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I recently picked up a couple of postcards from older Hawaiian/tiki resorts located in Florida. As I was looking through my collection, I noticed all of the places in Florida that were called the "Hawaiian" something or other. I decided to post the Florida locations with "Hawaiian" in the name. By the way, I had the idea for this before I got my copy of Tiki Modern, so I'm not trying to copy Sven's Florida chapter.

These are from the Royal Hawaiian in Daytona Beach. It is interesting to see the changing facade of the motel building. First a guys head, then a hula dancer, then whatever that fountain mask is.

These are from the Palm Beach Hawaiian in Palm Beach. It seems as though the tiki status of the building and roof de-evolve over time. Does anybody know if the roof was ever thatched as shown in the artist drawing of the hotel?

These are from the Hawaiian Isle Resort Hotel and Inn in Miami Beach.

I Love this illustrated drink card

From the famous Hawaiian Village in Tampa

These pics are from the hotel brochure

The Hawaiian Inn in Daytona Beach

Oh, wait. One more from the Hawaiian Inn in St. Petersberg. Was this related to the Daytona Beach facility?

Now that's a lot of Hawaii in Florida!

Z

Fantastic stuff - Thanks Dusty!

Zulu

S

super cool cards!

thnx 4 sharing!

J

On 2008-08-07 17:49, Dustycajun wrote:

Too bad Florida doesn't have all this now. Thanks for the post. Is there anyway to get enlargements of the pictures of this postcard?

Thanks
JP

On 2008-08-08 12:09, JohnnyP wrote:
[Too bad Florida doesn't have all this now. Thanks for the post. Is there anyway to get enlargements of the pictures of this postcard?

Thanks
JP

JP,

Like everywhere else, Florida has lost it's Tikis too. Here are a few blow-ups of the Hawaiian Village card.

I love the flaming Moai statue on this one!

This graphic is from the menu

Nice Outrigger in the dining room.

Great mural on the wall

..dusty, you a wealth of visual knowledge and the best thing to happen to this forum in a long time...keep posting those pics!!

[ Edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2008-08-08 15:31 ]

Some good scores here. I like the card with drinks from the Hawaiian Isle -- the Hawaiian Eye indeed. I wonder what was in that one?
KG

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff 2008-08-09 18:01 ]

B

I love the flaming Moai statue on this one!

WoW! I was a teen when my dad was transferred from the Pentagon to McDill A.F.B. in Tampa. That flaming Moai was forever etched in my memory. Years later when I began collecting Tiki I asked my folks if they had the same recollection. They remembered going to the Hawaiian Village. My mom had a a couple H.V. swizzle sticks and a coconut mug she thought was from there, but neither of them remembered the Moai as clearly as I did. I began to doubt my memory as mere fantasy. Now I am vindicated!

I gotta get me one of those postcards! Thanks for sharing yours.
-Duke

S

Spent a lot of time talking to Chief Faalia, who was a fire/knife dancer at the Mai Kai for many years and worked all over the place. He has James' book and says he can name 30 places he used to go to and work at in Florida that are not in that book. Florida was ripe with Tiki places in the 50-60s.

G

Yes, it is sad that nearly all of that tiki goodness has been swept away by the bulldozers of "progress". Florida is mostly made up of people imported from other states. So as a result, the collective memory doesn't go back very far. I think most people here would be very surprised that places like this existed in their cities.

All the more reason to be grateful for the Mai-Kai, the Hawaiian Inn and the Aku Tiki Inn.

Duke,

Great story there about the Moai. Sounds like that was one of your early inspirations.

On 2008-08-10 09:41, GatorRob wrote:

All the more reason to be grateful for the Mai-Kai, the Hawaiian Inn and the Aku Tiki Inn.

I saw a brochure for the Mai Kai on ebay today from the Florida Guys with the following message:

** MAI-KAI POLYNESIAN TIKI RESTAURANT **

TRI-FOLD ADVERTISING BROCHURE

FORT LAUDERDALE FLORIDA

THE MAI-KAI RESTAURANT WAS FOUNDED IN 1956 AND IS RUMORED TO BE CLOSING LATER THIS YEAR... THEME OF THE RESTAURANT IS EXPERIENCE THE SOUTH SEAS... POLYNESIAN SHOW IS PERFORMED NIGHTLY...

