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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Kon Tiki Hotel, Phoenix, AZ (hotel)

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Name:Kon Tiki Hotel
Street:24th Street & Van Buren East

One of the most iconic Tiki signs of all times.

Sadly the hotel was torn down in 1997.


Had put together some images from the Kon Tiki Hotel for Critiki and decided to post them here as well. Definitely one of the top 5 signs of all times.

Here is the postcard with the photo.

Some postcards with great illustrations of the hotel sign and complex


Here are some other Kon Tiki goodies...

The matchbook front and back

The mug

Salt and Pepper shakers


Dusty you must have a ton of filing cabinets for your collection. :D I just scanned my matchbook to post but you beat me to it. The Kon Tiki was a true American icon. Thanks for those great images.


Alright, you two are cracking me up. Uncle trav put his matchbook into Critiki this morning, and about an hour later, in comes the same matchbook from Dustycajun. I posted both of 'em. You two are veering dangerously into Bobbsey twin territory (not that I'd have it any other way -- keep up the dueling images!).

On 2009-04-17 19:33, Humuhumu wrote:
Alright, you two are cracking me up.

But mine still had the matches in them :D. But seriously there is no way I can even come close to what Dusty has contributed to the Tiki community. That man has got a Brink's truck full of treasure.

A nice Kon Tiki Ashtray



Great images on this awesome building!!

Here's a matchbook that has the same front as the one posted already but has a drawing of the building itself on the back along with their sign. Kind of cool.


Here's the skinny version of the matchbook.

Very nice. What we need now is a good frontal photo of the sign. An one of the lobby building, with all the masks lined up. AND an interior of the lobby. :D


On 2009-06-02 12:33, bigbrotiki wrote:
Very nice. What we need now is a good frontal photo of the sign. An one of the lobby building, with all the masks lined up.

Well this is better than nothing. A very small fuzzy image but after some special messing around it looks worse BUT now you can see the line of Tikis somewhat. And full frontal on the sign. It ain't the greatest but it's the best we have at the moment.

AND we can see the masks by the lobby (somewhat), on the right side, behind the white Cadillac...but what the hell, it looks like they added that announcement sign covering up sign post Tiki Nr 2 -or is there a space between the two?

The new sign appears to be in front of the main sign. You can see the chin of the lower mask behind and below the new sign. The new sign reads.


The beginning of the end? Here is that other, wide angle shot I have that shows the masks and shields...

...which are in the same style than the Kon Tiki sign (and the logo on the matchbooks and ashtrays).

Here's a photo of the Tropics Lounge in Wichita which used the same masks and shields:

...plus the still from Jerry Lewis' "Big Mouth", shot at the Ocean House/ Hilton hotel in San Diego's Mission Bay:

I had posted this research before, but figure it should be in the Locating thread for reference.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-06-03 12:07 ]

Great stuff Bigbro. Ralph Haver was the architect for the Kon Tiki and many other public buildings and ranch homes around Phoenix. Here is a church designed by him that resembles the Kon Tiki.


Another Xlnt post guys.What ever happened to this place, and what is there now ?
Does anyone know?

They bulldozed the Kon Tiki in 1993 I believe and put this exotic parking area in it's place.

I picked up a different postcard from the Kon Tiki. They put a big Best Western pole sign out front, how romantic is that.

A better shot of the cool sign


so cool,
if that place was still open.
I'd want to stay there after the "Relight the Night" event at the Kon Tiki Restaurant in Tuscon, Even though it was in Phoenix, the 1 hour drive would be worth it.


Nice photo from the Arizona State Archives.

Another photo I snagged off eBay long ago:

What a cool sign, wonder if anyone ran off with at least part of it.

Here's another place in Idaho Falls, ID that appeared to use the same-style pole & mask sign.

This ad for the Hawaiian Room is from 1963:


A buddy of mine just found me this menu. 15 cents for a cup of coffee so I am guessing 1960's ?

[ Edited by: tikicar 2010-12-12 17:19 ]

Whooah! Never seen that menu before. Great A-Frame graphics. Interesting that they show the Tiki by the buidling, but left out the sign. Was it ...too "tacky"? :D


Yeah I kind of thought the same thing. Nice to know there are still things out there that you haven't seen Sven. My buddy bought a box of old menues at a auction. This was the only Tiki one. Soon as he handed it to me. I thought I know I have seen that building in your book. As always if you needed to borrow it for research you are more than welcome to it. Scott

Thank you Scott. I would love to use that cover for one of my next projects. It's probably too big to scan? or will one of each half-page fit? P.m. me and we figure out how you can get the image to me.

A few black and white photos of the sign and building found on the net.

Close up of the sign and the Tiki.


[ Edited by: Dustycajun 2011-07-24 21:58 ]

I picked up a slightly different (and beat up) version of the Kon Tiki hotel postcard.

And I couldn't help but notice the Milan Guanko Tiki statue standing under the sign.

