Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Pages: 1 34 replies

Name: Ilikai
Type: Hotel
Street: 1777 Ala Moana Blvd,
City: Honolulu
State: HI
Zip: 96815
country: USA
Phone: 808-949-3811
Status: Operational as both a Hotel and Condominiums.

Description: The Ilikai Hotel History. (From the Ilikai website)
Real estate tycoon Chinn Ho built the Ilikai Hotel & Suites in Honolulu to be Hawaii’s finest high-rise hotel in 1964. Soaring to 30 stories with a rooftop restaurant and stunning glass elevator, the Ilikai was a sensation in design and the work of the architect of Seattle’s Space Needle, John Graham. Perhaps the Ilikai’s strongest claim to fame was from its prominence in the television series “Hawaii Five-0.” During the opening credit the Ilikai’s luxurious penthouse is featured.
http://www.ilikaihotel.com

~

I have only recently become aware of this fine super-tiki, super-midcentury hotel and can't believe there hasn't been a thread on this hotel specifically. I've searched carefully, found scant mention of the Ilikai in "Message Body" and no mention in "Subject."

It was opened in 1964, designed by the same architect who built the Space Needle. It is the same hotel Jack Lord stood on top of in the opening sequence in Hawaii Five-O. Several great Hawaiian albums were recorded live in one of its lounges.

As one can plainly see from their website, it has undergone a loving and period-correct remodel:

http://www.1313ilikai.com/

I know this. My life will not be complete until Mr. and Mrs. Satan's Sin renew their passion in the Bridal Suite!

Aloha!


[ Edited by: Bora Boris - Changed format and moved to Locating Tiki - 2012-01-05 20:17 ]

On 2005-09-08 12:37, Satan's Sin wrote:
I know this. My life will not be complete until Mr. and Mrs. Satan's Sin renew their passion in the Bridal Suite!
Aloha!

Don't forget to post pics!
Thanks for the heads up on the Ilikai.

T
thejab posted on Thu, Sep 8, 2005 1:13 PM

Here's the regular web site to check on rooms and rates. A quick glance puts the hotel in the over $200/night category.

http://www.ilikaihotel.com/

T
thejab posted on Thu, Sep 8, 2005 1:19 PM

I wonder if room 1313 with it's mid-century decor is still available for rent, or if the web site is old and outdated.

The Rennaisance Ilikai site mentions nothing about room 1313, and it appears the rooms have standard hotel decor.

I got the 1313 website out of the brand-new issue of atomicranch magazine.

An actual "1313" room puzzles me. American hotels almost never have a 13th floor.

C

I'm so glad someone re-discovered the Illikai. If you remember, it was right across the alley from the Waikikian (with the classic hyperbolic parabaloid roof over the lobby) and the Tahitian Lanai restaurant/bar which overlooked the "Hilton" Lagoon. If I recall correctly, and if you knew how to do this, you could walk out of an obscure alley exit on the first level of the Illikai and walk about twenty paces to the alley entrance of the Tahitian Lanai, just a stown's throw (if that) from the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor.

My brother-in-law used to play on a mound of sand where the Illikai sits and lived on a schooner in the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor.

Very cool!

Last time I was there I was hanging out by the pool around dusk and was pleasantly surprised when someone came out of no where blowing a large conch shell and another group began lighting the surrounding tiki torches. There may not be a tiki in sight but their heart is in the right place. Plus the ride to the “Top of the I” in the glass elevator is something everyone should experience.

A

Some stuff from/related to the Ilikai...


outside of a brochure


brochure inside (more interesting stuff inside too, maybe I can post later)


Ilikai presents music!


Arthur Lyman at the Ilikai!


Arthur Lyman really at the Ilikai! And Mel Torme too.

-Randy

A

Compelled to post more...


More from the brochure. Dig that white tv console in the suite.


Another ad for the Ilikai


Yet another ad for the Ilikai

And for context...

An illustrated map of Waikiki from 1965, the year after it opened. Note the Ilikai in the lower left corner.

-Randy

"Hong Kong Junk" has got to be one of the best nightclub names I've heard.