What is this rumor that the Mai Kai is closing? Tell me that this is crazy talk!

G

You haven't heard the story yet? Well actually, it wasn't crazy talk. The rumors were true. Tiki Kiliki was ending the Hukilau this year because the owners told her that the Mai-Kai was going to close. But Dave Levy has now taken complete ownership of the Mai-Kai and announced to a cheering crowd at this year's Hukilau that the Mai-Kai would remain open. Kiliki then announced that the Hukilau would be back at the Mai-Kai in 2009. So who knows what the future brings, but for now the Mai-Kai remains open!

GotorRob,

Thanks for the update on the Maikai.

Here are a couple more postcards from the Hawaiian Inn at St. Petes courtesy of Sabu and Mike.

Hello all,

Great postcards Dustycajun your postcard collections are amazing thanks for taking the time to post them.

I doubt this has come up here but (if it has sorry) the swanky 70’s fellows above performed at the Hawaiian Inn’s “Aloha Lounge” the Elvis-ish guy is “Mr Fatu; the man of action” and the other guys are “The Samoans; the men behind the action”. Mr Fatu “the most dynamic singing star to come from the South Sea Islands” is a native of Samoa and thus a late 70’s Tiki establishment looking for a contemporary Elvis impersonator he is the only logical answer.
There is a live record floating around out there and it rocks, if you are into Tiki and Elvis it’s a must have.

My very best alohas,

Bosko

S

Just to add, Dave Levy has already spent a lot of money on renovations at the Mai Kai and there will be many more done before there is a Hukilau crowd there again. He is "all in" and the Mai Kai will continue as we all know and love ot for a long time.

A little background and update on the Palm Beach Hawaiian: It was originally built around 1964 and at some point became the Palm Beach Hawaiian Oceanfront Inn. Then, of course, they eventually dropped "Hawaiian" from the name, remodeled the entire site and it's now the generic "Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn."

However, it appears that much of the original structure remains, including the distinctive roof:

http://www.palmbeachoceanfrontinn.com

I plan to take a ride by there and snap pictures if any interesting artifacts remain but I'm not getting my hopes up. It's still a decent botique hotel and boasts the closest oceanfront dining in the area (Tides Bar and Grille), literally on top of the beach.

And in a rare win for the good guys, a controversial proposal to replace the inn with a luxury resort-style 12-story condominium-hotel built over two stories of parking was unanimously rejected by the Town Council on Oct. 30, 2007.

It's the only commercial business establishment within the tiny town of South Palm Beach and the council members are rightfully leery of more high-rise condos, a trend we're seeing mainly in small Florida towns. I wish the bigger cities would have the guts to put the brakes on mindless development.

cool- looks like the only thing they rebuilt was the restuarant and bar on the ocean front....otherwise it basically remains the same, structure-wise...they added the extra stairway access to the beach and put in a fence along the pool side...more current pics of this will be interesting to see...it;'s amazing how much has developed around it, enclosing the entire property on all sides....

Bosko,

Thanks for the history on the band. It would be great if someone could post that live recording on You Tube.

Here are a couple more postcards that I neglected to include in my first posting.

The Hawaiian Inn

The Hawaiian Isle

Check out the cool lettering in the logo on these close ups.

H

Also, in Panama City was 'Jungle Land'. Not so much tiki but everything else was there. I vacationed there several times with the fam when I was but a yungin'. Awesome memories of running wild through that huge (seemingly, at the time) volcano with waterfalls and the alligator gar fish you could throw food to in the lagoon and the parrot show where they rode little bicycles and walked little tightropes. I have a pic somewhere of being there with parrots on my shoulder and some old, crusty floridian parrot keeper in the background.

Looking at the pics that are still up on Tangaroa's thread, I see why Dad wanted to keep going back year after year---jungle babes! Check Tang's thread (anyway to get those missing pics back up?)

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=19340&forum=1

Howland,

Here is a picture of the postcard from the Tiki Gallery. I picked one of these up a few years ago and have not seen another since. This certainly would leave a lasting impression on a young lad on vacation!

That certainly looks like our girl Melody May up on top there.

On 2008-08-11 04:16, Tipsy McStagger wrote:

cool- looks like the only thing they rebuilt was the restuarant and bar on the ocean front....otherwise it basically remains the same, structure-wise...they added the extra stairway access to the beach and put in a fence along the pool side...more current pics of this will be interesting to see...it;'s amazing how much has developed around it, enclosing the entire property on all sides....

