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Hau'oli la tiki - Top Ten Tiki Building Exteriors for International Tiki Day.

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On this the eve of International Tiki Day, I thought I might put us in an anticipatory mood of reverence and respect by posting some eye-candy from my postcard collection.

These are images that hopefully haven't already appeared in the BOT and that you might not have seen before. I don't think any of these buildings still exist. Their doorways were magical portals that suggested wonderful exotic pleasures within.

Here's my list in no particular order:

#1. Where it all started. Don the Beachcomber's in Hollywood.

#2. Two views of The Orchid Island Hotel in Hilo, Hawaii.

#3. The Luau in Beverly Hills. The two large tikis by the door now reside at Oceanic Arts. You can view them up by the cash register.

#4. Trader Vic's - Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

#5. The Waikiki Shopping District, on Kalakaua Ave.

#6. The Aloha Lounge. Location still a mystery.

#7. Papua New Guinea hut from an old Traveler's Insurance magazine ad.

#8. The Trader Vic's at the Bel Air Hotel in St. Louis, MO. Including a front-view of the entrance from an appetizer menu.

#9. The Hotel Tahara'a in Tahiti. Designed by architect Peter Wimberly, who was also responsible for most of the great tiki architecture in Hawaii during the 1950s, including the Waikikian, The International Market Place, Duke Kahanamoku’s nightclub, and Don the Beachcomber's to name but a few. He also designed the Kalakaua Ave. shopping district buildings on my previous postcard.

#10. And of course the Kahiki in Columbus, OH.

Hope you enjoyed 'em.


Very nice Sabu. I know that that was just a taste, and I've seen your waaaay out of control collection of post cards, but howabout the Islander in Stockton and the Royal H in Laguna. Those have/ had pretty good looking buildings too. Cool pics. Thanks for the eye candy.

....I promissed myself that I'd never say 'eye candy'. Damn!

I used to think Humphrey's in San Diego had the most stunning tiki style facade. Now, I realize it may just be the most stunning facade I have been to as it lacks the larger than life tikis depicted above.

Thank you for the most excellent post.


Thank you! Sabu, those are fantastic!

[ Edited by: spy-tiki on 2003-08-08 20:43 ]


Sabu, once again you have presented a fantastic post, I'm sure just scratching the surface of your paper collection. Your paper finds continue to amaze me. I thought I had a decent collection of postcards, but I'm sure it pales in comparison to your archive. Keep up the great work and keep sharing.

Great, great, great! I think your postcard of the Stockton Islander deserves to go in there too!
And if anybody has a groundlevel foto of the St.Louis Trader Vic's entrance WITH the hotel in the back, I am looking for one for my Witco book because it is such a great combo of modern and primitive...it must exist!

(...and, errr, the Hotel Taharaa is on p.245 of the BOT, because the Tiki came from O.A., remember...)

Have a great ITD bash, folks, I'll be celebrating it at the Don Ho gig!

That Kahiki image leaves me breathless!

Oh MyGod! I don't remember the Orchid Isle looking like that. I've got to find Mom & Dad's shoe boxes of pictures. We stayed there when I was 11. I know Dad took some outside pictures.

The only other building I would like to see (which you mentioned) if the Hyperboliparaboloid (sp?) roof of the Waikikian.

Thanks for the history lesson!

hewey posted on Tue, May 15, 2007 7:13 PM


Great bump....more postcards please....those are so wonderful. :)

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