10 Reasons Why Ward Village is the Best Urban Place to live in Honolulu, Hawaii

Often when people think about living in Hawaii, they picture a laid-back, beachfront lifestyle that's far removed from city life. However, Ward Village, a 60-acre master-planned community in the heart of Honolulu's Kakaako neighborhood, is shifting that narrative. It's here that city convenience meets island living, creating a unique urban paradise that's been meticulously designed to offer a superior quality of life. Here are the top ten reasons why Ward Village is the best place to live in Honolulu.

1. Master-planned Community

Ward Village isn't just another neighborhood; it's a visionary community brought to life by The Howard Hughes Corporation. Every element, from the architecture and street layouts to the amenities and community events, has been thoughtfully designed to create an environment that enriches residents' quality of life.

ward village condos

Spanning over 60 acres along the shoreline of south Oahu, Ward Village is set to redefine urban living in Hawaii. The aim is to create a neighborhood where residents can live, work, and play, all within a walkable distance. The master plan includes over 4,500 residences and over one million square feet of retail and commercial space. But it's not just about the numbers; the plan places a strong emphasis on community, sustainability, and honoring the rich cultural history of the area.

2. Commitment to Sustainability

Ward Village is at the forefront of sustainable living in Hawaii. It's the first neighborhood in the state and the largest in the country to receive LEED-ND Platinum certification, the highest level of certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

ward village 2023

From the design of the buildings to the landscaping, every aspect of Ward Village embodies conscious, eco-friendly living. The buildings feature energy-efficient designs, the streets are lined with native plants to reduce water usage, and the neighborhood has committed to reducing car dependency through a pedestrian-friendly layout and a bike-sharing program. Living in Ward Village means being part of a community that cares deeply about the environment.

3. World-class Architecture

koula ward villageArchitecture isn't just about aesthetics in Ward Village; it's about creating spaces that inspire and enhance the quality of life. The neighborhood is home to a collection of residential towers designed by some of the most respected architects from around the globe.

For example, the Waiea tower, designed by James K.M. Cheng in collaboration with Rob Iopa and WCIT Architecture, is a stunning glass structure inspired by Hawaii's natural landscape. The Anaha tower, on the other hand, features a distinctive wave-like façade designed by Chicago-based firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz.

Each building in Ward Village is a work of art in its own right, offering residents not just a home, but a piece of world-class design.

4. Diverse Living Options

Ward Village caters to a broad range of lifestyle needs and preferences. Whether you're in the market for a brand new Kakaako condo in 2023, a  luxurious penthouse with ocean views, or an affordable city condo, you're sure to find a home that suits your needs in this community.

From the high-end residences of Waiea and Anaha, which offer lavish amenities and unparalleled views, to the reserved housing units of Ke Kilohana, which are designed to be more accessible to local residents, Ward Village condos accommodate most every lifestyle and budget. For the most immersive understanding of the Ward Village real estate market, visit our Ward Village Condos Guide

5. Proximity to Key Destinations

Located in the heart of Honolulu, Ward Village offers easy access to the city's key destinations. The Honolulu Airport is just a 20-minute drive away, making it convenient for frequent travelers. The world-famous Waikiki beach and the bustling Ala Moana Center, the largest shopping mall in Hawaii, are also within easy reach.

ward village location

However, despite its central location, Ward Village manages to maintain a peaceful, community-focused environment. Here, you're at the heart of the action, but with the tranquility of an island retreat.

6. Pedestrian-friendly Design

The master plan of Ward Village places great emphasis on creating a pedestrian-friendly community. With wide sidewalks, lush landscaping, and pedestrian-only streets, the neighborhood encourages residents to leave their cars behind and embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle.

why you should live in ward village

The layout of the community puts every amenity within walking distance, from the diverse shopping and dining options to the community parks, Ala Moana Beach, and entertainment venues. As a resident of Ward Village, everything you need is just a short stroll away and soon, residents will have direct access to Ala Moana Beach Park via a highline styled walkway that crosses overhead of Ala Moana Boulevard. This means no more waiting at crosswalks at the busy intersections. 

7. Thriving Shopping and Dining Scene

With over a million square feet of retail space, Ward Village offers a shopping experience like no other. From high-end boutiques to popular global brands and unique local stores, there's something for everyone.

ward village kakaako

Ward Village is home to the largest Whole Foods Market in Hawaii, offering a wide range of organic and locally sourced products. There's also South Shore Market, a unique retail space featuring 17 local merchants offering everything from home goods to apparel.