I'm so glad I finally got a chance to check out the Palm Beach Hawaiian (now the Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn) on the beach in South Palm Beach. I went down there at sunset on Aug. 29 and shot all the photos that follow. This place is indeed a relic. It might be the only remaining mid-century motor lodge on the ocean in central Palm Beach County.

I'm not sure how much longer this great artifact will remain considering not only rampant development but also its dangerous proximity to the Atlantic Ocean (see the final photos and link).

As noted above, the main structure remains pretty much as it was originally designed ...

Looking back at the old placemat and vintage photos you'll see an elaborate fountain to the left of the entrance. This amazingly remains in place, albeit in scaled-down form, complete with bubbling fountains ...

I examined the roof and found it to be in nice shape. It appears to have been recently refurbished, though some of the trim was a bit ragged ...

The bar and restaurant were not very busy on a Friday evening during happy hour, though this is off-season (and hurricane season) so that's not too surprising. As advertised, the pool deck is right on top of the beach ...

The indoor restaurant looks right out onto the Atlantic and when the surf kicks up patrons enjoying drinks or food on the pool deck get a big splash when the sea is rough, which was the case when I was there ...

It was so rough, in fact, that the stairway down to the beach was closed. Apparently there is no more beach ...

The severity of the erosion problem and the threat it poses to the hotel became even more clear after my visit when Hurricane Ike threatened this week. Here's a story that ran in The Palm Beach Post, which quotes the family-owned hotel's owner: "We don't know how much punishment and pounding we can take. Nothing has been done by our government to replace the beach that was lost. We have nothing to protect us from the raging ocean waters."

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/local_news/epaper/2008/09/05/0905erosion.html

Here's hoping that somebody will step up to help protect this landmark from future storms.

(By the way, the hotel and restaurant are both highly recommeneded. And from what I sampled at happy hour, the bar (while not a traditional tiki bar) does offer a nice selection of cocktails poured by some very capable barmaids. The $3.50 rum & pineapple was a steal.)

[ Edited by: Hurricane Hayward 2008-09-06 23:45 ]

G

Hayward,

Thanks for the photos. That's a great A-frame roof. Glad to see it's being taken care of. As to the encroaching Atlantic ocean... while I really want to see places like this preserved and protected, I'm generally loathe to see our tax dollars continually spent on artificially rebuilding the beaches that the ocean keeps trying to claim. It's a losing fight. As sea waters worldwide rise, eventually the ocean will win.

So what does the inside look like? I might have to make a stop there and check it out.

EDIT: I just got a look at their web site and while I'm sure it's pleasant to sit out on the back deck with dinner and a cocktail, the interior of the place looks generic and bland. Beige everywhere. :( Too bad they couldn't match the interior to that nice vintage roof.

[ Edited by: GatorRob 2008-09-07 10:51 ]

I will need to rent a room (or perhaps sneak in when the maid isn't looking) to give a true report on the insides of the place. I plan to eat at the restaurant some day as well but I'm sure that's been modernized over the years. Probably so too have the rooms.

Since this is a proto-typical motor lodge, all the rooms open into the parking area. There are no indoor common areas to speak of besides the restaurant, bar/pool deck and lobby/check-in. I'll have to poke around there as well but I have a feeling that the roof is this place's remaining historical artifact.

Agreed on the costs of beach "renourishment". But if this place were on Miami Beach with all the Art Deco, it would have a half-mile of beach in front of it.

Well, this certainly didn't take very long: Palm Beach County commissioners this morning agreed to spend $14.3 million to protect the county's shoreline from erosion, despite frustration that their previous efforts have been fruitless. The money would be used on seven projects, including restoration in Jupiter, South Palm Beach (home of the Oceanfront Inn) and Ocean Ridge.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/local_news/epaper/2008/09/09/0909beach.html

County environmental resource managers said much of the money will be used for rocks, not sand, which help protect the shoreline from erosion by breaking waves before they reach the beach.

Let's hope this works better than past efforts.

