Diamond Head's Moroccan Manse

From the wraparound lanai, you have views of the ocean and Waikiki.

One of my favorite neighborhoods is the cluster of homes off of Diamond Head Road on the southeastern side of Kapiolani Park. I love the location, with easy access to parks, some of Honolulu’s best surf spots and Waikiki, and how pedestrian-friendly the neighborhood is, with its constant stream of cyclists, runners and folks out for a stroll. Unfortunately, I’ve got expensive taste. Homes around here generally start in the $1 million-plus range and go up from there (the priciest listing is currently a cool $14.2 million).

Needless to say, I’m always excited when I get to tour a house in this area. And I’ve had my eye on this five-bedroom, five-bath French-Moroccan-inspired property for a while. The current owner, an interior designer, purchased the home at auction in 2007 for $1.65 million. At that time, the single-story structure stopped just short of what is now the courtyard and swimming pool, and there was an adjoining Japanese tearoom that sustained major damage when a tree crashed through the roof. The owner gutted both buildings, keeping only the garage and the main structure’s west-facing front wall.

The new dwelling is a two-story French-Moroccan-themed abode with a rooftop deck (yes, the views are killer) and what realtors like to call “ good flow.” The entry opens up to the great room, a living room/dining room/kitchen combo that flows directly out into the courtyard and solar-heated pool. Sliding glass pocket doors open for seamless transitions between the indoor and outdoor spaces and 10-foot ceilings maximize the room’s airy, open feel. The home is chock-full of exotic design details—a large Balinese-style wood column, ornate iron chandeliers and a gorgeous yellow Moroccan-tile kitchen backsplash, for starters. “Everything was brought in from all over the world—India, Morocco—or made custom for the home,” says listing agent Stephen Cipres.

The second floor opens right up to the massive master suite, which, like the first floor, has sliding glass pocket doors. As a result, you don’t notice the room so much as the ocean views from the wraparound lanai and what Cipres calls the “mosh pit,” an elevated lounging area. The elaborate master bath has a soaking tub, dual vanity, shower and walk-in closet. There’s an adjacent office/sitting room that connects the master suite to another bedroom and bath.

The basement contains the laundry room and a studio apartment with a full bath and kitchenette that could viably rent for about $1,300 per month, says Cipres. As it stands, the residence is currently rented out for a handsome sum, a boon to any prospective buyer.

List price: The home is listed for $3,895,000.
Contact: Stephen Cipres, Elite Pacific Properties. 295-5009, Stephen@elitepacific.com.