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

Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

El Tropicano, San Antonio, TX (hotel)

Pages: 1 8 replies


Name:El Tropicano
Street:110 Lexington Avenue
City:San Antonio

At the far end of San Antonio's popular River Walk, one can find a sizable piece of Tiki-meets-Acapulco-meets-Miami-Modern when you walk through the doors of El Tropicano Hotel. El Tropicano is a large, completely renovated Holiday Inn property hotel with an indoor Tiki Bar featuring live music, a large, sweeping lobby area decorated with unique artwork, a small restaurant, espresso bar and an indoor aviary filled with Toucans, a large tortoise and several iguanas. There is also an outdoor pool and another Tiki Bar poolside and banquet facilities.

[ Edited by: Hulacat 2008-04-22 17:26 ]


Here are some photographs of El Tropicano.

Front of El Tropicano

Long view

Front Lobby

Carved masks above the Front Desk

Another Lobby view

Courtesy Phones

Entering Tiki Bar

Tiki images above the Bar

Tiki Bar

Some samples of the unique art pieces located in niches throughout the Lobby:

Our visit to El Tropicano was a lot of fun. I only wish we had taken more pictures as there was a lot to see. The hotel is huge! The general ambiance and multi-million $ revamp of the old Hilton was impressive. The designers' interpretation of "tiki" was done with a minimalist touch and a Latin flavor. Though there were several large events (wedding and a class reunion) going on in another part of the hotel, the inside Tiki Bar located off the lobby was a quiet and cool oasis. We ordered Mai Tais and listened to a couple of local musicians do an entertaining job of covering a variety of songs. The drinks were no Trader Vic's gems, but they passed muster.

The hotel surrounds a large outdoor pool area including a second Tiki Bar with bamboo and palapas details. The bar was not open while we were there. The guest rooms were clean, modern and comfortable with no noticeable tropical touches. We requested a poolside room, but ended up with one that was closer to the bar as opposed to the pool. Ultimately, the room location was fine as the pool was a popular spot. Things quieted down at dinner time, then the action picked back up with late-night partying-splish splash, baby!

The hotel advertised poolside retro cinema at dusk. We spotted an inflatable screen on the roof overlooking the pool, but no films were shown during our visit, reportedly because of "windy conditions." The hotel staff, from the front desk to the bar, the coffee bar and the restaurant were all very friendly and accommodating. The food at the restaurant was tasty and fresh, as was the coffee bar fare. Room rates were mid-range and negotiable to some extent-in advance. They were certainly priced less than similar hotels located directly on the main part of River Walk. We definitely plan on going back to El Tropicano!

[ Edited by: Hulacat 2008-04-22 12:45 ]

[ Edited by: Hulacat 2008-04-22 17:29 ]

Very cool! How great that they kept the original mid-century mosaic front (I assume), and found a perfectly matching typeface and dingbat for the sign. And being "El Tropicano", they can mix any exotic styles they want, even that Mexican or Balinese costume and mask stuff. The bar is a cool mixture of Tiki Modern and European contemporary minimalism. To me, they got right what TV's Las Vegas got wrong. It's good to see that "Tiki light" does not necessarily mean "Tiki wrong".


Very nice. I know where I'll be staying the next time I make the short trip to San Antone.

I love the wicker looking chairs. The courtesy phones look like something from a Shag painting. For a bigger place, this is pretty cool looking.

See, THIS is how a renovation should look (If needed).
I can't imagine how I missed mentioning this place before. It looks like the mugs on the top shelf are Libbey bamboo mugs, I can tell you that the hurricane glasses they use in the monitor advert and online menu (see their site) were sold at Big Lots a few years ago. I know it was the graphic artist who used it, but I would have chosen something less "kiddie" looking. But besides that, I'm going to book me a room there the next time I am that way!

We stayed at this place a couple of nights wayyyyyy back in 1980 when it was a Sheraton. Stayed again last summer for 2 nights. They have cleaned the place up, lots of deco stuff around, the elevators are still the same, but dressed up some. Poolside was nice and relaxing, not too crowded. Movie wasn't shown then either, but the weather was threatening. We're planning on going back sometime this summer. Only problem is, it's way down on the quiet end of the San Antonio river, but the river taxis will pick you up right at the bridge by the hotel.


*On 2008-07-16 17:50, rexster314 wrote:*Only problem is, it's way down on the quiet end of the San Antonio river, but the river taxis will pick you up right at the bridge by the hotel.

Doesn't sound too much like a problem to me, Rexter. I like quiet areas to relax.

This is where I'm supposed to be Memorial weekend! Looks great...looking for more tiki stops while I'm there....


Pages: 1 8 replies