J

The Ilikai is indeed a super fabulous hotel (it is actually 1/2 hotel & 1/2 privately owned condos). I only wish all of the rooms had been restored to mid-century glory. We put together a partnership to buy unit 1313 and have shipped over crates of cool original stuff from Calif. & are continuing to upgrade it. We think the inside of the units should match the great Ilikai architecture. Hopefully more modernists will take interest in the property and follow suit. Our ultimite goal is to raise enthusiasm for preservation of the terrific mid-century modern architecture that exists in Hawaii. Right now it seems to be under appreciated, and a lot is being lost. If anybody is going to Waikiki and would like to stay somwhere with a little more flavor than a Sheraton/Hilton etc. 1313 can be rented thru the rental agency in the Ilikai at 808-946-0716, its pretty reasonable(if you call, please let em know your into modernism, because right now they just think we are some kind of lunatics).
Mahalo

I've been away from TC for a while - it was cool to come back and see SS's post about the Ilikai. I live on O'ahu and of all the downtown hotels, I think the Ilikai is the coolest,

SS- did you actually visit the Ilikai?

Thanks for all the great info!

MTM

Jimbo-

Were you successful in your bid to purchase 1313? Awesome if you were. I agree with you - they just don't really care about our "tastes" here... Downtown is just a mash of every kind of architectural style. There is no central theme anymore. If you look at the brochures others posted here, you see how uncrowded Waikiki was back then. Now, it's hard to find the hotel you are looking for because there are so many others surrounding it. It's like the current Las Vegas strip but with a lot less room!!! (and you're right- they probably do think we're crazy).

Aloha

MTM

J
jimbo posted on Sat, Sep 17, 2005 2:36 PM

MTM, yes we bought it. You can see what have done with it on the website http://www.1313ilikai.com. Do you know if there are plans to tear down La Ronde? That is another MCM gem. Mahalo to Aquari for posting all that great stuff, I never knew that Mel Torme played at the ilikai
jimbo.

MaiTaiMafia --

No, I have nver visited the Ikikai. I just stumbled across it in cyberspace one day and fell instantly in love and of course had to bring everyone this important news.

I will certainly stay there on my next island visit!

T

Jimbo - What a great idea! I will definitely look into staying there on my next visit. Thanks to "lunatics" like you there is hope that a little bit of the recent history of Waikiki will be preserved. With the reconstruction of the area around the Hawaiiana and Breakers Hotels I was worried there would be nothing from that era left.

J
jimbo posted on Sat, Oct 1, 2005 3:33 PM

here are a few pics of the place








Highrise Honululu alright. Though still cool, the ILIKAI can be viewed as the watershed between the old Waikiki and the new:

Built right next to the Waikikian with it's gardens and the Tahitian Lanai, it overshadowed that human scale-built hotel, and when the Hawaiian Village went highrise too, the poor Waikikian seemed anachronistic, wedged in between and literally over-shadowed by the highrise canyon sides of the the two towers.

I am conflicted about modernism and tend to side with Tom Wolfe in that when mass-housing demanded ever bigger buildings in the 60s, the architects where in their ivory towers, and only too willing to replace individual and unique design with generic boxes.

While the Waikikian and the original Hawaiian Village were pure "Hawaiian Eye", the Ilikai (with Jack Lord's suite) was all "Hawaii 5-0": Still cool, but more Multi-culti than Poly -Pop.

Like Paul Page sang: "...Tall Tiki towers, Hawaii is on the go." And it went, towards generic mass-tourism, away from it's roots.

J
jimbo posted on Sun, Oct 2, 2005 9:18 AM

Different strokes for different folks Bro, and I dig Tom Wolfe too. But I love Mid-Century Modernism , and would not characterize it as "generic boxes".

I love mid-century modern too. My publisher is on the forefront of the revival. If you read the BoT opening dedication, some of the most dedicated members of the Los Angeles modern committee and the Palm Springs modcom have been my best friends (and contributors to my research) for over a decade now.

I just steer more to the flamboyant Googie side of it, not the austere Neutra side. The whimsy of a jutting Armet and Davis roof line inspires me more than any glass box.

I am a fan of, and have met Julius Schulman numerous times, yet I am aware that his photos are a glamorization. Kind of what the BoT did with Tiki.

