Robin's Nest ("Pahonu")
The real life setting for Robin's Nest
, the beautiful oceanfront Hawaiian estate owned by millionaire pulp novelist Robin Masters on Magnum P.I.
, can be found on the southeast coast of Oahu
at 41-505 Kalanianaole Highway (Lat: 21°19'29.66"N | Long: 157°40'47.68"W)
, between the small town of Waimanalo Beach
and Sea Life Park
. The property is known by the Hawaiian name "Pahonu
" and for decades it was also referred to as The Anderson Estate
(for former owner Eve Glover Anderson, step-daughter of Cox Communications heiress Barbara Cox Anthony). The original owner of the estate (built in 1933) was Dr. Ormand Edgar Wall (Eve’s grandfather). In early 2015, the estate was purchased by businessman Marty Nesbitt
(close friend of Barrack Obama) for $8.7 million dollars. The estate has always been a private residence, and therefore is not open to the public (sorry, there are no tours available either). However, visitors can freely walk on the beach, or swim in the tidal pool, as all beaches/ocean in Oahu are public property.
In Magnum P.I.
, Robin's Nest
is not located on the southeast coast of Oahu on Kalanianaole Highway, or near Waimanalo Beach. It's located on the fictional road of "Kalakaua" (street number "1429" or "1541"), somewhere on the North Shore
! This is in spite of the fact that we can often see Rabbit Island
in the background. Rabbit Island is nowhere near the North Shore! We also never see any waves breaking in the ocean! Luckily, the estate's general location was only referenced four*
times in the show, so the odd location setting didn't really present much of a problem. Still, the Ferrari must have racked up a lot of miles coming and going from the north side of the island to all of the action on the south side!
The Robin Masters Estate (usually referred to as simply "The Estate") in the show sits on "200 acres .... from the mountains to the sea"
, including approximately fifty yards of beachfront property. A mountain range looms closely behind the estate, creating a stunning, beautiful, backdrop. The main compound of the property (what is seen in the show) sits on five acres and is surrounded by a unique lava rock wall on three sides (with an iron-gated entranceway) and a concrete sea wall on the ocean end. It is wired for security and features a large main house, a seperate guesthouse, stables (no animals), orchards, a caretaker's house (or gatehouse), a greenhouse, a private tennis court, a man-made tidal pool, and a secluded, semi-priviate beach.
|The Main House|
In the real world, the estate is much
smaller than it appears in the show. It is a "mere" three acres
in size! It's hard to see through all the foliage and the lava rock wall on the perimeter, but the estate actually sits very close to Kalanianaole Highway. The estate was built in 1933 and was designed by Louis E. Davis
, a renowned Honolulu architect who designed many Spanish Colonial/Mission Revival style buildings in Oahu (including McKinley High School and the Honolulu Police Station). The estate is comprised of a large, 8,921 sq. ft. Spanish Colonial Revival-style main house, a unique boathouse (with one bedroom, one full bath), a 1,880 sq. ft. gatehouse (with five bedrooms, two baths, and a two-car garage), a storage wing, a private tennis court, and, of course, the beach and tidal pool. The estate does not have stables or orchards. The boathouse was used as the exterior of the guesthouse (Magnum's quarters) in the show.
One of the highlights of the estate is the beautiful tidal pool, framed by a 500' by 50' stone wall (submerged at high tide, but visible at low tide). The enclosure is an ancient Hawaiian turtle pond known as Pahonu Pond
(Pahonu means "turtle enclosure" in Hawaiian). The original purpose of the pond was to house captured sea turtles for an Ali'i
(High Chief) that favored turtle meat. Turtle meat was kapu (forbidden) to all but the chiefs under penalty of death. The turtle pond (and rock wall) was restored in the 1960's and was added to the Hawaii Historical Register in 1978. Because of the ancient turtle pond, locals nicknamed the estate "Pahonu
", a name that can be found on a plaque by the front gate.
One of the reasons "Pahonu
" was chosen to represent Robin's Nest
, in addition to its beauty and picturesque setting, is because it is located next to a piece of property (the Shriners Beach Club at 41-525 Kalanianaole Hwy) that had space for the production crew. The property was used as a temporary parking lot and staging area for the filming equipment.
Virtually all of the indoor
scenes of Robin's Nest
, namely the main house and the guesthouse scenes, were filmed at the Hawaii Film Studio
(also known as "Five-O
Stage"), located at 510 18th Avenue
(next to Kapiolani Community College
) at the foot of Diamond Head
crater. Outside of balcony shots and the boathouse lanai, there were only two scenes filmed inside
the real buildings of the Eve Anderson estate; in "The Eighth Part of the Village
" (3.4) and "The Kona Winds
" (6.4), where brief scenes were filmed at the main house garage (or "maintenance wing"). It should be noted that the indoor scenes of the main house at Robin's Nest
in the "Pilot Movie
" were actually filmed at The Marks Estate
in the Nuuanu Valley, not at the Anderson Estate (or on a soundstage).
