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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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Went to the news conference opening the new Royal Pacific Hotel at Universal Studio Orlando yesterday (I mistakenly called it the South Seas in an earlier post). This is the hotel some of us were speculating about some months ago. Unfortunately, it is a very odd mish-mash of architectural influences -- mostly southeastern pacific, especially Indonesian, and no tikis. The best things about it are the Tahitain drummers and dancers that meet you at the entrance, the Orchid Court which features (you guessed it) lots of orchids, and the Macaws and other tropical birds inside (sorry no monkeys). They are offering a luau as well, but didn't spy the location for that. Oh yes, Emirel Lagasse Corp. is opening a Chinese place at the hotel. All in all, Disney's Polynesian Resort is a much more satisfying experience. Here is a quote about the hotel and the Lagasse Corp. restaurant that sums it up. Too bad they didn't hire a few of us as consultants for this project.
"The menu at Tchoup-Chop focuses on the islands of the Pacific with an Asian and European flavor."
"Hand-carved stone elephants and South Pacific maidens inhabit the entryway to the hotel."
Hmmm....

G

Dredging up Goeff's ancient post here... Has anyone been to the luau at the Royal Pacific? I'd like to hear about it. Here's an ad that ran in this week's Orlando Sentinel.

[ Edited by: GatorRob 2006-05-08 18:36 ]

Yes, I've stayed there, late last year, for a week's worth of business.

It seems like the luau was only a Fri/Sat night sort of thing. It happened at the pool. It seemed like it consisted entirely of an Hawaiian-style dance performance, including the twirling staffs o' fire. I don't recall any food being offered, although some of the on-site restaurants offered pricey luau-type dinners that could somehow be offered in conjunction.

The dances were very nice. Two boys and two girls, if I recall. And what's not to like about feverish, drum-heavy Polynesian dances? Except that it seemed it was over rather quickly.

In the late evening, after the luau is done, there is a family-friendly movie that can be watched from the pool.

There are definitely no tikis there. The "theme" of the hotel -- cleverly done, I thought -- was that this was sort of a destination resort owned by a fictitious airline/cruise ship company, circa 1935, in an unnamed Far Eastern country. There's a real-world, small passenger float plane in the nearby lagoon, done up in (made-up) company colors, and display cases throughout the resort show ships and planes in (made-up) company colors, circa 1935. The decor throughout is Tropical Resort of 1935. Arifacts and knick-knacks range from Thai to Polynesian, but they blend nicely and create to the unnamed-but-must-have-been regional "feel" of the property.

I saw a fair number of families there with little kids. Considering the prices, I assume they were all blood kin to Bill Gates.

Good convention facilities. Hotel/convention staff was absolutely top-notch and clearly liked what they were doing. Always a sign of good management and good pay.

Some in TC may recall my post concerning "The Horror That Is Margaritaville." This resort is where I was staying at the time; Universal City Walk (where Margaritaville is located) is but a short boat ride away, down a jungly canal where there had been nothing but flat Florida cattle-grazing land, only a few short years ago.

Recommended. If you can afford it. But if you want tikis, Disneyland is definitely better.



Oh, Mother! The blood! The blood!

[ Edited by: Satan's Sin 2006-05-08 19:55 ]

PI

The only tikis that I saw were on Emeril's tiki mugs at his restaurant at the back of the resort.

I like the "air raid" drink from the little bar. They also have some good lounge singers on the weekends too.

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