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Makai Beach Lodge, Ormond Beach, FL (motel)

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Name:Makai Beach Lodge
Street:707 S. Atlantic Ave
City:Ormond Beach

The Makai was originally built in 1952 but was updated to the Polynesian style in 1965 with other additions through the years. An amazing roof line greets the motel guest. A large moai sits out in front of the lobby and a Tiki sits atop the Makai sign. Many elements of the decor seem to have survived through the years. I beleive a Tiki still sits inside the lobby near the stairway to the second floor. I am still gathering information so if anyone has any history to add please do. A special thank you too Tiki-Kiliki for letting me post some of her great photos from a 2006 visit. I'll have them posted in a bit. Thanks.

Vintage postcard view.

Sign 2006


Tiki details near the pool 2006.

Near the workout room.

Current Google street view.

Current birds eye view.

View from inside the courtyard parking area.

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2009-06-16 18:57 ]

Looks like the sign originally had two gas torches on top and three above the area where the driveway is. Would be great to find a night shot.

Wow! They refurbished the sign since I was there to shoot it for Tiki Modern! Damn, it would have been in there, but when I saw it, it was completely blown out from the hurricanes. First the Aku Tiki, now this one being rebuilt, very heartening to see. The lobby used to have lots of Witco in it, but that was gone too, so I assumed they were trying to downplay their Poly pop past. Not so, nice!

Sven. Was there a large carved Tiki in the lobby when you were at the Makai? On the Flickr site I have seen I believe a recent photo of the lobby and it shows a large Tiki by the stairs. I'm wondering if this is a fairly new addition or a hold over from the original decor?

I just picked up this postcard with a rendering of the Makai. This has to be one of my favorite motel renderings, the images are really superb in a cool 60's way.

Here is the back of the card with an interesting note about the management also owning the Aqua Terrace motel. Anybody ever heard of that one?


Wow! Wish I could have used that for Tiki Modern! What a great rendering!

Haven't seen anything about the Aqua Terrace, but Florida mid-century beach city hotels were real dream palaces, of which far too many have disappeared before they were documented.

And no Trav, did not see that Tiki in the lobby then, it must be new.

Picked up another postcard from the Makai showing an aerial view from the ocean and the rear of the complex.

It always blows me away to see cars parked on the beach!



In a diversion on the Moon Islander thread, the Makai surfaced...

On 2011-04-24 10:09, TikiTomD wrote:

On 2011-04-20 10:35, bigbrotiki wrote:
Hey Brian, I just heard there is a new Tiki bar coming to Ormond Beach, no other info though. I wonder how Julian's and the Aku Tiki Inn are doing...

Sven, my beach house is only about 15 miles north of Ormond Beach, Florida, so I frequently take the scenic route back towards work on Hwy A1A south from Flagler Beach to Port Orange. Julian's, the Aku Tiki Inn and the Hawaiian Inn are all still open and are recognizable from their heritage photos. I remember attending a pretty good Polynesian show at the Hawaiian Inn decades ago. Even the Makai, shown on page 263 of Tiki Modern, still lives on as a dated beach lodge. My new bride and I spent our honeymoon night at the Makai forty-one years ago when it was quite a bit newer (and so were we). In 2006, we snapped these photos passing by...


Then the reply...

On 2011-04-24 14:37, bigbrotiki wrote:
Thanks for the Makai pics, Tom, it is great to see the Tiki sign all fixed up again, after it had been destroyed by that bad hurricane. When I travelled the area in 2005 to photograph the various hotels for Tiki Modern, it was down, or I would have shown a close up of it. All I had was that carved piece of wood in the lobby. :)

Judging by this 80s brochure photo of the lobby, the Makai also sported some Witco decor (note "Female Dancer" ...and spear!) once, which by the time of my visit was non-existent:

But the picture suggest that there might have been more Tiki stuff around the place at one point - do you remember any of that?
I am sure you had nothing better to do on your honeymoon than marvel at the burned wood Tikis in the place! :D

What’s interesting to note is among the 2006 photos Uncle Trav credited to Tiki-Kiliki...

Sven, I can see your Witco "Female Dancer" and "Spear" through the window in Tiki-Kiliki’s 2006 “Moai” photo. That suggests the very worst of luck in timing for your 2005 Tiki Modern research visit. The lodge must have temporarily stashed the Witco lobby décor elsewhere following the 2004 hurricanes, while temporarily stowing the logo sign remnants there. And, coincidentally, we took our photos in 2006 after the sign had been restored, perhaps unknowingly missing Tiki-Kiliki a few moments in time… how strange!


Good eye! How odd, there must have been a temporary Tiki hold when I was passing thru town, the Moai wasn't there either.
Still wondering if there was MORE Witco around back in the day, for a Witco piece rarely appears alone. We have to wait for an older brochure to surface.


While pillaging thru personal memorabilia, I came across a Makai brochure that I'm certain dates from the time of our honeymoon, August of 1970.

The front of the brochure...

The main interior panel...

The right interior front panel...

The right interior back panel...

And finally the rear panel, the night scene that Uncle Trav was looking for...

Several observations... the night photo clearly shows that the sign sported two torches, while the driveway entry had three (only two of which are burning in this photo), thus confirming Uncle Trav's supposition. I don't see any Witco wall decor in the lobby photo, nor do I see a moai in front of the lobby as is currently the case (may have been elsewhere on the grounds).


Yeah, that night exterior is stunning, it deserves a larger scan - even if pixilated. And the lobby does look as Tiki-less as in the 80s.
I was hoping it would be more like the Hawaiian Inn, where they even had Witco in the hotel rooms.

GROG posted on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 12:32 PM

GROG like this stone Moai. Dude's got some attitude.


I was driving north along A1A through the Daytona Beach area today and made a brief stop at the Makai Beach Resort. The front desk staff was really nice and introduced me to Lisa, the General Manager...

Lisa has been part of the Makai staff for several decades. I asked her about the missing logo Tiki atop the Makai’s sign...

It was damaged during the 2004 hurricane season, but was restored by 2006. Over the past couple of years it went missing again. Lisa explained that it went down in another storm, this time beyond repair.

GROG’s favorite Moai is still there...

According to Lisa, Wayne Coombs of Mai Tiki in Cocoa Beach created the Moai using a Styrofoam core, sometime in the early 1990s.

In a planter next to the front office door was another Wayne Coombs Tiki, clearly suffering the ravages of time and environment...

The two center decorative columns in the driveway are also creations of Wayne Coombs...

Near a very nice pool on the beach were these wall Tikis, stained since Tiki-Kiliki photographed them in 2006...

Inside the lobby, the Witco dancer and spear still guard the stairway...

At the base of the stairs is a new Tiki, recently carved by Keylo...

A few other masks and plaques adorn the lobby walls...

Considering that the Makai has weathered about 60 years directly on the ocean, the building is in pretty fair shape, though you can see cracks and corrosion in many places...

The latest postcard still shows the logo Tiki on the back (the sign was still intact when the postcard photo was taken), whereas the brochure does not...



On 2009-09-25 13:29, bigbrotiki wrote:
Wow! Wish I could have used that for Tiki Modern! What a great rendering!

Haven't seen anything about the Aqua Terrace, but Florida mid-century beach city hotels were real dream palaces, of which far too many have disappeared before they were documented.

And no Trav, did not see that Tiki in the lobby then, it must be new.

599 South Atlantic Avenue, Ormond Beach- I found this address listed for Aqua Terrace Motel, 39 rooms. And nothing more.

[ Edited by: googie66 2015-07-19 15:07 ]

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