Which is a good thing, because the human animal needs idealization, and the idealism of the early modern achitects and designers like the Eames deserves rediscovery. Yet, let's not forget that there is a reason why the style fell out of favor, in later decades it was watered down, and misused as an excuse for cheap mass construction (and I am not saying that the Ilikai is an example of that)

I am mid-mod fan who is merely a little cautious of the unequivocal acknowledgment the mid century modern revival is giving to it all.

One might say that the "International Sytle" combined with a little American futurism gave birth to the midcentury style. And then it fairly quickly went to shit when it fell into the hands of hack architects and only-in-it-for-a-buck developers.

The clean lines and simplicity that are the hallmark of modernism translated all too readily into un-onamented boxes made of cheap materials, both in housing developments and commercial structures. These, I think, were the structures Tom Wolfe was talking about in that book of his, I know which one you mean, I read it ages ago, it was just a general slam against modernism in politics, writing and art. And I agreed with pretty much everything he said. For in the towns and cities in which I grew up, "modern" buildings were shabby and soulless, and "modern" homes -- of which there were a lot in Florida -- were choked to the gills with knicknacks and heavy furniture and looked horrible.

I guess what changed it all for me was visiting the desert out here in California, and especially noticing how the beautiful midcentry homes in the desert went as natrually together with a stark vista as does ice cream with cake. And seeing the interiors decorated in an appropriately simple style. That, and visiting some of the great midcentury structures in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia -- buildings that did not stint on the materials, were quite sumptuous in fact, designed by talented men and built by craftsmen, and about as different from their hack knockoffs as are the living from the dead.

It's truly wonderful that these buildings have come back into style. And I think you could even argue that these buildings are more popular and respected than when they were first built. I wish Neutra and Eames and all those guys had lived to see this day.

A
aquarj posted on Mon, Oct 3, 2005 7:05 PM

About modernist design...

in later decades it was watered down, and misused as an excuse for cheap mass construction

Could the same thing be said about tiki too?

Bad modernism and bad tiki can't scare me away from being a fan of the "good" forms of both. Strictly subjective speaking of course when it comes to good and bad though.

-Randy

J
jimbo posted on Tue, Oct 4, 2005 5:54 PM

I dunno, it seems unfair to attribute the downward spiral of architecture to Mid-Century Modernsim. The McMansions of today are abominations whether faux tudor, faux spanish or faux whatever. And there was certainly a lot of great MCM stuff still being built in the early sixties. IMHO right around the time of the Kennedy assassination(11-22-63, almost the exact moment of the Ilikai opening), there seems to have been a sea change in our culture which has eventually led us to the corporate/mini-mall/fast food/lowest common denomiator cultural wasteland we find ourselves in today. Maybe this is a reason so many people with art in their souls are drawn to tiki culture, MMM, etc. Not out of some sort of nostalgia, but rather as a legitimate reaction to what our society has become. Whatever happened to aesthetics? So many things have changed for the worse. The complete changeover from neon to plastic signage alone is depressing. And how did the great automobiles of the late fifties/early sixties devolve into mundane cars of today? Some folks would even deal with the inconveniences of driving a 1962 classic every day rather than endure a 2005 genericmobile(not to name names). 1963 was the dawn of fast food & restaurant franchising which over the next decades would wipe out the independents and litter the landscape with BurgerkingsMcDonaldsTacoBellsArbysadnauseum. I recently drove thru 7 states, and it sure wasn't what Jack Kerouac & Neal Cassidy experienced. Never saw a diner or a Googie, just hundreds of mind numbing identical plastic fast food outlets. Horrible. Back in the day a dinner out might be at a Tiki Palace or a classy steak joint. Where do most people go now? TGI Fridays? 1959 Les Pauls and '63 Stratocasters are regarded as the best ever. Many musicians consider the blackface Fenders('63 to '67) as the sweetest sounding amps of all time. And whatever happened to independent book and record stores?.......Sorry for the rant. I am going to make a MaiTai now. Here's to all the Tiki People and Modernists. Mahalo

Hawaii International Center 1964 (site of Jimi Hendrix's last US concert)

