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Shelter Island Inn, San Diego, CA (hotel)

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Name:Shelter Island Inn
Street:2051 Shelter Island Drive
City:San Diego

The Shelter Island Inn was located in Point Loma in San Diego. It is now a Best Western. Grrr!

I always thought that the Shelter Island Inn was cool because of its fabulous pointy sign, but I never thought that it was particularly tiki. Then I found this brochure. While there's still no evidence that there were any tikis on the property, the brochure shows that the building had a nice roof line with an outrigger. Also, it was home to the Moana Cocktail Lounge and the Islander Restaurant. Plus, the brochure is full of cute little New Guinea inspired drawings.


Nice score on the brochure.

I have the one postcard that shows the cool sign and the building. I have always wanted to see more from this place.

Thanks for posting.


I've been meaning to post that brochure myself Kate. Here is the rest of the Shelter Island Inn stuff I have.

And last time I was in the area, I took pics of what it looks like now.


The San Diego paper market has been treating you well, great stuff from the Shelter Island Inn. That ad stating the "Exotic Boatel" is cool - didn't the Half Moon Inn also use that Boatel tag line? I have seen that before somewhere.


Great stuff, TS. When were those pictures taken? The images on the web site make it look like just another Spanish box hotel.

On 2009-06-16 08:30, Tiki-Kate wrote:
The images on the web site make it look like just another Spanish box hotel.

The Best Western Island Palms still has a Island-Feel to it. The Spanish Box Hotel pictures you saw on the website are of the new building on the property.

Those were taken last year.

Worth a look see this place if you are in San Diego for Tiki Oasis and have not seen it before.

I picked up this nice napkin from the Shelter Island Inn.

Also saw this postcard on-line that shows the A-frame entrance with a carved sign that looks like a Don the Beachcomber logo coaster.

Can't quite read what is says.


I just got done with an interview of Walter Nelson, of architecture firm Haver Nunn and Nelson here in Phoenix, and he says that the design of this Shelter Island hotel is the handiwork of Jim Salter, who worked for Dick Wheeler at the same time Nelson did. Salter did all the legwork for researching the polynesian style. Nelson says that Salter also designed the yacht club for Wheeler.

Salter was with Wheeler's firm for about one and a half years. This was likely after he dropped out of Arizona State University architecture school, but it never held him back -- he had a very successful career here in Phoenix with Haver and Nunn, then on his own in Honolulu. He died too soon. Here are some highlights of the Salter style, of which the spectacular Kon Tiki on Van Buren in Phoenix is likely the image you are most familiar with :)



Adding this match book art to this thread. Found yesterday at an antique store here in San Francisco. :)

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