Here is another old photo of the Palm Beach Hawaiian from a brochure that Tikisgrl posted a little while back. It is amazing to compare this early picture with the wide open spaces to the built up environment on the photo posted by Hurricane Hayward

Then

Now

DC

G

Yep, isn't unrestricted development wonderful? :wink:

T

Hey Dusty: My brother lives in Daytona. We are trying to figure out where the Royal Hawaiian Inn was. Do any of the post cards give a street adddress. It looks to be beach front because the hotel is deep. We just wonder what is there now. Thanks, Scott

T

Anybody go pull back all those trees and bushes to see what looks to be some masks and possibly carvings on the wall??? Come on..let's see!!

Can you do a close up of the front area by the fountain for us to take a look at?

Can't tell in the new picture whether or not their still there and if not, maybe the family knows where they are(storage?). Just curious. Great pictures and info. everyone!!

TabooDan

TabooDan,

Here is the close up of the Palm Beach Hawaiian. There was a large Tiki that used to be located in front of the building were all of the overgrown vegetation is now. Might be worth a look-see behind the hedge. There was also a nice Tiki on top of the hotel sign along with a big parrot and a cool outrigger and Tiki shack in the foreground of the sign.

Tikicar,

Your guess was right, the hotel was located at 925 South Atlantic Avenue on the beach side. Here is another picture of the Royal Hawaiian postcard that I did not post before showing the hotel swimming pool right next to the beach. I think there is a Travelodge there now.

Here is the back of the card with the address and description. Would love to have seen what the "intimate Grass Shack lounge" looked like on the inside!

DC

So, finally found this lil' icon in my files that belongs here. It is such a great A-frame/Tiki graphic, I wanted to use it in Tiki Mod, but found no room:

Gives us somewhat of an idea what the sign and torch Tiki looked like. But what is it with Florida and the parrots being dragged into Polynesian pop? :wink:

TK

holy cow i was just posting in the tiki travle section about the hiwaiian village. i remember this place from my misspent youth. those postcards sure bring back fond memories. we also had "trader frank's tiki gardens" over in indian rocks beach.

T

Hey Dusty, My brother went by and shot a picture of the Royal Hawaiian or what is left of it now. It is a travel lodge. Basically the travel lodge is in the old Marco Polo motel and they use that office and the two hotels next to it they are combined now. My brother says it is a typical nasty old beach front motel now. Here it is now. The old office is now a pizza shop. They added a walkway to join the buildings above the driveway.

Tikicar,

Thanks for the post and the update, kind of sad to see it like that. I included your pics the "before and after" post that is on the General Tiki page.

DC

On 2008-10-06 17:11, Dustycajun wrote:
Here is the close up of the Palm Beach Hawaiian. There was a large Tiki that used to be located in front of the building were all of the overgrown vegetation is now. Might be worth a look-see behind the hedge. There was also a nice Tiki on top of the hotel sign along with a big parrot and a cool outrigger and Tiki shack in the foreground of the sign.

Our rediscovery of the Palm Beach Hawaiian is not over yet. In fact, it's just beginning. Thanks to TabooDan's curiosity, I headed back down to the Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn to see if I missed anything on my first visit. After discovering no visible signs of the building's tiki past, I admit I neglected to venture into every nook and cranny. I just figured a facelift such as this would leave no artifacts behind. So I approached with little hope of finding anything. This first photo is from a similar angle as the one above (which probably was taken in the mid-'60s shortly after the motel's opening) ...

There's nothing left at ground level except for the bubbling pool (see below). The owner later told me he doesn't know what happened to the original sign.

And it's clear that the carvings or ornaments at the top of the A-frame had been removed, which I confirmed upon closer inspection ...

It appears they didn't even bother to smooth over the remnants of where they attached to the facade ...

Now, here's where it gets interesting. Venturing into the overgrown vegetation, I gazed up on the wall, expecting for find nothing more than traces of long-removed ornaments. I saw a maintenance shed, then did a double-take ...

Yes, two proud tiki masks still in their original location on the front wall ...

The one on the right was very much obscured by foliage and looked a bit ragged ...

But the one on the left appeared to be in good shape considering its been there for some 45 years and has probably received minimal care. The fact that it faces away from the ocean and is shielded from the winds and salt-water spray by the building could be its saving grace. Let's take a closer look ...

The owner confirmed that these carvings have been there since the inn was built. The manager said they remain on the building due to their sentimental value. It's nice to see an establishment that retains a link to its past, even though its kept shrouded in shrubbery.

I'll try to post more updates as I further investigate the history of the Palm Beach Hawaiian. I hope to have more conversations with the owner about the inn's past and also his future plans.

