zippy’s and Sears near the Pi‘ikoi intersection, 228-6755. http://www.ampys.com