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

Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Tiki Inn Motel, Palo Alto, CA (motel)

Pages: 1 10 replies

Name:Tiki Inn Motel
Street:531 Stanford Avenue
City:Palo Alto

Another one of those all-time great Tiki motel signs. The giant Tiki out front was great.

I have this postcard with three views (a Mike Roberts card)

The sign.

The building, obviously brand new with new Palm Trees.

The room, white walls and a TV. Nice lamps though.

I also just got this cool little ashtray from the place.

Have not looked on google to see what is there today, but this was a great Tiki motel.


This place is cool, kinda Googie/Tiki. I can't believe a great Tiki Motel like this is just now getting it's own thread!

Good job DC, Ok, can somebody going to the Trader Vics Tikiyaki Orchestra show on the 30th drive by this place and take some pics???


Too Bad it's not still there...would be great to stay at for the trip

I just happened to be reading a new book I got last week, "Tiki Road Trip" by James Teitelbaum and came across this Motel. In his book he doesn't say much about it, maybe two lines. He does say that it is now called Stanford Terrace Inn.

Well I got pics! =)

Hi.. I am Michael from the hotel... Stanford Terrace Inn, formerly Tiki Motel, and I am so jealous someone actually has one of our old ashtrays! No fair! We have been looking for YEARS!. In fact we plan to set up a little history "museum" in our lobby as we find stuff, but collector's hold on tight. No concern... because our funky little architecture is still obvious, even though we have made due with it in our own special way. You can see a lot of what's going on now with the hotel:

youtube tours



what's really cool is that we have recreated a more energetic and hip environment just with a couple colours, and a new mural. In fact, if you do have a chance to come by, you need to check out our new mural. It's huge, and very cool.

Just thought I would pop in and say howdy... I am also http://www.twitter.com/stanfordtinn on twitter, or email me at [email protected]

CHEERS, be well.. and happy tiki'n


On 2010-01-26 19:39, abstractiki wrote:
This place is cool, kinda Googie/Tiki. I can't believe a great Tiki Motel like this is just now getting it's own thread!

Good job DC, Ok, can somebody going to the Trader Vics Tikiyaki Orchestra show on the 30th drive by this place and take some pics???

Your new sign hideous.

I don't know if I'd say "hideous". Just not tiki in the slightest anymore. And thus probably a hard sell for any tiki enthusiasts. Their market is elsewhere now.

From the website's history page:

So, the Tiki passed into history, filed perhaps under Camp, and was reborn as the much more modern and amiable Stanford Terrace Inn,"

I always get irritated when something as unique and full of character as this gets filed under "Camp":

And something more generic like this is preferred:

But I totally understand it. The place was falling into disrepair in the 80s and something new had to be built in its place. I'll give the owner credit that the new hotel has a lot of the design elements of classic 50s & 60s institutional architecture that I like, but there are a lot of modernist schools and libraries and office buildings from the 60s still out there with a similar feel. So few Modernist Polynesian-Pop buildings left. But maybe that's why we appreciate them so much.

I think a display-case in the lobby with old Tiki Inn artifacts would be a good addition though.

[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2010-02-02 17:58 ]


We were able to swing by on Sunday after leaving Dinah's and snap a couple of iphone shots.
It was difficult to try and replicate the postcard angle, as they are doing major construction across
the street, but it gives a general idea of how different it looks in person now.

Aloha Michael from the hotel, Welcome to TC and thanks for your update and input on this sacred Tiki Village. I'm glad you still have big Palm trees out side, are these the original trees? I also like the fact that you have a year round heated saltwater pool. Did the Tiki Inn have this same pool or was it added later?

Obviously, in a perfect Poly Pop world, I would have loved it if this place had been completely restored and maintained in its original architecture and Polynesian style. But the owners had other ideas and they did what they did.

So hear we are in 2010. You obviously care about this place and it's Tiki history and I applaud that. I think a little historical museum would be interesting for your guests and a great way to pay respect to the Tiki Inn. Real artifacts will be hard to come by and until then I would suggest obtaining inexpensive reproductions of the Tiki Inn Postcard and ashtray. Hang these by the front desk and tell the employees about the Tiki Inn.

Next I would obtain a Tiki statue and put it by the front desk some where. It doesn't need to be big or out front. Just somewhere discreet, This tiki will watch-over the sacred site.

If you are a manager or owner then I think it would be cool if you designated the first Friday of every month "Aloha Friday" and have all the employees where Aloha Shirts and Leis to work for the day.

Michael you are the only real hope for this place, use your imagination. Have a Luau party, put Hawaiian nuts and good rum in all the Mini bars. Be a model for other Motels that have devolved and forgotten their heritage.

I know you can't bring the old place back but I think it's nice when Tiki heritage is respected and honored.

I do a bit of research and if I find any info or photos of The Tiki Inn I will let you know.

And JONPAUL, thanks for stopping by and taking the new pic.


On 2010-02-02 17:04, Tiki Shaker wrote:
Your new sign hideous.

Haha... funny. Or at least... honest. Sign of the times, so to speak. Huzzah for double entendres. I understand your position though... we at the property love the Tiki history so much. The current management group, who has had it about 20 years, wasn't responsible for the remodel... but I think they have done a great job running it. Barbara the GM has done a really great job with the colors and feel of the place, because of the architectural idiosynchrasies. On that flickr set I think there are some really old school shots of what they did... a terrible white and green motif. It was rough.

But the other poster had a good point of the market... we are always enthralled with the history and really excited about it, and try to figure out how we might integrate it... we simply haven't come up with any great ideas. It's funny about Abstractiki's comments... we did think of doing Friday Aloha style shirts (I want to play some Martin Denny or Dome stuff with Lyman, etc) and having a special tiki fan rate... first night at "Tiki Rates" which would be something like mid 40's or so (eeeeek!) and second night at regular price. Not sure... but we really want to celebrate this.

ABSTRACTIKI!!! thank you... I am passing those ideas along and getting answers to your questions. And JohnPaul - thanks for the phone shot. It is so different a time and place... the mural on the other side of the wall is pretty cool, but it's next to a starbucks and barbecues galore. So much changes.... it's nice to know our corner has stayed relatively the same. Stanford's new construction chased our Heron's away too... so that's disappointing as well. But with some of the ideas going on here, I think it looks a little brighter. You will be happy to know the GM is totally behind some sort of "Tiki Awarness" campaign.

Thank you all for the comments and thoughts. I will be back! (But I promise not to annoy you.) Keep the conversation and discussion going... that's why they even have me online. For listening and learning from people like you! Thank you again, thanks for letting me be chatty, and Cheers!

Michael at the Stanford Terrace Inn

P.S. - I saw the old crew of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco do a live session last night! They all sit there and riff about the wonderfully bad film. It was called "Danger On Tiki Island". http://www.cinematictitanic.com/showguide.php?showname=Danger_on_Tiki_Island It wasn't released under that name... the distributor made MST3K (now called Cinematic Titanic) change it because they were going to skewer it (as they do). Not sure if you enjoy that show, but it's always good for a laugh... and right up your alley!

Pages: 1 10 replies