The Ilikai Swizzle ~

On 2005-10-04 17:54, jimbo wrote:
I dunno, it seems unfair to attribute the downward spiral of architecture to Mid-Century Modernsim. The McMansions of today are abominations whether faux tudor, faux spanish or faux whatever. And there was certainly a lot of great MCM stuff still being built in the early sixties. IMHO right around the time of the Kennedy assassination(11-22-63, almost the exact moment of the Ilikai opening), there seems to have been a sea change in our culture which has eventually led us to the corporate/mini-mall/fast food/lowest common denomiator cultural wasteland we find ourselves in today. Maybe this is a reason so many people with art in their souls are drawn to tiki culture, MMM, etc. Not out of some sort of nostalgia, but rather as a legitimate reaction to what our society has become. Whatever happened to aesthetics? So many things have changed for the worse. The complete changeover from neon to plastic signage alone is depressing. And how did the great automobiles of the late fifties/early sixties devolve into mundane cars of today? Some folks would even deal with the inconveniences of driving a 1962 classic every day rather than endure a 2005 genericmobile(not to name names). 1963 was the dawn of fast food & restaurant franchising which over the next decades would wipe out the independents and litter the landscape with BurgerkingsMcDonaldsTacoBellsArbysadnauseum. I recently drove thru 7 states, and it sure wasn't what Jack Kerouac & Neal Cassidy experienced. Never saw a diner or a Googie, just hundreds of mind numbing identical plastic fast food outlets. Horrible. Back in the day a dinner out might be at a Tiki Palace or a classy steak joint. Where do most people go now? TGI Fridays? 1959 Les Pauls and '63 Stratocasters are regarded as the best ever. Many musicians consider the blackface Fenders('63 to '67) as the sweetest sounding amps of all time. And whatever happened to independent book and record stores?.......Sorry for the rant. I am going to make a MaiTai now. Here's to all the Tiki People and Modernists. Mahalo

Hawaii International Center 1964 (site of Jimi Hendrix's last US concert)

Jimbo, I feel your pain, and agree wholeheartedly with your points....no "but" either.
Especially the part about signage. Sad.

BB

I found this match box recently, it's dinged up but I like it.

Maybe the Steak House with Geisha Servers thread needs to be started and also the concept needs to be brought back to the restaurant world. :)

A
aquarj posted on Thu, Jan 5, 2012 8:47 PM

Nice matchbook - I'm all for advancing the concept of the steakhouse with geisha (and maiko) servers.

Since some of the image links in this thread have shrunk to thumbnails, here's some 2010 pics, even if they're not as fun as the vintage ones. I could swear I posted these somewhere else, so apologies if these are repeats...


They still use that great lettering in the lobby


Looking over the current pool area back toward the Hawaiian Village towers.

And maybe we should link to the separate thread for the Canoe House in the Ilikai. Great menu posted by DC, and some Hawaii Five-O screenshots in there from naugatiki, like this...

On 2011-10-03 16:16, naugatiki wrote:
Enter McGarrett with those green ceramic designs on the bamboo door.

And if we wanna be even more thorough, this post has some ~1972 images of the Ilikai pool area, taken as screenshots from another Hawaii Five-O episode. The foreground action is a little distracting though, like this...

-Randy

Cruisin' through the Honolulu Magazine website...came across this:

http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/February-2014/Waikikis-Ilikai-Hotel-and-Suites-Turns-50/

howlinowl

Anyone seen more pics of the big guy by the pool?
I can't believe they're are not more tourist photos found standing in front of him.
Seen him multiple times on the original Hawaii 5-0

From link above by Howlin

From Season 1

From Season 3

Worst sound ever, slurp of an empty tiki mug through my straw!!!

[ Edited by: hang10tiki 2016-04-20 07:33 ]

But of course, here he is, album cover size:

Page 247 of the Book of Tiki :)

On 2016-04-20 07:24, hang10tiki wrote:
Anyone seen more pics of the big guy by the pool?
I can't believe they're are not more tourist photos found standing in front of him.
Seen him multiple times on the original Hawaii 5-0

From link above by Howlin

From Season 1

From Season 3

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2016-04-21 07:50 ]

Awesome
Funny I have that album
Didn't put it together

Thanks

Jon

Saw this 35 mm slide on line

Saw another slide online

Pages: 1 34 replies