" has also been featured in several other television shows over the years, including twelve Hawaii Five-O
episodes ("Forty Feet High and It Kills
", "Sweet Terror
", "The Second Shot
", "The Gunrunner
", "While You're at It, Bring in the Moon
", "Is This Any Way to Run a Paradise
, "Cloth of Gold
", "You Don't Have to Kill to Get Rich, But It Helps
", "A Stranger in His Grave
, "Death's Name Is Sam
", "The Case Against Philip Christie
", and the series finale "Woe to Wo Fat
("Aloha, You're Dead
"), Murder, She Wrote
(the Magnum P.I.
crossover episode "Magnum on Ice
" & "Death in Hawaii
), and Simon & Simon
(the Magnum P.I.
crossover episode "Emeralds Are Not a Girl's Best Friend
"). Go here
to see some high-quality Hawaii Five-0
screen captures of the estate from several different episodes.
forum member Pahonu
(Scott Atkinson) has created a wonderful 3D model of the estate using Google SketchUp. The model is meticulously detailed and highly accurate. You can even explore the inside of the buildings (note: indoor layout matches the real buildings, not the soundstage sets that are seen in the show). You can download this 3D model here
(17MB). You will need Google SketchUp 8
or higher (free) to use the file.
* "Italian Ice" (2.16), "Double Jeopardy" (2.19), "The Big Blow" (3.22) & "Unfinished Business" (8.8)
** Short, recycled scene from "Sweet Terror" only (McGarrett driving onto the estate and knocking on the front door).
*** Guest star John Hillerman has a scene at the estate, some two years before Magnum P.I. aired.
**** 2.5-second clip of the Audi leaving the estate only (lifted from a Magnum P.I. episode).
The large, L-shaped, two-story main house was built in 1933 and is a beautiful example of Spanish Colonial Revival
style architecture (which is quite uncommon in the islands). The main house features a long, gorgeous second-floor balcony (with wrought iron railings), an architectural arcade
(with a succession of arches on one side), lava rock walls, a low-pitched clay tile roof (black), a lawn courtyard (or patio), and numerous wide projecting eaves. On the west side of the house, behind the driveway, there is a large open-aired garage (or "maintenance wing"). This structure
is primarily used to store landscaping materials and tools. All total, the main house features of total living area of just over 8,900 square feet and features five bedrooms, five full baths and two half baths. The main house also features a large 2500 sq. ft. unfinished basement.
In the show, the main house presumably also has five bedrooms, including a large master bedroom. The main house, of course, features Higgins' study/office
(the most frequently seen room in the show), a large living room, a spacious kitchen, an elegant dining room, a "servants wing", a darkroom, a greenhouse, a computer security room, a library, a laundry room, and a sauna (never seen). There also appears to be a number of smaller ante, or utility, rooms spread throughout the house. The basement features an extensive wine cellar. Again, all of the rooms seen in the show were filmed on a soundstage, not inside the real main house of the Anderson Estate (with the exception of "The Eighth Part of the Village", which featured the main house garage, or "maintenance wing").
The guesthouse (Magnum's quarters), like the main house, is a Spanish Colonial Revival-style design. It features stucco walls, a low-pitched, clay tile roof, and an elevated, oceanfront lanai. In the show, the guesthouse features a large main room with an extremely high ceiling and a bedroom with one full bath. The main room also contains a small kitchen, which is slightly elevated from the rest of the room. All exterior shots of the guesthouse were taken from the boathouse of the Anderson Estate.
The guesthouse in the show features a unique, slightly baffling, split-level design. In order to get inside the guesthouse, you have to walk up an outdoor
staircase, which leads you to a semi-enclosed lanai (porch). From the lanai, you enter the guesthouse via a door, then must descend back down an indoor
staircase that finally leads you to the main room of the guesthouse! This setup was necessary, because in reality the guesthouse is really a boathouse that features no real ground-level door.
The exact location of the guesthouse on the grounds of Robin's Nest
is a source of confusion for many people. As mentioned before, the "guesthouse" is actually a boathouse (adjacent to the ocean) and is located on the far north side of the property, behind the tennis court. In the show, often times you will see Magnum coming and going to and from the guesthouse by way of a "portico
" (a covered pasageway) that is close to the main house at the end of the driveway. This is in the exact opposite direction of the guesthouse/boathouse, on the complete other side of the estate! This setup makes for some confusing shots and cutaways if you know where the real boathouse is located.
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