Try to get some quality vintage photos of the front! Or original brochures. Great urban archeology on the Orchids of Hawaii masks!

Hurricane Howard,

Excellent work, that is really cool to find some Tiki left on the old building. Look forward to more info as the story unfolds.

DC

T

Now we're talking!! Thanks for checking it out Howard and for the info and photos!!
It just looked like there was a slight chance that something could still be there.
Awesome find!!

Always cool to see these things hidden after all the years.
TabooDan

Okay you Florida Tiki archeologists, I want to know what this place looks like today!:

From Wikipedia: "Eve Arden (April 30, 1908 – November 12, 1990) was an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning American actress. Her almost 60-year career crossed most media frontiers with supporting and leading roles, but she is perhaps best remembered for playing the sardonic but engaging high school teacher in the classic Our Miss Brooks (radio and television), and as the Rydell High School principal in the films Grease and Grease 2."

It might have been renamed because all its features were easy to remove Witco wall hangings or mural paintings, but who knows:
This place is an example of how Polynesian pop was relegated to the old folks lifestyle by the late 60s early 70s. Here is a Witco tryptich in the game room:

...Witco's "Leilani" in the billiards room:

The lobby is quite intriguing, apart form the Witco masks hanging above the entrances on the left and right, the mural seem to sport two nude bathing Wahines on the right, and another one on the left holding up something? I bet that's all long gone. But maybe the tiled wall waterfall is still there?:

And how about those cool Tiki face bowling ports! I have never seen a Tiki bowling alley do that before:

Please post pictures if you go and check the place out.

Here are some current images taken from real estate listings for condos at Polynesian Gardens.
It looks pretty much intact...




..well, almost intact....i noticed someone pilfered the witco masks above the door...other than that, those bowling alleys are to die for.....i can't believe they are still there.

How great is that! Hooray! --Ghee, urban archeology is so easy since the internet. I think the bowling alley had Witco masks on the wall, too. Somebody go and document that mural in crisp shots, too, please!

On 2008-11-25 14:18, bigbrotiki wrote:
How great is that! Hooray! --Ghee, urban archeology is so easy since the internet. I think the bowling alley had Witco masks on the wall, too. Somebody go and document that mural in crisp shots, too, please!

why wans't that bowling alley in your last book!!!???......i know i know...who knew about it till now, right....anyway it really needs to be documented throughly before we find that one day the wrecking ball has claimed it...

Tikigood,

Thanks for the great images. That place is simply awesome. I can't believe it still looks like that. It would be great to see some shots of the inside with the mural and the bowling alley and that pool area outside too.

DC

B

Here is a Witco tryptich in the game room:

If those Witco pieces are gone I know who got them. Well, who had them for a while anyway. I know an antique dealer who had a small shop in NYC and used to do shows all up and down the East coast. They had ones identical to the triptych in the photo (and big money on them too). They told me they came from a place in Florida, but it's been years now and I forgot if they told me the name of the place. Maybe the Polynesian Gardens did some "renovations" at one point and removed some of the Witco.

That bowling alley is absolutely amazing! The Leilani Lanes should have had facades like that.

-Duke

More observations on the material:
In the real estate site exterior shot, it looks like they have the two heads that are rendered on the back of postcard as actual statues in the parking lot.
In the vintage lobby shot, I believe the couple is also sitting on some Witco benches and stools. And the door on the left looks like it has an interesting pattern....I wish I could go there right NOW!

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2008-11-25 22:03 ]

Found a couple more photos...
First a cleaner shot of the lobby

then of the shuffleboard courts

I also saw some photos of a workout room on one of the real estate sites that somewhat resembles the billiard room from the brochure... there was no witco, tiki, or pool tables there though...

Hey, it looks like they took one of the single warrior/maiden panels from the game room and hung it in the lobby above the doorway on the right. And there is ONE mask left on the left. Could it be that there still is some Witco in situ at this place? :)
--So, who's going?

S

What is the address? How close to Fort Lauderdale is this? Hoffa was telling me about an apartment building near the Mai Kai he found that was tiki-ed out and he had never seen anything on it.

If it is close enough, we gotta go bowl at Hukilau! Maybe they do the cosmic bowl with black lights and the Tiki faces light up onstrikes or something.

And, yes, more details of the figures out front and the mural please.

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