Ward Village Restaurants

Restaurants in Ward Village offer a blend of diverse cuisines that showcases the unique culinary heritage of the island. From authentic local delicacies to exotic international dishes, there's a dining adventure waiting for every food lover. Here are some noteworthy mentions:

  • Robata Jinya: This traditional Japanese restaurant specializes in Robatayaki, a method of cooking where fresh ingredients are slow-grilled over hot charcoal. The flavorful dishes and warm, welcoming ambiance make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
  • Merriman's: Founded by Chef Peter Merriman, a pioneer of the "Farm to Table" movement in Hawaii, Merriman's offers a menu filled with locally-sourced produce. Each dish at Merriman's is a celebration of the island's bounty, making it a true gastronomic delight.
  • Thyda's Tacos: Originally a popular food truck, Thyda's Tacos has transformed into a beloved restaurant serving Mexican street food with a unique Hawaiian twist. Here, vibrant and flavorful tacos are packed with ingredients like kalua pork and grilled mahi-mahi, delivering a burst of flavor with every bite.
  • Maile Thai: For those seeking authentic Thai flavors, Maile Thai is the perfect destination. The menu features a variety of Thai classics, all prepared with traditional techniques and fresh ingredients, transporting your taste buds straight to the streets of Bangkok.
  • Rinka: A cozy Japanese restaurant that has captured the hearts of locals. From fresh sashimi and sushi to comforting bowls of ramen, Rinka offers a versatile menu that suits all preferences, making it a popular choice for any meal.

With its vibrant and varied dining scene, Ward Village enhances the dynamic lifestyle of this thriving neighborhood, making it an exciting culinary destination.

8. Abundant Green Spaces

Amidst the urban landscape of Ward Village, you'll find an abundance of green spaces where residents can unwind, exercise, or socialize. The neighborhood's master plan includes multiple parks and open spaces, contributing to the overall health and well-being of the residents.

victoria ward park

The expansive Ward Village Central Plaza, for instance, serves as a gathering place for community events and outdoor activities. There's also Victoria Ward Park, a lush, green oasis in the heart of the neighborhood.

9. Access to the Ocean

As a coastal community, Ward Village offers residents easy access to the ocean. The neighborhood is located just a short walk from Ala Moana Beach Park, one of the most popular beach parks in Honolulu. Here, you can enjoy a range of water activities, from swimming and surfing to paddleboarding and canoeing.

ala moana beach park

For those who prefer a more laid-back beach experience, there are plenty of opportunities for sunbathing, picnicking, or simply enjoying the stunning ocean views.

10. Vibrant Community Culture

At the heart of Ward Village is a strong sense of community. The neighborhood regularly hosts events to bring residents together, from yoga classes in the park to movie nights, farmers' markets, and cultural festivals.

There's a strong emphasis on promoting local culture and arts within the community. South Shore Market, for example, regularly showcases works by local artists, and the neighborhood often plays host to local music and cultural events.

Ward Village vs. Our Kaka'ako: Comparing Honolulu's Premier Neighborhoods

When it comes to innovative urban living in Honolulu, two neighborhoods stand out: Ward Village and Our Kaka'ako. Both are redefining city life in Hawaii, but each brings its unique flavor and charm to the table.

As discussed earlier, Ward Village is a 60-acre master-planned community designed to embody the balance of city convenience and island living. This pedestrian-friendly neighborhood puts a premium on sustainability, community, and quality of life, with parks, shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment venues all within walking distance.

ward village condos for sale

From a real estate perspective, Ward Village offers a diverse mix of luxurious oceanfront homes and affordable residences. Its buildings, designed by world-renowned architects, feature a wide range of amenities and styles to cater to different lifestyle needs and preferences.

Our Kaka'ako

Our Kaka'ako, on the other hand, aims to create a dynamic urban-island culture that celebrates the arts, local businesses, and sustainable living. At the heart of this neighborhood is SALT at Our Kaka'ako, a city block encompassing 85,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, and mixed-use space.

our kakaako

SALT is an epicenter of local culture, offering a unique mix of eateries, boutiques, and creative spaces, often playing host to art shows, music events, and cultural festivals. This creates a vibrant, bohemian atmosphere that is slightly different from the more upscale feel of Ward Village.

In terms of real estate, Our Kaka'ako offers a mix of affordable, middle-income, and market-rate housing options, reflecting its commitment to building an inclusive community. The neighborhood features nine residential towers and several low-rise buildings, each with its distinct character and style.


Living in Ward Village is about more than just enjoying the comforts of your home. It's about being part of a vibrant, thriving community, where neighbors know each other and every day brings new opportunities for engagement and enjoyment.

Phone(808) 468-8181

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Address Dwell Hawaii
RS-76047
1585 Kapiolani Blvd Suite 1010
Honolulu, HI 96816

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