This is an Islamic-style mansion that was built by heiress Doris Duke near Diamond Head (near Honolulu). Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Shangri La incorporates architectural features from the Islamic world and houses Duke’s extensive collection of Islamic art, which she assembled for nearly 60 years (mainly from Iran, Morocco, Turkey, Spain, Syria, Egypt and India). One of Hawaii’s most architecturally significant houses, Shangri La was a retreat and sanctuary for a woman who greatly valued her privacy. In her will, Duke set in motion plans to open Shangri La to the public as a place for the study of Islamic art and culture.
Today, Shangri La is open for guided, small group tours and educational programs. In partnership with the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art—which owns and supports Shangri La—the Honolulu Museum of Art serves as the orientation center for Shangri La tours.