Hawaii Best 2020


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Borthwick Mortuary is celebrating more than 100 years of service to our community. Mahalo for a century of support and voting us as Hawaiʻi’s Best Funeral Home!

Borthwick Mortuary is in Downtown Honolulu, in the area known as Chinatown. It is centrally located on the island Oʻahu, which makes it convenient for family and friends to gather.

At Borthwick Mortuary, we appreciate and celebrate the diversity of Hawaiʻi and believe taking care of each other is what community is all about. We are non-denominational, welcoming all religions, cultures and backgrounds. We offer a selection of memorialization options, and we are dedicated to honoring the wishes and traditions of each family.

More than 100 years in Honolulu

Borthwick Mortuary has served the people of Hawaiʻi since 1916. We are honored to be a member of our community and have the opportunity to build lasting relationships with the families we serve. We are a team of dedicated professionals here to assist you during a significant time.

There are many steps in planning a memorial, and we are here to guide you through the process. Whether you are planning a simple or elaborate funeral service for a loved one, veteran or dignitary, we offer a variety of options to help you create a memorable ceremony. We believe that funeral services should reflect the lives of those being honored and strive to create meaningful tributes for those who have meant so much to family, friends and the community.

Personalized funerals, modern funeral facilities

Chapel at Borthwick MortuaryIt is our goal to help you discover unique ways to put personal touches on your loved one’s funeral or memorial service. Our hope is that we can work with you one on one to recognize the personality of your loved one and, in turn, develop a memorial fitting for remembrance.

Our facility provides a comfortable setting for small to large services and includes four chapels: Makai, Mauka, Maunakea and Vineyard. Each chapel accommodates more than 150 guests. The Maunakea/Vineyard Chapel seats up to 400. Each chapel has audiovisual equipment to play your video slideshow and music selection. We also have easels and a keyboard available upon request for families who would like to display photos or have a pianist play.

In addition, our chapels were designed to accommodate both religious and nonreligious ceremonies, including Christian, Chinese, Japanese Buddhist, Laotian Buddhist and Taoist services. We also have experience with the customary practices of the Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and LDS faiths, as well as working with all branches of the U.S. military.

Lanai spaces, catered receptions and cars

Reception room at Borthwick Mortuary All four chapels have an adjacent reception/lanai area for catered events following a service. Families may also use this area to provide light refreshments during the visitation. When using our reception/lanai area for catered events, our beverage station includes water, juice, coffee and hot tea. We also offer catering services to help make the planning process a little easier.

We also take pride in having families represented with an up-to-date fleet of vehicles, which is replaced every few years. Your family’s comfort is very important to us.

Please contact us to plan a celebration of life for your loved one.


Painting of the old Borthwick MortuaryBorthwick Mortuary has more than a century of tradition on Oʻahu. Our history began when William Borthwick, an established mortician from Seattle, came to Honolulu in 1914.

In 1916, he established Borthwick Mortuary on Chaplain Lane and Fort Street in Downtown Honolulu. By 1925, there was already a need for a larger facility. It was then that Borthwick Mortuary moved to Nuʻuanu and School streets.

Several years later, in 1932, the need for a newer and larger complex dictated another move. At this time, Borthwick Mortuary located across the street.

That same year, William turned the mortuary over to his oldest son, James Harold, who operated it until his death in 1943. Then, William’s younger son, William Borthwick Sr., took over leadership. In 1958, William Mendel Jr. succeeded his father as manager of Borthwick Mortuary.

Present location

Chapel at Borthwick MortuaryIn 1960, the Hawaiʻi state government began the development of Hawaiʻi’s first freeway (Lunalilo Freeway) and purchased the Borthwick Mortuary property. Once again, Borthwick Mortuary relocated, that time to our present location at Maunakea and Kukui streets.

Since then, we have made a variety of renovations to the funeral home. Our latest renovation included improvements to restrooms, sectioning of the lanai areas, and repainting and installing new carpet throughout the facility.

Today, Borthwick Mortuary is a member of the Dignity Memorial® network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers. As a Dignity Memorial provider, we are able to offer exclusive benefits such as our Relocation Protection Program.

At Borthwick Mortuary, it is our promise to continue our longstanding tradition of serving Hawaiʻi’s families with the same compassion and respect we have shown for more than 100 years.

Community involvement

Borthwick Mortuary is dedicated to serving the community. We are honored to share in the rich history of Hawaiʻi and preserve our unique cultural traditions. As a member of the community for more than a century, we are always looking for ways to give back and stay involved.

Borthwick Mortuary is a proud partner of the Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive initiative, which focuses on preserving the history of World War II and honoring the sacrifices of the brave men and women of The Greatest Generation. We partnered with the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific to organize a community event for the 70th Anniversary of WWII and participate in the annual Pearl Harbor parades.

In addition to partnering with various veterans organizations, we are a sponsor of the American Diabetes Association and CrimeStoppers Honolulu to help promote health and safety in our community. We also support local schools and going green initiatives throughout Oʻahu.

Public servants program

In recognition of the courage and selfless service of those who keep our communities safe, Dignity Memorial providers offer honorable funeral tributes at no cost for career and volunteer law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency services personnel who fall in the line of duty. In addition to providing funeral, cremation and burial services, the program extends counseling services to their families.

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At Dignity Memorial, we take our promises seriously. That’s why we offer a 100% service guarantee. We strive to get every detail right the first time, every time. If for some reason we don’t and you’re dissatisfied with any aspect of your service, we will remedy it quickly and fully.

Learn about our Dignity Difference benefits.

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Ratings & Reviews

Verified Customer Reviews

Since 2005, many of our customers have taken the time to tell us how we did each year via our Voice of the Customer program. Our star ratings and comments from families come directly from these surveys.

"Outstanding, compassionate service"

jd-power-verified-checkmark Verified Burial & Memorial Service Customer

December 2020

"We are forever grateful to Merci and the Borthwick Mortuary staff! The drive thru visitation allowed us to celebrate my father's life to the best we can with this pandemic. Their organization, attention to detail, compassion and kindness is greatly appreciated! Thank you very much Borthwick Mortuary!!!"

jd-power-verified-checkmark Verified Burial & Memorial Service Customer

December 2020

"The delay in obtaining the death certificate is challenging — I understand COVID may play a role, however, 6 weeks is much too long to wait, especially if there was approval at the highest level... all the next steps are halted, including probate proceedings and paying forward delinquent bills and penalties ... 6 weeks is not acceptable."

jd-power-verified-checkmark Verified Burial & Memorial Service Customer

December 2020

"It is not easy losing a loved one, and no matter how much you think you are prepared, you're not! The staff at Borthwick was very caring, compassionate and professional. I am very pleased with the service I received from beginning to end of arrangements."

jd-power-verified-checkmark Verified Burial & Memorial Service Customer

November 2020

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