Does anybody know if this one survived?

Also found some more old photos of the hotel architecture.


Another postcard I found that with a rare look at the Tiki torches and hut by the pool at the Kon Tiki.

You can see some carved Tiki poles holding up the roof.

And a menu I saw on ebay with a nice rendering of the sign.

Finally a nice artist interpretation of the sign bu Suzanne Falk.


Great menu cover, much like the letterhead I used in Tiki Modern. Allow me to make note of my favorite tie-in to Del Webb's Ocean House in "The Big Mouth" again, comparing the mask on the right makes it clearer than ever:

Still no info has surfaced why a San Diego and a Phoenix hotel used the same mod masks, and also, with all the additional photos unearthed, there is still no good image of these masks lined up at the Kon Tiki exterior, darn it.

On 2012-03-06 16:22, bigbrotiki wrote:
Great menu cover, much like the letterhead I used in Tiki Modern.

That reminds me, I have this letter that was sent out by the Kon Tiki general manager to drum up some business.

That is a great letterhead, worthy of Tiki Modern!

On 2012-03-06 16:22, bigbrotiki wrote:

Still no info has surfaced why a San Diego and a Phoenix hotel used the same mod masks, and also, with all the additional photos unearthed, there is still no good image of these masks lined up at the Kon Tiki exterior, darn it.


Great movie poster! Never seen that one before, must be headed for the museum.

Don't forget the bar in Wichita!

We'll find that photo one of these days.


Scored a postcard with an aerial photo of the Kon Tiki compound.

The A-Frame.

The lush pool area.

I also picked up an old RC spark plug ad that used a similar Big Mouth mask.


Hokeh, post 10 001 goes out to DustyCajun, for being a stalwart scanner of the internet, and a dedicated scanner and poster of postcards and other rare paper ephemera - thanks pal, much appreciated! I have gained much knowledge from your posts, even if sometimes I have a different interpretation, like:

Never seen that cool spark plug ad before, but I have had this large decal for years:

Obviously the same artist than in the ad. When I saw your ad, I kinda believed in the kinship with the Kon Tiki masks, but now looking at this duo again, I think they are more old school style. Like the artist who drew them up was an older guy, and the Kon Tiki ones were done by a younger draftsman.


On 2012-07-26 18:46, bigbrotiki wrote:

Never seen that cool spark plug ad before...

Huh?, sure you have Bigbro...


Thanks to Sabu !!

Hah! Thanks for the memory boost - and it's not even so long ago I did! The COLOR threw me off on DC's post...I dimly remembered that I had pulled out that decal for something somewhere..but that vivid purple and yellow made it all new to me. :) I might also have a slight case of Tiki overload. I "dump" much of my data here on TC, and I guess some get mistakenly deleted that way.

So, what do you think folks, Yay or Nay on those masks being from the same artist?

Did someone say Kon Tiki Hotel? Just got a nice postcard showing the lush (Marty?), tropical pool area and the great detailed balconies of the rooms that over-looked the pool.

Close up of the building and that Tiki mask on the bottom floor. That looks like one of the Big Mouht masks that adorned the front of the hotel.

And let me introduce Mr. Pool Tiki.

One of my favorite places.



We are currently remodeling our Haver (same architect as KonTiki) in Phoenix, and would like to do the pool/yard area in a Tiki style. Specifically we'd like to pay homage to the Phoenix Kon-Tiki in our design. We are looking for memorabilia and possibly any high-quality LARGE scans of postcards, menus, adverts, etc....that we can print in medium and large sizes for accent pieces. If anyone has any they would like to scan for us to use, let me know.

Thanks for this thread on a true Phoenix icon. The Kon Tiki.

On a side note, before it's demolition in 97, and before I was a mid-century mod fan, I attended a few crazy late night parties in the Bar/Lounge here. Sadly I was not forward thinking enough to grab some of the things that I am now seeking.



Can't help you with KT stuff, but I'd love to see pics of your place. What area of town are you in?

Early 1990s version of the Kon Tiki motel sign.


Two versions
Only saw one posted


I went to Phoenix to see Major League baseball Spring training camps in March 1987. I wasn't tikified just yet but I happened upon the Kon Tiki Hotel by accident just driving around Phoenix. I was sitting at the intersection and just remember saying WOW! when I saw it. A car ahead of us died and we got out and pushed it clear of the intersection. That gave me a little more time to gawk at the Kon Tiki. Wish I had stayed there but I did pick up this brochure while in Phoenix. I guess it may actually be my first acquired tiki collectible.

Spotted this nice crisp slide of the Kon Tiki Hotel entrance.

Had never noticed to row of Tiki poles that lined to port cochere before.


Nifty find! I've never seen those salt and pepper shakers before. I like the design.

Kool slide with the thatched Kon Tiki VW Bus shuttle and the iconic sign.

Another photo of the roof line.


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