Since my husband and I’ve been together we’ve owned six single-family homes over 19 years because we’ve always needed the space for our four dogs and I’ve always had difficulty walking away from a home I knew could use a little help if I unleashed all the renovation ideas I had garnered from HGTV series and home improvement magazines. Our homes always had at least three bedrooms and two baths ranging in size from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet set on lots up to half an acre. Of course, our fur babies relished both the indoor and outdoor spaces, but except for our bedroom suite and kitchen, the remaining space of our homes was to mainly warehouse furniture we bought only to fill the space. And the extra closets were to store clothes and accessories we knew we would never again use but just couldn’t bear to part with. Sure, the extra bedrooms came in handy when we had visits from our occasional out-of-town friends and relatives, but those were rare.
When we both earned the right to senior discounts on coffee at McDonald’s, we found ourselves with only two dogs, so we started to explore the idea of downsizing to a condo. The main criterion was a condo that allowed us to live with our Pomeranian and Pekingese. We first searched for two- and three-bedroom condos, most with about a third the space we had grown accustomed to. At that time, I had already been in the real estate business for 16 years, so I was knowledgeable about which condos would suit our lifestyle.
When our offer for a two-bedroom at One Ala Moana didn’t work out, we were momentarily at a loss. There was a one-bedroom available there but wasn’t something we had ever considered before. Plus, the unit only came with one parking stall. I did notice that there were other parking stalls available for sale as well as a couple storage rooms. Since any extra bedrooms we had had in our previous homes were used mainly as storage, I had the bright idea of the storage room being a substitute for another bedroom! With a storage room of 136 square feet on a temperature-controlled floor, I felt a one-bedroom unit could work for us. It did take some convincing to get my husband on board, but fortunately it’s all worked out perfectly, and purchasing the storage room and an additional stall plus a one-bedroom unit ended up saving us about a quarter-million dollars which would have been needed for a two-bedroom unit. And without all the extra space like we had before, we always think twice about picking up another piece of artwork or kitchen gadget, simply because what square footage we do have now is that much more precious. And that saves us money, too!
It’s been just about five years since we moved into One Ala Moana. Instead of “downsizing,” however, I now consider our move “upliving.” I’ve dubbed our new lifestyle “upliving” because we’ve been liberated from the burdens we experienced owning single-family homes. We enjoy traveling at least a couple times a year and it was always a bit of a challenge finding a housesitter. Now we can lock up our unit and travel with peace of mind knowing that everything is secure and in the capable hands of a resident manager, an operations manager, residential specialists and a team of concierges.
In addition, One Ala Moana is loaded with amenities, which allows us to maintain the same lifestyle we had with single-family home living. Surrounded by lush foliage and emerald green lawns, we sometimes forget that the terrace is six floors above bustling Kapiolani Boulevard. Instead of our backyard, we now have available to us three cabanas for barbecuing and outdoor dining. Each can easily accommodate any party we had ever thrown. Our guests can enjoy the infinity-edge pool, keiki pool and whirlpool spa. If they prefer, they can take a stroll along the walking path or hone their golfing skills on the putting green. For younger guests there’s the tot lot and kids’ multimedia room. There are even two secure dog parks for our furry friends. One Christmas we had a catered event in the private dining room that opens to the terrace. We can even hire a personal chef to prepare meals on-site in the chef’s kitchen while we entertain friends in the wine tasting room. There’s a movie theater and game room we have yet to explore. If you want a quiet place to telecommute or read a book, there’s a library and quiet sitting areas throughout the terrace grounds as well as a conference room. For those with a personal shopper, there’s even a private shopping salon for fittings. Of course, there’s also a fully equipped fitness center with a sauna, showers and personal lockers. Instead of going to an aesthetic salon, hire your aesthetician for a facial in the private treatment room. For out-of-town friends and family, there are also three beautiful guest suites available on the terrace level with easy access to all the amenities.
One Ala Moana’s 24-hour residential specialists are the best! If we can’t be home for a central AC service appointment or fire alarm check, they can stand in for us. They send us emails when a parcel arrives and will deliver it to us if we ask. When we receive a large box of doggie pads or paper towels from Sam’s Club, they’ll deliver it to our storage room. In short, they’re like personal valets. During normal business hours there’s also a maintenance crew that we’ve called to fix a clogged drain! They’ll even change lightbulbs and batteries for smoke detectors! When I leave our unit, I always run into the housekeeping crew keeping our common areas in tip-top shape. One Ala Moana’s teams are dedicated to residents’ comfort as if we were guests at any of Hawaii’s leading resorts!
One Ala Moana’s location at the country’s largest open-air shopping center and proximity to fine dining, entertainment, big-box stores, grocery stores, bakeries, medical and dental offices, and business services, make it possible to walk everywhere for virtually all our needs. It’s also possible to walk to parks, beaches, Waikiki, Kakaako and the Convention Center.
One Ala Moana for us has been a great alternative to single-family home living. Even in a one-bedroom unit, the amenities provide all we need to entertain and enjoy with family and friends. And because of its strategic location, it’s also the perfect place for us to age in place. - Ken Kam
Please contact any Team Siu+Camacho member for your private showing of One Ala Moana units currently listed for sale.